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9:57 AM on 01.12.2012  

Asura’s Wrath Demo Impressions



Since Asura’s Wrath was announced at TGS two years ago, I have been optimistic and somewhat excited for what the final product would be. With CyberConnect2 developing and Capcom doing the publishing, the early footage displayed what could be an awesome cinematic action game in the vein of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.

However, after playing the new demo released yesterday, my optimism has been somewhat inverted. Let me state first and foremost that I am among the many gamers who have grown weary of QTE (Quick Time Events). This style of game play started in games like God of War and Resident Evil 4, but has since then saturated every genre from racing to role playing games. I have grown very, very tired of this feature, and Asura’s Wrath seems to be built upon it.

The demo lets the player select two different boss fights to sample, with one fight based on ranged combat and the other focused more on melee. However both battles end up being almost identical in that they are so heavily composed of timed button presses and little else. As with most games featuring QTE’s, the entirety of the game play feels taken out of the player’s hands so that the cinematic nature of the bosses takes priority over having real input.

As with many demos, the two boss fights take up so little of the full game itself that it’s impossible to judge the retail release based on this one demo. However, if the full game does little more than recycle what is featured in this demo, then Asura’s Wrath might not end up being the big surprise I was hoping for.

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11:08 AM on 12.06.2011  

Update: Like Batman: AC? On The 360? Get Free Code!



If you own a copy of Batman: Arkham City on Xbox 360, you are in luck. Irritated that you never got all of those sweet downloadable costumes at launch? I have a code that will unlock all of them! I will post it in a few hours around 2:00. It's first come first serve, so good luck!

So here's the code: 2WJWY-CK2VC-XJJ67-FQC9K-TGMTZ

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8:57 PM on 06.15.2010  

Gears of War 3's Beast Mode Video



IGN has a quick look at the new Beast Mode in GOW3. You can play as any kind of enemy unit now (well, except for Brumaks). All I can say is "wow". This is gonna make multiplayer insanely fun (that is, until people find all the hacks and ruin it).

I cannot express how excited I am to play this game. I love the series, and I'm dying the play the third and final chapter. This new mode might be the thing to bring me back to the series' mutiplayer, as cheating has become widespread across it's predecessors.

Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k86rf5osUWY

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6:22 PM on 05.18.2010  

My good ol' buddy Red Ring returned for a surprise visit!



Hooray! This doesn't completely blow!

Enough sarcasm, this sucks balls. Not sure whether I'm in range for warranty or not. Guess I'll just have to send it back to MS and see what they can do for me. At least its not all bad; I did pick up Red Dead Redemption today (for the PS3). So that will be sure to keep me busy for the rest of the summer (unless Transformers: War for Cybertron turns out to be good).

Question? This is my third Xbox 360 to die on me. How many systems have YOU been through?

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3:03 PM on 01.10.2010  

My Really Late "Best of 2009 Awards"



With 2010 now three months in, I look back at the entertainment of 2009 and I see a great year. A year of great exclusives, raging fanboyism, and the first time in awhile that I actually had a hard time making a top ten. Seriously, there were so many good games released last year that I cannot fit them all into a top 5 list. But I did, so here it is.

Well, lets get it out of the way. Here are my top five favorite videogames of 2009.

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Why? I absolutely loved the first Uncharted back in 2007. It was one of my favorite games that year and, up until now, my favorite PS3 exclusive. Well, now the sequel has taken those reigns. Not only is Uncharted 2 my favorite game of 2009, its one of the best games I have ever played. Ever. With fantastic characters, a rollercoaster of a plot, and the best pacing I have experienced in a videogame, this is easily the best sequel ever. And the multiplayer, instead of feeling tacked on, is expansive and very addicting. If you own a PS3, you really should own this game.

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360, PC)

Why? Lets face it. Aside from a few fun NES titles, Batman has never been in any good videogames. Rocksteady Studios changed that last year when they released Batman: Arkham Asylum, the best superhero game ever made. Everything from the villians, to the gadgets, right down to the tons of collectibles; this is the ultimate Batman game. The Bioshock-like atmosphere draws you in, the combat is simple yet a blast to pull off, and the voice acting is a treat for the ears. All of this, set up in a Metroid-style open world, and you have one of the best adventure games in years.

