Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Broke my headset

Yeah, that sucks badly. The wires were protruding for a while but then yesterday the mic. just 'died'. Shame they were good sound quality although they weren't wireless. Anyhow, I need to buy a new pair and I'm thinking of  a budget no-more than £25 ($39.51) so I was wondering if you guys know of a good headset for around that price (seeing as I can get the exact same ones as I had for £25).

In case you were wondering this is the headset I was using.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Video Game Mini-Dissertation

My current IT Diploma has been playing a large part in my school-life at the moment. I've been studying how IT works in businesses and have just finished a 35 hour controlled assessment creating an interactive flash-based guide on how to create your own small IT business. After this strenuous test I was relieved to find out that I didn't have to do anything for the rest of the day...

Then my teacher told me that I have to plan and research an IT-based question for a 90 hour dissertation assessment. The look on my face could only have been described as "shocked."

Anyhow, I have decided I will most likely be doing my dissertation on "What aspects make a good video-game?" based on a post I published not too long ago back in January. Of course, the dissertation will have to be about 100 time larger than the post. If anyone is interested in hearing how I get on or reading the finished product just leave a comment.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Gamingheap Review - Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

Written by Oliver

A Gamingheap Review...

Batman: Arkham Asylum

PlayStation 3 Case Art
Before I bought this game last December I had heard nothing but praise about it. Many of my friends and gaming associates had called it 'the best Batman game ever' and that I had to do at least one play-through. As many of you will know, I am not a DC fan, (much preferring 2000AD with the likes of Judge Dredd) subsequently, I did not know an awful lot about Batman and the back-story before playing Arkham Asylum. Despite this, I delved straight into it about 2 months ago and have really enjoyed it so far. I've yet to complete the story-line, estimating myself to be approximately half-way through. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a reasonable amount of intangibles and extra content (specifically in the Game of The Year Edition) which have piqued my interest.  Anyway, without further ado - here are my thoughts on Batman: Arkham Asylum...


I'm no Batman expert or superfan but I do believe that (contrary to the angle the popular 1960's television series showed) the comic-book is supposed to project a fairly moody and atmospheric feel. The game bares many similarities instead to the newest Batman film trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises) all directed by Christopher Nolan. Many scenes in the game successfully show this, for example the scene where Batman returns to the Arkham Island Batcave under the cover of darkness. As far as I'm aware the entire game takes place during the night, a good move to be honest as watching the Caped Crusader sneakily assassinating foes in broad daylight wouldn't present the player with nearly as much satisfaction. This brings me on to the overall look of the environment that you'll see Batman grappling, climbing and gliding about in. Arkham Island looks pretty good, (the game is 3 years old, so I have to compare it to similar games from 2009 to gauge this) but I must confess I haven't spent anytime free-roaming it as it isn't large at all. The visual highlights for me were the smaller, more refined details like the state the Asylum is in. As you progress through its halls you'll see turned over desks, paper strewn across the floor, the odd corpse and many messages left by Joker written in green ink. The attention to detail is nice to see, yet it is easily missed - as you progress through the game Batman's suit will deteriorate; bullet holes will appear and rips in the fabric can be seen. It's touches like this that bring out the best in the game for me.

Other than the area around you, there is of course the unique look of the menu system and the overall interface of the game to account for. Many of the screens, particularly the character bio screens and joker trophies are layed out like comic strip panels which is something I really relished because it brought Batman back to its comic-book roots. The character-bio screen is also something I liked because it showed pictures of all of the enemies and criminals Batman has had to deal with, again establishing that link between the game and the original comic books. It felt to me like this extra detail about old characters helped the game to relate back to the comics and not just be a non-generic action-adventure game with Batman shoved in to fill the space.

Combat looks spot-on. Most of the time you'll be fighting with your fists, which can sound rather dull, but it is actually very fun. Slow-motion combos are thrown in and there's a few variations in enemy type. Batman, of course, has his trusty batarangs as well as an assortment of other hi-tech (and lethal!) weaponry up his sleeve. My personal favourite is the remote-controlled batarang which allows the player to control where the batarang goes, hitting several enemies at a time. I have not witnessed a visual glitch as far as I can remember.


Batman was, of course, born from the pages of comic books. Comic books are made to tell stories and entertain the reader so I was expecting Arkham Asylum to be perfectly structured with a story that would engross me until the bitter end. I have yet to actually finish the story but from what I have experienced so far, Arkham Asylum has delivered well.

The Joker has just been captured after attacking the Mayor's Office in Gotham City and Batman escorts him to Arkham Asylum. However, a recent fire at Blackgate Prison has forced some of the Joker's old gang to be transported to Arkham as well. Batman suspects something is up as the Joker was far too easy to capture but keeps it quiet. At that time Harley Quinn manages to override the asylum's security systems which in turn allows the Joker to escape, henceforth taking control of Arkham Asylum. Then, the Joker threatens to detonate bombs he has planted in Gotham if anyone other than Batman tries to get into the asylum and stop him. Oracle helps Batman via his radio as he tries to rescue Commissioner Gordon who gets kidnapped by the Joker. Throughout the game, Batman meets many of his old foes including Scarecrow, Bane, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Zsasz and Poison Ivy just to name a few! Unfortunately the majority of these characters only play very minor roles, some only seen once or twice. It would have been nice to see some more of these characters instead of Joker dominating the game. However, having said that, all the characters are recreated amazingly, just how you'd want them to be, fully capturing the essence of the original comic-books.


