What I’ve been playing: the better-late-than-never edition

Wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged about gaming, but it’s been a pretty hectic year for me, and I took a bit of a break from blogging (and gaming) in general.

I just about kept on gaming because so many games in 2012 were a disappointment for me.  So what did I get up to?

Gotta catch ’em all

I got the Jak and Daxter HD trilogy, but have so far only managed to play through the first game.  The game looks amazing, and the gameplay is exactly how I remembered it.  Naughty Dog make superb games.

Trying to collect every last Precursor is addictive, and well-worth the effort!

Back to Modern Warfare 3

I think I’m going to depart company with the Treyarch series of games.  Both Black Ops and Black Ops II have been nothing but disappointments, whereas I just can’t fault the entire Modern Warfare series.

Why you ask?  The usual- dropped games, errors, and the damn games freeze my PS3.  That’s almost unheard of.  Also, Black Ops II just isn’t as satisfying as a Modern Warfare match online.  It just doesn’t compare.

I may complete a bit of the Black Ops II single player campaign, but who knows?

Continue reading What I’ve been playing: the better-late-than-never edition

Recent extended downtime

Aaaand… we’re back!

Hi everyone.  Unfortunately this gaming blog was hacked on 2 June 2012, and went offline shortly after.  See, it’s not just O2 that’s been having problems!

Today (12 July 2012) I have managed to restore most functionality.  Please bear with me over the next few days as I make sure everything is behaving as it should be.

Los Havros will continue to be a small, independent gaming blog for as long as I can continue to maintain it.  We’re going nowhere!

Long live play!

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Criterion Games are developing the new Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012).  That’s all as I need to know.  Here Criterion, have my wallet.  It’s yours.

To be honest Criterion had me at Burnout 2: Point of Impact (2002), so trusting them to serve up another sublime racing game is pretty easy, and who can forget Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)?  Superb.

Let’s not forget though that as far as big releases go, Criterion Games have put their ‘Burnout’ IP on ice for the foreseeable future and are continuing moonlighting under the ‘Need for Speed’ brand.  I honestly don’t have a problem with this as long as the top-notch quality racing games keep coming.

However Joystiq seems to have an interesting theory: ‘Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a secret return to Paradise‘.  Well-worth a read.  See also: Need for Speed: Most Wanted- Official site.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) will be released across the EU on 2 November 2012.  I can’t wait!

The Walking Dead (video game)

A guest post by Chantelle Porritt.

The Walking Dead

A few years ago, a friend recommended to me that I read a series of comic books called “The Walking Dead“.  And I was hooked!  The series was focused on the survivors and their reaction to the zombie apocalypse as opposed to how many zombies could get their head bashed in before the next chapter.  It’s a fantastic comic book series, and if you haven’t read it I recommend going out and picking up the omnibus right now.  So naturally, I was very excited to find out they were making a TV series based on the books!  GREAT!  As long as you ignore the majority of the second season.

So we’re going to ignore the show right now because the game is much better.  It is so true to the comic books.  I’m one of those people who when a book I love is adapted into a movie or a TV show or whatever, I want to see the story remain as much intact and not messed with as much as possible.  The Hunger Games managed pretty well, Harry Potter forgot about the existence of Peeves, and The Walking Dead series was adamant Hershel’s farm was worthy of an entire season and strange scientists who offered you showers in the middle of an apocalypse would also try and blow you up.

Continue reading The Walking Dead (video game)

PS Vita: Initial Impressions

A guest post by James Kanner.

Once upon a time, the handheld gaming market was dominated solely by Nintendo and its Gameboy brand. But now, with many iOS and Android devices offering cheaper and more accessible alternatives to the DS, 3DS, and PSP, the portable gaming market has become extremely competitive.

Sony has responded to this threat with the PS Vita, their second handheld gaming console. After spending some time with the Vita, I have been impressed with the system, and believe that it is capable of providing a compelling portable gaming experience.

