Eddie and myself had some very good game…

Eddie and myself had some very good games of Bad Company 2 tonight, and then a couple of odd ones.

First of all, my hat goes off to dutch452. On Nelson Bay we were defending and doing a good job but suddenly there was a lack of attackers. People left the game in droves until there were about 4 defenders and one attacker, Dutch452. We traded kills a few times and to be honest it wasn’t the most exciting game. He managed to take out Alpha by flanking us and then staying in the upstairs where he killed me. (I shot him through the floor from outside when I saw where he was, but not before dying at least twice!) He then took Bravo with mortar strikes!

Myself and Eddie left the game shortly after and I sent Dutch452 a congratulatory message. Hope he won in the end but he replied that he was out of ideas!

Further oddness, in the next game we were 3 down on the other team, and eventually lost the game. A bloody UAV ran me over as I defended the base. Grrr.

To add to the oddness, the global scoreboard page showed only me in second place after the rightful first place player. I’ll have screenshots tomorrow.


Read before buying the X Scorch 360: The…

Read before buying the X Scorch 360:

The reason these never work is that the game is programmed for analog control. The mouse can effectively “mimick” analog, but the problem is the reason people prefer mice is the much *greater* range of movement. This is something that can’t be mapped down to analog and back up. Imaging flicking your mouse in Counter Strike to spin around 180 degrees. There’s no equivalent analog stick movement that will do that that fast, thus the mouse can’t send that input to the game. It’s as simple as that. Console shooters are designed to be played with the console’s controls, IMO it’s just a different sort of game and one worth embracing rather than just considering them flaws because you’re used to M&K (flanking someone in Halo means so much more than in Unreal for instance).

The comment above (from this post) explains why all those expensive devices that allow you to use a mouse and keyboard with the Xbox 360 don’t and won’t work. The X Scorch uses an interesting nunchuck and mouse combo.

Here’s the demo of the X Scorch that’s doing the rounds. Everyone’s enthusing about it but it probably has the same lag issues the other devices that do the same thing have. Using the device might get you banned from Xbox Live too.


Bad Company 2 night tonight with Eddie. …

Bad Company 2 night tonight with Eddie. We started off badly, really badly. The first 2 or 3 rounds of Rush we were annihilated so we went searching for a more evenly matched game. We found one and stuck with them for a bit, I was even doing quite well as a medic leading the scoreboard with 1630 points (lots of reviving) when suddenly my screen went black and I was on the main screen again!

I rejoined the game, but of course my score had reset, but thankfully I kept the red dot sight for the medic class. Phew. Shortly afterwards the sound died. All I could hear was mic sounds. No in-game sound at all! I had to turn off the machine and rejoin again. I have a vague memory of that happening before.

Oh, then the batteries in the controller went. I knew I should have charged them so I grabbed some from my camera flash. Not before dying though.

In our last game we held down Bravo well enough to win. About a half dozen of us roaming the building fighting off the enemy. Us medics were busy reviving and passing out heals.

I have to figure out if other people are in squads. There was only Eddie and myself in our squad which is limiting but I don’t want to go inviting other team members who might be in squads already.

It was frustrating at first, but we had fun by the end of the night. I really have to ring Microsoft tomorrow.

My stats from earlier in the night


Mini XBLA Games review: Chime – it’s fo…

Mini XBLA Games review:

Chime – it’s for charity, it’s a puzzle game where you have to create 3×3 or larger blocks from a randomly selected shape, think Tetris but the shapes are fully controllable and the shapes you create don’t disappear. I only played one game but it wasn’t altogether clear where to place blocks to full advantage. There is a good game hiding in there but even though a minimum of 60% of the purchase price goes to charity it’s probably not a game I’ll be buying. Great music though.

Polar Panic – you control a polar bear who has to shove blocks to kill the marauding trappers. Great game, cute graphics, and on easy mode it’s very accessible. Tempted to buy it as it’s fun and child friendly. One that my son enjoyed watching me play.

Unfortunately I only have 1240 points left and with the Modern Warfare 2 DLC on the 30th that may be my next purchase.

I had 10 minutes to play something earlier in the day and fired up Bad Company 2, single player for a blast. God, it’s so sedate compared to the multi player online play. I loved it!


I got my Blur multiplayer beta code the …

I got my Blur multiplayer beta code the other day. Haven’t tried it yet but this review promises an interesting game!

