Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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I've just started a new blog for my upcoming book releases: http://mark-adams-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Friday, 23 October 2009

Why Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the greatest game ever.

I've been playing game for over 30 years. The first few years of my gaming life (1977-1982) I played simple Pong clones or Grandstand consoles with various football and tennis games. Then came my first real computer, the ZX81 which allowed me to play dozens of different kinds of games. Soon after my passion really evolved when I had my Amstrad CPC computer, ZX Spectrum, Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200, Sega Saturn, Playstation, Dreamcast, PS2 and everything in between. I love game playing, and I can not deny it's taken up a huge part of my life. In total I must have played thousands of games, many of them only once or twice and not getting very far on them, and many of them to the very bitter end.

So, it takes a lot for a game to impress me today. In fact, it takes something very very special to even make me comment on ho good it is. This generation has given us some of the best games ever, my draw dropped when I played Killzone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, the graphics were beyond beautiful, and the whole thing on both games was a technical tour-de-force. The original Uncharted was a great game, it looked amazing and played very well, and for once it brought me back in believing that games could become brilliant again.

Of course, games today are very different to the games I grew up with in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. Even games downloaded from the internet are something special now. Wipeout HD/Fury would have been unheard of a couple of years ago as a download, but once downloaded it's graphics and game play are enough to blow your proverbial socks off! So, everything taken into consideration, Uncharted 2 must be something really special.

So, what does Uncharted 2 have that makes it the greatest game ever made? First off, character. You play the game and it feels genuine, you feel for the characters and you feel for the script. It feels like you are genuinely part of a movie and you feel you are contributing to everything that goes on. Secondly, from a technical point of view the graphics, sound, script and acting are a million times better than anything that has come before. This is the most beautiful game you have ever seen, heard or had the pleasure of controlling. The cut-scenes are the best you'll ever see... sometime you think you're watching a movie and forget you're playing a game. It is that good.

They've taken the original triple "A" Uncharted, and added a further couple of "A"'s to it. Everything that was brilliant about the first game has been amplified and improved on. You now have the option to play the game with much more stealth, and there are some great stealth attack moves. Talking of moves, the way you go from gun-play to hand combat to climbing is just mind blowing, everything just feels so natural, you ARE the humorous lady's-man Drake.

So, I'll rate this game on completing it once and about to start playing it again, the review can not express how good the game is, it is that good. Anyone who has not played this game, or skips the cut-scenes really needs to get it, and play it right... It's a life changing game to play in the world of games.

Game Play: 10/10 - So many moves, so many treasures to find, so many things to unlock. Perfect for replaying... and I've not touched on the online play yet!
Graphics: 10/10 - The best you'll ever see on any console, with great animation and unrivaled details.
Sound: 10/10 - Simply stunning, I wish I could buy the soundtrack as a separate CD, it's brilliant! Sound effects and dialog are world class.
Overall: 10/10 - It's all but perfect.

Friday, 9 October 2009

It's Politics time again. Who to vote?

Let me start by saying that I am neither a Labour nor a Conservative voter. I do vote in every election and bi-election, but I have never voted either of these two parties. There are other's out there that would do a better job, however sadly most people are too middle of the road to reach out and vote someone different.

So, yesterday was the Conservative Party Conference speech where David Cameron made his gripping speech. Of course, it was a strong speech, stirring and saying exactly what he wanted people to hear. And that is the point, I believe he was just saying what people want to hear. Now is the era of the actor in Politics, and David Cameron was acting as if he was a person for the people. Since when was Conservative Politics interested in the man on the street? Surely this would make them more Labour than Labour themselves?

Politics are changing, the World is changing, yet British Politics is stuck in the last Century. We need a party now who can deal with the troubles that are presented to us these days. Taxes, Immigration, Housing, NHS, Employment, Social Disorder and much much more. How can someone run the country if they have never experienced problems in any of these?

If I was Prime Minister for here are some of the things I would bring in:

We all have to be taxed, it's a fact that we can not escape. But having been on the low earnings ladder (less than £10,000 a year) and on the high end of earnings (£55,000+) myself, I could not believe that I was paying almost the same tax at both ends. What I would propose is a fairer Tax system, based on the area you live. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland would have a high earners ceiling of £50,000, while England would have a ceiling of £55,000 and London £60,000. To be fair, if anyone has trouble living on more than this, then they need a huge grasp of reality. So, anyone below the ceiling would pay a standard low rate of tax (dependent on the current economic climate). Now anyone over the ceiling I'd enforce a 50% tax for the amount over the threshold, it's more than fair, and the extra money in the bank will help out those who really need it!

The UK is the softest target for immigrants and European migrants. I've visited Belgium and Holland on numerous occasions and they have it right. They place immigrants and European migrants into holding areas, they are only given vouchers for food and are not entitled to any financial aid. After 6 weeks, if they can not prove they are over in the country for a valid reason or if they do not have a valid professional job that could be of use to the country then they are shipped out of the country. It's an almost perfect example, though I would also organize immediate send-back of those already here, I know the current Party already does this, but it needs to be speeded up.

Have you noticed just how many houses are empty? How many huge old buildings are just falling apart and not used? First priority would be to modernise these buildings, and create quick and effective housing for those who need it. WHY in 2009 are there homeless people? It's wrong, and it is so easy to fix. I'd also re-instate affordable housing, and also cap house prices so that anyone can afford them. A house is NOT a luxury, it's a need of everyone, and no-one on any scale of social ladder should be able to afford to buy or rent a house.

Cleaning out the foreign immigrants will free up many hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, some of these may be minimum-wage jobs, however the minimum wage is more than enough to live on, and live on comfortably. I know plenty of happily married couples and single people on minimum wage jobs who are more than comfortable so I see no excuse why anyone would not take a job with minimum wage pay. If they refuse a job that is offered to them, then simply stop any benefits. I'd also bring back two years National service in the army, for everyone between 17 and 21, it's something that needs to be done in this country and would ensure plenty of jobs and skills for jobs in the future.

Social Disorder:
As mentioned above, National Service would give youngsters a sense of being once again, I'd also start new clubs for children between 11 and 16 in which they would learn valuable skills for the future plus they would participate in more sporting and out-door events. This would be a process of ensuring that future generations learn to be part of society, be a human doing, not just a human being.

Young offenders would be placed into the military under strict rule, while degenerates over 21 would be used as hard-laborers on the new housing schemes. No prisoners would be aloud TV, and they would lose their human rights and only be given basic requirements to live, unless they prove themselves to be of any worth.

There are a lot more things I would change, and there is a need for the country to stop all this political correctness nonsense and get on with getting on! Modern politicians are just actors telling us things we want to believe, but rarely do they deliver. We need a change, and we need one now, we need a good clear out of the old and we need to put the "Great" back in Great Britain.

Now, who do I vote for?