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Browsing Posts tagged egx

Firstly I must apologize for the quality of the video, the poor lighting required me to up the brightness so things are visible which has caused everything to become rather pixelated like a computer game, and the audio has an echo due to the noise removal technique and amplification required to eliminated the crowd noises, which is why when I am not directly facing the camera some of my audio becomes non existent.

Guitar hero live is a change in direction for the usually cartoon sprite based game, where instead of watching computer characters perform on stage in the background while you play along to the tune instead behind the familiar riff line is a live stage and support band who react based upon how well you are playing the track.

Other significant changes to the game are the actual way you play, which involves a dual 3 button strip with black and white controls, helpfully hinted at on screen with up and down buttons om case you forget which side is which. With a little adapting this seems a lot easier to use than the 5 button system, so even though you are essentially playing with extra buttons this will feel like less.

I do like the new style and the new opportunities it could provide but I think they really missed out by not having a full 8 button swing to utilize all 4 fingers, or even having the duplicated 5 buttons players will be use to but with a dual line system in place allowing for some very difficult routines to be established. Gone is however the tap strumming bar some players will have adapted to which provided a fun way of playing the game along with extra manipulation of the sounds, and activating star power becomes more difficult with the higher positioning of the buttons on the neck of the controller. Sure there is a button to activate star power but this is never the most effective way to use the power, and it isn’t in a convenient location.

Further changes to the game are the facts that it is planned that any further releases will not require a purchase of another game and instead will come as purchasable or rent-able content providing access to any new tunes in a variety of genre’s for example without having to purchase a “Metallica” special guitar hero game. Also for those who wish to compete live there will be a guitar hero live channel where people at home can play along with other players worldwide on the same live track, at present there have been no plans to include a live leaderboard however I think this would be the ideal social situation to provide live results for all players partaking in the live track and provide the ultimate bragging rights topping the live leaderboard broadcast to everyone currently watching that channel.

The game itself will have made up bands playing actual songs so you will always feel like part of the band, and the audience will react to your playing prowess, if you’re doing well they will cheer for more whilst terrible play will result in objects being thrown at you as you play with boo’s and jeers.

I think this is an interesting direction and some good improvements to the genre as actually feeling like you’re on stage and playing adds to the immersion of the game, perhaps having a more transparent riff bar could make things better as the audience and band are obscured a lot of the time.

Little is known about the competitive aspects of the game as yet, as often the same track gets chosen in competitions where the longest possible track provides the best score and is repeated by every single team, a change to this system competitively might make things more fun, perhaps requiring a mini set of 3 short songs to feel more like a proper band and completely eliminating all ridiculously long songs from competitions, or even having all songs have a similar point limit perhaps boosted with freestyle flourishes enabled via star power at the appropriate times, I have no idea how star power works in the game as I could not get the controller to trigger this despite vertically lifting the guitar at any time.

Another interesting aspect for scoring might be if the accelerometers in the controller responded to how you flourished and moved about on stage to incorporate “stage presence” into the scoring system to provide those truly representing on stage and not just playing the tunes the biggest and best scores, but this could always be something to consider for future releases.

As it stands I would definitely recommend a purchase for any guitar hero fan as all of the changes are definitive improvements and go beyond simply releasing further tracks with a whole new play style to master.

Follow updates at www.guitarhero.com

Day one of EGX 2015 drew to a close, after a long wait at the early entry queue while a video played we eventually got onto the show to have quick look around before I had a day of booked up sessions with developers and press, many of who’m have stated that they will send screenshots and game codes, but obviously not in time for such a quick article as this. I will be focusing on a few of them in detail either in the main article or in their own separate game-play and review articles as necessary.

I started off the show having a play on the upcoming rock band, which I will go into detail more about in the later video. Sufficed to say it is a fun experience and quite easy to grasp the new 6 key system, although a few changes to the controller itself will be missed such as the strum board, and the gimmick of playing live on stage is a much better on screen experience than the usual cartoonish feel of the game.

After this I hit up the playstation and xbox one zones, checking out what they individually had to offer. The xbox area was spread out with separate queue’s for each section and a collectors card system to win a prize if you can play in all segments much like playstation had the previous year. While the playstation zone was very different having a sealed section with queue’s for the games side by side and a few set props visitors could pose for photo’s with.

