Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gaming with Grandma - 117

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma to our kids), 8 (almost 9) year old daughter Maddie, and a welcome guest in younger daughter Georgia who is 4.5 years old.

Maddie chose the games we were to play. First up was PitchCar Mini. The colours of the four drivers were Wayne (tan), Grandma (yellow), Maddie (pink) and Georgia (blue). The starting grid was 1st Maddie, 2nd Georgia, 3rd Grandma and 4th Wayne.

Maddie led for pretty much the entire three laps with me in second and slowly gaining on her each lap. Georgia and Grandma kept trading 3rd and 4th position. It was on the last bend of the final lap that the major drama of the race happened. Maddie ran off the road and I was able to overtake her and win on my next go. She took 2nd with Georgia 3rd and Grandma 4th.

Maddie then chose Diamant. This is my home-made version and we use glass stones to represent the rubies and diamonds. Maddie and Grandma took an early lead which they held for the first four caves. On the final cave I pushed my luck further than the other three and was lucky to come away with a big score that handed me the overall win. Final scores were 1st Wayne 47, 2nd Maddie 39, 3rd Grandma 29 and 4th Georgia 15.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 2 days to go

Reviews are now being posted of Red Dead Redemption.

High praise indeed from Seth Schiesel of the New York Times when he wrote "In the more than 1,100 articles I have written for this newspaper since 1996, I have never before called anything a tour de force. Yet there is no more succinct and appropriate way to describe Red Dead Redemption."

Here are some links to just a few of the many reviews of Red Dead Redemption.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Red Dead Redemption released in North America!

Well, after what has seemed an eternity to a lot of people, Red Dead Redemption has finally been released in North America today, in many instances as a midnight release at certain game stores. Unfortunately for myself and every other gamer in the world we still have to wait another three days. Roll on Friday!

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 3 days to go

There are only three days to go until Red Dead Redemption is released in Europe and other parts of the world, including Australia.

I did a double-take at the train station in the city this morning. One of the electronic posters was advertising Red Dead Redemption. Here's a photo I took with my phone camera.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 4 days to go

Weapons were a part of the Old West and they are also a part of Red Dead Redemption. Reddead.Wikia has a list of the known weapons in Red Dead Redemption as revealed in screen shots and videos that have been released to date.

All links will take you to the Reddead.Wikia page with a game screenshot of the particular weapon.


Borchardt Pistol

German Semi-Automatic Pistol

Cattleman Revolver

Colt Single Action Army

Colt Model 1903/1908

American Semi-Automatic Pistol

Double-Action Revolver

American Magnum Revolver

LeMat Revolver

Civil War-Era Revolver

Mauser Pistol

German Mauser C96 - Automatic Pistol

Schofield Revolver

Smith & Wesson Schofield No. 3 Revolver

Volcanic Pistol

Pre-Civil War Lever-Action Pistol

Luger Pistol

German Luger P08 Semi-Automatic pistol

Colt M1911

American Army Semi-Automatic Pistol

Colt Dragoon

A very old but very powerful cap and ball pistol


Buffalo Rifle

Sharps 1874 Long Range

Evans Repeating Rifle

Evans Repeating Rifle

Repeater Carbine

Spencer Model 1860 Carbine

Henry Repeater

1860 Henry Rifle

Carcano Rifle

Italian Carcano M1891 Rifle

Winchester Repeater Model 1873

Winchester Repeater Model 1873

Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine

Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine

Winchester Model 1886

More powerful than the 1873 and 1892

Winchester Model 1895

Early American Lever-Action Rifle

Winchester 1907

American Semi-automatic rifle with magazine

Remington No.1

Remington No.1 Rolling Block Sporting Rifle

Springfield Cavalry Carbine

1873 Trapdoor Springfield Cavalry Carbine


Krag-Jørgensen/Springfield Model 1892-99

M1903 Springfield

M1903 Springfield


Browning Auto 5

Browning Auto 5

Sawed Off Shotgun

Sawed Off Shotgun

Side by Side Shotgun

Side by Side Shotgun

Winchester Model 1901

10-gauge lever-action shotgun

Winchester Model 1897

12-gauge pump-action shotgun

Over and Under Shotgun

Over and Under Shotgun

Thrown Weapons

In addition to firearms, the player can obtain various thrown weapons:

Mounted Weapons

These weapons are stationary and cannot be directly moved by the player from the location of deployment:

Additional Weapons and Equipment

Other than the above, there are other types of weapons and equipment the player can use.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 5 days to go

One of the features of Red Dead Redemption, and also a large part of life in the Old West, is the ability to hunt animals. There are over 30 animals that can be hunted by players in the single player game as well as in multiplayer Free Roam.

