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Bomberman LIVE: Battlefest out on December 8 for XBLA


Nov 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Time to blow up your friends all over again as Bomberman LIVE: Battlefest is coming to Xbox Live Arcade on December 8. Expect eight-player online battles, customizing Bomermens and new items too. Four new modes are also inclu...
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New Lost in Shadow screenshots


Oct 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
We got a batch of images for Hudson's Lost in Shadow tonight. They show off the eighth area of the game (according to the name of the folder they arrived in) and, apparently, there's a lot of water in the level. I know t...
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Birth of Lost in Shadow isn't as messy as actual birth


Sep 14
// Nick Chester
 Hudson has released the first of a four part documentary detailing the making of its upcoming Wii title, Lost in Shadow.  In this first part, the game's director, designer, programmer, and sound lead discuss the g...

PAX 10: Lost in Shadow deserves a little spotlight

Sep 07 // Jim Sterling
Lost in Shadow is all about a platforming hero with a major problem -- he's only a silhouette. Robbed of his physical form, our hapless protagonist exists only as a shadow of a body that isn't there. This conceit is the driving force for Lost in Shadow's visual style, and it's a style that is at once incredibly jarring and remarkably beautiful.  The game takes place in the background, and by that I mean that entire levels have been designed for the game that you, as the player, will never navigate. Instead, you play on the shadow that these levels have cast. At first, it's slightly confusing as one's eyes are drawn to the empty platforms in the foreground. Once you get used to it though, Lost in Shadow becomes a strangely alienating yet not unpleasant experience. The major focus is on environmental puzzles, which consists primarily of moving objects in the foreground to spill shadows on the background, allowing you to move onward. As the game progresses, there will be combat and increased interactions, so the game should constantly evolve.  The PAX demo showed me a very competent and solid platformer that was simple but very evocative thanks to its unique aesthetic style. The clever idea creates something that always keeps the player at a distance, yet keeps them playing because they want to be drawn in further. There is serious potential for Lost in Shadow to be a haunting little title in the same vein as ICO or Limbo, but it remains to be seen just how far Hudson pushes the concept.  Right now, all I can say is that Lost in Shadow is a game to keep an eye on. I fear this game may be tragically forgotten in the Wii game stampede, and that would be shame. Don't let yourself forget this one!
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It's looking like a golden year for platformers on the Wii. Sonic Colors, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Epic Mickey are all to come, and with such an excellent roster of games, it would be easy to fo...

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Half a dozen Lost in Shadow screenshot unveiled


Aug 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
A word like "unveiled" gives an air of drama that probably should not be used to describe the release of screenshots. If I go back and change the headline now, I'll have to spend another twenty minutes trying to find a way to...
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Rare SuperGrafx Ghouls N Ghosts headed to Japanese PSN


Aug 10
// Nick Chester
If you’re okay with not owning one to put on your shelf, here’s an easy way to get the rare SuperGrafx version of Ghouls ‘N Ghosts -- download it from the PlayStation Network. Siliconera is reporting that Hu...

