Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood gameplay

Seen as I’ve been playing quite a lot of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood recently, I thought it would be the perfect game to show my latest addition to the blog: videos!

The following video has something for everyone: avid online gamers can watch my epic fails as I (admittedly) struggle through a couple of multiplayer games of ‘Wanted’, those wanting some action can watch as I lay waste to a large number of guards in the city of Rome, and my fan club can wince as my dulcet tones are compressed through a sub-standard microphone.  Enjoy!

Edit 18/04/11: The video no longer exists thanks to Vimeo (boo, hiss), and so I’m now  working on alternative videos for YouTube (yay).

I’ll post some in-depth details about the video on Sleight of Hand soon, but put briefly- I’m learning and yes, there’s a lot wrong with the video itself.  It runs for about 40 mins which is way too long but I wanted to push the HD  content, the running time, and the file size to the limit.

What do you think?

Update 30/03/11: For reference the post, ‘How I record gameplay from my PS3‘ is now up on Sleight of Hand.

Hands-on with the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta

If you’re reading this and you’ve not yet played the beta, then yes, either by robbing a bank or bribing Naughty Dog you somehow need to get into the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta right now.  It’s that good.  For those who have pre-order Uncharted 2 or managed to snag a beta key, access is granted from September 15th.  I’m led to believe that general availability of the beta is September 29th.

My initial thoughts:  graphics are dripping with quality, gameplay is solid and spot-on, and overall it’s serious fun!

I dn’t know where to start with this initial hands-on look.  I suppose I’d like to mention first that I was very, very sceptical of the prospect of multiplayer within the Uncharted franchise.  After all, the original Uncharted remains my favourite game so far, and going through the single player adventure was enjoyable, but it was my experience, and so Uncharted felt like my personal, special game and I didn’t really want to share it with anyone.

Now that my disclosure is out of the way, I’d like to tell you right now that everything I thought before was wrong.  Naughty Dog have treated the Uncharted franchise with continuity, fluidity, and respect.  So much so that the multiplayer experience behaves and feels like the authentic Uncharted experience you remembered from the first game: perfect.  Added game mechanics, such as grabbing riot shields for cover, and lugging around heavy relics, feel like natural extensions to existing abilities.

Continue reading Hands-on with the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta

Hands-on with LittleBigPlanet

LittleBigPlanet is here, and gamers everywhere are giddy with excitement- and that’s just the adults!  Children are going to love this game, as in fact, will anyone really.  From what I’ve experienced, I can totally see how this can be a cult classic for the cool, hardcore gamers, but still be fun for all the family.

You’ll be glad to know that my woes with Amazon did not last long.  The package was waiting for me when I arrived home.  As I hadn’t been on my PS3 for quite some time, the usual formalities were required: download firmware update, install update, restart PS3.  Time for some LittleBigPlanet goodness then?  Apparently not: two updates needed to be downloaded and installed before I could so much as look at the loading screen.

Continue reading Hands-on with LittleBigPlanet

Warhawk Diaries: First Assignment

“Because every soldier keeps a diary, right?  Right?!”

Sure, Warhawk has been on the market for about 12 months, but its online community is thriving.  The servers are full of veteran players, but the addition of trophies and the brand new expansion packs have kept the game fresh and interesting.  I’m a new Warhawk player and these scribblings are my experiences of being a rookie (I play on the green servers) in the unfriendly skies.  So grab a coffee, and read on, why don’t you?

You may (or may not, actually, if you’re a new reader) recall that I wrote some mixed thoughts called ‘Getting toasted in Warhawk‘.  To gain some perspective, that was written within hours of my first proper go on Warhawk, and I was truly rubbish!  But now, things have changed baby.  Things have changed!

Tanks a lot
Playing my first few games, I quickly realised that I was not going to go anywhere fast in a Warhawk.  My solution?  Ground vehicles.  I scanned the area around me, and quickly laid eyes on a tank.  Perfect!  Out I trundled in my luxurious 60 Ton (at a guess?!) personal safety vehicle, right into the middle of the warzone!  I must have blasted about three Warhawks out of the sky within a minute.  The power- it felt good.  Real good.  But… they all kind of ganged up on me and turned my tank into an elaborate metal coffin for me.

Man the turrets!
A good map for me has been the Ruined Capitol (correct me if I’ve got the name wrong).  Rather than get caught up in the huge bloodbath in the centre of the map, I opted to protect our home base.  I wasn’t hoping for peace and quiet though, as I knew an enemy player would fancy their chances at capturing our base.  I didn’t have to wait long.  From the top of our tower, I had a great vantage point in my rocket turret and could spot an enemy jet from quite a distance.

Sure, I took down my fair share of enemy aircraft, but they had a surprise in store.  Unbeknown to me, an enemy aircraft had flown in low and had not crashed as I had assumed.  We’d been boarded.  After admittedly being killed by the intruders a couple of times, I eventually managed to gain the upper hand and defeat them.  After doing this, I received a couple of trophies: ‘anti-camper’ and ‘revenge’.  Not too bad for one night’s work.

Till next time
I hope you’ve enjoyed this account of a new Warhawk player fighting the good fight, but that’s all for now.  Tune in next time to read my triumphs and mishaps in the various game modes, and find out which mode is my favourite!

Patapon Revisited

A few months ago I got myself Patapon shortly after its release and quickly became addicted to it.  What I began to realise though, was how nail-bitingly hard it could be in certain places of the game.  One easy example, is the difficulty many people had in figuring out how to cross the desert.  Once you know how, it’s quite easy.  But in the game itself, you are more or less left to try and figure it out for yourself- if you can.

Patapon in action

This probably explains why the PlayStation.Blog team had to lend us a helping hand.  Also equally frustrating is the ease at which you can lose the beat.  From my own personal experience, this has made me want to throw my PSP at the nearest wall after trying to complete the same level 5 times in a row.  So I left the game and vowed to return to it once I had calmed down…

What I have been doing for the past couple of years now, is taking my PSP with me on holiday and having a quick gaming session before I go to bed.  Last year I took LocoRoco and completed all levels (not all quite 100% yet though!) and this year has been Patapon’s turn.  Yes, about 4 months after I had last touched the game, I decided to revisit Patapon and see how far I could get this time.

Surprisingly, I found that I wasn’t losing the beat as easily, but I think this was down to a new technique.  Heard the advice (includng my own) about tapping with your foot to the beat?  Forget about it- repeating “pata, pata, pata, pon” or whatever drum beat you’re doing, in your head, in-between your turn is very helpful in keeping the beat.  Why is it otherwise so hard to keep the beat in fever mode?  This is because the fever mode music can trip you up, especially when the music starts.  I have found this to be THE most unhelpful feature of any game- ever!

Let my little story not distract you from the main point- this game is fantastic!  You just need a lot of time and patience as Patapon is amazingly deep.  Think you’ve done it all?  Well, you haven’t.  There’s just so many rare Patapons, weapons and materials to collect.  Get frustrated at time?  Give the game a rest and then get back to it, feeling refreshed.  Some games are like a fine wine: they get better with age.  That is why, although I’ve never actually reviewed Patapon, I’ll give it a 9/10 just because it deserves it.  If you haven’t picked it up yet, you need to!  Its essential for your PSP.

Burnout Bikes Gameplay Unveiled

Burnout Bikes Gameplay Unveiled– On PlayStation.Blog.  Choice quote: “We want you to know that if you buy Burnout Paradise, you buy much more than the disk we shipped back in January.”  I hear ya’ loud and clear!  I’m seriously considering investing in Burnout Paradise now that I know there is so much cool content constantly being added.  Free!