Friday, 25 May 2012

Assassins creed III Reveal.

Sorry it's been so long readers, I have been busy attempting to write my first short story. Mix in some heat rash, some gigs, and other duties my blog has been a little thin on the ground.

 So today I'm going to be looking at the Assassins creed III Video that I urged you all to help unlock, Well, It's here,(and has been for a while) and its about time we took a look....

Monday, 14 May 2012

Dishonored Looks Awesome.

Dear Readers,
 I write to you, to bear grand news; The mechanical game device developer Bethesda has revealed its Arkane knowledge to the public of the year of our lord 2012. I bring you news of a wondersome nature, but alas, the top of my agenda brings news most dire, I sit here, Quill and Parchment in hand, with a pestilence, A Plague, a killer of life, soul and intellect. A Plague, so bubonic, so shockingly disgusting that I dare tell you, the dear readers, any more of my foul ailment.

   Okay, so, Cut the period crap, I am suffering though, suffering with impatience for Dishonored.
A title described as a mix of Bioshock and Assassins Creed. Yes, you read that right... Sweet, No?..

 Set in what was planned to be an alternate reality 17th century London, Developers Arkane Studios changed the setting to the fictional city of Dunwall,  maybe a coincidence, but it sounds Lovecraft inspired. The Game offers a setting that looks odd, with a mix of Steampunk inspired creations and architectural masterpieces that wouldn't look awry in early Victorian London, so we are treading slight familiar ground, sharing a team that has collectively worked on some truly iconic games, such as half life 2, and thief, this really should not disappoint.

 Now this may not be brand new news to everyone, but it is fresh of the grapevine to me, and Fuck me, It looks AWESOME

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Assassins Creed III News

Ubisoft have announced the release of a World Gameplay premier video for the next installment of the Desmond Miles series.
  Yes that's right, Ubisoft have given you the chance to access the new World Gameplay video in exchange for a little legwork. 
 All you have to do, Is share, tweet and post the links provided under the video, and if 1,776,000 of you help out, they unlock it, simple.So get on Facebook and Twitter, and get clicking on the link below. 

  Click Here And Get Sharing

Monday, 7 May 2012

Oats in Skyrim: Part One. A cart ride best forgotten.

Note to readers, some things have been changed a little to help the story progress a little better.

Part one. A cart ride best forgotten.

                Fourth Era, Year 201.

Sundas 17th Last seed.

   My eyes opened to the sight of a snow dusted dirt road, bordered with tall pine trees and rocky crags, the snow glistening off the branches like the gleam in a young Kahjiit’s eye. It took me a few moments to realise my situation, my arms, bitten by the cold, were bound with some rough rope and vile, tatty rags had replaced my usual garb. I was in a cart, alongside three stinky, sweaty men, all tarnished with the fate of a prisoner. One of the men spoke, but his words fell on deaf ears dear reader, as fortune had defiantly not smiled on me this particular Sundas morn.

  The cart trundled down the road at a snails pace, as I started to get to grips with my predicament I started listening more intently to the conversations going on around me. A man, slightly less filthy than the others was talking about rebellion, and one word he spoke resounded in my ears louder than sound itself.
 How I came to find myself this far north in Tamriel still escapes me to this day, but fresh Country, Fresh start, and seeming that I was restrained in a cart this particular start was about as fresh as three week old mammoth milk. A jolt of the cart on a stone brought me back to reality.

 “Hey, you.”  One of the shabbier looking prisoners exclaimed.
“We shouldn’t be here; this is between the Stormcloaks and the Empire.”
He was cut short by a man in furs.
“We are all bound together today my friend. Thief or Stormcloak, it seems we are all headed towards the same fate.” The Thief was a little disgruntled by this, and vented his anger.  
  “Rot it, and Rot you.” Once again he was cut short, this time by another man in furs.
  “Watch your mouth, do you realise who you are talking to. Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, True high King of Skyrim.”
 “Ulfric stormcloak?!” the thief exclaimed, “the leader of the rebellion, If they have captured you, Gods know where they are taking us.” It was from this moment, that I knew my fate was going to be worse than that of a lashing or a prison.
  “I don’t know where we are going” Ulfric breathed heavily, with the weight of a man defeated.” But Sovengard awaits.” The conversation continued, but my mind was drifting to happier places, to prepare myself for any fate.

   We rolled into a village about 10 minutes later; I did not notice much about it, apart from the unmissable fact that it was heavily guarded by Imperial legionaries. Everything was a blur, People were shouting, moving with urgency. We rolled into a square; in the centre was a wooden block, and a masked man with an axe. Accompanying him was a priest. We were going to be beheaded.   

