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MOVED!

August 6, 2010

Update your bookmarks and RSS feed to laurenwainwright.com instead of atheistium.wordpress.com. This blog will no longer be directed as it has been moved to;

WWW.LAURENWAINWRIGHT.COM

Changing Servers

August 4, 2010

Excuse the mess! I’m currently transferring this blog from wordpress.com hosted to self hosted. The transition is going smoothly apart from one thing: The Domain!

There is an issue with the domain provider’s Name Server switch admin page which means I’ll have to wait until someone fixes this manually for me. For now you can visit DailyGirlPanic.Com and keep up with it all. LaurenWainwright.com will redirect to the new blog soon enough and I apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please don’t do anything stupid! YOU HEAR ME!

In other news: If you enjoy the LIKE button on Facebook then you should click it on the Daily Girl Attack Panic Super HD Remix Page! I’d love you forever and you’d get your glorious mug on the facebook widget on the side bar. Getting your face on said widget will make you famous and rich beyond your wildest dreams*.
*It won’t. I’m a terrible lier. Don’t sue me please.

There is a massive post coming up soon about Survival Horror games. I hope you will all enjoy it and there are more things to come from LaurenWainwright.com/DailyPanicGirl.com soon.

Hands on with 3DS

July 27, 2010

While I’ll be holding back a more detailed account of my time with Nintendo’s 3DS for my written preview, I just couldn’t resist blogging about the latest upgrade. I mean, it’s 3D without the glasses. The future in our hands and everyone is getting excited.

I wasn’t initially happy with it when I first stood up in front of a panel of pretty uniformed Nintendo girls. It was suddenly 3D and my eyes just didn’t like it. It took some time to adjust the 3D screen, even after playing around with the depth meter. My main issue was switching between the two screens. It’s like your eyes begin to adjust to the new depth of field and then you look down at the touch screen, which is still in 2D, and get used to that which means when you look back up at the 3D screen your eyes go all out of focus.

Now, I’m sure this is something you will slowly get used to but I know this will turn a lot of people off instantly. I got worried and decided to walk around and check out some of Nintendo’s upcoming line up for the Wii and DS before returning to the 3DS and giving a final judgement. It wasn’t until I returned to watch a trailer for Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid on the 3DS did it all start to come together and become practically mind blowing. It’s 3D maaaaaannn!

There was a bunch of other stuff on show such as Just Dance 2, Epic Mickey, Wii Party, Metroid Other M, Goldeneye and Kirby’s Epic Yarn which turned out to be the show stopper! As much as I dis Nintendo for staying safe with their own IPs, I can’t deny the games they produce with them are not enjoyable or unique gameplay wise. Kirby’s latest adventure looks adorable and the co-op was fantastically addictive. I think I played the demo more than five times with several different journalists, jumping around arts and craft inspired levels. Again, more details for the preview but I just wanted to mention how amazing it was.

StarCraft II Launch Party

July 27, 2010

It’s about time StarCraft II released because I was starting to get fed up with people practically orgasming over each and every tiny morsel of news being revealed onto the net. Not that a little hype did anyone any harm but we’ve been waiting bloomin’ ages!

I was also getting a little twitchy each time someone replied “it’ll be out when it’s ready” whenever someone was stupid enough to ask for an estimated release date. That single statement has now become the “so Blizzard” thing to say about any future title they intend to release and I know it’s going to keep driving me insane. Actually it might drive me to the point where I just smash a sledge hammer into the face of any smug arse hat who feels the need to say it.

Breathe. It’s okay now, Lauren. StarCraft II is out. PC gaming is no longer dead and Korea can now evolve. Thank goodness.

I’m actually looking forward to playing some more StarCraft II. I managed to nab a copy at the launch party Blizzard held in London last night. The games press gathered in a swanky central London bar, sipping on Zerg cocktails and excitedly commenting on the StarCraft II light show that was projected onto the walls and tables. Everyone looked generally excited to get their hands on with the game and it wasn’t until walking down to GAME on Oxford Street did the buzz really kick off.

I felt a bit guilty walking past the crowds of fans who had been lining up since 10am to grab the game. I just walked on in, grabbed my press bag with the game and some goodies and stood around commenting on the stores décor, the poor model in the Queen of Blades costume – who looked amazing by the way – and how much I wanted that amazing collector’s edition.

