Sunday, 22 November 2009

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360) - Game Review

This is my Game Review presentation in a textual format...


Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is the latest release from the team most famous for the stealthy Hitman series; IO Interactive, this game is quite the opposite as you are taking an overtly ruthless approach while leading two characters into a dark gritty drama full of revenge and redemption.

The game gets its name from its main characters; Kane a stubborn mercenary and Lynch a medicated physcopath. Neither of which you would like to assume the role of or be around, this can be seen the major error with the games story line, as you can’t relate or sympthasise with these repulsive, terrible, execrable, people who brutalise an array innocent human beings.

The offline co-op is the games major selling point and allows you to have some fun with a friend, but where is the online co-op? Another thing that stands out is the variation of the locations, ranging from a Tokyo Nightclub to an urban jungle. The voice acting in the cut scenes and within gameplay is also worth mentioning as it seems a class above the rest of the game.

The third-person squad based shooter has a well constructed plot however the game doesn’t run as smoothly as it should and proves to have many flaws. It has a clunky cover system, feebleminded AI, as well as terrible graphics and human animations.

I have given the game a score of 6.5/10, the potential was there to have a phenomenal game but it just wasn’t give the treatment and cinematics it deserved.

Writing about Games

Game Reviewers are stupid, therefore I will upload my Game Review now.

A Journey Out of Darkness: New Walk Mueseum's Collection of German Expressionist Art

This exhibtion was quite an intriguing insight to the development of Expressionist Art, and there was some fine examples within the collection.

Germany isn't not a country I associate with that harbours great artists... like Italy had Da Vinci, Spain can boast Dali and Picasso, Monet hailing from France and even Britain had likes of Francis Bacon. It's just not a nation thats strikes me as been famous for any particular artist and doesn't really have a cult figure that I'm aware of. However I was shocked to find out that Expressionism was a cultural movement that originated Germany. This exhibition was valuable to me because it gave me a different outlook of Expressionist art.

Before this exhibition if someone said what do you know about expressism? My answer would have been.... The Scream by Edvard Munch and be able to describe that particular painting in quite lengthy detail and been a yorkshireman maybe namedrop David Hockney. This makes me seem incredibly niave of me not to study the subject further just it isn't something that necessary appeals directly to me. However, now I have a much more solid understanding of how expressionism works and these work i saw distorted reality for an emotional effect.

There was one standout piece that grabbed me was Lyonel Feininger's, Behind the church. The use of light was actually quite phenomonal and the painting itself almost looked like a form of cubism. The entire series of Max Liebermann's work was not only distinctive but also very easy on the eye an aesthetically pleasing and I think he was the greatest exponent of German Impressionism with both his paintings and etchings.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Less of the facts, this is an insight into my own but limited gaming history.

As the title suggests I'm not really a massive gamer... and finding it really difficult to think back too what my first game actually was. My sister tells me that first game on the computer was Postman Pat, that doesn't ring many bells though. The first console I owned was the Sega Megadrive, I remember playing games with alot of commercial characters in games like Sonic, Mickey Mouse... Considering gaming doesn't take such a prominent role in my life I have probably been through every console there has been since the megadrive and dabbling in large variety of games.

The only games I have completed are the Call of Duties for Xbox 360, these are some of the selected few games where I recieve a notable satisfaction for completing them, not only completing them but making sure I did them on Veteran aswell. Although the new installment in the series excites me, I don't think I'll be running out to buy it straight away.

I'm just a casual gamer, don't really get too engrossed within games which could be quigte a good thing? I am however quite partial to a quick multiplayer game of fifa when my mate come around, which can get quite heated - playing with or against other people makes the games I enjoy much moree appealing, Without other people its difficult for my to convey any emotion.

History of Computer Games: 2000s - The Future

In the 2000s the industry really took off. This leap would be something Mike Powell (The Athlete - ) and his title of the world’s longest jump could relate to, the progression during this time period equates to his world record. No doubt with this world record will be beaten again soon as records are always been broke. Similarly the games industry will also reach new heights as the market for computer games seems to be constantly expanding. This change has come about due to the development of unconventional gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and DS, these consoles open up more possibilities to developers. Thus, in theory this provides us with more interesting and less generic games.

