Games Review: Rocksmith (on XBox 360)


My first draft of this review was a huge long post giving details of all the features, what I liked and what I didn’t. But really it boils down to this…. If you want to learn to play guitar, go buy yourself a basic electric guitar and a copy of Rocksmith on Xbox 360, it’s cheaper than most guitar lessons and you’ll be playing tunes in no time. If you want to pretend to play a guitar then grab yourself a copy of Guitar Hero or Rockband, but why go to the effort of learning to play a plastic guitar when Rocksmith makes learning real guitar as easy and fun? Yeah I could pick holes in the included tracklist, it’s easy when there’s no Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Metallica, Satriani, Vai, ZZ TOP or Guns ‘n’ Roses included. Yup, the “No Stairway” rule is very much … There’s more

Become a 100m World Records Holder this weekend

Microsoft and Rare want you to become a World Record holder at 6pm Saturday 23 April, all you have to do is run 100 meters. Actually its a little bit more than that, but not much more. Xbox Nations lets you try Xbox LIVE Gold for free, as well as inviting you to take part in the world’s biggest ever virtual sprint. The record we’re going for is the most people running a virtual 100m dash at one time. You need to have (or have access to) play Kinect Sports and complete a sprint mini-game while connected to Xbox LIVE at 6pm on Saturday. You must choose sprint from the mini-game menu – not the entire track and field event for your race to count. You also have to download a gamerpic, which registers you as eligible for the attempt. There is a different pic for each country, so register … There’s more

Review: Fable III Game

If you were a fan of Fable and Fable II, then today has probably long been circled on your calendar, as Fable III finally launched, just over a year since it was first announced. Now, full disclosure here, I’m not a big gamer overall, but when I was given a copy of Fable II, I fell in love immediately. The Fable series is characterised by a mix of fighting, solving puzzles, finding hidden objects and deciding if you want to be good or evil. The gameplay is of the style that leaves you begging for “just five more minutes”, and suddenly you look at the clock and bedtime was 3 hours ago! In Fable III, you pick up 50 years after Fable II, as the brother (or sister) of the current king, Logan. I say current as the first part of the game focuses on your path to becoming King … There’s more

Other Voices come to Xbox Live

If you’re connected to XBox live, you might have spotted a familiar face hidden in the extensive GamesCon footage; that of Duke Special. XBox live are showing a series of the intimate “Other Voices” gigs filmed in Dingle’s St James Church. Yes, this is a shortened version of the gigs shown on RTÉ over the years, but this is something of a test. In November Microsoft XBox team expect to see a change in the types of people sitting down in from of their XBox once the Kinect arrives. Namely that of casual gamers. Namely that of people who like music. Namely that of people who would rather dance then first person shoot.

Review: “Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game”

With the last of Brian Lee O Malley’s Scott Pilgrim Comic book series released last month and Edgar Wrights feature film only a couple of weeks away, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game hit the Playstation Network this week and due to appear on xbox arcade on August 25th. With both the comics and film heavily influenced by video games the question is how do you make a game based on a comic based on games? The answer: You make a retro styled beat ‘em up stuffed with coins, extra lives, continues, heart points, combos, co-op and game overs and hire pixel artist Paul Robertson and chiptune artists Anamanaguchi to put it all together. As well as visually being based on the Comic’s Artwork it also loosely follows the story. Scott Pilgrim is dating Romona Flowers and must defeat her seven evil-ex boyfriends, his own personal issues and everyone … There’s more

Competition Closed: Crackdown 2

*** Competition Closed *** *** Congratulations to Andy Gaffney, Hugh Curran and Annemarie McDonagh *** *** Thank you to all those who commented *** The sleeper hit of 2007, Crackdown, has it’s sequel launch today across Europe. Crackdown 2 (exclusive to Xbox 360) builds exponentially upon the gameplay of its predecessor, including an all-new 4-player co-op and 16-player multiplayer modes. With new enemies called the Cell and the Freaks standing in the way of the Agency’s goal to restore order, players return as genetically enhanced Agents to once again bring peace to Pacific City – by any means necessary. We’ll have a review up early next week but the nice folks at Microsoft have given us 3 copies to give away. All you have to do is answer the following question in a comment below: Where is the game-play of Crackdown 2 set? (a)  Atlantic City (b)  Pacific City (c)  … There’s more

EA Showcase 2010 – Part 2

Part 1 of this post gave you the lowdown on Battlefield Bad Company 2: Onslaught, Need for Speed World, Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm. Right, so lets crack on and examine the rest of EA’s big releases for 2010 and beyond: Dead Space 2: The original Dead Space, released in 2008, was a survival horror third-person shooter title which sold shed-loads. Dead Space 2 takes place on a densely populated space station, dubbed the “Sprawl”. We got to see a live demo where the protagonist, Isaac Clarke, is making his way through a level and encountering different types of Necromorphs (former humans turned by a virus like infection into grosteque monsters). The character model is excellent as you can rip limbs off enemies (“strategic dismemberment”) and use them to fight off others. Another sequence we were shown involved blowing out a window and having enemies sucked out into space before you … There’s more

Competition Closed: Alan Wake

*** Competition Closed *** *** Congratulations to Dav Waldron, Jenny Beaton and James Durkin *** *** Thank you to all those who commented *** You may remember that we reviewed Remedy Studio’s Alan Wake for Xbox 360 a couple of weeks ago (you can read the full review here). Well, the good folks at Microsoft have given us 3 copies of the game to give away to lucky readers. All you have to do is answer this simple question: What’s the name of the town Alan and his wife travel to in the game? Hint: the answer can be found in the review. Stick your name and answer in a comment below to be in with a chance of winning. The closing date is June 14th. Best of luck.