Overall, it feels like a cross between Project Gotham Racing mixed with Mario Kart, with just a bit of the Burnout destruction mixed in.


Ages ago I wrote an FPS Freek review on …

Ages ago I wrote an FPS Freek review on my main blog. It’s a small extender that makes the stick on your controller longer, and supposedly easier to use. I thought I should share it here too with a link.

Short summary: don’t bother buying them. I wish MS would allow the use of keyboard and mouse on the Xbox 360!


Jonathan Ross using Natal. Can’t see my…

Jonathan Ross using Natal. Can’t see myself jumping around in my small home office like that.


A version of Go may be coming to XBLA! I…

A version of Go may be coming to XBLA! I remember playing a version of Go on my Palm IIIx, but haven’t found a decent game of it on any of my Nokia phones.


First game of 2010?

In years gone by I used to worry about the first game I’d play in the new year. When I say “years gone by”, I really mean it. This was around the time when Ikari Warriors and Armalyte were only a few years old, and I was a teenager pounding out ASM code on a C64 keyboard with an Action Replay.

Time passed and the PC rose to become the dominant gaming platform and with it my interest in games waned. Sporadic bouts of play included almost all the ID games and the original Half Life but as I had to reboot into Windows it was never going to last. In recent times I became the owner of my first two games consoles. First a Nintendo Wii (gathering dust in the living room) and an Xbox 360 this year that awoke in me the dormant games playing interest that had been killed off a dozen years ago.

So, this year I’m once again pondering what game will become that first one. Will it be the obvious choice of Modern Warfare 2? Or perhaps a bit of COD 4? Maybe even Batman: Arkham Asylum?

No, I think the first game of the teenies (or whatever we’ll call ’em) will be Trials HD. A kick ass game I already wrote about and couldn’t stop playing even after hitting the restart button a few dozen times!

What about you?


Kontrol Freek FPS Freek review


The FPS Freek by Kontrol Freek is a small attachment for the Xbox 360 or PS3 controller that helps players aim more precisely in first person shooters or FPS games. There’s a Speed attachment too for racing games.

The FPS Freek snaps on to the top of the controller sticks so your thumbs have to physically move further to make the same in-game movement. This is supposed to help when you want to make small accurate movements, especially useful when aiming at a small distant figures in a shooter such as Modern Warfare 2. From the blurb on the product page,

The added analog stick length provides 40% more linear distance from full stop to stop. This gives you more leverage and increased precision without disturbing your natural gaming playing feel.

I’ve been using it for a week and while my gaming has improved a whole lot, it was improving any way because I was getting better with practice. I don’t think you’re going to see a dramatic improvement in your gaming by using the FPS Freek.
I tried increasing the sensitivity of the controller, thinking that the extra leverage of the thumbstick would help but it really didn’t, and I think it’s back at 3 in MW2 now. At that sensitivity I can aim fairly well. With a silenced Scar-H I was able to make a few kills at the other side of Highrise, but on the other hand, a distant crouched enemy-in-waiting in Estate shot me while I attempted to aim at him.

The FPS Freek is comfortable to use however. It probably has helped my gaming but it’s not the major leap you might think. Learning how to use a mouse and keyboard properly was better for my gaming than using this, but of course you can’t use a mouse and keyboard on the Xbox 360. All you PC gamers will know what I mean!

In the US it costs $10 but here in Ireland or over in the UK you have to buy it from Lime. I think it cost me the equivalent of US$29 including (for some reason) registered postage of about 7 Pounds Sterling. I had to sign for it when it was delivered. At that price it’s not great value for money, but at $10 it’s an impulse buy I could live with.

In theory the science is sound. The extra length of the stick will give you more travel and room to aim precisely but if you’re not a good gamer this won’t work miracles. If you panic when you’re confronted by an enemy on a map, you’ll still do that. If you don’t use a game’s maps to your advantage now, then buying this won’t magically make you immune to enemy fire. It may help you aim if you’re sniping. I’m still using the FPS Freek on my right thumbstick however, it’s comfortable.

Buy it only if you have $10 burning a hole in your PayPal account. Don’t buy it if you’re outside the US, it’s not worth it.

Just don’t expect miracles.

Just so you know I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, here’s a few glowing reviews:

Short video review of the FPS Freek

Impressive accuracy at custom sensitivity 7 in COD 4, but then this guy is hardly a newbie at the game!