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Hands-on: Rayman Origins

Oct 20 // David Rayfield
2D platformers have seen something of a resurgence in recent years, with one small caveat. Most of the resurgence has been due to downloads. Braid, Super Meat Boy, Outland and even Shadow Complex have made a significant impact on the genre. Rayman Origins, though, will be asking full price when it is released on a disc in November; a change from its initially planned format as an episodic, downloadable title. But this shouldn't worry anyone who has a chance to play the game beforehand. Like a smack to the face, the game is downright gorgeous. Its striking art style of painted colours and vibrant backgrounds look good in screenshots, but to see it in motion on a huge screen is impressive. The controller I picked up belonged to series character Globox (the big blue one) as the couple next to me was controlling Rayman himself and one of the insect 'teenies'.  I learned later that the game moves at 60 frames per second and this came as no surprise. Even with three characters (out of four) playing and a ton of other madcap insanity on screen, Rayman Origins moves so smoothly it's almost not even worth thinking about. It's as if the game has never even heard of the concept of 'framerate issues'. The action itself is pretty familiar to anyone who has played platformers. Running, jumping and using the environment to fight enemies and collect items is pretty standard here. One thing I noticed as we were playing was the obvious similarity to New Super Mario Bros Wii. The frantic multiplayer co-op even places you in a bubble when you die that can only be burst by another player to allow you to continue. Having now played both games, though, I can say the co-op felt a bit over the top in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, whereas here it seems more suited to the gameplay. Using other players to help you get items seems to be more of a focus in Origins, and less emphasis is placed on the frustration of accidentally causing another player's death. Being propelled across the screen via wind ducts and trampolines is only enjoyable due to the game's precise controls. There are so many precarious edges and deadly spikes in the environment that it becomes tense not to die at every turn and if the controls were even a tiny bit less responsive, some frustration would creep in.  I never expected a Rayman game to be this enchanting. A lot of it has to do with how the game looks, but the characters and the overall feel of the game is just so charming it's difficult to put down even in my brief stint with it. When the demo ended, the couple next to me didn't have much to say. They simply nodded and left. As if to say "Yeah, we'll be buying this one". Honestly, as it stands now, I don't blame them.

The Rayman Origins booth at the EB Games Expo on Australia's Gold Coast was an area I thought would be largely ignored. Given the hours people were waiting to play Battlefield 3 or merely watch a section of The Elder Scrolls ...

EB Expo 2011: Mario Kart 7 hands-on

Oct 17 // David Rayfield
One of the main features I've been wanting to see is, of course, the 3D effect. However, I hold off until I get a feel for the controls. As I begin my race in Mario's signature red kart, I first get a sense of the course. The Nintendo rep at the booth tells me that, while it doesn't have a name yet, the track will be in the final game.  A mixture of tropics, sand, and even underwater sections greet me as I use the circle pad to take corners. Almost immediately, I feel completely at ease steering in this manner. It feels smooth and natural while also giving me precise control of my handling. As I experience the speed of the demo, Bowser and Peach both speed past me as I fail to notice the bridge ahead. I'm suddenly underwater, where a section of the track continues. The water makes the kart feel floaty without sacrificing much control over my maneuverability. I turn the 3D slider all the way to max, and the track opens up in a way I did not expect. Platform sections become huge and engrossing, and the surrounding environments envelop the course. I have to be careful, as slight movement of the screen causes the 3D effect to ghost a little, causing me to lose concentration. As I cross the start line, series stalwart Lakitu appears on his cloud, holding up the checkered flag. While only briefly flashing past, both him and his 'Final Lap' sign sit fully formed in the sky in surprisingly amazing three dimensions. The highlight of the demo is certainly the hang gliding section. In addition to being able to now customize your karts with upgrades, a hang glider attachment is now fitted for every racer. It automatically pops out at certain points in the track, and it is great fun. Floating past Peach to gain a third place victory is a fantastic feeling. It is regrettably a short demo, but in the end, I'm honestly shocked. I thought I was done with Mario Kart! I had been playing the series as far back as I can remember, and my interest had started to wane. If this demo of Mario Kart 7 is any indication, I'll be jumping back into it with a great deal of excitement when it is released in December. Every aspect seems effortless and injects new life into a potentially aging franchise. I can't wait to play more!

