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Rambo photo

The gameplay modes of Rambo: The Video Game

But where did they put the kitchen sink?
Jan 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new trailer has been released for Rambo: The Video Game focused on the variety of gameplay contained within. You'll see stealth kills, bits of shooting, environmental destruction and QTE. Yeah, quick-time events are apparently considered a "feature" in Rambo, which ought to give just about anybody pause for reflection.
Rambo game photo
Rambo game

Rambo: The Video Game looks like a bad PS2 game

Jan 11
// Steven Hansen
If the bad gameplay clips from the upcoming Rambo: The Video Game didn't scare you off earlier this week, maybe this bad trailer will. This game is still actually happening. Only in Europe, though. Did Rambo have a recent Eu...
Telltale photo

Telltale would love the chance to make a James Bond game

The Walking Dead developers are still hesitant to do a new IP
Jan 08
// Alasdair Duncan
Telltale Games is on something of a roll right now; along with Fables: The Wolf Among Us and the second season of The Walking Dead, it has upcoming series based on Borderlands and Game of Thrones. But if money and t...
Rambo photo

Check out these clips from Rambo: The Video Game

'Don't push it, or I'll give you a war like you won't believe'
Jan 06
// Alessandro Fillari
It's been awhile since we last heard of Rambo: The Video Game. After the reveal of the Rambo figurine pre-order bonus, we haven't seen any videos or pictures since. Now, it seems publisher Reef Entertainment is ready to give...
Batman: Arkham Origins photo
Batman: Arkham Origins

Everyone wants Batman dead in this Arkham Origins trailer

That must be a depressing feeling
Oct 23
// Brett Makedonski
Much like Washington and his famous trip across the Delaware River, Batman doesn't care much for taking the holidays off. Well, to be fair, he can't. Not when the entirety of Gotham City's underground is trying to kill him. ...

Troy Baker KILLS it as the new voice of The Joker

Hear him do the monologue from The Killing Joke
Oct 14
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Troy Baker is one of the biggest voice actors in gaming these days. He's been the main voices in Saints Row IV, The Last of Us, BioShock Infinite, and will soon play Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A...

Batman Arkham Bundle brings together the first two games

Plus most of the downloadable content
Sep 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Just in time for Batman: Arkham Origins, the Batman Arkham Bundle collects the first two games with most of the downloadable content packs and garbage that were released. For Batman: Arkham Asylum, you'll be getting the Game ...
Rambo game figurine photo
Rambo game figurine

Rambo: The Video Game has Sly pre order figurines

Aug 19
// Steven Hansen
Rambo: The Video Game is happening apropos of nothing. The game mashes up First Blood, First Blood Part Two, and Rambo III. The first two get three inch figurines that look a little like Keanu Reeves with pre-order at select ...
Freddy Krueger photo
Freddy Krueger

Now Freddy Krueger is getting an NES-themed figurine

Jason has a playmate
Aug 08
// Tony Ponce
And the world becomes a little bit better. Hot on the heels of NECA's incredible videogame Jason Voorhees, which sold out super fast at San Diego Comic-Con, comes videogame Freddy Krueger. Like his Friday the 13th counterpart...
Rambo photo

Rambo: The Video Game gets Rambo: The Trailer

Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin!
Jul 10
// Tony Ponce
I completely forgot that there was a Rambo game, which covers events from the first three movies, coming out for PS3, 360, and PC. It looks so jank. Polish developer Teyon doesn't exactly have the most spectacular of resumes...
Young Justice: Legacy photo
Young Justice: Legacy

This Young Justice: Legacy trailer serves no purpose

It's ThunderCats all over again
May 29
// Tony Ponce
Young Justice was a show about the DC universe sidekicks going on world-shaping undercover missions while the main superheroes battled the much more public threats. Sounds badass, doesn't it? Too badass for Cartoon Network, ...

