New Xbox Experience from PAX

Major Nelson demoed the New Xbox Experience at 10:30 Pacific today, and I have it all on video. I was watching the screen rather than the camera, so there's a couple of times my aim is off and you end up watching the Ubisoft sign rather than anything else, but all the pertinent info is available. I'll be posting a more in-depth breakdown shortly.

PAX Dump - use at your own risk!

Hey folks - I've managed to get WiFi access and so I'm going to start uploading photos from my journey. You can find the listing at

Be aware that these photos and videos haven't been edited in any way from when they were first taken, and I'm uploading everything indiscriminately - there may be a few videos that have dodgy sound and last one second, and they may be some that will cause extreme embarrassment to one or more parties involved. But hey, that's all in the spirit of the thing, right?

I'll be posting a PAX Log tomorrow, I think, about the final leg of the trip. The next episode of the podcast may be this week, or it might be recorded when we get back - who knows. You'll definitely be hearing Lewie's dulcet tones shortly, along with our impressions of pretty much anything.

We've lined up a couple of cool interviews and swag too, so keep and eye on SavyGamer. I'll leave you with a bit of a nerdy moment from earlier today when I was rather starstruck.

From left to right: e, Major Nelson, Willeth, litheon

PAX Log 001

I'm on the road to PAX, and I'll be trying to chronicle my journey as I go. The road tends to have sporadic internet access, though, so maybe I'm not going to update as often as I'd like. But hey - here's what I've got so far:

9:02 AM GMT

I'm sitting in the airport lounge, waiting for the plane to land so I can board. Gate 212. It's a nice symmetrical number, which puts me at ease. It's my first time travelling alone but I feel like I can handle it. Even though I have no reason to, I still feel nervous when the guy in the check-in line asks me all sorts of questions - did you pack your bag yourself, that kind of thing. Perhaps it's just the nervousness brought on by flying by myself - as well as the fact I've never been outside of Europe. All being well, though, I should whizz through and be in Madison in ten hours or so. I'll have to sleep on the plane so that I'm not dead on my feet when I arrive.

Lewie is travelling today, too. He doesn't have such a crazy schedule as I do but he's making a proper holiday out of this. He's headed to Chicago and then Seattle. I'm headed to Chicago too, but via Philadelphia. I'm not entirely sure why I have that extra stop. It would have been nice to have known someone on the journey, but I'm stuck in a cabin for however many hours with strangers, so I'm sure I'll get talking to some of them.

There's a fly buzzing around my feet. I wonder if he went through check-in. "Excuse me sir, was it you who packed your wings? I'm afraid the United States prohibits the import of foodstuffs - even the shit coating your feet."

Apparently there is a flight full of people going to Dalaman whose flight has been delayed until 7pm this evening. I've a feeling something similar happened to us the last time we flew to Dalaman. Maybe it's the same guy holding everything up. I think he just enjoys the power trip of frustrating a hundred-odd people. Apparently they have to head to another gate to be 'decontrolled'. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I hope they'll be okay afterwards. It sounds invasive.

I've had to fill out a pair of slips for customs and immigration. One of these, I imagine, is the 'greencard' that you hear spoken about. It's definitely green, at least. It's one of those things that's both deadly serious and yet completely ridiculous at the same time. I wonder if anyone has ever answered yes to the question 'Are you a terrorist?' "Well, I was planning on making a covert entry into the country, but dammit, you asked a straight question and you deserve a straight answer." Serious but ridiculous.

This fly's still here. It seems to like landing on my shoes. I wonder if it stays on my clothes and I board the plane if I'll be accused to smuggling illegal immigrants. "Sir, you indicated here on this form that you were not importing any insects, and yet here I find you with our little friend here. And he didnt even pack his wings himself."

11:49 GMT

We're about an hour into the seven-and-a-half hour flight, and I've had my pre-packed cardboard labelled as poultry. I was a little surprised when that duration was announced - I, of course, had factored in the time difference incorrectly. A quick scan through the entertainment on offer reveals nothing that I am interested in that I haven't seen before, but even if there was it would be in mono sound due to the proprietary headsets they require with two jacks - $5 or £3. Trap you in a cabin and sell you anything they can - sounds like capitalism at its finest to me.

I'm sitting on a row with a man whose name I can neither remember nor pronounce. He's a Jewish Ph. D student from California, who has been studying in England for three months - apparently they had a grant available and he was the ideal candidate. I'd like to fall into one of those cracks some day - one that seems like it was made specifically for me.

I wonder if a kosher cardboard meal tastes any different to a standard one? Hold on - I'll ask.

Oh, he doesn't know. He's never had the other kind. I suppose I should have expected that.

15:40 GMT

We're just over half-way into the flight, and we've had our refreshments. I wonder if people who travel long-haul flights regularly use food as a measure of time. I certainly am - it's two drinks past dinner and shortly before lunch. I'm not entirely sure why they served the stir fry chicken at 11am and seem to be going backward, meal-wise, but I like to think it's because when we land, a seven-hour flight will have taken about two hours. We're going backward through time, and this is the airline's way of coping.

