6:27 PM 0 comments

SG’s Arcade: My Game Room Launch in Review

Insert Quarter to Continue!

Game-Room I managed to circumvent the initial hurdles that Xbox LIVE had thrown at me (inability to load Game Room, server connection issues) on day-one and get into the thick of the Game Room experience.

My initial impressions of the Game Room are extremely positive.  The other evening I garnered the ‘4 Hour’ achievement for time spent playing games in the arcade.  I have also won my first challenge!  Game Room really takes me back to my gaming roots, I look forward to see what other great games are coming down the pipeline in the next several weeks so that I can relieve other great moments from my youth as well as discover those games that eluded me.

As for the initial batch of games I added 4 to my arcade (after all, what is an arcade without games).  I actually have been very pleased with my initial purchases. Here is a quick rundown of my purchases, year released, weapon of choice (controller preference), my high-score, and a twitter-sized impression.  Enjoy:

icn_arc_asteroidsdeluxeGame:  Asteroids Deluxe (Atari)

Released: 1980

Weapon of Choice: Arcade Stick

Hi-Score: 23,560

TwitteReview: #AsteroidsDeluxe: Reflexes will be tested! Fast paced shooter w/ enemies galore! Use your shield to advance! Best #GameRoom Day1 purchase!

 

icn_arc_gravitar

Game:  Gravitar (Atari)

Released: 1982

Weapon of Choice: Arcade Stick

Hi-Score: 14,050

TwitteReview: #Gravitar: Most excited to purchase #GameRoom. Great concept, difficulty spikes quickly! Much practice time required to advance!

 

icn_arc_tempest

Game:  Tempest (Atari)

Released: 1980

Weapon of Choice: Xbox 360 Controller; D-Pad / Analog split

Hi-Score: 26,611

TwitteReview: #Tempest: Always been curious about game. Was better once I discovered #SmartBomb. #QtrMuncher! Surprised how much I like this one #GameRoom

 

icn_int_skiing

Game:  Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing (Intellivision)

Released: 1988

Weapon of Choice: Xbox 360 Controller; D-Pad

Hi-Score: N/A

TwitteReview: #MountainMadnessSkiing: Good old-skool skiing game. Menu is clunky but once on slopes it is fun! Don’t get sideways out there! #GameRoom

 

Game Room

-SG

6:21 PM 0 comments

SG’s Arcade: My Game Room Launch in Review

Insert Quarter to Continue!

Game-Room I managed to circumvent the initial hurdles that Xbox LIVE had thrown at me (inability to load Game Room, server connection issues) on day-one and get into the thick of the Game Room experience.

My initial impressions of the Game Room are extremely positive.  The other evening I garnered the ‘4 Hour’ achievement for time spent playing games in the arcade.  I have also won my first challenge!  Game Room really takes me back to my gaming roots, I look forward to see what other great games are coming down the pipeline in the next several weeks so that I can relieve other great moments from my youth as well as discover those games that eluded me.

As for the initial batch of games I added 4 to my arcade (after all, what is an arcade without games).  I actually have been very pleased with my initial purchases. Here is a quick rundown of my purchases, year released, weapon of choice (controller preference), my high-score, and a twitter-sized impression.  Enjoy:

icn_arc_asteroidsdeluxeGame:  Asteroids Deluxe (Atari)

Released: 1980

Weapon of Choice: Arcade Stick

Hi-Score: 23,560

TwitteReview: #AsteroidsDeluxe: Reflexes will be tested! Fast paced shooter w/ enemies galore! Use your shield to advance! Best #GameRoom Day1 purchase!

icn_arc_gravitar

Game:  Gravitar (Atari)

Released: 1982

Weapon of Choice: Arcade Stick

Hi-Score: 14,050

TwitteReview: #Gravitar: Most excited to purchase #GameRoom. Great concept, difficulty spikes quickly! Much practice time required to advance!

icn_arc_tempest

Game:  Tempest (Atari)

Released: 1980

Weapon of Choice: Xbox 360 Controller; D-Pad / Analog split

Hi-Score: 26,611

TwitteReview: #Tempest: Always been curious about game. Was better once I discovered #SmartBomb. #QtrMuncher! Surprised how much I like this one #GameRoom

icn_int_skiing

Game:  Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing (Intellivision)

Released: 1988

Weapon of Choice: Xbox 360 Controller; D-Pad

Hi-Score: N/A

TwitteReview: #MountainMadnessSkiing: Good old-skool skiing game. Menu is clunky but once on slopes it is fun! Don’t get sideways out there! #GameRoom

Game Room

-SG

10:46 AM 0 comments

Mission Accomplished: Left 4 Dead 2

The Greatest Game I Never Play…

left4dead2

BRIDGE BURNER
Survive the Parish campaign.