Batman: Arkham Asylum is, at heart, a third-person, action-adventure stealth game. I think the main element developers, Rocksteady wanted to achieve was to show how Batman can strike fear into his enemies by stealthily swooping down and taking them out one by one. Well, I personally think that Batman: Arkham Asylum shows this better than any Batman game I have played as of yet (I have played some older ones, specifically Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu for the PlayStation 2) allowing you to use stealth to take out targets instead of running in and using melee the whole time. Many foes will have firearms which if fired can kill you in seconds. Consequently most people will find themselves relying on stealth to get through the majority of the game. As Batman you can use the grapple hook to reach up to high ledges or hide on top of gargoyles. A good technique is to hide on top of gargoyles and then swoop down and silently take down one guard at a time before grappling back up to the gargoyle lest the other guards detect your presence. When the guards come across the body of their fallen comrade, they act in many different ways. If the dead guard had a weapon then one of the others will grab it and use it against Batman. Using detective mode (more on that later!) you can actually check how fast their hearts are beating. Most of the time they will become nervous and group around each other for protection. Batman can also hide under grates in the floor allowing him to sneak around underneath foes. Admittedly the stealth attribute could be a lot better though, there is a bit of a limit to what you can do other than sneak up and strangle guards or just hide up above them. Sometimes the AI can be ridiculously stupid too and you'll often watch Batman take out a guard without the other guard about 1 metre away noticing a thing.

Other times, you'll find yourself face to face with enemies with no way out other than to use fisticuffs. If there are a lot of enemies then you can rack up some insanely large combos. Usually you'll find yourself just mashing the square button, but some of the time enemies will try to counter your attacks. If this happens, flashing lines appear above their head, indicating that you must press triangle to block their attack otherwise you'll take damage. Some enemies, such as knife-wielding ones and even some that carry stun batons, must be defeated in other ways. For example if you try pressing square to throw punches at a stun-baton enemy then Batman will just get electrocuted. Instead, you have to use the X button to dodge over their attack and counter it. This throws in some variation in to what would of been a fairly dull, button-mashing experience. The combat actually flows very well and doesn't look wooden or stiff. Batman can throw punches, kicks, roundhouses and even batarangs mid-brawl to stun foes. The added slow-motion effects and the excitement of trying to get a higher combo makes the melee combat something more inventive, heck your playing as Batman, what could be cooler?

Bruce Wayne is a multi-millionaire with loads of money dedicated to researching and developing new gadgets and equipment to help his vigilante crime effort; so of course there are some cool gadgets included in the game. Other than the normal batarang used to stun foes for a limited amount of time, you have access to the aforementioned remote-controlled batarang, the multi-batarang upgrade which allows you to throw up to 3 batarangs at a time, explosive gel which allows you to blow up weak structures and walls as well as blow up enemies, the Batclaw which allows you to pull objects and enemies towards you from a distance, the cryptographic sequencer which allows you to hack into security terminals, ergo allowing the electronic security gates found around the island to be opened, and last but not least, the line launcher which is a zip cord allowing Batman to traverse large spaces in a minimal amount of time. Seeing as the game isn't linear and there are a few free-roaming opportunities, most of these gadgets can come in handy in reaching areas previously inaccessible. Over the island are riddler trophies hidden in secret locations (there's 240 of them in total) which can only be accessed with the gadgets you get later in the game. For example, there may be a trophy behind a security gate which you cannot get through without the cryptographic sequencer. This gives the player an initiative to come back to places previously visited and explore the island some more.

Riddler challenges appear to, one for every area in the game. When you first enter the area, the riddle will appear at the top of the screen. You the must find the object the riddle is referring to and scan it in detective mode. Detective mode features throughout the game and allows Batman to see through objects and analyse things. Looking at an enemy in detective mode will tell Batman the enemy's heart rate to see if the enemy is calm, nervous or even unconscious or deceased; how many enemies there are in the current area and if they are armed or not. On many occasions in the story, Batman must find a person via a DNA sample. For instance, there is one part where Commissioner Gordon is taken by Joker's henchmen and Batman must follow the trail of nicotine from Gordon's pipe by analyzing it in detective mode. Other than the main singleplayer story there are many combat challenges where you have to get the best score possible. Scores are posted on the global leader-boards.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game, the combat was fluent and addictive, the stealth attribute brought Batman to life and the Riddler trophies were fun to collect. At times there were a few problems, like when you try to swoop down to take out an enemy and Batman manages to catch himself on a ledge, instead just falling to the floor instead of subduing the guard. The aforementioned AI bugs and limited stealth did have a negative effect on my gameplay experience too. I still had a lot of fun playing however.


