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Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII countdown ... of DEATH!


Jan 21
// Jim Sterling
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to panic! In seven days time, Square Enix will make an announcement ... and it will have SOMETHING to do with FINAL FANTASY XIII! OH GOD!Actually, it's not that exciting, but with so many publish...
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Gore Verbinski is the new Uwe Boll: 'Pirates' director to take on Second Life


Dec 20
// Chad Concelmo
First BioShock and now Second Life? It looks like director Gore Verbinski has found a new calling in life!According to recent reports in Variety, the Pirates of the Caribbean director has just signed on to direct a movie base...
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These Valhalla Knights 2 videos are just ... no


Sep 27
// Jim Sterling
[video]105340:435[/video] I've never played Valhalla Knights, and if these videos for the sequel are indicative of the series, I think it's very understandable. Why was the above video even released for public consumption? It...
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New Silent Hill: Rubbish Pyramid Head confirmed (also, November release)


Aug 20
// Jim Sterling
Some new information has surfaced on the Western-developed Silent Hill: Homecoming. Chief among them for me is the grim confirmation that Pyramid Head is indeed being recycled and crammed in to this new installment, some...
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Color Treyarch unimpressed over The Bourne Conspiracy


Aug 13
// Jim Sterling
Treyarch's Garrett Young has revealed how his team check out the latest release demos, and has confessed that The Bourne Conspiracy left him feeling a little flat. "The Bourne game... we did download the demo, we di...
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Destructoid Discusses! Lazy reviewers? Or, maybe your game just sucks


Aug 06
// Dyson
You may have heard Jim report the other week, that the AIAS prez says that "game reviewers are lazy." I can certainly see how the whole world of game reviewing is not an exact science, but we're not here today to wa...
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GRIN to give Wanted the videogame treatment


Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Wanted was a fun summer action flick, but how will it fair as a videogame? Movie-based games have always had a horrendous track record, but there's a chance this one might turn out to be somewhat decent.The Wanted game is bei...
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Confusion alert! New Prince of Persia game to be based on movie based on game


Jun 02
// Chad Concelmo
If making a movie based on Prince of Persia: Sands of Time wasn’t already enough to get fans of the awesome videogame series nervous, now comes news of another Prince of Persia game being made by Ubisoft t...
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First gameplay footage of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts


May 13
// Chad Concelmo
So, Nuts & Bolts – I guess that is the official name now. Let’s all pour out a 40 for Banjo-Threeie. I think we all secretly wanted it to be called that.Let me just save you all the trouble and yell out a coll...
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HUGE Sony victory: Vampire Rain CONFIRMED for PlayStation 3


May 08
// Jim Sterling
That's it boys, the console war is finally over. You can roll out the red carpet and welcome your new king, as publisher AQ interactive confirms that Vampire Rain, up until now a hot Xbox 360 exclusive, is coming to the PlayS...
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Rumortoid: Uncharted heading to the silver screen?


May 08
// Chad Concelmo
According to a “well-placed source,” Atlas Entertainment (the production company responsible for the amazing Twelve Monkeys and Three Kings) has just purchased the film rights to PlayStation ...
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Game Debate to the Death!
Hardest game you've ever played?


May 06
// Tom Fronczak
In the last debate, we discussed which Pokémon species and game was our favorite. With hundreds of critters and a dozen different games to choose from, it was probably the most varied range of votes I've ever seen in a...
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Wii Fit's Wii sh*t, courtesy of Mad Catz


Apr 26
// Jim Sterling
The Mad Catz PS2 wireless controller is the single worst thing that mankind has ever created (and I say that without hyperbole). The third party peripheral maker is continuing its commitment to producing wretched crap with a ...
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Why did Two Worlds suck so bad? Developer tries to explain


Apr 22
// Jim Sterling
Two Worlds was horrible and I'm not about to pull any punches when talking about it. It's one of a handful of games that I could not bear to play for more than half an hour, I simply couldn't stand it. The framerate was a jok...
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Mt. Movie License: Paramount gets into the games business


Mar 28
// Dale North
Following Warner Bros., Paramount has expanded their interactive department to get into the videogames business. Variety says that they will either partially or fully finance titles and will oversee title development. Not su...
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Activision strikes back with 'Tony Hawk Innovation Plan', whatever that is


