Tuesday, 8 January 2008

DS and Wii dominate Europe, EA shoots up the UK charts

The latest European and UK game charts have been released by Next-Gen.biz.

In the German and Spanish charts the DS, Wii and PS2 are all clearly dominating proceedings, with only one PC game and one PS3 game featuring in the charts while there is no sign of a 360 game in either chart.

This is clearly a good sign for Nintendo who can be seen to have a dominant position in continental Europe, while Sony will be pleased to see several PS2 games featured. However they can't be happy that only one PS3 game got into these top sellers. This is nothing compared to Microsoft who have been totally out performed for the week ending 30th December and surely they must make moves to regain a foothold in continental Europe.

The UK chart sees EA dominating proceedings with three titles featuring in the Top 5 with FIFA holding the top spot out scoring Pro Evo which is way down in 6th place. Movie tie-in The Golden Compass has moved up to 7th in the chart forcing WWE: Smackdown vs Raw to fall to 10th in the chart. Overall sales of the top 40 games in the UK have fallen week on week with Assassin's Creed seeing a 70% drop in sales.

Obviously the post-Christmas wallet tightening and general slowing of the UK economy have had a large effect in the UK downturn. Though when the big name games start being released after the January break I expect UK games sales will get back up to where they normally are.

Charts are as follows:


01. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
02. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
03. More Brain Training from Dr. Kawashima (DS)
04. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC)
05. Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (DS)
06. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
07. Need for Speed ProStreet (PS2)
08. SingStar Apres Ski (PS2)
09. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
10. FIFA 08 (PS2)


01. More Brain Training from Dr. Kawashima (DS)
02. Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (DS)
03. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (PS2)
04. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
05. WWE Smackdown! Vs RAW 2008 (PS2)
06. Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
07. SingStar Latino (PS2)
08. Imagine: Being Mum (DS)
09. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
10. FIFA 08 (PS2)


01. FIFA 2008 (EA)
02. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision)
03. The Simpsons Game (EA)
04. Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
05. Need for Speed: ProStreet (EA)
06. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Konami)
07. The Golden Compass (Sega)
08. More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima (Nintendo)
09. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Activision)
10. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2008 (THQ)

Source: Next-Gen.biz

Further developments

Things have moved quicker than I expected and something has happened.

I have been taken on to write for the Game Zone of 411 Mania

It may not be a massive site, but well this is a serious step towards getting my name on the map in the gaming journalism/industry shindig!

I just hope this works out well for me.

Monday, 7 January 2008


Nothing has been set in stone yet and hopefully I will have some more updates over the coming days but I may be in with a shot at getting a decent looking position on a website :D

Been in touch with some people, and fingers crossed I will be posting news and weekly PC gaming articles on a nicely sized media portal...first small step into the games journalism business proper..? Who knows, time will tell!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Kane and Lynch - First Impressions

Finally Kane and Lynch finished downloading from Steam!

I am having a lazy day today and thought that after playing some Viva Pinata and before starting some Gears of War I would give the game that was at the heart of the Jeff Gerstmann scandal a quick whirl.

And boy do I mean a quick one! I probably played for five minutes tops before I closed it, I know that I am not qualified to give a detailed opinion on a game after only five minutes gameplay, but I want to express my thoughts.

It sucked!

The background video that was shown before getting into the game proper explained nothing, it looked like you were in prison and writing to your daughter...that was all I could get from it. Now normally in a game where it gives you some backplot before you start playing you will get more than that. I would've expected to see a few flashbacks as to why you are in prison etc. That into immediately put me off.

Then I got to start the game...and we have difficulty levels based around types of drugs. C'mon, seriously what is up with that? I know there is getting involved in the game, but at least make them more recognizable with the usual 'easy/medium/hard' difficulty levels.

So we get the first game video after starting the game, somehow you get busted out of a prison van by Lynch's henchmen, all ok...a bit too reminiscent of GTA3 for my liking but I could deal with it. Next thing we know we are outside and having our handcuffs taken off. I mean shot off. With a shotgun....honestly how the fuck can that work? Your hands are going to be blown off if the handcuffs get shot by a freakin SHOTGUN!

While that was happening you don't see anything happening in the background, but when you get to gameplay the whole are is full of cops and 'bad guys'...did they all magically appear while your hands were being shot to smithereens?

Next thing and we are in control of the character...(bear in mind I am using a 360 controller here on the PC) and everything is very blurry and slow. The police van was crashed so I can kinda understand that, but even so the controls are awkward. And the camera is utter shite! It was a camera I expect to have in a platformer not a bloody 3rd Person Shooter! Had a hell of a time getting it under control and figuring out where to go.

Then I get to the alley where Lynch pulls your character down...in a cutscene...no logic as to why we need a cutscene for that...and then you are magically out of your daze trying to kill Lynch and back-chatting a goon who comes up to. This results in a friendly gun butt to the face. When you get up then you are fine...that hit to the face did nothing to apparently effect anything you do and the effects of the crash have disappeared. Utter shit all sense there.

For the next few minutes I struggled with movement/camera etc. issues until I got fed up with it and quit.

Other impressions - the graphics are Hitman: Blood Money levels, thought there would have been a good improvement since then, and the sounds didn't really seem to be up to much either.

Five minutes of playing Kane and Lynch...and it all was shit!

Time to get back to Gears of War!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Team Fortress invading Germany

The latest news from Valve is that Team Fortress 2 is going to be available in Germany for FREE this coming weekend! The following comes from my news post on halflife2.net


The smash-hit mulitplayer First Person Shooter, Team Fortress 2 is due to travel up the banks of the Rhine and hit the German gaming public with a FREE weekend of play-time. From January 4th to January 6th any German Steam members will be able to play Team Fortress 2 for absolutely free. For those who want to and are able to take part pre-loading has already begun to maximize your gaming potential.