Preview: Deca Sports 3

Aug 06 // Samit Sarkar
Deca Sports 3 (Wii)Developer: Hudson SoftPublisher: Hudson EntertainmentTo be released: October 26, 2010 I actually rather enjoyed lacrosse in Deca Sports 3. I played against a PR rep for the game, Ron Burgess, and we both played in Master Mode with Wii MotionPlus. You flick the Wii Remote to shoot and pass (to shoot, you hold the B button while swinging; you can hold it longer to charge up your shot). Because MotionPlus can detect subtle gestures, you can put a curve on your shots by twisting your wrist as you swing toward the net. In Master Mode, you can pass in any direction -- instead of throwing the ball directly to another player, you can bank a pass off the walls surrounding the playing field (this is done by pointing the Nunchuk's analog stick in a direction before passing). In order to switch players, you tap the Z button. You might toss a ball into open space and then change players to go get it. As you can see above, the screen includes a mini-map of sorts -- it's an overlay that shows the players as dots on the field, so you'll always know where your teammates are. Ron beat me by a goal, but we were both smiling and laughing throughout our game. I also played a round of air racing, which was particularly challenging in Master Mode. The mode offers traditional gate-style courses, but adds a wrinkle: certain gates require you to fly through them in a particular orientation (either with the underside of your plane to the left or right). The Wii Remote is an analog of your on-screen plane: you twist it in order to roll your plane, aim it left or right in order to turn, and aim it up or down in order to raise or lower your plane. The game doesn't follow flight dynamics, though -- in real life, if your plane was at a 90° roll angle (i.e., either on its right or left side), it would be turning in the direction of its roll. But in Deca Sports 3, your roll is independent from your yaw -- that is, twisting the Wii Remote changes the orientation of the plane but has no effect on its movement. You'd think that would make the mode much easier, but because MotionPlus is so responsive, you've really got to work to keep your plane on track. If you miss a gate, you have to loop back and fly through it; you can't complete a race without flying through all the gates in succession. You don't actually race against another plane on the same track; you can only compete with others in terms of the time it takes you to finish a course. Ron went first, and I beat his time by a lot (all it took was missing one gate to cost him the competition). Air racing was fun because it was challenging; I doubt I would've enjoyed it nearly as much if I played it without MotionPlus, which adds a lot to the experience. Deca Sports 3 includes a Team Editor, which allows you to completely customize any of the teams in the game (name, colors, logo, players' attributes, and more). Offline play supports up to four players (depending on the sporting event), while four of the sports -- volleyball, lacrosse, racquetball, and fencing -- can be played head-to-head online. If MotionPlus makes as much of a difference in those games as in the ones I played, Deca Sports 3 might just be worth checking out.
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In April, Hudson announced the third entry (or fourth, if you count Deca Sports DS) in its multi-million-selling Deca Sports series, Deca Sports 3. This time, the franchise is back on the Wii with ten all-new sporti...

Preview: Deca Sports Freedom

Aug 06 // Samit Sarkar
Deca Sports Freedom (Kinect for Xbox 360)Developer: Hudson SoftPublisher: Hudson EntertainmentTo be released: November 2010 First, Ron demoed tennis for me. Its visuals aren't going to amaze anyone; they're serviceable, but they get the job done for this kind of videogame. What is impressive about tennis in Deca Sports Freedom is the fidelity of the experience. In tennis, you stand in front of the Kinect sensor and swing; just like in Wii Sports, the game handles your movement for you. Thanks to Kinect, the game can detect subtleties in your swing that will determine the type of shot you make. This means that you can spin your wrist downward as you swing to initiate a slice, or swing hard and continue your follow-through for a cross-court winner. If you time your shot perfectly, you'll get a power boost (seen in the header image to this preview). It's this kind of functionality that makes me think that technology like Kinect has a promising future ahead. Next, Ron decided to man up and show me the figure-skating game. Again, your on-screen character will skate around the rink by him- or herself. The game marks spots on the ice and tasks you with performing gestures -- which correspond to figure-skating moves such as jumps, spins, and jump-spins -- in those spots. The better you time your gesture (i.e., the closer you get to the center of the on-ice circle), the higher your score. If you miss, your character falls on his or her ass. As you can imagine, the combination of seeing Ron struggle to do ballerina-like poses in front of a TV and watching his avatar fall on the ice a few times was nearly too much for me to handle without bursting out in laughter. I think I managed to keep myself (mostly) composed, though. Figure skating is definitely one of those "make yourself look like an ass" Kinect games. It also has the capacity to burn some calories, although it's no EA Sports Active 2. Deca Sports Freedom will include online play, as well as two-player co-op and competitive play. For example, you can play doubles in tennis -- either on the same team, or against each other. In addition, you can unlock Adidas-branded clothing for your Xbox 360 Avatar by doing well in the game. Hudson hasn't announced a price yet, but if the other eight games work as well as tennis and figure skating, Freedom could be a good purchase to show off Kinect to your families.
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During E3, Hudson announced that it was bringing its Deca Sports franchise -- which has sold more than 2.5 million units worldwide on Wii and DS -- to Kinect this fall. The controller-free compilation of sports offers th...

