Minecraft: Pocket Edition


Mobile games are time wasters. That’s the primary purpose of games on my phone. Whether I’m in a waiting room or even at school they are time wasters and not a gaming machine. Minecraft doesn’t fall into the category of a ‘time waster’ for me. So how is it?

Minecraft was released a couple of weeks back and I’ll be doing another review on that soon or just a update on new features. Even before Minecraft was released there was development of the game coming to other platforms which is always exciting, especially Minecraft coming to the Xbox but Minecraft to the phone? Could it be possible? It already had been possible for months on the Xperia if I’m not mistaken. I don’t have an Xperia so I got it when it came out to other phones, I have a Desire HD and I have to say it’s really cool on the big screen.

Unfortunately this review won’t be like a review of Minecraft on the PC. I’m not sure of the exact process of porting a game onto another platform and in most cases it is often frowned upon, not so much in Battlefield 3s case, it was actually praised, the porting apparently made the game better on console because of the advancements on the PC. PC elitists may disagree but who cares what they think? Anyway, getting slightly off topic. It really feels like they’ve tried to put the whole game onto a phone then slowly bringing it back and removing content until it runs well, and it does but with a lot less items and environmental features.

At first I didn’t appreciate Minecraft that much but later on you start to appreciate that actually the game is pretty massive. One unaltered world is something like 12 million blocks but don’t quote me on that and with the texture shader that was added in the beta the graphics got a lot more intense. You also don’t appreciate the render distance in Minecraft, it might not be a lot compared to other games but once you open Minecraft: Pocket Edition you really notice the difference. It took me a little while to notice but the render distance is pretty much non existent when you compare it to Minecraft on the PC. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. Also after a little bit of exploring I noticed that you do eventually come to an end of your world. On the PC I haven’t experienced this. Digging down it’s something like 64 blocks down which which is a lot less than on the PC and the only ore I’ve found so far is iron so I’m not sure if there is other ores down in the ground. Minecraft on the PC it takes forever to get to the bottom. Falling through the Earth has been taken out which I’m not surprised about.

The whole game at the moment is Creative mode which a lot of people won’t be happy about. Personally I don’t mind, I don’t have the patience to start a whole Survival game on a phone. Not everything is bad though after all, it is Minecraft! One of the best games created in my opinion. The auto jump is a great idea, the controls aren’t amazing, sliding your thumb around the screen and the clumsy directional controls in the corner obstruct a large amount of your view so not having to tap that jump button all the time is great. The filling, negative circle is a nice touch, the crumbling block animation as you click on it is a little pointless since your thumb is in the way. I haven’t played over WiFi yet, I haven’t had the opportunity to but I imagine it is pretty cool and a lot more exciting.

Believe me when I say I love Minecraft but I do not think this is worth €4.99. It’s probably worth $5 or something as well. When I say it’s not worth it I mean it’s not worth it at the moment. Right now there isn’t environmental features and enough objects that make the game great. Huge mountains, cave systems and mobs are needed to make this game at least standard. I know comparing this to the PC version is a little bit unfair but it’s the only thing that we know and the PC version is the standard. Mojang have been raising the bar more and more and right now it doesn’t even feel like alpha, pre alpha more like. I have full confidence that Mojang will make Minecraft just as good as it is on the PC, my only fear is that will it only come with new and better phones? I’ll definitely check out Minecraft on the Xbox 360 when it comes out so check this space for that.

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Battlefield 3


Finally the long awaited Battlefield 3 has arrived! I started playing Battlefield when Battlefield: Bad Company 2 came out. A lot of hardcore Battlefield fans might say ‘no!’ to me but even though the campaign wasn’t that great the multiplayer was were that game shined. I don’t care what people say, Bad Company 2’s multiplayer was damn good and it was damn fun. I don’t care if it didn’t have jets in it, it was my first Battlefield game and it was epic. Anyway, this isn’t about Bad Company 2. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this game is an improvement to its previous games, I know I should be comparing this to Battlefield 2 more than Bad Company 2 but unfortunately I never played it. I know there are slight differences between console and PC versions of the game, for this review I will be talking about the Xbox 360 version. Again the hardcore Battlefield along with the PC community will be going crazy at me and may not even take this review seriously but it’s the platform that I play most of my games on. I did try to get the beta working on my PC. I recently upgraded my PC because my old one couldn’t run anything but sadly for some reason even after I downloaded the driver it told me to download it wouldn’t let me join a match. I would just sit there staring at a spinning circle on Battlelog.

