Sunday 24 October 2010


Tucked away in this month's XBOX 360 -The Official Xbox Magazine is a very telling statement.
'We're not sure Need For Speed will ever reclaim its old position at the top of the Christmas charts in this era of military shooter dominance.'
The article concerned was about the November 19th release of Need For Speed:Hot Pursuit and took up the space of four paragraphs. To be fair two of those paragraphs did more for the game than four or five pages of hype.

The past few weeks have been full of new games that would appear to have a climax at the end of this month with games like Fable 3, Smackdown vs Raw 2011, Sims 3 and Grey Matter.
But if you read the magazines then there have been pages devoted to the first mentioned game, one page Smackdown vs Raw and Grey Matter and none about Sims 3.
However, for months the likes of Medal Of Honour, Call Of Duty:Black Ops, Halo Reach and Gears of War have been hyped to the degree that I have managed not to be brainwashed into buying them. Try a couple out - yes, and was glad that I had not bothered to buy them. Halo Reach was so dull that I thought that I was playing one of the other shooters.
Visually, they have good graphics - but good visuals are not enough without a story to go with it. Monument Valley is visually stunning but without John Wayne and a stagecoach it is just a landscape.
I'm not knocking those who just want to shoot people and blow things up - each to their own.
Maybe that is because I like games that have a degree of problem solving attached to them. That there is a degree of survival that is linked not with having to shoot everything in sight which is why a game like 'Grey Matter' has a form of appeal. But then I have a lack of detail about the game just a gut instinct.
These games are not cheap - the top games this month alone would cost over £300 in total - and a game that costs £39.99 and lasts a couple of hours just does not feel like value for money. I guess, it comes down to what a gamer gets from a game.
Broken Trails, usually, does review games that look to have the potential to be value for money.

The other thing that is over-hyped is the new Xbox Kinect that comes into being on November 10th.
This way you can dispense with controls and wave your arms in the air, jump around and roll over the floor and your moves will be repeated by an animated character. Yay, leap over furniture and take cover and fire your fingers over the back of the settee at the bad guys. Man, I did all that when I was 6 years old and got told off for doing that.
Our verdict is that if we want to wave our arms in the air and all that jazz we'd invest in a Wii.
Downside is that if the Xbox continues down this road with more and more Kinect games then the console controlled games will disappear.

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