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Internet Explorer for Xbox 360: 18 months in the making


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
The title says it all. Internet Explorer for the 360 has been in development for over a year, according to a Twitter post made by Xbox 360 developer Joshua Brokaw. I'm not entirely sure anyone actually uses IE anymore. Consid...
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E3: Lego City trailer looks Lego-licious


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
This proves one thing: you can make a LEGO game out of anything. I am not complaining, mind you, and am a huge fan of previous LEGO titles. The footage that's come out of E3 for Lego City looks solid and I expect another entertaining, fun game. Too bad I'm still not convinced I want a Wii U.
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E3: Samsung slides under Gaikai's bedsheets


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
It looks as if LG isn't the only electronics provider getting chummy with Gaikai as Samsung announced today that some of their TVs will also incorporate cloud gaming.The Samsung LED 7000 series and up will all allow owners to...
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E3: More details on EA's SimCity Social


Jun 04
// Victoria Medina
As reported earlier, EA has brought out the white glove on Zynga with SimCity Social for Facebook. This isn't just a rehash of any well-known farming games, though. Players will get to watch their cities evolve based on ...
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E3: Nike + Kinect Training for great fitness


Jun 04
// Victoria Medina
Here's something new for all of you health-conscious Kinect owners. Coming this holiday season, Nike and Microsoft are teaming up to present Nike + Kinect Training. This new title will not just bring you an interactive and pe...
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This fragrance will make people like you more


May 23
// Victoria Medina
Every so often a marketing idea will come along to gear their product toward 'gamers' or 'geeks', and sometimes those products aren't terrible. Or you get something like Erox, a unisex fragrance targeted at the aforementioned...
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The Secret World talks combat and skills


May 18
// Victoria Medina
As the time draws near for the release of The Secret World more information is coming out, like this video which details combat abilities and skills. At eight minutes this is quite the detailed video, but if you're curious a...
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BioWare and Dark Horse are doing more Dragon Age comics


May 01
// Victoria Medina
BioWare and Dark Horse announced today that they will be releasing a new three-part comic titled Dragon Age: Those Who Speak with the first issue available August 22nd. The mini-series will follow King Alistair, Var...
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Nintendo digital update will probably not make your day


Apr 26
// Victoria Medina
It is time once again, boys and girls, for the weekly Nintendo eShop update announcement. This week's offerings include a system update, Block Factory, and the I Fight Dragons video premiere ...

Preview: Flex your mind muscles in Resonance

Apr 22 // Victoria Medina
Resonance (PC)Developer: XII Games / Wadjet Eye GamesPublisher: Wadjet Eye GamesRelease: May 2012  Resonance opens with a mystery, showing news of a terrible, world-wide event. Twelve locations across the planet have been attacked, and there is no real information on what happened. The most you get are shots of various locations with sections removed from them. You are then taken back 60 hours and introduced to Ed, a young-ish mathematician who works for a Dr. Morales. After a phone call from Morales in which he expresses concern over his research on Resonance, fear of being followed, and intent to destroy all of his work, you are taken to a screen showing four time pieces with different times on each. In the very first introductory segment, you are given the chance to familiarize yourself with some of the game mechanics (and there aren't many, though the adage "quality over quantity" comes to mind). The left mouse button allows you to interact with people and objects as well as to move, while the right mouse button is used to examine your environment. So far, everything is typical point-and-click fare, but here's where it gets interesting. Instead of having just an inventory to hold items (and maybe your notebook for notes and clues), you also have STM and LTM, which stand for short- and long-term memory. STM is useful for using the environment in conversation. You get three slots in this section, and anything you can examine can be placed in a slot. During conversation with another character, you have the chance to click on any item in your STM and bring it up in dialogue. Not all items in your short-term memory can be used during a conversation with every person, but there are some points where you will need to use STM items to progress in the story. LTM is similar in that you can recall something from your long-term memory during a conversation. You don't need to drag and drop anything into your LTM, however. Items or events of note will be placed in there automatically during your adventures and cannot be removed. Not only can they be recalled during conversation, by clicking on them at any time, you are given a sort of mini-flashback that allows you to go over certain key pieces of information, in case you missed anything before. This brief explanation of short- and long-term memory doesn't do them justice, but it seems to be a huge mechanic in the game. After the initial introduction to each of the four characters (Ed, Anna, Detective Bennet, and Ray), you will get a chance to control more than one, switching between them via a panel at the top left of the screen. During the demo, only Ed and Detective Bennet were controllable at the same time, but each one brought different strengths and weaknesses to the table. The Detective is more brawny and did some of the heavy lifting, while Ed was smaller and could fit into tight spaces that Bennet, with his larger girth, could not. Each also had a different way of approaching other characters, and it was amusing to watch how each of them handled the same conversation with the same person. With Ed, you are given the chance to move the conversation along or let the person ramble, but with Bennet, no such option is presented. He keeps the person on topic and to the point. One last thing that should be noted is the point value system. Finding information, exploring, and solving puzzles get you points; dying loses points. In the demo alone, there were three places where death was a possibility, and once you reach zero points, it's game over. One of the deaths was completely avoidable (and dying there took the most points), but two of them were less easily dodged. For those, not many points were deducted, and once the points were, the option to rewind to redo that part was presented, instead of having to start over from the beginning of that section. The demo for Resonance promises some pretty incredible storytelling and gameplay, and I am eager to see if the rest of the adventure will be as much of a thrill as the first three chapters. Between the suspense, mystery, and puzzles, this should be quite the tale. Everything so far serves to draw you into the story, from the expressive voice acting to the mood-setting music and even to the environments (which were downright creepy at times). Anyone who enjoys this genre should be looking forward to Resonance, since I think XII and Wadjet Eye have a real gem here.
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Point-and-click adventures are one of my favorite genres, simply because they usually expect you to think about what you're doing instead of just plodding along from point A to B. Resonance doesn't seem to be an exceptio...