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Release date for Lost in Shadow comes to light


Jul 28
// Nick Chester
Hudson Entertainment has dated its gloomy Wii platformer, Lost in Shadow, for a January 4 release. To mark this momentous occasion of putting a date on a game release, Hudson has decided to pull the wrapping off one of the g...
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Bonk should never have been rendered in 3D


Jul 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
I don't mean to be such a dick tonight, but what is up with these images of the upcoming Bonk: Brink of Extinction? Now, I'll grant you, these aren't screenshots of the final product but it does not look good. I love Bon...
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E3 10: Platforming in Bonk: Brink of Extinction


Jun 18
// Ben Perlee
It's been an interesting year for retro games making a return, especially those that were b-level at best. For example, Rocket Knight made an acceptable return in a downloadable platformer, and Nintendo has brought back Kid I...
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E3 10: Zombie mode with Bomberman Live: Battlefest


Jun 17
// Ben Perlee
Destructoid has a good relationship with Hudson. Afterall, Mr. Destructoid himself showed up in Hudson's Bomberman Live, an exclusive experience that makes us all proud. However, Mr. Destructoid or not, Bomberman has proven i...
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E3 10: Hudson bringing Deca Sports to Kinect


Jun 14
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Damn, wasn't expecting this! Hudson has just announced that they're bringing the Deca Sports franchise over to the Xbox 360 and Kinect. Deca Sports Freedom will be out this Fall and bring with it new sport games designed arou...
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Lost in Shadow release date [update]


Apr 30
// Jim Sterling
Lost in Shadow looks like a pretty cool guy. It's a platformer from Hudson in which a boy's shadow climbs a tower. He has to walk along other shadows, aided by Spangle the Sylph who can change light sources to create new shad...

Lost in Shadow is an Adventure with light

Apr 09 // Ben Perlee
Lost in Shadow (Wii)Developer: Hudson Entertainment Inc.Publisher: Hudson SoftTo be released: Fall 2010 Lost in Shadow is the story of a boy tied up at the top of a tower in a magical land, and an evil knight has separated his shadow from his corporal self. Thus, the game is the journey of his shadow from the base of the tower to the top. The shadow of the boy is, in essence, the main character of this action puzzler. Since he is a shadow, he can only move on a shadow plane, so all the platforms, enemies and abilities are based on like or the lack thereof. Physical objects are not the problem, it is how light interacts with those objects that are the basis of the game. This brings to the core of the game: platforming perception. Like the game Echochrome, which seems to be a strong inspiration for Lost in Shadow, what you see isn't necessarily how things are going to work out for our shadow boy. For example, while you can see a jutting bit of steel from a wall, its shadow may be too far or unusable for for the shadow to climb. Using the fairy indicator called Spangle (who seems to be a friend of the boy), players can rotate the steel structure to make a shadow that the boy can climb. It's all about what exists in shadows that is important, not what exists in the reality, so players have to change their perception of what to pay attention to. Another shadow mechanic is a rising and falling light source. There is certain areas where a source of light can be lowered or raised, and in conjunction with objects, the shadows can be transformed, warped, and moved. It's nothing really amazing, but is a thoughtful element that I suspect will be used in some difficult puzzles. By manipulating these shadows, players will be dealing with puzzles and enemies to get the shadow to the end of each level. I was shown just two zones, but it appears that there are going to be plenty of teasers for players to work through. More than manipulating shadows, the shadow boy will be facing enemies. These spidery fellows did not appear to be aggressive, but you wanted to avoid them or stab them with a glowing knife, the only light source the shadow boy has. Some quick swipes make work of the shadows, and he's rewarded with health and other collectibles. Lost in Shadow has an interesting art style that is equal parts Echochrome and Shadow of Colossus. This is a game that avoids bright and saturated colors, with muted greys and greens being the predominate color choice. I wouldn't call it ugly, but it wasn't something I was drawn to, and the over all fantasy aesthetic in the CGI trailer and within the game itself came across as fairly generic. Also, when people say that Wii titles look like they have Vaseline, Lost in Shadow looks like it was made in Vaseline. The audio was a quiet affair, with little going on. It seems to fit the almost bleak art direction fairly well. Honestly, I'm somewhat concerned that this is a full disc based title. While the core gameplay mechanics are interesting, I'm afraid that it would either become old across the whole game, or that gamers will not be sold on a fully priced title. This could very much be a downloadable title, or at least the gameplay can, and unless Hudson prices this competitively, I suspect Lost in Shadow will fly under the radar of most gamers.
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While last night was a night for Konami, they have a thoughtful policy of including Hudson in the festivities. Off in a separate room, Hudson was showing off a couple of Wi titles they have planned for this year. One of them ...