Gamerscore = 20   Acquired 21/3/2010

This achievement came way too long after the fact.  I remember prior to Left 4 Dead 2’s release that I had proclaimed in my head that this was the game I was most excited to play over the Christmas season.  As it turned out games like Forza Motorsport 3, Borderlands, and Modern Warfare 2 took hold of me in a serious way, leaving Left 4 Dead 2 left behind.

In the months between its release and now I have hipped away at it with a few play sessions, some being more successful than others, but until this past week I had never even seen the Parish campaign.  So I gathered up my brother and decided that enough was enough and I was going to see this level through.

And I did see the game through, but my adventure is not over.  It was recently announced that this game along with the original Left 4 Dead will be expanded and storylines intertwined as The Passing downloadable chapters are added to the L4D epic.  The Passing will arrive before Summer and will carry with it a serious shifting of gears as one of the survivors…will not survive!

I look forward to see how The Passing handles the story integration as well as the death of a survivor.  For me, this really meshes the zombie movie with the zombie video game.  If you have ever seen a zombie flick you know one thing…that Nobody Survives Forever!

Left 4 Dead 2 - HOME

-SG

8:51 PM 0 comments

SG’s Arcade: Enter the Game Room

Take a Trip Back to Gaming’s Golden Age! 

Xbox-Game-Room-Debut Being a child of the 70s and 80s I had fond memories of arcades and the early video game console scene.  I think that is one of the main reasons I am very excited for the Xbox 360 launch of Game Room tomorrow.

Growing up in a rural environment my visits to arcades and opportunities to play video or pinball games were few and far between.  Each time that I had an opportunity and a spare quarter (which when you are a kid can be sparingly at best) I could be found plugging it into some arcade cabinet and getting minutes or (and depending the game) seconds of satisfaction!  I cherished these moments, often going to extreme measures and great distances to even have a moment to cherish, but these early days of gaming formed my love of gaming that is stronger than ever over thirty years after the fact.

xbox-game-roomSo the games of my yesteryear will be front and foremost with Microsoft’s newest gaming platform, the Game Room.  I am excited to once again experience favourites from my past, or to try games that I always wanted to for the first time.  Some gamers and pundits have been sour on this initiative saying that it is too expensive for old games.  I say the present 240 point per game price tag is very acceptable for a game experience, considering the additional work and features that they have built around these games.

Tomorrow after work you will find me hanging out in SUPERGHOST’s arcade.  While it may not be overly impressive day one, you can expect it to be the place to be as time goes on.  Make sure your joystick wrist is in good shape because the challenges for old school gaming supremacy starts tomorrow!  You can put your initials on that!

Xbox.com | Game Room - Game Detail Page

-SG

5:16 PM 0 comments

Rolling Start: Nascar Knights and Blur Beta Impressions

Nights of Thunder!

Nascar_KnightRubbin’ is Racin’: Late Wednesday evening I mentioned to my friend TormentX that we needed to have a Nascar racing night.  A night where we would purchase a stock car body from the store in Forza Motorsport 3 and then purchase somebody’s design from the game’s Storefront.  Torment did one better and suggested that we design our own Nascar-themed paint-jobs and bring them to the race.  I thought that was an excellent idea, so the race was on!

We went on to spend the next couple of hours designing our own cars.  My design can be seen above and is also currently available through my in-game Storefront.  So after the designs were done myself and three friends took to the game’s ovals to attempt to recreate the Stock Car experience.  To make it in some ways more authentic and in others more forgiving I forced the view to in-car only, but left the damage as cosmetic.

The races were what you would expect, left turns, drafting, a little bit of paint traded, but all in all it was a lot of fun!  What is cool about Forza Motorsport 3 is that the game is very flexible, especially in the multiplayer department.  There you can create your own fun my making races with rules that don’t just end with the fastest lap times.  Feeling creative? Well you can paint your car, take photos, or make videos that detail your experience.  I am hoping to once again have a Nascar Knight, and next time I hope to have a full field of competitors.  Do you have what it takes?

blur_screenshot_04Blur Beta Impressions: Speaking of full fields, Blur is at its best when a full field of twenty (that is right, TWENTY) cars take to the track where rubbin’ is not only racin’, it is a necessity!  I didn’t mean to jump into an impression without a more sound lead up, but that full-field transition was just to perfect.

Blur for me started as a bit of a slow burn.  My initial impressions were not the most favourable.  Coming from Bizarre Creations most recent racers, Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4, I had more of an expectation regarding the cars handling in the game.  But once I started to earn better cars and get my head wrapped around the ‘Kart-Racing’ mentality things started to come around for me.

