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8:59 PM on 05.30.2012

Got questions about PlanetSide 2? Have Them Answered At E3 !

Hi my name is Alex Martinet and I work for GamerLive.TV. I am attending E3 this year and so will SOE, which means only one thing ... PlanetSide 2. As a noob, I am definitely not the most knowledgeable of the inner workings of PlanetSide, so I am giving you the fans the chance to have your questions asked and answered.

If you have any questions ... comment below. If you want to send me your questions directly to me, you can tweet them at me to my twitter account @LightForceJedi.

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8:56 PM on 05.30.2012

Have questions on Elder Scrolls Online? Get them answered at E3 !


I am back again. If you don't know me my name is Alex Martinet and I work for GamerLive.TV. Previously I have asked everyone to assemble any questions they had about PlanetSide 2 (link down below) and now I am back again. I just got an invite to see the new Elder Scrolls MMO at E3. I will have a chance to play it, but only for a limited time. I have a wealth of MMO experience, but it can't hurt to get questions from the fans.

So if you have any questions about Elder Scrolls ... post below. If you want to send me your questions directly to me, you can tweet them at me to my twitter account @LightForceJedi.

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8:50 PM on 05.30.2012

Have questions on Hitman Absolution? Have them answered at E3 !


I am back again. If you don't know me my name is Alex Martinet and I work for GamerLive.TV. Previously I have asked everyone to assemble any questions they had about PlanetSide 2 (link down below) and Elder Scrolls Online now I am back again again with Hitman Absolution. I am sure many have questions after that absurd trailer that just hit the internet.

If you have any questions ... comment below. If you want to send me your questions directly to me, you can tweet them at me to my twitter account @LightForceJedi.

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9:06 PM on 05.12.2012

Interview With Kiki Wolfkill About Halo 4 Chief Is Back And Better Than Ever

It’s been nearly five years since fans last saw Master Chief helm the "Halo" saga, but things have sure changed since then. Bungie, the original creators of the franchise, are no longer working on the game. 343 Industries is now helming the project and is shaping the next generation of "Halo" saga with all the games shifting from the Forerunner saga to the Reclaimer saga.

I recently got to talk with Kiki Wolfkill who is the executive producer on the game. She is responsible for the overall product and making sure the game hits its release date as planned. She as been part of the Microsoft game studio. She previously has helped develop the "Forza", "Project Gotham" and most notably the "Crackdown" series. Why do I bring this up? Is because it all comes back to the "Halo" series.

Throughout "Halos" life span, Microsoft has used the "Halo" brand to help promote its exclusive tittles. "Crackdown" was the first to do be promoted alongside "Halo." If you pre ordered "Crackdown," you earned beta access for "Halo 3." "Crackdown" was a great game, but many bought the game because it was associated with "Halo." The "Forza" motorsports series also had a "Halo" tie-in, but it was more of an Easter egg. You could have the UNSC Warthog in your garage, but you could not race with it for some odd reason. The series is more than just game to Microsoft and you can bet this pattern will continue.

Bridging the gap between the Forunner saga and the new Reclaimer trilogy is the most daunting task. How do you please the hardcore fans, while introducing casual fans into the world? that is the biggest task that 343 Industries is going to have to overcome. Lucky, "Halo 4" is in the right hands. “Halo 3 ends with Master Chief and Cortana entering a cryonic sleep after they wiped out the flood and defeated the covenant," Wolfkil said. "It picks up where the series left off five years later and Chief awakens to continue the saga. This gives us enough time, to develop a new universe around Master Chief and while respecting what happened in the previous games. ”

"Halo: Reach" was the swan song for Bungie, as it was its last "Halo" game and its send off to the series it created. By far "Reach" is the best in the series, but since there's such a huge time gap between pre "Combat Evolved" and "Halo 4," I asked, will we see Reach in the upcoming installment? “Well, 'Reach' was obliterated by the covenant," Wolfkill said. "It’s a place in the 'Halo' Universe that we may or may not revisit. You might see it in future graphic novels and possible novel tie-ins.”

The Forge system has been a key part of the franchise success ever since it was integrated in "Halo 3." It has evolved over time to become a great party tool and has helped form indie machinima developers on the Web. There hasn’t been any news on it yet, but Wolfkill helped assure that the forge system will make its way onto "Halo 4." “Um… What I can say is that 'Halo 4' community involvement is still a core part of the Halo experience," Wolfkill said. "Continuing to developing tools like the Forge mode, are key for us.”

The switch from Bungie to 343 industries is without doubt one of the biggest stories surrounding the series. Bungie is now working with Activision on another IP that we haven’t heard much about. “When we took over the 'Halo' series, we took a deliberate approach," Wolfkill said. "We wanted to keep the strengths that made 'Halo' while cutting out the weakness. We really wanted to improve on telling a better story that surpasses what we did in the Forunner saga.”