3. InFamous (PS3)

Why? I was psyched for this game since day one (I'm a HUGE Sucker Punch fan). A neat super-hero storyline, a cool main character, open world platforming, and lots of sweet powers. Sure, some of the side quests got a bit monotonous, but the core game itself was fun as hell. Racing around rootops and sniping enemies with lightning from afar? Who doesn't like that? As a whole package, InFamous was a very fun sandbox game that's a great addition to anyone's PS3 library,

4. Killzone 2 (PS3)

Why? I'm one of the few who really enjoyed the first Killzone, but this sequel is head and shoulders above its predecessor. A truly epic campaign with some awesomely addictive multiplayer, this game has no shortage of things to do. The weapons are great and have a real punch to them. The graphics are beautiful, and the sound design is some of the best you'll hear in a videogame. In multiplayer, the objective is constantly changing so things stay fresh as you blast the enemy team. If you like shooters and own a PS3, Killzone 2 is the a must own.

5. Left 4 Dead 2 (360, PC)

Why? While I enjoyed the first Left 4 Dead, it was over too quickly and a lot of the campaigns weren't a lot of fun to replay. This time around, things are WAY better. Funnier characters, awesome new melee weapons, better guns, what else can I say? New items, new modes, sweet new Infected types, the list goes on. Co-op is tops, and Versus Mode with the added Infected is more fun than ever. Better apocalypse indeed.

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4:02 PM on 12.21.2009  

The Saboteur Review



I literally just wrapped up The Saboteur about five minutes ago. I, like many in these interwebs, had been hyped for this game since it was announced years ago. The concept of a Nazi-controlled Paris that is saturated in black and white, that when liberated would become colorful once again. Just this idea alone had sold me many years ago. I got a little worried, however, when Pandemic's 2008 title Mercenaries 2 (another title that I had been hyped for) turned out to be a glitchy mess. But after hearing that The Saboteur was to be Pandemic's swan song, I felt it obligatory to pick it up. Is it a worthy send off?

Plot

Sean Devlin is an Irish race car driver who is caught up in Nazi-occupied Paris and must help the local resistance overthrow the Nazi regime. He's also there to get revenge on the main baddie, Kurt Dierker. He kills your brother and you want revenge, blah blah blah. Sure, the plot is both unoriginal and sometimes hilarious, but it keeps you motivated and interested enough to follow it to the end.

Graphics

If you played Pandemic's last game, Mercenaries 2, then you should be used to the look of The Saboteur. This is both good and bad, since Mercs 2 is a 2008 title. It looks decent, nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. Character animations are hit and miss, with a lot of Sean's actions looking downright silly (climbing buildings looks incredibly awkward). Also, facial animations can get weird too The black and white of Nazi-occupied areas looks neat, and the coloring effect when you free an area looks cool, but as a whole the graphics are just average.

Gameplay

There really isn't anything original here, and even the stuff it does are not great. Competent is the word I would use. The shooting is average, the driving is average, and even the climbing (once you get used to it) is just average. Again, nothing great or original, but its definitely not bad. However, there is a BIG emphasis on blowing stuff up. And its fun too. The mission structure is rather archaic, with the only good way to get around being a vehicle. Luckily you can stow away vehicles that you either pick up or steal. An extra bonus is getting a fast racing car or a Nazi-mobile with some weapons on it. On the downside, Sean can be very clunky and doesn't always respond like you'd want him to.

Sound

Now here is where the game shines, but not in the way that you would imagine. The voice acting is downright awful. So awful, in fact, that it makes the game that much better. Its very clear that the entire cast is American, and that all of the accents are fake. Its brilliant. Everything that comes out of Sean's mouth is stereotypical Irishman funk ("Fuck'n shite!!", "Who do ya have'ta bothur to git a pint o' whisky?"). And on top of that, most of the other voices are French, so you get a lot of people saying "Wi wi!", as if every French person constantly says that (I'm just kidding, I know they do). The music does a decent job of setting the mood, with big crescendos when you're doing something epic like blowing up a tower or when you're being chased by Gestapo.

