Tag Archives: Xbox Live

In The Grim Darkness Of The Future There Is Only Xbox

When it comes to flogging successful product lines the Sheriff seems to always do pretty well in the video game market. Well games based on their intellectual properties at least; I don’t think there’s a snotling computer lab somewhere in Nottingham churning out software.

Little plastic men? Pffft… digital bloodshed is where the real money’s at nowadays. Make a nice little shooty pew pew game and the fans will come flocking to the stores to pick up battalion boxsets. Unfortunately, personal experience shows that that might not happen.

Space Marine, the Xbox 360 game has been hotly anticipated by the more mobile-thumbed of the crew for quite some time. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes! Step into the almighty blue armour of Captain Titus and slaughter your way across a planet in what I describe as one of the most violent video games I’ve ever seen. Gone are the wussy auto health regenerations of the COD generation, here is a game which forces you to physically pull limbs off, eviscerate and decapitate your opponents in sprays of violent gore in order to keep going. All in very good looking, suitably gothic and appropriate surrounds.

Are there any downsides? Well of course. The usual bunch of twelve year old Russians will still own you in competitive multiplayer, but rumour has it that soon cooperative multiplayer will be available. Flufftards are also going to hate it because its about the blue GW poster boys, rather some more deserving chapter, and the main character Captain Titus isn’t actually listed in the Ultramarines order of battle. Personally I wouldn’t have cared if it were about Captain Flower Applejack of the Rainbow Warriors.

Anyway, if you want a real review rather than my random thoughts go check a real review site. I certainly like this game.

Will it influence sales of little plastic men? Well since getting this game I haven’t touched a single figure!

Operation Flashpoint: Red River – Released in North America (XBOX 360)

Red River came out in Europe back in April to largely indifferent cries of meh, and rapidly started filling bargain bins everywhere. Today sees it’s release stateside.

Carabus and I have been playing the swearathon that is Red River for a few weeks now, and I can quite happily say that it the best of the Flashpoint games so far. I’m not sure what game most reviewers were playing for it to get such lacklustre ratings, but essentially it is a very polished addition to the franchise.

These games have always worked best as co-op games, so if you are a fan of the Flashpoint series and have some friends; ignore the ratings and get yourself a copy ricky-tick.


Electronic Arts (EA) Online Server Woes

True to form, 6InchMove proudly brings you the news several months after it has already happened!

Regularly reading spambots to these pages will be aware that Carabus and myself often like to relax by blowing stuff up over Xbox Live. Every once in a while we invest in game and play to our hearts content, usually in co-op whilst having a good chat (about tough bloke stuff obviously, we are nothing like a bunch of old women).

After hunting around for some appropriate Lord Of The Rings themed games we came across a title called ‘Lord of The Rings: Conquest’. Reviews were not particularily favourable, except where online mode was concerned. It seemed the real fun with this game was playing with your buddies. So we went out, and each bought a copy.

It was not long before we found out that EA no longer run any online servers for this game. A game which isn’t even 2 years old! In fact, further study reveals that they pulled the servers after only 14 months! They claim that this is because few people play the game online. Now I’m no computer genius but surely it can’t be that hard to set up some kind of dynamic servers that host whatever games customers want to play?

So anyway, the 6InchMove citadel now contains two copies of a game with very little promise. Personally I am disappointed, and a tad wary about buying online EA games again.

All was not lost however, as instead we played Eidos’s excellent multiplayer ‘Battlestations: Midway’. Carabus being the shortest snugly fitted into the Japanese role, and proceeded to rewrite history by destroying my entire US fleet. To be fair though, I doubt Chester Nimitz was running things whilst watching TV and having a chat with his wife!

Note to EA: This game is nearly FOUR years old AND has had a sequel yet can still be played over Xbox Live. Hooray for good customer relations!

Army Of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360)

One can have a dream, baby,
Two can make that dream so real.
One can talk about bein’ in love,
Two can say how it really feels.
One can wish upon a star,
Two can make that wish come true, yeah.
One can stand alone in the dark,
Two can make the light shine through!

Or so sayeth the wise Marvin Gaye. Seems like a funny premise upon which to base an Xbox game but there you have it. Anyway, the other day I saw this title for sale for a tenner and bought it. Turns out my good friend also owns it, so we’ve spent the last week getting to grips with this intriguing title.

Video games nowadays all tend to be very convuluted and complicated. Back in my day after we had spent all day down the mines all we had when we got home was a cold cup of tea from a rolled up newspaper and space invaders to fill our evenings.

Army Of Two TFD happens to be pretty straightforward. Get yer guns and shoot the baddies. Why? Well, no one really knows to be honest. It’s set in the exploding city of Shanghai, and the plot is not really obvious. Not that it matters, for the lack of plot cut scenes means more time for shooting stuff.

Initially I thought the game was some kind of mexican wrestler mutant spawn of Gears Of War 2 and Modern Warfare 2, for it has elements of both. Most of the game is set as a 3rd person shooter like GOW2, but it has weapon loadouts and non-sticky cover usage like MW2. These thoughts led me to be dissapointed with the game, for in these aspects it is not as good as either GOW2 or MW2. But then I rubbed my neckbeard in a pondorous manner and realised that this game is not trying to be either of them.