Mar 11
// Samit Sarkar
GamePro has put up a short blurb with an update on the sequel to Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. The story focuses on a few lines from a USA Today feature on Tony Hawk — the man, the myth, the legend. The story discus...
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Sony files patent on something that looks like a PSP iPhone


Mar 07
// Dale North
Sony Ericsson's newly patented Orientation based multiple mode mechanically vibrated touchscreen display looks like the long-time rumored PSP phone. But it has a touch screen. Yeah, I don't quite get it either.Not suprisingly...
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Super Crap Trophy: Brawl trophy from GameStop is terrible


Mar 07
// Jim Sterling
The above image is what GameStop is offering the winner of its Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament. As you can see, it is the worst thing in the world. It doesn't even have anything to do with Brawl, save for the vague and ten...
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Activision: We're sorry Guitar Hero Wii sucks so bad, here's your money back


Feb 25
// Colette Bennett
The Guitar Hero III mono sound issue earned many a Wii owner's ire last year, and rightfully so -- it's pretty tough to rock out when your game's sound resembles a grilled cheese sandwich run over by an angry teen on a Moped....
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Forbidden Terror to be a Wiiware title...if the price is right?


Feb 21
// SRVSLPS
If you squint hard enough, you might mistake this game for a futuristic Resident Evil game, but it's actually just a tech demo developed by Emergent Technologies, as one of the Editors from Siliconera found out.As the screen ...
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Max Payne is set to start filming soon, but will it be painful to watch?


Feb 01
// SRVSLPS
Last time we heard about the movie adaptation of Max Payne, the man who would be responsible for filling the iconic shoes of the one-man army was still up in the air. One quick peek over at IGN, and the facts now seem to indi...
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Next Leisure Suit Larry game to revisit its adventure game roots?


Jan 18
// Chad Concelmo
In an interview with IGN, John Melchior, executive producer of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (hehehe), the official next game in the naughty series, is quoted as saying “[Box Office Bust] is most...
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Highlander: Eidos proves that with exceptions, there can be more than one


Jan 17
// SRVSLPS
An exact release date hasn't been nailed down yet, but Eidos has released a trailer giving us an idea of what we can expect out of the game based on the name nerds and Sci-Fi buffs (present company included) have labeled a c...
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Goichi Suda: Third-party Wii games aren't cutting it


Jan 16
// Colette Bennett
Goichi Suda, the game developer behind GameCube indie offering Killer 7 and the upcoming Wii title No More Heroes, recently commented on the state of the Wii and the games coming out for it, saying that third-party games were...
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Doctored screenshots and video, we hate thee so


Jan 16
// SRVSLPS
Spend some time reading about games, and you'll likely come across a term that you know the meaning of, but never bothered to put a name to: bullshots. We see them often, and they are the bane of gamers everywhere. We all hat...
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Videogames caused 9/11: Disgusting trailer for Moral Kombat documentary is bad


Dec 01
// Jim Sterling
If you've been online for any decent amount of time, you surely will have heard about Moral Kombat, Spencer Halpin's documentary on videogames ... or rather, cultural assassination of videogames. With such unbiased and well-i...
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Samurai Warriors Katana looks like something that is not a good thing


Nov 16
// Jim Sterling
A veritable plethora of videos for Koei's first Wii effort, Samurai Warriors Katana, are now available on your Internet, and all I have to say right now is ... get them off my Internet. Now you know me, I love Koei with all m...
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Could Fallout 3 resurrect Earthworm Jim? Is it a good idea?


Nov 14
// Jim Sterling
Fallout 3 is going to sell well, regardless of what the final product ends up looking like. It's a prediction I've pulled from my backside, but one that I think is more than reasonable. Interplay is certainly prepared to rake...
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The torture porn showreel: See the Manhunt 2 that they didn't want you to see


Nov 03
// Jim Sterling
Fresh from the hacker's pantry, here are the uncut scenes from Rockstar's controversy magnet/attention whore, Manhunt 2. In all its bleak and bloodsoaked glory, this showreel of murder is taken from the hacked PSP version ...

