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Mellor's blog

6:46 PM on 10.06.2010

Halo: What's all the fuss about? (QuickBlog)

I have been a fan of FPS games ever since I played Goldeneye for the N64 with my friends, and to this day I still think it's the best multiplayer FPS to date.

A lot of people go on about the Halo series like it's some sort of gaming crack, that just by playing it one can attain a high akin to doing a whole fat sack of crack.

I just don't see what all the fuss is about (see post title).

I mean yeah, at it's core, it's a solid FPS, but I think people give it too much credit for what it is. I'll admit that the original Halo was great fun on my friends Xbox, but when Halo 2 and 3 rolled around I just couldn't get in to them, no matter how hard I tried. I'm not going to list the reasons as to why I couldn't, because I don't think the Halo series are bad games, I just can't get in to them. I have a feeling it's the lack of iron sights (however shallow that sounds).

Does anyone else feel the same way? Again, It's not that there bad games by any stretch, just something about them puts me off.



I nearly cried with laughter.   read

8:57 PM on 10.04.2010

My not-so-awesome Life! (& Games) #1

This is something I plan to do often, I don't know how often. Probably when I get new games and/or things happen. Sorry if this is bad, it's half 3 in the morning here.


The Life Part

So basically this week I've been staying at my dad's due to my mum's boyfriend's mum being sick, and I willingly gave up my room for a few weeks to allow her to be cared for. (I am a saint, I know.)

The girlfriend was having trouble with some media graphic design, so I totally bailed her out and made some damn amazing album covers. I also ate a damn load of pasta & pizza. Good weekend.

I'm also giving blood (again) on Wednesday! I recommend anybody who hasn't done it already to do it! You could save someone's life. /givebloodadvert.

Applied for some jobs, currently working with my dad at his upholstery business. It's fun taking apart crap, and I actually quite like the work (which I didn't think I would).

The Games Part

Minecraft is still crack. I'm working on a blog post that gives my opinion on what it will become (think second-life, but so much better).

Sonic Adventure has been taking up some of my time. I basically complete a character story when I'm bored, and recently finished Big's. Urgh. I fucking hate that cat. The fishing mechanic is so utterly broken it's not even funny.

Finally got into Left 4 Dead 2. Only took me a year. Been having a lot of fun with the mutation game modes, and addicted to the co-op stuff. Still would be better if I had someone to play it with. If any dtoiders are up for playing with someone who is extremely average then add me on XBL! Gamertag is Mellorrr.

Operation Flashpoint is actually quite decent. I always wanted a good tactical shooter and this fits the bill. So unforgiving though.

The Upcoming Part

Fallout: New Vegas is something I'm seriously looking forward to losing a large chunk of my life too. Fallout 3 ate up so much of my free time it became something of an addiction and my family got worried and staged an intervention (not really) but It was a great game nonetheless.


Trolling Sonic fanboy's with this is great.

Fable 3 Fable 2 was good and you know it.

Well that's all for this week, if you got a sadistic kick out of reading about my life, then good for you!   read

11:34 AM on 09.27.2010

I forgot to do an damn intro post!

So this is me;

I was tired and drunk

My name is Ben (or Mellor as my last name, and blogging name goes) I'm 18 and live in Britain (currently the greatest country on earth as the drinking age is 18). I love writing articles and reviews, and hope to write many, many more in the future.

I enjoy video games above most else. My favourite game of all time has to be A Link to the Past. Sonic 1 is close behind. The greatest MMO ever is Phantasy Star Online. I was addicted at 10. Lately been playing Minecrack (craft) and I can't pull myself away. Its just too good.

Personally I play a lot of guitar and listen to a huge variety of music. So I'm always up for a good music chat if any of you are burnt out on talking about games.

So that's me. I'm friendly and always up for a chat on just about anything :)   read

9:15 AM on 09.27.2010

Sonic 4: Episode 1 is 1200msp / 1500 Wii points / $15 / Expensive

So according to this scan of Nintendo Power, Sonic 4: Episode 1 is going to be 1500 Wii points, which roughly translates to about $15 / 10 or 1200msp.

I don't really know how I feel about that. Sure, it's bound to be a great game, but 1200 for only 4 zones? It just seems a bit too much. I'll probably still buy it because I'm a huge Sonic fanboy, but I think 800 would have been sweeter.