The game's main characters are voiced by Kevin ConroyMark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin reprising their roles as Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn, respectively. To put it short, the voice acting is outstanding! Batman sounds just right, dark and mysterious yet loyal and ready to fight crime. The Joker is pefect with a capital P! Mark Hamill's voice is like it was made for the Joker! Throughout the game, Joker's voice is constantly heard on the Asylum's tanoy system, with him making bad puns and jokes and laughing hysterically. In my personal opinion, I think it's Mark Hamill and the outstanding voice acting in this game that makes it what it is. The music is, at times, dark and gloomy to support the heavy atmosphere created in this game, but changes during combat to a frantic melody as Batman takes out his foes.

There's nothing more to say about the sound other than it is perfect. I cannot think of one problem I had in this area of the game.


When people said to be that Batman: Arkham Asylum was the best Batman game ever, they were certainly telling the truth! Arkham Asylum creates the perfect atmosphere for a Batman game, relating to a more serious side shown by the newest film trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan. It brings Batman back to its comic book roots with comic book panel menus and loads of detail on Batman's past foes and back-story. The gameplay is fun and addictive, allowing you to stealthily swoop down and silently subdue enemies whilst sending fear coursing through the mind of their nervous comrades. As well as an exciting and fluent melee combat system there are 250 fun riddler challenges to succeed in and go back through the game to collect. To conclude, Kevin Conroy playing Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn are just the juicy cherries on top of a rich and delighted masterpiece which will keep you engrossed until you've thrown your last batarang!

+ Arkham Island looks nice
+ Mood and atmosphere perfect for a Batman game
+ Game brings Batman back to its comic book roots
+ Voice acting is top-notch
- AI can be ridiculously stupid at times
- Stealth is good, but too limited

My Rating: 8.5/10

Friday, 6 April 2012

Where have I been? I've been building!

Sorry, sorry! I said in my lost post that I'd be posting regularly again, but I lied! Well, anyway I have been building my very own medieval city in minecraft over this week. If you would like to see some pictures then please view my forum post here.

For those of you who hate Minecraft or dislike it for any other manner, have no fear! I promise that my next post will be a review on Batman: Arkham Asylum which I aim to post tomorrow or late on Sunday!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Random break - I return to gaming!

I apologise for not posting for just over 2 weeks now. My family recently bought a new desktop PC which I have been trying out, I also had a weeks work experience at ABCOM - an IT company specialising in repairs, recycling and PC refurbishment. I spent the week transporting literally hundreds of computer, CRTs, printers etc. and removing viruses from computers. It was a great experience and something I have definitely learned a lot from. I shall now return to my gaming chair and continue playing Dragon Age: Origins which I started playing again only yesterday as I believe I didn't give it a fair chance the first time around. 

More from me tomorrow! I shall return to viewing all of my affiliate's blogs and leave some comments!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Demo Impressions: SSX (PS3)

Thought I might just post this quick. I tried out the demo about 3 hours ago and played it for a further 2! Yes, it was that addictive! Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know that SSX is a famous snowboarding game that started its roots way back when the PlayStation 2 was taking its first baby-steps. The last game to be released was SSX Tour as far as I know which implemented snowboarding and skiing! Anyway, the newest addition was released on the 2nd March (28th February in Northern America) and is just simply called 'SSX' - like the first game (fairly confusing if you ask me, they could have come up with something a bit more imaginative).

SSX brings back the series to its raw awesomeness plus a whole lot more! The demo is limited and only allows you to race down one drop but the actual full game has 150 drops over 9 mountains making it the most content filled SSX game to date. The highlight is the online multiplayer where you can compete against friends in races, trick courses and more.

The demo allows you to play the first drop - 'Bulldog' - in trick mode. You basically have to score as many points as possible by doing unbelievable, physics-defying tricks. All of which look totally awesome! The controls are easy to use but can take a little getting used to. The right analog stick plays the lead roll and by manipulating it in different ways you can get your rider to do dozens, if not hundreds of different tricks. You can tweak them all with the R2 button and of course when your trick bar fills you can pull of 'Tricky' tricks or 'Uber-Tricky' tricks (Try saying that 3 times in a row, really really fast! I dare you!).

This game is awesome and for the 2 hours I played the demo I have decided I will definitely pick this up when it drops in price and I somehow get some spare cash!

SSX revives a dead genre of games!

SSX was released a couple of days ago and watching this IGN Review, talking to some friends and checking out the forums I can safely say it has had a massive, positive response. It is said to be the best one yet, crammed with content specifically the new multiplayer RiderNet which updates itself constantly. I personally spent countless hours grinding up mountains on the PlayStation 2 games so I will definitely be looking to purchase this game in the near future!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Borderlands 2 Launch Date Announced + Trailer!

