Monday, January 30, 2012

Final Fantasy Xiii-2 Reviews Summary

Release Dates For Xbox 360 and Ps3:Japan Dec 15th 2011
US Feb Jan 31st 2012
Aus Feb 2nd
Eu Feb 3rd

Fantajī Sātīn Tsū or Final Fantasy XIII-2, is the eagerly awaited sequel to the 2009 RPG, Final Fantasy XIII, taking up the story three years after the original.  Lightning has gone and got herself disappeared and her younger sister Serah Farron and newcomer Noel Kreiss must find her. Shimple! well not so shimple as you would imagine.
A new combat system has been designed to counter criticism levelled at the original. In addition a new feature to control the difficulty of battles has been included plus the ability to  tame monsters and add them to your party. And if that wasn't enough to contend with there's the Mog Clock, Live Trigger, Temporal Rift and the Historia Crux System.

Enough already! is it any good? An  overview of the current reviews suggest that whilst the story may be a bit laclustre, it appears we've finally got the 13th edition of final fantasy we had hoped for.

Japanese Games Magazine Famitsu gave the game a perfect score, a pretty rare achievement, but it appears us Western folk weren't as captivated, with some of the review scores looking generous when compared to the review content.

Scoring 80% (xbox 360) and 79% (Ps3) respectively on , FFXIII-2 still musters up a punch and  a must buy for us die hard Final Fantasy nuts.

Reviews Summary

Quote of the Bunch: Progression is player-driven, combat is even more entertaining, and an array of other adjustments makes it one of my favorite RPGs from a mechanical perspective. I just want all of that integrated with a story that isn't laughable and borderline insulting, and that's where Final Fantasy XIII-2 falters. Game Informer

Despite its disappointingly open ending, FF XIII-2 surpasses the original in every way.
Does very little to stand out on its own merits
It isn't a timeless adventure in the grand tradition of the beloved series
A great J-rpg, with an amazing amount of content.
A mishmash of interesting systems and bold ideas that never quite gel
A very enjoyable return to more familiar grounds
Substandard combat and unrefined level replays. Good, but not good enough.
It can conjure a feeling that's a combination of love, hate, derision and awe.
It isn't just a sequel, as it carves out its own tale to stand among the Final Fantasy pantheon.

Official Website

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Wallpaper on Rendered Beauty
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Wallpaper on Beautry Re-Rendered
Final Fantasy XIII02 Wallpaper on Just Walls

Alf the Helper: If Lightning has disappeared, then how will they know when they've found her?
Elderly: I don't catch your drift, which isn't a surprise to me, but where are you going with this?
Alf the Helper: Well let's say they do catch up with her, then how would they know? if she's invisible?
Elderly: But she's no.... wait she's disappeared.. not... Alf please... find something to do
Alf the Helper: I could stay here and look out for the leprechaun :)
Elderly: Something to do... a long way away from here, preferably somewhere dark and sound proofed.
Alf the Helper: :(

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Skyrim the "How Do I?" Mini Walkthrough

Sometimes the apparently simple things are the hardest, and seeing as it took me over 7 hrs to find a wood axe to chop wood with, the following I hope will be of some use to you.

How Do I Join the Dark Brotherhood?

The Dark Brotherhood are the most secretive of all the factions in Skyrim and  not the nicest company you could keep, but if your a cold blooded killer of innocents, you'll feel right at home in their company. Being so secretive means they can be a little tricky to find.

1. Leads and Rumours
  • Try talking to bartenders in Windhelm.
  • Idesa Sadri in Candalhearth Hall in Windhelm. Ask them about cursed children.
  • Maul in Riften (near City Entrance) will share information on the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild for a price.
  • The children at the Honorhall Orphanage will also tell you about Aventus Aretino.
  • With a rare bit of luck a Windhelm town guard may mention that the Arentino boy is trying to summon the Dark Brotherhood, which will trigger a miscellaneous memo on your to do list.
So if you haven't guessed by now Aventus Aretino, located in the Aretino Residence in Windhelm, is the key to joining the Dark Brotherhood.

2. Speak to Aventus Aretino and take the quest “Innocence Lost.” Nothing happens. Yet.
3. A wee while after completing "Innnocence Lost", a courier will deliver note to you.
4. A good nights sleep and you’ll be contacted by the Dark Brotherhood.
6.Talk to the stranger at your bedside, and you’re in.

NOTE: You may wish to consider at this stage whether you would like to rid Skyrim of this organistion of Psychopaths.  Attacking the Dark Brotherhood representative, Astrid, will trigger the quest "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood" This is the one and only chance you will get to destroy them, after you join the Brotherhood Members cannot be killed.

