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In which I break down why Homefront's plot is impossible


Mar 14
// 8BitBrian
[Note: We’re not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that they may not jibe with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how...

Review: Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces

Jan 12 // 8BitBrian
Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (Wii)Developer: Project ACES (Namco)Publisher: X-SEEDReleased: January 12th, 2010MSRP: $29.99 Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is a flight sim game based off the anime film Sky Crawlers by Mamoru Oshii and Production I.G. (the people behind Ghost in the Shell), and is all about fighter pilots in war... sort of. See, the world is actually at peace, but in order to keep up the spectacle, private companies host their own war games, and it's become a sport of sorts amongst the public. Think of it like football, but with guns and bombs. You take the role of Lynx, the Sky Crawler's new recruits, a fresh-faced youngin' who has yet to prove himself. Naturally, you're a star and shoot right up there to become the star of the team. Everything is fine and dandy until upper management shifts around, bringing on a few new pilots who are nothing more than kids. Things start to take a darker turn from there. What's interesting about Innocent Aces is that it doesn't follow in tandem with the anime's storyline. Instead, it acts as a supplement, only touching here and there on the story, and instead expecting you to have watched the film already and know what's going on. It can be a really big turnoff for those who haven't watched the film. When it comes to piloting the plane, I was wondering just how well these controls would work. Even after tackling the tutorials, it took me several full missions to get a natural grasp on the controls and actually get things to work as I wanted them to. The great emphasis is on motion controls, with the nunchuck controlling pitch and yaw, while the wiimote controls speed. The buttons handle the plane's weapons and maneuvers (barrel rolls, U-turns, etc). Once you're in the heat of battle, all that practice goes out the window -- at least for me. I found myself doing the same action with both hands as I played. So, if I braked (pulling back on the Wiimote), I'd also turn upwards (back on the nunchuck). It became problematic the more frantic the fights got, and I would peg that to the wide range of controls necessary to the game butting heads with Wiimote play style. The heat of battle, though, is great. It's enjoyable like you wouldn't believe. You're given objectives to take out, such as enemy ships or supply planes, and then deal with the fighters and AA guns that are in your way. The game gives you the ability to upgrade and customize a wide array of planes with all sorts of materials and guns, letting you tweak each battle experience to how you think it might work best. Combat starts off simple, but things quickly escalate ever so elegantly. A sudden wave of enemies appear, the music swells, and you're off to save one of your wingmen. Before I knew it, I was standing up, yelling at the enemies as I shot them down, and felt my heart pumping. It was a bit of a surprise the first time I noticed it. For all the possibile controls in the game, it's a shame that even on my second playthrough, I found myself relying almost exclusively on the game's repositioning system. If you spend a certain amount of time within a sphere around a nearby fighter, you can press A to reposition yourself right behind them. It makes shooting down enemy planes infinitely easier, but I feel like I'm missing out on something more. The thing is, there's no easy way to do the maneuvers necessary to get yourself repositioned like that, and so you almost have no choice but to use it. Going into Sky Crawlers, I honestly had pretty low expectations. I haven't had a lot of great experiences with games adapted from anime, and I was having trouble imagining a flight sim on the Wii. The game pleasantly surprised me with a smart (but difficult to master) control scheme, combat that was fun, engaging and difficult, and some great visuals. It's hard to nail down just what made this game as fun as it was, which speaks to the good combination of all the elements of the game. Even for someone who's not really into flight sims, this game is a fun play. If you decide to pick up this game, then be sure to pick up the movie as well -- it's well worth the watch, and will make the game leagues more enjoyable. Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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When I first heard about Innocent Aces, I scratched my head. It seemed like a bit of a strange title to turn into a flight sim, especially after hearing one of my writers over at Japanator discuss how the story is more about ...