I heard a steward mutter "about 180, white T-shirt" just after takeoff. I'm not entirely sure why, but looking around there don't seem to be any other people in white T-shirts - just me. I have no idea what I weigh, either. I hope it isn't 180.

I've tried to fool myself into thinking that I can sleep here, but either I've drifted off and not noticed it, or I've simply been lying with my head to one side with my eyes closed. Usually I don't sleep during travel, but I don't know whether this is because I'd rather sleep in a bed or because I can't sleep while in motion. Given my normal sleeping habits I'd like to think that I'd sleep anywhere but as I've just proven to myself, that isn't the case.

I estimate it to be two and a half hours left in the flight, give or take. I've got two hours to make it through Customs when I get to Philadelphia, which according to the clerk at the check-in desk is 'tight'. I actually have no idea how often flights leave from Philadelphia to Chicago. I wonder if I could invoke Rule 240 if I miss my connection. I wonder if it even holds water any more. Worth a shot if I miss it, I guess.

15:22 EDT (20:22 GMT)

Well, that was smooth. Breezed through customs with only the single bag search. That'll teach me to take about fifteen different bits of electronics with me, but we landed roughly twenty minutes early and it meant that there was plenty of time to wait around and waste a buck forty on Coke. Coke that comes in a much larger bottle than I'm used to and tastes much sweeter. Uri - the bloke on the Manchester to Philadelphia flight - said as much; "We like things big over here."

The announcement's just come on - it's roughly an hour and a half to Chicago. I wonder if he's remembered to factor in the time difference - I know I have trouble with it. I'm sat between two other passengers - passengers who I would call single-serving friends if I wasn't afraid of being too pretentious. It's a little less comfortable than the trans-Atlantic flight, but then again, it's a lot less time in this pencil with wings than in the clanking dart I crossed the ocean in.

We arrived in Philadelphia with a shout of 'Land!' from another traveller, and when I looked out of the window I saw what looked more like a model than a city. Very regimented right-angles for streets, as if God was playing with a Lego set - and a razor-edge of a coastline. We're not in Kansas any more. Or, I guess, we're closer than ever. That's a little odd to grasp.

Some people have some oversize pieces of luggage, and have just been accused of delaying the flight by the announcer. I don't know whether that's standard procedure or if he just wanted to chastise them for rollerboarding. I'd like to think it's both. There's another issue with baggage behind me - someone trying to slam the compartment shut on a slightly larger bag than necessary. I guess Uri was right - everything is just that little bit bigger over here.

17:35 CST (22:35 GMT)

Navy-blue pleather and open-plan - this is the waiting lounge at Chicago International. There are plenty of seats but everyone seems to be standing, waiting for their flight. One thing I noticed in Philadelphia - I'm resisting the urge to call it 'Philly' - was the lack of queues. Maybe it's a distinctly British thing to notice, but on boarding it was more of a clump than a line. Everything here in Chicago seems much more organised, though. I suppose I'll see when I board.

I tried to phone home but either I chose the wrong type of payphone or I can't figure out the dialling system. 44, pause, area code minus the zero, pause, full number. Robotic voice chastising me. Oh, I need to put a 1 in before dialling. Okay, 1, pause, 44, pause - nope. Robot again. 44, pause, 1 - this time it cuts me off. It's no idea what I'm doing.

My mobile - or, I suppose, my cellphone - can't seem to find a network to attach itself to, either. WiFi access costs ten bucks and for the sake of a couple of hours that's not worth it. I'll fire off an email when I get back to my hosts' house. By that time it'll be past midnight GMT but if I know my mum she'll be waiting for soe form of contact. I'll probably text her as well once I get an American phone. I want to set her at ease - she's more paranoid than I am.

I just checked my watch - I've been up almost seventeen hours as I'm writing this. I don't really feel tired, although I imagine the sun on my back and the extra-large Coke helps that a lot. Maybe it's the excitement of the Land of the Free, who knows.

I just read that last paragraph again. Maybe I am more tired than I thought. Sun on my back? God.

19:23 CST (27/8 00:23 GMT)

I used the phrase 'pencil with wings' earlier. It's something I picked up from my old German teacher. I think when he said it, he hadn't even imagined the kind of plane that I'm on now. Barely fifty people on board, including the three-man crew, with so little extra space I'm surprised they can fit any fuel on board.

An hour and ten minutes late to take off, which means that I won't see David and Ann until at least an hour after the scheduled flight time. I hope they looked up the flight number on the internet, or they'll have been kept waiting for no reason. Is it weird that I'm looking forward to seeing them even though I've never met them? I imagine Ann to be bubbly and immediately go for a hug, whereas I see David as more of the type to wait in the background and introduce himself stiffly. It would be a ton of fun if it ended up being the other way around.