The odds are against you in Batman: Arkham Origins

May 20 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Batman: Arkham Origins (PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360 [previewed])Developer: Warner Bros. MontrealPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentRelease: October 25, 2013 (Worldwide) The dangers that await you in Gotham Bruce has been Batman for only a short time when players take control of him in Origins, and he's gotten used to taking on average, weaker criminals. That all changes on this particular Christmas Eve night as Black Mask, the biggest crime boss in Gotham, has hired eight assassins to hunt down the Bat. You'll have to deal with these assassins plus Black Mask himself in a Gotham that's double the size of what we had in Arkham City. That's largely thanks to the fact that Arkham City prison has yet to be built, so you not have two islands offering a lot more vertical gameplay. Deathstroke is one of the assassins after you, but there are more DC characters beyond those you'll be facing in the main story, such as the ones you'll be encountering in the Most Wanted multi-tiered side story missions. One such example is Anarky, a villain who has an obsession with Batman, and he has planted a bomb that you must defuse before it goes off. There are new basic enemy types too, like the martial artists who are able to counter Batman's moves. You can counter their counters, but they can counter again, making for some interesting fights. I also saw heavily armored goons who you have to wear down then strip of their armor before you're able to knock them out. A younger Batman means he can punches faster, throwing off a lightning-quick succession of punches in fights against heavy units. New tricks and skills The natural open world feeling is ever present in Origins, and you'll come across any number of dynamic events as you're trying to complete quests. You'll be able to intercept 911 calls, which are part of the new Crime in Progress system. In the demo, Batman intercepts a call and takes on a bunch of Black Mask goons who had just robbed a bank. Players will get more detailed feedback on their performance after fights as well. You're getting graded on your encounters, showing players what they can do to improve their skills. One new tool is the Remote Claw. You'll first select a location where you want to launch the device, then select a target to hook them. So for instance, you can select a perch on which to stick the Claw, then have the Claw grab an enemy and string him up by his legs. You can hook an explosive barrel that will pull itself into an enemy, instantly knocking them out. You can also use the Claw to create a tightrope path from one point to another. There's also fast travel now via the Batwing, but you'll have to unlock access first. There are radio towers scattered across Gotham under the control by some villain, and only when you've liberated these towers will you gain fast travel options. More emphasis on Detective Mode At one point, a police helicopter finds you and orders Batman to surrender. The cops don't trust Batman at this point in history, but before anything can happen, the helicopter suddenly gets damaged and crashes into the streets below for seemingly no reason. Batman has to figure what happened, and it's here where we see the new Detective Mode feature. Batman heads to where the helicopter crashes, and slowly walks around the crime scene so the Bat Computer can evaluate things. Once you've gotten enough data, the computer can creat a 3D simulation of the events that just unfolded, which you can then replay like a video while searching for evidence. There's not enough data yet, so Batman heads back up to the roof and processes more video. Upon playback of the scene, Batman sees that a bullet had struck the helicopter's propeller. Batman follows the angle of the bullet to find a SWAT cop killed on a nearby roof. Did the cop do it? Upon one final inspection, you see that the cop was actually aiming at Batman earlier, and was killed by another sniper bullet. That same sniper bullet ricocheted off the wall and struck the helicopter. Batman knows that only Deadshot can pull off something like this, and the analysis of the scene will lead you to where Deadshot fired the gun. The new Batman and Joker voices At the end of the demo, Batman rides an elevator up and finds Bane at the top floor waiting for our hero. Bane beats up Batman a little, then tosses him right at the feet of the Joker. There's a row of explosive charges next to Joker, one of which is evidently being used to blackmail Bane. Joker then grabs one of the explosive charges and blows up a building near the one you all are in. You can see the building explode, and the force of the explosion blows open the windows in the room Batman and Joker are currently in. This back-and-forth between the two iconic characters also showcased their new voices. As I revealed earlier, Roger Craig Smith, best known as Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed, is Batman, while Troy Baker, best known as Booker in BioShock Infinite, is Joker. It makes sense that younger versions of these characters would be better suited by younger-sounding voices. But while I think Troy is perfect as Joker, I'm not quite feeling Roger as Batman here. Former Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy is involved in the game somehow, but we've yet to learn where he'll appear. It all still feels like an Arkham game There are a bunch of new features and additions, but the core of it all still feels like the same Arkham game we're used to. You're a one-man fighting machine taking on criminals all while being hunted by assassins and the police. I wonder what other villains we can expect. I love that someone like Deathstroke is involved, as it could offer up far more interesting boss fights. I want more of a brawler-type setup over the traditional boss encounters from the past. I hope WB Montreal tries to evolve things in this regard.
Arkham Origins preview photo
Eight deadly assassins are hunting you down
Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel in the Arkham franchise, following a Batman who's more myth than legend at this point in his crime fighting career. This is a younger Bruce Wayne, more agile in combat yet still equipped w...