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Best of the Network this week


Nov 29
// 8BitBrian
Thanksgiving is over, and it's time to look back on the week in which we stuffed ourselves. Don't worry, I feel guilty too. In order to distract everyone from the eventual weight loss they're going to have to pursue, why not ...
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GTA IV isn't helping anime with Princess Robot Bubblegum


Nov 04
// 8BitBrian
[Editor's note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how ou...
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Seriously: Hideo Kojima judging a Twilight fanart contest


Nov 02
// 8BitBrian
[Hot otaku news ripped straight from the headlines of Japanator] You read that right. Hideo Kojima, the man behind Metal Gear Solid, along with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the character designer and manga creator for Neon Genesis Eva...
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Why I can't support Modern Warfare 2


Nov 01
// 8BitBrian
[Editor's note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our...
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dTunes Editor's Week, day 4: Brad Rice


Oct 22
// 8BitBrian
[dTunes is a community organized blog showcasing the musical tastes of Destructoid's users. For two weeks, the editorial team is commandeering the series because, hey, we like music too. To further expand your horizons, make ...

Preview: MX vs ATV Reflex

Oct 01 // 8BitBrian
MX vs. ATV: Reflex (PS3, 360, PSP)Developer: Rainbow StudiosPublisher: THQTo be released: December 2009 Driving an ATV is not easy. You have to consider a number of things the first time you hop on -- something that a city boy is not necessarily thinking about when he comes out to play a videogame. Shifting your weight, turning, acceleration and how you hit the ground are all things that I had no idea about when I first mounted the ATV. Things weren't like that in playing MX vs ATV Reflex. The first thing I noticed about the game was how simple controlling the vehicles were. In order to make the game more accessible to everyone, the controls are eschewed more towards the casual player so that they can hop right into the game and start having fun. It goes for the Tony Hawk angle, by pulling off tricks with a simple combination of buttons and directionals. That doesn't mean the game is simple. No, it falls under the old adage of "easy to learn, hard to master." In my time with the game, I managed to progress from barely able to stay on the vehicle actually landing a trick or two a half hour later. With everything to take into consideration, the controls boil down to as such: One analog stick controls the driver, while the other one controls the vehicle. Making the rider buck and lean with the vehicle is not something that comes naturally, and so that was one of the biggest hurdles I had to face when playing this game. Doing these jumps is certainly easier to understand once you've been on the machine for yourself. Instinct kicks in, especially when you nearly flip the ATV on your first turn around the track. Of course, nearly killing myself sent one of the professionals running out to explain how I was doing things wrong, and I finally understood what my instincts were telling me. This, to me, is the core struggle within the game: how do you impart the innate knowledge of having your body flung around on the ATV with handing someone a controller and saying "go for it?" It's really not possible. It doesn't mean they haven't tried. Reflex features warnings when you land on the ground as an indicator of where to lean the rider so that he doesn't fall off the vehicle. It's a good step towards learning how to handle the vehicles, although playing with it will require quite a bit of fooling around in order to ingrain everything like second nature. One of the things that caught my interest, as simple as this may sound to many of you, is their terrain deformation system. Exciting, I know. Any tracks that you or your opponents create during the course of the race stay there for the entirety of the time. So you can start using those grooves to speed along and encounter less resistance as you drive. This can be a big factor in longer races, so it's really nothing to sneer at. The races provide you with a variety of modes (seven total) to go head-to-head with your friends or online players, which the game can support up to 12 of. One of the nice things is the lobby for online play: there's an open dirt track for you to play around in as the game is loading the online stage and collecting players. While you're playing around in that, more and more people will join you in the lobby, ready to join up in your game. It's better than the traditional loading screen. The game very much has the look and feel of what I would call the MX and ATV culture. Most of the major players in the field and the major bike manufacturers have all been licensed for this title, and the music for it falls under that sort of "happy metal" that I can remember from playing Excite Truck when I first got my Wii. MX vs ATV: Reflex certainly falls into a niche category within the sports genre. The game is solid and provides a fun and amusing experience, but unless you've got some interest or curiosity in the MX or ATV culture, I'm not sure how long the game will hold your attention. This is a title where you'll want to play the demo, because at the very least that will entertain you the entire time you play it -- the question you need to answer for yourself is whether or not it'll give you the bug and make you want to play more.
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Recently THQ invited me out to sit down and play the final build of MX vs. ATV Reflex (Samit played an earlier build this year,) and while I was at it take a shot at helming both an MX bike and an ATV. I had a classmate back ...