We were delayed because of delays. At least, that's according to the screen they were displaying above the gate. I wonder how many people were actually appeased by that. Once on the plane there was a miscount - we had a full plane, the boarding cards said we should be short a few people. There were some announcements, a boarding card inspection, and we were ready to take off, when one passenger complained of a fever and headache, asking for medicine, of which there was none on board, but refusing a paramedic. Eventually he decided his illness could wait an hour, and we took off shortly afterward.

I wonder if I would be that guy that everyone is supposed to hate on a movie set on an airplane. The one that tends to die first and no-one really notices, and the audience is actually quite pleased to see go. The reason I wonder this is because I know I would be the guy who would suggest that this sick guy be left behind so that the rest of us could get to our destination on time. I mean, I feel for the guy and everything, but I've got a schedule to meet. People to see, you know? Is what I would say. I wonder if I actually would say that. Probably not, in the end. Is the fact that I thought it bad enough? Is it even a bad thing? Are these just the musings of a tired young man in a foreign country? I'm going to answer 'probably' to all of the above.

According to my neighbour Chicago always has an experience like this in store. I'm stopping through in a week on my way back to Manchester, and that flight's a big one - if that's delayed it'll be much more of a big deal.

20:13 CST (27/8 02:14 GMT)

This is it! American soil. I'm sitting in the car, being driven around Dane County, Wisconsin and en joying every second of it. It's just a town, I suppose, but it's strangely exotic. Exotic and yet familiar.

I feel out of place but I feel good about it. I know that for the first day I'm probably going to be getting in the wrong side of cars and getting my biscuit, burger and cookie mixed up, but hey - that's what this kind of thing is all about. Adventure and expanding your horizons, and all that nonsense.

All I want now, though, is something familiar - a shower, a shave, and a bit of a rest. Two days of travel coming up!

At the Airport!

Me and my Mummy are sat in terminal 3 of Manchester Airport right now. Got through security just fine, amd now are waiting to board the flight to Seattle via Chicago.

and now I am off to PAX

Hey guys, back from Leeds. I had my face rocked off by RATM (and someone in the crowd decided to rage against my glasses) and had a brilliant time. Cheers to everyone I met there, all a top bunch of people and I hope you do it again next year.

Now I am about to board a plane to go to PAX!!!!

I am excited!!!

SavyGamer Xbox 360 Clan

I've just created a clan tag for SavyGamer. Add yourself as a friend and you can use the friends-of-friends feature to find other people who read SavyGamer, and play with them. The first game that we'll be playing together officially is Castle Crashers, but of course you can use this to play whatever. I'll be checking it regularly and accepting friend requests - it can only hold 100 people, so if you want in, be quick!

The SavyGamer Podcast, Episode 3

Lewie's not here this week, so Will invites a guest host so that he's not talking to himself for an hour. He's foreign, but also... not. There's a run-down of what we learned from Leipzig and all the rest of the content you'd expect from us, as well as some speculation about the future of all three consoles.

Show notes (Highlight to view):
00:00 Opening
00:36 Welcome
01:13 Summer of Arcade - Galaga this week!
03:00 Duke Nukem 3D on XBLA details
04:16 Banjo Kazooie talk
05:26 Fallout 3 - unfinished?
07:14 LBP acts as a launching point for another PS3 rant...
08:44 160GB PS3 announced - is there a reason for it?
11:18 Home
14:05 PSP-3000 - some kind of update, maybe?
17:30 The PS3board - plugs into your controller
20:56 SingStar! Whooo!
24:52 Rock Band in Australia? Maybe not.
26:20 GTA4 - censorship and PC version
31:40 TF2 updates - free weekend this weekend!
32:55 Plastic instrument talk
35:29 A new way to interpret Miis
37:05 Ubi's Monkey Madness
38:32 New 360 controller
42:02 FFXIII demo
43:40 New Prince of Persia gameplay vid
48:16 Next week's show might be later than usual
49:39 What we've been playing
54:33 Bargain of the week - Forza 2 and Viva Pinata
1:02:06 Close

Link dump:
My 360voice page
ZP PoP Retrospective
PAX Scheduler

Total Runtime: 1:02:16
Total Filesize: 57 MB

Got feedback on the show? Post a comment, or email us:
LewieP -
Will -

Will - Willeth
Lewie - LewieP
Jim - purvis425

Beyond Good and Evil, PS2 - £2.49

Beyond Good and Evil, PS2 - £2.49 delivered

Preowned but a stonker of a deal.

Coloured Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with battery pack - £19.99

Blue Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with matching battery pack - £19.99
Pink Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with matching battery pack - £19.99

This is a limited-time deal, so if you want one get it within the week. Note that a Play and Charge cable is not included, so if you don't have one already you'll need to grab one of these:

Play and Charge Kit - £13.00 (cable version)
Quick Charge Kit - £19.99 (battery stand version)

Both of these come with a white battery pack, so you'll have a spare. The Quick Charge kit can charge them both at once, but with the cable you can charge while playing.