All pictures are clickable for a larger image.

It appears that hunting and then selling the meat, fur and other parts will gain you cash in the game.

You can hunt all sorts of animals, from the very small... the very large.

And sometimes, the hunter...

...becomes the hunted!

And you will probably learn the hard way that hunting cougars with only a knife may not be such a good idea.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 6 days to go

The world of Red Dead Redemption is huge. It comprises three main areas, West Elizabeth (The North), New Austin (the Frontier), and Nuevo Paraiso (Northern Mexico).

The entire map of Red Dead Redemption

The North (West Elizabeth) - Home to the bustling Blackwater, one of the many modern, burgeoning new townships that sprung up across America in the dying days of the Old West. West Elizabeth may provide a taste of early 20th century modernity, but also its fair share of wilderness and danger. From the wolves prowling the snows of Nekoti Rock to the fierce Grizzlies in the forests above Manzanita to the ruthless card sharks at the tables in Blackwater - traveling the North requires caution and wile.

West Elizabeth

The Frontier (New Austin) - The last outpost of the American frontier to be mapped, conquered and settled. New Austin is home to scattered townships and forts - but far from tamed. Savage outlaws and wild animals still roam the open spaces, and wary travelers share the newly cut roads with as many bandits as farmers. Trains and coaches move quickly between the larger towns, but a sidearm is a necessity when traveling by horseback.

New Austin

Northern Mexico (Nuevo Paraiso) - South of the border, across the San Luis River from New Austin, lies the Mexican province of Nuevo Paraiso. Red soil, enormous mesas and scorching midday sun make passing through these lands an unforgettable journey. In quieter times, the locals are not likely to bother a stranger - but there is talk of a civil war brewing in the hills, and mounted army patrols are quick to extinguish any signs of trouble. Tread carefully.

Nuevo Paraiso

I enjoy exploring open game worlds. Red Dead Redemption is looking like it will be one of the largest and most beautiful worlds yet produced.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mantic Ghouls

Mantic Games and Wayland Games recently had a promotion for Mantic Games' latest range of plastic 25mm Ghouls. I received my free sprue of two ghouls in the mail today. They look quite detailed and you have the option of a couple of menacing poses and different heads.

Here is a picture of what they look like when assembled.

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 7 days to go

Rockstar Games have released the full-length Official Launch Trailer for Red Dead Redemption. Check it out below. I'd recommend viewing at the highest resolution on full-screen.

Saddle up!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 8 days to go

Here's another Red Dead Redemption game play only video, this time with Ennio Morricone's classic theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly playing in the background. This video features the weapons and combat of Red Dead Redemption.

In the world of Red Dead Redemption your choices will have consequences. Read all about Honor & Fame and how this affects your interactions with people you meet. While you're at it, why not take the Test Your Honor quiz. You will be presented with five scenarios you may find yourself encountering in Red Dead Redemption that affect your Honor level.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 9 days to go

Check out this informative article from the staff at GameSpot AU. Josh Bass, director of Rockstar San Diego's art department, talks about the creation of the main mode of transportation in Red Dead Redemption - the horse.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Countdown - 10 days to go

It's only 10 days now until the Australian release date of Red Dead Redemption and I'm very excited. Here's a little treat, a video of game play only, no cut-scenes, just game play. And to top it all off you've got Ennio Morricone's theme from For a Few Dollars More playing in the background.

If that don't get your chewin' tobbaco juices flowin' I don't know what will.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Saxon Stories - 3

I picked up the third novel in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories series, The Lords of the North, from the library at lunchtime today. I'm looking forward to joining Uhtred of Bebbanburg's adventures over the coming weeks.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Free Co-Op Mission Pack

Rockstar Games have announced that they will be providing three content packs of downloadable content (DLC) for their upcoming western game Red Dead Redemption. The first DLC pack, entitled 'Outlaws to the End', will be six multiplayer cooperative missions. To be released simultaneously on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in June, the cool news is that this first DLC for Red Dead Redemption will be FREE.

The Outlaws to the End Co-Op Mission Pack will feature six all-new cooperative multiplayer missions to play online with 2-4 players.

The six missions will be played out across the huge game world of Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar Games have released details about three of the six missions.

“The River”
Ride a raft down river, taking out rebel encampments along the way until you reach the rebel stronghold of Nosalida and a final epic battle for the town’s massive weapons caches. Watch out for Gatling gun-equipped enemy rafts.

Riding the river raft to an assault on the rebel stronghold of Nosalita.