I loved the first game and now here comes a sequel! And, let me tell you, it looks amazing! There was something like a million guns in Borderlands but in Borderlands 2 apparently there will be even more! Viewing the trailer you'll see some ultra-cool looking guns as well. The launch date is said to be 18th September of this year so a I believe 2012's first pre-order is about to arise!

Better grab my controller and get in some practice on the original game...

The song is 'Doomsday' by Nero.
 Direct Link - 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Check out SuperPhillip Central!

SuperPhillip Central

Just thought I'd recommend a blog I recently became affiliates with over the weekend! SuperPhillip Central is owned by Phillip who, like the majority of us, is an avid gamer. He posts loads of reviews and news over at his site so go check it out and leave a comment!

Link to SuperPhillip Central!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gamingheap Review - Uncharted 3 (PS3)

Written by Oliver

   A Gamingheap Review...

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

I first tried out the Uncharted series last year when one of my mates recommended it to me. I have never played the first one, but completed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and loved it! Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception is an almost perfect third-person-shooter & action and adventure crossover. It would seem each installment in the series is just getting better and better! I actually completed my first play-through on Hard difficulty earlier on today and also had a crack at 'Crushing' difficulty, though I'll get onto that later. I bought this game for £20 if I remember correctly and it was definitely worth it...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Uncharted 3, the best Uncharted yet!

Another game I bought last December (I bought so many!), Uncharted 3 is turning out to be a truly epic game! I unfortunately never played the first one, but I loved Uncharted 2 with its amazing cinematic, movie-like gameplay. That's one thing I love about the series - the whole blockbuster movie feel to it - there are some outstanding level designs, for example the level in Uncharted 2 where you are hanging from a train that is overhanging a massive snowy cliff or a level I completed in Uncharted 3 today where you are in a cruise ship which sinks with you in it!

Uncharted 3's story is great, focusing more on Nathan Drake's past and his endeavour to find the 'Atlantis of the Sands". it's a rather big game too with over 20 chapters and 100 treasures to go back and find throughout the game! Combat is better than ever before with a few new weapons and much better melee combat. It all looks very realistic as well as the graphics are top-class. Expect a Gamingheap Review tomorrow or Saturday at the lastest!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Top Soundtracks [002]: Grand Theft Auto IV - Vagabond, Greenskeepers

 Grand Theft Auto IV: Vagabond, Greenskeepers 

Now I do not know about you guys, but before Grand Theft Auto IV came out, I didn't know who Greenskeepers were, as well as a lot of the other bands whose songs are featured in the game's excellent and quite frankly, hilarious radio stations. Greenskeepers were contacted by Rockstar to make a unique song solely for GTA IV and this is what they produced. The riff is just too good!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Platinum PSN Trophy - 3 (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

This is probably my greatest gaming achievement so far! Skyrim is one of my favourite games of 2011 and indeed of all time as is the entire Elder Scrolls series. I managed this Platinum in a gargantuan 149 hours, 31 minutes and 42 seconds of gameplay. This makes 2 platinums in 9 days! I'm so happy I finally platinum-ed it as it took so much time and it is such a big game. To be fair, none of the trophies were too difficult to get surprisingly. Instead they were just really time consuming! Here are some gameplay stats if you are interested...

Days as a Werewolf: 287
Locations Discovered: 250
Dungeons Cleared: 104
Days Passed: 295
Hours Slept: 41
Hours Waiting: 916
Standing Stones Found: 13
Gold Found: 332345
Most Gold Carried: 105989
Chests Looted: 1780
Skill Increases: 784
Skill Books Read: 72
Food Eaten: 443
Training Sessions: 40
Books Read: 317
Horses Owned: 2
Houses Owned: 2
Stores Invested In: 0
Barters: 1751
Persuasions: 30
Bribes: 8
Intimidations: 10
Diseases Contracted: 1

Quests Completed: 112
Misc Objectives Completed: 157
Main Quests Completed: 18
Side-Quests Completed: 17
The Companions Quests Completed: 7
College of Winterhold Quests Completed: 8
Thieves Guild Quests Completed: 13
The Dark Brotherhood Quests Completed: 27
Civil War Quests Completed: 8
Daedric Quests Completed: 15
Questlines Completed: 5

People Killed: 1285
Animals: 667
Creatures Killed: 259
Undead Killed: 542
Daedra Killed: 29
Automatons Killed: 71
Favourite Weapon: Daedric Sword
Critical Strikes: 1272
Sneak Attacks: 630
Backstabs: 24
Weapons Disarmed: 8
Brawls Won: 7
Bunnies Slaughtered: 9

Spells Learned: 33
Favourite Spell: Telekinesis
Favourite School: Alteration
Dragon Souls Collected: 50
Words of Power Learned: 44
Words of power Unlocked: 46
Shouts Learned: 20
Shouts Unlocked: 20
Shouts Mastered: 8
Times Shouted: 1495
Favourite Shout: Whirlwind Sprint