Game Review: Alan Wake

Alan Wake has been coming a long time. First announced five years ago, I thought it had fallen into oblivion but got word last month that it was imminent on Xbox 360. So has it been worth the wait? By and large, yes. Alan Wake is the titular character, a writer getting away to the Pacific north-west of the US with his wife. He’s been suffering writer’s block and believes the break will do them well. Bright Falls is the destination, a sleepy town set amongst the mountains and inhabited by folks who generally haven’t left the place. After picking up the keys to their cabin, things take a turn for the worse when Alan’s wife, Alice, goes missing in the dark. Darkness is everywhere in this game as Alan struggles to figure out what’s going on, all the while being attacked by zombie-esque dark infested residents (the Taken). Alan … There’s more

Review: Perfect Dark

If you played Perfect Dark on a Nintendo 64 back in 2000, then you’re going to love this game. If you were overjoyed by Rare’s earlier game “Goldeneye 007″ on any format, then you are going to love it. Otherwise, this is going to be an interesting history lesson in gaming. Actually, the Xbox 360 seems to be mining the past quite a bit at the moment between “Game Room” and its “Time Warp” events. Perfect Dark on the Xbox Live Arcade is the game updated for high definition screens and on hardware that can actually manage the frame rate lacking back in 2000. At the time it was the best, most advanced first person shooter (FPS) on the market. It even had an in-built “easy mode”, namely the “auto lock-on” feature of the weapons used to take out the security guards encountered in the game. The storyline of interstellar … There’s more

Fiver says Chin-Li beats Ryu in the third round

To be honest, I find this slightly worrying. The console game (Xbox 360 and PS3) Super Street Fighter IV is released on Friday. Its a big deal with a free new character only tournament in Dublin in the Extreme Gaming Centre, 30/31 Lower Liffey Street on Saturday May 1. I’m all in favour of that event. The worrying thing is the contest tonight. Paddy Power, the retail and online bookmaker, have opened a book on the outcome of a videogame competition! Punters will be able to bet on the outcome of individual videogames, kicking off with a special Super Street Fighter IV UK heavyweight championship between Ryan Hart and Femi Adeboye, two of the UK’s most respected Street Fighter IV players. I didn’t know that gamers got any respect. Clearly I’m doing something wrong. In fact the interest has been so strong, Paddy Power is accepting in-running betting.  In-running betting … There’s more

Review: Just Cause 2

        I did a lot of things playing Just Cause 2 so many things that I couldn’t put them in words, which is why I made this video, which barely has any words at all. Just Cause 2 is insane. If you didn’t watch that video or watched it and simply refused to believe it, then yes, that was me surfing a jet then grappling to airliner mid flight. That was also me quad biking off an exploding crane, driving an ice cream van off a mountain, gracefully base jumping off a skyscraper and down a water fall, jumping onto the roof of my moving truck to clear a road block with a grenade launcher and last but not least, attaching a sports car to an air liner and driving/taking off into the sunset.

Mass(er) Effect 2

Bioware and EA Games have announced the first Downloadable Content packs for the awesome Mass Effect 2. The first is available from today and is free! Released on March 23 through the Cerberus Network is the Firewalker DLC pack, which includes five heart-pounding missions taking place on five uncharted worlds. Players will be able to explore planets and engage in combat in the new Hammerhead hover-tank. This so called “hovertank” finally adds a replacement land vehicle for the orginal Mass Effect’s not so admired buggy sequences. Finger’s crossed Bioware have used the time wisely but if the improvements of Mass Effect 2′s general gameplay over it’s predecessor are anything to go by it’ll be well worth it. Besides, it’s free… Free! Meanwhile the first Premium Downloadable Content is sent for April 6th:

Mass Effect 2 Review

    I was a little sceptical coming up to the release of Mass Effect 2. Ever since Modern Warfare 2 became the most popular thing ever and somebody discovering that if you make games to make money then taking money from the development team and putting it into advertising instead is guaranteed to increase your sales, I been very cautious of a game that you can see everywhere coming up to its release. Thankfully Bioware and EA Games seem to have gotten the balance right because Mass Effect 2 (PC, Xbox 360) is not over hyped shoot ‘em up rubbish, it’s really damn good Sci-Fi and even better role playing combined with better than average shoot ‘em up bits.

Gaming News: Sonic the Hedgehog 4

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, a new Sonic the Hedgehog game is on the way. And none of this Rush, Adventure, Rivals, Olympics, or Black Knight/Secret Rings nonsense either. It’s the proper sequel to the Mega Drive (Genesis) series. It’s an old-school 2D side-scrolling platformer, just like Sonic 1-3 and the criminally underrated Sonic & Knuckles. Sega has had a game in development for a few months now under the name Project Needlemouse, and leaked a teaser trailer to go with it. Fans quickly suspected that this was a new Sonic title, but yesterday they announced the game’s real title to the world: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. They also announced that the game will be available on all three major consoles, as a downloadable title from the Playstation Store, XBox Live Arcade, as well as via WiiWare. That gives the indication that it’ll probably cost less than €20. … There’s more