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Holmes plays Theatrhythm like a pro


Apr 12
// Victoria Medina
Jonathan Holmes got a chance to demo Theatrhythm during PAX East, and was kind enough to film it for those of us who weren't there. If you enjoy rhythm games and love Final Fantasy, I'm not sure why you wouldn't bu...
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Max Payne 3's bullet time explained


Apr 12
// Victoria Medina
Max Payne has bullet time, this is known. The above video wants to make sure of that though, and will fill you in on some of the improvements that have been made to the combat mode. It may also help you get pumped for the pe...
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Have some media from Mass Effect 3's multiplayer DLC


Apr 10
// Victoria Medina
EA has released a video and some screenshots of the new multiplayer DLC Resurgence Pack for Mass Effect 3. Just a friendly reminder from your benevolent corporate overlords that there is new content for the mu...
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College Humor does Doctor Who


Apr 03
// Victoria Medina
College Humor, responsible for other amusing videos, has put together a Doctor Who retro RPG video. Be aware that this contains spoilers to the Matt Smith seasons of the show, so don't watch it and then cry about how so...
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Secret World is now accepting your pre-orders


Apr 03
// Victoria Medina
The Secret World launch date is steadily approaching, and to get ready for that, pre-orders have been announced. Should you choose to put down money for the game before it's release, you'll get a few things in return, the mos...
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Wakfu gets a content update and new zones


Mar 28
// Victoria Medina
Wakfu has some new content out, for those of you who play. Most notable in the Global Alliance update are the two new zones, the Lands of Kelba and Sadida Kingdom, which are available now for higher l...
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OMGPop founder and Zynga have some history


Mar 27
// Victoria Medina
Last week we learned that Zynga gobbled up OMGPop and it turns out that the founder of the latter actually turned down a job offer from the former in 2008. Charles Forman, after starting up OMGPop and a dating site,...
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Dragon's Lair is on another platform: Xbox 360


Mar 20
// Victoria Medina
In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Dragon's Lair is finally making the move to the Xbox 360 via the Live Arcade. On top of that, it will also have Kinect support, so you can fail with a control or by moving aroun...

Preview: Lupine comedy in MacGuffin's Curse

Mar 10 // Victoria Medina
MacGuffin's Curse (iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC [previewed])Developer: BrawsomePublisher: BrawsomeRelease: April 19, 2012 The entire story centers around the thief Lucas MacGuffin. When you meet him, he is about to break into a museum to steal the Lupine Twine Amulet, but because it would be a very short and boring game if everything went smoothly, Lucas sets off alarms which put the entire city on lockdown. He also puts the amulet on, gains the ability to turn into a werewolf, and discovers he can't take the necklace off. At least he doesn't go only halfway when making a mistake. Each area is made up of a number of rooms or sections which are all standalone puzzles requiring a mix of MacGuffin's human and lupine skills. As a human, you can push buttons, open doors, and crawl through windows, and as a werewolf, you can move boxes, clear rubble, and dig. The only way to change is by standing in pools of moonlight. Should you get stuck on a puzzle, P.I. Strump, an ex-detective who bullies MacGuffin into teaming up, will lend a "helping hand," by which I mean he'll insult you then tell you what to do. If you really mess up and get completely stuck, there's even a reset button, and fortunately, there's no penalty for hints or resets. Controls are simple, at least on the PC, as there are labels for everything. The direction keys control movement and another two keys control all other interactions. This is also a good time to mention that there no version of this game is a port of another -- each version was worked on separately to avoid any weird or awkward control transitions between platforms. The entire adventure is filled to the brim with dialogue, and not just between MacGuffin and his pals. You can examine just about everything in the game and make comments on them. Quite a few such observations were amusing enough to get a laugh or a chuckle out of me, like one that made mention of "a guy in red and white stripes hiding behind a tree." The writers don't take themselves too seriously, and that sort of gleeful tomfoolery was highly entertaining. Instead of fully animated cutscenes, you are treated to hand-drawn comic strips that progress the story, while scraps you find through exploration provide backstory. These static comics fit well with the rest of the art, especially the character portraits you'll see during dialogue. When interacting with other people, there are multiple dialogue options, many of which are very funny. There seems to be only one correct choice to advance the conversation, but selecting the other options are usually kind of amusing. Besides talking to everyone you meet, there are also vaults to open, money and comic scraps to collect, and a home to decorate. There are probably even more things to do that I didn't get to yet, but the game looks like it will have a bit of everything to keep you entertained. It seems like a good mix of causal and serious gameplay for anyone interested in puzzlers or adventures. There's another month to go until MacGuffin's Curse sees release, but the Brawsome team seems to be on the right track. Hopefully, the puzzles will present a bit more of a challenge further in, and I'm slightly concerned about whether the level of comedy can stay so high without becoming tired. However, what I have seen so far looks promising, so I have high hopes for this quirky indie game.
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MacGuffin's Curse is an adventure puzzler that promises comedy, addictive puzzles, and a compelling story. The name alone should give you a hint at the humor, and the puzzles are reminiscent of those found in Zelda-...

