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I’m not a massive fan of futuristic first person shooters. They tend to get a little silly. Call of Duty doesn’t want to be getting any sillier.

Source: splitscreengaming
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I came across Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow on the PSN Store - a rare stealth/action gem from the PS2 era. The game plays well considering the PSP’s lack of dual analogue sticks, and manages to be an acceptable platform for both stealth and all-out assault. The only downside so far is it’s script - it’s not bad, but it’s nothing special either. When I have the time I’m considering rewriting the scripts for the tutorials as a little writing project. Writing for video games is something I’m very much interested in.

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I just bought Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped on the PSP. Why is it that I buy brand new games consoles but insist on playing old games on them? It doesn’t matter though, because this game is as good (if not a little better) as I remember it being ten years ago. Maybe this time I’ll actually have the skill to complete the entire game. Or maybe I wont.

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It’s b-b-been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but I feel it’s time to breathe some life into it. I recently purchased the original Max Payne on the iPhone. Despite the fact it’s a PS2 port, despite the fact it has temperamental touch screen controls, despite the fact the cut scenes are plagued with multiple loading screens, and despite the fact it’s an eleven year old game, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in a while. I’m struggling to work out why I haven’t played any games that even remotely attempt to copy this style - I feel like it’s the sort of game that would have spawned many inferior clones. I should spend less time contemplating and more time capping fools in slow motion. (Note to self, I can’t pull off the phrase ‘capping fools’.)

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I’ve spent the night eating pizza and watching the original Fast and the Furious film. It really made me think about the Need for Speed games. I don’t think would be unfair to say that ever since Need for Speed: Underground (with the possible exception of Most Wanted) the Need for Speed franchise has been going downhill.

In the subsequent sequels they added a free-roam feature, more street cars, more super-cars, more SUVs, more performance upgrades, more exterior upgrades, more interior upgrades, the ability to select team mates, different race types and techniques, and in the upcoming Need for Speed: The Run, the ability to get out of your car - though I’m not sure why…

Watching the original Fast and the Furious film has made me think that more isn’t always better. As with the Need for Speed games, the Fast and Furious films have been demanding more and more from their sequels, and yet the original film, despite being the simplest, is still the best. Sometimes adding more features can make a game feel cluttered and over-complicated. Yet if a game like Need for Speed: Underground was released now, it would be called half-finished, or too short, when really it should be described as focused, wonderfully simplistic, and utterly fantastic. I wish still had a PS2.

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As nostalgic as Counter Strike: Global Offensive looks, it appears to be horrendously out-dated. Sure, this game will sell thousands of copies because of the words ‘Counter’ and ‘Strike’, but I predict that it just wont be able to keep up with the likes of Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 in the long run. Counter Strike was once the greatest online first-person shooter, but it might be time to resign and go out gracefully instead of trying to recreate the success of the past.

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The people over at EA certainly know how to turn me upside down and relieve me of my money. Despite the fact that Fifa 12 will no doubt just be Fifa 11 with a graphical scrub up and a new roster of players, I’m still planning on paying full price for it on its opening weekend. Ordinarily when a game series releases a game every year like clockwork it should be avoided like the plague: the Need for Speed franchise being a prime example (Call of Duty doesn’t really count because they’re made by two separate developers over two years). With the Fifa series, EA have found themselves in a very clever position: people know that they shouldn’t buy their game every year… yet they still do.

I only hope that EA reward their loyal, if stupid, fans by listening to them. If EA listens to its fans and changes their game accordingly, the Fifa games can become something truly unique: a game that is being constantly reworked and revised at the request of the people that play it. I can’t think of any other game series that has attempted to provide this level of feedback for this long. Paying full price for a reworked game might not seem very fair, but if you imagine you’re paying for EA’s ability to listen to its fans, and improve the game according to their recommendations, then it might not seem like such a bad deal after all.

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Not that I want to boast but… I have access to Xbox Ahoy’s weapon guides from the Call of Duty Elite service. So far there are only guides for Black Ops weapons, but presumably he’ll also be doing them for MW3 when it comes around.

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I understand, I really do. I get it, you want to prove yourself; you want to show the world that you can put yourself at a disadvantage by using a sniper rifle and still come out on top. You want to show everybody how good you are; something that is, arguably, an intrinsic, caveman-like desire.

Quick-scoping, by definition, requires the use of a sniper rifle. Now the sniper rifles are the only weapons in most first-person shooter games that can earn you a kill in one shot at every single range: they excel in long range engagements, dropping very little damage; they’re usable at mid-range, if you’re quick to aim; and they can be devastating at close range, presuming of course that you’ve got the ‘skills’ to be a successfull quick-scoper. Quick-scoping then, is proof that you are well-rounded player; you fear nobody, you can strike at a moments notice, you’re deadly at all ranges.

But here’s where I think you are wrong… You’re using a weapon that has a one-hit-kill potential at any range. I don’t think that makes you a good player, I think it makes you a coward. Why are you so afraid that you might come across a player that could potentially beat you at a certain range? You’re hiding behind a weapon that has the best ability to kill in a single shot over all ranges: quick-scoping doesn’t prove that you can kill at any range, it proves that you’re afraid to use a weapon that can’t kill at any range. You’re worried that you might see an enemy that you physically can’t hit with the weapon you’re holding - so you compensate by using a weapon that can.

So if I don’t think that quick-scoping is a sign of a good player, then what is? Well that’s obvious: you have to look at the other end of the scale, at the players that are using the least effective weapon over all ranges and are still besting the enemy. Loved by farmers and zombie hunters alike, the shotguns are the real sign of a great player.

With a sniper rifle you can kill over any range. With a shotgun, you can only kill at one range: close. Very close. If you really wanted to prove yourself you’d use a shotgun. It makes sense: it’s the weapon that is the hardest to use. If you see an enemy at long, or even middle, range, you might as well be holding a big stick because you physically cannot hit them. It takes a great player to be able to penetrate the enemies defences, stalk their movements, to get close enough to them so that the melee attack is a viable choice, only to reveal their position with a very loud weapon that has a slow rate of fire, a low ammo count, and extremely limited range.

Calling all quick-scopers! If you think you’re proving yourself by choosing the sniper rifle at the start of every map, then know this: I pity you. I see it as a sign of weakness; you have to hide behind your weapon in order to survive. If you truly want to prove yourself, you’ll swap your optical scopes for iron sights, your ghillie suits for bandoleers, your bullets for buckshot, and you’ll pick up a shotgun instead.

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Has gaming become too serious? I can remember when I first started playing online games regularly; back then I don’t ever remember getting overly frustrated at other gamers, and whilst there was banter between players, it was never particularly aggressive. Sure, there was the odd altercation, but nowadays it just seems that players are looking to pick fights with each other. I think as the community of online players swells, you’re less likely to come across those like-minded players that aren’t looking to pick fights, and are just looking to play a decent game. I can’t exactly speak for all online players: I’m restricted to the Xbox Live community, and I spend a lot of my online time playing Call of Duty. I suppose the obvious answer would be to stop playing Call of Duty; but there’s a reason why so many people play it - it’s a damn good game. If anybody knows of any other games that still have a decent online community then I’d love to hear about them.