As midnight approached and fans were slowly buying the first few copies of the game, I wondered outside and walked all the way to the back of the line. I had a spare goody bag and it was for the poor sod at the back who will be enjoying a long wait. After passing a few hundred people, I stumbled on a couple who were excitedly waiting in line and gave it to them. Then I walked back up chucking a few World of Warcraft goodies from the press kit into the crowd. I did keep some goodies for myself though: The game, puzzle, poster, stickers, magnets and other such wonderful SC2 merchandise.

It was a good night all in all. Got heckled by the crowds, questioned on the train and even recognised by people in line… which is still a very weird feeling. If you are a little bored and want to have a few matches on battle.net then my ID is atheistium at gmail dot com. I’m pretty rusty when it comes to RTS, so you’ll lack any kind of challenge for the moment.  Now I just need to work out how to make a ZERG cocktail. They should have just called it a Zerg Rush. Missed opportunity there Blizzard bar staff.

I’m finally playing Dragon Quest

July 26, 2010

I’ve not really been avoiding Dragon Quest but it’s not a game I’ve ever felt compelled to play. Which is strange because I love Japanese RPGs and Dragon Quest essentially ticks all the traditional RPG boxes. So what has stopped me for so long? The art style.

Years ago, when I split my time between school, gaming and animé, I used to watch Dragon Ball Z. I eventually got tired of watching burly, blonde men look constipated for numerous episodes and ended up beginning to hate the series. Sadly this resulted in anything by artist Akira Toriyama getting the cold shoulder.

This means anything Dragon Quest got ignored. I ended up getting a copy of DQVIII as a gift and it was left collecting dust. I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan and it was only after reading an article about the popularity of Dragon Quest in Japan, I decided to give it a go. A little late to the party, I know.

Walking into GAME this weekend, I noticed Nintendo & Square Enix were running a huge Dragon Quest IX campaign. I ended up grabbing a copy at the counter and nervously reading the manual on the way home, hoping I hadn’t wasted the remaining credit on my gift card.

You can customise your own character in DQIX.

Now I understand the hype, the buzz and the total Tokyo meltdown when Dragon Quest comes out. It’s seriously addictive! After seeing modern day jRPGs lose their tradition bit by bit, Dragon Quest holds that tradition up and adds to it.

I think the major selling point was actually being able to create my own hero at the start and potential of multiplayer with friends. I’m a bit gutted that the multiplayer is local wireless rather than WiFi. Now I just need to find a bunch of people willing to quest up!

So my new obsession is Dragon Quest. I’m sorry if I start constantly tweeting about it, I don’t mean to be annoying… I’m just excited. This just means I got a huge back catalogue of games to check out. What are your favourite Dragon Quest games? Let me know so I can check them out.

Lara Croft GOL Trailer 2 looks Amazing

July 21, 2010


If you’re curious as to what Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will play like then the below trailer will show some more delicious detailed gameplay. Even though it’s very obvious I’d be keeping my eye on this gem, due to Lara’s inclusion, the arcade game is shaping up to be a must have for the summer. Seriously looks amazing!

There looks to be plenty of things to do in the game. Not only will you be working your way through tombs and temples with co-op puzzles but also collecting and upgrading weapons as well as searching out for secret items.

Hopefully a bunch of you will pick this bad boy up when it releases August 18th. I’ll be looking for co-op partners 😉

In other news you can check out my Limbo review over on ConsoleMonster.com. I gave it a delicious 90%.

Stuck in Limbo

July 16, 2010
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Finally! Limbo is out next week on XBLA for 1,200 MS Points but I managed to cheekily nab a code for review. Without going into too much detail (delicious Monday Embargo) the game is shaping up very well. It’s different but familiar. It’s frightening and subtle. It’s god damn exciting and it’s also one of the most interesting XBLA games you’ll play this year. So, make sure you check out the first twenty minutes via Giant Bomb’s Quick Look.

Oh yeah! Limbo is part of Xbox’s 2010 Summer of Arcade. Which means if you buy all five of the listed games you’ll get 1,200 MS Points back. I’d recommend you pick up Limbo and Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light (August 18th). Check the link for more details.

In other news I’m trading in my trusty super elite and joining the slim family. While I’m not a fan of the Xbox’s new shiny look – matte is where it’s at – I’m excited for a quieter, smaller and more streamlined machine. Pictures, blogs and excited pictures of my face will be up soon, so keep an eye out.