Alf the Helper: Alternatively you could just wander around chopping random npcs to death, with merciless and bloodthirsty abandon. :)
Elderly: ? Alf, please, take you medication, then go and lie down, I can handle this.
Alf the Helper: But.. I haven't mentioned the hacking and the dismemb....
Elderly: ALF! Bed now!!
Alf the Helper: :(  (sniff) I was only trying to help

How do I buy a house in Skryim?
Gold:  Location:  Buy from:
5000   Whiterun:   Proventus Avenicci, the Jarl’s Steward. Must complete  “Bleak Falls Barrow.”
8000   Riften:        The Steward of Riften.
8000   Markarth:   The Steward of Markarth
12000 Windhelm: The Steward of Windhelm after completing quests for the Stormcloak Faction
25000 Solitude:     The Steward of Solitude, only after completing a quest for the Jarl of Solitude

How do i get married in Skyrim?
Why would you?.... okay ..if you we go...
1. Head to the Temple of Mara in Riften
2. Talk to the priest named Maramal, whose either in the temple or on walkabout around town.
3. Talk to Maramal about Mara and weddings, and he'll ask you if you know how marriage works. After an explanation, you'll get the chance to buy an Amulet of Mara for 200 Gold.
4. Wearing this amulet is how you let the whole world know you'd like to settle down.   There are loads of potential spouses in Skyrim, as in real life, some of them require you jump through hoops before they'll marry you.
5. Once Married, you can talk to your spouse and decide where you'd like to  live. Pick a house you own, or to tick off your inlaws live in your spouse's home. Don't worry the decision isn't permanent and you can move homes later if you choose.

How do I get to High Hrothgar?
There are two legs to your Journey, Whiterun to Ivarstead and Invarstead to High Hrothgar

Whiterun to Ivarstead: After defeating the first dragon, you must get from Whiterun to Ivarstead. A long eventful journey, lined with wolves and bandits and ... well you'll see.  In Whiterun, turn east and head down the path following the signs all the way to Ivarstead.

Ivarstead to High Hrothgar: The route starts along a path on the eastern side of Ivarstead. Follow the snow covered steps up the mountain from Ivarstead and continue all the way to High Hrothgar. Along the way a few ice wolfs and a rather nasty Frost Troll has other plans for you.  Meet and dispatch said troll ( easier with Lydia by your side) and the path is now clear to High Hrothgar.

Alf the Helper: Hack em, chop chop.... :D
Elderly: Alf!!!
Alf the Helper: I'm going, I'm going.. jeees

See also Skyrim Vampire Cure

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Arkham City Fan video Daughtry "Drown in You"

Well the dust and hype have now settled on Batman Arkham City, but if like me you need a little distraction from the eternal addiction that is Skyrim, then this fanvideo may do the trick and revive your interest in what is in truth a brilliant game.

To accompany the original Arkham City game score, (composed by Nic Arundel and Ron Fish) WaterTower Music also published "Batman: Arkham City - The Album", released on October 4, 2011, featuring musical contributions by various artists.

Notable amongst those tracks was a contribution by Daughtry titled "Drown in You".

Imagine my delight then to find this fine contribution to the archives of game fan videos, from Danny10117

A great deal of blood sweat and tears were shed by the video editor in putting this together, so if you like it, go pay the guy a visit and leave a comment.  While your there check out he's newest creation featuring the song "Awake and Alive" by the band Skillet and edits from the film Sucker Punch.

"Batman: Arkham City - The Album" Tracklisting
1."Mercenary"  Panic! at the Disco
2."Deranged"  Coheed and Cambria
3."Creature"  The Duke Spirit
4."Shadow On The Run"  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
5."Afterdark"  Blaqk Audio
6."Oh, Stranger"  The Raveonettes
7."The Years"  † † † (Crosses)
8."Trophy Widow"  The Damned Things
9."Drown In You"  Daughtry
10."Losing You"  The Boxer Rebellion
11."Total Paranoia"  Serj Tankian

See all Fan Video Posts (Apologies, you will be disapointed, some of the Videos are long since defunct, and I haven't as yet found replacements)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bargain Bin: Super Mario Galaxy Wii Review Summary

We're going back, back in time, back to November 12th 2007 and the release of the game that saw the Nintendo hero take the ultimate step ... out into space. Now availabubble for your Wii at a bargain bin near you.

The game follows the protagonist, Mario, on a quest to rescue Princess Peach from the principal baddy "Bowser". Levels are galaxies filled with minor planets and worlds, while gameplay is updated with gravity effects and power-ups. The game also features a co-operative two-player option called "Co-Star Mode".

The 9th best selling Wii game to date, with 8.84 million copies sold as of May 2010.  At the time the game was hailed by several gaming websites as one of the best video games of all time even managing to pick up it's very own BAFTA.