I had a little time to check out the latest assassins creed, where I decided to try and do everything within the mission parameters within the time limit, failing as I seemed to despawn one of the allies I had and spending far too long attempting to track down his location, even with eagle eye highlighting character locations this proved impossible. The mechanic to essentially zip line between locations made traversing without getting spotted pretty much a predetermined fact, however when it came to the actual free running element I found that you were often stopping where you expected the character to jump off the small ledge as the system appears to have been adapted in a manner that jumping from ledges is not permitted whether you would take damage or not, and jumping while free running is entirely impossible.

This method doesn’t feel as satisfying and correct as previous games, and sometimes when you come to the end of a path you’re running through you find you end up jumping to the side or a path you never intended to and have to go out of your way to get back down to the floor. Other than these factors though the game felt smooth and like a typical assassins creed game, hard to see what other new mechanics there are by such a short demonstration.

I arrived early to the press zone so took the opportunity to watch the latest hitman footage, where it is stated you will travel in varying locations across the world taking out hits on characters in any way you see fit, with a variety of methods depending on your stealth, cunning, patience and exploration of the level you can execute each hit a significant number of different methods, from straight hit and run to downright perfect execution planting c4 on the stage-lights and influencing factors to get the target in question onto the stage to fall victim of a “tragic accident” while you’re in the crowd where it couldn’t possibly be you that caused his death. The developers want you to feel powerful as agent 47 able to use disguises to gain entrance to different area’s and only area’s established for the specific uniforms and that you could essentially roleplay as each of those for as long as you aren’t discovered. A good feature is that the supervisor (or gang leader, or whatever is relevant) of the particular group you’re dressed up as gets highlighted on the map, so you can be sure to avoid that particular person as they will be able to instantly identify you as incorrect knowing all of their staff. It isn’t clear if you can become said leader by using their uniform as yet.

After this I spent the entire day in pre-booked sessions, starting out by playing a press competition of eternal step, a game I will be looking forward to showing you separately, an action rogue-like where you collect treasure cards which you use at the end of each floor to discard or modify your equipment in order to progress as far as possible before inevitable failure (or possibly success when the game is completed and has an ending.) The game is very fun and can get very challenging when you’re running low on hp with no potions, I made it to the first boss on floor 20 before inevitably failing, but I did set the record where other press have only managed around floor 11 and 12 at most.

The rest of the day was spent around the indie gaming section playing on sublevel zero which I had to get out there as involved in the team is phi from tinykeep, and the game itself is a challenging homage to decent with additional elements such as crafting your weapons and modifying your ship as it stands it is a very difficult game with sprawling procedurally generated worlds.

After this I played a space station management sim which I proceeded to break and another point and click adventure which again broke, don’t forget that a lot of these games are early in development and not fully finished so you can expect all of these issues to be resolved upon full release, after this I had a session with riot: civil unrest which was an interesting riot simulator which rather ambitiously provides each individual crowd member with their own ai and adaptive ai which responds to how you have acted throughout the game, so crowds get more frenzied if your police force are heavy handed and have a bad reputation, but also adapt to how they have individually been treated so at this state it currently allows for around 10 minutes of playtime before the game crashes, this will be fixed in time for a full release and additional factors such as vehicles and more gameplay modes will be activated but it is definitely an interesting concept to keep an eye out for, which I shall hopefully bring you more on as it progresses.

After this I had a session booked with pollen, a space simulator in virtual reality on a station on a moon on titan, however as the queue’s were busy I only got to play for 5 minutes before being ushered off despite booking a session which was said to last for 30 minutes in the email so I cannot tell you much about the game itself unfortunately, I have emailed the developer but have yet to receive a response.

I’m not sure if I covered this in the video but I did get to play on rise of the tomb raider at the end as well, when I had a problem attempting to leave the first area I had to ask for help, because it had not been tutorialised that you needed to shoot blocks of concrete to destroy them on spikes, which appeared to be the largest unbreakable part so even with experimenting I shot at the cracked wood, the thin pillar it was attached to and everything but the large and in reality least likely to break part of the blockage.

