I’ve been inspired to resurrect my old Website and YouTube channel, and it’s all thanks to Harry Kim.
prophecy_113
He’s been the motivation and inspiration I’ve needed to get myself back on the internet. Without his wise words, incredible feats of cheating death, and technical prowess, I would never have found myself with the desire to reboot my website. Thank you Harry. Now, to business. I’m back. Again. And this time, we’re going to be YouTube focused, with a new video every week showcasing some games and occasionally tech reviews, unboxing videos, and things of that nature. The blog will be updated occasionally, too, along with a welcome return for some of the Hall of Fame and the Safety Spotlight.

Things have moved on a lot since the last time this website existed, going through all the old pages has made me release how long it’s been. Bit mad really. But the more things change, the more things stay the same, and it’s about time I devoted more of my time back into gaming again. This is the way I’m going to do it.

So I’ve got plenty of videos coming up in the next few weeks, and I’m hoping to be able to keep this up for the foreseeable future. Sure, not many people are watching my content right now, and I’m as green as grass, but you have to start somewhere, and who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have a modest base of viewers. So if you’re reading this, that starts with you! Subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Twitter, share it on Facebook and spread the word about whatever the fuck it is I’m doing here!

Oh, I’ll be doing gaming related articles too, I hope to bring my Retro Reviews into both video and articles. If you have any ideas of games you want to see, let me know!

Cheers folks.

Danny

There’s a big Brewhaha at work surrounding the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, which are to be held in London. People are running around planning party games, coming up with ideas to re-decorate the office, dress down days, buffets, the list goes on and on.

The thing I don’t understand is, why are we going to this level of effort? Up north, the Olympics aren’t going to make a blind bit of difference. We don’t go to this much effort when the Olympics are held in Sydney or Beijing, so why London? We’re not Londoners, it isn’t going to touch us.

Even the Olympic Flame, which many people were looking forward to seeing, is going to pass merrily through Wigan hidden inside a bus, instead of on a parade. To add insult to injury, the local bus depot is on strike that day, so the torch will, ironically, be the only thing able to travel by bus.

Although I earn a modest living, for which I cannot grumble, the fact of the matter is, the Olympics are totally inaccessible to myself, and the majority of people in this country. London is an expensive city to visit at the best of times, never mind during the games. The cost of getting there is beyond my means, never-mind actually getting tickets to one of the events.

The fact that I’ve poured my well earned money into this for absolutely no return, though, is the main reason I can’t be bothered celebrating the Olympics. A rather substantial chunk of my taxes, the increases in my rail fares, the general cost of living – all of this has gone up because of the Olympics – in order that it be invested in improvements to the transport infrastructure and the suchlike. Sounds great, the only trouble is, all that spending has been in London.

A city I can’t afford to get to.

Of course, it’s wonderful Londoner’s have now got high speed rail, 10 car carriages as standard, one of the best passenger information infrastructures in the world, and first class bus, train and tram services. I just don’t appreciate the fact that we’ve all had to pay for it, and I’m still traveling to work on a broken 2-car Leyland National bolted to a cattle wagon.

British Leyland went bump about 30 years ago, to put that into perspective, and most rail companies stopped using cattle wagons some time before the war. I’d like to say that this is exaggeration but it really isn’t. These last two paragraphs are the stone cold truth. So, you can understand why I’m not in the “party mood” for the Olympics, since as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been charged for a party that I’m not invited too.

Welcome to a new segment, Grilling Mishaps, where I highlight the funniest grill-related catastrophies on the internet and display them here for your viewing pleasure.

This week’s Grilling Mishap comes from ‘Steve’ in Milwaukee, who is trying his hand at the grill for the first time.

 

Sonic Generations came out in the United Kingdom on Friday, and since it falls into the category of being either a Sonic Game,  GTA Game, or 12 years in the making, I’m going to do a review, like those ones I used to do in them there olden days on the FileFront.

So, the famous blue blur is 20 years old. Makes me feel younger in a way, since Sonic is the first thing I really remember about being a child, it feels like it’s my 20th birthday too. Meh, who am I kidding? I’m turning into an old fart. Sonic, on the other hand, is looking better than ever, and this title is the final return to full form that has been building now for the past few years.

The turn-around for Sonic came in 2008′s Sonic Unleashed. Moving away from pointlessly complicated storylines, overbearing new characters and glitch-filled gameplay, Unleashed showed us that Sonic could be cool again. It introduced the new standard Sonic gameplay which has been carried through to Sonic Colours, and now Sonic Generations:  apart from that nasty ware-hog business, Unleashed was amazing.