The biggest reveal at the event, was the reintroduction of the deadly fan favorite weapon, the battle rifle. I didn’t get a chance to get hands on with "Halo 4," but right away you can tell that the BR is a more improved version than its predecessors. It looks more deadly and is vastly different since the last time you saw Master Chief use the battle rifle.“ We wanted to give familiar grounds to fans," Wolfkill said. "Even though it’s back however, we wanted to give the battle rifle its own distinct look that separates it from previous games.”

Martin O’Donnell, the original composer, will not make the jump to "Halo 4." There is no word yet on what his next project is, but it’s safe to say that he is scoring the next Bungie project. Replacing Martin O’ Donnell is Sotaro Tojima. This news saddens me because of how iconic Martin’s work on the "Halo" series is, but this offers a wide range of possibilities and chance to bring a new vision to "Halo" that fans have never seen before.

"Halo 4" is quite possibly, the most important game to be released in this decade. If "Halo 4" is a great game, then it will reach out to the next generation. But if "Halo 4" turns out like the Star Wars prequals, it could damage the repuation that it has today. I can't wait for "Halo" to return with a new bold vision, but I'm going to remain speculative until I get hands on with the Chief.

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Link:!/LightForceJedi   read

6:30 PM on 03.23.2012

Review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Fails To Reckon

Before I started up Kingdom of Amalur Reckoning, I was completely skeptical about what 38 studios was promising to bring to the table. Even though 38 studios was founded by Curt Schilling, a former Boston Red Sox’s pitcher. It has some impressive talent behind the game, which drew my interest towards the game. Ken Rolston, who is mostly known for being the lead designer for Elder Scrolls “Morrowind” and “Oblivion”. Todd Mcfalane, who was the creator of spawn and lastly R.A Salvatore, who is a well known scifi writer. This trio of talent dose many rights then wrongs, but it lacks a strong identity and the game suffers because of it.

One of the biggest reasons to get excited about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is the combat. From the get go, KOA: Reckoning is easy to grasp. If you are a fan of various RPG’s like Dragon Age and Ninja Gaiden, then you are going to find familiar ground here. if you aren’t familiar with those games, it’s a fast paced button masher mixed with rpg elements.The controls are very lose and it only takes one button to inflict mass damage upon your opponent, but that’s not what is most impressive about the combat system.

If you prefer to play multiple play styles, then the combat system is flexible in just about every conceivable way. “Reckoning” doesn’t hide the fact on what it’s centered around as the box art clearly symbolizing what the game is all about. If you wanted to wield an bow and bring destructions to your opponent using an electric sword, then the game gives you that option. The game gives you every chance to be an ultimate badass with finishing moves, yes I said finish moves, that rival the classic arcade fighter. Impaling a giant beast with my lighting bolt, beating him to a pulp, then throwing him into a pit of fire was an in creditable feeling that I feel many will enjoy.

I played mostly as a mage in my 50-hour play through. Normally I would be tied down to my magic, but now I have many options deal out damage. Your primary attack button with all of your special combos is always going to be ‘x’, but what makes the combat system so intuitive is how equal secondary attacks are. You always have a devastating side arm with you, which speeds up the gameplay and always keep you in the grove of the game. As a mage I was able to be a powerful wizard and be powerful melee fighter at the same time thanks in part to how smartly the respec system is designed.

In most rpg’s , once you choose a play - style, you are stuck with your decision and their is no turning back. However in “Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning”, I was never tied down by moves I made early in the game. I was given the chance to fix and change however your character plays like. It this freedom of reckoning that makes the combat system stand out from the rest. Now with saying, their is a few things that combat system struggles with.

While your traversing the world and slaughtering enemies, your combat equipment will eventually wear down over time. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing, if it didn’t happen all the time. Far too often my equipment would be rendered useless in mid battle, making normal opponents far more troublesome then they should be. A minor problem I came across was adequately defending myself. The only way you can defend yourself is by dodging or by blocking, but it just doesn't respond well. Depending on how you respec your character, blocking is rendered useless due to how much damage it dose to you. Dodging is the best means of defending yourself, but it tends to react late. These problems are still very minor and didn’t get in the way of the awesome gameplay.

So you might be wondering? What is the setting surrounding “Kingdoms of Amalur”, well it’s big and expansive. If you are a consumer who is worried about getting their money’s worth, then this is right up your alley. They are dozens of races in the game that you will come across. For the most part the races are a mixed bag, some are creative and some are just straight up generic.

From the get go after you finish the tutorial, the game becomes like a normal mmorpg. Side quests will open to you periodically as you continue to further explore the world. Some side quests will demand your attention, but will be well worth it due to items you receive. For the most part, I prefer the side quests in the game, just because how linear and un thought out they are.

The main storyline is frankly the most disappointing thing about the game. Reckoning is the first attempt to create the “Kingdoms of Amalur” universe, but it fails to grab your attention. While most rpg’s have a morality system, “Reckoning” decides to go in a completely different route. You have the power to choose your own destiny. The more times you level up, you will unlock more tier’s in the game, making your character more and more powerful. This is a great idea, but it needs more work. If you chose a certain play style, then your actions will pre – determine your fate and locking you into a pre determine ending. Simply put, unlike Curt Schilling 2007 Boston Red Sox’s, “Kingdoms of Amalur” won’t hold your attention for long after you lose interest in the combat.

