Category: "One a day"

Twenty One: Gamercast have made it onto a box!


So one thing that totally happened out of the blue, is Gamercast getting its very first quote on a box for a video game.

And the whole team are extremely happy about it! It's the one on the bottom left hand corner.

I'd like to say a very big thanks to Charlotte for writing such a great preview on the game, and here's to many more quotes on boxes, Baron Wittard is coming out February 1st and is a horror adventure game for the PC.

Twenty: What I've been playing this week


So something that I try to do on Gamercast each week, even though Paul is not a fan, is talking about what I've been playing. I always find it relaxing talking to people about what I've been playing, probably because then I can give an opinion on what I think. Plus it's always nice to introduce people to new games by talking to them about games they may not have even heard of.

So this week I haven't played too much as I've been messing around with my nice new laptop (must post a picture soon), but when I haven't been doing that my main focus for gaming seems to lean ever so slightly onto my phone (a HD7) but this is also down to spending 40+ minutes each day commuting and I must fill my time with something.

So I finished ilomilo on WP7, I've yet to finish it on Xbox 360, but it's something I'm definitely going to finish. Either way I finished it on my phone and absolutely loved it to death, it not only features some of the cutest characters but it also gives you challenging puzzles. The music is just as amazing and it's a great game to play on the train, except you may find yourself wanting the train to take a little longer to get to your stop.

I've also played a little Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst and some Fruit Ninja, Sunburst is a tower defence that combines bing maps and the freaks of Crackdown that proves pretty addictive to Paul, although my issue with it is that I won't have a strong signal when travelling, so it works better when walking around. Fruit Ninja is then a little fruit slicing game which has been available on other touchscreen phones for a while now, it works really well and provides some fun for a few minutes. However it may lead you to start swearing in public when you mistakenly slice a bomb.

I also turned on the Playstation 3 to play some Little Big Planet 2, the great sequel to the interesting original game. Of course there are lots of things that are similar between LBP1 and LBP2, however so much has changed allowing you even more creation and some pretty awesome dynamic cameras and controllable AI.

I've then spent some of my evenings on the Xbox 360, which has been a big mix of Dead Space, Spare Parts, Microbot and Battle Fantasia. Which all have their own little reasons of me playing them.

Dead Space 2 of course comes out on the 28th of January, and I'm such a terrible person that I haven't finished the first Dead Space, so I'm on that and trying to get it finished as soon as possible while making sure to take in every inch of the game. If anyone has decided not to play Dead Space I urge you to, it's a great rendition of the survival horror genre and has kept me on edge every time I play it.

Spare Parts the brand new XBLA (and PSN) title from EA was released this week, and I couldn't wait to give it a go, and I must say I'm loving every second. At times I've come across a few problems, but when I remember that I have x-ray vision so I can get hints, communicating to me what I can do with certain things. You can pick it up for 800 MS points and so far it's worth every penny.

Microbot is of course currently on sale for 400 MS points on XBLA, and I recommend everyone check it out, as it's an interesting little game set inside a person. It follows you travelling through the human body, battling against robotic viruses. It's an interesting dual analogue stick shooter which reminds me of Nucleus, however has more of the feeling of isolation and pressure when in such a small and generally narrow environment.

Then finally Battle Fantasia was a game I got with my new Japanese Xbox 360, which is a beautiful little fighter by Arc System Works, which is so elegant in looks but speedy in the gameplay.

I can see a lot of Dead Space over the weekend, as well as mixed thoughts over what else I should play, I cannot wait!

Nineteen: Meet Hypatia


So as those who read these will know sadly Hypatia passed away last week, well I still wanted to introduce her.

So when I originally set out to have a millipede (just before I picked up Eratosthenes) I decided I really wanted a Madagascan red millipede purely based on how beautiful they were, when I went to Bug Fest I kept my eyes open for one, although sadly the only millipedes were Eratosthenes' breed. That didn't put me off from getting him though I just knew one day I would own a millipede that is a lovely shade of red.

Later on in the year, sometime in the summer I went to a reptile show at Kempton Park Racecourse, I hunted and hunted but with the show being more reptile focused there weren't a huge amount of millipedes, however I did pick up the lovely Archimedes.

A month or so later the Entomology show was held at the same venue of Kempton Park Racecourse, and with this show focused on insects I had a better chance to find a Madagascan red, I looked and looked but sadly didn't find one. Until I managed to squeeze my way to a very popular stall ran by a nice German man, who after a look of looking I realised actually had some Madagascan Red's.

I was astounded and knew I had to get one, he was selling them in pairs of males and females, and wanted £30 for each set, however I wasn't in it for breeding so I picked up a lone female for £12. Maybe I should have gotten her a mate as well, to keep her company, but every other millipede I had seemed friendly enough.

So that's how I got Hypatia, she is still the most expensive millipede I purchased and sadly the most exotic. She seemed to fit in with the others ok, she would moop around the tank, eat her food, go under the soil and generally do what all my other millipedes would do. Although unlike the others she wouldn't climb all the way up the glass and walk along the roof of the tank.

