All posts by niallsramblings

Retail worker by day, gamer by night, blogger in between!


Image by Flickr User: Christian H.
Image by Flickr User: Christian H.

Anyone that follows my blog will know that Titanfall is a game that i am really looking forward too, so when i was told that a beta was to be released i was very keen on being a part of it. I was one of the fortunate people that managed to get onto it a couple of days before it became open, and since then it’s pretty much all that i’ve played.
The beta features two maps, Angel City, a small futuristic metropolis, which is the more close quarter of the two, and Fracture, which is quite a bit bigger, it still has a lot of close quarters combat but it is more suited suited to long range weapons than Angel City. Continue reading Titanfall

Xbox One Arcade: Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood

Image by Flickr User: Mario Goncalves
Image by Flickr User: Mario Goncalves

I’m a very fickle gamer, what i mean by that is that i very rarely stick to one game at a time, and as much as it shames me to say it, i don’t complete most games, and after playing the same few titles since the Xbox launch last week i found myself in a predicament, i was a bit bored.
I wasn’t in the mood for my usual routine of FIFA and Forza, so i decided to have a look through the games currently on the Xbox One marketplace, this is where i stumbled across Max The Curse Of Brotherhood. Continue reading Xbox One Arcade: Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood

A PC Noob Needs You!

Image from Flickr User: Linus Bohman
Image from Flickr User: Linus Bohman

Most of my very first gaming experiences came on the PC platform, i can still remember the good old days of Command And Conquer, The Sims, and Football Manager, at the time most PC games were quite some way ahead of the gaming console technology at the time, then one Christmas i was bought a Nintendo 64, and for me it all changed, since then i’ve never looked back, and pretty much played exclusively on consoles with the odd stint playing Football Manager on my laptop being the only exception, but over the last couple of years we’ve seen a number of ‘Indie’ games born on the PC gaining huge popularity, games like Don’t Starve, Minecraft & Super Meat Boy. A lot of the success of these games is down to Youtube, it shows just how powerful of a tool that it has become when you see a big Youtuber plays a game and its popularity can sore through the roof, it just shows what a bit of exposure can do, but that’s a discussion for another time, my point is, i feel like i’m really missing out here! Continue reading A PC Noob Needs You!

2014: My Most Anticipated Games!

Photo from Flickr User: Juan Verni
Photo from Flickr User: Juan Verni

So it’s now 2014, and we all know that a new year means new games to look forward to! With the PS4 and Xbox One being launched over Christmas this year will no doubt be packed with new releases, and many of them completely new franchises which excites me a lot.
There are a few games that i’m very excited for so i just thought i’d shed some light on those that i think could be the top of the class in 2014.

The first on my list is Watch Dogs, i can’t begin to tell you how gutted i was when it was announced that it had been delayed until 2014, it stood out a lot as a launch title in particular because of it being brand new, don’t get me wrong, with my Xbox i got Forza, Battlefield & Dead Rising, all good games, but it would have been nice to have something fresh. I really like the concept of Watch Dogs too, to me it looks like if Splinter Cell and GTA had a baby, Watch Dogs would be how it’d look, and that cannot be a bad thing surely? The graphics look sensational too, i remember it being one of the first games that i saw real gameplay of for next gen quite some time ago, and since then i’ve been very excited for it!

Continue reading 2014: My Most Anticipated Games!

The Perfect Bundle

Photo by Flickr User: Chan808
Photo by Flickr User: Chan808

Before I start this I hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas, and has a great new year!