On the presentation front, the game boosts some great presentation values. The highlight of the package is the outstanding music score in the game. Composed by Grant Kirkhope, who was you might heard his work in “Viva Pinata” and “Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts”. This is his first music score for rpg game and he knocks it out of the park. Traveling the world was a sheer joy because of how rich and heroic the music sounds. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a new theme that instantly set the mood and made me explore the world more. Graphically, it’s a hit and miss however.

“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ” draws a familiar art style that was previously used in the fable games and while it might be a old look, it still holds up. There are very little load times in the game, which is something to be said due how big in scale the world is. I never had to wait for something to load or texture to re – render so I could continue. Not once did I experience one crash, a dip in frame rate or lost of saves. It's a very smooth game from start to finish at launch.

Overall, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” is good, but not a great game. If the story was better than 38 studios might have had a hit on its hands. The biggest mistake they made was simply putting to many big names on one project. Traveling the kingdom is one thing, but they never figured out how to tell a story. The game is going in so many direction that it never figures out it’s own identity.

Yes it wants to be a single player mmorpg, but like most it never tells a story (with the exception of swtor). R.A Salvatore work goes completely un noticed and the game suffers. In the industry when rpg’s are at the pinnacle of game design. “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” doesn’t do enough to separate it’s self from the competition and will quickly be forgettable as time moves along.

Score: 8 out of 10   read

11:48 AM on 03.20.2012

Big Games Of 2012: Lead Designer Haydn Dalton Talks Darksiders II

Two months ago ,Darksiders II was demoed at the Regency Center in San Francisco. The demo showed off what the newest features were, while providing us an awesome taste of the product. Sadly however, I couldn’t get my hands on with the game, but never or less it was an impressive showing. After the demo, I got to talk with the lead designer of the game, Haydn Dalton and got some insider info on the upcoming sequel.

GamerLive.TV: Haydn Dalton, thank you for talking with us about Darksiders II.

Haydn Dalton: No problem”

So what is the biggest game-play change from Darksiders 1 to 2?

Haydn Dalton: “ The biggest change we made was the looting and customize system that we have in the game right now. The ability to switch out specific items for your main character visually when you pause the game, is probably the biggest change in the game. “

So how does that play into armor customization?

Haydn Dalton: “Well we have many different armor types, what we showed at the demo was the slayer and necromancer set. Basically we are trying to suit whatever style the player prefers to play and you can mix individual items to the style you want to play . So you can combine them to be more effective in magic or be more effective with your physical attacks, it’s all about mixing and stylizing for what the player wants to do”

The biggest reveal in the demo or at least in my look was the talent trees. This is something the fans of the series were asking for, but i’m interested to know. Why did you decided to go that route and can you explain both talent tress?

Haydn Dalton: “I can’t give you to much detail, but I tell you what was behind the idea. The two-skill tress are formed around two styles of play. One is based around the physical and skilled side of the game, when the Necromancer side of the game is more about the stand off and projectile part of the game. So players have two very distinct of the game on the way they want to play. “

Sounds Cool, so how does Darksiders II continue the trilogy. Will we ever get to see the first protagonist from the first game?
Haydn Dalton: “ Uh … I guess your going to have to play the game find out. The Story is definitely concurrent with the first one.”

When does the story take place?

Haydn Dalton: “Kind of before and after the events of the first game. The main storyline centers around the events of the first game and fans of the series will likely recall events from the first game. The main question center around and what will be driving the storyline in Darksiders II is what was Death doing here at this time and what was going on with him”

What type of weapons will we see?

Haydn Dalton: Yeah there are many different weapons and many are making their return. Obviously you saw the gun and claw briefly, which are returning favorites. You also saw the hammer but we also Axe’s, gauntlets and a wide range of weapons. Again, it was really about player choices, even with the weapons visually and gameplay. We really wanted to give the player different ways overcome the hurdles.

What type of gameplay changes did you make to fully make the transition from War to Death?

Haydn Dalton: “Well the first thing is that War is more of a heroic character. He is somebody who is more grounded by his terrain, but is a ruthless brawler who can take lots of damage. When we started developing and envisioning Death, he seemed more of athletic and dose his own thing and doesn’t really go by the rules. So it’s a polor opposite to what War was all about. So yeah, War was methodical in combat, but Death is more about inversion. Death is more like an assassin in our world.”

Another Reveal in the demo was that you are introducing side quests for the first time. Now the previous Darksiders was 40 hours long. I’m kind of interested to find out, does that take away from the main storyline or enhance it?

Haydn Dalton: “We really wanted to create a large world for the player. So we are give them the cool story, which is our main focus, but while doing that we wanted players to be fully enriched in the setting. When started we designing our side quests, we wanted to further enhance you the world, not just happens in main storyline. That’s why many times you will come across various quests that will often have you facing mini – bosses. That will offer new items to player and totally brand new experience at the same time, and I don’t think calling them mini – bosses doesn’t do them justice. Some bosses will be a serious challenge to defeat.”

Okay thank you for the time.