Sadly I am still unaware of what exactly happened to her, and I will now promise to myself not to buy another of her breed, even though they are so beautiful. As if for some reason she didn't last in the environment, I don't want to do the same to another only to have them perhaps do the same.

She was my prettiest millipede and I won't be forgetting her any time soon.

Eighteen: Japanese Xbox 360


So it finally arrived! Yet sadly of course Catherine doesn't come out till the 17th of February, however there should hopefully be a demo out on the 27th of January.

In the meantime I'm going to be checking out the releases Japan has and try not to buy anything too expensive. I've got my eyes on a few games; however any recommendations are much appreciated.

Sadly as you may notice from the image is that it is in fact an arcade unit (noticeable from the white disc tray) however I have spiced it up with a faceplate that I had lying around.

Thankfully putting the new console on my desk meant I finally got round to having a little tidy up, I reckon it looks pretty good.

Now I just hope it has a nice long life even though it's an older model. as I felt it was pointless me buying a new slim Japanese model for £400 if it decided to have any issues.

Seventeen: Looking back at Cool Spot


Thinking of games that I used to spend hours playing when I was younger, one of which was a little game called Cool Spot. If you haven't heard of it before well then I cannot believe you haven't played it. However if you didn't own any of the older consoles or wasn't into games back then well I guess I won't hold a grudge.

Cool Spot was originally released back in the early 90s, 1993 to be exact and was on a large selection of different consoles. Cool Spot falls under a type of game that is commonly referred to as advergaming. Others may know it as that 2D platformer that had something to do with 7UP.

Programmed by David Perry and with the music of Tommy Tallarico who of course ended up being two very well known video game developers. With Dave Perry going on to make the likes of Earthworm Jim and Tommy Tallarico composing music for Munch's Odyssey, MDK and of course being one of the creators of Video Games Live.

Cool Spot as well as being an amazing and interesting platformer focused largely on the 7UP brand, a popular lemon and lime fizzy drink at the time which obviously needed a little advertising to get it selling as much as the other popular brands.

The protagonist of the game was none other than the 7UP logo's red spot anthropomorphized to look more human and so he could actually work as a videogame character. Although a spot can actually be a viable character, for the era of games when Cool Spot was released it would have required a lot of work to make a plain red spot feel alive.

He's so cool he's not gonna bother killing those crabs, he's gonna play with his yo-yo

Cool Spot in my eyes is one of my best childhood memories, I remember playing it again and again, but sadly never finishing it as it got quite hard, but that never put me off it. I must have played that first beach level more times than I can imagine. For those with fond memories of the game I hope like myself you never forget Cool Spot, no matter who tells you its crap, just ignore them and remember the good old days.

Sadly the series was tainted by a not so amazing sequel known as Spot goes to Hollywood, which may or may not have led to no later Cool Spot games. However this of course could have been due to a lack of advergaming on consoles and the leap to web based flash titles. However with the more recent free Doritos titles on Xbox Live Arcade perhaps there is a home for Cool Spot in the future, I really hope there is.

Sixteen: Made something yummy


So following on from yesterday's post, here are my yummy sweet and salty crunch bars which I also decided to add cashew nuts into, they will provide a tasty treat for throughout this week.

Also part of tomorrow's very brightly coloured lunch.

I've been fairly busy today hence the pictures of food, feel free to have a listen to the Gamercast podcast if you'd like to hear a little of what I've done for around 53 minutes of today.

Fifteen: Making something yummy


So those that know me will know that I'm a big fan of baking sweet things so the second I saw Nigella's Sweet and Salty Crunch Bars on BBC2 and then also tried a colleagues batch of them I knew I just had to make some. So tomorrow I will be picking up some peanuts and crunchies to make a batch that can live in the fridge for next week.

You will need the following:

200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
125g unsalted butter
1 (15ml) tbsp golden syrup
250g salted peanuts
2 (80g each) crunchie bars
A large rectangular or square tin (make sure to grease or line it)

  • Heat the butter and golden syrup on a low heat in a large heavy pan, then break up the chocolate and add it to the heat.
  • In a mixing bowl add the peanuts and broken up crunchies.
  • Once the chocolate is all melted add it to the peanuts and crunchies and stir it all together with a wooden spoon.
  • Once evenly mixed pour it into the tin and flatten it with a spatula to minimise the air bubbles in the mixture and ensure it all stays tightly packed together.
  • Pop in the fridge and leave it for a few hours before you start munching on it.

Image courtesy of The Clayton's Blog as I don't currently have a picture as I will be making them tomorrow.

I'm really looking forward to finally making these and I recommend everyone else to make them as they're divine! Unless of course you're allergic to peanuts.

They come with a warning though as they are extremely naughty to be eating frequently.

Fourteen: Have you ever wanted your very own Xenomorph egg?


So it’s picture Friday and I know of just the place that has one for sale, or so I believe. A new shop appeared recently and one thing that was noticeable was the fact that they have an actual Xenomorph egg in their window. I believe it's either a prop from one of the films or a replica, either way it's flipping massive.

Maybe one day I'll pop in and ask how much it is!

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