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Monday, 31 January 2011

Battlefield Bad Company 2

BattleField-Bad Company in my opinion was a less than impressive d├ębut for a franchise, but its moderate success paved the way for Battlefield : Bad Company 2, and while it is not strictly a new game the addition of some downloadable content from Dice (a subsidiary of EA Games) does make it worthy of some further consideration.
First off we may as well get the negative part of the game out of the way, and that's the single player game play.
It's short, disjointed and the whole single player aspect seems to have been a secondary consideration.
One minute you are walking through a jungle scene, the next jumping from a helicopter in Russia. Does that sound exciting? It's not. Take my word for it. It's too random.
There's also large parts of the game when not a lot is happening at all.
The Desert level is a good example. You have to drive to certain geographical points with the whole segment taking about 45 minutes to complete. The downside is that 25 of them is just mind numbingly steering through the desert terrain with not a lot to distract you.
Over all it makes for a disappointing experience for the gamer.
On the plus side is that the multi-player game brings a lot more to the table than other first person shooters (fps).
There are two main game modes.
Rush : Two teams, (Attackers and Defenders) with the attacking team attempting to set charges to blow up their target and the defending team working towards foiling their objective.
Conquest : A large map based game that those who play Call of Duty will be familiar with, although Conquest was first. (I only mention this as the success of Call of Duty makes it easier to draw a comparison.)
Both lend themselves to having to work as a team player with the teams being made up of twelve players broken down into three squads of four, with there being four roles that the gamer can choose from. 1) A scout sniper who remain at the back providing instructions for his squad and calling in mortar strikes. This isn't COD and you can't be a sniper and get all gung ho like you are waving about an AK-47. You need to be patient, wait for the kill, gauge wind speed and then take your shot. It's all very realistically done. 2) An engineer who has a smg and an all fixing screwdriver whose role is to keep the squad mobile while also destroying enemy vehicles with rockets and anti-tank mines. 3) Assault character. The blandest in my opinion who carries powerful assault rifles, sets charges and mainly serves to rack up capturing points and 4) last but not least the medic. A tank of a man who carries a lmg, heals squad members, revives downed squad members and a character who in the hands of a skilled gamer can destroy the other team. An all round colossus whose medic persona doesn't cover half of what he is capable of doing.
All together your squad and the others in your team are a potent mix and when used within the framework of a battlefield awash with helicopters, tanks and UAV's provide a war experience that COD falls short of providing.

Now the additional downloadable content.
Now this is one hell of an experience. 
Take everything that the multiplayer had and give it that bit of an extra twist. The attention to detail is fantastic, right down to the weapons being ductaped as they would have been for jungle use.
That's not all though. The addition of new weaponry is welcome with the best being the inclusion of a flame-thrower.
The cherry on the cake for me though is the soundtrack.
Storming into battle to Creedence Clearwater's Fortunate Son blasting out in the background to Flying over napalmed fields in a helicopter to the accompaniment of The Doors playing The End.
It's like being dropped into Apocalypse Now.
This expansion pack really does the BfBC2 justice and is by far my favourite of 2010.
If this was a simple one player experience then I would have looked on it with a bit of pity and headed straight down to my local games exchange to see what I could salvage from the purchase, but the multiplayer gaming experience is an all forgiving one. It's magnificent and the addition of the Vietnam expansion pushes it up to a real 10 out of 10.

If you wish to buy this game here are some websites I trust or use your local game store and keep it going.

Skullcandy SkullCrushers

Without a doubt Skullcandy's are cool and trendy, but as audiophiles aren't known for caring too much about maintaining any sort of street cred I'm going to concentrate on the quality and not the fashion-ability aspect.
Today I'll focus on the “Skullcrushers” that range from £44.99 to £59.99 here in the UK.
The first thing I noticed about them when I removed the actual headphones from the packaging was that they are pretty sturdy. The casing isn't that flimsy and to my hands they certainly feel like you could get a bit adventurous with them on and not worry too much about wear and tear.
Considering the price the addition of a silk styled carry bag for them is a welcome, and handy, little extra to.
The second thing that impressed me was that when I slipped them on they are extremely comfortable. Tight and snug without putting a silly amount of pressure on your head.
So far, so good.
In comparison to other over-ear headphones the snugness does a very good job of cancelling out external noise. I don't think that I would be going too far in saying that they excel in this area.
Noise cancellation is however a moot point if the sound quality is poor.
So onto road testing them.
Outside with my I-pod on shuffle I'm still impressed.
You get what you pay for and as the Skullcrushers aren't up there in the stratospheric price range I'm not expecting studio headphone quality and I'm not getting it, but what I am getting is a fair sound covering most genres of music.
If you are a fan of bass heavy dubstep, rap, techno or dance tracks then this is where they hold their own.
With the in-built mini sub woofer – yes you heard right – you could scramble a good portion of brain cells, but if your tastes lean towards more rock and indie styled genres then you just might find the sound leaning towards being flat and lifeless.
That's a small criticism though.
The only real downside to them, and it's not a biggy, is that the sub woofer is powered by a battery incorporated into the cable and it's creates a small weight that you are always conscious off, and if you use the sub woofer often then the battery life is rather short.
Apart from that I've got to say that “Skullcrushers” are an affordable and fashionable headphone that should appeal to the majority.

here are some websites i trust that you can purchase this prouduct from.