Batman and Joker have new voice actors in Arkham Origins

May 20 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]254016:48705:0[/embed] So what about Kevin Conroy? Well, as he revealed this past weekend on a panel at Dallas Comic-Con, he will indeed be in the game, but in what form is not clear. Could an older Batman be narrating while reflecting on his past? We'll know soon enough.
Arkham Origins VAs photo
They're both famous videogame VAs
Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel, and as such developer Warner Bros. Montreal is changing the voices of Batman and Joker. "We went in our game back several years [and] we really wanted to cast people that sounded like t...

Origins teaser trailer photo
Origins teaser trailer

Suit up for this Batman: Arkham Origins teaser trailer

Deathstroke gets his assassin on
May 16
// Chris Carter
Batman battles the relentless Deathstroke in this new teaser trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins, and honestly, that's about all you're going to get. Batman scowls, the sword comes out, and he blocks it with his arm blades li...
Star Wars + EA photo
Disney and EA sign exclusive multi-year agreement
After The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of LucasArts last year, the development house as we knew it was effectively closed. Disney moved the studio into a licensing model, "minimizing the company's risk while achieving a ...

Batman: Arkham Origins announced

Apr 09 // Jim Sterling
Batman: Arkham Origins photo
Latest Arkham title will not be developed by Rocksteady
That distributor of exclusive game announcements, Game Informer, has revealed its May issue cover and unveiled Batman: Arkham Origins in the process. Warner Brothers Montreal is on the project, taking over from Rocksteady.&nb...

Rock Band photo
Rock Band

Metallica Pack 01 removed from Rock Band Music Store

As licensing agreements expire, Harmonix working to minimize effects
Apr 08
// Conrad Zimmerman
If you hopped on to the Rock Band Music Store today, planning to buy "Ride the Lightning," you may have already missed your chance. That song, and the other three tracks making up "Metallica Track Pack 01" have been removed f...