In the long history of the Mario Kart franchise, fans have been divided on which entry is the best. Many maintain that nothing will ever exceed the sheer fun of the original Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo, while othe...

Preview: NASCAR Unleashed

Oct 10 // Wesley Ruscher
NASCAR Unleashed  (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [Previewed], Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS)Developer: Firebrand GamesPublisher: ActivisionRelease: November 1, 2011 Typically NASCAR games have stayed true to the sport by following the simulation path with real tracks, real drivers, and all the team sponsorships one could handle. Fans of NASCAR shouldn’t fear too much that their beloved pastime has been mangled though with this more lighthearted take on the sport. Fifteen of NASCAR’s most prolific drivers lend their likenesses and cars complete with sponsors in Unleashed. Whether you favor the winner of the last five Sprint Cup Series championships Jimmie Johnson or up-and-comer Joey ‘Sliced Bread” Logano, you will have to save the debate of who’s the best for the tracks as each drivers car handles and performs the same. There is no advantage from whom you pick and even the unlockable upgrades acquired for each ride are merely cosmetic. At it’s heart NASCAR Unleashed is about fast fun-filled racing, that encompasses the soul of NASCAR -- bumping and rubbing -- and the white-knuckle action of turbo boosting and car checking that made the Burnout series what it is today. It doesn’t need to get caught up in the semantics of car specs and customization to be a fully enjoyable racer, which is indicative by the games graphics. The car design feels slightly Pixar-esque and the bright and wild course designs will have fans who were expecting all left turns in for a treat. Without the pressure of having to figure out who was the best driver, I chose what any gamer would drift towards. From the moment the first green flag waved, my Mountain Dew powered car bolted out like a caffeine fulled firecracker off the line. The controls strike a balance somewhere between Burnout and the classic Daytona USA, making powersliding into my first corner as natural as should be. The mechanics behind NASCAR Unleashed are easy to pick up and the constant action that unfolds throughout keeps the racing highly entertaining. The key to winning is aggression and slipstreaming which builds turbo boosts for the all important tactical advantage. Drafting opponents is the safest way to acquire turbo, but the more tenacious will prefer slamming opponents off the track in the attempts to take the checkered flag. Checking the opposition comes with risks though. The rough bumping and rubbing will eventually accumulate damage on both you and your enemies, leading to one’s momentary demise and the release of some slick hazardous oil. Spinning out of control from a wrecked racer is probably the lesser of two evils that comes from the dastardly defense. When the smoke clears the returned racer becomes your rival with desire to even the score. It’s sometime unavoidable to not create a few rivals during a race, with the aggressive nature of the A.I. and the often congested nature of the tracks. NASCAR Unleashed keeps the racing tight throughout do to some rubber banding. While I’m not a fan of this sort of design, I will say it keeps things interesting when you can go from first to last and vice versa all on the final lap. The majority of the racing in NASCAR Unleashed takes place in its Championship mode. The path laid before, while not completely linear -- as it offers order selection and optional side events -- puts racers through six legendary tracks. Daytona International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway are just a few tracks that lay the foundation for some of the game's courses. While six tracks definitely falls on the short side, each available track offers multiple variants to help decrease the repetitiveness. One moment you’re hugging the walls of Talladega, the next you’re drifting through some beach chairs at Daytona.Beyond the excitement of the race, NASCAR Unleashed keeps its virtual drivers busy with a progressive award system. Each race completed earns points that overtime unlock different aesthetic enhancements for each driver and car combo in the game. The higher placed finish, amount of drafting, and rivals created all add the points accumulated at the end of each race. There are also in-race challenges such as smashing a certain amount of road obstacles or completing “x” amount of drifts that further enhance ones score. It’s a nice dynamic that helps keep makes each race a little more than just finishing first. Outside of Championship mode, a time trial and quick race mode can be selected to hone one’s skills on any given track. Seamless two-player support is as well accessible from any one of the race modes allowing heated competition amongst friends without the need to back out into another menu. I got a quick chance to test out the split screen multiplayer -- which unfortunately is the only form of multiplayer across all versions -- and the game played just as fast and smoothly as it did in single-player. The lack of online multiplayer is perhaps my biggest concern for NASCAR Unleashed.  The game will be budgeted at $40, but I’m not quite sure if that is cheap enough. My time was not long enough to pass final judgement on the game, but from what I gathered NASCAR Unleashed may be better served as a PSN and XBLA title. I’ll let the reviewers make the final call, because regardless of price NASCAR Unleashed is a fast and energetic ride that both hardcore and casual fans can like.

