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4:00 PM on 06.03.2011

MLB 2K11 $1M winner knew 'zero at all' about baseball

The March release of 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K11 came with the fanfare of the publisher’s second annual competition to throw an in-game perfect game for a $1 million cash prize. This time around, 2K twea...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron photo
Preview: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
by Samit Sarkar

"This game is the reason I joined Ignition three years ago," said Shane Bettenhausen, the publisher's director of business development, at a recent demo of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron in New York. "I hate games that are [birthed] in a conference room by a focus group and a bunch of people who try to make what they think people want."

El Shaddai can be described as the antithesis of that kind of videogame. The London arm of Ignition came up with the outlandish concept for the title: it's a third-person character action game based on the Book of Enoch, an apocryphal Jewish text found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. As if that weren't strange enough, Ignition decided to have the game developed in Japan, mostly because, according to Bettenhausen, "they thought that would be interesting."

"Interesting" isn't even the half of it.

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Hands-on: Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten photo
Hands-on: Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
by Sherilynn Macale

Holy sh*tballs, this game is crazy.

How do I even begin to describe how insanely complicated, yet ridiculously awesome Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten appears to be? Explosions, demons, monsters, penguins, pirates, massive parties, combo attacks, micro-customization, level grinding, random battles -- does it ever end?! The answer is no!

If you can dream it, it is possible. Probably. That’s Disgaea 4, dood!

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1:00 PM on 05.13.2011

Recap: Valve's Erik Wolpaw speaks at NYU Game Center

“I love these things, but I also know that there’s something weird, and kind of bizarre, and strange about them -- like, there’s something really dumb about them. [...] We love them, and, kind of, hate them ...

Samit Sarkar







Hands-on: Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3Ds's Master Quest mode photo
Hands-on: Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3Ds's Master Quest mode
by Sherilynn Macale
Being a huge Zelda fan myself, I can’t tell you how stoked I was to hear I had a chance to preview the 3DS remake of what is possibly the Nintendo 64’s most well-known title, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. So like any biased fan, I walked in to take the test run with fairly high expectations. What self-respecting Zelda-gamer wouldn’t, right?

Fortunately, this highly anticipated reproduction has done with the title exactly what we hoped it would do. Rather than changing the original recipe, they’ve kept to the same formula that we all know and love while managing to serve us a few tasty additional plates of Zelda goodness on the side.

 

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1:00 PM on 05.06.2011

Thor Wii developer discusses smiting and movie tie-ins

Preteens, comic books and a man dressed in tights. No, I’m not talking about your uncle's sex dungeon; I’m describing the scene at Austin Books & Comics this past Sunday, where a release party was held for th...

Allistair Pinsof



Hands-on: Red Faction: Armageddon, round two photo
Hands-on: Red Faction: Armageddon, round two
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

I was pretty much on the fence the last time I played Red Faction: Armageddon. My tune has all but changed with my latest playthrough, as I got to experience a lot more that the game has to offer. Plus, the new build was quite a bit more polished, especially in the visuals department.

It's not entirely perfect, but all in all, I'm happier with what to expect come next month.

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Hands-on: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine photo
Hands-on: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The latest game in the Warhammer 40,000 series is taking players in a new direction with Space Marine, a third-person action-adventure title. You play as Captain Titus of the Ultramarines chapter, a genetically modified superhuman soldier equipped with powerful armor, badass weapons and a chainsaw sword.

Your task is to defend a vital Imperial Forge World home to powerful weapons of war, including the devastating Titan superweapons. Orks have invaded the planet, and you're all that stands in the way of total annihilation. Think Gears of War but with less hiding and more action. A lot more action, in fact. You're a super soldier who isn't afraid of getting right into the thick of it.

As promising as an action-adventure game where you use a freaking chainsaw sword sounds, I'm sad to say that Space Marine didn't really wow me.

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Hands-on: Outland's co-op mode photo
Hands-on: Outland's co-op mode
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

You know what we don't have enough of anymore? Metroid-vania style adventure games. This style of adventure games is few and far between nowadays but luckily for us there are some developers out there who haven't totally forgotten this genre.

Not only is Outland reminiscent of games like Metroid, but there's also a puzzle-like element in the style of Ikaruga. Yes, this does sound like a marriage made of awesome.

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Hands-on: Shadows of the Damned photo
Hands-on: Shadows of the Damned
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Take Suda51's creative mind, Shinji Mikami's long history with the survival horror genre, and Akira Yamaoka's brilliant musical skills and you get Shadows of the Damned. From what I've seen at least, Grasshopper Manufacture's upcoming "road movie set in hell" isn't going to do anything that changes the action-adventure genre a whole lot. In fact, the game feels like a faster-paced Resident Evil 4.