GDC: Digital Extremes' Star Trek isn't looking too hot

Mar 26 // Abel Girmay
Star Trek: The Game (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)Developer: Digital ExtremesPublisher: Namco Bandai, Paramount StudiosRelease: April 23, 2013 Like Army of Two, 2013's Star Trek is built around co-op play. You can solo it of course, but playing with a human partner is ideal. This comes out in the writing quite a bit, with no shortage of friendly banter between the action-happy, smart-mouthed Kirk and the calm, calculated Spock. Both characters see Chris Pine and Zack Quinto reprise their respective roles, as does the remainder of the USS Enterprise crew. Simon Pegg is Scotty, Zoe Saldana is Uhura, and so on. The remainder of Star Trek's presentation is getting the same TLC, with the films' composer Michael Giacchino returning to lead a 100-piece orchestra for the score, and God of War series writer Marianne Krawczyk penning the script. If one thing is clear, it's that Star Trek is certainly not lacking for production values. More than an extra gun, you and your partner are actually reliant on each other, and in more ways than your help-me-open-this-door segments -- though there are plenty of those too. In a GDC demo, I found myself regularly splitting up from my partner, with the actions happening on one end affecting the other. Playing as Kirk, one of the early platforming segments had me racing to the end in order to disable a trap laser my Spock partner had to dodge. We've seen these sorts of co-op moments before, and at the very least they work just as well here. Not working quite so well are the moment-to-moment shooting and platforming. Don't get me wrong its all functional, just not particularly refined. With the exception of some areas that offer two ways to reach an objective, presumably for convenience as you have to wait for your partner to make it across before you can start, the platforming is completely linear. That on its own is not a bad thing, but it's almost funny when the way forward is highlighted by black-and-yellow caution stripes. With the exception of a few hidden paths, literally every claimable ledge was highlighted by these caution stripes. In this particular demo, which took place on a rapidly decaying space station, it became almost comedic as I would often walk into a room, have the floor explode and upended right in front of me, and see black-and-yellow stripes neatly adorned across the scalable rubble. Immersion breaking aside, there doesn't seem to be a great sense of momentum or weight to the platforming, with jumps that feel like canned animations rather than fluid movements. Shooting feels similarly rudimentary in places with aiming that doesn't feel particularity smooth. That grievance aside, the gunplay features some level of variety with 25 different weapons, each with an alternate fire. And yes, there is a phaser, and you can set it to stun or kill. Weapons are also upgradable with XP, accrued from finding collectibles among other actions, improving damage recharge speed and the like. So while Star Trek takes a lot of cues from the better games in the action-adventure genre, I can't honestly hold out hope that they will meld well for this specific title.
Star Trek photo
Beam me up, Sc--actually, no rush
Take a beloved franchise like Star Trek, influences from the heavier hitters in a genre, and you can't go too wrong, right? Well that final verdict of course remains to be seen, but I can't say Digital Extremes' Star Trek makes a good case for itself.

More Warhammer 40,000 photo
More Warhammer 40,000

Slitherine is making a turn-based Warhammer 40,000 game

New deal with Games Workshop announced
Mar 15
// Jordan Devore
Strategy game developer Slitherine has signed a licensing agreement with Games Workshop to make a multiplatform turn-based title based on Warhammer 40,000, it was announced this week. This project will be in line with what th...
Activision layoffs photo
Activision layoffs

Activision expects to have fewer licensed games this year

Approximately 30 full-time employees laid off
Feb 20
// Jordan Devore
Word got out yesterday that Activision had laid off around 30 full-time employees, which was later confirmed by the company. "Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its...