The game's soundtrack won numerous critic awards, which belies the story behind the composition of the astonishing 81 tracks featured on the Platinum Edition CD.

Reviewers did have some minor complaints with "the spring suit", a powerup which at times proves difficult to control and the occassional niggle with the auto-camera.

A sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released on May 23, 2010, many reviewers claiming that it is even better than its predecessor.

The game Scored a staggering  97% averaged from 73 critic scores on

Quotes of the Review bunch
"It will frequently hug your inner child, evoke tears of joy and tug at the heart." NTSC-uk

"an astoundingly brilliant game. It's filled with wild new ideas (that work), is huge, looks brilliant and should be taught at game design courses." Gnomes Lair

Reviews Summary:
It is as if the boundaries of the genre have become transparent, allowing a unique light to shine forth.
A bravura piece of design that pulls off stunts no one else has even thought of.
May feel a little too easy for most gamers
Nintendo can still make something old feel new again
Generates a consistent level of excitement that few games can replicate.
Gameplay, visuals, sound, presentation and overall value and fun are off the charts
Not as technologically pioneering as its grandfather
Level for level, more fun to play than "Mario 64."
The only word to describe fighting Bowser with an orchestral score in the background is "badass."
After 25 years he's still fat, still round, and still bouncing on the ground. And still the greatest.

Official Website (boring)
EU Website (Wallpaper) :D
See all "Bargain Bin" posts

Monday, January 23, 2012

Assassin's Creed Revelations Forum Avatar

right click, save image, for 400x72, open link in new window/tab  for 550x100

Released November 2011 for Ps3 and Xbox 360, featuring Ezio, Altair, and Desmond the three principal characters from the previous games.  The last we'll ever see of Ezio Auditore da Firenze though and the final game to be set in the Renaissance era. 

Rumours abound as to the setting of the next game, Assasins Creed III, historical periods included in a Ubisoft online quiz suggest regions as varied as, Medieval China, Victorian England, the American Revolution, Feudal Japan and the best bet, and as yet unnamed era in Egypt's history, alluded to in Revelations.
Official Website
Assasin's Creed Revelations Wallpaper on Just Walls
See all "Forum Avatars"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Art Patryk Olejniczak

Extraordinary fan artwork from the supremely talented Patryk "Garrett" Olejniczak.

Low res images only, full resolution images and eyepopping wallpaper from
his deviantart page
his personal blog 

Alf the Helper: Stunning!
Elderly: yup!

see all "fanart" posts
See all "Concept Art" posts
See Mass Effect 3 Wallpaper on Eyesurfing

Friday, January 20, 2012

Movie Poster Underworld Awakening Kate Beckinsale

Underworld: Awakening (also known as Underworld 4) is an American 3D action horror film directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.  Set Six months after the events of Underworld: Evolution, Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene. It will be release in Digital 3D, IMAX 3D and 2D theatres on January 20th 2012.

Reviews: .. it's got Kate Beckinsale in it. :)

Underworld Awakening Movie Wallpaper on Eyesurfing

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Retro Game: Valkyrie Profile Playstation

"Smooth sprite animation, screen-filling spell effects, 2D backgrounds as good as the PlayStation can muster, and superb character art."

Yup even the reviews sounded different back when......

Valkyrie Profile ヴァルキリープロファイル is a role-playing video game, released for original Playstation on December 22, 1999 in Japan. An enhanced port of the game was later released for the PlayStation Portable under the name Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.

Loosely based on Norse mythology, players assume the role of a valkyrie who recruits and prepares the souls of fallen warriors, before sending them to Valhalla for a final apocalyptic battle between the Æsir and Vanir: Ragnarok.
Several improvements were made to the English release of Valkyrie Profile, including more cinematics and the ability to adjust all characters' armor.  Some editing occurred during translation, but visible blood, drinking, and sexual comments remain.

Badrach's smoking was cut out but the animation of him smoking after a successful battle remains, minus the cigarette.

Original Playstation discs range from $59 to a staggering $499 for a mint edition.

Game Review on IGN where it scored an immaculate 91%
Game Faq and Walkthrough

Sites to Bookmark: Retro Treasures, run by a delightful and knowledgeable Gnome, has many the amazing retro gaming bargains.

Alf The Helper: Hah! Norse mythology! amazing what people would play back then...
Elderly: What?
Alf The Helper: A game...based on Norse mythology!? what an old fashioned idea, pff!
Elderly: Skyrim?
Alf The Helper: ?...what? oh yes...well of course their is Skyrim... but..
Elderly: Ragnarok online?
Alf The Helper: Well yes there's that too.... but apart from Skyrim, Ragnarock online...
Elderly: Alf! don't go there!
Alf The Helper: :(

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Game Wallpaper and Websites edition #7





Well here we are on the 7th edition of Wallpaper and Websites, the eternal and thankless search to find some game wallpaper from the past and with a bit of luck the original websites.  Admitedly I may have been a little the worse for wear when I started this theme, but it's proved popular with at least four of you, so without ado, fanfair, entree or cigar the 7th edition of Wallpaper and Websites. 