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Oops! Prank Party is a thing from Hudson


Apr 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
On top of the Deca Sports 3 reveal, Hudson has announced Oops! Prank Party for the Wii. The party game is a mixture of 100 puzzle-solving and reflex-testing style mini-games for up to four players. Losing in the game will see...

Hudson reveals Deca Sports 3

Apr 09 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
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Hudson revealed Deca Sports 3 last night and the new entry to the series brings ten new sports games plus some new features to the franchise. Volleyball, racket ball, fencing, lacrosse, logging, springboard diving, halfpipe ...

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Hudson's Knights of the Phantom Castle looks great, retro


Apr 06
// Dale North
Hudson's new iPad game Knights of the Phantom Castle was not on my radar until this afternoon. I saw some screenshots of the really nice looking, 16-bit-ish strategy game and was like hey, this looks good! Sprites, role-playi...

Review: Calling

Mar 09 // Jim Sterling
Calling (Wii) Developer: Hudson SoftPublisher: Hudson SoftReleased: March 9, 2010MSRP: $39.99 Calling casts players as four alternating characters as they navigate The Otherworldly Realm of Japanese Horror Tropes. Take The Grudge, mix in Ringu, and spice it up with every other Asian horror movie you can think of, and you've got Calling. It's got the scary girl, it's got the obligatory school and hospital environments, it's got black hair plastered everywhere, and it's got spooky telephone calls. Calling is shamelessly unoriginal, which actually works in its favor. By sticking to the classics, it at least manages to possess a tried and tested horror atmosphere.  At first this atmosphere really works, too. The first two levels are tremendous for building huge amounts of tension, and scaring the player with loud noises, faces appearing in windows, and ghosts jumping out to attack. Unfortunately, however, the scares soon dry up as players get used to the familiar tricks, and what's left is a very boring, very unimaginative experience that frustrates and tires more than it terrifies.  Most of the game is spent wandering around in near-blackness, wondering where the Hell to go next. Very few directions are given, and the game is so dark that you can barely see where you're going. The vast majority of the gameplay, such that it is, involves walking along corridors, guessing which doors can be opened, and searching rooms for items that may or may not be so small and insignificant that they may as well be invisible. If that's your idea of fun, then Calling's slow, plodding, mostly weary offering is for you! The central gimmick is the use of cellphones. It's something that has been done on the Wii before (No More Heroes springs to mind) but Calling takes it one step further by constantly harassing you with "scary" phone calls that bark from the Wii remote's speaker. As the game progresses, players will use their cellphone to transport from one area to another, record ghostly sounds to receive messages, and speak to other characters.  While a neat idea, the developers decided that the cellphone gimmick should be more long-winded and annoying than it needed to be. For one, you have to manually input phone numbers every time you need to make a call. The cellphones won't remember them. Also, if you close the phone for any reason while halfway through putting a number in, you have to start again. This is infuriating during a particular section when you have to phone your way out of a room full of ghosts, but the ghosts keep grabbing you while you're putting the number in and you have to keep starting over. It also means you'll wind up with a sheet of physical paper full of numbers if you want to play the game with anything approaching convenience.  Combat in the game involves, unsurprisingly, waggle. Although it's not really combat, per se. Every now and then, you'll get accosted by a ghost who grabs your arms and gets in your face while making stupid noises. You simple wave the controller around, and press the A button when prompted. The prompt lasts for a fraction of a split-second, so it's quite common to miss. If you miss, your "Horror Meter" rises until the ghost is shaken free. The Horror Meter is basically health, and when it climbs too high, you get game over.  To break up the repetitive combat and the dull exploration, Calling throws some of the laziest, most vapid puzzles in the world. Sliding panel puzzles, maths puzzles, they're all here, and they're all boring and something you'd expect to find in the back of a magazine as opposed to a videogame. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if that's where the puzzles were taken from.  While we're at it, the game's unskippable cutscenes, some of which are boring reams of white text on a black background, and in-game dialog text that can't be skipped until five seconds after you've read it only help to bog down an already tiresome experience.  We can at least be somewhat positive on the game's presentation. Graphically, it looks and sounds just about acceptable by Wii standards, although the environments look rather drab and substandard. The lighting is effective (when there is light) and the sound remains relatively creepy throughout. The atmosphere is Calling's only outstanding point, but it's an atmosphere you easily get used to once you've trudged down five identical corridors, opened five identical doors, and explored five identical rooms with nothing in them. As accomplished as the spooky aura is, it's simply not enough to make up for how mediocre the experience is.  Calling is, essentially, a waste of time. I'll happily tell you that I never saw the end of this. I got to a point where I'd explored every single room of an area but had no idea how to get out. I'd opened every cupboard and every door, and figured that maybe I was missing an item that was small and obscure, as I had done so many times before. Either way, it was more than I could stand. The game is mind-numbing in how repetitive and murky and simply uninteresting it is. The worst part is that it had plenty of promise as an unoriginal-but-fun fright fest. It traded in the scares for grinding repetition and long walks down black hallways that stop being creepy as soon as you realize that the game is just stalling for time and has no intention of surprising you.  A miserable little game that does nothing for anybody.  Score: 3.5 -- Poor (3s went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.)
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People like to criticize cheap scares, but I frankly love them. A slow walk down a dark corridor followed by a shameless "BOO" moment works every time. Don't get me wrong, creepy psychological horror is great, but sometimes y...