This erratic movement started with Playstation 2 in the late months of 2000 and then Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market with the Xbox. Not only where these a vast improvement on the realism within graphics and gameplay, but also very innovative with the social network side of gaming (the introduction of things like Xbox Live). In recent times these consoles have since been improved upon and we are now into the next generation of console gaming (Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii). Going through the history of gameing has created a clear timeline and shown me how far we have come in such a short time. This makes the prospect of been a games designer/artist in the future a really exciting one.

There are lots of interesting ideas spinning around in my head of what still could be introduced into gaming... Maybe I’m in the wrong field. A thought that I had not so long ago is why not add another element to the gaming experience? Incorporate some sort of heating system into the controller that adapted to the environment. So, if you playing a shooter set in the snowy mountains the controller would become ice cold. Other than the obvious things such as improving technology to allow greater graphics, effects, etc. I can visualise something completely fresh coming about in the not so distant future like virtual reality which would mark another milestone in gaming history.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

History of Computer Games: 1980s – 1990s

In the early 80s the realisation that the games could be played within a home environment rather than in an arcade became more prominent. The earliest of these games were simply clones of existing arcade games, which were published at a fairly low cost. However the low publishing costs allowed the platform for some innovative and unique games to be developed. In 1982 some of the iconic 8-bit gaming computers emerged; Commodore 64, Apple II and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. These computers began to take over the Intellivision and ColecoVision consoles.

The Atari ST and Commodore Amiga arrived soon after, in 1985. These where a big jump from the initial 8-bit machines and 16-bit consoles meant much more technical games could be created. However in the same year 8-bit consoles became much more of an appealing prospect for gamers with the release of the much loved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Master System. With these consoles been introduced it was a significant leap as it meant the gamepad would be the default game controller to be included with new console systems in replace of keyboards, joysticks and paddles.

The 1980s also meant many genre-defining games, for example games like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros led the way in terms of platform games. Fighting games where innovative, one that sticks out in mind from this decade is street fighter. Metal gear was made in 1987 and is considered to be the progenitor of the stealth game. Completely fresh ideas like Pac-Man also highlights my point that a lot of revolutionary games where developed in this time period regardless of how pixelated they were.

The 1990’s marked a point in gaming history where the traditional two dimensional pixel games would be replaced by a much more aesthetically pleasing three dimensional graphic. These 16-bit and 32-bit consoles along with 3D graphics mean home video games edging closer to the level of graphics that were on offer in arcades. Home consoles began to be much more popular in this decade. The rivalry within the industry during the 90s helped the development of consoles, as Mario (Nintendo) and Sonic (Sega) locked horns it meant the two were constantly trying ‘out-do’ each other. The Sega Megadrive took consoles into fourth generation and in response Nintendo released the Super NES.

Later in 90s 64 bit consoles swiftly became the next big thing with the Playstation quickly outselling all its competitors. Nintendo attempted to combat this domination with the release of the Nintendo 64. From this point on Sony had become the leader in the market and an extensive list of my favourite games where released which defined my childhood... However, I’ll save that for another blog.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

History of Computer Games: 1950s - 1970s

The evolution of the computer games has no definitive starting point, so therefore hard to pinpoint what game can be classed as the first. Computers were initially designed to make life easier for various private organisations and the government. However, as time progressed the idea of using computers for fun became more feasible.

Arguably this was down too A.S. Douglas who created the first graphic version of Tic Tac Toe in 1952. More notably in 1958 a chain smoking pinball fanatic called William Higginbottom created ‘Tennis for two’, this involved linking an oscilloscope up to an analog Donner computer and allowed two people to play against each other using hand controls.

This then led on to the invention of spacewar! in 1962 this is assumed to be the first recognisable computer game although it ran on a computer the size of a large car - thus, highly impractical. However the game had a simple concept of hitting the other player before been hit yourself, alot of basic games in this era soon followed suit and created similar titles.

Nolan Bushell along with Ted Dabney created the first arcade game in 1971 and tediously labelled it 'Computer Space', this was loosely based on Steve Russel’s spacewar!. Bushell then teamed up with Al Alcorn to create an arcade version of the renowned two-demonsoinal simplistic classic Pong, only a year after he made Computer Space.

The original pioneers of Bushell and Dabney released Atari system in 1972. This kick-started the industry and essentially allowed the game Pong techincally to played at everyone’s home and home video games opitimise the theory of using computers for fun. Atari managed to sell 19,000 Pong machines, along with creating many imitators.