Wallpaper top to bottom:

Onimusha Dawn of Dreams ps2 released in Japan March 2006, as Shin Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams 新 鬼武者, fourth canonical installment of Capcom's Onimusha series.
Official Website

Headhunter redemption Sequel to the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 game Headhunter. Headhunter Redemption was launched in Europe for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 on October 31, 2003.
Official Website gone.... :(

Rumble Roses
A "professional" wrestling video game  developed by Yuke's Future Media Creators and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, and published by Konami in 2004 for the PlayStation 2.
Official Website (Japanese only)

Tomb Raider Underworld
Eighth instalment of the Tomb Raider series, first released 18 November 2008, Ps2
Original Website gone, replaced by

See all "Wallpaper and Websites" posts

Neverdead Preview xbox 360, Ps3

Set for release on Xbox 360 and Ps3 on January 31st Us and Feb 3rd in EU. 

Neverdead faces stiff opposition, sandwiched as it is alongside the release for Final Fantasy xiii-2 and the Metal Gear Solid HD collection. Even the game's Megadeth soundtrack may not be enough to boost initial sales.

You play a wise cracking demon hunter called Bryce Boltzmann, an immortal, able to survive severe injuries, even decapitation. Indeed it appears dismemberment is a crucial gameplay element, losing your gun arm for example will still not prevent you from pulling the trigger.

It seems poor old Bryce was cursed by Astaroth, a demon king, and 500 years of immortality has left him a disheveled, bitter alcoholic who hunts down demons for both money and revenge. A demonic invasion theatens the city and joined by a female private investigator called Arcadia, the duo set out to rid the infestation.

The game is directed by Shinta Nojiri former game design disciple of Hideo Kojima

I'd love to show the trailer but it's an 18 cert, however a quick search on youtube will reveal all.

The official Website (not working at the time of posting)

Alf the Helper: I saw Jurassic Park! why can't....
Elderly: No Alf! You saw the poster for Jurassic Park, there's a difference
Alf the Helper: But Ripper was dismembered by Gnome and I saw that!
Elderly: Yes that was unfortunate, but my final answer is still NO!
Alf the Helper: You know sometimes I wish I was never born :(
Elderly: I know how you feel.....sometimes I wish you were never born too!
Alf the Helper: :(

Monday, January 09, 2012

Amy, The Game Review Summary

From the creator of Flashback, a survival horror, set to launch on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday 11th January 2012.

Amy Official Website

Plot: A comet strike has brought havoc on humanity, unleashing a deadly virus that has infected almost everyone.  Lana regains consciousness in the midst of chaos, roads have been destroyed, walls crumbling, electricity cables cut.

As Lana begins to feel the effects of the virus she meets Amy, a seemingly defenseless eight-year-old autistic girl who has curious powers. Together, they must fight or run from the infected humans, demons and the military, in the hope of not only saving each other, but also the future of humanity. 

What it says on the tin: A new approach to the survival horror genre, a unique experience at the crossroads of horror, adventure, action and
stealth. The co-operative gameplay featured in Amy is a deep and unique system that requires players to think carefully
in order to keep both characters alive.

Cool bits: Players must use Amy's size and special abilities to their advantage by keeping her close in order to ward off the virus,
and having her complete tasks that Lana can't..  Holding Amy's hand sends vibrations to the controller in sync with Amy's
heartbeat.  If danger is present or approaching, Amy's heartbeat will increase.

Cost Issue: In the US, Amy will cost 800 Microsoft Points ($10) while its PSN counterpart $3 more, $12.99.
Update! Lexis Numérique and VectorCell announced that they will drop the PlayStation Network price of AMY to $9.99, pushing the release date back to January 17th. 

Reviews Summary:
Scoring 22% Xbox 360 and 36% Ps3 on, it's fate is sealed :(
Pick of the Review bunch

"Hugely disappointing download is not just a failure as a survival horror but as a video game"

Technically shoddy, poorly designed and unbearably frustrating
An imaginative concept and some strong design are undone by a game that's gruelling in all the wrong ways.
Amy rises above the zombie splatter masses
Grueling death-march through a gauntlet of poor design choices 
It is terrible and should be avoided.
Alf the helper: So are we getting it then?
Elderly: I dunno, the reviews kinda sunk my boat.
Alf the helper: There's a boat?
Elderly: No.. it was just a figure of... are you really... nevermind..
Alf the helper: I like boats, we should get it!
Elderly: 8/