Tag Archive: Gaming News/Reviews

Blur Review

Bizarre Creations have made a name for themselves behind the excellent Project Gotham Series that blended realistic racing with a touch of arcade fun and did it well. Their follow up title is the action packed Blur, an arcade racer that will have players racing realistic cars while using power-ups to dominate their opposition. Fun, frantic and badass; but is Blur worth the price of admission?

The single-player Career is no easy feat, featuring some truly brutal A.I which can be a little off putting when you are trying to learn the basic mechanics of the game. Learning how the power-ups function and perfecting your drifting skills are a hard task to accomplish as Blur just throws your in the deep end of the action, providing you with small tutorial videos along the way as you begin new events.

If you are after a simulated racing experience you need not look here. More often than not you will find yourself fighting to survive as your opponent will launch a multitude of attacks and defenses against you. While it is easy enough to evade your attackers on the smaller races, when you have a full grid of 20 things turn into utter chaos. It’s fast, it’s furious, and it’s unrelenting. Power-ups are varied and a lot of fun, you’ll have the option of using missile attacks to phasers, shields, mines, boost and more. The great feature is each weapon has an alternate use for example; find yourself coming into a corner too hot and you have a boost power-up? Simply use the alternate fire mode and rather than boost it slows you down mega quick. It’s these little quirks that will eventually mean the difference between surviving and dominating.

The single-player career will have you racing in a number of events from standard racing with power-ups, to checkpoint racing, to destruction events all in order to unlock new cars and progress to the higher classes. You win “lights” by placing in events, and by hitting certain fan targets. The more impressive you are, the more fans you win. Simple enough premise and one that works to the titles advantage.

While racing around pulling off sweet moves, blasting your opponents with a multitude of weaponry and seeing that fan counter ticking over is satisfying at first, after extended playtime with Blur it begins to grow tired and weak. The game does well to throw you in the deep end and just leave you there, but sooner than later you learn how to traverse the waters and you will find yourself wishing there was more to discover.

Blur is a decent looking game. While it may lack a little in the details when compared to other racers out there, it’s easy on the eye and more importantly runs at a consistent frame-rate even when faced with some truly chaotic scenes. Matched up with a great sound from each and every car, Blur hits the right notes when it comes to audio and visual presentation.

Multiplayer is a blast with a small group of friends; nothing can quite beat that feeling you get when you smash your best friend with a perfectly placed flurry of bolt attacks, yet much like the single player the experience becomes messy and chaotic with a full grid of 20. Thankfully this can be evened out with a series of fun team based races and battle modes, which is by far the most rewarding and exciting way to play Blur online. Along with the online components the developers have thrown in a 4 player split screen option which is handy for those with friends around who want to get in on the action.

The Final Verdict

Blur had all the right ingredients to be a great game; frantic pacing, chaotic battle, wide and varied suite of multiplayer options, smooth frame rate backed up by great audio. The fact of the matter is there is nothing wrong with Blur, it just fails to give the gamer a reason to keep coming back for more. Fun with friends, fun for an hour or so every now and then, but it won’t keep you playing for much longer than that.


I’ve started up a gaming podcast/video blog with a friend for his website DigitalWound.com and this is the first episode. It’s low budget but it’s a whole lot of fun, and you can expect a significant upgrade after July when it will have HD Audio and Video.

This first episode covers the upcoming update for Aion, news of Playstation charging for their online services and J Allard leaving Microsoft. We also do video reviews of Bizarre Creations “Blur” and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

NCsoft are on the verge of releasing their highly anticipated 1.9 patch for Aion, which has users across the globe jumping for joy as a vast number of improvements are on the horizon. While 2.0 is going to change the bells and whistles of the game world, 1.9’s focus is updating the user experience based on community feedback to make the game more enjoyable for players. So with the update going live soon what can Aion users expect when they login to roam the realms with their Daevas?

Looking For Group Overhaul

1.9 is making a number of UI enhancements, and one of the more notable ones is the Looking For Group system. The new LFG allows players not only to find groups around them, but allow groups seeking another party member to find them. Using the new UI players can see a list o currently formed groups, what quests they are completing, see how many members in the group and easily ask the group leader for an invite. If you are leading a group you can see a players class and level and invite them to the group right from the interface. Handy, effective and a much needed addition to the game.

Daily Quests, Item Decay and Rental Store

Aion customers have been asking for more quests to be added to the game, so NCsoft are implementing a daily quest system. Each day a new quest will be available, offering more content to explore based upon their level. Daily quests will offer a variety of consumable items as rewards, but will also introduce new timed gear rewards. These items come attached with a decay timer that starts directly from the very moment you equip your new gear, giving the player a temporary boost as they move about with their shiny new objects. The timer runs out and your object becomes a useless pile of dust so use it wisely.

There is also a new Rental Gear store that makes an appearance, allowing players to purchase high priced weapons and armor for a rental period for a small cost. The decay timer comes into play yet again, allowing users to effectively try before they buy these extravagantly priced items.

New Skills, Combat Balancing and Two-Handed Weapon Merges

1.9 bring 15 new skills to the table, spread across all eight classes. These skills are geared towards balancing out the combat within the game, with skills that can break stun effects as an example. The update will also bring a series of class balancing changes to make the game a more consistent and even experience for all players.

Before 1.9 you often found yourself in a bit of a predicament; use the cooler looking more badass two-handed weapon or dual wield that will effectively deal more damage to your foes. That is a thing of the past with 1.9 introducing an all new two-handed weapon merge system. Allowing players to merge a more powerful two-hander with a less powerful one, combining statistics to create one badass of a weapon. It’s a welcome addition that will keep a lot of Gladiators out there very happy.

Costs Down, Experience Up

We all know how soul binding, spirit healing and teleportation simply cost more than they should. You could get back that 4,000EXP you lost when dying for a hefty fee, or you could just go out and kill three more monsters to gain it back yourself. Well 1.9 brings with it a dramatic price drop for all of these essential tasks, keeping Kinah in your pockets for more important things, like a nice hat to wear to a party.

Users will also find themselves earning more EXP with the new “Energy of Salvation” system which essentially functions as a rested experience system for the user, much in the same vein as World of Warcraft. Users will also find a number of quests now offer more EXP upon completion and campaign missions will give you some seriously sweet loot for completion.

Enough Already! When Does It Come Out?

This isn’t a definitive guide to the truckload of additions, tweaks and upgrades that 1.9 is bringing along with it, just a highlight reel of some of the bigger features landing. So the only question left to answer is when is this bad boy dropping? Increment downloads have already started, and it will be launching live on servers June 3rd for the Australian gamers out there.

So the second trailer featuring over the top cheesy live-action for the upcoming F.E.A.R 3 is here. Who knows what Warner Bros is thinking with all this B-Grade action, but some of the gameplay segments of the trailer show of some of the telekinetic powers that Paxton Fettel will have on offer. What little gameplay that has been on display so far seems to be more of what we would expect from a title in the F.E.A.R series, which isn’t necessary a bad thing.