Resistance 2 (PS3) – Review

Nathan Hale returns as the star of Resistance 2, following on immediately from the events of the first game – which saw Hale carted off by the authorities because he was infected with the Chimera virus.Β  πŸ‘Ώ

After saving England in the previous installment Hale is back in business to rescue the U S of A – since his incapacitation the Chimera have launched a full attack on America and Hale, as part of the Sentinal squad (made up of soldiers injected with the Chimera virus but kept under control), have to step in and stop them in their tracks.

resistance2-pic-2

Firstly let me just say I started the initial Resistance, played two levels and then something else came out and I played that instead. Not because it was bad but because the other things coming out seemed a lot better.

I went back and replayed the whole thing late last year – the thinking being I’d like to finish the first one before starting the second – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For a start the inventiveness of some of the weapons (the Bullseye and Auger for example) was brilliant.

The storyline was quite cool as well with the retro parallel universe thing going on. So I was looking forward to the next installment.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The game itself is almost like a representation of the USA – they’ve kind of said “well the UK is all well and good but in the USA we do things bigger and better.”

Some of the boss encounters here are epic – even the opening is grand in scale and you feel a great sense of achievement getting through some of the battles ahead.

resistance-3

Graphically the game is good, no slowdown – even with tons of enemies on screen – and they have gone for a sort of comic book realism which sits well with the content matter.

The Chimera themselves seem to be a bit more intelligent, finding cover and hiding themselves a lot better than they did in the previous game.

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My only real complaints were the length of the single player, which is somewhere between 6 and 7 hours, and the fact that the game didn’t really set many challenges.

With regard to the game length this wasn’t a particular problem for me – I would rather play a fantastic 7 hour game than a long drawn out 12 hour one – but I imagine for some it might be viewed as a negative.

The second point is slightly more difficult to explain – it’s not that the game was too easy, I just felt everything was fairly predictable with regards to how to get past things. Again, this didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the game – I suppose it’s the same as going to see an action film as opposed to a thriller.Β  πŸ˜•

The multi-player is well set out and caters for up to 60 players online at once, although I have not seen more than 30 or so in a room so far. Any worries about the AI being too easy to deal with should be remedied with some online action as there are more than enough human players with great skills to give you a real challenge!

Overall this was a strong game and great fun to play. The campaign mode was well done and is open ended enough to hint at Resistance 3 following on from here. It will be interesting to see which direction they take it in.

Rating: 8/10

The Lions Continue Unexpected Ascent…

Well we are just over the halfway mark in the football season and Millwall find themselves in the unexpected position of a playoff place:

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Not only that but we have two games in hand. Even two or three points from the six on offer in those games would really help to cement our status in the top six.

I would certainly have considered mid table an achievement after last season’s terrible showing.

Our minds were off league matters at the weekend as we crashed out of the FA Cup 2-0 away to Premier League side Hull City. As if that wasn’t bad enough ‘fans’ from both sides were arrested for trouble and seats were ripped out in the away end and chucked at Hull fans.

I really hoped we’d seen the last of all this nonsense – over the years Millwall have garnered a reputation for this sort of thing but in the last few years trouble has been minimial (or least no more so than any other team) and the club itself has worked hard to shake the image.

I doubt these moronic events will ever leave football in general, which is a shame when it’s often innocent fans that end up getting caught up in the crossfire.

On to more positive notes and it was back to the league on Tuesday night (27th Jan) with a great 2-0 away win at Hereford. These are the kinds of games you have to get results in to have any hope of maintaining a playoff push.

A big congratulations to Neil Harris who overtook former Lion Teddy Sheringham as the clubs all time highest goal scorer with 112 in all competitions. 😎

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A fitting accolade for the man who turned down a Β£4m move to Spurs to stay at Millwall before his battle with testicular cancer and who has been a Lions legend for many years.

A true footballing legend.

Latest Killzone 2 Footage…

All I can say is WOW! 😯

Watch In HD http://www.gametrailers.com/player/44579.html

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and the hype has grown over the last year or so following on from the disasterous PS3 launch footage (that turned out to not represent what games would look like at the time).

If that actually does look that good then we could be in for a treat. 😎

I would say that’s among the best graphics I’ve ever seen, hopefully the gameplay will be up to that level and the multi-player also hits the spot.

Book Review – 2008

Originally Posted: January 21, 2009Β 

Sadly I’m not a ‘hot-off-the-press’ book guy so this list is going to be the best books I read in 2008, not the best books of 2008.Being honest 2008 wasn’t a great year of reading for me – a lot of my journey time was taken up by the easier option of my PSP (damn you Football Manager πŸ˜€ ) but there was plenty of good stuff I did read.