Thanks to Sam for the tip.

Forza Motorsport 2 & Viva Pinata, Xbox 360 - £9.95

Forza Motorsport 2 & Viva Pinata, Xbox 360 - £9.95

If this is the same copy that I have, it's one case with two discs and two manuals in it. Might not be appealing to the collectors among you but a tenner for these two games is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

I am going to Leeds festival now

So I am just about to set off to Leeds festival, if I can find a Wifi Hotspot there I will probably say hi, but if not, I'll be back on Monday, and then off to PAX on Tuesday.

See ya!


Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, Wii - £17.73

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, Wii - £17.73 delivered

Battalion Wars 2, Wii - £17.73

Battalion Wars 2, Wii - £17.73 delivered

Boom Blox, Wii - £25.53

Boom Blox, Wii - £25.53 delivered

Echochrome, PSP - £14.73

Echochrome, PSP - £14.73 delivered

Arkanoid, DS - £11.73

Arkanoid, DS - £11.73 delivered

Final Fantasy IV, DS - £17.73

Final Fantasy IV, DS - £17.73 delivered

Ghost Squad, Wii - £11.73

Ghost Squad, Wii - £11.73 delivered

Final Fantasy IV, DS - £17.99

Final Fantasy IV, DS - £17.99 delivered

Thanks to Ariondax for the tip off

Skate, Xbox 360 - £14.99

Skate, Xbox 360 - £14.99 delivered

Lost Odyssey, Xbox 360 - £14.99

Lost Odyssey, Xbox 360 - £14.99 delivered

Worms: Open Warfare 2, DS - £8.73

Worms: Open Warfare 2, DS - £8.73 delivered

Apply code "Freedel" for free delivery.

Cracking game the best worms game in quite a while. Has hotseat multiplayer too.

No More Heroes, Wii - £14.73

No More Heroes, Wii - £14.73 delivered

Tomb Raider Anniversary, Wii - £14.73

Tomb Raider Anniversary, Wii - £14.73 delivered

Sonic Chronicles, DS - £22.99

Sonic Chronicles, DS - £22.99 delivered

Naruto: Clash Of Ninja Revolution, Wii - £19.99

Naruto: Clash Of Ninja Revolution, Wii - £19.99 delivered

Wario Ware: Twisted!, GBA - £9.76

Wario Ware: Twisted!, GBA - £9.76 + Shipping

This was never released outside of the US or Japan. I highly recommend it, as it's a game I think everyone should experience. Works seamlessly with all GBA and DS iterations, with the slight annoyance that it won't unlock the extra video in Touched.

Sony PS3 40gb - £259.99

Sony PS3 40gb - £259.99 delivered

Colin McRae Dirt, PS3 - £14.99

Colin McRae Dirt, PS3 - £14.99 delivered

Cheers to Kie for the tip off.

Fable 2 [Limited Collector's Edition], Xbox 360 - £38

Fable 2 [Limited Collector's Edition], Xbox 360 - £38 delivered

Thanks to Mafro for the tip off.

The SavyGamer Podcast, Episode 2

It just keeps on going - it's Episode Two of the SavyGamer Podcast, fresh in your ears. This week Lewie forgot how to record a show properly, so the show you're hearing is actually the second time we did it (with an inferior mic, too!), and Will stayed up all night watching Firefly and was in no state to talk coherently. Which makes things interesting. Lewie also interviews Cliff from Positech games about piracy and why people do it.

Show notes (Highlight to view):
00:00 Opening
00:45 Lewie explains what happened to the show
01:27 Will is looking for a deal or two on Rock Band
02:50 PAX talk [Link]
03:27 APB talk - register your interest! [Link]
06:49 Castle Crashers price confirmation and Live Arcade stuff
12:25 Who wants to join a SavyGamer game group?
14:13 TF2 free weekend! [Link]
16:20 Burnout Paradise coming to PSN - is this a good thing?
24:16 EA, Suda51, Shinji Mikami, Epic Games and tons of joy
[Link] [Link 2]
27:58 Painkiller tangent!
30:51 New Batman games [Link]
39:00 PlayTV
42:28 Bit of a fanboy-hating tangent here - sorry :P
44:48 Wii DVD playback [Link]
51:01 Interview with Cliff Harris of Positech Games about piracy[Link]
1:17:32 End of interview - what measures Cliff is taking [Link]
1:21:54 What we've been playing - Assassin's Creed, Darkwatch, Wario Ware: Twisted, and more! [Braid Review] [Warioware]
1:36:35 Bargains of the Week! 60gb 360/20gb 360/Skate/STALKER
1:46:57 Close

Total Runtime: 1:46:57
Total Filesize: 97.9 MB

Got feedback on the show? Post a comment, or email us:
LewieP -
Will -

Spore, PC/Mac - £24.99

Spore, PC/Mac - £24.99 delivered

Out September the 5th.