So, as you may, or may not know I work in retail, and we get a lot of people in over Christmas who have bags from shops like Game, HMV, that kind of thing, and this year with the release of the PS4 and Xbox One it was obvious that one of the two consoles was going to be on a lot of people’s lists, and this got me thinking, if you could have just one console with one game for Christmas what would it be?
The rules to this scenario are simple, one console, new or old, and one game from that console, BUT that game would have to last you until next Christmas, put simply, for the next 12 months you can only play one console, and one game.
Now, I’ve been mulling over this for a few days and for me there are a few contenders, but first of all, what are the most important things you should take into account when choosing the console and game?
I think without doubt the most important thing has to be the longevity of the game, it’s replayability, if you are going to play one game for 12 months it has to be something that can keep you interested.
Secondly should you go old or new? I think both have good sides whether it be the better technology of the new, or the pure simplicity of the old.
Finally, multiplayer, I think the game has to have some form of multiplayer, if’s rare that a game is going to keep you hooked for 12 months on single player alone, not in this day and age where online gaming is such a routine thing, this obviously lends an advantage to some of the more modern games, however the good old fashioned split screen shouldn’t been written off, to this day I still play split screen games, and they are as fun today as they ever were.
So my first contender is an obvious one, Call Of Duty 4 for the Xbox 360, put simply my favourite FPS of all time, now, I should say firstly that i suck at shooting games, especially online, I get humiliated by 12 year olds whenever I go on, so I always think its the sign of an excellent game that despite being crapped on throughout most of my COD 4 lifespan, I still really enjoyed it, I enjoyed it so much that I was determined to get better and better, which I did, only marginally, but better. Not only is the online fantastic, but the single player is nothing to be sniffed at either, though it may not be as fun as the online aspect, it still offers a great experience, and as I’d be playing the game for 12 months I’m sure there would come a point that I’d get a bit fed up of being killed by pre pubescent children and want to vent my frustrations towards the AI on single player. Like I said, COD 4 is an obvious one, but it’s obvious for a reason, because it’s so damn good! The only downside to this that I can see is the potential temperamental nature of the Xbox 360, don’t get me wrong, it’s probably my favourite console to date, you would have access to Netflix, Sky, and all the other major TV catchup services, but, if it broke, you’d be stuffed.

Contender number two, Rainbow Six 3 for the original Xbox, now this was a great game, the single player was fantastic, the online was to me incredible, particularly as it was one of my first experiences of gaming online, and the original Xbox was such a solid console too, you knew it wasn’t going to break down on you, it was big, it was heavy but that doesn’t matter, it was brilliant, and Rainbow Six 3 is, in my opinion a real testament too how far ahead of its time it was. One of my fondest memories of this game is being blown away by the fact that you could tell your men where to go using the headset, something you don’t see in so e games today, never mind nearly a decade ago. Similarly to COD the online was well balanced, there is a lot of game mode choice, and enough to keep you busy for a very long time. I actually think Infinity Ward to took a lot of inspiration for Call Of Duty from the early Rainbow Six game, the online was so well balanced, the maps were fantastic, but whether it stacks up to COD 4 I don’t know.

Third on my list is Final Fantasy X for the Playstation 2, now this may not be many people’s favourite Final Fantasy, and the fact that it has no multiplayer elements to it contradicts what i said at the start, many of you may be wondering why it’s even a viable option at all, but to me, this is the absolute pinnacle of all RPGs, I don’t think to this day we have had anything that has come close, the one thing I can say to defend it for this scenario is that it’s a big game, it takes a lot of time to finish, and the story is fantastic, I used to love most the Final Fantasy games when I was younger, but I do think they’ve not been anywhere near as good as the earlier titles over the last few years, and I think this one was the high point, I could play it over and over again, i love the look of the game, I think the level design, although linear at times is great, and I could happily play this game for a long, long time.
My last choice is going to have to be a FIFA game of some description, I love football and I think almost any FIFA could keep my attention for a whole year, I’m going to choose last years instalment, FIFA 13, and on the Xbox 360, most FIFAs are pretty similar at the core, and I’d usually just choose the latest instalment, but I don’t think FIFA 14 is as well balanced as its predecessor, yes it had a couple of flaws, but nothing like what you see on the newer version. You have a host of game modes to choose from, Ultimate Team, Career mode, and Clubs being my personal favourites, but this choice is a very individual one, because to play it for so long, as I tend to do, you have to love football, so I understand that this choice may not appeal to everyone.
So with those options put on the table which would you choose? Or would you go for something completely different? This has been really interesting me over the last few days so it’d be great to hear what you think!
Have a fantastic new year, it promises to be a great one for us gamers, and who knows, maybe next year there may just be a game that I’d add to my list!