Soul Gems Used: 59
Souls Trapped: 144
Magic Items Made: 19
Weapons Improved: 41
Weapons Made: 368
Armour Improved: 39
Armour Made: 182
Potions Mixed: 325
Potions Used: 471
Poisons Mixed: 181
Poisons Used: 5
Ingredients Harvested: 1228
Ingredients Eaten: 190
Nirnroots Found: 43
Wings Plucked: 76

Total Lifetime Bounty: 23752
Largest Bounty: 3001
Locks Picked: 290
Pockets Picked: 75
Items Pickpocketed: 693
Times Jailed: 1
Days Jailed: 1
Fines Paid: 12636
Jail Escapes: 1
Items Stolen: 1127
Assaults: 378
Murders: 66
Horses Stolen: 1
Trespasses: 22

If you enjoyed reading these stats, why not copy and paste them, re-write your stats and share them with everyone!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Thanks for reading!

I started this humble hobby nearly 2 years ago in March 2010. Since then I have acquired 31 followers, close on 15,000 page views from people in countries all over the world including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, France and Russia. I would just like to dedicate this post to you guys for reading my blog and some of you for also sharing your thoughts as comments on my posts. I hope to continue this blog for the foreseeable future, so, all you gamers out there...

Game on! :)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Skyrim Guide: How to make easy gold!

Here's just a little something I thought I might compile in a fit of creativity this evening: a small guide containing some of my very own, tried and tested tips for making some coin in the world of Skyrim! There may be more of these to come, so watch this space!

A Skyrim Guide:
How to make easy gold!

Gold is probably the most useful thing in Skyrim and is definitely something you'll need a lot of, whether it be for buying armour, weapons, ingredients or even real-estate, gold is something you need a good supply of in the harsh land of Skyrim. Here are a few simple tips to help you become a budding, wealthy nobleman...

  • Adventure! There's nothing better than delving deep into nord burial crypts or deep dark caves! Along the way, you're sure to find many chests with gold or valuable items in them. Just watch out for the Draugr! You can sell these items for a decent price to any of Skyrim's fine traders. For the truly foolhardy I recommend exploring dwarven ruins for rare metals and priceless artifacts. But! Beware of the dangerous contraptions and other monsters that dwell within!

  • Alchemy! Many people believe alchemy is a boring practice that only the old have fun doing. However if you see a mountain flower, torchbug, lunar moth or happen to cross paths with any other ingredients along Skyrim's snowy paths then why not pick them up and brew up a nice potion at the nearest alchemy table? It's very easy to do and selling these potions or poisons will award you with a lot of gold! Skilled alchemists would do well to combine a 'Lunar Moth Wings' with 'Chaurus Eggs' to create a valuable 'Potion of Invisibility'. Some potions can fetch as high as 500 gold if you're lucky!

  • Questing! See a stranger on the road or in town? Talk to them, see if they offer you a quest. Some people will ask you to deliver different items to different people. Doing so takes little more than a few minutes and before you know it you could have another couple of hundred gold jiggling in your pouch for all the footwork. Bigger, better quests will reward you with more gold so get out there and start questing!

  • Crime! If all else fails and you really are broke then just head over to the nearest town, lockpick a house and steal the items inside! You can sell these items to any fence from the Thieves Guild in Riften. Just make sure any guards don't spot you or you'll be losing more money than you're earning! And... if you're really stuck, break into a house in the dead of night and murder somebody! Do it right, and nobody will notice a thing.

Well, I hope you're now raring to get out there and make some gold with these magnificent tips tried and tested by yours truly!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Gamingheap Review - Dead Island (PS3)

Written by Oliver

   A Gamingheap Review...

Dead Island

When I first saw the trailer for this game back in early 2011 I was highly intrigued. The trailer was the best I had seen that year and I thought it was extremely creative, depicting a family on holiday fighting for their lives against the undead - but playing in slow-motion and in reverse behind very sad music. When I saw some gameplay clips a while later it looked even better! A proper zombie game in an open-world map where you could equip literally dozens of weapons to smash undead skulls in - great! What I thought looked really cool was the survival skill aspect of trying to gather food and medical supplies to keep yourself going whilst trying to avoid large undead hordes and instead picking of the smaller groups. I bought this for a hefty price of $49.99 in Gamestop - it was a lot of cash for what it is...

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM - Part 7

 Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM 

Part 7


I have decided to continue my ongoing quest to platinum Skyrim. I have currently obtained 75% of the trophies so far, the most recent trophy being the 'One with the Shadows' trophy which requires you to return the Thieves Guild to its former glory. If you have read this series up to now, you should know that I had completed the Thieves Guild missions a long way back, but this was a sort of side mission. After doing 5 little thieving jobs in Whiterun, Markarth, Solitude and Windhelm (you can get them from some of the members of the guild) you are awarded the status of Guild-Master and are given the Guild-Master's armour! It's basically a better version of the Thieves Guild Armour with higher stat increases and the fact that it looks ever so slightly darker.