For reals.

Lost Odyssey, Xbox 360 - £9.79

Sorry guys, looks like this sold out, I'll keep an eye out for another good deal.

WarTech: Senko No Ronde, Xbox 360 - £5

WarTech: Senko No Ronde, Xbox 360 - £5 delivered

The World Ends With You, DS - £17.99

The World Ends With You, DS - £17.99 - delivered

Also in the 2 for £30, but nothing else jumps out at me.

Xbox 360 Premium - £159.99

Xbox 360 Premium - £159.99 delivered

Must be clearing out to make way for the 60gb consoles. That's the RRP of the Arcade console, and £20 less than the Wii. Mega Bargain.

I'd quite like a wikipedia entry

I am in a egocentric mood, but ego-searching on Wikipedia is bringing up nothing.

Could someone hook me up with a Wikipedia entry for SavyGamer?

Speed Racer, Wii - £12

Speed Racer, Wii - £12 delivered

Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga, PS3 - £16

Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga, PS3 - £16 delivered

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Wii - £9.99

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Wii - £9.99 delivered

Soul Calibur IV, Xbox 360 - £32.99

Soul Calibur IV, Xbox 360 - £32.99 delivered

We Love Golf, Wii - £19.99

We Love Golf, Wii - £19.99 delivered

Condemned 2, PS3 - £17.99

Condemned 2, PS3 - £17.99 delivered

DVD-Video Playback now on the Wii

Head here and grab the mplayer and libdi, follow the instructions, and you should be able to play DVD-Video on your Wii.

If anyone needs any help, let me know.

Braid - Review

Braid, XBLA

Review by LewieP

Braid is the most unique, memorable, emotionally engaging and fun experience I have had with a game in a long time.

Forgive the hyperbole. I am still in shock at how much I loved Braid.

There are no bullshit cut scenes, there is no repetition, there is no filler. It never ever wastes your time, which is a design philosophy I have nothing but respect for. I can definitely see myself replaying this in 6 months time, and I am already a solid chunk into the post-game.

The art is stunning, and the setting and narrative perfectly synchronised with the gameplay. You could just ignore the story and still thoroughly enjoy the game, but in doing so would miss out.

I laughed out loud a bunch of times. The references to other games are intelligent and classy. The puzzles often feel impossible, until you increase you depth of understanding of the rules in the game. Braid is a game about rules, about learning to understand rules, and controlling the world around you with these rules.

There is a direct physical and emotional connection to the game, culminating in a stunning ending sequence, akin to the Team ICO games.

Jonathan Blow has put the rest of the games industry to shame. They have budgets massively greater than he had, access to far more resources, and far more numerate teams of staff. Yet he has pretty much single handily created something which will stand out as one of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had, and outclassed most big budget blockbuster games in recent memory. I will now buy, sight unseen, anything he puts out.

I only wish I could rewind and play it for the first time again, but sadly, some things can just never be undone.

It is short. I completed it in pretty much one sitting, stopping only to eat. I didn't keep track of the time, but 5 hours feels about right.

If you like video games, you will love Braid. If you don't like video games, it's because you have yet to play a game like Braid. Bitch about the price being more than most XBLA games all you want, but if you do so you are forfeiting your right to ever complain about games being unoriginal, repetitive and homogeneous.

Pick up some cheap MS Points and buy it. Please.

Skate, Xbox 360 - £13.71

Skate, Xbox 360 - £13.71 delivered

Apply code "B4U" for 2% off

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, PC - £13.71

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, PC - £13.71 delivered

Apply code "B4U" for 2% off

Update: Well, Powerplay put the price up, it's not longer the cheapest place to get it from.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, PC - £16.83 delivered

Xbox 360 Premium Console with 60GB HDD - £179.99

Xbox 360 Premium Console with 60GB HDD - £179.99 delivered

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Xbox 360 - £15.23

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Xbox 360 - £15.23 delivered

You have to add this to your basket for free delivery if you aren't buying anything else.

Tom Clancys: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - Legacy Edition, Xbox 360 - £10.99

Tom Clancys: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - Legacy Edition, Xbox 360 - £10.99 delivered

Thanks to mcjihge2 for the tip-off.

Army of Two, Xbox 360 - £14.99

Army of Two, Xbox 360 - £14.99 delivered

Scene It! Lights Camera Action, Xbox 360 - Review

Scene It! Lights Camera Action, Xbox 360 - £17.79 delivered
£14.99 in-store pickup at Argos

Review By Willeth

Some of you might be surprised to find this here - it's not exactly a triple-A title. I bought it on a whim from GAME at £20 a couple of months ago so that I could have something to play with the family instead of monopolising the TV, and so far I've been very impressed.