Review: Cursed Mountain

Sep 16 // 8BitBrian
Cursed Mountain (Wii)Developer: Deep SilverPublisher: Deep SilverReleased: August 25, 2009MSRP: $49.99Your brother, Frank Simmons, has gotten himself stuck up on the top of the famed mountain Chomolonzo up in the Himalayas, and it's up to you to rescue him. It doesn't seem so bad, does it? When you get to the town at the base of the mountain, things are already amiss. As you would expect from most any horror title, the town is deserted. But screw that, you've got to soldier on ahead in order to rescue him!The reason why the town is deserted? Because spirits from the Bardo -- the realm between this life and the next -- have gotten pissy and started attacking people left and right. Thankfully, you've picked up your brother's ice axe that just so happens to have magical ghost-fighting abilities.As you ascend the mountain and fight your way through wave after wave of spirits, the main mystery is figuring out just what happened that brought about all these ghosts, and unraveling the mysteries of the Buddhist and Tibetian lore that surrounds the culture that you're in. The game was pitched to me as one with a very strong story, and that was the focus around which the rest of the game was built. Of course, it's also the game's biggest flaw.The game starts off unbelievably creepy, to the point that it reminded me of Silent Hill 2. Running through the opening town, ducking down tight alleys, and walking into rooms that were dank and filled with the smell of rotting meat and bodies, it actually built up a level of anxiety for me. I just wanted to get out of there, fast.After running into a monk who explains the basics of "seeing into the Bardo" using my third eye, it's time to climb the mountain and rescue Frank. The ghosts are kind enough to announce themselves with a fairly loud roar and a puff of smoke as they shamble towards you.  There are essentially two ways of attacking the enemies: either by bludgeoning them into the next world with your pickaxe, or by attaching a talisman to the pickaxe and firing spiritual energy at these things. Once you've nearly killed them, you can banish their souls to the next world by performing a randomized set of movements with the wiimote and nunchuk that are supposed to mimic Buddhist rites.The whole idea behind this sort of combat, and why this game is made for the Wii, is that it opens the body up and makes you more vulnerable. So, in the first few levels, my reactions to enemies appearing were often frantic flailings hoping while I hoped to God that these things would just die already. When I managed to banish one, it was a great sigh of relief. The tension was there, as I'd continue to make my way through the foothills of the mountain and towards my brother's rescue, when I finally came across one of the big bosses of the game: a raven-like beastman that seemed to be plucked from Gurren Lagann.The battle wasn't easy, and I know many a people got stuck in this battle time and time again and weren't able to complete it until they played through the fight a dozen times. Whether it took one or ten tries, this marked a changing point in the mood of the game. It was no longer scary.The entirety of the middle act of the game was just a mix of combat, darkness, and climbing. It became a light-hearted adventure for me when I picked up another type of spirit attack for the pickaxe. Up to this point, I had been using either a standard bullet-shot or a strong piercing lance attack, but finally I picked up a beam that would allow me to latch onto ghosts and one-shot kill them if I performed the Buddhist rites. In essence, I was now a Ghostbuster. It's silly that this killed it for me, but it comes to the shortcoming of the story.Up through the first act, I was legitimately scared of what was going on -- I feared for my life in combat, worried that I wouldn't make it to the next battle. After that one boss fight, the game became more about exploring the mountain and trying to get to the top than keeping up the suspense and terror aspect. The game managed to pick it up again in the third act, where the closer you got to the summit, the more frantic and powerful the battles became. It's a problem I've run into time and time again when writing stories: there's a great hook, and I'm really digging the story, and the resolution works fairly well, but I don't quite know how to carry things from Point A to Point B and still keep things interesting.There were a few flaws that detracted from play, making the second act particularly annoying. One of the consistent problems that I ran into was the relative inaccuracies in picking up my movements with the Wiimote. A majority of the time, you'll be required to slash downwards to the left or right, or push forward. The Wiimote didn't always agree with me, leading to some frustrating deaths.While the graphics weren't bad, the game was overly dark. As in I had to crank the contrast up way too high in order to see doors hidden in the shadows or just about any of the textures in the game. The game's cutscenes reminded me of those from Red Steel: still images that glided across the screen in lieu of something directly animated. It added to the other-worldy feel of the game.By the time I was done with Cursed Mountain, I felt that I did enjoy the game. The ending was satisfying, I had a good rush in my last couple of play sessions, and I could tell they really tried something new. But on the other hand, they weren't able to follow through on the tension of the horror aspect of the game and keep your heart pumping, which was a pretty big failure, in my mind. I have to give credit to the guys at Deep Silver for trying something new, especially in a genre like horror, which needs new blood in it.They've got their heads in the right place, and the start of something that could be really good, but they've still got a long way to go in the ways of storytelling, pacing and visuals before this gets up into the pantheon of must-play horror games.Score: 6.5 -- Alright (6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)
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Survival horror is quickly running out of places to go. The genre feels as though it has matured to the point where not a lot of innovation is going on. At least, until we heard about Cursed Mountain. Last month, I previewed ...