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5:15 PM on 03.14.2012

Can Ridge Racer Unbounded Please The Hardcore Fans?

Through out the years, video game genres have frequently changed to get ready for the next generation of new consoles. This is understandable sacrifice as developers and fans have profited over yearly growth in technology’s. However, the one game that hasn’t changed since it was first release on the first PlayStation , is now getting a completely ballsy addition to the franchise. Instead of Racing the black and white flag, fans of the series will know be racing for their life as all hell breaks lose in Ridge Racer: Unbound.

Ridge Racer Unbounded is the upcoming racing game by Bugbear Entertainment. Bugbear is known mostly for creating the Flatout series. The Flatout series was known for it’s destruction and allowing you to put endless rounds into your opponents. It’s been awhile since we have seen Flatout series since the series last appeared in 2006 as apart of the Xbox 360 launch lineup. Is this Flatout 3 or is this a Ridge Racer that fans will claim as their own?

That is the biggest issue that Ridge Racer has going forward for it. Yes, it still holds on to many of the key concepts that makes Ridge Racer has today. Your still going to find the unrealistic drifting formula that has been the staple of the franchise ever since the inception. Along with that your going to get the non licensed cars developed,but along with that they add muscle cars and a few different types of cars that weren’t in previous Ridge Racer. If you were a fan of the Ridge Racer, you will happy to here that many of the tones from the previous games are going to be in the game. But that’s kinda where similarities end with traditional Ridge Racer games and Ridge Racer Unbound.

From the get go, Ridge Racer Unbound is a fresh arcade racer, that in no way feels like Ridge Racer. Bugbear Entertainment drew inspiration from Disney Interactive 2010 racing tittle, Split Second. Instead of shooting the enemy to death, your main arsenal will be turbo, but not to the extent. You can’t bring down entire airports, hotels, freeways, mountain tops or summon Godzilla like you could in Split Second. For the most part, you can use turbo in Ridge Racer to unlock shortcuts or knockout your opponents out of the race.

During my demo time I was restricted to playing the single player due to problems with online multiplayer, but of what I played I was pleasantly surprised. The graphics in the game immediately stands out due to how much goes on the screen. It real enjoyment to just sit back and watch this game unfold due to how frequent cars collide with objects.

What’s kind a disappointing is the lack of single player story content. Now their is plenty of modes in the game like traditional Race types and Frag, which is you ramming the police for eight laps in a eight wheeler truck. From the looks of the single player, it never looks like slows down to provide any story content, which is not really a shock or surprise since Bugbear focus squarely on game-play content.

One of the nice features in the game is called City Creator. City Creator allows you to create your own city and within that city so you can create multiple maps, which you play online and share around the world. City creator makes the game feel endless due to how limitless the customization is.

For the past three years, arcade racing has been at a dormant state. Finally, arcade racing fans have a game they they can look forward to 2012. Can Bugbear Entrainment live up to the Ridge Racer name? who knows. But it’s great to see a franchise like Ridge Racer and do something we would never expect from them. Bugbear is truly sending the franchise unbounded.   read

10:19 AM on 03.12.2012

Need For Speed: The RUN Review

The last two Need for Speed tiles, Hot Pursuit and Shift, were considered more as spin-offs but have provided the best two racing games for the franchise. What The Run has going for it is that it returns to it’s old-school NFS roots. Black Box develops the game this time, making it the first time they have returned to the Need For Speed franchise since creating and finishing Underground and Undercover series. Once again players will return to nitrous-powered action that graced the last generation of NFS gamers. This is a welcome return for many veteran NFS fans, but unfortunately Black Box under-performs severely.

Growing up, the Need for Speed franchise was still rather new. Need for Speed Underground, developed by Black Box entertainment, featured an excellent career mode at the time. Even though it was a small portion of the game, it fulfilled its premise and brought a new dimension for the game. Fast-forwarding eight years to Need for Speed: The Run, it feels like jumping back in time and revisiting an old friend. The problem however, is that Black Box’s formula doesn’t hold up to arcade racing standards and fails to finish on the podium.

Diving right into the single player campaign, the main story line in The Run is your cheesy Hollywood setup. You play as Jack, a marked man who is being hunted down by the mob. The only way to pay his debt is to win a 3,000 mile race that spans from San Francisco to New York. The campaign gets straight to the point on what it wants you to accomplish. Driving from San Francisco to New York is often breath-taking because of the maps you race on through the long Nevada desert, down the cold and edgy Colorado Mountains and the packed Chicago Streets. Don’t feel bad if you get distracted while you admire the scenery as you drive along. Even though it’s a beautiful treat, it doesn’t even come close to hiding all the problems with The Run’s campaign mode.

The campaign has a good balance of racing types that you will eventually go through. Ranging from the time attack races, one-on-one battles, cop chases and your standard eight car races. These are all fun simply because of how the controls feel. Driving in The Run feels very loose, which is something to actually be glad about. It allows everyone to pick up the controls with ease and not have to learn how a car drives like some games. The only thing that requires learning on your part, is how certain car classes perform. There is a wide range of classes ranging from muscle cars to luxury cars which gives the game much needed variety and spice.