It contains a wide variety of game modes, whether they're actor/film recogition, movie trivia, observation, and so on - I imagine all the modes from the DVD game, and perhaps a few more that would only be possible with a game pad. And most important of all, it saves the questions that each person has seen individually, so that whenever you play it with any combination of people it should give you a question that nobody has seen before. In practice this works most of the time, but there are some modes that appear fairly often but have only a few questions, so you run through those particular ones fairly quickly.

The 'Big Button Pad' works very well, also. Four are included, and they work much in the same manner as the Buzz! controller - unfortunately, they work via infra-red rather than Microsoft's proprietary RF. What is quite handy, however, is that the larger button on the controller also functions as a D-pad, meaning that it can be used to play games like Uno (or any game where only the D-pad and face buttons are required) single-handed. The upcoming Xbox Dashboard update will also support these pads for their Primetime quiz shows, and while I wouldn't recommend buying the game specifically for that, it's a nice bonus.

It is, of course, solely movie-based, and there are no other trivia games available, with none on the horizon except Scene It! Box Office Smash later this year. This means that if there is one person in the group who is particularly up on their movie knowledge, you'll have a hard time to find a leveller - and there is no handicap option. The game does try to do some of this for you, for example by rewarding players for the most incorrect answers, and a multiplier round at the end which rewards you for consistency. While this might feel tacked-on, thankfully it never feels like the game is cheating you out of a win, a la Mario Party. It's also fairly heavily weighted towards more modern movies, which means that your parents may struggle (like mine), although there are movies from as far back as the 1950s peppered throughout.

Luckily, these down points don't seem to matter so much. Even though she loses with shocking regularity, my mother now accepts the 360 being in the lounge, so that whenever we want we can set up a round of Scene It and have a family game together. Usually every night. I'm not entirely sure that this is a good thing.

Scene It! Lights Camera Action, Xbox 360 - £17.79 delivered
£14.99 in-store pickup at Argos (thanks to Numan1617 for the Argos tip)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Xbox 360 - £17.99

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Xbox 360 - £17.99 delivered

Bioshock [Steel Tin], Xbox 360 - £16

Bioshock [Steel Tin], Xbox 360 - £16 delivered

BioShock, Xbox 360 - £11.99

BioShock, Xbox 360 - £11.99 delivered

The SavyGamer Podcast, Episode 1

It's Episode 1 of the SavyGamer Podcast! This week we have a special guest: Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid. We talk about the challenges of being an independent developer and building such a unique game (don't worry, it's spoiler-free). Also, the usual chat about news and stuff, and a quick segment from the casual side of things from Lewie's Mummy. Only on the SavyGamer Podcast!

Show notes (Highlight to view):
00:00 Opening
00:36 Welcome
00:42 Contest winner information
03:39 Burnout Paradise - Cagney is now fully out, Davis update details
06:40 Summer of Arcade promotion details
08:50 Geo Wars score: Below the red line is the demo, above is the full version.
09:41 Alone in the Dark demo opinions and a magnificent segue
11:46 Lewie's been playing the KORG Synth - terribly
13:26 Trackmania DS video talk
14:20 Chrono Trigger DS delayed - anyone surprised?
18:48 PS3 trophy chest is expanding
21:00 Rock Band 2 suspected US release
23:17 Wii Menu homebrew hack - Lewie explains
28:24 Wii MotionPlus will be light on the pocket
29:35 Braid talk
32:14 Interview with Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid
1:14:46 End of interview
1:15:08 Bargains of the Week, 2 for £25 PS3/GTA4 360 - £25.99
1:16:59 Have your say - let us know what you want from the podcast
1:18:17 Lewie's mum weighs in on DIY and gaming. [Link]
1:22:30 Close

Total Runtime: 1:22:38
Total Filesize: 75.6 MB

Got feedback on the show? Post a comment, or email us:
LewieP -
Will -

Sega Superstars Tennis, Wii - £7.47

Sega Superstars Tennis, Wii - £7.47

Reserve it here and then take this and this printout along, and get them to pricematch + 10% of the difference. Comes out as £7.47 by my maths.

Or you can try Phoning this number, 0844 561 0000, and getting it delivered.

Thanks to "consolegaming" for the tip off"

Magical Starsign, DS - £5.99

Magical Starsign, DS - £5.99 delivered

Hotel Dusk: Room 215, DS - £10.99

Hotel Dusk: Room 215, DS - £10.99 delivered

Stranglehold: Collectors Edition, Xbox 360 - £8

Stranglehold: Collectors Edition, Xbox 360 - £8 delivered

Only one in stock, so be quick!

2 PS3 games for £25

2 PS3 games for £25

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction
Heavenly Sword
Resistance: Fall Of Man

Or, Blu Ray films:
Tears Of The Sun
Layer Cake
Kung Fu Hustle
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Patriot: Extended Cut
Hollow Man Director's Cut
The Replacement Killers: The Extended Cut

Thanks to ronaldinho10 for the tip off.