Then came Colours, taking the Unleashed daytime formula and making it even better – with levels designed around an interplanetary theme park, we saw a return to the crazy, colourful level styles of the original Sonic games. Not to mention Wisps, those guys are so cute.

Now we have Sonic Generations – which is the good, the bad, and the rather ugly outings  of the past 20 years rolled into one. On paper this sounds worrying, so, does the game correct the past 10 years of Sonic mistakes?

The answer is, sort of.

The storyline for this game is almost entirely absent, there is a vague plot that runs through the game about the “Time Eater” and whatnot, but there are 12 cutscenes in the entire game, and most of them are short and inconsequential.  In a way I’m a bit disappointed by this, since Sonic Colours had a fairly okay plot, that progressed the story and had lots of humor in it. There is humor in this game too, but there’s so little done in the cutscenes and they’re so few that, really, they feel out of place even being there at all.

The levels themselves are largely great. You play through one level from every major Sonic game, both as “Classic” Sonic (the cute round one) and “Modern” Sonic (The tall retarded one) – Classic plays pretty much 1:1 as he did in Sonic 1 through Sonic & Knuckles, while Modern plays as he did largely in Unleashed, with a few minor tweaks. The actual level designs are largely faithful to the originals with one or two little new bits thrown in, but overall, nothing substantially new here.

There are two main reasons to play this game;

1: Playing classic Sonic levels in awesome 2.5D
2: Playing Dreamcast & Sonic 06 levels with gameplay that isn’t totally fucked.

The further you get into the game, the more recycled things seem to become, with obvious reasons. Playing the classic levels was a total joy and you feel like these levels  have the most effort put into them. The Dreamcast era levels feel like they’ve been upgraded but, since the original versions where 3D already, you can’t help but feel it’s the same stuff presented in a much nicer way. The modern era levels, apart from Crisis City (it was nice to play this one in a less broken way, shame though, just shows Sonic 06 could have been decent) – just feel like harder versions of levels I’ve already played.

A nice touch is the fact that you can unlock music tracks to use in different levels – including remastered and remixed tracks from classic Sonic games. This adds some nice little touches, for example, playing Speed Highway as Classic Sonic with Starlight Zone as the music does feel like you’re playing the latter instead. There’s a few other nice matches in there, i.e. playing Toxic Caves from Sonic Spinball over Chemical Plant or Marble Zone over Crisis City. There’s also a ton of artwork to unlock which is quite a cool thing to have, as it spans the entire 20 year history of Sonic.

Each level comprises of one main act and five side mission acts for each Sonic. There are also rival battles between Metal Sonic, Shadow and Silver. We also have the Red Ring hunt returning from Sonic Colours – but despite all this, I am afraid this game is far, far too short. This game takes, roughly, from putting the disc in to completing everything the game has to offer, one weekend. Compared to Sonic Colours, this game falls completely flat in this department.

Infact, if you removed the nostalgia element from this game, it would be a rather poor outing when compared to Colours, which had far more to see and do. Each level in Colours had it’s own set of red rings to collect, and each level had 6 full acts and a boss to complete. The side acts in Generations are normally quite short, mission based and take place in the same level as Act 1, unlike colours where each act was completely unique and mostly of a decent size. Colours also had the Sonic Simulator for even more fun.

The bosses in this game are also stupendously easy to defeat, even on “hard” mode. The final boss was hard, but only because I was expecting something harder and was trying to figure out what I had to do – imagine my surprise where the aim of the final boss is to just boost, and thats it. Infact it’s completely fucking appalling, and that isn’t a phrase I should be using for this game.

The Good;

  • Great graphics and music
  • Great levels to play
  • Gameplay is spot on in main levels

Tbe Bad;

  • Storyline isn’t very in-depth
  • Cut scenes are rather badly rendered
  • Game is very short, takes no time at all to 100% it

The Ugly;

  • Shockingly easy boss battles
  • No real love or attention to the menu system compared to colours
  • Online play is rather basic and suffering from the usual leaderboard hacking rendering it worthless.

Yeah, it’d be unfair for me to say I’m totally disappointed in this game, it does bring joy to the 5 year old who played the Classics, and the 15 year old who had a Dreamcast, and it brings some closure to the disturbed 20 year old who was forced to suffer through Bestiality and Silver the Hedgehog a couple years back. I’d be lying, however, if I said I didn’t expect more. This game is over far too soon, it leaves you wanting for more. God, I hope there’s more. I hope there’s some cracking DLC levels coming out for this in the future.

Sadly, however, I doubt this will be the case. Shame.