TGD Weekly Update (10/10/10) – You better lose that “Lone Wolf” Attitude…

AYYYYE GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MAH’ FRIENDS.

Hey. Joe here, with the first weekly update (not counting the first one) that’s been made up on schedule. It’s a revolution!

What also seems to be quite a revolution this week, however, is that good ol’ Nick has typed up a fair bit of the update without me even having to act. Now, this may be just my opinion, but that’s always an outstanding attitude of the boss. Especially when I’m already bogged down in some of my own matters, but we’re not going there. For YOUR LIFE.

However, a writer’s still a writer, and needs to head up some of his own stuff. So, without another word, we’re off!

Black Market

With less than a single month to go before Activision storms Xbox LIVE for the umpteenth time, I thought that a Halo fan should indeed pay at least one due towards the megalomaniac series. Call of Duty, to this day, has been one of the 21st Century’s most successful franchises, with the games easily keeping the most online play time of the lot. And despite the fact that the franchise, on it’s seventh game, is now heading in to the milking zone, there ain’t a problem so far to slow Activision’s note-printing machine down.

Well…except…one. Quite a huge ‘one’, actually.

Infinity Ward, renowned for making some of the best titles in the entire series (including the blockbuster hit MW2, which came out last November), is now short on employees. If anyone remembers that IW shake-up months ago, involving the off-loading of the developer’s founders, then you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t, then listen in. A huge legal row that occurred a few months ago shook up the CoD creators, with Jason Zampella and Vince Somebody taking a one-way ticket out of town from the proceedings. Since then, multiple IW workers have left, leaving a very small studio with little life left in it. The ones who left scored a deal with EA to merge up Respawn Entertainment, who are currently working on a secret project. This ‘secret project’ is due to take the world by storm, leaving Activision scrambed in it’s wake.

CoD: Black Ops is instead being produced by Treyarch, the guys who made those less popular Call of Duty games. They’ve recently been pumped up with much expertise, so this one’s bound to be a cracker. After that, though? I don’t think so, what with no Infinity cushion for Treyarch to rest on.

Thinking in the region of now, however, Black Ops is on course to (IMO, sadly) ravage Halo: Reach’s big-time bucks. The game’s already received more pre-orders for the X360 version than Halo: Reach’s entire pre-order base, so things are looking lop-sided. Good in most people’s eyes, but I can’t help but think that it’s seriously crashing the party for Bungie’s 3-year project. Meh, oh well, at least all of the CoD-to-Reach noobs will evaporate.

And, then comes the epic struggle. Who’s reviewing it?

ReachView, 2

Last week, I very kindly gave you all a little snippet of my upcoming Halo: Reach review to lap up. The review is now at 80% completion, and it’s the longest article that I have ever produced. For sure. Want sum moar?

“On the subject of Legendary difficulty, Bungie has seriously cranked up the skill level required to tackle the Campaign beast. While Easy and Normal difficulties still bear that counterpart touch, Heroic difficulty feels like Halo 3’s Legendary difficulty, which is solid enough. As for Legendary, as you’d guess, you should only play the Campaign alone, on said skill set, if you have the skills of an MLG. The monster is made up of more nails than how many of them make up the doors in your home. One month after release, I’m still on with doing it all. Me. A Halo pro. Still doing Campaign. You may proceed to eat your hat. If you eventually triumph through those specific conditions, then Bungie (who do indeed recognise the sheer pain that it may cause) will award you with up to around 500 gamerscore, depending on what you have already hit.”

Search for it coming out of the door before next Friday!

Lights, Camera, Action

TGD, is a gaming blog. Blogs, last time I checked, contained words. However, last time I checked, some blogs also contain video-related material. The blogs that bear this special secret weapon are usually the ones that come out on top. I’ve not told anyone about this yet, not even Nick – but, in order to boost TGDs popularity, I plan on maintaining a forthcoming YouTube channel for our baby.

After all, me and Tom Carny have each had past experience in making videos, so I think it is a legible idea that should be carried on to eleven. Of course, I’ll have to get this one past Nick – but, looking at the numerous cases of rags-to-literally-riches from certain YouTubers, I think that an easy sell is in order.

Say, Carnohan, did you mention that idea of PS1 LPs?

System Shock

Carno’ and me. Two members of the team who, indeed, are quite alike in some aspects. He was the first to follow my new Twitter account*. I dearly *HEART* him**, and I’m so glad for his existence, really.

That may have been going a bit too far, but that debut subject about the ‘alikeness’ thing even strikes to the heart GPUs of our Xbox 360 consoles. Many readers and writers inhabiting the site may be aware that, in the distant past, Larry Hryb of Xbox fame set up a rather handy internet form. This internet form, for the curious, gave you +9001XP in the ‘Dashboard Preview’ category.