I’m no Dale North when it comes to my love of racing games, but that doesn't mean I don't fancy the occasional white-knuckle thrill ride. NASCAR games in the past have tended to be more about bumping and rubbing and making left turns rather than the adrenaline inducing action of say the Burnout series. That changes this fall when NASCAR Unleashed crashes its way onto store shelves.

Preview in a pub: Professor Layton and the Last Specter

Oct 07 // Wesley Ruscher
Professor Layton and the Last Specter (Nintendo DS) Developer: Level-5 Publisher: Nintendo Released: October 17, 2011 As we stared at the first puzzle, scratching our heads, we began to hear other teams in the pub celebrating as they came to its conclusion. The clock was ticking, and we all wondered if Nintendo really did invite us just to make us all feel a little stupid. When the one-minute warning went out, an epiphany hit one of my teammates and jubilation commenced. I've always associated the Layton series with being a more single-player endeavor -- though I do enjoy peering over my girlfriend's shoulder while she's playing in an attempt to outwit her -- but fast and frantically working in a team environment brought a whole new level of enjoyment from this game I had not expected. Thinking back on it, the puzzle was quite simple -- probably the reason it was the first choice -- but it got us all thinking on the same wave length. Seven coins were laid out before us, five showing heads and two showing tails. The challenge was to have an even amount of coins show both heads and tails under the restrictions of only moving and flipping over one coin. If you know the answer already, you're a smarter person than me or any of my teammates, but I won't unravel its simple intricacy here. With the first challenge down, our team was soon on a roll. We took down the next six consecutive puzzles with only a couple of close calls. Professor Layton and the Last Specter still incorporates the assist functions of previous iterations, such as notetaking in the memo and buying hints when in a predicament. For the sake of this contest, we were banned from using the hint option, but to be honest, I don't think it would have helped by the time we hit the hard puzzles. The first of the hard puzzles had us trying to figure out the code to open a locked door. An equation of shapes, representing numbers, held the key to our dilemma. It may have been some of the fine English alcohol we had consumed prior to the puzzle solving, but something told us we were in over our heads here. If you weren't aware, most journalists are only journalists because they are horrible at math. We went on to fail the next two puzzles, one dealing with pattern recognition and the other some simpler shape manipulation. We probably should have figured out the last one, but defeat had reared its ugly little head and our brains were out of gas. Part of the mystery and fascination I have always found with the series has been the clever ways the puzzles integrate with genuinely intriguing narrative. While I can't attest from my hands-on time with the latest that the professor's origin story is as captivating as his later adventures, I do feel confident from the limited puzzles I played that the charming brain-twisting trials seem to be up to par. Professor Layton and the Last Specter promises the most puzzles to grace the series, and if that's not enough, there is also a bonus 100-hour RPG -- complete with Earthbound-esque visuals -- called London Life to keep the most diligent of gamers thoroughly occupied. This may be the fourth and final foray for the Nintendo DS, but for those who've missed out on this spectacular series -- or those 3DS owners still yearning for some quality content -- The Last Specter looks to be the perfect place to become proper with the professor.