Here we go, in no particular order…

Your Brain On Music – Daniel Levitin

Great book – very interesting. Gives a good insight into how the brain works and the complex nature of the link with music. A must read for anyone interested in music.

Watchmen – Alan Moore

Very enjoyable. First comic book I’ve read since childhood – obviously this is a lot more adult oriented anyway but it was an interesting read and I look forward to the forthcoming film.

Heroes: Saving Charlie – Aury Wallington

Quite a simple read, at first I was quite disappointed as it seemed to be aimed at a slightly younger audience (teens I guess?) but as the story took over I was totally caught up in it. I suspect if it hadn’t featured characters I already knew and liked I may not have enjoyed it as much.

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

This is the bleakest book I have ever read – not a bad thing as the subject is handled so well. The journey of father and son is a touching one, despite some of the disturbing incidents they stumble across. I fear this is what mankind (or what was left of it) would truly become in the event of such a huge event, which is quite depressing in itself!

The Husband – Dean Koontz

A working class man receives a phone call saying his wife has been kidnapped and he must pay $2m to get her back. His can’t see a way to get the cash together but agrees as he has no choice. What follows are a series of twists and turns as the story expands – a great thriller.

Clapton: The Autobiography

Very good book for anyone interested in music. He certainly has a story to tell – what he can remember of it anyway! Recommended.

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels – Jasper Fforde

I love the whole Thursday Next universe. Such a colourful and vivid world created by Fforde. Was a little disappointed with this one at first but once it got going I didn’t want it to end – very cleverly written with lots of great literary references. Looking forward to the ‘Next’Β  πŸ˜†Β  Β in the series.

The Italian Job – Gianluca Vialli

A look at the differences between football in Italy and England – from the tactics themselves to the style of play and the types of players each fans love. A sociological viewpoint of the two different footballing cultures.

It’s Been A Long Time…

Originally Posted: December 09, 2008

Well it’s certainly been a while…

We’re approaching Christmas now and I thought maybe I should reboot the old blog before the new year starts!

There has been plenty of great stuff around so I’ll break them up into a few blogs so it’s not overly long.

Let’s start with TV:

My Name Is Earl – well they certainly pulled out all the stops this series and with the introduction of Billie (Alyssa Milano) gave Earl a real love interest.Β  Some great episodes and hopefully they can carry this form into the new ones.

Heroes – speaking of re-booting, the writers have done a proper job on Heroes, lots of characters seemingly dropped (Micah, the girl who could copy anything etc) and a good ole’ stand up evil v good fight. Much better – the new characters are cool as well, Daphne and her speed: 😎

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles – So glad this didn’t get the axe during the writer’s strike. Again a strong season although I was a bit “isn’t that Shirley Manson from Garbage’ at first. Nice to see she’s got some work on the side. Impressive stuff from Lena Hadley as Sarah Connor – always going to be difficult taking on such a well known role but she does a great job.

King Of Queens – Not actually still on but I’m catching the final season on Sky+ courtesy of Paramount Comedy’s Sunday Stacks (where they show a whole season in one day). Love this programme and I’ll be sad to have finally seen every episode but I’m sure I’ll catch repeats over time. Jerry Stiller is an absolute legend. πŸ˜€

Charmed – We also made it to the end of Charmed which ended in a nice cheesy fashion but was fairly apt overall. This was good popcorn TV – stuff you could watch without engaging too much grey matter and I still think some of the comedic elements were overlooked at the time. Some of the episodes are (intentionally) funny and it was a good watch.

The Secret Show – This started as something that was on in the background on a Saturday morning while we were playing with our daughter but it soon sank it’s hooks in. The ridiculously catchy theme tune and the comedy gold of Changed Daily mean this is one kids show I’ll be watching for a while.

Ghost Whisperer – After a slow start the latest season really kicked into gear. Only complaint was changing Ned from an 11 year old to a 16 year old in the space of one episode… like we wouldn’t notice?! The revelations came thick and fast and the just when you thought it was a happy season ending there was a late late twist which got the goosebumps up!

Dr Horrible – Not technically TV but great fun nevertheless and the magic of Joss Whedon continues. This low budget show was made by Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion – absolute brilliance and the songs stayed with me for a long time after as well. Shout out to Felicia Day as well, which brings me on to…

The Guild – Discovered this webisode drama following on from Felicia being in Dr Horrible. A funny story of the way MMO gamers perceive themselves and what happens when they actually meet up in real life. 2nd Season is just about to start so I’m looking forward to that as well.

Put Another Dime In The Jukebox Baby!