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Daily Hotness: Can't stop these pirates


Sep 05
// 8BitBrian
Turning off twitter is the only thing I can do to avoid hearing everyone talk about the great time they've been having at PAX. Well, watching through the entirety of the first season of Black Lagoon in one sitting helped too....
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Capcom announces Ghost Trick from Ace Attorney creator


Sep 04
// 8BitBrian
With the Ace Attorney series largely behind us, where can we turn for quirky DS mystery titles? Well, why not stick with Takumi Shuu, the director of the series, for his new title Ghost Trick. Just announced by Capcom in the ...
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Daily Hotness: Gundams are better than videogames!


Sep 04
// 8BitBrian
Why hello there! I'm sure you were expecting to see Hamza here, but he's busy PAXing up Seattle. So you know what that means, right? We talk about tentacles, of course! Actually, my favorite bit of news today was Mr. Tomino d...
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Boot Camp: EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge (Week 4)


Aug 11
// 8BitBrian
Follow me as I spend a month trying to better myself by using EA Sports Active to exercise and follow its diet tips.Well, I've finally come to the end of my month-long training with EA Sports Active. It's been an interesting ...

Preview: Risen

Aug 11 // 8BitBrian
Risen (PC, Xbox 360)Developed by: Piranha BitesPublished by: Deep SilverTo be released: October 2, 2009Waking up from the ruins of a shipwreck, you, the nameless hero, find yourself on the shores of the island Faranga, with your crewmates' bodies scattered about you. Mourning is too easy to do, so it's high time to loot the bodies and gather whatever items you can to set out on this adventure. Of course, one of them isn't quite dead, and so you now have a female companion to follow you to the city on the island.Getting there, you find out that mysterious ruins have cropped up all over the island, and with them a number of beasts have started roaming the countryside. Of course, the Inquisition -- the police-like force of the game -- have put the city on lockdown while they try to investigate. At this point, Risen opens itself up to let the player go about and choose their path. The player can join one of three guilds: The Bandits, the Inquisitors, or the Mages, and proceed on their merry way through the story. Each of the guilds offer their own sets of skills and attributes that they focus on, and it's up to the player to craft their character as they see fit. Before you sign your life away to one of the guilds, you can sample each one, learning a wide base of skills -- you can actually spend a majority of the game without joining any of the guilds, but there is a turning point where you're forced to join one of them.While I'm not a connoisseur of fantasy RPGs, especially Western-style ones, the feeling that most potently struck me was that this reminded me a bit of Guild Wars in terms of the look and feel of things. You've got a quickslot bar, like in most games, to equip your spells and potions, leaving your attacks to mouse/controller commands. There are a wide variety of tactics at your disposal, such as casting a "Joke" spell to disable a guard in a fit of laughter, or make people forget you're wanted for murder because, hey, you seem like a nice guy.One of the things I noticed about the game during the playthrough was that its environment was extremely lush, vibrant, and varied. In my mind, I was holding this up against my memories of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Rising comes across as something that's full of color, yet not on a level that's cartoonish or whimsical. Monster designs and all that turned out well from the limited exposure I've had from them.Since I'm not very big into the Western RPG landscape, my concern is how this title is going to try and attract a larger audience than the currently existing fanbase. To me, there was no apparent draw that was especially innovative in the title. It's well-built, and that might be what they're looking for with the title -- if that's the case, then they're certainly on the right track. They've got a solid story, a good engine around it, and something that should be a fun and enjoyable experience -- but if they're looking to draw in a new audience for the title, such as people who traditionally play J-RPGs or even non-RPG players, those elements aren't there.There's still some time until the game's October 2nd release, but as with any RPG, the real test of the game is how the combat plays for extended periods of time and how the story unfolds, develops, and draws us into the characters. Those are things I couldn't judge from my time with the game, but I'm looking forward to getting a chance to play this title once it hits shelves.