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Hudson brings Dream Chronicles to PSN, XBLA


Feb 09
// Dale North
Dream Chronicles started out as a PC game, but now it's coming to Xbox's Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network by way of Hudson. It's a surreal mystery dreamscape adventure game. That make any sense? It will when you see it...
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Hudson's Wii game Calling goes so gold it's scary


Feb 04
// Nick Chester
Hudson has announced that its upcoming survival horror Wii-exclusive, Calling, has gone gold. That means that the game's scheduled ship date March 9 is locked, and you'll want to sock away $39.99 to pick it up. Our own Jim St...
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Castlevania: Rondo of Blood on Wii Virtual Console


Jan 25
// Jim Sterling
Fans of Castlevania, rejoice! It has been revealed that Hudson of all publishers is bringing Castlevania: Rondo of Blood to the Wii's Virtual Console some time soon. The game has been rated by the ESRB, so is ready to hit the...

Preview: Calling

Jan 16 // Jim Sterling
Calling (Wii)Developer: Hudson SoftPublisher: Hudson SoftTo be released: March 2010 The demo starts off with a mass of instructions about holding the Wii remote to your head like a telephone. The big gimmick with Calling is the fact that it uses the remote's built-in speaker to communicate with players as if they're on a cellphone. As you might expect, spooky distorted messages come out of the remote and directly into your ear. Incredibly gimmicky, yet undeniably cool.  Just make sure you don't hold it to your head during the opening "cutscene" as I did, expecting something to happen. I sat for what felt like an age with that plastic thing stuck to my ear, watching the most boring intro I've ever seen in a game. The game's premise is set up through a chat log between various characters who have entered "The Black Page" -- a mysterious Web site rumored to help people talk to the dead. The intro consisted of masses of text appearing on the screen, accompanied only by the sound of keyboard typing. Very boring start.  Eventually, the game itself begins. The chapter on the demo is called "Possession". It starts with a girl named Rin Kagura suddenly waking up in an unfamiliar room. Again, there are masses of text as the game explains its controls -- The nunchuck stick moves the character around, the Z button is to run, the Wii remote is for looking around, and the A button is for interaction. Simple enough stuff, although the game takes an age to explain it all.  The first task is simply to wander around the room and look at stuff. When clicking on an item, players enter "Investigation mode," where they get a closer look at the surroundings and can play around with items, in a manner similar to Hotel Dusk on the DS. Doors can be opened by holding the A button and swinging the Wiimote left or right. Some objects can be held for closer investigation, and rotated in all directions so the player can find new clues.  After a while, the cellphone on the desk next to the bed rung and I had to pick it up. Pressing the minus button on the Wiimote activates the cellphone, and this is finally where I finally got to hold the remote to my head like a moron. A static-filled, ghostly warning echoed through the remote. Predictable, but fun. Now I could leave the room.  I found my way to the toilet but was told things were too dark for the character to see. As I looked up, a ghostly face suddenly flashed in the bathroom window, like that bit in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The frights in this game are incredibly schlocky and trite, but they work. The kind of cheap scares that make you jump at first, then laugh. My travels took me to a locked door with very little else to do. Unable to go further, I turned around and found myself staring right in the face of a ghost! The ghost grabbed me and I had to shake the remote to lose him. Unfortunately, what started as a surprising and scary moment was ruined by yet another tutorial telling me to waggle the remote and hit A to shake the ghost loose. Never mind the fact that the in-game prompts were enough to tell me that and that the spooky immersion had just been thoroughly broken. Oh well.  