Aliens games to play that aren't Aliens: Colonial Marines

Feb 12 // Jim Sterling
Alien 3SEGA Genesis1993 I have fond memories of Alien 3. Not the most refined of games, this sidescrolling shooter nonetheless maintains its own unique charm. A nice little soundtrack, an atmospheric (for its time) visual style, and a genuine effort to be authentic as possible within the 16-bit limitations, Alien 3 is worth giving a spin. If you're into vent crawling, ladder climbing, prisoner rescuing and Alien blasting, you'll get your fix right here.  The fact I still remember that stage intro screen after all these years has got to say something!  Alien TrilogyPlayStation, SEGA Saturn, PC1996 Okay, Alien Trilogy isn't that good of a game, and it's here mostly for nostalgia. I played the everloving hell out of it when I was a kid, and I recall many a school sick day spent playing this little number. The music still induces a little shiver down my spine.  Trilogy is a fairly basic little DOOM clone. You run around various stages inspired by Alien, Aliens and Alien 3, blasting Alien warriors, Dog Aliens, and excruciatingly annoying Chestbursters. The game's stingy with its ammo and can be pretty damn cheap, which is why I rarely felt shame inputting the famous password:  1GOTP1NK8C1DBOOTSON. That's, "I got pink acid boots on" for those lacking an eye for subtlety. Great cheat name, and the unlimited firepower was certainly nothing to spit at! You can pick PSOne discs up for peanuts on eBay, and it'll work on your PS3. Worth a spin, if only for reminiscence's sake.  Aliens vs. Predator 2PC, Mac2001 If I'm quite honest, I never really gelled with any of the Rebellion/Monolith AvP games, but AvP2 is so fondly regarded, I'd not be doing my job if it was omitted from the pile. This game is widely considered the last word in terms of Marine-on-Xenomorph-on-Predator action, with its three-way battles designed to make Preds feel badass, Xenos feel insidious, and Marines shit their pants. In many ways, playing as the terrified and powerless humans was the most fun part of the game. You are gonna die, but sometimes it's hilarious to be so utterly screwed. I may not have quite appreciated it the way some people did, but I'd be a fool to contest the assertion that it pretty much codified the idea of what an Aliens vs. Predator game should be, and has not been topped by anything in the field. There just doesn't exist a worthy adversary to this particular installment.  Aliens: ExterminationArcade2006 Anybody who hangs out with me for any length of time will soon learn one thing -- if there's an Extermination arcade machine in the vicinity, I'm going to find and play it. A few places local to me always seem to boast one of these, and I consider it a failure of a trip if I visit one of these places and don't waste at least one coin.  Extermination is a typical lightgun shooter. You grab your plastic pulse rifle and face the incoming horde of screaming Xenomorphs. It's silly arcade fun that never tries to be anything else, and while it looks pretty dated now, it still offers a pretty good commitment to detail and some cool environments. Plus, who isn't a sucker for a solid plastic-gun-holdy-shooty game? Aliens vs. PredatorArcade1994 Aliens vs. Predator for arcade is one of those games that really make me hate the dodgy world of licensing. Capcom made this, but SEGA owns the rights to Aliens games, so the chances of it ever getting a re-release are minimal at best. Still, if you can get a chance to play it, do so. It's bursting with character, is entertainingly ridiculous, and delivers some righteous brawler action the only way a Capcom arcade game can. You get to be either a Marine or a Predator, and face off against an army of increasingly colorful and bizarre Xenomorphs. It's as garish and neon as any nineties brawler could be, and I love it for that fact. The Alien designs are outlandish and strictly nonsensical, but that doesn't stop them from being cooler than they had any right to be. I have a lot of time for this little beauty.  Aliens: InfestationNintendo DS2011 SEGA's run with the license may not be the most glorious chapter of interactive Aliens history, but it is at least responsible for bringing us Aliens: Infestation, a genuinely great scrolling shooter from the fine folks at WayForward. Atmospheric, original, and closer to the spirit of the property than Colonial Marines could ever hope to be, this unique little spin on the Aliens universe is challenging, engaging, and quite a lot of fun. Players get to switch between four Marines at any one time, and there is a small army of 19 heroes to rescue and play. The twist is that once one of them dies, they're gone for good. If you start growing fond of one (which is possible, as they all have their own neat looks and personalities), you may very well find yourself in mourning.  For a retro-style shooter, Infestation is surprisingly scary. Aliens hit hard, and hit fast, while the dismal environments can be genuinely foreboding. While the difficulty can border on the wrong side of unfair, it at least makes Xenomorphs intimidating, credible threats, returning some of the edge they've lost in the transition from indestructible stalker to mindless bug. 
Xenomorph action that won't ruin your day
Aliens: Colonial Marines is finally out over more than half a decade of waiting, and the disappointment is real enough to lick. It's a terrible letdown, to the point that this particular Aliens fan -- who buys almost anything...


Batman: Arkham 3 is due for release in 2013 [Update]

Arkhaaaaaaaaw MAH GAWD!
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
[Update: According to the rumor mill, Rocksteady won't be involved in this one. According to my Twitter feed of random people saying random things, the less-spectacular Spark Unlimited may take the helm. Hmmmm.] Warner Bros. ...