I really enjoyed the Thieves Guild missions as pick-pocketing and sneak are 2 major skills for me in the Elder Scrolls games. Going on from this I also obtained the 'Thief' trophy by pick-pocketing 50 people and successfully picking 50 locks. My lockpicking skill is 95 so it should be level 100 very soon.

I have also been doing the Daedric Lord missions and collecting the artifacts as rewards. I only have 3 or 4 of these to go until I get the 'Oblivion Walker' trophy. Some of the artifacts are awesome! They were all in TES IV: Oblivion as far as I know, but with the improved graphics in Skyrim they all look much better. My personal favourite is a sword: Dawnbreaker you get from doing the Meridia shrine quest. The quest saw me go through a large dungeon filled to the brim with 'Corrupted Shades' (basically ghosts) and kill a powerful mage at the end. Another is Volendrung, a massive warhammer obtained from the daedric lord, Malacath who is worshipped primarily by the many orcish settlements around Skyrim. The quest saw me helping a cursed orcish tribe kill giants in a cavern.

The next trophy I will probably get is the 'Golden Touch' trophy where 100,000 gold is required!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Platinum PSN Trophy - 2 (Saints Row: The Third)

This platinum trophy took me a total of 48 hours, 37 minutes, 39 seconds to obtain.
It was one heck of a ride and whilst most of it was very fun, it was also very tedious.
The hardest trophy was definitely the "Your My Hero!" trophy which saw me completing all 42 in-game challenges.

Here are my 100% completion stats for any one who is interested :)...

Total Respect Earned: 235522
Total Cash Earned: $5,454,360.96
Total Cash Spent: $3,348,857.92
Hospital Bills: $13,000.00
Spent on Customisation Items: $8,714.00
Spent on Car Customisation: £218,415.00
Vehicles Destroyed: 1769
Total Damage Taken: 674076.25
Deaths: 50
Shots Hit: 47.87%
Best Weapon: Shotgun
Total Distance Traveled: 1380401.00m
Favourite Mode of Transportation: Car
Distance by Vehicle: 1127706.13m
Distance by Car: 794259.19m
Longest Jump: 80.10m
Parachute Distance: 7456.97m
Vehicles Hi-jacked: 348
Vehicles Destroyed: 1769
Gang Kills: 3668
Civilians Killed: 1579
Total Law Enforcement Killed: 1652
Unarmed Kills: 270
Human Shield Kills: 34
Grenade Kills: 330
Mascots Killed: 292
Brutes Killed: 126
People Run Over: 1549
Longest Wheelie Distance: 352.62m
Stores Robbed: 15

Friday, 10 February 2012

75% of Saints Row: The Third trophies!

I've been plowing through the trophies this week managing to top my total to 614 trophies! I have so far obtained 105 trophies this year alone, a great start if you ask me! :)

Anyhow, I've been focusing on SR3 this week getting some of the harder trophies like completing all of the city takeover gameplay, all of the activities, gang operations etc. All I have left are a handful of trophies. A hard one is to complete ALL 47 of the in-game challenges, a very time consuming trophy.

Along with Skyrim I'm hoping to platinum this game soonish.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Gamingheap Review - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)

Written by Oliver

A Gamingheap Review...

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I have been avoiding this review for a while, mainly because I knew it would take me a heck of a long time to plan, think about and ultimately type up... but, here it is! Read, and enjoy...
I had been eagerly anticipating the fifth installment of Bethesda Softworks' epic RPG series since I first heard it was in development about a year ago. I thoroughly enjoyed Oblivion and the charm of Cyrodiil and was excited about finally getting out and exploring Skyrim's snowy mountains and deep caves. So, when I finally got my hands on this game and started to play it I was already thinking what I would put in this review...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM - Part 6

 Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM 

Part 6


Just a short update.

I managed to finish the main questline, defeating Alduin in Soverngarde. He was actually pathetically easy, but that's probably because I just shot him up with ebony arrows from far away haha. In the end he exploded (no i'm not joking, when Alduin dies he actually explodes!) and there was no reward whatsoever... not even a dragon soul... so yeah that was a bummer of a way to end the main storyline. Although, I do now have a shout where I can call my very own dragon to fight for me. Randomly spawning dragons also still appear once Alduin is killed which is good because the game wouldn't be nearly as much fun without them. From what I've seen in the trophy list Skyrim looks pretty simple to platinum. All I have got to do is do all of the faction quests such as the thieves guild, companions etc. and then just a handful of extra miscellaneous trophies and I'm done! So that's going to be my next goal in the gaming world: to platinum Skyrim! I don't think it will take me anymore than a couple of weeks gameplay from now. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Lore and Literature of The Elder Scrolls

The books and the lore behind The Elder Scrolls games are great! I've been playing since Oblivion and it's something I've loved and enjoyed so much! I don't know about other gamers, but I've talked to my friends and they say that they always drop books and never read them. There missing out on so much in my opinion. The books tell tales of great adventurers, give useful information on the world and there's even a create your own adventure story book! 