One main thing about Battlefield that everyone loves is the graphics. I thought the graphics were really good in Bad Company 2 and when I heard they were stepping up their engine to Frostbite 2 I was really excited. I play Battlefield 3 on the console so obviously the graphics aren’t going to be superior, if you play console you’re just going to have to accept that and if you don’t you’re stupid. This is coming from a console gamer so don’t get too offended. Coming up to the release I was a little bit scared how the game would look and run on the Xbox 360. I heard a lot of crap from mostly PC elitists who have nothing better to do than to insult console gamers. I’ve played the game for almost 24 hours and I can safely say that you don’t have to listen to anyone who says this game plays terribly on console because it doesn’t. It simply doesn’t. I only ever found one recurring problem and I doubt it happened on PC was that there was sometimes a huge drop in frames per second during the single player. This only happened maybe four or five times throughout the roughly seven hour campaign. During multiplayer the only problems I have encountered was server lag and quick match problems, each of them I only encountered maybe around three times which is a lot less than what everyone else is complaining about.

The singleplayer is pretty awesome. I’ve only played this and Bad Company 2 and the Bad Company 2 campaign wasn’t that great so I didn’t have much to compare it to. I don’t want to compare it too much to Call of Duty because they really are different games and you’ll understand that more if you play a lot of video games. I installed the HD texture pack straight away so I haven’t don’t a comparison but I have seen one and there is a difference. There’s a difference in the small detail of things but there isn’t in the big picture if that makes sense. I would say, don’t play this game without the texture pack. There isn’t any reason not too and it does make a difference. It’s the small things that make a difference! Call of Duty campaigns rarely disappoint. I’ve played since World at War and I have played the COD4 campaign and I haven’t been disappointed by one yet. I’ve heard that the singleplayer of Battlefield 3 was just an excuse to show off the graphics. Even if it was they’ve done a good job. The dark knight in the city alone was really eerie. The whole singleplayer had a great atmosphere around it the whole time. Right at the beginning they make sure you see the handcuffs around your wrists which I thought was pretty cool once I got to the end of the singleplayer. My favourite mission was when you were playing as the Russians in Paris. That mission was really colourful and I really liked the gun I was given.

Now down to the multiplayer. This is what everyone is excited about and rightly so. Bad Company 2’s multiplayer was a lot of fun but it definitely wasn’t perfect. No game is ever going to be perfect but this one is amazing. One of my favourite things about this game is the animation of the characters. When you think about it, it’s a small thing but now I realise how huge and important it is. The animation of the Engineer reloading an RPG, Gustav or AT4 in Bad Company was god awful. In Battlefield 3 the animations are so smooth. The running animation is so realistic I find myself staring at other people in the game rather than doing anything. Of course, the thing that everyone loves in Battlefield are the jets. I’m just going to be honest here, I suck major nut sack at the jets. I can fly them but I fail sometimes and crash but most of the time I just can’t shoot anything else done with my god damn gun! 300 points doesn’t seem that much when you look at the little progress bar but the odds are against you when you are flying against a pilot who has flares, heat seeking missiles, the fancy map thing that I don’t know the name of. I got this game on the 31st of October. I preordered it so I have the limited edition with the code for the Back to Karkand DLC. I live in Europe so I had to wait a couple more days to get it. By the time I got it loads of people were already flying around with all this jet gear that I’m probably not going to get till Battlefield 4! Personally I shine on the ground with a gun in my hands, that’s the player I am.

The multiplayer is amazing but it isn’t perfect. I find myself getting spawn killed a lot, and when I say a lot I mean a lot. It could just be my fault and I’m sure some of them are but it just seems like it happens way too much. I could be really stupid and not realise that people are in combat and I shouldn’t spawn on them. They have taken spawn invincibility out of the game which I guess I’m happy about. In Bad Company 2 it was such a bitch and it would always cost me a kill. That is probably the only criticism of the multiplayer. I like the idea of the degrading vehicles. I don’t like the idea of vehicles regenerating health but when I heard what DICE said about it I felt better, to keep vehicles in the game and make them more of a core part of combat. It seems like they have taken out of decreased at least the recharge of the defibulators. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing in terms of gameplay but I like it. One thing I really praise DICE for doing is increasing the amount of points for capturing or destroying an M-COM. This really helps people actually go for the objective. I still get frustrated when nobody does it but it feels like more people are trying harder to get to the objective.

For some reason I can’t get into Battlelog and check out my stats. I’ll keep trying and get back to you if I can.

This game definitely has a lot of play time in it, much more than Bad Company 2. I will be playing this game a lot and I’m really looking forward to the DLC. This game is really awesome and there is no reason why you should be on the fence about buying this game.

I still rage in the multiplayer but I give it the double thumbs up, 9/10

By the way, I did a MW3 wish list a while back and I didn’t do one for Battlefield 3. The reason for that is because I wasn’t worried that this game was going to be a disappointment.