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After seeing Cursed Mountain at Deep Silver's press event, I also got a chance to spend some time with Risen, a PC/360 fantasy RPG that's apparently banned in Australia. Before going into this, I knew about as much as we had ...

Preview: Cursed Mountain

Aug 10 // 8BitBrian
Cursed Mountain (Wii)Developer: Deep SilverPublisher: Deep SilverTo be released: August 25, 2009As soon as we sat down to play Cursed Mountain, the game's atmosphere came across loud and clear. This title, about a man trying to find out what happened to his brother when he tried to climb to the top of Mt. Chomolonzo in the Himalayas, gives you the feeling that something is amiss. As we investigated the deserted town at the base of the mountain, the only thing I could think of was that this reminded me a lot of Silent Hill 2 -- I was constantly wondering if something was going to come up from behind and attack. While I wasn't in a state of constant terror, my foot was tapping in anticipation.Cursed Mountain is a different sort of horror game. As you've heard before, and you'll hear again, the whole game is based around a control scheme that opens the player up physically. Just think back to playing most any survival horror title. You're usually clutching the controller with an iron grip, with your shoulders hunched over and your pants slightly soggy. You can admit it -- we won't judge.The game forces you to waggle your way through fighting the ghouls, ghosts, and already dead of Everest -- the souls of those who failed to climb the mountain, the monks who are there to defend it, and mythical beasts of Tibetian legend. As such, you have to open your body and not get into a defensive position, creating a new sort of experience for the player -- one where you have to decide whether or not to man up and fight the spirits that are in your way.Combat follows in one of two ways: either you blast apart the spirits with your magically-empowered pickaxe from afar, or you can beat them to death with it in a less magical way. Either way, before you actually kill the spirits, you have the opportunity to perform Buddhist rites on the souls, sending them off to the afterlife and dropping health or other goodies in the process. So, there's no reason not to do so.What makes the Buddhist rites fun, and what really keeps things from getting stale -- is that each soul has its own set of motions, so you won't be repeatedly doing the same strokes over and over again. It should also make combat much scarier, because each battle is a bit of an unknown. I say should because there was a bit of a sense of disconnect when it came to the combat. It may have just been my position as an observer (the demo was hands-off), but there was never a real sense of terror in the fights. I think it might be because there never seemed to be any ancillary indicators of combat: the controller only vibrated when hit, and the music didn't become heightened upon entering a battle.The music part was surprising because the soundtrack was so good -- it reminded me very heavily of Siren: New Translation, and combat was the one area it was lacking in. Otherwise, the music fit perfectly with the environment and the type of mood created by the story. What I really enjoyed about the story was how the plot developed -- most clues were found through flashbacks and backstory, leaving the player to piece together the story for themselves. The further you delve into things, the weirder they get, giving the game a great feeling.By the time I was done with Cursed Mountain, I wanted to just take the debug unit home with me. The game has all the makings for one of the best horror titles on the Wii. The game really feels like an evolution of the horror genre onto the Wii. Many of the tones and elements seem familiar, but there's a clear level of care put into the title to make it for the Wii that comes across and really helps the title. I've got very high hopes for the title, and can't wait for the release that'll be happening at the end of the month.Also, for all you Collector's Edition lovers, Cursed Mountain's will be giving you a soundtrack, making-of features, and some extra content for the title. So, you might want to buckle down and shell out the money for this tin-encased edition of the game.
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We've previously spoken with Cursed Mountain developer Deep Silver on the title, and even got some time with it at E3. But the spectacle of lights and blaring noises doesn't make for a very condusive to playing a horror title...