  Let me give you a little background of myself before I step off this planet and into the heavens. As manners dictate I should probably start off with a name. Roderic Otius Tirellius. But thanks to a particularly embarrassing incident with a horse, some mead and a serious hangover, people call me Oats; well at least the folks in my home town did. Anvil, what a beautiful town, the lighthouse, the castle, the ponds, and most importantly my family. Renee, my wife, and son, Sid, named after the hero from the oblivion crisis 200 years ago. I hope they live well without me.
  I’m sorry, I am getting caught up with my emotions, and it’s hard to focus when you know your going to die. My name is Roderic, People call me Oats, I am 27 years old, and was born on the 16th of frostfall. I have lived in Anvil my entire life, and spent years studying to be a merchant. Every summer I would visit my uncle’s farm, south of Chorrol, and spend the evenings loosing arrows at trees, camping and reading about the arcane. I finished my merchant training last year, and set up home just outside anvil with my wife and son. I am Five foot Six, with light brown hair and blue eyes, I have my hair tied back like the main character from the Antius the Archer books. And have taken the habit of growing a goatee. I think it looks quite fetching.
Not that it matters, Not that any of it matters. Not now anyway.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

  The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a RPG set in the world of Anderzej Sapkowsky’s novels following the adventures of the Witcher Geralt of Rivia.During your adventures you must slash and hack your way through various villains and monsters to uncover a sinister plot surrounding the monarchs and rulers of a few nations fighting over an area known as the Pontar Valley.
The Box is full of goodies.
One of the key features of the game is its refreshing storyline, there are many choices to be made during the game, and all bear a weight behind them, there is no right or wrong, and you have your own moral compass to use as a guide, No hands will be held as you decide the fate of children, terrorists and your own allies. The repercussions are unknown and can come back to haunt you if you do not think carefully about what choices you make. Spend a little time getting to know your allies, and you may end up with a few surprisingly steamy cutscenes. Spend some time getting to know your foes, and you may find a trusty ally. Everything is possible in the world of Geralt of Rivia.



  The gameplay has an interesting blend of swordplay, magic and the use of traps, knives and bombs. As a Witcher, Geralt uses two types of sword to slice and dice his foes, for magical beasts, Silver is his preferred choice, and for Humans, Steel can be used to settle all those disagreements that mind control, money, or diplomacy cannot solve. The weapons are upgradeable through time limited poisons and enhancements, Stones, or finding a better weapon in the wilderness, or even crafting your own. Swordplay can be very unforgiving; you may find yourself in serious trouble if you get yourself surrounded on any difficulty above easy. Even then Easy can be challenging at times, So how can you stay alive, Well, Don’t get surrounded, Don’t get hit, and Remember you can use magic  as well..

 The magic system consists of Signs, Aard, Yrden, Igni, Quen and Axii (Which, to go by various videos, people seem to have a lot of trouble pronouncing), with these Signs, you are able to shield yourself, incinerate foes, turn foes against each other, blast them with air, and set traps on the ground, Each of these signs have their uses, giving you the edge you need during combat, by buying you some time, protecting yourself, of just simply decimating things, the Signs are not something to shy away from when playing the Witcher 2 as they are as useful in combat as  your trusty sword(s).

Locations are detailed
  The last, and possibly most underused, but ever so useful element of combat comes under a section of a few equipable items, Throwing knives, Bombs and Traps, here we can have some real fun preparing for a battle by placing some explosive tripwires,  and creasing up when your enemies wander through and get blown to smithereens.
Or alternately, if you find yourself in a tight spot during combat, throw a bomb or a knife at your unsuspecting foes.

 With these three elements of combat, you should be pretty well equipped to go fight some monsters, if not, well, you shouldn’t really be playing games should you...


RPG Elements

   What Rpg would be complete without a leveling system, when you complete quests and slay monsters you gain XP, much like any other Rpg, When you level up, you earn talents, that can be spent on any of four skill trees, there are four skill paths to choose from, Training ( the only one available until level 6)  Magic,  Alchemy and swordsmanship, here you can choose useful perks to help you in your monster hunting.  (Or human hunting, I know the thought has crossed your mind) One thing to note is  that you must choose how to spend your talents wisely, as I don’t see the possibility of being able to max out a single skill tree unless you only spend points on that one thing. I think balance is the key here, as everything is useful to the budding Witcher, and you may find yourself at a disadvantage if you stack up on one thing.