Destructoid review: Clive Barker's Jericho

Oct 31 // David Houghton
Clive Barker's Jericho (PC)Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC Developed by Mercury SteamReleased on 23rd October (US), 26th October (PAL Teritories) Clive Barker's Jericho is a game with flaws. Definite flaws. While on an artistic level it's very hard to fault anything of its content whatsoever, - indeed, as punishing horror experiences go in videogames, it's one of the best I've ever experienced in terms of production design and atmosphere - there are certain niggles in the actual mechanics of its gameplay which just can't be ignored. How fundamentally those flaws affect your enjoyment of the game however, will depend on the level of perfection you demand from your FPS gaming, how much of a horror fan you are, and to a degree, how much of a love you have of Barker's work in general.  As you may well now know, the game is a brutal, squad-based FPS following the journey of a special paranormally gifted combat team, the titular Jericho, sent by the US government's Department Of Occult Warfare to investigate a high level disturbance in the Middle-Eastern city of Al Khali, a disturbance with a very big source of evil at its centre. That source has been connected to the region for millenia, and it's Jericho's fate to travel back through every era of the city's existence, from present day to pre-Biblical times, in order to track it down and cleanse the area of its taint. What all of this boils down to in gameplay terms is a strictly single-player campaign in control of the entire seven man (and woman) squad simultaneously. Each member of the team has his or her own weapon specialties, ranging from sniping to heavy weapons, to incendiaries, to sword-based melee, which are complimented by personal paranormal gifts covering telekinesis, pyromancy, astral projection, healing, and manipulation of both enemies and the passage of time. While the player will only have direct control of any one member of Jericho at a time, the rest can be directed in terms of position and defensive or offensive stance, and the team member under control can be quickly and easily hot swapped on the fly. What really surprised me upon my first play of game on my own time was the overall pace and approach to it takes to combat. I've mentioned in my earlier previews that the game is an absolute assault, mercilessly throwing fast and capable enemies at the player thick and fast and allowing little time to breathe. I've also mentioned that the dense and frenetic gameplay has caused me a few issues in the past, at times becoming overwhelming to the point where there seemed very little opportunity to actually take control of a situation before being savagely and swiftly wiped out. I've now discovered that those occurances were partly down to my misunderstanding how the game is intended to be played (Note I said 'partly'. I'll come back to that later) at early previews. While the temptation with a gory and visceral game such as Jericho, particularly when having a relatively large squad at hand, is to charge in guns ablazing in an effort to make the most of all the blood-drenched carnage available, it's an approach which will end in rapid failure nine times out of ten. Combat in Jericho has to be taken more slowly and thoughtfully than that. The overall pace and structure is closer to Gears Of War than something like Quake 4 or Doom 3, each level in general terms comprising of a series of skirmish areas made up of environmental cover which needs to be moved through carefully, ground taken progressively as and when it's safe to do so and not a second before. Try to meet the oncoming enemy halfway in a toe to toe encounter and a swift and bloody death often results. At it's best, combat in Jericho is very satisfying indeed. It takes thought, sure, but if you're up for that then the victory of a well-executed battle gives a very rewarding feeling. There's not really any such thing as a random grunt amongst Jericho's enemies. Whilst Quake 4 has its low level Strogg soldiers and Half-Life 2 has its blue Combine, both of which become a secondary consideration with practice and experience, virtually any monster in Jericho is capable of seriously messing you up, and every one has to be thought of and dealt with as a potentially serious threat. Those zombified Nazis and Crusaders with only a melee attack to show for themselves might seem less of a priority compared to the big guys packing the artillery, but let one of them get close to the squad in a tight corner and it's going to be lights out in no time. The sheer speed and dexterity of the foot soldier-style enemies combined with the way the larger and better armed ones will usually hold back in cover to bombard the team from a distance makes almost every battle a challenge. Every monster in Jericho knows its individual strengths and weaknesses and noticeably plays up to them. Nippier ones will run to the front to distract you. Explosive ones (Yes, some monsters explode, and they do it gloriously) will stumble through the center of the battlefield to clog up valuable space and force Jericho to be very careful where it aims. The guys with the heavy missile attacks will hold back to preserve their side's hardware advantage. Enemies with  fire attacks will dowse the whole battlefield to force you back, flying creatures will flit around randomly and attack in short bursts, and snipers will snipe. All in all, killing monsters in Jericho is far from the basic run and gun splatter-fest I'd feared, and you'll need to take proper advantage of the environment, often holding the team quite a way back in safety while drawing out the enemy gradually with a single scout or sniper in order to avoid being over-run. Using that brief mention of the game's environments as a slightly less than subtle way to sidestep onto the game's look and feel, you're well overdue a discussion of the game's production design, the very thing, apart from Barker's name, which attracted me to it in the first place. One word: Filth.  