Could This Be The One? My First Few Weeks With The Xbox One

Screenshot by Flickr User: Maxime_g
Screenshot by Flickr User: Maxime_g

So, this is my first post which will be on the United We Game website, so firstly I’d like to thank them for taking me on board! As some of you may be aware I have been working my way through my top 15 games of the Xbox 360/ Playstation 3 generation, but I thought as this post is a sort of milestone I’d do something a bit different.
I was one of the many people that waited in line at midnight on November 21st to get my hands on the Xbox One, and as its now been a few weeks since I got the new console I thought I’d give my opinion on my first few weeks, a small look into the games I have played,how the system works, and my overall verdict early on for Microsofts new baby, I’ll start with the hardware itself.
The console itself is quite big, I don’t think it’s too big though, I’d say even though it’s probably a bit bigger than the original Xbox, it’s a basic shape, and it doesn’t seem chunky, one thing is for sure though,It’s a lot, lot quieter than its predecessor, although its difficult for it not be, i love the 360, but there were times when mine was so loud I thought it was about to take off into orbit! The kinect is also a very sexy piece of kit, and I can honestly say that I have used it far more than I ever envisaged, but I’ll talk more on that topic later.
The controller is fantastic, I actually think the 360 controller was pretty much perfect, but they have somehow Improved it even more, the vibrating triggers are fantastic, particularly on Forza Motorsport where you can really feel the road, and even though it’s lighter it feels as sturdy as ever, and fits fantastically in your hand.
The only thing that lets the Xbox down is the headset that comes with it, I don’t think its particularly comfortable, it has to be unplugged and plugged in several times before it connects, and they don’t feel particularly sturdy, in fact, a friend of mine has broken one already, purely from plugging it in and out. I will be getting a third party at the first chance I get, but for some reason that won’t be until Q1 next year unfortunately.
The software, mainly the new “Dashboard” is fantastic, it takes a bit of time to get used to admittedly, but when you get in the swing of it, it really is a step up from the old dashboard. It’s so easy to to flow from one game to another, and the fact that it saves where you are when you go back to the home screen is incredible, I can’t count how many times I’ve just come out of a game, gone to Netflix, and gone back again, sometimes after a couple of hours, and it’s its like I never left in the first place. This is also where Kinect comes into its own, using commands to switch between Netflix, to games, to party chat, to Skype, and best of all, to turn the console on, it’s a revelation.
The one problem the software does seem to be suffering from is that every now and then it will kick you back to the home screen when you are playing online, this can be very annoying but it doesn’t happen to regularly, but it is something that needs fixing.
With my Xbox One I picked up Forza Motorsport 5, Battlefield 4, and Fifa 14, which came with the console.
Forza Motorsport is the game I’ve played the most of, the game is stunning, as you’d expect from Forza, it’s only flaw is its lack of tracks, and the car count is quite significantly down from Forza 4, but this takes nothing away from the driving experience, and the customisation aspect of the game, which is exemplary, as Forza always seems to be.
Next, FIFA 14, which I’m relieved to say is a big improvement on its Xbox 360 counterpart, which is ridiculously flawed, this newer version still has a lot of gripes, but on the whole it’s another solid instalment, you can tell that they were a lot more focused on the next gen version of the game when developing it, I particularly like the kinect integration within the game, which you can use to change formations, and make substitutions in game.
Battlefield 4, similarly to Forza, delivers exactly what you expect it to, it looks beautiful, and the online is solid, I’ve not yet had a chance to play the single player so I can’t comment too much on that, but from everything I’ve seen and read, it also delivers on every level.
I will review all these games further when I’ve played them more thoroughly, I don’t want to go too deep just yet as I don’t think it would be fair until I’ve played them more (Damn working in retail over Christmas!!)
On the whole my first few weeks with the Xbox One have been great, I love the new kinect setup which I was unsure about before, but it is definitely needed with the Xbox, it makes it flow so much more than could be possible without it. Graphically it is a step up from the previous generation, as you’d expect, but I think what excites me more than anything is the potential that the system has, when you look back at the Xbox 360 at launch, and then compare it to the Xbox 360 now you can see how much it has evolved, and if Microsoft can repeat that transition with the Xbox One, I think we are all in for a truly great console!