What do you think?   read

6:25 PM on 09.21.2010

Review: Sonic Adventure DX (XBLA)

Its been 11 years since this game was released on the Dreamcast, A long, long 11 years. In fact this and SA2 were the last Sonic games that was done right (In my opinion) But I digress. After the sheer unadulterated horror that was Sonic 06' many people had given up hope that Sonic could ever become anything more then a lost relic of games past.

So far, that analysis is correct, but luckily for us, Sega likes to tease and torment its fans by releasing port after port after port of the original games that were actually good.

This is no exception.

Sonic Adventure DX (XBLA/PSN)
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Released: September 15, 2010
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points / $9.99

I won't bore you with my fanboy love of this game (It's extensive) but I will say that this was the 3D Sonic game I had been waiting for. It blew me away. Its graphics were amazing at the time, the extensive adventure fields were a blast to explore, the number of playable characters was great, and the overall replayability was very high. Of course, no matter how much I love this game personally, I must poke gentle fun at it. Did I say gentle? I meant devastating.

The games story basically comes down to this; Sonic is trying to stop Dr Robotnik from destroying Station Square and building his own city aptly named Robotnikland on it's ruins. He also has acquired an ancient creature called Chaos, with which he plans to achieve his above goal. Sonic has to stop Robotnik from collecting all 7 chaos emeralds which will cause Chaos to achieve his "Perfect" form and do what I know is some evil nasty things. Each characters narrative interlopes, which creates a very interesting style of narrative, sort of. Mainly it just ends up confusing you until literally right at the end.

The game play for each character is different as well. Sonic's stages are the same as they have always been. You run, you jump, you win. Repeat until game is over. Tails's stages are basically the same, but your racing Sonic in them. Why? I have no idea. Knuckles stages revolve around him trying to recover the shards of the master emerald, which was shattered by Chaos. Amy's stages consist of slowly running around hitting things with a big hammer. E-102's stages are just basic shooter stuff, and finally Big's stages are just like you remembered them. Fucking Awful. I still think to this day that Sega just decided to troll every Sonic fan by adding a broken fishing mini-game and disguising it as a character story. The main point of replayability is the 130 emblems that take forever to collect. There are 3 to gain per action stage for each character, one for completing the basic stage, one for replaying it and getting 50 rings and finishing, and one for replaying it yet again and beating a time limit. That's the basis for all the characters, although it changes sometimes depending on the action stage or the character. There are also emblems hidden in the adventure stages, some for beating the tedious mini-games, some for the Chao races etc. You get the point.

As you may have guessed, this game hasn't aged well, While still being fun to play at its core, the camera issues are just to frequent to ignore. Constantly the camera just decides to hide inside a wall, or just jerk around annoyingly until you begin to feel motion sick. One would have thought Sega could have taken the time to fix these issues, but no (It's Sega). The graphics have been updated slightly, and are one of the things that Sega has actually done right with this port. The action stages are still well designed and put together, each one having its own very distinct theme.

There is one annoying problem however, no widescreen support. Now I know a lot of people don't have 16:9 TV's, and if you don't this won't be a problem at all. For people like me however, who have widescreen TV's the blue bars that surround the game are distracting. The thing that amazes me though, is that hackers have actually unlocked widescreen support in the PC version of the game (which this version is a direct port of). So it just comes down to laziness on Sega's part.

Also, in case you were wondering, yes this game is a port of the DX version released on the Gamecube and PC. So it's a port of a port.

The voice acting is just as hilariously bad as in the original, with such classic quotes as "C'mon Sonic, we gotta get busy!" and "Get a LOAD OF THIS" and not forgetting "HE'S NOT GOING TO GET AWAY WITH THIS" The facial animations are the best though. Sonic consistently looks like he has his rape face on, and the rest of the characters mouth movements are just badly animated bubbles that awkwardly move around.

The music is as great as ever. Catchy guitar driven rock songs and simple pop rhythms that bring so much nostalgia that my eyes begin to water. Each stages soundtrack is perfectly styled to the setting, such as Emerald Coast having a very upbeat tropical sound. Each character even has their own catchy-as-hell musical motif! Jun Senoue is a god damn musical genius.

One thing about this game that is still as fun as ever is the clever A-Life system, or "Chao". Chao are little blue.. things that react to how you treat them, be it good, or just beating the living crap out of them. Despite what you may think, this part of the game is needlessly fleshed out, with Chao races, stats, and several other things that only people who play this game too much (myself) would know. How do you raise their stats you might ask? Well by the way you probably guessed! (doubtful) by feeding them different Animals gained from freeing them from their robotic prisons!