Walking Dead: Survival Instinct finally gets real trailer

Was it worth the wait?
Feb 07
// Jim Sterling
Activision's tried to put it off for as long as possible, but has finally released a real gameplay trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Now the day's finally arrived, I don't even know what to say. In all honesty...
Delayed DLC photo
Delayed DLC

Scott Pilgrim DLC has last-minute delay

After years of waiting, more waiting
Feb 04
// Conrad Zimmerman
Last week, we reported on an announcement regarding long-anticipated downloadable content for Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game posted to the Tumblr of Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley which vanished into...

Finally, a new Dynasty Warriors-style Kamen Rider game

Took 'em long enough
Jan 16
// Josh Tolentino
Well, it's about time! Toei's Kamen Rider was a Dynasty Warriors before Dynasty Warriors of a sort, defined as it was by a lone hero in a ridiculous costume effortlessly plowing through hordes of weak mini...

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct confirmed for Wii U

Shuffling in ZombiU's footsteps
Jan 10
// Jim Sterling
[Update: The Walking Dead is coming out on March 26 in North America.] The likes of Crysis 3 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 may be turning their backs on the Wii U, but never fear! Activision never misses a trick, and has...

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct trailer is ... hmmmm

Jan 02 // Jim Sterling
Oh. Looks like I wasn't wrong about the screen tearing.
Walking Dead: SI footage photo
Footage of first-person zombie spin-off fails to impress
[Update: This is a not an official trailer by Activision or Terminal Reality. Rather, it's a fan made video of gameplay clips taken from an interview by IGN Start on the upcoming game.] The Terminal Reality-developed The Wal...


SEGA/Creative Assembly get Games Workshop license

Total Warhammer
Dec 06
// Jim Sterling
SEGA has inked a deal with Games Workshop in order to start bringing Warhammer games into production. Creative Assembly, the studio responsible for Total War, will be working on the fantasy tabletop IP.  THQ still has th...