What we have here then is a third person shoot’em up. Easy. Lots of bad guys, lots of explosions, lots of running around, lots of hiding behind walls. No messing around with plots or deep character development. Loads of guns. Did I mention that? Yes, it is possible to customise your guns to ridiculous extents (soda can silencers, screwdriver bayonets, sticking an AK47 barrel on your M4 etc), and lots of shooting action.

Importantly this game is definitely designed for two players who want to play co-operatively. None of this getting headshotted by a squealing 13 year old from Russia we have so come to expect from shoot-em ups. After some practice it all flows very well. Soon enough you are ducking and weaving with ease to sneak around the back of that pesky bunker while your friend draws all the fire with his super noisy pimped up attention whoring hand cannon. The game has a WoW-esque threat and aggro system – seems odd at first but actually is very effective.

So, if you have a friend, and just want a straightforward fun, action packed shooting game then I can fully recommend this game. Just don’t expect anything deep. Bought on the cheap this is definitely worth it!

Rodents and Bombs – A Good Combo? (Gerbil Physics Xbox 360)

I regularily search through the games on Xbox 360 Live Marketplace to see if anything catches my relatively short attention span. In the marketplace, hidden in the corner under a pile of dusty carpets next to the fake beards and gourds is a section called ‘Indie Games’. Here you find games produced by the community available to download. Most of them are reasonably simple efforts, obviously programmed by a twelve year old called Dave inbetween teatime and maths homework. But occasionally I find a gem, and this is a good one.

Enter a set of games called ‘Gerbil Physics’. The story is straightforward and infinitely more believeable than an Australian soap opera. A bunch of gerbils in boxes have been stacked up, but they all want to live below a line. It’s your job, armed with bombs and ropes and lasers and stuff to blast them there. Don’t worry, no gerbils are harmed and they actually seem to get quite excited when they get below the line. It’s a bit of a demolition simulator. You need to work out where to put the bombs to knock over the stack of gerbils. Add in exploding fruit, flying penguins and Gerbil Physics and Gerbil Physics 2 become addictive little puzzle games.

Final Fight Comes To Xbox 360 Live Arcade!

As I was casually strolling through Xbox Live Arcade earlier imagine my excitement as I noticed that Final Fight has finally crawled out of the woodwork and on to a popular console.

Ok, so maybe you can’t imagine. Maybe it wasn’t even excitement, maybe it was more of a raised eyebrow, but you must understand that over 20 years have elapsed since my excitement at first playing this game. Down to the local arcade we used to stroll in our inflatable shoes which seemed like a good idea at the time, and put our hard earned coins into the Final Fight arcade machine.

The premise of the game seems so simple now, but at the time it was groundbreaking. You, and a friend, got to beat the proverbial out of hordes of street villians in what proved to be one of the best beat ’em up games of the era. The storyline was suitably flimsy – the mayor’s daughter has been kidnapped by Mad Gear, a motley crime gang and not some kind of dutch mail order catalogue. Unluckily for the kidnappers the girl’s boyfriend is a badass street fighter, her best friend is a ninja and her dad (the mayor) happens to be a behemoth of a pro-wrestler. So rather than calling in SWAT, our heroes take to the streets to personally hand out the beatdowns. The gameplay was straightforward, no complicated moves to learn and the on screen characters were suitably large.

Fast forward many years of occasionally finding this gem in a seaside arcade and it finally comes to the mainstream and a new generation. The Xbox Live Arcade version is a superb remastering. The options available are excellent – you can choose original soundtrack or a remixed version. Graphically you can reproduce the arcade cabinet down the sides of your screen. You can even reproduce that unique arcade CRT screen glow. Unfortunately though this once king of beat-em ups has aged very badly indeed. Of course, I played it again and loved it, but this game has a certain novelty nostalgia value for me. Viewed from a neutral standpoint this game is nothing more than a button mash. The moves available are limited to basic punches, kicks and the occasional throw. Only occasionally do you get limited use of a weapon, and there’s no option to block. At the time this game was awesome, but it has now been surpassed by so many games in so many ways. But still, this little piece of gaming history was important in the development of the genre. Capcom, not long after making Final Fight released the legendary Street Fighter 2, and you can catch a few glimpses of Final Fight’s influences in that game.

Overall then, this game is worth trying if you remember and love the original. If this all seems like ancient history to you then steer clear, there are better beat-em ups out there nowadays. Personally though, this is a trend I would like to see continuing. A few of the things that would probably make me explode not including ZombiePirate actually fielding a fully painted army would be if beat-em ups such as ‘The Punisher’ and ‘Captain Commando’ were to get similarily re-released to Xbox Live. I wouldn’t have to face the trauma of scouring Margate seafront, dodging all the purple rinse grannies in kiss me quick hats for a game and end up spending my entire weekend surviving on candyfloss and chips in an arcade with seedily sticky carpets. I’m just to old for that kind of malarky now!