Value

The story is a decent length, as I finished it in about nine or ten hours. There is also quite a bit of stuff to do. There's duck hunting (no shit), racing, and liberating more of Paris to name a few. Its a good little package, but it might be worth just a rental for those who are not entirely sold. If you are REALLY interested and are looking for a new sandbox game, I think it should be dropping in price soon (sadly, I don't think its selling well).



Overall

The Saboteur is a decent game that, despite its interesting premise, just isn't original or executed well enough to run with the bigger sandbox games. Its worth a look for anyone willing to put up with its shortcomings, and there's definitely some fun to be had here. As Pandemic's last game, The Saboteur stands as a summary of what Pandemic has been good at making all of these years: not perfect, but fun titles that tided us over until the next AAA title hit. See ya around, Pandemic.

Score: 7.5


Question of the Day: What was your favorite Pandemic game?

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2:37 PM on 12.20.2009  

Got back from camping...woo



So I've been gone for some time. Mostly school, working, jacking off, etc. But this past week my parents wanted me to come up with my brother and camp in an RV they rented. Sounds fun.

I personally hate being away from technology for long periods of time or else I get a little...strange. My lack of interwebs and gaming consoles made me a walking time bomb just ready to go to sleep. and sleep I did. A LOT. There's not much to do except ride bikes, swing on swingsets, and look awkwardly at young girls. I warned you, deprive me of technology and things can get out of hand.

Luckily I enjoy biking and nature trails, but only for so long. A few days, sure. But for a week? No thanks. But there I was, camping for almost seven days. We brought a laptop, but the internet is limited to ten feet from the front office of the camp site, and there's no way in hell I'm sitting outside with a bunch of child molesters. It looks bad for my cred.

I did depart for a day and go back to civilization to see Avatar in glorious 3D. Honestly, THAT was the highlight of my trip. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but I'm going to see it again in IMAX to get the full experience. It wasn't mind blowing or the best film of the year, but it was fun and very well done. It was brilliant from a technical standpoint.

I'll end with this since I have barely spent time with the Inglorious Basterds blu-ray I picked up before the trip.Camping is fun in short spurts, but too much and it can KILL YOU!!!



Question of the Day: Do you like camping? If so, what is your favorite activity?

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4:18 PM on 11.04.2009  

New Let Me In poster is boring and lazy



For those who don't know, Let Me In is the upcoming American remake of the awesome Swedish vampire flick Let The Right One In. I sobbed aloud when it was announced, because this film does not need to be remade. Ever.

As if my faith in this film wasn't already deep enough in the shitter, the new teaser poster is recycled from one of the teasers used for the original. How great. This is gonna be bad.

The shit remake will be out sometime in 2010.

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11:31 AM on 10.24.2009  

Final Fantasy XIII Japanese box art leaked *maybe*



This may be old news, or not. But supposedly THIS is the official box art for FFXIII in Japan. It depicts Lightning riding a horse that honestly looks rather unsafe to ride on. Spikey.

The game is being released in Japan on December 17 this year, with the NA release being either June or July next year. So yeah...that's it.

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11:01 PM on 08.28.2009  

Halloween II Review



As many of you probably didn't know, I was rather keen of Rob Zombies' Halloween remake (as well as his other films too). I get a lot of shit for it, but I picked up the Blu-ray the other day and you know what? I still like it. Its a fun, stylish slasher that's very entertaining and who's only real problem is its lack of scares. So now that the sequel has hit theaters, me and my buddies decided to take a trip to the movies to see Michael Myers go on yet another killing spree to find his lost sister Laurie.Since I'm tired and don't feel like writing a long review for the film, I'll just write a short one.

Lets start by pointing out my favorite thing: great gratuitous violence! Zombie knew exactly how to make this sequel far gorier than the first. The kills are extremely brutal and the sounds can be gag-inducing to some (I heard some going on in the theater). There are plenty of kills, so the blood never runs dry. Another thing I enjoyed was the atmosphere. This films ends up looking even better than the first. There are some great moments as Zombie's direction is great here. He knows how to express what he wants to show us, which is good since most of it involved someone being sliced up or overacting. Speaking of acting, most of it is sound here. The dialogue could have used some work (I still don't understand why Zombie insists on every character saying "fuck" at least six times in one sentence). One person who really stands out is Brad Dourif, who plays Sheriff Lee Brackett. You feel sympathetic for his character since he seems the most "normal" in the bunch who's just as clueless as everyone else.

