Happy New year to all! I hope everyone head a great festive break and is all revved to go for a brilliant 2007! Believe it or not, I didn’t neglect this blog for the entire break, I actually painstakingly tapped out a relatively long post on my cellphone on Christmas day and emailed it through Flickr along with a shot of our little Christmas tree (complete with glowing fibre-optics in its branches). Of course true to form thanks to my incredibly user-unfriendly Siemens CX65, I failed to attach the photo correctly and Flickr bounced back the mail. I only became aware of this much later when I came into work and found the bounce in amongst the mountain of bounce spam that seems to be giving Google Mail’s spam filter a good run for it’s money. New Year’s resolution number one for 2007: When upgrade time rolls around, stick to a Nokia or Sony-Erricsson.
Anyway, enough of that and on to a reportback on the silly season break. As short as it was, I got to do lots of what I love most-vegging. I played lots of games, I watched Natz play lots of games and we both watched lots of CSI and DVDs. Besides having Rainbow Six to play through for review, my Christmas ‘loot’ included Viva Pinata, so I had more than my fair share of stuff to play. Sadly my Gears of War disk seems to have been miraculously damaged, so that was out. I will get it skimmed at some stage because I want to finish the damned campaign, but between Rainbow, Viva and that elusive six black pearl achievement in Hexic it really didn’t dent my game time too badly.
I completed Rainbow, and to be honest it just didn’t grip me like GRAW or even Gears. It looks good, but doesn’t wow like either of those titles, it plays well but has enough irritations to dim the shine a little, and the Tom Clancy storylines are really starting to get a bit too samey-never mind the infuriating ending.
Viva on the other hand is exactly what I expected-and as brilliant as I expected. As was the case with Loco Roc, it is physically impossible to not be happy while playing this game. It is just too colourful and cute and endearing for words. To be honest I doubt children of a young age would ever see the full glory of this game, as it gets wickedly challenging later on, with a mind boggling amount of things going on in your garden. Rare have really created a masterpiece in this game, and no management game has grabbed my attention like this in years. If this doesn’t turn out to be one of the top sellers this year, it will be a tragic blow for originality and creativity in the industry.. lets not see another Okami/Clover studios episode please.
Another Gem on the 360 lately is the Live Arcade shooter Assault Heroes. This one has a real classic arcade feel to it, with a look that won’t let you forget that you’re playing on a powerful console. It’s a scrolling shooter that gives the player(s) control of little assault vehicles in order to mow down as many enemies as possible with the varied (and beautifully rendered) weapons on offer. It’s a blast in solo and an absolute jol in co-op. Pity the same can’t be said for Novadrome. Yuck! Lets leave it at that.
Well that’s about it for this post. I need to get some actual work done J Happy 2007 and happy gaming to you all!