Battlefield 3 Open Beta!


As you can probably work out from the title what this is going to be about, the beta for Battlefield 3 was released to the whole world of gamers today! As soon as I got home I started the download and waited patiently. I started downloading it for the Xbox and I know a lot of the Battlefield and PC elitists will be screaming right now. I pre-ordered it for the Xbox but I am having second thoughts and may cancel it. Still haven’t made a decision yet. I’m still currently downloading the PC beta but it is taking ages and is locked on 89.95%. I’m having second thoughts because I recently upgraded my PC because my old one was a hunk o’ crap. I didn’t upgrade to a ‘beastly’ machine but apparently I can run, not on ultra high settings though. That’s why I’m getting the beta on PC too so I can compare and see if it’s worth it.

Maybe it’s just me but Origin has basically been dead, I can only assume because of the masses of people trying to download it. Anyway, lets get to the good bit, the game. On the console you can play the Paris Metro map on Rush. I think on the PC you can play Conquest on Caspian Border but I haven’t played the PC version yet so everything that I’ll be talking about here will be from my experiences of maybe an hour playing on the 360. The game looks great, I know a lot of console players like me have been kind of worried that the console version will lose out on the best parts of the game. Obviously the PC graphics are better but it still looks nice, similar to Bad Company 2 but cleaner, the lighting effects in this game are amazing. There seems to be a lot of recoil on the guns, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, it feels more realistic and it’ll force people to burst fire and shoot a gun properly for once. I’m fed up of seeing Ken Burton holding down the trigger in another one of his videos (I still like Ken as a commentator). The map is very cool. It has open colourful areas then contrasts to a linear dark passage. The destroyed metro station is a great place for a fire fight. The M-COM stations are in great places, great places to defend yet not too good so the attackers can destroy the defenders.

I may post another article on Caspian Border and my eventual decision on which one to pre-order. If you haven’t downloaded the beta, go do it now.


Team Fortress: Soldier


When I first started out with the Soldier I didn’t enjoy it, I couldn’t get the rockets to hit anyone and I felt so slow. After a while and a little practise I came back to the Soldier and now the Soldier is one of my favourite classes. He is the second beefiest class and, just like every other class, has the potential to do massive damage. I’ve had some of my best matches with the Soldier, going on rampage and killing everyone I see.

Just like the Heavy, the Soldier is a great class to have a pocket medic with and to Übercharge. The Soldier has a wide range of launchers, some better than others in my opinion. My personal favourite at the moment is the Black Box. It generates 15 health for every hit you get on someone. The downside is that you get one less rocket. As long as you keep reloading you should be fine. Anyway, we’re not hear to talk about weapons, you can watch the Taking One for the Team Fortress 2 videos that I link in every Team Fortress 2 class post.

Lets get on to strategies. The soldier is an offensive class so it is great for rushing, creating and helping pushes and invading Engineer nests. What a Soldier isn’t so good at is capturing points. The rocket launchers explosive radius can be hazardous to your health and you can take a lot of unnecessary health. You could always take out your shotgun but sometimes that just isn’t good enough so try not to capture if you don’t have someone else that can help you out.

You are a slow class so you are very vulnerable to getting backstabbed by Spies. Turning around and firing a rocket can be a good way to take out a Spy quickly, it shouldn’t be too dangerous. Now on to something I am not very good at, rocket jumping. I can give an explanation but I couldn’t do it to save my life. The idea of rocket jumping is pretty self explanatory. Using your rocket to get your character to up to heights that couldn’t be achieved normally. To rocket jump you have to jump and shoot at the ground at the same time. To reach even further heights you crouch and jump and shoot a rocket. To change direction you can move, jump and rocket or you can angle the rocket away from yourself to minimise damage. I’m sure you can find a YouTube video describing and showing you that is a million times better than text.

One quick tip, the Equaliser is probably the best melee weapon because you can get away faster when you’re health is lower but only when you pull it out.


Minecraft 1.8 – Adventure Update


I love Minecraft and after aimlessly scrolling down my Facebook News Feed I saw the greatest thing ever, ‘Minecraft 1.8 is out! Go grab! :D.’ I quickly opened up Minecraft and ran the updater and hey ho I now have Minecraft 1.8. A pre-release of Minecraft 1.8 was released not too long ago but I couldn’t be bothered to go and get that when 1.8 was only days away.

The feature I was looking forward to the most was the Creative mode. Minecraft pretty much fuelled my IGCSEs. At my school we each get a laptop and a lot of us would play Minecraft non-stop. Even with two years of Minecrafting I passed with pretty good grades that I’m happy with. After the amount of hours I have put into Survival mode I was really happy to see this implemented into the game. After I played it on the web version of Minecraft when my friend hosted a server on there I really wanted it in the game. I have just started creating some huge pillars that will be the entrance to a mansion or something amazing.