The in-game health is known as the "Horror Meter," a rather well-worn horror game device that acts exactly like a health meter but determines how scared the character is. Obviously if the horror becomes too great, they die.  With the ghost shaken, the door was now unlocked. After picking up a flashlight (turned on and off using the D-pad), I was able to investigate dark rooms. At the end of the room was a pair of sliding doors. I tried opening them a little, but they would only go so far. Some stuff then fell from a shelf for no reason other than to be creepy. Wiith the doors open to show a mere crack, I was told to enter "peek" mode. In this mode, you look around with the nunchuck stick and move the flashlight with the Wiimote in order to get a closer look at the insides of a room. I peeked inside the room and saw a dead body. The main character then shouted "OH" in the most hilariously forced exclamation of surprise I've heard in a game.  With very little else to peek at, I turned around to investigate the room. Nothing but dolls on the floor. I turned back around to the sliding doors and found myself staring at a gang of giggling, evil little dolls that were all peering out of the door at me. I must confess that this made me jump, despite its silliness. Now I had to leave the room, quickly. I bolted for the exit, but the door was barred shut. In this instance, you grip the door handle with A and then shake the remote over and over until it comes free. Success! I ran into the corridor and was grabbed by a ghost again. Shake shake shake, eventual freedom. Made my way back to the bedroom I started in, where I was safe. A telephone in the room started to ring. No choice but to pick it up. A scary little girl was, naturally, on the other end. She simply said "Gotcha" and I was treated to a cutscene of Rin getting grabbed by shadowy hands. End of demo.  Aside from the boring tutorials and the fact that the controls feel a little loose, Calling looks like a promisingly fun little game. The scares are so cheap and silly, but that's part of the charm. It's a classic Japanese horror game that doesn't apologize for throwing cliches at you. The idea of using the Wiimote like a cellphone is incredibly gimmicky, but again that is all part of the fun. It seems that Calling will be a perfect game for people who want some easy thrills and a good laugh at the expense of some silly horror tropes. Nothing to be taken too seriously, but still able to give you a few good scares for your money.  Calling is released this March and should be a good chuckle.
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Japanese horror games love the Wii. For some reason, the family-friendly console has been a virtual Mecca for survival horror games and quirky fright-fests such as Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lun...

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Nintendo DLC: WiiWare gives (re)birth to Castlevania


Dec 28
// Nick Chester
Of the ten digital games being released across Nintendo's platforms today, one stands out like the bright, popping lights in Eddie Adams' dreams when he saw the name "Dirk Diggler" -- Castlevania The Adventure Rebirth! For th...
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Hudson reveals Roaring Laughter for the Wii


Dec 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hudson showed off a new game during Jump Festa in Japan and it was already in playable form! The game is called O-warai Party Game 100 Bakusho, which translates to Funny Party Game 100 Roaring Laughter. As you can guess, the ...