The biggest design flaw in the game is that progress from race to race never transfers over. Every time you race, it’s your mission to pass a certain amount of cars or finish a map with a certain time. If at any chance you fall below these standards, you are instructed to retry over and over again until you beat that stage. This the biggest design flaw because it stops people feeling like they are on the run. It makes the game feel very linear and out of place. If The Run could track progress from start to finish, then it would make players push the throttle more and have more excitement for the story.

Speaking of the story, the highly publicized story of Need for Speed The Run is probably the most disappointing things about the game. From the get go, it tries to be a Hollywood block buster but the problem is that it falters on nearly every level. Starting with Jack, who owes the mob money, but we don’t know what he did or how he got in that position.

There are very few times that the game slows down to provide back-story for the main characters in the game but your going to get most information in the loading screens than in quick time events. The Run does provide some cool quick time events that take Jake out of the car but they’re so few and far between each other that they are out of place and are not needed. It’s a real shame because The Run does have some good moments, it’s just the package doesn’t come together making the storyline easily forgettable while your racing towards New York. If it wasn’t so scripted and provided much needed story details, then Black Box might have had a good campaign to go along with its online features.

Online play is the biggest bright spot and will keep players playing for quite a long time. It’s nearly impossible to not early XP for racing. Even if you joined in a race late you can still climb the leaderboards and win. At the start of each race, depending on who you are playing with, you earn exclusive cars and gain ridiculously high XP if you come in first. Most of the modes are the same in story but tweaked a bit to balance the maps for online. It’s a very refreshing feature and you can see they developed the online first then worked on the single player experience.

Even though it has a great online experience, Need for Speed The Run will be a quick finish for most. It only takes three hours to finish the campaign. After the single player experience, you can still complete all the single and multiplayer challenges that await you. There is really nothing besides the multiplayer that will keep you coming back to The Run. To make things worse, the game has only 36 achievements and trophys to get, with most of them on the single player side. With a lack of long term content, people are simply going to be turned off by NFS and be busy playing something else during the holiday season.

Need for Speed The Run looks good on the outside as it provides beautiful visuals and is easily playable. The more you start digging, the more you will see that it’s just an average racing game that crashes in every possible way. Horrible story, dumb AI and the lack of freedom kills The Run’s chances of being the best racer on the market. Black Box’s under-performs severely, making it clear to EA that the Need for Speed franchise was better in other people’s hands.

Score: 6 out 10[img][/img]   read

10:55 PM on 03.09.2012

Postal III Review - Duke Nukem Forever's Aborted Son

The Postal Series has been around for awhile now. Starting off with the original Postal game in 1997, it was a gritty, intelligent and funny, which made it one of the most unique IP on the market. Eight years later after Postal 2, the postal series has finally returned to conclude the trilogy. What could have been a great game is instantly turned it into a cosmic mess with no clear direction, outdated controller and horrible game design. Postal III isn’t just the worst downloadable game I have ever played, it is by far the worst game I have ever played.Unknown Object

One of the first problems you’re going to spot is the overall story. The Story is focused around you as you play as The Postal Dude, your average muscular dude who got thrown into a situation he has to solve. The Story in Postal III has no clear direction and no goal on where it wants it take you. It is seemly just another comedic sketch over and over again.

Postal III puts you in a post apocalyptic world, but it never quit feels like it. You never get the sense that you are isolate, on the run and need to survive. Majority of your time you spend in small town called Catharsis. The streets are always filled with people and the city looks un-scratched from the post apocalyptic climate. All together, you never get the sense that they are in danger and you are never enriched in the setting. One of the many reasons the setting is toned down is because it is trying to provide the comedic attitude that the series is known for.

Through out the game, what would be missions or quests in similar games are replaced with comedic sketches that fail to be funny. Right off the bat, you are tossed into situation that for the most part are hit and miss. There are some sketches that will give you a laugh, but they are very far in between. Along the way, you will come across a few celebrities who lend their talents to the game, but the problem is that they are given little to work with and are poorly executed.

In one of the first missions of the game after you complete the prologue, you are forced to do the most absolutely insane jobs in order to re-fuel your car. From vacuuming up tissues off the floor in a sex shop and shooting them right back at the customers. To helping a local terrorist group battle Osama Bin Laden by rounding up diseased cats. To lastly killing off an angry mob of Mexican -Sushi restaurateurs. Many will enjoy it for it comedic attitude, but it quickly gets old due how linear the game is. What really diminishes the comedic aspect of the game is the dreadful presentation.

Postal III has been in development for eight years, which is one of the longest development cycles in recent memory. You would of thought that the franchise would make leaps and bounds, but the exact opposite happen. Previously, the engine driving the Postal franchise was Epic’s Unreal engine. In Postal III however, Running With Scissors developed the product under Valve’s Steam engine. The results in glitchy experience that looks outdated filled with inexcusable errors for a current gen product.

