Incoming Tangos !!!

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Rainbow Six: Vegas was a staple for the lads from work and I on Xbox Live for a long time.

Then Halo 3 hit followed by Call Of Duty 4 and the group splintered amongst the two titles.
Follow this up with the glut of releases that hit in the last couple of months last year and you can kiss our Wednesday night gaming sessions goodbye …

However this week sees the release of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 ….

I managed to snag an early copy of the game and spent a little time with it last night.
As the reviews have stated the core game hasn’t changed that much at all.
The controls are identical to the first. The graphics have had a bit of a polish but there wasn’t much wrong with them in the first place.

The change that people will notice is in your character …..

In the first game you were able to scan your face using the Xbox Vision camera and put your own face on your avatar for the multiplayer portion of the game, like this.
That feature is back, with the twist that you can use it on your avatar in the single player game as well, and as they’ve added jump-in/out co-op play to the mix it’s a very nice touch indeed.

The XP system that featured in the multiplayer portion of the first game has also been overhauled. Where before you got XP for winning matches online (with a very meager amount awarded if you were on the losing side) now you get to level up your character by playing through the single player “offline” campaign, which means you won’t get stuck heading into an online match with a pea-shooter when everyone else is packing nukes !!!
The other addition to the XP system is the “A.C.E.S.” rewards.
Split across 3 categories “Marksman”,”C.Q.B.” and “Assault” you have a selection of tasks for example “Headshots at a long distance” or “Take out an enemy when blind firing”.
The more of these that you complete the more you level up in that particular category and open up extras available only to that category. So for example if you level up in “Marksman” you start unlocking new and improved sniper rifles and other such goodies unique to that category.
Maxing out one category won’t open up every weapon to do that you’ll need to complete all of them, which sort of gives the game an “RPG-esque” quality with your character evolving to your style of play.

Well this is only a brief “first impressions” as I only got to spend about half an hour with it.
I’m looking forwards to getting my teeth into it properly over the next week so we’ll see what happens …..

And remember …. what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas 😉

Tango Down !!!

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Indissolubilis Carnivorous Sero

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Many moons ago I was given on my 30th birthday a plant by the mother unit.

It was carnivorous in nature as I have a fascination for these slightly weird, yet striking plants.
I actually wrote a thesis on them for my A-level Biology course concerning their feeding habits.

The plant was one of the “pitcher” variety and duly christened “Carni” .. original I know 😉

He was watered regularly and tended to with much care, which resulted in him flourishing and producing some good sized trumpets which caught a fair few flies (useful as he has pride of place on the kitchen window ledge)

I trimmed away the dying leaves and trumpets as he went into his first hibernation period (yes they actually hibernate during the cold winter months). When spring returned he sprouted fresh pitchers and flowers and off he went again ….

Last year was a slightly different story though … Due to the weird weather he never really went into hibernation, which resulted in no flowers but still managed to get some trumpets for the summer. The hibernation period that he’s currently in has gone totally wacko though !!!

At the moment he should be all trimmed back and waiting for spring however at the weekend I noticed a small shoot erupting from the soil in his pot. “Interesting” thinks I and that was about it.
Fast forward to this morning when I glance up from the sink whilst rinsing out the coffee mug and notice that he’s now got 3 new sproutings and the initial one is about 5 inches in height !!
This is made all the more fascinating by the fact that I haven’t watered the poor fella for the last 4 weeks because I thought he’d actually died !!!

Close attention will now be paid to Carni … For I’m convinced he is a Super Plant 🙂
And as a present, I think I’ll get him a new pot.

MMU Complete …..

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Well .. Almost … If you’re curious

The nice new TV is in place and looking very swish indeed … Lots of hi-res visuals all over the place.
HDMI ports on the rear have been occupied by a PS3 and Xbox 360 Elite and the component cable for the Wii has added a little bit of sparkle to the little one’s output.

The only thing remaining now is a DVD recorder with internal hard drive and HDMI …
Haven’t quite decided on which one to get yet but that will be the final piece of the puzzle.

Slightly upset to hear this … a mere 2 weeks after upgrading my 360 core to an Elite.
The same thing happened when I got my iPod though .. a month after that they went to colour screens …. but them’s the breaks I suppose …

Not sure on the positioning of the Xbox and the PS3 at the moment though … The PS3 is sat on the top shelf which means that the top of the unit over hangs the loading slot slightly making for some nifty finger work when swapping disks.
Haven’t quite finished tidying up the cabling behind as a result of this possible move round.
Also trying to work out where to locate the imminent NAS device that’s going to serve as a media server for the consoles and the G/f’s laptop meaning that my trusty behemoth of a desktop will no longer need to be switched on unless it’s gaming time.
I’m thinking they’re going to be located down where the PS2 is currently sitting which would put them out of the way enough to not annoy the G/f but not so far out of the way that I can’t get to them easily if they misbehave ..

Well that’s the state of play so far …