The story this time around takes some heat. I understand what Zombie was going for, but he really does miss the mark. He tries very hard to convey all of these deep meanings and occurring themes, but they end up coming across as confusing and not fleshed out. And it sucks too, because there is some good stuff here, but it gets lost in its own attempts. The constant use of Michale's dead mother dressed in white is meant to show his own psychological fuck-ups, but most of the time these scenes come across as just silly. Most, but one. There is a very cool scene in which young Michael talks to his mother about being close to bringing Laurie home. They stand in from of a feast surrounded by strange characters with weird masks and some cool makeup effects. Its scenes like this that stand out amongst others.

One other issue I had was with Dr. Lumis. Malcolm McDowell returns as the good doctor who analyzed and treated Michael years ago. He's here again, but this time he pretty much plays it safe. His character runs around trying to promote his new book, but since he has no connection with the rest of the characters until the end, he feels far away and unnecessary. Lumis is a great character and I wish he was used more. The ending did rub me the wrong way too. Much like the first film, there is not closure but instead more questions raised. This kind of ending is beginning to get very redundant, as there is no guarantee that there will be a sequel (which I kinda hope there isn't). The one point the film's ending does convey is the definite descent of Laurie's mind into madness. As a whole the film is an entertaining slasher picture, but Zombie has failed to give us more than that. As it stands, its an inferior sequel that isn't as interesting or as fun as its predecessor, but its a fun way to kill an evening with some friends. If you're aren't a big fan, wait for the DVD.

My Score: 5/10

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2:25 PM on 08.25.2009  

Picked up a PS3 Slim today

So after some consideration and much pacing about, I decided to try and snag a PS3 Slim from a Gamestop today. I had heard that both Gamestop and Amazon.com were getting the systems in while other retailers will have to wait until sometime in early September. So I hurried as fast as I could to my local Gamestop as soon as my last class was let out. After I traded in a few things to take advantage of some good bonuses, I bought their last one (turns out they only got one that wasn't reserved). So hooray! I have a PS3 again!

For those who haven't seen it, I took pics as I opened it.







I also picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum as well a a few Blu-rays, one of which was a great find. The Devil's Rejects, one of my favorite genre films (the genre being weird but awesome gore flicks directed my rock stars), is already out of print here in the states. But I happened to find one at my local FYE store. I'm updating the system as I write this, So I'll going to spend the rest of my evening playing Arkham. So all in all,it was a good day. THUMBS UP!!!


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11:57 AM on 08.23.2009  

Big Stupid Robots!!! Transformers 2 DVD Specs!



You know how many brain cells you assassinate when you drink about seven or eight beers? That's around the amount you can kill with just one viewing of Michael Bay's incredibly stupid sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Say what you will about the film; I found it dumb as hell (and charmless compared to the first film), but you know how I feel about giant robots. Its decent entertainment to waste an afternoon.

So for those of you who want to pick up this explosion-riddled, migraine-inducing clusterfuck on October 20th, here are the DVD specs:

Disc 1:
* Commentary by Michael Bay, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Disc 2:
* The Human Factor: Exacting Revenge of the Fallen - Multi-chapter documentary
o Seeds of Vengeance - Development and Design
o Domestic Destruction – Production: United States
o Joint Operations – Production: Military
o Wonders of the World – Production: Middle East
o Start Making Sense - Editing
o Under the Gun – Visual Effects
o Running the Gauntlet – Post-Production and Release
* A Day with Bay: Tokyo
* 25 Years of TRANSFORMERS - Featurette
* NEST: Transformer Data-Hub
* Deconstructing Visual Bayhem with Commentary by Pre-Vis Supervisor Steve Yamamoto
* Extended Scenes
* Music Video: Linkin Park’s “New Divide”

Blu-ray:
* The ALLSPARK Experiment
* NEST: Transformer Data-Hub
* Giant Effing Movie
* The Matrix of Marketing

Here's hoping the third outing is better. I heard it might have Dinobots! YAY!

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