OK so they don't actually eat the animals.

They just sort of "hug".

Every time your Chao "hugs" an animal it gains (or loses) a stat increase in one of five categories mainly used for Chao racing. It also does some sort of weird, Chimera style mutation to them, giving them a part of whatever animal you gave them. There is also a stat screen that pop's up when you interact with them, which is a huge improvement over the Dreamcast version which just basically made you guess what these animals were doing to your Chao. They also evolve into an adult form which looks no different to their child form, except for the fact that their animal parts are even more freakish and large! This part of the game is huge, and takes a lot of time to cover extensively. Its a wonder Sega put so much time in to what is basically a mini-game, but chose to put little to no depth in the main story.

Also this game has DLC! Cheap, nasty, unfair DLC! Basically the 400msp DLC unlocks the DX content that was available for free in the Gamecube and PC versions which consists of a god awful Mission Mode for all characters once their story is completed, and Metal Sonic unlock for trial mode when you collect all 130 emblems. As well as adding some achievements. Meh.

Overall this game is still fun to play, if you can overlook its many, many flaws. The main problem with this game is that its a lazy port. Nothing has been changed from the DX port of the game apart from the game now running at a steady 60 fps and this version having achievements. I'll admit that while I loved this game when it was first released, my nostalgia goggles had to be severely strapped to my head. If you loved the original, then its definitely worth picking up, if you never played the original, then play the trial and see if its for you.

Rape face Sonic commands it.

Graphics: 6
Gameplay: 7
Sound: 8
Story: 5
Voice Acting: 3
Replayability: 7

Final Score: 6   read

7:56 PM on 08.09.2010

Why we shouldn't complain about high prices for indie games.

I have reading a lot of debates around the internet lately, a fair deal of them related to the game Limbo, more specifically its price tag of 1200msp. Its been making me think about the current state of gaming, and why people complain about high price tags on games.

Lately I've been playing Limbo a lot. It is truly a great game. In fact I would go as far as to rate it in my top 20 (at least) games of all time. There is one striking problem that a lot of people see with it though, and that's not with the game it self per se. Many people complain about the price (1200msp.) Although due to the quality of the game it is really a non-issue, but it makes me angry that people don't appreciate that indie developers are the last bastion of pure gamers left in the industry.

If we take a game like Modern Warfare 2, which has sold a lot of copies throughout the world, and compare it to another game such as Castle Crashers, a (in my opinion) underrated and overtly brilliant indie game. Modern Warfare 2 on release cost me 40. Looking back on that, I'm not really sure what I paid for. The single player took me around 5 hours to beat and I'm not the best at shooters, so for someone more experienced their playtime would most likely be a lot less. From what I've read most people are under the impression that Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer is it's strong suit, but I beg to differ. It is in fact a buggy, overrated mess that has fooled most critics into believing that it is deep and has much to offer. On the contrary, I sunk about a day into it, and was left wishing I could gain it back. The only small redeeming feature was Spec Ops, and while that was entertaining with friends, on my own it tended to become stale fast. It really pains me to see this game consistently in the game charts.

Now Castle Crashers is a game I really enjoyed. The side scrolling beat-em-up was one of my childhood love affairs, playing Power Rangers on the Genesis with my cousin when we were kids was all the entertainment we had, and Castle Crashers brought an element of that back to me. It made me very happy to know that there was still developers that catered to the old style of games, rather then the high budget, but low depth games of today. I would gladly pay double for it.

Compare Modern Warfare 2's price tag of 40 to Castle Crashers tag of 1200msp (or around 12.) Castle Crashers has almost too much replayability. Being able to play as a multitude of different characters, each with their own abilities made playing online a different experience every time, while Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer although having many unlockables, overall was pointless and added little to the game itself.

Essentially the price that a developer set's is the price they set. All the whining and moaning in the world won't change it. The price that the developer of Limbo set is that price for a reason, not because they are money grabbing fat cats, but because they are an indie developer who has managed to get a break in a sea of corporate developers who's only aim is to extort their prime audience, and shake them down for all the money they have.

Many people complain about companies such as Activision, and EA saying that they only reason they publish games is to make a profit, and they are correct. The only pure form of gaming left is games created by indie developers and if people continue to complain about a so-called high price tag then eventually these types of games will no longer exist on consoles, and all that will be left will be games that exist solely to extort you of your money.   read

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