The graphics are by far the worst thing Postal III brings to the table. The graphics are in creditable out dated. Shadows and textures pop in and out. Facial textures look awful. These graphics are no shape or form acceptable for current gen hardware. What makes it worse are the annoying glitches in the game.

Far too often, your progress in the game will be stopped at a stand still. To entire area’s blacked out because of the extra time need to load part of the map. By far the worse glitch I experienced, was my entire save vanishing from my game. Making my experience more troublesome then it should have be. Another problem I had was the dialogue in the game. Far too often characters fail to lip – sync to the script, resulting in an ugly result. For the most part it will appear that characters are mumbling through the script, making actors performance look below par and highly unforgettable.

These things should have been ironed out with beta testing, but you can tell this was something they overlooked or skipped entirely. Post apocalyptic wastelands are a mess to go through, but Postal III graphical wasteland tops it all. In many ways, I wish Valve stopped this game from hitting store shelves and give them more time to clean up these mistakes. All this could have been forgiven if the gameplay was decent but it follows a very similar path. Promo Art

Postal III has perhaps has the weirdest shooting set up I have had to deal with recently. For the PC, you can only shoot by right clicking on the mouse and you aren’t given control to arc your grenade. Besides grenades, there are some truly bizarre guns that are fun to fool around with. You want variety with your gunplay, well here you go as every gun plays differently while providing a few laughs in the process.

The Gunplay is sufficient, but I wish I could tweak things around in the settings. If your looking for something groundbreaking and original. You’re simply not going to get it with it taking little or no chances. Postal III focuses squarely on its comedic attitude.

I don’t know who I should more mad at, Postal III for giving me everything I didn’t want out of a game or the developers themselves. I can’t believe that the people behind Running with Scissors would take eight years to put out one of the worst games I have ever played. Then to make things worse, every time you die a developer will flash onto the screen and give you the middle figure. I can understand and respect a developer who knows that their product isn’t great, but don’t you dare make fun of the people who support you day in and day out.

Simply put, Postal III is an injustice to game design and most importantly an injustice to loyal fans of the franchise. If Running With Scissors was trying to develop a product that was so bad, it made Duke Nukem Forever look good. Then after eight long years, you can say that it’s the only thing they accomplished.

Score: 1 Out Of 10   read

10:46 PM on 03.09.2012

My Top Five Video Games of 2011

2011 has been one of the best years in video games. The year was stacked with high quality AAA games from start and end of the year. Every genre had it’s highs and lows, but for the most part every genre had a great set of games for it’s respected fan base. So with the year coming to an end, it’s time to look back on the top five games of the year and give out our game of the year.

Unknown Object

5. Catherine

Catherine strong points is presenting mature theme that aren’t often in found games. Themes of marriage and being single are rarely touched in video games and make this one of the mature games on the market. But when you get into how the game plays and into the story, you’ll realize that there’s a lot more to this game than just plot. Every time Vincent completes a stage during his nightmare, he is subjected to questioning about that decided Vincent stays with. This is one of the few games that makes gamers ask about their love life. Those who are honest, will find Catherine to be a more immersive experience than some weren’t expecting. From the difficult puzzle, to the conversation to partake in and choices to make which is why Catherine packs a lot.

4. L.A Noire

L.A Noire took many elements from GTA but it's still one of the most unique games to hit the market

In an industry dominated with sequels, L.A noire is a fresh inventive IP that once again starts the discussion for whether or not games are art. Gameplay takes the back seat as the story and the performances take center stage. It Transcends narrative in video games as it raises the bar for the next generation of story telling. Hats off to Rockstar to take a big risk and make a game that could of easily flopped if done wrong. If there isn’t another L.A noire, I could see their not being another game like this for a long time to come.

3. Portal 2

I Want You Gone

Are you Still Alive? Valve, the creator of Half Life, Team Fortress, Counter Strike and now the infamous Portal series, which made it’s debut in the Orange Box. Even though Portal was short, it was fresh and featured one of the best songs in gaming.Now fast forwarding to 2011, Portal 2 was released and now everything you loved about the original portal was fully expanded and delivered an in-creditably memorable story. The writing and voice acting combination, helped created some of the most memorable characters in gaming. Stephen Merchant, the voice of Wheatley, really did steal the show in Portal. His performance made Portal worth playing. One of the main reasons Portal isn’t higher on this list is because it still makes many of the same mistakes.

Portal 2 doesn’t take long to beat and revolved around you doing the same thing. It was still great fun, but it got boring overtime. Even though it had co-op, there wasn’t a lot to do after you beat the story, making the game a rather quick experience. Overall It was great short game, but I was too short for my taste.

2. Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3 is the ultimate movie like experience on the consoles

Nate, Elena and Sully return in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Naughty Dog returns to helm the project, but this time returned with higher expectations as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the 2009 game of the year. So did it return to meet expectations? You bet it did. Drake’s Deception improved on what made Among Thieves so good by adding much needed online features while featuring one of the best storylines in gaming.

I love everything about Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The action is great and provides one of the richest movie like experience in video games. It’s a really good game, but has some major flaws in it that hold it back from being a great game. The story doesn’t grab your attention like Uncharted 2: Among thieves. With the story taking little or no chances with key characters. Many of the key story elements feel repetitive and watered down than previous Uncharted games. However, It’s still one of the best games of the year and was just shy of toping our game of the year.