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Wakfu releases two new class videos to tempt you


Mar 09
// Victoria Medina
Wakfu, the F2P mmo from Ankama and Square Enix has been out for a just over a week and they've just released two new class videos. The Xelor class (above) and the Sacrier class (below) are masters of time...
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Sam & Max are back with dancing corpses


Mar 09
// Victoria Medina
This time Sam and Max star in Night of the Raving Dead and will head to Germany where they will go up against an emo vampire and zombies who like to get their freak on. The third episode in Beyond Time and Space&nbs...
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Street Fighter is being made into Monopoly


Feb 28
// Victoria Medina
Thanks to a tweet by Alan Lee, we know there is going to be a Street Fighter Monopoly board game. Not only that, but it looks like fans will be able to vote on which characters are made into playable pieces. It is worth ...
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NCsoft throws us a chicken bone with freemium mobile game


Feb 28
// Victoria Medina
NCsoft's Hoppin' Chicken, formerly known as iHop -- Getaway Chicken, is not only undergoing a name change, but is also making the move from a purchasable game to freemium. New features, including extra gameplay modes, pu...
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Dorkly does Limbo


Feb 27
// Victoria Medina
Limbo is one of those games that works well because of its atmosphere. When you take that element away, like Dorkly did, you end up with something silly, and maybe a little bit scary, like the above video. Just be warned, once you've seen this video you can never unsee it. Lollipop Spiders. That's all I've got to say. Limbo with a flashlight [Dorkly]
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Redbox is having a free game day and free stuff is cool


Feb 26
// Victoria Medina
Starting today and lasting until March 1st, Redbox is giving you the chance for a free day of gaming. All you have to do is go to their website and reserve the game you want to play. Keep in mind you will only be getting...
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New indie game Heroki is overflowing with cute


Feb 19
// Victoria Medina
Heroki, an iOS platformer by indie developer Picomy Games, made it's first appearance a few months ago with the above teaser trailer. At the time there wasn't much information but Picomy has shared a little bit more about th...
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Perfect World is descending into new content


Feb 19
// Victoria Medina
Perfect World International's universe is a little bigger now with their newest expansion Descent. The newest addition to the game will give more PVP options, add skills and territories to explore and offer new gear. In addit...
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Mutant Blobs are all up in the Vita


Feb 18
// Victoria Medina
It's official, Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, an indie Vita launch title from DrinkBox Studios, has a release date. For North America the title will be up starting February 21 and all supported PAL terr...

