Gears of War Now Free!

Cover me while I pose for a picture!

Cover me while I pose for a picture!

One of the best co-op games on the 360 is now FREE until the 14th of December, The other games in the series have also been discounted, Gears of War 2 is about £7.

If you are a gold member you can download Gears of War 1 here or through the dashboard, look out for the Games for Gold

Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)

That Zombie is about to get it.

That Zombie is about to get it.

If you have never played a Dead Rising game I advise you to go play at least Dead Rising 2 on Xbox 360, if you can’t do that then just be aware there are story references to 1 and especially 2. Dead Rising 2 was free recently so if you snapped it up go play it FIRST!

To sum up the whole Dead Rising story in a paragraph there is a zombie outbreak in a Mall in 2006 (Dead Rising 1) Frank West being the main character. Then in 2011 there is another outbreak at a Casino (Dead Rising 2) with Chuck Greene being the character. His daughter had been bitten so Zombrex, a 24 hour only cure is needed to keep her from turning. There was also an alternate sequel (Dead Rising 2: Off the Record) where Frank West is the hero doing most of the same story except he is the one taking the Zombrex. Dead Rising 3 is set in 2021! with a new hero Nick Ramos living in the City of Los Perdidos when another outbreak occurs.

Dead Rising 3 is a launch title for the Xbox One and it really shows off the power of the new console, it has also been mentioned that it was originally going to be a 360 title until they realised it wasn’t powerful enough. This means future games in the series should look even better as the developers get used to the hardware.

Graphics are great and the amount of zombies on screen, all moving, all doing something is incredible. I recommend playing it on normal first than going straight to nightmare mode it would be super hard and would also strip away the fun of a second playthrough. On closer inspection of what’s on screen I can clearly see it’s using the same Dead Rising 2 engine with all graphical querks. Blurring as you spin round and strange object loading, the resolution of the textures and the ingame cutscenes are really impressive though.

The weird thing about the series is fans loved the time limits but also wanted the ability to just wander with no restrictions. Capcom flat out ignored the request in Dead Rising 1 and 2, with them finally caving in on the alternate sequel Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. This added a free roam mode with no story but had challenges like killing 100 zombies in a minute etc. In 3 this mode is sadly gone but instead you get 6 days instead of 3 so about 24 real life hours to play before it’s game over, the challenges are now scattered around the map and are part of the main game. Hopefully a DLC mode will remove all time limits just for fun but on normal mode at least you never feel pressured to keep moving and my completion of 1 playthrough clocked in about 23 hours of real game time.

I am a huge fan of the series, it can’t be taken seriously other reviewers just don’t get it and give the series poor scores because the didn’t like it. 3 is no different as it has a fun story with some choice dialog and weird characters, if you are expecting a Walking Dead style survival game this won’t be for you.

There is lots to do and the game has been designed around having fun, it isn’t overly difficult and I probably only died 3 times in the whole playthrough. The saving is also a lot more forgiving and the plot is decent but clearly wasn’t a huge focus.  If I were to be picky taking away elements of the 360 games has made this weaker. From aboout 30 minutes in you can build a tank like car which is great fun but removes nearly all danger, only when it breaks down do you panic a little. Same goes for the weapons, you can combine them anywhere now instead of key locations so it’s easy to make a great weapon, later on you can spawn as many as you want. These features are clearly appealing to the masses but it would have been nice for a 3rd hardcore mode like the XCOM games where you can strip away features and add extra difficulty. I would also imagine the story makes as much sense if you haven’t played ALL the games including the arcade mini episodes.

Overall with some added content in the future this will become an even greater game than it is now, can’t wait for a true next gen sequel.

9/10

Top 10: Xbox 360 Games

The Xbox One is just around the corner, if days have corners. With that in mind I have done my top 10 games on the Xbox 360, so many memories.

10: Condemned

A proper crime/horror game that did everything right, except the 970 gamerscore amiright? Dark and gripping, a overlooked and superb masterpiece. Best played at night with some good headphones, scary stuff.

9: The Orange Box

Bit cheeky as this is 5 games in one and actually Halflife 2 was out before the Xbox 360, for sheer value this is an incredible collection of games. Again i would still recommend PC but if an Xbox is all you have you will get a lot of gaming for your £15.

8: Rainbow Six: Vegas

Before the endless Call of Duty games this was THE shooter on the Xbox, the multiplayer was nailbiting and many Attack and Defend games were played. This was also the first game where i met xbox friends who i will probably never meet in real life. The story is proper Tom Clancy terrorist stuff and had some fun Xbox Live Vision Camera functions.