The message from Doug Lombardi follows in English and in German.

Team Fortress 2: Free Weekend in Germany

All gamers in Germany may experience what many are calling the best multiplayer game of 2007 during the Team Fortress 2 Free Weekend, offered exclusively to German gamers via Steam January 4th through 6th.

The Free Weekend is open to all gamers in Germany during the event. To participate, simply visit steamgames.com and install the free client. To maximize the free play time, Team Fortress 2 is available now for pre-loading, so players can have everything installed and ready to play the moment the Free Weekend begins on Friday, January 4.

The Team Fortress 2 Free Weekend in Germany will conclude on Sunday, January 6 and no purchase is required to participate in the free weekend.

Team Fortress 2 is one of three new games introduced in The Orange Box, a unique collection of new critically acclaimed games from Valve available for the PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 that is winning Game of the Year awards across the world.

For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com

Team Fortress 2: Gratis-Wochenende in Deutschland

Exklusiv und nur für die deutsche Community: Team Fortress 2 - von vielen Spielern als bestes Mehrspielergame aller Zeiten gefeiert - gibt es vom 4. bis zum 6. Januar für ein Wochenende gratis!

Dieses Gratis-Wochenende gibt es nur für deutsche Spieler. Zur Teilnahme laden und installieren Sie bitte Steam kostenlos von www.steamgames.com und folgen den Installationshinweisen. Sie können Team Fortress 2 umgehend im vorraus herunterladen und am Freitag, dem 4. Januar, sofort loslegen und das gesamte Wochenende voll ausnutzen.

Das freie Wochenende endet am Sonntag, dem 6. Januar, und verplichtet Sie nicht zum Kauf.

Team Fortress 2 ist eines von drei neuen Spielen der Orange Box, einer einzigartigen und von Kritikern gefeierten Kollektion brandneuer Valve-Spiele für PC, Playstation 3, und Xbox 360 und die Orange Box gewinnt momentan mehrere Auszeichnungen als bestes Spiel 2007 weltweit.

Für weitere Informationen besuchen Sie bitte www.steamgames.com.


One wonders whether to gory violence of TF2 being available for free to all Steam users in their country will go down well with the Germany Government which is well known for limiting any violence in games available for sale in the country.

Though this being an online distribution service probably makes any problems the Germany Government may have irrelevant.

Expect to see massive numbers of highly-trained and skilled German gamers invading TF2 this weekend!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Campaign to get Peggle on X-Fire

I recently (just five minutes ago) got fed up of a bunch of people on a Call of Duty 4 server acting like the classic CSS and Halo players we often assume we see, you know the sort, coloured writing, 'noob' and 'camper' claims all the time etc. Note I had X-Fire running at this time.

So where was I, oh yes, being fed up with Call of Duty I turned my attention to what other lovely games I had in my Steam account. I see 'Kane and Lynch' being downloaded (can't wait to review that one!) and amongst the rest of the games in my account I decide to give the ever popular, ever classic Peggle Deluxe a spin.

I start playing and I notice something, I notice that my X-Fire status remains as 'Online' (and has now turned to AFK due to writing this.) This strikes me as odd, why hasn't one of the biggest game tracking service not recognised that I am playing Peggle Deluxe?

I delve a little and explore, Peggle has not been picked up as an installed game on my system even though the rest of my Steam games have been. I decide to take this further and too my shock I find that Peggle Extreme is supported by X-Fire!

I ask myself why Peggle Deluxe is not supported while Peggle Extreme is, something surely is wrong with this situation! Why would a mini-version of a game being included on X-Fire, but not the original version of the game?

As such I find myself going to the X-Fire 'New Game Ideas' forum and creating this thread campaigning for the inclusion of Peggle Deluxe onto X-Fire.

Support me friends! Support the Peggle Deluxe way of life!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

C&C - Renegade lives in Tiberium?

Reports have been flooding in from numerous areas - cncnation.net, RPS and Shacknews among many that a new Command and Conquer FPS is in the works!

Some of the current info on it follows (taken from the various sources above)

You play as Ricardo Vega, a GDI field commander dragged out of retirement to stop the latest Nod master plan.
  • Will ship on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360
  • Set 11 years after the third Tiberium war
  • Squad-based action
  • Squads are called R.A.I.D. (Rapid Assault and Intercept Deployment)
  • Known squad types are infantry, missile infantry, Titan and Orca
  • Missions are around the "Mediterranean Red Zone"
  • Special powers such as "Orbital Slug" are available
This is intriguing, from the limited information available to us there is no mention of the Scrin and puts you in the role of a GDI commander, presumably you will be commanding a commando squad or some such thing.

This implies that Kane's Wrath with lead to a GDI victory over the Scrin and Nod, putting them both out of business for the time being. So is the ending of Kane's Wrath partially ruined already? I think it may have been!

The idea of the squads is cool, I hope EA do this game justice and get some designers in with some FPS experience (Renegade didn't go down too well when Westwood tried it) and that vehicles like the Titan and Orca that are rumoured too be included are playable and work well.

This really could be something special if EA focus less on the base managing ideas and get a very good FPS out of it.

I have seen some people complain at another 'commando fps' being planned, but seriously how else would this work? You can't just be a normal GDI infantry, you have to be something 'special' in order to fit the games fiction and such like, and to make the game interesting!

The currently penned name - 'Command and Conquer: Tiberium' is just going to add further confusion to the C&C naming schematics, but we shall see more I guess when EA come public with this.

A note - don't get massively hyped up for this game C&C fanboys, i'm not! I just hope to see a nice solid C&C FPS to help further the franchise. As long as it doesn't betray the fiction of the series I will be happy.