First things first, the hardware is great. It is a robust machine with a sleek design that has managed to incorporate a lot of features. Along with a crisp 5-inch OLED screen, the PS Vita comes equipped with a d-pad, two analogue sticks (are you watching Nintendo), four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, touch screens on the front and back of the system, rear and front facing cameras, and a six axis motion sensor. Not bad for a system that measures 7.2 inches end to end.

Sony has made it abundantly clear that they wanted to create a handheld platform that can reproduce console quality titles. This means that no compromises were made when developing the Vita. As a result, the controls are tight, the system has excellent graphics, and the launch line-up is extremely solid.

Continue reading PS Vita: Initial Impressions

Back to Modern Warfare 3

After the glut of top quality games that came out in quarter 4 of 2011, my play through of Uncharted 3 in January (including snagging that elusive Platinum) and my brief attack of Arkham City in February (I’ll get back to it), I’ve spent the early part of 2012 teaching some punks a lesson on Modern Warfare 3.

I’ve actually got enough content in Modern Warfare 3 to keep me going for most of the year: there’s the single player campaign to complete on Veteran, the Special Ops missions that I haven’t even had a chance to look at yet, and multiplayer to prestige at least once.

Since coming back to Modern Warfare 3 I’ve found myself playing one of the new game types introduced in this iteration, Kill Confirmed.  I prefer Kill Confirmed to most other game types as it tends to favour my preferred gameplay style which is close-quarters with an assault rifle or sub machine gun.  Those afraid to get their boots muddy need not apply.

Continue reading Back to Modern Warfare 3

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Drake’s Journey

The Uncharted series has always been a firm favourite of mine, from as far back as 2007 when Drake’s Fortune burst onto the scene.  I had never been a fan of third-person shoot-and-cover games, but I really liked platformers and action adventure games.  So what changed my mind?

Drake’s Fortune delivered the complete package for me: amazing graphics, an atmospheric musical score, a great storyline, likeable, believable and lifelike characters that you really cared about, and at it’s heart- absolutely rock-solid gameplay.

Among Thieves

2009 marked the year that most of the world woke up to the realisation that the Uncharted series of games was something special.  Naughty Dog took everything that they’d learnt from Drake’s Fortune and made the game more action-packed and cinematic with some amazing levels and a wider range of enemy classes.

Continue reading Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

What I’ve been Playing: Quarter 4 2011

Welcome to my mega review for the past three months of 2011.  In this post are mini-reviews of L.A. Noire, Modern Warfare 3, and Assassin’ Creed Revelations.  Some scores may surprise you.

L.A. Noire

This is one of those games I didn’t expect to be buying when heading into 2011.  Then the reviews came rolling in.  The trailers, the countless articles.  I had to get this game.

It just goes to show how far Rockstar have come.  You’ve got a sandbox city, you can play certain cases in whatever order you want, and you’ve got discretion on how you want to play through the cases.  So far, so GTA.  But this time you’re on the other side of the law- you are the law.

I doubt a game like this would have even been possible a few years ago: the advanced motion capture on actors’ faces- detailed enough to show/betray emotion, the look and feel of such a huge living, breathing city, and the noir storyline.  Breathtaking.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 STARS

Continue reading What I’ve been Playing: Quarter 4 2011

Thoughts on PixelJunk Shooter 2

After thoroughly enjoying playing through PixelJunk Shooter, I was really looking forward to PixelJunk Shooter 2, but I soon found out that it was very tough.  So much more difficult than its predecessor!

I immediately wanted to vent my frustration and write a critical post on this blog, but I held my tongue for the most part.  I calmed down, and I had other games to play through in the meantime.

Continue reading Thoughts on PixelJunk Shooter 2

I have the Platinum Trophy for Modern Warfare 2

Shortly before the release of Call of Duty: black Ops over a year ago, I made a bold declaration that I would ‘Platinum’ Modern Warfare 2.  That is, complete 100% of all achievements.

Now, I’m going to level with you here.  When I made that announcement, I didn’t really expect that I would do it, although it would give me the incentive of public humiliation if I didn’t.

Continue reading I have the Platinum Trophy for Modern Warfare 2