The charm with Shadows of the Damned comes from a really outrageous and unique presentation unlike anything I'm used to when it comes to videogames. Yet despite everything Shadows of the Damned has going for it, I still have this horrible feeling that the game is going to fail at retail.

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Preview: F.E.A.R. 3's four multiplayer modes photo
Preview: F.E.A.R. 3's four multiplayer modes
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

F.E.A.R 3 is the latest in the spooky first-person shooter franchise where you and your dead ghost brother have to save the world from your pregnant ghost mom. Or something. Honestly, it's hard to pay attention to the story when all I can ever focus on is that you get (SPOILER) ghost raped by Alma in the previous game.

So it's a good thing I only had to play the four multiplayer modes during my hands-on session with F.E.A.R 3. One mode is awesome, two of the modes are good and the fourth mode was pretty forgettable.

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Ocarina of Time 3DS 'much closer' to original vision photo
Ocarina of Time 3DS 'much closer' to original vision
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 was one of the best games ever created. Not many people will argue with that statement. However, something that even the most hardcore Zelda fans will agree with is that the visuals haven't stood the test of time.

Enter the 3DS update of the classic. I sat down with Nintendo this past week and played the upcoming first real must-own title on the 3DS. At the same time, Nintendo ran through the areas I was in, but on the Wii. The differences in visuals were night and day and that's due to Nintendo completely remastering the 3DS version. All new textures, character models, environments and more were reworked to take advantage of the unique graphic capabilities of the 3DS.

As Nintendo's Director of Product Marketing, Bill Trinen, told me -- who first started working with Nintendo on Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 -- Nintendo used "the power of the 3DS and they tried to go in and make the characters and the models in the game look much closer to the illustrations that they released in the manual and things like that at the time."

Bill continued by stating that the Link model in the 3DS version is "much closer to [Nintendo's] image of what the characters were when they drew them in picture form (see the images in our gallery) rather than what they were able to achieve on the Nintendo 64."

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Hands-on: High Flyer Death Defyer photo
Hands-on: High Flyer Death Defyer
by Sherilynn Macale

Afraid of heights? Can’t climb down a ladder to save your life? Would you rather eat dirt than step one foot into a roller coaster? Well suck it up, buddy. This game isn’t for the weak of heart.

In Higher Flyer Death Defyer (HFDD), Game Mechanic Studios sends you plummeting down from enormous heights and through a treacherous comic book art style sky-world filled with floating cities and perilous obstacles in this action packed sky diving game.

When I met with the HFDD team at WonderCon 2011, they seemed excited but nervous to hand over their iPad in order to give me a taste of their game, stressing that it is in an “extremely alpha, alpha, alpha” stage. 

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Hands-on: inFAMOUS 2 ups the ante photo
Hands-on: inFAMOUS 2 ups the ante
by Dale North

I don't follow sports, but I know there's some kind of most improved award that they give players. From what I've seen so far, the gaming equivalent of this award would have to go to inFAMOUS 2. I thoroughly enjoyed the first game, but it needed some polish and attention. Judging from what I saw at a press event last night, Sucker Punch went above and beyond for inFamous 2.

This is how you do sequels, folks.

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Hands-on: User-generated content in inFAMOUS 2 photo
Hands-on: User-generated content in inFAMOUS 2
by Dale North

To me, the original inFAMOUS featured an almost ideal sandbox game world. Running around with such explosive, limitless power made me feel like I could do anything in the game, and that felt pretty great. But now I know that this was only the beginning. Imagine having the tools to create your own missions to play through in this world. Imagine being the hero of your own missions. The new user-generated content ability in inFAMOUS 2 lets you create just about anything you can imagine, and then share it, making this sandbox a whole lot more fun to play in.

At a inFAMOUS 2 media event last night I got to try out a few examples of user-created content. I also made an attempt to put some of my own ideas for a mission together.

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Preview: Alice: Madness Returns photo
Preview: Alice: Madness Returns
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Alice: Madness Returns picks up eleven years after the original game and we quickly learn that Alice is still not right in the head. Alice still suffers from survivor's guilt after her family was killed in a deadly fire, so she must go back to Wonderland in order to heal herself and find out the real cause of her family's death.

You see, the official story is that the deadly fire was started by a cat that had knocked over a lamp. As you go on your journey in Wonderland though, you come to discover that Alice's memories aren't matching up with the "official story." 

I won't really be touching too much on the story, as Samit Sarkar did that himself recently. Instead, I'll be focusing more on the core gameplay and controls.

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