Review: Shank 2

Feb 15 // Victoria Medina
Shank 2 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Klei EntertainmentPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: February 7, 2012 (PC, PSN) / February 8, 2012 (XBLA)MSRP: $9.99 (PC, PSN) / 800 MSP Shank is an angry man who kills lots of things using varied and interesting methods. He is also a man who dies a lot. There doesn't need to be a reason for Shank to kill. The developers could have said someone sneezed on the hero, which sent him into a blind rage of murder and death. They didn't, however, and the result is a bit of back story to flesh out the character. Mostly though, this game is about killing lots of dudes. To aid in the slaughter, you are given three attack types -- light, heavy, and ranged -- as well as explosives. Each weapon also carries certain bonuses, such as the sledgehammer, which deals 25% more damage to large enemies and 50% more damage to shielded enemies, or the pistols, which will deal an additional 20% damage to small foes. On top of that, players can wield the weapons of those they've slain. If you want to kill dudes with a shovel or a large fish, that is an option. In case that isn't enough variety, there are several environmental kills as well. You can drop boats or crates on enemies, throw boxes of knives or blocks of ice, open up the floor so foes fall into giant grinding cogs or saws... the list goes on. It is entirely possible to beat the game using only your basic abilities, which would be one way to challenge yourself. Using the additional weapons laying about will help, especially in areas where the difficulty level spikes ridiculously. None of the fights are easy per se, but there will be sections when it gets downright aggravating. At one point early in the game, you are shown how to grab and throw enemies. Following this, a number of more challenging enemies are sent your way, so not only are you forced to learn how to grab and throw, you also have to master it quickly or die. All while avoiding the instant-death hole in the floor, by the way. You can also make fights less intense by utilizing counter attacks, which are triggered by grabbing foes when a big red exclamation mark appears over their head. Of course, this is often easier said than done. When you only have to deal with one or two guys, it's a lot easier to grab the right guy than when you are facing six or seven. There was more than one time when, while trying to perform a counter, the wrong guy was grabbed and then the rest of the enemies proceeded to destroy you.  If killing and dying alone isn't enough for you, there is also a two-player survival mode, which replaces the co-op mode of the original Shank and which may be the best part of the game. Instead of playing through main levels with a friend, you are now tasked with surviving wave after wave of enemies who are trying not only to kill you but also to blow up three clusters of supplies. Between waves, you are given the chance to purchase items like health drinks, decoys, or heavy weapons, and the more waves you survive, the more items that become available. Each of the three survival levels also have unique items, such as harpoon guns or trap doors. Should you die during survival, your partner can revive you, so the only way to lose is if both of you die or if all three supply caches are destroyed. The only enemies that can blow up the supplies are little demolitions experts who will set charges. You've only got a few seconds to attack and/or kill the demo men before they set their bombs, and a few seconds to disarm the bombs if they've already been set, all while contending with the regular enemies as well. As far as the story goes, it's pretty basic -- this isn't an RPG, after all. Shank has to save someone he cares about while taking revenge on the ones who did the kidnapping. This brings us to the cutscenes, which are incredibly entertaining and over-the-top. In comic book/grindhouse-style animations, Shank causes even more devastation and destruction, all of which is rather satisfying and amusing. The same amount of detail in the cutscenes can be found in each and every chapter of the game, from the level design to the different enemies in each level. It's only a shame that some of the fights are so frustratingly difficult. While one should expect some tough encounters, there should also be some balance, yet that balance was sorely lacking at times. Most of the areas were not incredibly hard, then there would suddenly be a near-impossible section that took quite a few tries, only to revert to far less challenging fights. These sections were even more brutal than the bosses, which seems a bit backward. More than once, I found myself stuck midway through a level, retrying the same goon battle over and over, only to beat the boss in one or two attempts. Another fly in the proverbial soup was the controls. To be blunt, PC controls suck. Hard. If you have a controller but want to play on the PC, fine. Be warned, however, that things are going to get hairy when you're trying to play with a mouse and keyboard. It is possible to reassign key functions in the options, but even doing that, the mouse and keyboard felt so awkward that playing with the controller became necessary. Once the switch was made, things felt a lot easier, but there were still occasional issues. The biggest one is Shank's random turning in the wrong direction during attacks. In a slower-paced game, this wouldn't be an issue, but when you're in the middle of a combo or a brawl with three or four dudes, death happens -- needless death, the most aggravating kind. Also, once you've played through the campaign, there isn't much reason to go back and play again aside from completing objectives to unlock new skins and costumes, and even most of those can be done in survival mode.  The B-Movie theatrics are great but can become repetitive during the fights. The challenging gameplay is fun, but the fact that mid-level encounters are more difficult than bosses can leave a feeling of frustration instead of triumph. The only place where this doesn't apply is the ability to use items to kill, since they are varied and spaced well enough so as not to become boring. For what the game costs, though, it's worth a look if you enjoy brawlers. For the game's faults, the survival mode can be a lot of fun, plus the absurd destruction never gets old. All in all, Shank 2 can be summed up as "fine." It isn't going to revolutionize brawlers or bring anything truly unique to the table, but it isn't a bad game either. Some of the strongest points also seem to be the weakest, but there are some places where they get done right.
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Shank 2 continues the tale of a man named Shank by providing more killing, more death, and more over-the-top gore that was a staple of the original title. At its core, however, is a side-scrolling brawler reminiscent of old...

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PSA: Get Mewtwo for Pokémon White and Black


Feb 08
// Victoria Medina
Mewtwo. I can't put into words how bitter I was that I couldn't get it back when I had Pokémon Blue. It will be available as a special download from February 12th through the 26th for anyone with Po...

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