1. Infamous 2

The Surprise hit of 2011

I had very expectations going into infamous 2, but right away they were all blown away from the first opening minutes. The jump from Infamous to Infamous 2 is astounding and in my book one of the biggest jump, from game to game. The graphics are top notch, the story is excellent and the gameplay trully makes you feel like a badass. Infamous 2 is still one of the most memorable games of the year for one reason alone, the ending.

I was hooked until the very end of Infamous 2. I was captivated in the story and how I would stop the Beast but I was completly caught off guard. Both good and evil endings leave much room for a potential sequal. I didn’t expect I would have to kill Zeke and become the beast or choose to sacrifice myself for the greater good.

Could their be potential Infamous 3?, yes indeed. As long as Sony keeps putting Cole in various other IP’s, Then you never rule out the chance, but do we need one?. I really wish their isn’t a sequal and Sucker Punch would move onto something else. If their is one, I would gladly jump back into Cole’s life and continue to live out his insane life.   read

10:34 PM on 03.09.2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic Review

One of the first purchases I ever made when I got the original Xbox along with a couple duke controllers, was a little game developed by Bioware called Knights of the Old Republic. I was only ten years old at the time and it came out during the prequel Star Wars era. That was my first Bioware game and was immediately blown away with how great it was. It had an amazingly crafted storyline, great gameplay and had one of the greatest twists in video gaming history. It set up so many personal milestones for me as it made me into the Star Wars fan I am today.

Eight years later, Bioware has returned to it’s roots since they moved on to make Jade Empire, Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. This time however, Bioware is imprinting what they’re well known for and putting it into an MMO. Before playing SWTOR, I would have told you that creating story driven MMO would have been impossible, but after five years in development and more than 100 hours of gameplay. Bioware Austin, has created something that MMO’s have never seen before and making it one of the best MMO’s on the market with great story telling, great gameplay and a remarkable amount of content that is perfect for any Star Wars fan.

In The Old Republic, there are eight classes you can choose from. On the Republic side, you can choose from Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper on the Republic side and the Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter for the Empire. Most of the class’s balance out and all of the classes feel equally powerful. Never did I feel one class was overpowering and was stronger than the rest. What separates each class is that all have different story arks.

After playing the Jedi Consular in the Beta, I chose to play as the Imperial Agent when I got early access to mix things up. What I like so much about it is this feels like entirely new story material that I have never come across before. Sure it’s fun to be a Jedi or Sith, but we have already seen their back story in various games. Most of the classes in The Old Republic take lit bits from the movies, but The Imperial Agent is a different story and deals with Imperial politics and deals with covert missions. It’s what got me coming back to the Agent because of the new take on the Star Wars Universe.

One of many reasons the Imperial Agent is so appealing is because it never feels like your playing an MMO. The Old Republic is the first MMO that is truly a story driven and barrows many story elements used in Bioware games. One of the first things your going to notice right away, is that The Old Republic is the first fully voiced MMO. Nearly every NPC character in the game is fully voiced and highly compelling. Over 300 hundred actors were hired to portrayed more than 4,000 characters. It would have been acceptable for Bioware to take a shortcut and the voice acting be average, but all of it’s high quality. If you’re planning on playing the Jedi Consular, fan favorite and frequently used actor Nolan North, was hired to voice your class character. This all would have been lost if the cutscenes in the game weren’t spectacular. Thankfully, learned learned from previous Bioware help make it one of the best parts of the game.

Any time you need to say something, a Mass Effect pop up wheel and will guide to either the Dark or Light side. This is very reminiscent of Knights of the Old Republic, as choosing one side will change your appearance and how people perceive you. These features aren’t just for those who want to go solo. Anytime your working in a group in a quest and you start a conversation. By random the game rolls for who speaks out in your group, making the story more engaging.

The quest structure in The Old Republic is broken up into two, Main and side quests. Main quests are where are going to fine story quests built into your class. Side quests mostly revolve around doing fetch quests, which for the most are fun but can be boring for some. The Personal class storylines are a lot more involving and you can tell that a lot more went into developing the main quests rather than the side quests.

From the get go, you can tell more time was emphasis on developing the class quests in the game. Far too often, there are many great side quests that become very unforgettable because there is no follow up. A good example of this is a Revan quests on Dromund Kaas that is great for those who played the KOTOR saga. The quest is really satisfying and makes you keep on playing to find out more. After however, it simply just ends and you didn’t earn another quest to continue the progress you made. It’s a real lost of opportunity and would have continued to give the game more content. Before I move on from the story component of the game. There are few problems with the presentation that restrict players considerably.

One of the first problems you’re going to notice right way is the character creator. Normally a character creator doesn’t have a big role in an MMO, but with SWTOR being the first story driven this is an exception. There is simply a lack of options to customize your character to your own personal liking. Now there are plenty options to customize, from eyes, scars, color and etc. But the most important characteristic like height and muscle tone were completely forgotten. There are only four body classes in the game. You can only choose between short and thin, normal, Tall and muscular or fat chubby person. This is it hurts the presentation for in-game cutscenes since your character is going to look the same as everyone else.