Review: Transformers Prime: The Game

Dec 04 // Jim Sterling
Transformers Prime: The Game (Wii, Wii U [reviewed])Developer: NowproPublisher: ActivisionRelease: October 4 (Wii), October 18 (Wii U)MSRP: $39.99 (Wii) $49.99 (Wii U) Transformers Prime is about as basic as a game can get. Its levels typically run between two and four minutes, consisting either of remedial brawling or on-rails vehicular sections. Usually you get about forty to sixty seconds of gameplay buffered by brief and pointless cutscenes, themselves lasting seconds long. The lengthiest stage clocked in at around seven minutes, and only because the final boss' health meter took a long time to drain. The battle itself was as good as won several minutes before then -- watching the health bar reduce was little more than busywork.  Easy, lasting maybe two hours long, Transformers Prime's campaign almost goes out of its way to look, sound, and play like the cheap, disposable cash-in it is. It exists for the sole purpose of making money from fans, and does nothing to hide its intentions. At only a mere 120 minutes, Prime is too long, for as repetitive and slow as it is, a running time of thirty minutes could only improve one's sentiments toward it.  Starring one of several predetermined Autobots, each level consists mostly of simplistic button-mashing combat across a series of tiny, unfurnished arenas. Characters perform uncomplicated attacks consisting of pressing either the A or Y button up to three times in various combinations, and can lock to fire a barrage of weak gunfire with the shoulder buttons, or double tap to charge a slightly stronger blast. An obligatory power meter fills with each attack, allowing a temporary "upgrade" mode which delivers more powerful blows. Due to the lousy targeting, attacks frequently miss, or pass harmlessly through opponents. This doesn't matter, because the game is so easy you'll barely feel pressure to keep up the attack. In fact, some fights can be won simply by locking on and holding the fire button until everything's dead.  [embed]239846:45976[/embed] Every so often, you'll encounter a boss battle against one of the Decepticons, who try to scupper your progress with predictable and repeated attack patterns, or shields that are broken by transforming into a vehicle before performing a melee attack to turn into robot form with a powerful smash. There are also linear vehicular chases which require the GamePad to be tilted left and right in order to avoid sparse obstacles. The motion control is as responsive as the vehicles are fast -- not very. There are many mobile racing games with tighter controls and better paced action, available at a fraction of the price.  Is Transformers Prime for children? Probably. Is it unnecessarily cruel to review it? Perhaps. It did, however, arrive unbidden at my doorstep and so I'm duty bound to do something with it. I don't want to write this review. Do you even want to read it? Like the aforementioned final boss of this game, this review was over as soon as it began, and the droning, monotonous attack simply keeps occurring as a matter of formality. With each word, Transformers Prime's health bar drains, our own remains so full of life that we could only fail if we chose to consciously do so. It's at this point the metaphor falls apart.  There is a multiplayer mode, but before you ask who would waste their time going online with it, don't bother -- not even Activision bothered. The multiplayer mode is local only, pitting two players against each other in mindless brawling battles. A range of both Autobots and Decepticons can be chosen, though their attacks are all randomly imbalanced and the vehicle modes of flying transformers are useless, given how it's impossible to target opponents as a jet. Balance, of course, was not the goal here -- like the game itself, this mode exists for no reason other than its own sake.  Graphically, things look terrible, and I suspect Prime's little more than a sloppily upscaled version of the Wii alternative. It certainly looks like it, with its lack of textures, threadbare environments, and unimpressive animation. Not only is this game a cheap licensed brawler, it's a cheap HD port of a cheap licensed brawler. Now that's some serious respect for the Wii U.  The highest praise one can afford this game is that it's playable. It's not broken, nor is it really that offensive. It's just a condensed exercise in bromidic game design, a brief waste of time squirted out of some mercenary developer's squalid hole. It's not terrible enough to be memorable, not good enough to justify your attention, it's just sat there, a stale dumpling on a dirty plate. I would hope even children are more discerning in their tastes than this, but we cannot know that for sure. All I know is, if your idea of a brilliant joke is hearing a robot say "scrap" instead of "crap" every few minutes, Transformers Prime is for you. Not only does it perform that exact joke with that same regularity, your laughing at it qualifies you as stupid enough to think Prime is worth money. 
Sloptimus Slime
I'll admit, I've struggled to keep up with the Transformers brand since Generation One. I've played the High Moon Studios games, and loved them, but the TV shows have been something of a blur to me -- be it Armada, Animated, ...