Jericho really is one of the most excessively horrible games I've ever played. As myself and Jim have detailed with great enthusiasm a few times before, there's a utterly disgusting, glistening wetness prevalent throughout the game which imbues everything from monsters to scenery with the feel of a pestilent slaughterhouse. You'll flinch away from the screen the first few times a zombie gets too close, repelled by the dripping ooze coating its rendered skin and exposed flesh, and as you get further into the game you'll almost begin to watch where you step as floors and walls become drenched with nigh tangibly sticky flesh and dark, congealing, viscous blood. And blood is one thing that Jericho has a lot of. A Hell of a lot. If it's not being showered spectacularly across a radius of several feet every time you shoot a bad guy then it's being poured upon your head by the tens of gallons from the split gut of a naked fat man. Or if not that, then a boss is virtually showering in it or the team is fighting knee deep in a river of the stuff. Let it be known without a doubt, Jericho has some very satisfying head-shots. It's not just about the gore either. The game makes use of some brilliantly evocative ambient effects, particularly in the mist and lighting departments, to create a genuinely dense, cloying and oppressive atmosphere in its environments, thick with hazy claustrophobia and with a dank feeling of age. It sometimes goes overboard with the smoke effects following explosions in battle, leading to a few cases of "What the Hell am I aiming at?" syndrome, but overall everything works very well. Also worthy of a very special mention is the game's score, which at times is incredibly emotive and even quite moving, and adds heavily to the increasing tone of doom and hopelessness which builds throughout. I will be buying a copy of the soundtrack CD soon, no question about it. Congratulations though on your 20/20 vision if you've already spotted the great big "But..." floating ominously overhead. For everything it does right, and it does a lot right, Jericho has a more than ample ability to make you scream for reasons other than those it intends from time to time. In a squad-based shooter, the standard of AI demonstrated by your team-mates can easily make or kill the game, and while Jericho's is adequate for the majority of the time, when it fails it can lead to game over far too quickly and with very little opportunity to save the situation. In a game in which combat is so frenetic at close quarters, it's important to know that the computer-controlled section the squad is going to do exactly what it's told, which a lot of the time consists of staying the Hell away until the enemy can be reduced from a safe distance or drawn into an open area. On several frustrating occasions though, I witnessed them piling enthusiastically into the thick of a fight despite my having told them to hold back, rewarded with only a quick and splattery end for their troubles and placing their inert bodies too far into the danger zone for it to be safe to go in to revive them. In situations like these the only option was to leave them down for fear of losing the last remaining team member, which made the fight overly challenging for all the wrong reasons, and more often than not utterly hopeless. Part of the problem comes from the fact that the game's environments often seem to consist of invisible set points for holding position rather than allowing the team to be sent exactly where desired. Miss one of those points and you miss the opportunity to make the team hold back, and you'll soon find team-mates you thought were safely behind you running straight past and into an oncoming peppering before you even reach the fight yourself. While Jericho is a very defensive game which forces the player to prioritize team management and healing just as much as attacking the enemy, when this happens a battle can feel more like a babysitting exercise than a tactical military skirmish. From time to time the Jericho team will also present what seems like a total lack of self-preservation instinct, some of the best examples coming from times when facing off against one of those aforementioned exploding enemies. By the time these unfortunate events took place, the team already had more than enough experience of the buggers to know that they explode with a dangerous blast radius upon death, but what did they still do every so often? Stand around one in a tight circle plugging away until the beast dropped. Hey presto, one completely dead squad from from but a single monster. And a dead one at that. It's highly frustrating in a game clearly set up to be played defensively to realize that you're the only one doing it right. Of course this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time, and certainly not enough to