Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NHL 08 Slider update.

Well, this turned out to be simple. The guys in the forums over at Operation Sports have found some great settings for NHL 08, that pretty much make the game officially, "The Shit". As it turns out all you need to do is reset the settings back to default and then play in Superstar mode only changing game speed to 0 and shot accuracy to 1. If you aren't playing franchise, be sure and do those changes after the game starts because for some reason the game resets your sliders if you choose anything other than Pro. I played one of the most enjoyable and realistic games of video game hockey last night with these settings. Previously I had been playing on Pro and having my struggles, so don't worry if you think you are not good enough for Superstar. These settings make your AI teammates play much smarter. I am gonna try it tonight with player lock on the center position and I will have a report later. Skol!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oblivion TES IV: The Fighter's Stronghold add on

Defeat the attacking marauders and become lord of Battlehorn Castle. Located in the Colovian Highlands west of Chorrol, this expansive castle will allow you to live the life of a noble warrior, with private quarters, grand dining hall, wine cellar, barracks, training room and more. And what castle would be complete without a few hidden passages and dark secrets?
  • A fully detailed castle for you to explore
  • Knights of the True Horn patrol the castle and do your bidding
  • Secret treasure vault
  • Upgrade the furnishings in every area of the castle
  • Hire a vintner to create special wines to enhance your fighting abilities
  • Hire a combat trainer to spar with
  • Hire a taxidermist to craft lifelike trophies for your great hall
  • Purchase an ancient Dwemer Forge that buffs your Armorer skill
For the rest of this week Bethesda is offering a free download of the latest and last add on to Oblivion TES IV. I downloaded it last night for my Xbox 360 and messed around with it briefly. The initial battle to reclaim the stronghold was trivial. The biggest thing I had to worry about was the bandits attacking my horse, but at this point I could afford fifty white horses. Once the battle was over, the surviving guard thanked me and welcomed me as the new lord of the stronghold. I was then able to go to the capital and buy stuff to trick out my new home. I couldn't help but think that this would have been fantastic last year when I first got the game, but it is all pretty much fluff and relatively useless to me now that my character is a demi-god. If you are just starting the game out, I recommend taking the time to get this download. It will help you out greatly and you will find it a very useful addition. If you have already completed the game you could probably pass, but what the hell it is free so it only costs you the time to download 10 megs.

BBC one! BBC two! BBC three!

It's a world that's invisible to the uninitiated. And it's a slightly discomforting thought that for the next few weeks, after school - or more likely after work, since Halo 3 is rated 16+ - hundreds of thousands of people will be glued to their television screens putting in the many hours it takes to play a modern video game from start to finish.

You can share the camaraderie of gaming with others even when you are in your own bedroom
Tim Ingham

Discomforting because over the years, video games have been blamed for everything from destroying marriages to turning balanced adults into murderers and rapists. At the very least, will video games produce a generation of unsociable hermits?

It's a common misconception that gaming is a solitary activity, as today an increasing number of titles are for gamers to get together and play in turn. In this respect, it's no different to golf - a game which can be a source of marital friction but is rarely accused of incitement to murder.

Yeah baby! Yeah! To read the rest of this great article go here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Next Gen Sports Game Presentation

I have seen many reviews for sports game in this "New Generation" and they all seem to get high scores. But for what really? I think they boil down to the graphics being good. That should be a given (sorry Wii). There is much more to game presentation, however. The atmosphere of a sport can go a long way towards being captured with just good sound effects alone. Ambient sounds and crowd noise make the player feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Announcer play by play is also a huge factor in player immersion. I haven't seen much of any growth in either of these two areas since the previous generation. Madden 08 for example still has the lame radio broadcaster from last year. The game is named after one of the most high profile color commentators in all of sports. Use him. Other games like NHL 08, while b eing good overall games are seriously lacking in the presentation department. The announcers repeat the same 15 or 20 lines over and over again ad naseum. Keeping with NHL 08 as an example, the on ice sound effects are repetitive. I swear if I play any more I am going to hear: "Wheel! Wheel!" in my sleep. As far as I am concerned NFL 2k5 has the best game presentation of any sports game bar none. You would think that All Pro Football 2k8 would have as good if not better presentation, but that isn't the case. The Game Pass feature is cliche and annoying. The halftime presentation is decent but doesn't match NFL 2k5. What gives game developers? You getting lazy? We ARE paying more money for games now. I want more than good graphics. That should be a given considering the power of the new hardware (again, sorry Wii).