Wednesday, 16 December 2009

20 biggest games of 2010

The 20 biggest games of 2010? Step right over to MSN Tech & Gadgets to see my take on the games that are going to dominate next year's release schedule.
Included in the list are: Mass Effect 2, God Of War III and Halo: Reach. Of course.

By me in the latest (January 2010) issue of FHM: motion-sensing technology explained. From the WiiMote and Motion Plus to Natal and the PS3 Wand on the gaming side. And the Philips uWand and Firebox Wand remote controls too.

A slew of pieces from me in the December 2009 issue of Stuff Magazine, just got subscribers' copy.
1. Christmas games (in a big "12 Days Of Christmas" feature) including: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Assassin's Creed II.
2. A history of platform games from Donkey Kong in 1981 to Super Mario 64 to 2008's Mirror's Edge. And a sidebar on "missing links" including Knight Lore, Tomb Raider and Portal.
3. Long-term and in-depth of the Sony PS3 Slim.
Go buy it now!

My latest gadgets for Flipside Magazine are now online. The site has the new Apple Nano plus Halo Wars Mega Bloks kits, Jedi Training Sphere mind-controlled toys, Rovio robots, gnarly Bell Jimbo Philips cycle helmets, magic wand remote controls, light-up umbrellas, petcams, Alcatel Tribe cheap Blackberry-a-like QWERTY phones, and the PCTV picoStick - the smallest Freeview box in the world.
The magazine has even more - reviews of the Veho-UK Muvi - the world's smallest digital camcorder, the Sony Walkman S series and news on Dahon's iPod-loving bikes and Electrolux's insane vision of the kitchen of the future.

Part of an occasional series where I give my views on videogame scripts…
There are three specific areas where immediate improvements could have been made to Modern Warfare 2's script and plotting. Two, I very much doubt were in the hands of the scriptwriter. But I'll detail them nonetheless...

My thoughts on Modern Warfare 2? Largely excellent - a pulverising run through ever-more ludicrous and grin-inducing action setpieces. Epic, exhilirating and massively slick. But there are some caveats - short, silly plot, and one-note in its relentless speed. More on my thoughts at MSN Tech & Gadgets and Electric Pig. I also didn't like much of the dialogue - but I'll come back to that in a separate post...
Friday, 30 October 2009

Exposure lights review

Exposure LED bicycle lights - designed for serious road and off-road usage, these high-power lights dazzle with their compact, internal-battery, rugged design. Why are they a must buy? Read my review at Stuff.TV.

Five electric bicycles tested in The Sunday Times' InGear Test Bench section. The juiced-up Brompton-a-like GoCycle, lightweight modded Cannondale Capo (by Cytronex), a marathon Giant Twist Freedom CS, a budget iZip and quick-off-them-mark Urban Mover. But I'd still say you get fitter and enjoy your ride more on a bicycle powered solely by two legs and some food.

The hardcore, freeroaming/open world first-person military simulation shooter gets put through bootcamp by me for IGN UK, in full, explosive detail. Or just get the strategic sitrep from Electric Pig.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Halo: ODST exclusive preview for FHM

My last videogames piece for FHM's Filter section for now (due to budget cuts). But hey, at least I went out with a bang! A preview of Halo: ODST, complete with exclusive images in the magazine. The words are online here.
The Sony PS3 Slim tested and rated by me at Stuff.TV - Stuff Magazine's website. In short, the slimmer shape is very welcome, as is the excellence of Blu-ray playback and bigger hard drive. Less good is Sony's online service in comparison to the Microsoft Xbox 360 - which also continues to command the best games.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gears review

By me over at The Guardian Bike Blog - Shimano's new fancy electronic gears get a mangling.

A round up of eight great bicycles - one for every occasion/type of bloke out there - as seen in ShortList Magazine.
The line-up includes commuter/BMX oddball and aptly-named Cannondale Hooligan, singlespeed fashion weapon of choice the Charge Plug, the cheap and very useful commuter Boardman Hybrid Comp, the electric GoCycle, the flashier-than-a-Brompton-and-cheaper-too Mezzo D9, roadie uber-whippet the Giant TCR Advanced 3, the all-mountain, all-carbon, all-your-cash Whyte E-120 Superbike and the cheap-but-solid Raleigh Freeride AT20.
Friday, 17 July 2009

Mad Catz AirDrives FIT review

By me - Stuff.TV reviews MadCatz' headphones for cyclists. Can you hear traffic and music?

The Dunwich Dynamo is one of London's annual cycling events. Starting from London Fields in Hackney, cyclists on a July evening each year head out through Waltham Forest, past Epping, into Essex and then Suffolk until they reach the coast. That's 116 miles of riding. Through the night.
It was originally ridden by some crazy courier types. But it's been semi-organised for years now. In 2009, I did it for the first time.
The Dynamo is not to be taken lightly (despite the people on clown bikes, penny farthings and in jeans rather than lycra). I found it tough - particularly just after the 3 am feed stop in a specially opened village hall. Riding through the darkest, coldest hours, I had every layer I'd brought on, and was still chilly. I thought I wouldn't make it.
And that, perversely, is the brilliance of the Dynamo. Just when you're at low ebb (well, in the case of most "normal" cyclists, for whom 116 miles is a long way), the horizon pinks up and slowly the sun appears.
It's a very emotional moment - the night is filled with chatting riders helping each other through the end of the toughest bit mentally. After the sun came up, despite it starting to drizzle, I knew I'd made it.
Because the Dynamo is tough at times, it feels like a real adventure. A feel reinforced by finally arriving at the sea. Cyclists asleep under overturned boats. Swimming in the freezing cold waters to wake up. A massive fry up on the beach. It's a brilliant way to top off the event.
Then it's coaches back to central London and the excruciating few miles from there on tired legs and soggy shorts home.
Will I be on the Dynamo next year? Hell, yes.

Part of an occasional series where I give my views on videogame scripts…
inFamous for the Sony PS3 is a comicbook tale of a person becoming a superhero (or villain). The script and plot gets it really right in all the key ways – and only slightly wrong in two.
Friday, 15 May 2009

Augmented Reality explained

Modern mobile phones with cameras and GPS can be used to layer information over reality. At it's simplest, "augmented reality" means you look at the world through the screen of your mobile, using the camera, and the phone uses its GPS and compass to work out where you're standing and what direction you're looking in. It then overlays information on top of the view. Videogames, Internet information and adverts (as well, of course, as military hardware) are all getting the AR treatment now. Want to know more? Read my piece from Stuff Magazine.