Yes, the team’s residents are all aware that about 50% of the XBL population took advantage of this huge rollout session to gain a sneak peek towards the new Dash-mash. There were literally hundreds of you, who all reckoned that the NXE required a session of brutal sprucing. FAST.

Going back to me and Carnohan…well, we’re the only two members of the team who never got to sample the platter. It’s only too damning when it seems like the rest of the world got to munch those byte prawns, as well. I totally missed the entire offer, while Tom DID sign up, but a blatant MS error screwed all of his chances of installing the preview. Brothers in arms, soul, and old-dashboard-thingy.

You also know what’s typical? We’re the only two on the team who possess functioning Capture Cards, which means that no other member on the team can give any likewise unlucky gamers a visual feast for themselves. Although, if I remember accordingly,  Microsoft said that material of the dash had to be kept under ‘top secret’. Even if millions of participants today have already clenched that rule.

Yeah. Soz.

*I’ll come on to that ever-so-soon.
**No, don’t go THERE. Plz.

A Grave for All Your Sins

Going on the subject of ‘site additions’, I’m possibly considering an area where, once a week, a member of the blog comes out of hiding to play a little game with you. This may be for co-operative purposes (like, for example, Nick tackling a Legendary campaign level with three other lucky readers), or even for competitive purposes (Blur is coming to my mind). We are a site for gaming, after all, so why not get down and dirty with what we mutter about, all while you’re watching? The best thing is, I also plan to stream these sessions LIVE, over USTREAM.

Of course, this one’s pretty much in the Alpha stage right now. If it were to happen, you’d expect it in three weeks from now. Great idea, though.

And, then, comes that fabled shopping area***. I can make Amazon Shops, you know.

***Which, with 95% chance, isn’t going to materialize.

Mental Note of the Week

“Don’t try the last level of Halo: Reach without a plasma pistol and a DMR. No EMP equals a bloody affair”

Coming Up…

There are more Falcons heading in to planet Gamer Dimension than hot meals that you’ve ever roasted. Okay, maybe not THAT many, but quite a lot. Docking the future:

  • You know what I’ve got coming up. If you don’t, start from the VERY beginning, rush reader.
  • The blue blur is making is way back home (and out of the door, as I’ll report on later), with a new old-school title that’s sure to…well…it’ll do what Tom Williams will tell it to. His review of Sonic’s 4th Hour PART ONE is blazing up soon. He’s also got that Assassin’s Creed preview (mentioned last time) on the line, along with the preview for (*gasp*) Black Ops. We’ve found our reviewer!
  • Forecaster Nick has got an entourage of previews on the way. The previously-ripped 007 preview is heading the clan up next Friday, and our old friend, Gran Turismo 5, is coming under scrutiny in a matter of time. Criterion’s take on the successful EA racing franchise, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is due to arrive very shortly, and Mickey Mouse’s simply EPIC affair will be busted open before your cat can say ‘Paintbrush’. No joke.

Then, you’ve got to question. Where are the rest of the team? We obviously haven’t seen any contributions from them in a while. Are they being downright lazy? Nope. Nick will explain all down the page.

Memory Wipe

Those following my personal Twitter account, @MintagedVortex, may have recently caught wind of a not-so-server-crash towards my microblog. All of my tweets have been reset, and so have my followers. If you were observant enough to notice, then maybe you were nice enough to follow me again, no? If you were totally awesome to have already fit in to both areas, then you deserve a cookie. Congrats!

It came after a round of heavy fire from the most unsuspecting perpetrator of all, which I’m not going in to. He took the risk, and now that I’ve reset my account, he is now properly blocked. No more questions asked. Same applies to any of you – if any user of the World Wide Web is caught to have been tormenting any of the TGD staff, or any other reader of the website (via any method of communication), prepare to get a meaty IP comment ban. And a harsh block from all of our Twitter accounts.

I hope you don’t forget.

More Ideas

I’ve got even more ideas for improving this website, but I’m not letting them out of the gate just yet. However, if you do, comment on any ideas that you may have. The most mundane, and observant ones will be featured in our next update.

*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

And Fi(refight)nally…

If you fancy some more of those ludicrous breakfast ‘cheevos, then this may be your angel call. This gametype will not only help you snag some of those tasty bragging factors WITHOUT going through hard labour, but it will also assist LCB (Legitimate Credit Boosting) activities, by allowing a back-handed method of achieving some of the challenge credits we all know and desire. Courtesy of Yours Truly…

Download (Comment if Broken): http://www.bungie.net/Stats/Reach/FileDetails.aspx?fid=5071427&player=Vortex099

Okay, Nick, take it away.
http://mintagedvortex.tumblr.com/

Nick’s Question Time

Hello there once again. I’m demanding quite a bit of the Update this week. Firstly, I’m going to be focusing on answering questions since a couple arrived on David’s Report about Eurogamer. So let’s get started.