  Alongside the levelling system is a alchemy system, which you really need to spend a little time with before fully understanding the mechanics. You need to acquire ingredients lists, and the appropriate herbs ( simply touch your Witcher medallion for help finding these) or body parts before being able to craft a potion, the benefits from brewing these potions are immediately apparent though,  being able to buff your stats, or see in dark caves and dungeons or even poison your sword are highly useful. The crafting system is very similar, apart from the fact you must get someone to craft your bombs, weapons and traps for you, the core mechanic of get the parts ( oil, iron ore, e.t.c. ) and get your list is the same. 
  The quest system is familiar, but sometimes ambiguous, perhaps to encourage exploring. You speak to a NPC, get the quest, and go complete it, simple. Some quests, such as the main story are well signposted, some quests give you a chance to learn about your foes, or discover people or places of your own accord, and this strikes a good balance of direction and exploration. Most quests are displayed by markers on your map and minimap, with a well written journal to accompany the quest, written in the style of a story, Geralt did this, found this and decided to do this.

The UI

Wandering around is fun!

    The UI on The Witcher 2 is well presented, and very clear to read and understand,
Only those very new to the RPG genre may have a little trouble finding out what is going on, and where to find certain items. I tested this on my girlfriend, and she got used to it very quickly, and was soon whizzing through the menus, equipping armours, waiting, and creating potions or drinking them. The inventory screen was clearly designed for PC, as navigating different items and uses with a pad can get a little tedious, but to be honest, there are games that suffer from this problem a lot worse than The Witcher 2.  The map can be a little confusing at times, with some locations being provided with less detailed maps than others. The art style is brilliant though and gives you the ink and parchment feel that befits the genre.

Visuals and sound

Now for some reason, nowadays, people have become a bit snobby when it comes down to graphics, I have friends who refuse to play Bethesda’s 2006 title, Oblivion, due to how it looks. Looks however, is simply something the gamer need not worry about when playing The Witcher 2.  The game looks stunning,  featuring complex locations, a dynamic time system, great weather effects and awesome face animations.
For the aging hardware of the Xbox 360 the game copes well with no noticeable stutters, and visuals equal to a Gaming PC. It is highly recommended to install the game to your hard drive for maximum performance. The florae and Faunae and general outdoors are captured well, and the colour pallet varies from location to location. Buildings are a sight to behold, with little touches here and there, interior and exterior that really make a difference.

Water is something that some studios struggle with, but the water in the game world is very well rendered, although water is something that isn’t encountered very often, with most large bodies of water cordoned off,  but the water you do get to splash around in is good and sounds good too.  Monsters and dungeons look suitably gruesome, and you can treat yourself to plenty of gore, slime, and fire to boot.

 The characters in the game are well rendered and ooze their own personality and traits, the faces are very lifelike and this really helps with the story experience,  engaging you in the story like never before. The voices of non essential characters can get a little repetitive,  with a few lines being repeated over and over, talking to them becomes a thing to avoid the further along the game you get, the dialogue is unique and entertaining, but gets boring after the 25th time you listen to it.
Boobs are always good..
The essential character dialogue is deep, engaging, and well voiced, Rep for the casting on the game, no voice seems out of place. The Dialogue can get you angry at times, not due to any fault, but the emotional response you get. You will laugh in places, and more often than not be a little offended by someone’s prejudices or even bad language. All of these things really pull together to keep you engaged with the characters and story throughout the game, and the game is not afraid of throwing in a joke or two.   

 The sound of the game is fantastic, in score and general sound effects. The team knew this and chose to include the soundtrack  with the game, a good move,  but CD Projekt may have been able to keep costs down a little by including a download code instead of a CD.  The sound effects will have you wincing as you mash someone’s head in, or slice a beastie. You will be grinning during the steamy bits, and laughing at some of the back and forths between characters . The ambient sounds are fantastic,  eerie dungeon noises,  forest creepy crawlies, and jovial taverns, everything sounds good.   The score is great, and I now have it on my Ipod, and is oft listened to.


  You may have noticed that so far in my review I have kept my lips very tight about the Plot, characters,  and smaller story elements and mechanics, sometimes it is better to find out for yourself than have everything spoon fed to you during a review. The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings is a Mature, linear story driven RPG with a very rewarding choice system, fantastic video and sound, and fun, exciting combat. It will keep you gripped from start to finish, have you laughing,  and sometimes being downright disgusted with some of the characters. It has a few bugs,  but they are nothing compared to some of the bugs in Bethesda’s Titles (Ahem). If you’re a fan of in depth RPG’s, welsh accents, and a good tale go out and buy it.
CD Projekt really deserve your Orens. A small side note for if you’re not tempted already, the game comes with a Map, Soundtrack, and Mini Game Guide for when you get stuck, and if you were lucky enough to preorder off Amazon like me, you get a signed copy, signed by a member of the crew.