Review: Creature Defense

Dec 04 // Dale North
Creature Defense (PSP on PlayStation Network)Developer: HudsonPublisher: HudsonReleased: November 5, 2009MSRP: $7.99 Hudson had a pretty good idea when they thought to combine card strategy and tower defense. Think about it: By having a larger deck of cards (characters) to choose from, you're really increasing the strategy of the game. You're no longer stuck picking from what they give you as far as placeable characters goes -- you can pick up to five cards you'd like to use for a particular phase of the game. And seeing as how they've also introduced elemental affinities into the game, you'll really have to think about what cards you pick. Fire, water, forest, light and dark. As an example, you'll need blue/water elemental powered creatures to take those pesky red/fire bastards down. As for how Creature Defense plays, it's not far off from standard tower defense. There's that ever winding path, and baddies still march in from the left, through the path, working to get to your unseen tower that's probably just off to the right of the screen. You'll place your creatures for defense, looking for optimal places for them to knock out as many baddies in a wave as possible. Each Phase has about 50 waves. Survive all 50, including a last one with a big boss, and win to move onto the next. Standard tower defense, right? The difference here is the cards. Hopefully, before going in, you've picked the five best cards from what's available. As you battle, more cards are unlocked, up to 50 in all. You can purchase these cards using money you've earned from previous battles. Prior to battles, you're free to customize your own decks, using whatever cards you own to best take on the next phase. Each card has its own stat screen, which displays their art (mostly great art, by the way) and numbers that point to their attack power, range, elemental affinity and so on. In battle, you'll drop any of your five cards just on the terrain as many times as you want, minding their cost to summon. You can use jewels you've earned from killing beasts to summon more, or to spend on leveling up your already placed characters. You can level all you want, but if you don't have the right cards from the beginning, you're not going to last. You'll want to be careful about your card choices, though, as there's a hard lesson being taught here. Unfortunately, having a 50 wave phase is like being beat down with a bad decision you've made. I went into phases thinking I was well-equipped, only to find 20 or so waves in that I needed something that could kill, say, a flying character with the forest affinity. So I die, come back with a fire flying attacker, and find out 30 waves in that I shouldn't have replaced the card that I did. The resulting aggravation kind of takes the charm out of having the cards and their elemental affinities in the first place. It's certainly not a deal breaker, but it is kind of cheap, and I feel like Creature Defense could have been a bit more enjoyable with a bit more focus on the design. I did like that the cards overall seem to have a nice balance. You end up acquiring cards for all the creatures you fight, which means you end up knowing what you'll need to take them down later. Those creatures that can kill you easily? When you get that creature, you'll know how and when to use it. I also like that some cards have bonus abilities. One of the best is a card that gives power boosts to surrounding cards, adding a bit more strategy. Finally, I liked that air attackers (like archers) aren't stuck only attacking flying creatures. Hate when tower defense games do that. Creature Defense is fun, but they didn't put much work into the look. I will say that the card art is really nice, as are the in-game creature models. The stages (phases) suffer from bland and sometimes poorly colored (florescent?) backgrounds. You'll usually be too busy fighting to pay attention, but when you do see them, you'll notice pre-rendered roads of mostly boring greens and browns. The music was a strange choice. Even though the setting is within the fantasy realm, you'll find that the score is that of a crappy 1990's techno club that no one goes to anymore. Sad techno. Creature Defense, with its blend of card collecting and tower defense, was a great idea. It could have benefited from a more thought out execution, but it works fine as is, and can be a lot of fun. And again, really addictive. The combination makes for a game that's definitely more interesting than recent tower defense games. I like that this card twist increases the challenge of tower defense, and not necessarily the difficulty. It's certainly worth your $7.99. SCORE: 7.5 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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Here's the concept: Take tower defense and mix it with card-based strategy games. If you're a total fu*king geek like I am, that sounds amazing. That's what Creature Defense is. And you know what? It's pretty good. Addictive ...

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Ten Minute Taste: Creature Defense


Dec 02
// Dale North
Here's the concept: Take tower defense and mix it with card-based strategy games. If you're a total fu*king geek like I am, that sounds amazing. That's what Creature Defense is. And you know what? It's pretty good. We have t...
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Surprise! There's a creepy girl on Calling's box art


Nov 24
// Jordan Devore
While the trailer for Hudson's Calling had an element of camp to it, I'm willing to believe it could provide some creepy moments. After all, you do play as a generally defenseless characters, which always seems to provide mor...
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Military Madness: Nectaris is a 3D turn-based game from Hudson Entertainment. It's been out for Xbox Live Arcade since September and it finally came over to the PlayStation Network last week. The above video will give you a ...

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Reminder: This is what Bomberman Blitz looks like


Nov 09
// Jordan Devore
You know what never gets old to me? The classic Bomberman formula. On a weekend quest to find something current to tide me over until Tuesday, I said "screw this" after five minutes and proceeded to play Super Bomberman 2 unt...

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