Review: Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Nov 20 // Jim Sterling
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Heavy Iron StudiosPublisher: ActivisionRelease: November 20, 2012MSRP: $59.99 If Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse provides one laudable service, it's that it is a nostalgic experience. Remember licensed games from the early 2000s? The ones that provided borderline workable gameplay with visuals that lost something in the transition from 2D cartoon to 3D software? The kind of videogame that regurgitated lines from the show, completely out of context, in the petty hope that we'd remember an old joke and be tricked into thinking it was funny?  Multiverse is exactly that experience. Memories of old Simpsons and South Park games come flooding back in this soporific third-person shooter with substandard cel-shaded graphics that'd look right at home on a PlayStation 2. As Brian states that all he needs now "is a midget with some gin," or as Stewie charmlessly repeats that victory shall be his, it's hard not to feel a little reminiscent glow in the heart. Indeed, this is everything we've come to know and loathe about licensed games, distilled into its purest form.  Any "original" writing found within the game is offensive, and not in the usual Family Guy way. At least on the show, there's a sense the writers were aiming to be funny. Not so in Back to the Multiverse. Nary does a level go by without something being called "gay" or "queer." There's no actual gag to that -- it's just someone calling something gay, and we're meant to laugh. One level set in a world where "it's desirable to be crippled" comes off not as satirical or witty, but as outright spiteful. I love offensive humor, but only if there's "humor" evidenced somewhere in the proceedings. There are no offensive jokes here, there are only offensive comments, coming from a developer that's trying far too hard to emulate McFarlane.  This unfunny dialog is repeated over and over again. If an Amish opponent's banal sex joke doesn't make you smile the first time, you'll be trying to eat your own teeth after you've heard it for the twentieth. Get it, because Amish people don't have sex? No? Get it now? Now? How about now? Over and over again, a tiny selection of character models per level bark the same puerile phrases at you, while the protagonists fire back with out-of-place commentary culled shamelessly from the show.  Gameplay does nothing to make up for the worthless script, either. Played co-op or solo, the campaign puts us in the role of Stewie and Brian as they travel the Multiverse and pursue recurring nemesis Bertram. A sub-standard third-person shooter, our two heroes run from point A to point B, mowing down brainless enemies and occasionally stopping to activate a switch or pursue a short fetch quest. Stewie has access to a range of powerful weapons, such as rocket launchers, laser pistols, and satchel charges, while Brian uses more grounded weaponry including pistols and shotguns. As chapters are cleared, each character can access more guns, but it becomes clear early on that Brian's shotgun is really the only decent weapon in the game. Everything else is either unwieldy or ineffective, while the shotgun's spread and high damage makes up for how terrible the actual combat is to control.  With its floaty physics and imprecise aiming, Multiverse's shambolic combat feels like something dredged up from the N64 era. It's barely even worth aiming due to how erratically enemies run around and how inadequate the weapons are. The only worthwhile tactic is to just take that shotgun and run around in vague circles, blasting the air until the last enemy stops spouting repetitive and unamusing trash. This is more or less how the game is played from beginning to end. Its idea of challenge is to throw more enemies at the player, a tactic mitigated by the fact that dying simply respawns you a few yard back, with no actual penalty. Progress is a matter of attrition, a pointless slog for the few hours it takes to reach its anticlimactic climax.  Special combat items alleviate some of the boredom temporarily. It can be at least mildly amusing to distract enemies with a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man, or summon Ernie the Giant Chicken to combat enemies to the tune of "Surfin' Bird." These may raise a slight smirk once, but only once. If at all.  There's a set of challenge courses that reuse stages from the main game and charge you with special tasks, such as collecting items within a time limit or killing a set number of enemies without slaughtering innocent characters. While the challenges themselves are unremarkable, they do let you use characters other than Brian and Stewie -- all of which seem to be noticeably more fun to use. They all have their own unique weapons that are far more enjoyable to use, such as Lois' salad-spewing kitchen utensils or Quagmire's machine gun. Quite why these superior characters were relegated to a bunch of shallow extra modes is puzzling, because if they were usable in the campaign, it might have made for a better experience.  Multiplayer is also available, but it's local only,  and is really just a series of mundane and trite modes designed to let players run around thoughtlessly shooting each other, just like the rest of the game. It exists more or less for the purpose of allowing Multiverse to say it has multiplayer. In that effort, it at least can be called a success.  Technical issues are naturally in place, to really hammer home how substandard eveything is. The game regularly freezes itself for a few seconds, usually in intervals of two. This can throw the audio out of sync in cutscenes, or screw up your actions as it lags out just when you attempt to input something. As already noted, the visuals are unappealing and dated, especially the poorly compressed cinematics.  Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is crude, archaic, sloppy, and unfunny, but I don't want the show to be blamed for any of it -- not because I wish to defend Family Guy, but because by blaming the show, we let this game get away with being the invidious dross it is. Multiverse deserves is to be judged as feculence on its own merits, singled out to be eviscerated mercilessly, and if we tie it so closely to the property upon which it is based, we allow its burden to be shouldered.  Let Back to the Multiverse drift alone -- naked, ashamed, and floating bereft on a sea of contempt, buoyed not by excuse nor justification. It is not bad because Family Guy is bad, it is bad because it is unfettered, unrepentant swill. 
Seth McFailin'
Reviewing Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is difficult, because if I were to say it's bland, unfunny, and offensive, a large portion of the audience will fire back with, "Just like the show!" Meanwhile, another portion wil...

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