I have been following The Old Republic for five years and believed they could deliver on what they were promising. It’s in creditable that they managed to deliverer on what they promised. Even though it took Bioware Austin forever to develop the game, thankfully all the time spent made The Old Republic so great. Unlike recent Star Wars games, The Old Republic is by far the most complete game featuring an in-creditable story, in-creditable replayability and in-creditable gameplay.

Score: 9 Out of 10   read

10:27 PM on 03.09.2012

Battlefield 3 Review

Battlefield 3,developed by DICE Entertainment, is the long awaited Battlefield 2 sequel. DICE succeeds in delivering an adrenaline filled multiplayer, providing a nearly flawless online play that combines expansive big – team battles with the explosive DICE engine. What the game lacks is a strong single player experience that sabotages it from being a great game. Most people aren’t looking to buy Battlefield 3 to find a strong story and it never gives you that impression. DICE raises the bar from Bad Company 2 in possibly every way, making Battlefield 3a more refined and collective experience that most games for the FPS market don’t come close to. The multiplayer is truly where you’re going to go “above and beyond the call”.To rushing the beaches of Kharg Island, to flying aircraft over the hills of Damavand Peak, Battlefield 3′s multiplayer in many ways intimidates you due to the sense of scale. Every map is different in their own way and has their own personality, requiring you think outside the box on how you attack. If you like to stay back and aim for the head, you can now do that in the prone position, which makes it series debut here. There are so many ways to destroy your opponents online, making Battlefield 3 one of the most accessible first person shooters on the market.

Like previous Battlefield online modes, it will take you multiple times to truly get a sense of what each mode and each map plays like. Depending on the area, you could be facing opponents in a small alleyway or in a much more open and broad setting, each map is unique and serves a purpose.

One of the many things I love about this year’s version of Battlefield is the multiple types of maps you get. Many maps like Caspian Border or Seine Crossing were built for you to create your own experience. So if you wanted to act like a 80’s action hero, fly a jet and imagine you were Maverick from Top Gun, you can. Many maps provide you with a rich close quarters experience that few rival.

One of the things the Battlefield franchise is known for is the level up system. This year it is back again with little or no changes. The main change in this year’s version is that Assault and Medic are one class, making it one of the funniest and popular classes online. Even though Battlefield now has only have four classes, the gameplay still feels the same, which isn’t a bad thing. Another tweak in this year’s version is now you can finally upgrade a vehicle, providing rewards to players who stay long past it’s release. Overall I still love the level up system in Battlefield and the tweaks help refine the experience to make it more enjoyable.

If your looking for graphics,DICE’s Frostbite engine will impress you from the get go. It will instantly be one the best looking games you have either on the consoles or PC. The light, smoke, and lens flares consistently impresse. The campaign really does show off what the engine is capable of, from taking off from an aircraft carrier to jumping out of an airplane thousands of feet in the air and performing destruction on a building. I found that certain facial textures needed an extra second or two to render, but it never got in the way of my experience.

But even though it is a great engine, it looks too much like its older brother. Battlefield 3 runs on DICE’s Frostbite 2.0 engine, but the leap from Bad Company is just not noticeable. You don’t need to go out and buy a brand new computer if IT can already play Bad Company 2, which runs Frostbite 1.5. I do see the differences between the engines as graphics and lighting have improved, but I was expecting more of a jump. It’s one of the few things that disappointments me about this game. Battlefield 3′s campaign was something I was looking forward to. Even though I had no idea what it was going to be about, I was still excited for it. Unlike previous Battlefield campaigns, the story is centered around one man, but you are still put in the shoes of other enlisted soldiers. The plot isn’t very original either and follows the stereotypical approach of a World War story, Russians are always the enemy and have nukes.

The campaign has some cool moments like skydiving, night missions and watching entire buildings collapse but for the whole experience, it’s super frustrating and has a linear experience to it. Unlike the online multiplayer, you can’t chose your own path and experience the campaign your own way. You have to follow a guided path filled with cheap and unstoppable deaths that will plague you along the way. The presentation is actually really good because the Frostbite engine is top notch. What takes away from it are annoying QuickTime events that get in the way. I wouldn’t mind the campaign if it played like the online mode, or at least resembled bits and pieces from it.

Besides multiplayer, Battlefield 3 has a really cool co-op mode that is actually better than the campaign. Similar to Call of Duty’s Spec Ops mode, co-op puts a new spin on six available maps that is fun from get go and is a nice distraction from online play. Hopefully in the future, we will get DLC that allows you play with an entire squad.

For sixty bucks, Battlefield 3 is a visual and powerful treat to play, but like every game it has its problems. With a lack of a decent single player game, Battlefield 3 comes off a little bit flat and mis-steps in the process. The nearly flawless online multiplayer will keep you playing past the holiday season, but it’s far from a perfect game.

Score: 8.5 /10   read

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