Yesterday I had my most extensive runs with the beta and was very pleased with how things went.  What is tough that early on you may have the underpowered cars that make the experience fairly rocky, but as you build in-game ‘fans’ you will unlock better cars and mods that allow you to compete or excel (it is up to you).  But even in losing the game can be wildly fun.  As I  mentioned earlier, a field of 20 cars all frenzied for crumpled metal creates a gaming atmosphere quite like no other.

So my advice for you regarding this beta if you find yourself with an opportunity to play it, give it some time, level-up, and if possible, gather some friends up to play.  The beta has literally taken me from curious about, to not buying, to must buy.  While the visuals are not stunning, the player count is, that with twitter intigration it looks like Bizarre Creations may have their grove back!

Mines_GTR_Tyre

That is all for this edition of Rolling Start.  Hope to see you on the track or in the comments section.  Until next time, don’t let off the accelerator!

Home Page | Forza Motorsport

-SG

3:36 PM 0 comments

Rolling Start: Forza 3 Drifting and Blur Beta

Much like I have expanded my Zombie Action News blog into the Survival Horror genre with ‘Scare Tactics’, I am now pushing my video game racing blog posts beyond Forza and into other racers.   ‘Rolling Start’ is now my catch-all video game racing blog post that will appear when I have some racing game news or stories I would like to share.   In this, my first edition, I will recount my success on obtaining a certain drift achievement in Forza Motorsport 3, my impending Blur beta key, and a little introduction on one of my new favourite Zune Marketplace TV shows.

Drift100K

Drift Lap
Earn over 100,000 points in a single lap.

Gamerscore = 5    Acquired 6/3/2010

Achievement Unlocked – Drift Lap:  I had previously made several attempts to gain this achievement to no avail.  I did have a feeling though that my Ford Focus RS would be the car to take me there.  The only thing was that I did not think that this front-wheel drive car had the hp to make my drifts score high enough to get the total of 100,000 points that I needed.

So yesterday I decided that another attempt needed to be made, this time though I auto-tuned my car into the ‘B’ Class to give it the power it would need to keep those tires spinning after the fact.  My first lap was somewhat of a failure, only garnering me 87,000 points, but it did allow me the practice I needed to get the feel for the new upgrades I applied to the car.  So next up was lap 2, and I was not going to be denied.

Right from the get go I could feel that with each corner I was producing more points.  At the half-way point I was already at 50,000 with nothing but down hill in front of me.  The picture above was taken near the end of my run, but I almost got ahead of myself as I was able to produce just enough points to get the achievement.  I have only a handful of achievements yet to earn in Forza 3, all surrounding the season mode.  So I hope to earn the rest over the next few months. Stay tuned for that.

blur_screenshot_09A Bizarre Turn of Events:   I thought I had sworn off Bizarre Creations.  I have been a staunch supporter of their brand since the days of Metropolis Street Racer on the Sega Dreamcast until the release PGR4 a couple of years back.  When BC was picked up by Activision, lost the PGR brand, and then was off to make a ‘Mario Kart’ style of racer, I figured they had jumped the shark so to speak, and I would move onto bigger and better things.

Sometimes for me my interest can turn on a dime, and with the recent buzz about the Blur beta, I suddenly have found myself back on the BC train!  At present I am waiting for my code to enter into the beta (thanks to twitter-friend @thewesker).  I actually once again find myself excited for an arcade racer.  I know if anyone can pull this off it is the team at BC.  And with features like twitter integration, challenges, and massive multiplayer racing, it is no wonder Blur has my attention.  Stay tuned for some of my Blur impressions in an upcoming post.

480-topgearTop Show, Top Gear:   My brother introduced me to this show and I now I am a die-hard fan!  If you like cars and like being entertained you will love Top Gear.  Heck, I wager that even if you did not like cars you would still love it (I made my wife watch…she loved it).  It is hard to explain why it is so good, I just recommend that you go to your Zune Marketplace and download an episode and see for yourself.  Even the culture barrier is shattered as both North Americans and Europeans will find common ground and common laughs during an episode.

Abarth_500And that is all for now.  Be sure to check in on my Storefront in Forza Motorsport 3 (Gamertag SUPERGHOST of course).  While there please be sure to view and rate my photos as well as do a little shopping.  Check out my latest creation above for my 2010 FIAT Abarth 500 esseesse.  Get it while it is hot! On the web, check out my Profile Page at forzamotorsport.net.  Until next time, don’t let off the accelerator!

Home Page | Forza Motorsport

Twitter: @superghost