Originally Posted: July 03, 2008Β 

Well there has been plenty of good stuff out and about recently so here’s a taster of what’s troubling my ‘jukebox’ at the moment….

‘We Started Nothing’ – The Ting Tings

Great little album this – a nice slice of pop-rock and the duo make a fair bit of noise considering it’s just the two of them. ‘That’s Not My Name’ is the one most people will know as it buries itself deep inside your brain, regardless of whether you like it or not. ‘Shut Up and Let Me Go’ is the next single and is also quite catchy but ‘Great DJ’, ‘Keep Your Head’ and ‘Impacilla Carpisung’ are also worth a listen…..

Ladyhawke

No album yet, just a 5 track sampler but I love this. Very 80’s sounding and a lovely electro-rock clash. ‘Paris Is Burning’ is a corker of a tune but ‘Delirium’, ‘Back Of The Van’ and ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ are also mightily enjoyable. Saw her live last night and the gig rocked, she played a few I hadn’t heard before and am pleased to report they were cool beaty tracks and not one limp ballad….

Noah And The Whale

This is another great album, in a similar vein to the stupendous Laura Marling album – and Ms Marling is on board for backing vocals for some tracks here. ‘Five Years Time’ and ‘Shape Of My Heart’ are the stand out tracks for me, with honourable mentions for ‘Give A Little Love’ and ‘2 Atoms In A Molecule.’ A summer album for sure…..

A lot of my musical experiences recently have been as part of Grand Theft Auto IV. (Above)

I like to flick around the stations but usually end up on one of the following:

RADIO BROKER

Hosted by Juliette Lewis this station specialises in Alternative Rock and we are talking some great bands/artists such as LCD Soundsystem, Tom Vek, Les Savy Fav, !!!, The Black Keys, UNKLE, The Rapture and, of course, Juliette And The Licks.

Fond memeories and bank jobs and taking Little Jacob to play pool spring to mind.Β  πŸ˜€

LIBERTY CITY ROCK RADIO

This station has the legend that is Iggy Pop fronting it and includes classic rock from the likes of: Smashing Pumpkins, ELO, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Genesis, The Black Crowes, ZZ Top, REM and The Who. However the two highlights for me have to be ‘One Vision’ by Queen – which makes me think of Liberty City each time I hear it – and ‘Edge Of Seventeen’ by Stevie Nicks. Roaming around the city at dusk with Stevie Nicks on the radio – what an experience.  😎

“Lynch, do this, Lynch do that, Lynch stop murdering the hostages!”

Originally Posted: April 24, 2008

Kane And Lynch: Dead Men – Review

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is an interesting beast. On the one hand it has moments of real unadultarated fun – there are levels that were among the most fun I’ve played on a PS3 (bank job anyone? How about a jail-break then?) – but on the other it had some pretty bad flaws, such as the camera angles and glitching.

The worst example of which saw Lynch’s body floating in the air and his head poking through road below. He was injured and needed medical attention but try as I might the computer wouldn’t recognize where was he was and he died. I had to restart the section through no fault of my own.

You play as Kane, busted out of a prison van on the way to jail to answer to The7 – a mysterious group who believe you left them to die while stashing the spoils of a heist away for yourself before your capture. They have assigned an unstable pyschopath called Lynch to follow your every move and make sure you do as they say. They want their goods back and expect you to get it for them.

The controls were standard fair (L2 to aim, R2 to shoot etc) and while the back up was handy in fire fights the squad mechanic was underwhelming, the other characters just seemed to go wherever they liked despite your directions. The use of adrenalin to bring you (or your team) back round from ‘fatal’ wounding was a nice touch – as was the fact you could OD on it and die anyway.

The weapons were good with your usual selection of handguns, shotguns, ak-47’s etc. and they each had a different feel. The ragdoll effects of the enemy soldiers was also a nice touch – as was the fact that every now and again after being shot they would drop to the floor writhing in pain, leaving you the option of finishing them off or leaving them to die.

The online play of Fragile Alliance mode proved to be a clever inclusion. You and your online partners perform a heist and whoever survives splits the money at the end of the level. However the twist is that you can all kill each other so you get a bigger share of the spoils. If you die during the level you respawn as a cop and if you then kill the person who killed you, you get the share of the spoils. This leads to some very tense allegiances where you’re not sure who you can trust. In one game I sprinted off towards the building we were hitting only to be shot in the back from the off – nice. But it certainly makes you think about things in a different way.

Despite a few moans here and there, this is a good, solid game. I’m willing to put up with minor gripes for the sake of an enjoyable gaming experience. This could’ve been a classic if it had been better implemented but as it stands it’s well worth a play through.

Rating: 7/10