Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30 at 50

My day job doesn't take a break over the holidays, so while I update the MATCH website, I thought I'd let you know what's been keeping me sane while there's no one in the office, or milk in the fridge for a hot drink. It's freezing outside! Tsk.
Got home last night to my missus listening to the end of Radio 2's Michael Jackson special - 30 at 50. This countdown of his biggest UK hits brings back many childhood memories and is packed with interviews from Quincy Jones and MJ, rehearsal soundbites and more. Just for the record Thriller and Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough are my favourite MJ tracks, and I had Bad on cassette. I also played this a few times down on Southend seafront. Check out the BBC iPlayer to listen to the full three-hour show, brought to you by Lionel Richie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rock banned?

By the power of Twitter I’ve discovered a great new blog called Gaming Never Sleeps. Loved the reviews of games that Jeff’s played in 2008 and the honest look at the likes of World At War and GTA IV. He’s also going to get into Braid in a big way.
First thing this morning I got a phone call this morning from an old Nintendo Official Magazine colleague saying his Guitar Hero III and pair of Gibson Les Paul guitars isn’t going out on loan to its original recipient, so he was rocking up to Media Towers to hand over the goods UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY. I sent a link to the missus to say what we’ll be playing over Christmas. I’ve yet to hear back.
Heading out of here at lunchtime I noticed the office Wii was on with one of the golf chaps giving Wii Sports Golf a run out. I didn’t stop long, but made a mental note to get a Wii, even if it is just for Sports, Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda, the latter especially before this happens.
Ever since I saw Xbox on launch day I’ve resisted the urge to jump into Halo, but seeing this price-slashing announcement on CVG I think I’ll be jumping behind the controls of a Warthog, even if I am 6 1/2 years late to the party.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Christmas No.1 is…

I think I’m at this point in life where I have loads of games I want to play, and not enough time to play them. I think it’s been creeping up on me for some time now so I had to grab some time playing Elite Beat Agents at the weekend while I could, even if it was during a baby-crying session. It was the wife’s turn, before you think I’m a terrible father!
I’m still not above grade C, but the quirky storylines have me hooked, even if I don’t know some of the tracks. Particularly liked, if that’s the right word, the returning father-ghost to make a girl’s Christmas. Very poignant at this time of year.
The reason I started this blog like this today is that I’m starting to wade through Eurogamer's Readers' Top 50 of 2008. God, I miss games. There have been so truly epic entries…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Play that funky music

My missus will be addicted to this over Christmas, so while my original DS is free to use I finally got down to some Elite Beat Agents action last night while she was out at *lost count* Christmas party.
The poor fella has been sitting in my Games I Must Play pile for a few weeks, gently shivering in the cold and weeping when I reach for the 360 controller next to it. But last night I unwrapped the DS goodness, admired the Club Nintendo certificate (are they still doing this stuff?), clipped it into my metallic, heavier DS and enjoyed a good hour getting jiggy with Sk8ter Boi, YMCA and Material Girl. I felt quite manly, if you must know.
I remember getting this game in for our imported games pages in Nintendo Official Magazine a few years ago. Big In Japan had all kinds of crazy stuff over a couple of spreads each month – pictures from Akihabara, Cosplay and the latest releases. Strangely, I didn’t bother with the game when it came out, but I wish I’d got into this a long time ago.
While rhythm action titles tend to come complete band kits these days, this pop- feast suits the DS perfectly as you tap, glide and tap-tap-tap to the funky sounds. They’ve thrown in some funny stories of various characters you have to save – babysitter, film director, sailor – to give the game about an ounce more depth, though the comic book-style presentation is smart and the leader of the Elite Beat Agents reminded me of Phoenix Wright.
The problem is, I’m terrible at these games. I’ve managed no higher than a grade C on any of the first eight scenarios I played. I even failed one story and had to replay it. More over the weekend while my DS has got the chance before SUDOKU takes over.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cheap kicks

I hit the high street today, not for gaming buys as I'm hoping for this to land in my lap shortly, but did notice that the Pro Evo-beater that is FIFA 09 is going for £20 at Gamestation until Sunday. Get it, then come and play me on Xbox Live.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's not a Minish Cap

While I sit and suffer with a cough and bunged-up nose brought about by either someone coughing in my face at my Christmas party on Friday night, or through too much alcohol consumption, I thought I would update my blog, especially seeing as I’ve taken inspiration from reading this at Dubious Quality.
Outside these blog walls are new screens of GTA IV DLC even though I should be blocked from viewing them seeing as I’ve put in few hours on Rockstar’s finest, a cheaper Bomberman Live from today (BUY! BUY!) and news of a new PSP to launch next year.
But without doubt the coolest piece of gaming news is this piece of Zelda papercraft. You can actually put this on your head and run around like you’re Link. Just don’t wear it and go out in the garden to chop up your wife’s hedges – you won’t find any hidden money, just a world of grief.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nintendo are pukka!

The other night my missus was on the phone to her best mate who was celebrating her birthday. The conversation went something like this:
Missus: ‘Oh wow, you’ve got a WII!’
Friend: *Excitement at the other end*
Missus: ‘Tim, my friend’s got a Wii! Oh, wait a sec…’
Friend: *Excitement at the other end*
Missus: ‘Make that a DS. Have you got Brain Training [to friend]’
Friend: *Excitement at the other end*
Missus: ‘I LOVE Brain Training, especially Sudoku. Have you seen that Jamie Oliver game? You’ve got the Jamie Oliver game?! WOW!’

In a nutshell that just shows how popular Nintendo has become, demographically shifting, but still supporting the hardcore gamer. Jamie Oliver and Brain Training on the one hand, Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy selling out on the other. Three, four, even five years ago, that conversation would never have taken place. It would have been deemed too geeky. And that’s the pull of Nintendo today.
Sadly I see that Imagine have closed N-Revolution, while Amazon are still selling Professor Layton for £60. I’ve used this store checker to find Nintendo games cheaper, even if this is a quality offer. Oh, and if you didn't know Ghostbusters is heading our way next year.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Harry Potter and the Lego Money Machine

Rumours doing the rounds this morning reckon Harry Potter is next in line for a Lego makeover after Star Wars, Indy and Batman.
I’ve got the original Star Wars trilogy upstairs under the 360. My nephew and niece are always on it when they come up, though the wee man just charges around mashing Stormtroopers with his lightsaber. Thank god for two-player when my niece works out the puzzles before more sobering can ensue. As for me, I’ve played it a few times, though the camera angles wreck it, even if the humour and tongue-in-cheek facial expressions make it worth a play through.
The thing is I’ve never really been a big Star Wars fan. Indy’s more my bag, though I’ve only got a demo of the Lego whip-cracking version. Maybe I’ll give the demo a go shortly. Expect impressions later this week, even if it’s been six months since the game came out. The missus is gonna be out one night this week, so I’m hoping to get my game on.
In other news it looks like Liverpool goal machine Fernando Torres is a bit of a PS3 nut. He’s got three of the damn things in his house and loves Halo 3, GTA IV and Pro Evo, according to MCV. It’s a shame he’s not into FIFA 09 – I’ve love to know what his gamer tag is so I can give him a game.