Most RPGs I play, though they have great gameplay and are really fun, don't focus nearly as much as on Lore as Bethesda do in The Elder Scrolls series. I think it makes the game's environment so much more realistic like the world your playing in has existed long before you started playing. This post is basically me just voicing my mind over this fairly small, but outstanding part of Skyrim and Oblivion that I've learned to really enjoy.

Currently my Skyrim household contains over 120 books some really common and some unique and very valuable. I have read a lot of them, however I really would like to sit down one weekend, boot up Skyrim and just read them all for the fun of it!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

My first 10 hours of InFAMOUS!

I've played about 3 or 4 sittings of this game so far since I bought it last December in the US, amounting just over 10 hours of gameplay. If you have a PlayStation 3 then it is highly likely that you've heard of this 2009 smash hit by dev team Sucker-Punch. It even has a sequel which was released last year!

You play as Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger caught in the epicenter of an explosion that devastates several city blocks of the fictional Empire City. The explosion sends the city into chaos while Cole finds himself with new electricity-based super powers. Though the game's story follows Cole using his new abilities to restore some semblance of order to Empire City, the player is given several opportunities to use these powers for good or evil purposes in the game's Karma system. These choices ultimately affect character growth, the reaction of the City's populace towards Cole, and finer elements of gameplay and the story.

The game is an open-world action and adventure with a lot of comic book style cut-scenes. One of the highlights of the game other than being able to awesomely fry your enemies with a number of electrical-based attacks is the free-running and climbing ability of Cole which allows you to fall from any height and practically climb anything in the game that isn't to high to reach. My only problem with the climbing is that a lot of the time it can just feel like you're pressing X and holding the analog stick forward, not really doing much - seeing as you will be climbing something nearly every minute this can seem a little tedious at times. However, one benefit is the cool and stylish buildings of which are immensely varied across Empire City's apocalyptic-like streets.

The graphics are decent, taking in the fact the game was produced nearly 3 years ago. There is lots to do as well, you can complete side-missions which in turn reward you by taking over districts of the city and giving you XP which you can spend to upgrade Cole's abilities and skills. There are also 350 'blast shards' scattered across the city! That's 350 individual collectibles, they are very common to find but even so it takes a long time to get them. So far I have just over 90 of them, baring in mind I've been playing for over 10 hours you can sort of get a feel of the scale here.

I'm actually really enjoying this game and to be fair, I didn't think I would! When I first saw it I thought it looked like nothing too special but I can see now that it is truly a masterpiece of game design. More on this game in the coming weeks!

Thinking about Elder Scrolls VI

Okay I know that Skyrim was released a couple of months back, but I've been thinking: where will the next game be set and in what era?

In Skyrim the empire has been taken over by the Thalmor so that will definitely effect whatever region Bethesda choose to use for the next game. Personally I'd like to see either Hammerfell (Redguard homeland) or Elsweyr (Khajit homeland) in the next game. Hammerfell sounds interesting and is covered in many harsh deserts which would make an interesting change from Skyrim's harsh, snowy mountains. Elsweyr is said to have many different terrains such as badlands, thick jungles and vast flat plains so I think - for the next gen consoles - it would definitely look outstanding and be a big challenge for Bethesda to achieve. The only problem is the lore of the Khajit. They are very different to the other races as they don't even worship the Nine Divines! Elsweyr sounds mysterious and weird and I think it would be very interesting to see Khajit custom and culture in The Elder Scrolls VI.

So, what do you think?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM - Part 5

 Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM 

Part 5


I have now (finally) hit 100 hours + of total Skyrim gameplay, a respectable amount I believe seeing as there is said to be over 300 hours worth of gameplay. I decided to follow more of the main quest, so much so that I have only a single quest to complete until I have finished the main story. However, I will most likely stay true to Elder Scrolls tradition and finish that last story quest after I have finished everything else!

One of the quests saw me delve deep into a dwarven ruin to...


transcribe a blank lexicon and retrieve an elder scroll!

This took a fair amount of time as it was a sprawling labyrinth of a dungeon filled with locked gates and small nooks and crannies to explore. As I progressed through the dungeon I came across several journals and their deceased owners laying next to them (covered in blood of course!). Reading the said journals told the story of how a small expedition crew came to seek treasure in these ruins but a violent storm stopped them from getting back out again. The later journals and the bodies nearby told the story of how slowly each and everyone of them got picked off one by one by the blind Falmer that dwell in within. I think this sort of 'side-story' is really cool to see and adds to the game making it so much more than a bland and repetitive dungeon adventure. This style is actually used so much in the game in lots of detail; it is very impressive!

The next quest saw me...


Capture a dragon in Whiterun and interrogate it to find out where Alduin fled to after I defeated him atop The Throat of The World in the previous quest.

During these quests I obtained a substantial amount of soul-gems which I really want to use to further level my enchanting skill. I've also been fooling around with pick-pocketing something I never really did on Oblivion (kind of ironic seeing as my character is a sneak-bowman!). I like the inventive skills such as Smithing, Alchemy and Enchanting the most as they seem to pay off the most and it's fun to collect the ingredients and ores etc. needed to forge certain items.