be completely game breaking, but it happens more than enough to be a noticeable issue. In addition to that, while in well-designed areas the game's combat positively sings, - some fights in more open territory, and in particularly the huge coliseum fight you've probably seen in my previews, are an absolute joy as you flick from team member to team member to keep the enemy pinned down and surrounded - sometimes it can become uninspired and tired. In smaller, tighter areas the game for some reason still often insists on a large number of enemies, but rather than swarming the squad with them, sends them in one or two at a time. For a very long time. Thus, situations can arise whereby you'll find yourself sitting with a gun trained on a doorway spawn point waiting for the next in a seemingly never-ending string of monsters to appear so that you can pop it and wait for the next one. These scenarios become very dull and predictable very fast and can eventually feel as much like a point and click game as an FPS as you wait and pray for the game to decide that you've cleared up the necessary amount of enemies to proceed. And that unfortunately harks to a sloppiness in design which rears its ugly, pus-filled head in other areas too. While never overtly amateurish, there are parts of Jericho's design which just smack of a lack of thought for the player experience, and leave certain elements of progression feeling either pointless or frustrating. For example, Jericho's checkpoints are activated by clearing an area of enemies rather than progressing into further territory (No F9 resurrection here). That's absolutely fine, but upon fighting and losing one particular battle against a huge number of replenishing flying monsters for over an hour, naturally assuming that if I survived long enough to kill them all I'd move on, I accidentally discovered that falling down a hole in the ground took me away from all the pain and straight to the next part of the level. Videogames have their own internal logic which is taught to the player through experience of repeated examples, and to suddenly turn that logic on its head without warning results in a very confused player, and in my case, my monitor having to hear a lot of very bad words. Less troubling, but still eyebrow raising, is the game's use of environmental puzzles. With every team member having his or her own set of abilities, the possibilities here were immense, but more often than not Jericho wastes the opportunity. The first few levels, naturally enough, give pointers as to which characters to use to pass certain obstacles, for example using a telekinetic character to clear some rubble from a corridor, or a physically strong one to lift a portcullis. As the game progresses however, it doesn't allow the player to learn from these examples and find their own solutions. Rather it just presents an impassable obstacle, and if they player is controlling the wrong character to work around it, flashes up text explaining who to use. With puzzles rarely more complicated than the two examples above, this reduces their nature to an arbitrary one and makes them feel like a total waste of time, just dropped in for the sake of being there. These issues are made doubly frustrating by the fact that Jericho really can get it right when it wants to. Particularly during the last two time zones, the game really comes into its own, mixing up the gameplay by limiting and varying the team members available and offering up a whole string of large-scale, open-plan boss fights which require some very satisfying, Zelda-style puzzling to win. After suffering from the above design problems, the game suddenly feels unbelievably more fresh and stimulating in its last few hours, and it's a real shame that the designers couldn't have had the confidence to bring more of this sort of design in earlier in the game. Here's hoping the possible sequel Barker is already talking about takes it as a starting point rather than working up to it again. For the frustrations of it's flaws though, and believe me, playing through Jericho has definitely been a frustrating experience at times, there's just something about the overall game that kept me coming back and had the experience haunting a place at the back of head for some days afterwards. I can't promise you a perfect horror FPS in Jericho, in fact I can promise you that it won't be, but somewhere between the dense oppression of its atmosphere, the unapologetically, almost decadently horrific nature of its production design, the satisfaction of its gameplay when it's firing on all cylinders, and some rather broken protagonist characters who I was surprised to grow rather attached to by the end despite the script not making the most of their backstories, I find myself unable to write it off. If you can handle the issues, it comes recommended, albeit with reservations. If you can handle the issues and you're a gore-hound horror fan or someone who appreciates Clive Barker it comes more recommended. Everyone else, rent it, give it a try and see if you can forgive its failings. Rating: 7.0Verdict: Rent it 
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I've been awaiting the chance to play through the final build of Clive Barker's Jericho with some degree of trepidation. You see on a personal level I've had rather a lot invested in the game since its announcement. Ever sinc...


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