I'm baaaack ... and first off, what's with this rubbish weather? In Christchurch at the moment it's pouring with rain and we've got the fire on. Sydney was basking in the low 30s last week, though it was a bit overcast on Saturday.
Since my last post, I've played some of Halo 4's campaign and its multiplayer/cooperative modes, spoken to creative director Josh Holmes about 343 Industries' vision for the Master Chief, and wandered around the EB Games expo held at the Sydney Showgrounds at Olympic Park.
Auckland colleagues said the EB Expo was a bit like Auckland's Armageddon show - only bigger and with more people - and for a journalist used to attending trade shows where media get special treatment, the EB Expo is consumer focused pure and simple. If I wanted to play a game I had to line up with everybody else.
There were quite a few cosplayers about: I saw numerous Ezios, several Marios, a few characters from Kingdom Hearts, Portal, Ghost Recon and even one girl dressed up as Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Being a total geek, I had my Nintendo 3DS with me and managed to get about eight street passes with it - I thought I might have got a lot more.
I'm not going to say much about Halo 4 as I want to save that for my interview writeup with Josh Holmes, but I like it. A lot. The campaign level we played was the third mission of the game, with Master Chief and Cortana investigating the mysterious planet Requiem. Holmes said the build was about one-and-a-half months old.
I enjoyed the campaign a lot and the new enemies - the prometheans - are an interesting addition to the series' roster of foes. Look out for my interview soon.
At the expo, I played a handful of games - highly anticipated games like Call of Duty Black Ops, Assassin's Creed 3, Forza Horizons and Halo 4 had long lines quite quickly. I played some of the new Tomb Raider game, and you know what? I'm not actually sure what I think of it so far: the demo was a very cinematic experience, with quite a few cut scenes and sometimes I wondered whether the cinematic sequences overpowered the game play.
I had to chuckle while waiting to play the demo, though, as the guy in front of me seemed to have trouble understanding basic on-screen instructions: a pop-up told him to take some deer meat back to his campsite but he must have missed the message as he spent the next five minutes trying to shoot another deer, run around the forest and muck about with the game play settings.
I also played some Assassin's Creed Liberation on the PS Vita. I'm intrigued but I'm not so sure about having to use the rear touch controls to navigate a canoe down a river - it was made harder by the enclosure attached to the Vita so you can't remove them from the demo station.
I also did some skiing in Sports Champions 2 on the PS Move. According to the guy at the PlayStation booth, I got the second fastest time of the day for the run: 88 seconds, the fastest being 87.1 seconds - though it was only 11am!
I've uploaded some images that I took.
So, that's been me for the past few days. What have you been up to, game-wise?
Other stuff you might be interested in: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it. He also has another gaming blog here, but that needs to be updated more often than it is.