Drinking. Gaming. Sleeping.

July 10, 2010

Along with a Mafia II preview event at work – which I thought went quite well – and having a social life, I’ve not had much time for blogging. Don’t panic, I’m not going to stop or anything, I’ve just been busy. Even though it’s only been a week or two, I’ve missed it so much and I’m finally sat down with a fuzzy head to begin writing words to you all again. Happy days.

First of all I need to congratulate a good friend of mine, Martin Gaston, for scoring a job at Videogamer.com. He’s awesome and you should visit VG often and enjoy their amazing podcasts and pretty damn good content. It’s actually Martin’s fault (or X360A‘s Dan Webb) that I’ve got a fuzzy head. After finishing work yesterday, I met up with Martin and co. to celebrate his new job. I didn’t get back home until 1.30pm the next day. All I know is that everything hurts! It was worth it though. Well done Martang, you deserve it!

Now that apology and little announcement is out of the way, let’s talk games.

After last nights copious amounts of alcohol, I’m feeling quite fragile today. So I spent some time with Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Special Edition. The visuals are a little different to the last Special Edition which was nice to see they were not just going to re-image the series with the same art assets each time. Voices are the same though and you can still switch into retro mode. No major additions apart from a little change up on how it controls and a new location highlighting button which shows all items of interest in the scene. I forgot how charming these point and click games really are, even if a little infuriating if you can’t remember how to beat them.

Next up was Activision’s Singularity (pictured above). Don’t worry, I won’t blame you if you have never heard of it or are shocked to hear it has been released because Activision seemed to forget to do any kind of marketing strategy for it. In fact, the only reason I picked it up was because a friend of mine got it and was really enjoying it. I forgot the game even existed! If you are looking for an interesting sci-fi FPS which feels very reminiscent of Bioshock then you might want to check it out. It’s a little rough on the edges but there is something special there that shouldn’t be ignored.

I went to Ubisoft’s Summer fair this week and got some hands on time with Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode. At first, I really wasn’t feeling it. It was slow and I had to walk around a city full of AI and player controlled characters to find my target. If you ran around or acted suspicious in anyway the other players, or AI, will just stab you. It was a little annoying to begin with.

But it wasn’t too long until I was jumping off of roofs and assassinating the right targets. Rather than being an all out stab feast, Brotherhood gives you specific people to target. This might seem a bit odd for those used to jumping in, like myself, but it gets strangely addictive the more you play. You’ll be sat there thinking to yourself: “Is that guy the right one? What if he targets me first?” And best of all: “Oh no! All the people in the group look the same! Which one do I kill!?”

Certainly turned around all my initial fears I had for a multiplayer mode in the new Assassin’s Creed.

What else have I done? Wasted tons of money in the Steam Summer sale. Bought Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s Onslaught mode (which is awesome by the way). Bought Final Fantasy 9 for the PSP. Ended up with a delicious copy of Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes from drinking fun last night. I played Naughty Bear for IncGamers (Dear god, why!?) and you can check out my review on their website. I’ve also pitched a feature idea to GamesRadar. Phew!

Now I feel much better. I’m off to play some more stuff before I pass out again.

Back On Charge

June 26, 2010

I’m a pretty bad ‘portable’ gamer. I get bored of my DS and PSP pretty quickly and even some of my more extravagant purchases on my iPhone, such as Chaos Rings, have not deterred me from the big boys. So it is a weird feeling to start getting really excited about some future releases and current releases on both PSP, DS and iPhone. Here are a bunch that are on my radar.

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (pictured above) for Nintendo DS. I got pretty hooked to both Final Fantasy 3 & 4 on the same console and it’s nice to see an original story come along. The screens so far look fantastic and it looks to have more of the rustic, tried and tested Japanese feel that I’ve come to love. Also the Crowns system looks awesome. Coming out 8th October.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the second DS game I’m pretty pumped for. Originally rumoured to be a remake of the first GS gan, GS: Dark Dawn is the third game in the series with adorable cell shaded art style for the DS release. I got into Golden Sun really late, getting given the game as a gift while in the US for PAX ’07. Made the flight home much easier, pumping 7 hours into it until my DS battery conked out. Not much is know about the story so far but the trailer shows plenty of awesome gameplay.