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Not a review: how Cross Edge nearly turned me mad


Aug 07
// 8BitBrian
When it came out, Cross Edge hit with a relative flop. The title is a crossover RPG featuring characters from the realms of Capcom, Nippon Ichi, Namco Bandai and others as they attempt to reconcile why they've all been transp...
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Boot Camp: EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge (Week 3)


Aug 04
// 8BitBrian
Follow me as I spend a month trying to better myself by using EA Sports Active to exercise and follow its diet tips.Coming back from Otakon, I had a nagging problem that only got worse with the drive home and some horsing aro...
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Ready for some 1920's girls playing baseball in Japan?


Jul 29
// 8BitBrian
[As originally posted on Japanator] Taisho Yakyuu Musume is a title with a whole lot of Japanese in it, and it doesn't really tell you much about the game, does it? To explain real quick, and thus give you an idea of what thi...
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Atlus now includes soundtrack with Demon's Souls pre-orders


Jul 29
// 8BitBrian
Atlus really wants to make it worth your while to buy the American edition of Demon's Souls, and so they've decided to sweeten the offer by adding in the game's soundtrack on top of the 40-page artbook and all the other goodi...
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Wait, what? GayGamer a runner up in EA's #Lust contest


Jul 29
// 8BitBrian
Remember EA's #Lust contest for Dante's Inferno that they ran at San Diego Comic Con? Well, in a strange twist of fate, PixelPoet of GayGamer came in as a runner up in the contest, after submitting some pictures of himself wi...
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Badass of the Month Club: I-No


Jul 24
// 8BitBrian
Time once more for the Badass of the Month Club, wherein the staff highlights a character or industry figure of noteworthy badassery.Sexy and deadly are always a good combination. We've seen it for years with characters like ...