Grand Theft Auto 4, Xbox - £25.99

Grand Theft Auto 4, Xbox - £25.99 delivered

Fahrenheit, PC - £4.99

Fahrenheit, PC - £4.99 delivered

Cracking on the Xbox, not played in on the PC, you might want a controller to play it. Anyone out there played it on PC?

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, Wii - £13.22

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, Wii - £13.22 delivered

Apply code "B4U" for 2% off

Rogue Galaxy, PS2 - £4.99

Rogue Galaxy, PS2 - £4.99 delivered

Tabula Rasa Collectors Edition, PC - £4.99

Tabula Rasa Collectors Edition, PC - £4.99 delivered

Oh poor Mr Garriot...

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, DS - £12.99

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, DS - £12.99 delivered

Beowulf, Xbox 360 - £4.99

Beowulf, Xbox 360 - £4.99 delivered

New Wii System menu homebrew hack

Features of this hack include:

Removing the health warning screen
Region free Wii and Gamecube games
Built in "rescue mode"
Removing background music

It's not released yet, but should be soon. Finally I will be able to play my imported Gamecube games again. Even nicer to be able to boot all imports straight from the Disc Channel, with no need to boot any homebrew.

I expect custom background music can't be too far away either.

KORG DS-10 Synthesizer, DS - Review

KORG DS-10 Synthesizer, DS - £34 delivered

Review by LewieP

This is a Korg Synth for the DS.

I was tempted to end this review here actually, there is very little else to say.

Here's a list of artists that use similar models of Korg Synths:

The Prodigy, William Orbit, The Dandy Warhols, Foal, Klaxons, Aphex Twin, Ladytron.

So you'll be in good company.

Honestly, I am not hugely talented at this kind of thing. I am basically completely new to it, but just spending a few solid hours has compelled me to learn more about how to use synths. Thanks to 'The Reverend Dr Galactus' for linking me to this pretty great starting point.

I have had great fun with it, and I can only imagine what someone with more knowledge and skill at this kind of thing can put out. I expect there will be some insane concerts of people using multiple consoles all over youtube in the coming months.

If you would like to try out a pretty full featured synthesizer for a fraction of the regular cost, then this is more than likely to sort you out. Grab whatever cable you need to hook it up to your recording/playback device (the DS speakers really don't do it justice) and you have a pretty killer set up.

It is almost entirely in English, just the manual and a few error messages in Japanese I believe (I haven't encountered them myself), and this is no doubt cheaper than the UK price will be, that is if it even gets a release here.

I am picking up a cable to record straight to PC, so I might have some recordings to show off in the coming weeks, and I'm going to see if I can convince my mates' band (New Art Riot) to do some collaborations.

KORG DS-10 Synthesizer, DS - £34 delivered

No More Heroes, Wii - £14.49

No More Heroes, Wii - £14.49 delivered

Test Drive Unlimited, Xbox 360 - £6.99

Test Drive Unlimited, Xbox 360 - £6.99 delivered

Link's Crossbow Training, Wii - £15.93

Link's Crossbow Training, Wii - £15.93 delivered

Includes Zapper.

SavyGamer Podcast RSS Feed Now Available!

I've just set up an RSS feed for the new SavyGamer podcast. Simply enter the normal RSS feed (this one here) into iTunes (by clicking 'Subscribe to Podcast' in the Advanced menu) or your favourite podcatcher and it'll automatically download the podcast every Friday, as soon as it's posted.

Personally, I recommend Juice. You can schedule it to check for new downloads whenever you want and it'll keep track of your previously downloaded files and only grab the most recent one, even if you delete the file itself.

We're still working on getting the feed added to the iTunes Music Store, but as soon as it is I will post it here.

Remember that we're still looking for a name for the show! If your entry is successful, you'll win $40 of Play-Asia credit. Listen to the podcast to find out how to enter!

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 - Review

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, XBLA

Review by LewieP

I downloaded Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 last night at around 7pm. Before I got into it, I already knew from reading around that there was 6 game modes, all of which needed to be unlocked, which took around half an hour. I allotted myself exactly this amount of time for a first play. Sure enough, I unlocked all six modes, with a little time to spare.

I then, begrudgingly had to stop playing, as real life got in the way.

I returned at around 11pm, hoping to put in another quick half hour before bed. I initially went back to "Pacifist" mode. First I set myself a 1 million point goal, which I then beat. Then I set myself a 5 million point goal, which I also beat. Then I set myself a 10 million point goal, which I then beat, and in the process got my first achievement.

So, I checked out the rest of the achievements. They are pretty interesting, so I tried a few of them. Some I got first time, some took a few attempts, and some I am yet to get.

By this point, my half hour play had turned into 2 and a half hours.

Not only do I find this game perversely compelling, addictive even, I really admire what they have done.

