Reveal Reaction!

So the big reveal has been and gone. They hype is over, well pretty much, there is still a huge “The Xbox One Revealed” on my Dashbord, the Xbox one that is.

I have to say, in the end I was mildly curious, no scrub that, I was nosey. I didn’t want to be the last person on the planet to find out what was going on, mind you I wasn’t perched precariously on the end of my seat either.

I read blogs from people far more knowledgeable than myself, like the guys over at “What’s Your Tag“. I relied on them to deliver the information to me in terms I could actually understand as opposed to jargon that just jangled my brain cells. I was not disappointed. Sterling job as usual guys!

I did try to watch some of the online video’s but the constant buffering was a little more than my stress levels could handle.

I checked my mail. Pre Order your Xbox One it said. Pre Order price of 399.99 pounds sterling guarenteed it said. Feck that I said. My interest waned.

Of course I’d like one, but the sad simple truth is I can’t afford one, so whats the point of torturing myself. What’s the point of going all gooey eyed over the stats and statistics, the sleek look, the new controller and the fact it will recognise my voice.

If you don’t have the money, you just don’t have the money, it doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Microsoft, Xbox and The Big Reveal!


Dear Mr Head OF All Things Xbox,

I cannot fail to notice that something is happening on the 21st May 2013. Every time I turn on my Xbox I am reminded of it. Has it got something to do with your new console perhaps?

First things first, it seems this little shindig of yours is happening online on the 21st at 6pm. I’m terribly sorry but I’ll not be able to make it, you see I have a job. It’s what gives me the money to buy the games for my Xbox which gives me entertainment after I come back from my job. In the grand scheme of things in your big industry my job might not be very important but I kinda need it to exist, so you’ll have to accept my apologies. Perhaps your “New generation” does not include oldies like me who have supported you for years!

Secondly, I’m all excited for you that you are releasing a new console, I bet you are very happy. Me, I’m very sad because my aforementioned job doesn’t pay very much money. I couldn’t tell you the last time I got a payrise.  Necessities like food, cleaning products etc all sadly come before gaming, hence why I am sad. I’m not going to be able to afford your shiny new console, not for a long time anyway, actually probably around the time you release the next one. Am I going to be penalized for this? Will you stop supporting the console I can afford and no longer make games for it?

I know most of the gaming community are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out all about your next installment. I’m thinking back to the reason why I made the move to Xbox in the first place, Sony’s introduction of the PS3 and abandoment of the PS2, hefty price tag, non backwards compatibility and new games only being released for the newer console. I’m a little worried you’re about to drive your car down the same road, which in turn might make me want to drive mine off a cliff!

I guess time will tell and I should probably get on with the housework rather than sending you letters full of speculation. Good luck for that thing on Tuesday, emm what was it again??


Miss Skint and Not as Excitied as Everyone Else

Trials Evolution!


I’ve been wanting to blog about Trials for a while now, but in all honesty it’s such a huge subject I had trouble figuring out where to begin.

Quite simply Trials is the game that myself and my circle of Xbox friends play the most. We may deviate or get all excited when a new game is released, but we always seem to go back and revisit our old friend.

Essentially it is a motorbike, or a Trials bike game. You control a rider on a physics based motorcycle while navigating obstacles on a track. Fast paced, challenging and often times frustrating but with seemingly endless playability.

Trials HD was the first release, way back on the 12th August 2009. I certainly had seen no other game like it or that could match it. I played it at my Brother in Laws and was captivated and couldn’t wait to get home and purchase it for myself.


I liked the game, but sadly I didn’t fall in love with it. The further I progressed, I found myself getting utterly frustrated by my inability to improve. In fact so frustrated that the controller bounced off the floor a fair few times. I would turn it on, play a track, fail miserably and turn it off because the constant engine rev of the bike was grating on my nerves like fingers down a blackboard.

The bikes felt heavy, almost unresponsive at times and the tracks nigh on impossible.

Eventually it became a dust gatherer within the innards of my Xbox. In the wider gaming world however it was a success.

On the 18th April 2012 Trials Evolution was released and everything changed!


 The huge success of Trials HD made it possible for us to finally create the game of our dreams — Sebastian Aaltonen, Lead Programmer at RedLynx

Unlike it’s predecessor it provided outdoor environments with curved driving lines and sleeker, more responsive bikes which were partially customizable along with the rider.

As in real life you must pass license tests to progress through the 57 levels which range from Beginner to Extreme, unlocking bikes as you go. No two levels are the same, all having their own set of unique challenges.

I loved it. Unlike Trails HD I was totally sold, however there was still the problem of the inability to progress. The hard and extreme tracks lefts me with cold sweats, cramped fingers and rage head! I lost count of the times I cursed and screamed swearing they were an abomination and impossible to complete.  Again I almost gave up.

Then I met the crew in the picture at the top of the post and they helped me unlock the secret! Healthy competition. Your friends names always ahead of you certainly make you push that little bit harder. Also Multi player which is pretty decent improves your single player skills.

I’ve now completed every track, albeit some of the extreme still have a hefty amount of faults attached, but I can’t describe that feeling of triumph when you finally cross the finish line on one that has been giving you nightmares for weeks!

The game also has an in built editor, meaning anyone with an interest can create tracks and then upload them for others to play. Hence me saying earlier it was seemingly endless, there is always new content being added.