Preview: Astro Boy

Jul 24 // 8BitBrian
Astro Boy: The Video Game (Wii, PS2, PSP)Developer: High Voltage SoftwarePublisher: D3PublisherTo be released: October 23, 2009 Much like Omega Factor, this Astro Boy title is a mix of shoot-em-ups and a brawler settings -- focusing mainly on the brawler. Taking place in a 2.5-D environment, the game has you firing lasers, punching, kicking, and waggling about in order to defeat your enemies. I sat down to play this title on the Wii, the main development platform, and got a chance to hop right into the game.They had a couple of segments set up, and the first one was a factory setting. Taken straight from the movie, this had me platforming, avoiding lava, enemies' bullets, and timed jumps. If you've played any sort of Castlevania or Metroid title in the last decade, you've got an idea of how this is supposed to work. The controls are customizable to any fashion of play, but I stuck with using the nunchuck to move around and the Wiimote to jump, punch, and activate my super powers.Super powers are something to be used liberally in the game: useful for absorbing enemy bullets to replenish your life, firing lasers, or butt-machine guns. They're pretty much your first line of defense when dealing with the enemies and bullets in most platforming stages. And combat in these beat-em-up stages are where I ran into my first set of problems.Normally, when enemies shoot missles and laser bullets, you would assume that you can shoot down the missles, right? That's what I've learned from Metal Slug, Bionic Commando, and a host of other games like this. Missles are something you just need to dodge, in addition to the bullets that fly at you. One of the superpowers will let you absorb the ammo, saving you from certain death, but it's a bit much to rely on superpowers simply to not get hit.My other problem was with how slow the movement felt. This didn't give off the atmosphere of a fast-paced action game, but something more akin to the pace of a platformer -- this is something I'm fine with normally, it's just that when dodging bullets, it just felt too slow. I would frequently get caught simply because the bullets flew too fast, and I moved too slow.To move onto the shoot-em-up stages, which comprise some 30% of the game, it follows as you would think: a side-scrolling shooter where you attempt to take care of wave after wave of enemies and their bullets. Enemies will come out in familiar chains, and your job is to blast them out of the sky before they do it to you. Apart from the weakest of enemies, I had problems destroying even one chain of most of the characters that flew by. Sure, they took multiple passes, but even with that, it was almost impossible to destroy them, and with the superpowers, I didn't even have a 50% success rate. Needless to say, I had a bit of trouble completing these stages. I hate to damn this game to the category of the typical movie tie-in, but with the release date looming in the not-too distant future, there's a lot of progress that needs to be made in order to try and work its way out of the shadow of Treasure's title. Right now, the game needs a lot of visual polish, lest it remain looking like a several-year-old PS2 title, not to mention a lot of the technical problems that make the shooting simply frustrating to deal with.
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Osamu Tezuka's classic title Astro Boy is an important piece of animation history -- many cite it as the birth of the modern anime, with its debut on TV in 1963 (the manga started in 1952). And now, the character is getting a...

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Trophy unlocked: You played this game way too much


Jul 22
// 8BitBrian
[As originally posted on Japanator] Over at Canned Dogs, they caught wind of a cute little trophy in the newly released RPG Agarest Zero: if you go ahead and complete all the guild quests and unlock all the titles for your ch...
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Boot Camp: EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge (Week 2)


Jul 21
// 8BitBrian
Follow me as I spend a month trying to better myself by using EA Sports Active to exercise and follow its diet tips.Coming back from Otakon, I've had some time away from Active to really sit and think about how the software h...
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Boot Camp: EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge (Week 1)


Jul 12
// 8BitBrian
When you take a look at me, I don't seem like someone in dire need of a diet or an exercise program. Clocking in at 6'2" and 184lbs, I come off as a bit lanky to most people -- but the truth is, I've got a lot of fat tha...
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AX 09: The West Coast knows how to do videogame cosplay


Jul 07
// 8BitBrian
The real highlight of our time at Anime Expo was the cosplay. We covered panels here and there, but what all the readers on Japanator really reacted to, and what you guys did when we put up our first round of photos, was the ...
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AX 09: West coast videogame cosplay is hot hot hot!


Jul 03
// 8BitBrian
Dale, Tim Sheehy, and I are here at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. Here at America's largest anime convention, with well over 30,000 people attending, there are plenty of opportunities for some amazing cosplay -- and it doesn't h...
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The King of Games unveils sexy PixelJunk t-shirts


Jun 25
// 8BitBrian
The King of Games is a legendary shirt designer, combining their sharp designs with high-quality shirts. Of course, they charge out the nose, at 3,800 yen ($40) per shirt. They've had some fantastic shirts in the past, like t...
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P.S. Triple-san webcomic gets an English translation


Jun 12
// 8BitBrian
[As originally posted on Japanator] Want to see the PS3 at its most innocent and cute? Well, look no further than the forthcoming P.S. Triple-san webcomic that's making its way to the English speaking world via the iPhone App...
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'Ecchi Onee-san Rearing' is a real game, especially on your cellphone


Jun 12
// 8BitBrian
[As originally posted on Japanator] Ah, I love catching strange and bizarre cellphone games announcements off of 2ch. It always puts some context to the absolute batshit-insanity surrounding some of these titles. Like this on...

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