Question 1, from gamernight101: “Why do Tom Carnohan and Marcus Lywood not do that many Articles? Tom Carnohan has 2 and Marcus Lywood has 1”

Marcus’ answer is quite easy. He was one of us original writers, and helped turn the idea of this site into the site you see now. But unfortunately a couple of days after our launch at the end of August his computer went and died. Rather unfortunate for us, despite this he managed to bring an article about Scott Pilgrim using his iPod, but with college work I believe he hasn’t time to try to bring much more articles. Tom C. has a slightly different case. He had a few problems with higher education at the start of term, and he is now trying to keep up with the work he’s being given. He was originally doing this weeks Rock Band 3 article, but due to unforseen Work, I had to take over.

Question 2, from redman8686: “When will you be takeing more Writers?”

You may have noticed we got submitted an article a few weeks back from someone who isn’t a regular writer, or you may have noticed the author on the right called TGD Guest Writer. Basically, this account is in place so that if you want to write an article occasionally or as a one-off you can. We’d be happy to accept suitable game reviews or features from anyone who wants to submit them. Going back to the specific question, we’d like to think of taking more writers as a reward for helping, to put it one way. Basically, you submit articles a couple of times and if we like them we’ll consider you to be a permanent member of the team.

Question 3, from 3Dgamer8686: “Will you tell me why you don’t do news Articles?”

If you look into our article history you’ll notice we have attempted to provide a bit of News in the past. (See here) You may also notice this was back in August when School/College terms hadn’t started again. All of us are in education in some form, at varying levels. So we do need to prioritize. (If you haven’t figured it out Education is more important than Blogging) Add that to the fact that we do also have lives outside the internet and we run this Blog without any form of payment what-so-ever (note that no pages have Adverts). The total result of all this is we can’t really get around to posting News aswell as features/reviews. Sometimes, for me atleast, it can take 1.5 – 2 hours to write just one feature.

That is all the questions I got. Sorry for not answering there and then in the comments, but they are quite long answers so I hope you will forgive me for making you wait.

A few updates

Starting this week we are going to be using a few new icons on TGD. Made by our lovely Graphic artist David, we have the following images for use in our Reviews and What to Expect articles:

We’d love to know what you think, so make sure to leave your opinions in the comments below.

Competitions are cool!

And finally, the winner of the Guitar Hero Competition we’ve been running for the last 3 weeks (no excuse for not entering) is: Sam Morris. He correctly told us as of 17th September there were 322 songs available for download for Guitar Hero’s World Tour and 5. Sadly no-one won Guitar Hero Greatest Hits since we weren’t told there was 19 versions of the Arcade game Guitar Freaks, which has been around since before Guitar Hero existed.

Congratulations Sam. We hope that you enjoy Guitar Hero 3 and World Tour, do send a picture when it arrives to our Twitter account if possible aswell.

If anyone wants to contact us in any way, do remember that to the right of the page there are links to our Facebook and Twitter pages, aswell as our Email address for anyone wanting to submit content or anything of a similar nature. (Oh, and yes I do realise how many links I put in this week)

And now I finally hand you back to Joe.

Best. Video. EVER.

Yeah, thanks, DUGGIE. I’m only saying that once. Bit unnecessary, however, because I’m wrapping up the article. Forward Planning seriously works…try it!

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, here’s the best video ever. Later!
P.S. – Skip to 0:40 for the actual video.

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5 Responses to TGD Weekly Update (10/10/10) – You better lose that “Lone Wolf” Attitude…

  1. SpAM_CAN says:

    I WON! Although i did mention Guitar Freaks, although you didn’t ask how many there was in the series :3

  2. Nick Duggan says:

    Reread the competition post, it was there all along “What was the name of this popular ARCADE game, and to this date, how many different versions of this series specifically has there been?”

  3. SpAM_CAN says:

    …oh yeah. I feel silly now :S

  4. Nick Duggan says:

    xD It’s OK, we all make mistakes, besides your still getting 2 free games 😛

  5. Ceiling fans come in various designs, designs, form, and sizes.
    Anyway, the ceiling fan uses less electricity compared to the air conditioning unit that we have in our houses and that’s the bottom line. You can choose fans made from less expensive materials but they will tarnish easily and they are not fit for outdoor use.

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