The original Retro Evolved was the poster boy for what an Xbox Live Arcade game should be. Relatively simple and low on content, fun, different and very pick up and play. If the genius was in the simplicity for Retro Evolved 1, for Retro Evolved 2, it's in the variety.

The six modes each offer something completely different.

Deadline: You have 3 minutes and unlimited lives to get the highest score you can. You build up a multiplier by collecting geoms, which each enemy drops.

For this mode, you are basically putting into practise all the skills that the other game modes teach you.

King: Pretty complicated to explain, and actually pretty complicated to master - There are temporary safezones, and you can only shoot when inside them, but enemies cannot touch you in them. As soon as you enter one, it starts to decay.

This mode focuses on 3 main skills - dodging enemies, shooting the right enemies at the right times, and collecting geoms.

Evolved: The new version of Retro Evolved. A fair bit different, since it has geoms for multiplication, and doesn't have the weapon upgrades. Pretty standard game to be honest.

Pacifism: My favourite mode. No shooting, just dodging enemies and killing them by using the explosive gates.

focused on making you find gaps and look for space.

Waves: Based on the Geometry Wars from PGR4, vertical and horizontal waves of enemies constantly spawn. Pretty evil.

Sequence: 20 levels of specific challenges, if you die you will be taken to the next level.

Basically, whatever mood you are in, there will be a mode for you, and the difficulty curve is pretty great. It teaches you how to be better as you unlock the levels.

It has also had a nice graphical facelift from the original. Way more colourful, and even more particles.

I do have a small complaint, although apparently this is common with XBLA games. If you are not signed in to live, it won't save any high scores. Seems a little silly to me.

If you liked the original, you will like this more. If you don't yet have the original, this is far better value for money, and pretty much a must-buy.

Also: Wow, if you do decide to get it, check this out. 3D camera mode!

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Xbox 360 - £3.98

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Xbox 360 - £3.98 delivered

The SavyGamer Podcast, Episode 0

That's right! This is the pre-inaugural edition of the SavyGamer Podcast - as yet un-named, but we'll leave that to you. We'll be talking all things gaming and bargains from a British perspective, with chat and everything that you'd expect from a gaming podcast. Subscribe to our RSS feed and get the podcast every Friday.

Show notes (highlight to view):

00:00 Intro
00:30 Welcome
00:44 A SavyGamer History
02:51 Name our podcast - win $40 of Play-Asia vouchers!
04:18 Nintendo seize R4 carts - massive piracy discussion ensues
06:55 David Reeves of Sony is very frank about piracy
11:31 Why aren't more consoles region-free?
12:32 Home beta applications open in Japan
13:30 Will's hot for LittleBigPlanet
15:31 Firmware woes
16:58 PS3 Platinum range is here
17:50 It's the Summer of Arcade!
24:38 We're going to PAX!
26:03 Castle Crashers - we love it, but is it going to be daylight robbery?
26:30 No. No it isn't.
27:36 You can't trade in digital content. Will we keep it next-gen?
28:58 Microsoft are focusing more on Europe, say Edge. Will rants a bit.
31:45 EA try to spin their Boom Blox numbers
34:37 Wii MotionPlus and AiLive - poking is super important
39:02 Could Jet Grind Radio be coming to Wii?
41:06 GTA: Chinatown Wars will have WFC support
43:30 Battlefield: Heroes delayed
47:15 Bargain of the Week
52:00 What we've been playing recently
59:46 Omega Sektor trip
1:05:51 Contest details
1:08:07 Close

Link dump:
Braid Dev Blog
The Art of Braid
Tesco's MS Points deal - £13.97 for 2100 points
PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo
The Cross-Country Supertrip
Edge Magazine
AiLive and LiveMove2
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Burnout Paradise for £19.98 [PS3] [360]
Ninja Gaiden II for £19.99 [360]
Omega Sektor
Contest entry email
Update: You can submit as many entries as you want, but obviously you can only win once ;D

Total Runtime: 1:08:14
Total Filesize: 62.4 MB

Colin McRae Dirt, PC - £7.83

Colin McRae Dirt, PC - £7.83 delivered

Apply code "B4U" for 2% off

Overlord, PC - £7.99

Overlord, PC - £7.99 delivered

Guitar Hero III + Guitar, Wii - £39.97

Guitar Hero III + Guitar, Wii - £39.97 delivered

Burnout Paradise, Xbox 360 - £19.98

Burnout Paradise, Xbox 360 - £19.98 delivered

The 'Cagney' update for this, adding a load of new features, is available on August 4th. More details are available here.

Burnout Paradise, PS3 - £19.98

Burnout Paradise, PS3 - £19.98 delivered

The 'Cagney' update for this, adding a load of new features, is available now. More details are available here.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game Of The Year Edition, PS3 - £16.99

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game Of The Year Edition, PS3 - £16.99 delivered

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Xbox 360 - £17.99

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Xbox 360 - £17.99 delivered