Nigel West-DICKens

Nigel West-DICKens

7: Red Dead Redemption

Best Western game ever made, was well supported after launch and looks stunning. One of the finest stories too, especially the ending. Some of the best memories come from the multiplayer which until GTA V haven’t really been beaten. Forming a posse and riding through towns is great fun. I just hope the next gen sequel can make it support more players and have stage coaches.

Please don't... FALLOUT with me...

Please don’t… FALLOUT with me…

6: Fallout 3

The best bethesda game this gen in terms of dlc, it was a great experience leaving the vault for the first time. It doesn’t feature higher on the list because of the AI, once you reach a certain level you are pretty much a god and it takes the fun out of it a little. The story is great, funny and has landscape changing choices which is rare to find. The combat is a bit marmite though so it’s not for everyone.

I've covered wars you know.

I’ve covered wars you know.

5: Dead Rising

This is the game that made me buy an Xbox 360. It basically gave this generation zombie games, Resident Evil is survival horror and it changes between the undead and infected. Dead Rising puts you in the middle of a zombie outbreak, it has bad acting, fun story, great characters and huge replay value. I love the achievements because if you try to go for them it requires an entire playthrough. Each playthrough gets slightly easier as you learn when events happen and where you need to be.

4: Resident Evil 5

Sheva! Chris! Come on! Come on! Come on! Come on! Come on! Come on! Come on!

A graphical feast with some excellent co-op, you really can’t play it any other way. Like Dead Rising it has so much replayability to it, supported well with DLC and a great suvival mode. Even the dreaded quicktime events are funny if not a bit pointless.

3: Skyrim

Could have been number one if it had multiplayer and some obvious little changes. If you have a gaming PC i actually recommend playing it on that instead because the graphics on PC are incredible. Spent well over 300 hours on this game, i would have loved to be a farmer, find a plot of land, build a house, grow crops, ride a cart to the local town to sell my stuff. I just hope the next gen sequel is even bigger and more detailed.

2: Mass Effect Trilogy

Almost like playing a giant sci-fi movie trilogy. The 2 year wait between each game, the cast, the graphics, everything about it was almost perfect. My favourite game was 2 because it had probably the best intro and ending of any game i have played, really edge of your seat stuff. I am craving for the next mass effect to be more open world (galaxy) driven.

1: Gears of War 3

This could apply to the series but picking one game it would be 3 because of the content and game modes. 1 has the best story, 2 has the best multiplayer maps, 3 has the best multiplayer/co-op experience.

Honerable Mentions

There are at least 20 other games i could have put in this list but the ones that gave me the most enjoyment or that i remember the best made the cut. Below are some that would easily fit in the top 10 of someone else.

Bioshock, Dead Space, GRID, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Grand Theft Auto IV, Hitman Absolution, Hitman Blood Money, Halo Reach, Left 4 Dead, Amped 3, Lost Planet 2 and Dead Island.

Grand Theft Auto V DLC on the way

I prefer socks and sandles, each to their own.

I prefer socks and sandles, each to their own.

Next week free DLC will be added to GTA on the 19th. It includes:

New Jobs

  • “Grass Route II” (Race): In this sequel to the original popular Grass Route Race, go off-road in an epic heat starting on the North bank of the Zancudo River through the treacherous wetlands with a triumphant finish on the beach in North Chumash.
  • “Survival on Del Perro Pier” (Survival): Skip the ferris wheel for a deadlier kind of thrill ride as you take on waves of relentless enemies at this beachfront attraction.
  • “View of Vespucci” (Parachuting): This leap sends you from 2,980 feet, down towards Vespucci Beach, weaving through palm trees to land on the basketball courts of the rec center. If you’ve got skills, it’s possible to freefall through the first few checkpoints before even opening your chute.
  • “Paleto Beach” (Team Deathmatch): The locals complain that not a lot happens in this sleepy town, so do them a favor and wake ’em up with a barrage of gunfire exchanged between you and a rival team. This Team Deathmatch takes place right on the romantic shoreline for 4-8 players.
  • “Sundae Driving” (Bike Race): Sure to be a new fan-favorite motorbike race, menace Vespucci Beach on your two-wheel rocket, taking breakneck corners as you try and best the competition.

Expect these and lots more Jobs to be added to Grand Theft Auto Online next week.