The representative stated that they wanted to have a more “dark souls” experience not providing any information to the player, however this seemed a major blockage not only to progress but attempting to enjoy the demo. Thankfully after this I was able to progress and even found for myself a hint button essentially listening to lara’s heart (as it beat a heart while giving a slight hint to the solution highlighted with a vocal cue) however the platforming elements proved very awkward, as many of the scenery elements which were climbable looked identical to those which you could never climb, and a lot of the action came down to quicktime events rather than actual fun gameplay elements. I had hoped this would be a return to more of the original tomb raider elements however I was left disappointed simply with the way the platforming and navigation of the rooms worked, being unable to climb onto pillars and surfaces that were completely reachable, not being able to climb the same ribbed wall as you climb elsewhere just because that isn’t the path to progress, and ultimately black screening the game as perhaps I passed the time limit being stuck in the first room for 5 minutes before asking for help because the very factor to destroy the blockage was never tutorialised or hinted at.

On the way out of the show with things closing I managed to get a quick play on total war arena, which if you enjoy the total war franchise is a much simplified version of the game, with point and click ordering of troops, activatable powers and real time online multiplayer in 10vs10 action. Troop customization and leveling occurs outside of the actual gameplay to make combat quick and fun with no pausing or problems and meaning that real time adjustments to all of your troops in a quick and efficient manner is a must.

I will have a much more in depth review of the actual show in a separate article and a few of the games I will be able to bring to you in much more detail in their own reviews also, so watch this space for more.

With EGX 2015 literally around the corner I thought it was a good idea to post about some of the latest game announcements, and the newly announced after show parties on friday and saturday night while tickets are still available (but running out fast)

Firstly if you’re interested in getting in on the after parties you will need to buy a special ticket, ordinary entry will not work and you could get party entry even if you don’t have an egx ticket as it is its own thing, tickets are available now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/egx-2015-community-party-tickets-18468815725 Note that these parties run at the same time as the yogscast sessions, so you will have to choose between them or be very late to the party ;-) I will be attending the saturday party personally for anyone wishing to find me at the event.

Wait you want some information about the parties? Well there will be drinking, gaming and chances to meet both game devs and youtubers in a friendly social climate. Games available to play at the party will be gang beasts, rocket league, WiFi wars, rock band 4 and even napoleon dynamite dancing! So there will be plenty of fun to be had, and probably some really embarrassing and bad dance moves and singing across the stages (with possibly some greatness, you know how these things are you get both the great and the bad)

New announcements for the xbox and nintendo stands include Halo 5, Star Fox Zero, Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and over 30 more games. My email didn’t differentiate which would be on which stand but zelda, star fox and tri force heroes are clearly nintendo offerings, and a number of these are games I would be very interested in bringing coverage for.

Playstation have a number of more well known releases including Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Destiny: The Taken King, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and 25 more massive games, it is hard to say which console are championing the indie releases here as previously playstation had pointed out this would be a ps4 major selling point, so I will look and see who covers the most and best indie titles at the event.

Sony do have “project morpheus” at the event “playable” however it seems that although the site was launched live today at 1pm, the site never worked correctly for windows 7 either with the latest microsoft windows nor google chrome, and although I could get to stage 2 of booking no time slots ever appeared, then later it states that all slots have been booked, so if you were looking forward to playing it appears that only booked slots allowed you to gain access and these have all been claimed for the entire weekend, and with how fast these slots were filled I can imagine there is a lot of disappointment going around.

Don’t forget that there are over 300 screens of playable indie games, cosplay events, competitions, esports finals with large prize pots, and great opportunities to socialize, buy merchandise, and even get advice on getting a career within the gaming industry all within the event.

Don’t forget to claim your free game of orbital gear from bundlestars just for purchasing an egx ticket, as every ticket holder gets the game.

I have arranged some sessions with developers, including eternal step a game which won’t be available for public play but I will bring you details of, sublevel zero, riot civil unrest, and pollen. I will attempt to get some extra sessions planned and hopefully some more VR titles from the different hardwares.

If you would like to arrange a session with me get in touch, and if there are any particular games you would like me to ensure I cover do be sure to let me know.

So with Eurogamer Expo literally next week be sure to grab your tickets, Last Tickets to EGX itself are running very low so don’t miss out https://www.egx.net/egx/tickets

If you haven’t got your tickets for EGX 2015 at the NEC yet time’s running out as tickets are selling out fast, so be sure to head over before they run out. While you’re at it if you’re interested in attending a relaxed evening with the yogscast, there are two days of panels, each for £15 or £20 for both days, separate to main expo entry these are 2 hour long sessions of questions and gaming hosted by the yogscast, with team flux+ on friday being sjin, hannah, duncan and kim. And on the saturday evening it would be lewis and hat films (Ross, Trottimus and Al Smiffy)

https://www.egx.net/egx/tickets

Now onto the main event itself, if you’re not convinced to go purely for it being the main gaming convention in the uk being hosted at the NEC arena for convenience of location for the majority of the country, or the fact that you can get up close and personal with both developers and youtubers across four days, then lets get down to one of the biggest draws, the fact that there will be over 200 screens of playable games, featuring upcoming games such as homefront: The revolution, Assassins Creed Syndicate, Mirrors Edge Catalyst, Starwars Battlefront and many more.