Strangely enough, I have played so much of this game but I still don't know how I will shape out its review or how it's going to come out. I will probably piece it sometime this week or next. One thing I'm not sure whether to do is to compare Skyrim to Oblivion. They are obviously both outstanding games but I just don't think it is fair to do so as everyone is going to have different opinions and as Todd Howard himself said: There's always going to be people that say 'oh Oblivion was the best' or 'Morrowind was better'. Anyhow, until then I will probably keep updating this series. I hope you are enjoying it!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A new detective game for the next gen consoles?

I was browsing through a list of upcoming titles on AmazonUK and came across one that piqued my interest earlier today. The game itself is called 'The Testament of Sherlock Holmes'. Now I really enjoy detective/crime drama on the TV and just recently the second series of the BBC's Sherlock (a modern take on the famous books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) ended. I was also thoroughly transfixed when L.A. Noire was released in early 2011. So, when I saw this I got a bit excited and decided to see if there were any trailers or gameplay videos on youtube. Here's the E3 Trailer...

Yeah... the trailer is really crappy but at least it shows us that the visuals aren't all that bad, although they have nothing on L.A. Noire and that the game appears to be set in the late 1890's. You seem to have to walk everywhere as well...

Here's what IGN say about the story...

1898, London. All the evidence of police investigation points at Sherlock Holmes as the main suspect in a case involving theft, fraud and double-crossings. Unable to prove his own innocence, Holmes is rapidly losing London’s trust as doubt spreads through the city like wildfire. Even Doctor Watson's faith in his friend begins to waver, as the famous detective flees Scotland Yard and raises further suspicion; prowling around at night, destruction of evidence... would Holmes go so far as to commit murder?

'Prowling at night' tells me that there's probably some sort of sneaking or infiltration involved in the game which will hopefully deliver a sinister atmosphere to the game and prevent it from boiling down into something horrifically tedious and boring

From the information I've read it seems to play a lot like what you'd expect. You enter crime-scenes and analyse clues, you can choose to ignore some clues you think may be irrelevant to the case or record others to refer to later. Apparently there are interrogation scenes which I assume play out a lot like L.A. Noire's did although I haven't read anything about any action scenes. I'm sure they'll be some sort of action scene otherwise the game wouldn't be a whole lot fun to play or indeed very interesting.

I'm not sure about this title yet, I may decide to preorder when I hear more about it. It's rumored to be released early this year.

Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM - Part 4

 Gamingheap Special: SKYRIM 

Part 4

Well, well I seem to have sort of ditched writing these specials up for some reason. Luckily right now I'm going through another Skyrim phase so I've decided to update this series! I'm sure you're happy to know :)

Plundering many dungeons, caves and forts and slaying any beasts that stand in my path I have amassed a small fortune of 40,000 gold - unfortunately not enough for the 'Golden Touch' trophy which requires 100,000 gold. I've begun to dabble in alchemy and have made several trips out to the forests and highlands of Skyrim to pick mountain flowers and find other natural alchemy ingredients. Making potions and poisons with alchemy is not only beneficial in battle but brewing those concoctions also fetches a pretty penny at any store. My ingredient collection isn't the only collection I have either! I have well over 100 books all retrieved (or stolen!) from the clean shelves of the court-mages to the dusty, cobweb covered shelves of the deepest dungeons. I have read only a handful of these books and I have to say, they are definitely one of the most interesting and enjoying parts of the game! Some books tell stories, others describe Skyrim's many wild beasts and of course there are the books that tell the lore of the elder scrolls series. I will probably sit down one weekend and read them all just for the full experience. I also have a mean cheese collection!

I have attempted several times now to decorate my manor house, but with no avail! It takes a heck of a long time to actually get the item you want to sit right on a table and then when it does you either end up knocking it off or it will be on the floor the next time you enter your house due to an unfortunate glitch. One thing that did end up alright however is a large tray in the basement of my home filled to the brim with valuable stones (emeralds, amethysts, garnets etc.).

In combat terms my bow skill is now 100. Because of this I have decided to switch to one-handed combat to further vary my fighting ability. My favourite combat style at the moment is a sword or dagger in one hand and a spell in the other (usually Magelight so I can send an orb forward to light my path if it is dark). I have done a few more quests and killed a lot more dragons too! One highlight I must mention is when I found my first dragon priest - Krosis - and after a tough battle managed to loot its mask which gives me +20 alchemy, lockpicking and bow skills. Other quests included obtaining daedric artifacts such as mehrunes dagger which has a chance to one-hit kill any enemy. One particular quest saw me scale a tower filled with witches and hagravens with a priest and then kill the master witch and looting a unique fire staff from her.

I will probably get around to doing a proper review on this game sometime this week or next - I warn you, it will be a hell of a long review! Yes, I'm having a heaven (or should I say Sovemgarde?) of a time with Skyrim and today I finally hit my 100th hour and I'm not looking to stop now!
How's Skyrim going for you?