                     What are you waiting for, go on, go buy the game…. You will not regret it.

  By Lespauljames
Photos thanks to my android phone, and Screens thanks to Google. 

Is that a signature i see? Cheers Jann mallsen (sp?)


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Future Sneak Peek.

Happy Weekend all.

   Next week will see an attempt at some proper content on this new Blog.
So as i try to buff up my writing style, and find a groove to get into, I'll outline what I want to publish in the following weeks.!

  •   First up is more about Me. Boring I know, but you need to know who's crap your reading eh? and I'm guessing you'll want to know what games I enjoy playing.          
  •  Secondly, i want to get a review and impression of the Xbox release of The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition 
  • Thirdly I am gonna need some sort of following, so if you see this, and like it, please click follow. I don't bite, And if you wade through the crap on the blog you may find something you may be interested in.  and  finally,  there may be competitions down the line if i get enough interest. ( Perhaps.. don't hold out on that one, I int made o munneh.)

I am hoping to post twice a week at the least, So keep your eyes peeled for more of my filthy spew soon.

keep your eyes peeled for these bad bois

Dont forget to check out the poll at the bottom of the page

Friday, 4 May 2012

How I got into Gaming

  I spent a good deal of time this afternoon deriving a title for this article, most of them were long and drawn out, containing more words than a catchy title actually deserves. “Keep it simple” I said to myself, so there it is, a simple concise title for an in depth article on how I got into gaming,

   Flashback to 1998, most things have changed since then, the gaming industry has had many overhauls, new technologies and sciences to explore, but one thing they still have is a shitload of impressionable kids, dying to go out and buy the next game in a franchise, be it, Mario, G.T.A or Call of Duty.  I have never been a massive follower of trends, I usually discover things for myself, and one of those things was gaming.
My family had just bought a Time P.C for the hefty sum of £1k. Windows 98, I think it had about 600mb of storage, and god knows what the Ram was. Included in the package was Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3d. And that’s how it all started.

  In the years since I have always been a dedicated PC gamer, getting myself into a nice debt buying a gaming pc, and subsequently loosing my job and being unable to afford the payments… When that blew up in early 2011 I had to pick up a console, money was (and is) tight, so I picked up an Xbox 360 of a mate for £30, problem was, the drive wouldn’t read any disks. Great. That was shelved for 8 months, until I realised. Hell, if I can rewire electric Guitars, and competently disassemble and reassemble various electronic devices surely I could fix an Xbox, One tweak of the laser resistor and I was good to go.

Not Exactly Pretty was it...?  Fun though.

And I still managed to add some Star Wars in there for May the fourth

   May the Forth be with you...


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Skyrim DLC

With the recent announcement of the upcoming DLC Dawnguard by Bethesda on Facebook and Twitter a lot of people, I for one, will be waiting with a childlike smile on my face. Modern companies have strayed from the traditional path of expansion packs, and have focused more on smaller, cheaper, DLC packs, and sometimes even items.

 Staying with The Elder Scrolls, and warping back almost 6 years to the release of Oblivion and it’s subsequent piss poor offerings of DLC set the standard for other publishers and developers to release a steady stream of guff to accompany their products, a mission here or there, a weapon pack, map packs, outfits, vehicles e.t.c. The offerings Bethesda coughed up later on were slightly better than the Spell Tomes, and Horse Armor, we were blessed with some abodes for our struggling adventurer, and a nifty quest to get a Daedric dagger. After fucking with us for a while, Bethesda pulled some amazing content out of their backsides, showing their A-Game set within the Daedric realm of “The Shivering Isles”, a whole new island divided by mania and dementia. And then there was the holy crusade “The Knights of the Nine”, starting with a pilgrimage across Cyrodiil, and ending with a nasty showdown. Bethesda decided to tone down DLC to jaunty afternoon adventures with 2008’s Fallout 3, adding some new locales, but nothing to compare to the sheer size and complexity of The Shivering Isles.

 So what do we expect from Dawnguard? After the initial success of Skyrim, Even with the Bugs, Imbalances, and overall dumbing down, Bethesda will want to keep you coming back. Even after losing a few hardcore followers to the simple mechanics, uninspiring quest lines, and overall lack of depth, and gaining tenfold more due to the dual wielding, action focused combat, beautiful scenery and free for all Viking fest that Is Skyrim, I really hope that the DLC adds some more meat to the game, and with rumours of snow elves, Crossbows and the elusive Dawnguard, I’m sure Bethesda wont fuck it up…. (Fingers crossed)

 Well guys, that was my first game blog, be sure to add me on Xbox live
@ Lespauljames
 Or drop me an email