One particular game you may wish to queue up for above all others would be the aseembly, being playable for the first ever time anywhere and being a virtual reality adventure game, which lets face it not everyone has a VR kit at home, this will be the opportunity to not only test the equipment out for yourself and experience whether you think this is the future of gaming, but also the fact that this is an adventure game rather than the usual fairground rides or on the rails stories VR tends to highlight, it would be interesting to see just how interactive the game would be and how far it pushes the technology forward.

While you’re there don’t forget to visit the rezzed zone too, filled with a variety of indie games, some you may know well such as speedrunners, and project zomboid, but also a chance to discover new indie games you will have yet to hear from, all being shown off by the development team themselves providing the best opportunity to ask them about the games and see the future plans of the development teams. If you’re after a break from the screen you can always chill out over some board games for some classic and tactile gaming.

If you’re not just there to play the games, chill out in the retro zone with some classic games such as megabomberman, or have a look at the leftfeild collection sponsored by sega, then there is even more on offer, not only the finals of a variety of competitive gaming tournaments which could be exciting to watch, there will be developer sessions where the big development teams will take to the stages to talk about the latest games and upcoming development plans, and don’t forget the usual plethora of cosplayers that will be around the event partaking in activities revolving around that and taking to the stage for judgement and even posing for pictures and to be drawn at times.

Finally for anyone wishing to enter the gaming industry there will be a career fair, providing the opportunity to speak to recruiters and get advice on how to develop your career within the gaming industry and a variety of career workshops based upon the gaming industry.

I will be attending the event and bringing you the latest from these games and more, so if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover be sure to let me know, and I will try to find you those hidden gems that might get missed by other people, and if you’re going yourself maybe I will see you there.

Eurogamer 2014 kicked off with a bang, with hundreds of people queing at 8am in order to be first in line when early bird entry opened at 10am, eager to get thier hands on the latest consoles and up and coming game titles.

The event itself is spread out over 2 floors in earls court in the center of london not only housing booths to play games but also incorporating special shops and many competitions and tournaments.

When gates opened at 10am people could be seen running for thier favourite stand in order to be the first to play that particular title and have bragging rights over the first to complete the demo.  I opted to head for the hotly contested 18+zone and queue for assassins creed unity in order to avoid long waits in the queue for the booth later, ironically it resulted in a longer wait due to “health and safety” issues, but it was worth the wait as I got to see that the game was reverting back to a standard I could get along with rather than being very on rails and punishing you for diverting away from these.  I still need to see if they’ve improved boss mechanics, but it does promise a completely different fighting system which is good because of the new protagonist, and having everyone fight the same throughout history would be a bit stale for the series.

After this I headed out and took advantage of a free seat at dead island two, congratulations for reading this article as I forgot to mention this in my video, but dead island two follows the story which is lead out in dead island epidemic, you might not have played that as it is a moba style game, where dead island two follows the usual gameplay of the origonal, but in a world where the infected who are immune have become enhanced humans, better and stronger, but are being hunted down and eradicated by a terrorist group of some sort.  I played for a while in the demo where stealth was very much necissary in order to not set off the gas in the room, it was a little challenging and I gave up after a few attempts as I had other things to see, but definately looking forward to the release to see how things pan out as it could be a promising title.

The bafta’s were also at EGX and I did have an invite and permissiont to film at the side event, however I was unable to make it back on time with delays at hotel checkin, but I am sure that you can find content elsewhere about this.

Alien isolation is very much a suspense strategy game where you have to navigate the station under the constant threat of persuit from the sole alien on board, without testing out the mechanics I would be interested to see how it progresses as it could be possible to cheese the alien somewhere and leave you free without worry, or wonder wether its hard coded to teleport into your vincinity so you can never truly lose it, but this is definately a deviation from the heavy infestation shooters that are usually a part of this franchise and instead trying to revert to where the films like to venture of isolation with a single alien and suspense.

To be continued.