“Walton’s Gold”
Walton’s Gang have taken control of a mining camp rich with gold. Fight through the camp and load your mine cart with as much gold as you can carry and get out as fast as you can – Walton’s boys have rigged the place to blow!

Get the crew together – these co-op missions take teamwork and firepower.


The Mexican Army has the town of Tesoro Azul under siege. Storm the gates under heavy cannon, Gatling gun and sniper fire to destroy the Mexican artillery placements.

The team tracks down weapons caches in Tesoro Azul.

The Outlaws to the End Co-Op Mission Pack will also yield additional multiplayer XP rewards, and brand new Achievements/Trophies to unlock. Rockstar Games are expected to reveal more information about the mission pack soon.

Select any available character you like from the Outfitter for co-op missions.

Cooperative play can be a whole lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to trying these missions.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A gaming console decision

Back in 2007 I made the leap from my fourth generation gaming console (a Sega Mega Drive) to a current seventh generation console (an Xbox 360). The dilemma for me in 2007 was which current generation console to choose, a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360? I did a lot of research and considered all the pros and cons. At that stage the PS3 had been released less than a year earlier, cost considerably more than the Xbox 360 and had fewer game titles. In the end my decision was based on which console had the better range of games, best exclusive games and was best value for money. I chose the Xbox 360 and have been happy with my choice.

Fast forward almost three years to 2010. My Xbox has suffered two RRODs (Red Rings of Death) and while this was inconvenient at the time both failures were efficiently resolved by Microsoft at no cost to myself. My view of the Xbox 360 has been slightly tarnished but I still consider it an outstanding gaming system. My only real concern is the issue of ongoing reliability.

Having said that, I've never really been a total Xbox 360 fanboy or ever participated in the ridiculous console wars that seem to erupt in just about every Internet forum I read. I've always viewed the PS3 as an excellent gaming console in its own right, equivalent, if not more powerful than the Xbox 360.

With the upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption my mind has turned to online game play. I know I will be spending a great deal of time in the future playing this game online and I look forward to playing it with friends and people I know. My brother will also be getting RDR but he owns a PS3 and I have never been able to play online with him. This is a pity as I fondly recall the many sessions of the Boot Hill wild west roleplaying game we played together in our youth. It would be fun to recreate some of that western action again with him in an online posse.

In fact, when I think about it, the majority of my friends own PS3s. This has had me thinking about purchasing one myself. With the recent price drop and increased hard drive capacity of the PS3, as well as the many cool exclusive gaming titles released over the last few years, it's becoming a more attractive option for me. I've been considering purchasing a PS3 for some months now but with the upcoming release of RDR, and knowing that the majority of my friends will be playing this game online via the PlayStation Network, well, it's prompted me to make a decision. A decision which I made back on 27 April when I changed my RDR Limited Edition pre-order from the Xbox 360 version to the PS3 version. Yes, I've now committed myself to purchasing a Sony PlayStation 3.

I'm still keeping my Xbox 360 though. I love it and I've got a decent library of games that I'll be playing for quite some time yet. Now I'll have the best of both worlds.

I plan on picking up a PS3 Slim console with a 120GB hard drive in the next week or so.

New Red Dead Redemption videos

Well it's now less than two weeks until Red Dead Redemption is released in Australia. I've pre-ordered the game and will have it in my hands on Friday 21 May. I'm really looking forward to immersing myself in the game world and experiencing a little taste of life in the wild west as it struggled into the 20th century.

Rockstar Games have released some new trailers over the last few days. If you are going to view these, or the other RDR trailers I've embedded previously in this blog, I really encourage viewing them at the highest resolution and watching them full screen, just to take in the awesome scenery and game play.

First up is the Official TV commercial for RDR.

The second is a trailer entitled 'Revolution' that shows some of the events John Marston is involved in when he gets embroiled in a revolution in Mexico.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I got back last night from a two-day work conference in Melbourne. Melbourne is a 2.5 hour flight from Brisbane. The last time I was in Melbourne was for the 2005 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Unfortunately I didn't get an opportunity for any sightseeing on this occasion as the conference was held in the hotel in which I was staying.

Here's a photo of a Melbourne tram outside my hotel on Collins Street.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Red Dead Redemption: Official TV Commercial

Another TV commercial for Red Dead Redemption has been released. This one appears to be for European and Australian audiences as it gives the later release date of 21 May 2010.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

More Western Films

I caught some more western movies over the last couple of weeks.

Red Dead Redemption: GameStop Commercial

GameStop, an American video game and entertainment software retailer, is showing a commercial for Red Dead Redemption on American TV. The commercial is only short but it features the Deadly Assassin outfit that John Marston can aquire.