I already owShin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 on PS2, along with Persona 4. I got them a little too late into my PS2s life however, the Xbox 360 had come to stay and anything I picked up after was quickly abandoned. I did get a good few hours with Persona 3 before seeing rumours of it’s re-release on PSP. For some reason this made me stop playing the game entirely and to await the PSP version instead. From what I hear there are going to be a number of additional features included in the portable release of the game, which I think will justify waiting on the re-release. Additional skill cards, quests and characters all in a neat portable package isn’t something to ignore.

Last, The 3rd Birthday.  I’ve already spoke about the newest entry to the Parasite Eve series before, but it would have seemed silly not to have included it in this list. While no release date has been announced, the Japanese website shows the date December 24th 2012 in a flash movie. This could be the date the game is set and a potential release day for the game, I highly doubt we’d have to wait till 2012. Game Sugar found a bunch of screens posted on Famitsu which looks amazing.

Additionally Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy Tactics are both hitting the iPhone soon. So much gaming to be done, maybe I need a longer travel route? In the meanwhile I have Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker to keep me occupied. I’m only about an hour in but so far it has been pretty enjoyable. I forget how much I love the MGS series and how Kojima loves his cut-scenes.

Is Being A Completionist Weird?

June 23, 2010

When I was younger, I used to drain all the content I could out of each game I purchased. I used to sit for hours in front of the game unlocking all the extra modes, character costumes, secret areas and gadgets. Some games had a percentage on the save data to say how much you had completed and I was one of those gamers who wouldn’t feel entirely satisfied until that number hit 100.

In fact, this was quite a breakthrough for not only the games worth but also my bank balance. I’d refuse to purchase or ask my parents for any new titles until I had completed my current one. What if I started a new game and got distracted and would forget to finish off my old one? Heaven forbid!

If my younger self had known that by the time I hit my early twenties I’d have a pile of uncompleted games on my desk, she’d have been very upset. Moodily, she would glare at me until I organised some kind of rigorous game completion schedule that I’d follow until that game pile ceased to exist.

The thing is, I still want to see that 100% mark but I just don’t have the time. This is especially problematic when I have more bank to “play” with and am happily willing to purchase the next released day one. Something which is equally ridiculous seeing that if I waited a week I could have that forty pound purchase reduced by a tenner (I’m looking at you Blur).

I recently got back into The Last Remnant, one of Square Enix’s many rushed out RPGs for the Xbox 360. It’s not actually that bad if you turn a blind eye to the horrific frame rate issues and levelling up system incurred by their inability to master Epic’s Unreal engine. The story is intriguing and, once mastered, the battle system is quite interesting. If you want to give it a try then please try the PC version as it has turbo mode and will save you hours of wasted game play.

Anyway, my point is that I was well on my way to 100% completing that game. I had five more quests to polish off before courageously storming the last bosses lair. It was going well, I spent most of the afternoon playing and had four missions done. It was getting pretty late but I soldiered on and was on my way to the last quest only to notice that the NPC that activated it, ironically called the “Mysterious Woman” was missing, mysterious indeed. I checked on several forums to see where she could be or where I went wrong but she never appeared.

I even sat down with a pen and paper to write down all the quests I had done and then crossed them out one by one via an online list. I missed one quest called “At Hatreds End”, what the hell? In fact, the most frustrating thing about this quest is that “At Hatreds End” is part of a quest that requires you to make a specific decision. A decision that is not recommended by many guides online as you miss out on valuable items and money. For fucks sake! So, the quest doesn’t activate should you choose to take the items rather than revenge.

So I decided to just finish the game and get on with my life. Took on the last boss, defeated it and booted back to the dashboard at the end. Then I sat there, in the middle of the night, staring at the screen thinking “I could just start from the beginning again”, which is totally absurd seeing I have already pumped well over 150 hours into the game (seriously). Why would I even consider starting again from scratch? What is wrong with me!?

Since then I’ve been forcing myself to play something else, this time settling with Final Fantasy XIII so I can power level my team to take on the last Cei’th stone mission. In the corner of my eye is the box for The Last Remnant and I keep thinking that I could just put a weekend into it, skip all the cut scenes and power through all the side quests.

So this weekend I am going to try my best to play something else. Perhaps Alan Wake or maybe even some Red Dead Redemption? I know what will probably happen however… I might jump back into TLR just because I’m stubborn. Actually, I might just do it tonight!

Wait a minute….