The new start menu looks great, the game is starting to feel like a proper game with lots of content that won’t get boring as quickly as previous updates did. It has been Minecraft tradition for me to play the game religiously then eventually get bored. Starting a new game or waiting for a new update has always been the ‘cure’ but now it seems like this is the start of something great for Minecraft. A new feature is sprinting. Normal jumping will allow you to jump two blocks, while sprinting you can jump four blocks. If you hit an animal or an enemy while sprinting you perform a critical hit and do more damage. You now get steak from cows which was something I often thought about when I killed a cow, ‘why don’t you get any meat from the cows?’ Well now you do! There are now NPC villages but unfortunately they are not inhabited with NPCs. 1.8 is such a huge update it is being split into two updates. In 1.9 there should be NPCs walking around in villages. There are now, lakes and rivers and other things of that nature, I don’t think they have current though. A huge thing added to Survival mode is hunger. You’re hunger level will slowly deplete and when it reaches zero, your health will slowly go down too. Some may find this annoying but then again you are playing Survival. Hair grows back on sheep now, I’m not sure if that is going to be in 1.9 or not. I’ve only played 1.8 for little under and hour, I just really wanted to get something out about it. Go watch videos! Read other articles! You’ll get more information there.


Team Fortress 2: Pyro


The Pyro is one of the best starter classes. The flamethrower can kill relatively easily. It is often said that the mantra of the Pyro is W+M1, which is so true. A newcomer to Team Fortress 2 can do alright with the Pyro with no strategy but with a strategy, the Pyro can be an essential class to any team.

So, down to the meat of the Pyro. His or her, we’re not sure unless there has been some news that I don’t know about, if so comment! His or her main strategy is, ambush. The Pyro’s flamethrower doesn’t have very good range yet it is very powerful. Using flanking routes, a little bit like the Scout can benefit your team immensely. Especially if you have the Backburner which gives you 100% crits if you flame your enemies back, it is extremely important to attack from behind, especially if you need to take down a Heavy.

A more supportive strategy is called spy checking. This is very important when protecting the objective or your Engineers nest. Spy checking involves you puffing or full on flaming your flamethrower in areas that are vulnerable to your team, for example a capture point, the intelligence in CTF, an Engineers nest or even spy checking around a Heavy and his pocket Medic to make sure they don’t get killed when making an important push.

These tips are more for fighting against other players and helping your team mates with your compression blast. The compression blast is a blast of compressed air that can either push enemies back, reflect rockets and other projectiles and extinguish team mates that are on fire. Pushing your enemies back can be extremely helpful, even if you die it’ll give time for other team mates to push the enemies back even more. It is most effective if you push a Medic away from his Heavy. The Backburner uses a lot of fuel when using the compression blast so use it wisely. Extinguishing your team mates is extremely important. I can’t even count the times I have ran circles around a Pyro to try and get his attention to put me out and I die. Extinguish team mates, it makes you more useful and you get points for it.

One last tip, if you are going head to head against a Pyro, keep your distance and get out your shotgun, unless attacking from behind and you have the Backburner or if you catch him off guard, burn him up. It is harder to burn a Pyro because of his/her protective suit.


Team Fortress 2: Scout


The Scout is one of the hardest classes to master. In the right hands he can be a death machine and be a key part of a team. The scout runs very fast. This coupled with his shotgun which can only do extreme damage at close range make a great team. His pistol can be used at longer ranges when needed. The Scout captures points twice as fast, this makes killing a secondary task, the job of the Scout is to be on the objective at all times. This coupled with a Pyro would make a great objective couple.

The scout is also one of the weakest classes, at 125 Health he is very vulnerable to any hits he may take, especially if he gets hit by a crit, it’s very risky to go out and capture points. Use of different routes to flank the enemy will make you more successful in taking out enemies and then eventually capturing points. The Scout also has some good secondary items that replace the pistol, e.g. Milk will heal you and anyone that hits the enemy when they are drenched with the Milk. Crit-a-Cola gives your weapons crits for a limited time to cause some extra damage, maybe to help take down a Heavy. Bonk will make you invinsible for a short amount of time, the draw backs are that you cannot shoot, capture points or pick up intelligence. This can be useful for getting past sentries and enemies. Maybe not so much for CTF as engineers usually put their sentries in the intelligence room and by the time your Bonk runs out it’s probably too late.

In conclusion, as the Scout your primary goal is to capture points, attack weaker classes that you can take advantage of with your speed and double jump e.g. snipers and catching engineers out in the open without the protection of their sentries. If attacking other classes, flanking is the best option.