  • New Vehicles – Hit the shore with four sand-and-surf-ready vehicles perfect to take on the all new Beach Bum Races and Vehicle Deathmatches: the BF Bifta dune buggy, the rugged Canis Kalahari off-road truck, the Bravado Paradise beach camper van and making a special return to the GTA series, the fast and stylish Speeder speedboat. All four vehicles will be available at no in-game cost, with the land-based vehicles accessible from the southernsanandreassuperautos.com website and the Speeder available via docktease.com on your in-game phone (call Pegasus for delivery). These vehicles are also available in Story Mode for Michael, Trevor and Franklin to enjoy – to access them, visit your garage property and the Marina property for the vehicles and the boat respectively.
  • New Weapons – Expand your arsenal with two new free weapons – the compact yet deadly SNS Pistol and the brutal new Broken Bottle melee weapon which is quite effective at delivering the appropriate message in up close and personal encounters. Each weapon will be available gratis from any Ammu-Nation location in GTA Online and will be added straight into each of the three characters’ inventory in Story Mode.
  • New Customization Options – You’ll be able to deck out your GTA Online character with all new beach-ready customization options including stylish board shorts, neon surfer attire, wild tribal tattoos, shaggy hair for that West Coast laissez-faire vibe and more…

I do like free DLC but my view on GTA V is it should have been a launch title for Xbox One.

WordPressed for time.

Fashion: it is the key to our evolution.

Fashion: it is the key to our evolution.

Well that year went fast.

Work got busy and I forgot to update, then I was sorting my garage out in the Spring, sat outside in the Summer and played on the Xbox in the Autumn. However things have happened and the way the old website worked it wasn’t very easy to just post things as it happened. Until now…. CUE MUSIC!

Booshambles has always been a playground, I use it to learn how to make websites then use elements from it to make sites that earn money. WordPress basically killed the local web design industry because people can just set this up for free and do everything themselves. Although web design isn’t my main source of income I still want to do it and get paid so this is the next step. Learning how to configure WordPress to make it look like the old bespoke Booshambles is a great way to do that.

I was suprised how much WordPress and Booshambles were alike, my admin panel was very basic but had most of the functionality. Design wise it’s completely different as I had one page basically showing about 90% of the site, you just clicked links to change what was being shown. Learning where properties for some of the basic design choices has been more difficult than anything really.

Then I spent the next 3 weeks (probably a good 40 hours) republishing all the old posts, scrapbooks and other content. I glanced through some of the posts and left behind old film, tv and game news as there really isn’t any need to keep them. Also a few journal updates which were basically me saying I was going to update are gone too. I had the opportunity to go back through the scrapbook and reupload all the images that I could find at higher res. The Brick Wall being a prime example, I got the scanner out and scanned in every page of the Brick Booklets as well as uploading higher quality scans of all the posters and artcards. The new site has also allowed me to upload content thought lost, I found some old files including audio and animated gifs!

I was still using twitter and have gone through old tweets looking for things worthy of an article then expanding upon it. Mostly it was “Tonights film is” which I have now used to replace reviews, the idea is I will post using my Nexus 7 which film I’m watching tonight. Then when I have time go back and edit the post and add in a score and comments. I watch a lot of films so it’s a great way to quickly build up a mini review section (already got 23!). Plus on repeat viewings I will go back and maybe add in things I have noticed a second time around.

I have had the Quad UK Brick Poster for years and have been meaning to get it properly framed for ages. When Looper came out in the Cinema I went on ebay and snapped up a Quad UK Cinema Poster for that too. Finally 9 months later I found a website that sells reusable poster frames, their actual use is business adverts like the ones you see in banks. They just screw into the walls and you snap the silver bezel around the poster, they also come with a plastic film to place on top. £70 quid in total but the frames are now a permanent feature of the room.

Who the fuck are you Paul Zennon!?

Who the fuck are you Paul Zenon!?

In the past we have had a shout out from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a retweet by Simon Pegg and even had some of the content featured on Director Rian Johnson’s Website. This for me is up there with the best of them. Basically a Facebook friend called Chris Cook has THE Paul Zenon on his friends list, when me and Chris Medcalf were chatting over Xbox I had the slightly drunken idea of joining in the conversation. It went along the lines of “I should say who the fuck are you Paul Zenon”, it was hysterical and you really had to be there but I managed to preserve the chat. We knew from watching him on TV in the 90’s who he was, it was just great fun. I later explained and apologised because I didn’t want him to put a gypsy curse on me.

This update is getting crazy hella big and some of the “news” can wait, it will just end up in the next Journal update.