However this also has a downside. Sometimes Track Central can get overloaded with tracks with no playability whatsoever and other great ones get pushed to the bottom or out altogether meaning you may never get to see them. Also you can only search by user name which can be difficult given the use of symbols, lower and uppercase letters.

Don’t get me wrong Trials Evolutions is not without it’s faults. We (my circle of friends) have all experienced lag, console freezes, loss of data and a couple of us have had to erase and re download. But at 1600 Microsoft points (approx £16) for Trials and the two DLC’s, Origin of Pain and Riders of Doom who can complain. It’s kept me entertained since it’s release date in April and I am still playing!GlobalTrackCentral

Shady and I have spent the last few days compiling a list of some of our favorite tracks, however as Shady himself says there are hundreds out there we have not yet discovered. So if you know of any good ones you think we should try, please feel free to comment.

We’ve purposely left out Redlynx created tracks as they can be easily found within Track Central.

Our Top Ten Just Kept on Growing!! (I blame Shady!)

SmEgHeAd89 – A Knights Ride & Farm Trail

Meenie77 – Adventure of Doom

PuRpLE oOzi – Citywide Storage Co & Old Railroad Run

Spizaa – Giant’s Kitchen

Murdoc Loch – Glitter & Doom and Rouge Ridge

Doctor EDD – LOTR Moira and any of his other amazing Lord of the Rings Tracks

Icky Qualms – Natural Resources

X CYBER SCYTHE – Quarry Project

Medieval Genius – The Elder Trials IV, Time Line and Now You’re Cookin

Mr Fecker – Mild Insanity

Jelly 1969 – Quick & Simple

ratrod dad e O – Time Travel and The REAL Giga Cross

qbicfeet – Scandanavian Summer

AGANIZE – Sonic (Trials)

F1RESTORM uk – The Show Jumper

StrykeUM – White ‘n’ Sandy

morfyboy – It’s snow good

maccorenzy – Le Monde de Morphee

Kalinius – Carole’s Garden

ll ManOnFire ll – Westwood Farm

insanedude13 – Blue Boxes

the emcee – Air.Craft and Go Ape!!

GhostForce2 – Alice in Woodenland

cKz Kalipso v – Dopamine

Slatonator – Snow Drift Peak

Lus1kka – Palmway

THE ELMONATOR – King of Kludge

x4BSOLUTExZER0x – Tornado Emergency

i ZeqeeeNz 3XM – Lumber Lord

When you find the creators name, make sure to also check out the “Other tracks by this Creator”. We have only listed a few of the many fantastic tracks they have made.

Tomb Raider!!



So before I start let me say I am not a games reviewer, I never have been and I never will be, what I can tell you is that I love the new Tomb Raider so much I could just jump up and down for joy….well I would have in the days pre knee surgery. Not now.

I’d read the reviews and seen the trailers on the XBox and to be honest I was sort of meh about the whole thing. Yes the graphics looked amazing but I wasn’t to sold on the gameplay. I sort of figured I’d have a go sometime but I wasn’t going to rush out and buy it.

Tomb Raider, the original, was the game that got me hooked on the PSone. Up until that point I had a Sega Master System and the most addictive game in the world was Alex the Kidd in Miracle World. Then one night while at my friends house he showed me this game and said I’m stuck want to see if you can get any further and that was me hooked! He lent me the console for the Christmas holidays. No one saw me for days other than the short breaks I took to grab some food. I have only ever taken leave from work for two games, this was one of them and the other was Final Fantasy VII. Granted some of the puzzles drove me almost insane, but for that time the graphics were awesome, the music haunting and the gameplay addictive.

Since then the games that have held my attention have been few and far between. I’ve enjoyed games but not to the point where you get restless until you sit down and pick up the controller.

I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of  the new Tomb Raider, so I anxiously installed it to hard drive and pressed play.

Awesome graphics. I love FMV scenes, especially where it’s almost hard to tell what is real and what’s not. I guess I was hooked from the starting scenes.

It’s a completely different experience to any other TR game, but that’s just my opinion. It has the same feel about it and you know that’s what you are playing, but it’s in a different class.

I have to say, I was worried as my weapon mastery skills are not the best,  for example here’s how Battlefield 3 usually goes…..Spawn, stand up, get shot, die. Respawn, stand up, get shot, die, and so it goes on. After a few attempts I fell in love with the bow and arrow and it is currently my weapon of choice, however the others do come in handy as well. I’ve become quite adept at headshots, and my list of achievements is growing. What can I say I am a shameless achievement whore!!


The puzzles are challenging but not frustratingly so. The challenges are puzzling but not frustratingly so.

There is plenty of terrain to explore and there were a couple of times when I actually Oooo’d an Aaahhh’d at the landscapes, something I had not done since playing ICO.

There were also a couple of places where there was a little twist of unexpected gameplay, where I whooped in delight and wondered why I have never seen this in any game before.

I’ve almost completed the game. I’m on the run up to the final level, however I still have plenty to explore and find, as I have uncompleted challenges, unfound treasures and missing GPS caches, but instead of thinking oh crap I can’t be bothered doing all this again, I can’t wait. I have a desire to totally complete the game. Whether the desire becomes a reality remains to be seen.

My recommendation! Give it a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.