When one thinks of great games on the Nintendo DS, it is hard not to think about any one of the Professor Layton games. Level-5's brilliantly charming and whimsical puzzle-solving adventure series is all but synonymous...


Tanooki tails are all the rage in Super Mario 3D Land

Oct 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Super Mario 3D Land is a hybrid sort of affair that has beautifully merged the gameplay style of a 3D Mario game into the style of an old school Mario-like adventure. The levels are open, open enough to make it see...

Preview: The Adventures of Tintin: The Game

Oct 01 // Lori Navarro
  The Adventures of Tintin: The Game (PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, DS, 3DS, Xbox 360 [Previewed])Developer: UbisoftPublisher: Ubisoft MontrealRelease: December 2011     As for the game itself, there are three modes: the story mode, the co-op mode and the challenge mode. We were able to view four of the mini-games from the story mode that involved typical Tintin adventures -- swordfighting with pirates, shooting from a running vehicle and maneuvering an aircraft.     The swordfighting was more fun than I imagined. From the third-person perspective of Tintin, you get into a tussle with a crew of pirates. With the power of Kinect, you can do two basic moves against them -- slashing and parrying. By slashing, you wave your arm around like the Star Wars kid, only this time you are given the impression that you are actually hitting people. When parrying blows, there would be cues on the screen when to hold up your hand to block.    At one point, the pirates would be shooting cannonballs at you so you have to swing them back at the pirates at the appropriate time. Other pirates would be better protected so you also have to time your strikes whenever they have their shields down.  So yes, the movements were guided, which probably made the game pretty easy once you got the hang of the movements. But it was just so fun, and the visuals and musical scoring really captured the spirit of a swashbuckling adventure.   The next adventure has Tintin driving a bike with Captain Haddock or shooting from the passenger seat, depending on which mode you choose. Hand movements guide the direction of the vehicle and likewise help you aim and shoot at the targets.  In the aerial flight simulation, you have to pretend to fly the plane through hoops in the sky. This is part of Tintin’s mission to take aerial photographs from exotic locales around the world. The Adventures of Tintin: The Game seems to me like something that can be enjoyed by the young ‘uns but also fans old and new alike. Its fantastical elements breathe new life into longtime fans’ nostalgia while incorporating a little bit everything in its storyline to use the breadth of the Kinect technology.

When I got the chance to demo The Adventures of Tintin: The Game, the first question I asked is if Snowy is a playable character. If you’ve watched the cartoons or read the comics, you probably know that Snowy is a...

TGS: The good and the bad of MGS: Snake Eater 3DS

Sep 16 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
I'm happy to say that the 3D visual effects are good. I mean really good. I am so sick of 3D at this point but I have to say I was impressed considering I've hated most 3D visuals that the 3DS has attempted thus far. It helps that the overall game itself looks extremely good on the handheld. Some of the best graphics to grace the system so far in my opinion.  The bad part of the 3D effects come into play when you have to look at the bottom screen. I felt like I was getting cross-eyed when I would go to from top screen to bottom screen each time I needed to access the menus, equipment and other items. All the HUD content is at least on the bottom screen leaving for an unobstructed view on the top screen. Controls, while not horrible, also suffer a bit from the lack of a second analog nub. Sure, you can get the most amazing accessory ever invented to go twin stick, unless of course you're one of those people that would rather eat railroad spikes than pay $15-ish dollars for something that should have been on the 3DS from the start (don't even get me started on the need for batteries for that thing.) So anyway, you'll use the four face buttons to move the camera around, which if you've ever done that on any DS or PSP game before, then you know how much it slows down every aspect of a game whenever attempting anything. I kept over-correcting myself every time I moved the camera around Snake, for example. Snake Eater will also make use of gyro controls for some sections (like moving the system right and left to tightrope walk over a rope bridge.) Then you have the photo-camouflage mode where you can use the 3DS camera to take a picture of anything and apply it as your camouflage. Above you can see my camouflage for Snake, which is based on my arm. I was hoping for tan and black strips (Note: I'm really hairy) but it seems the photo-camouflage feature is limited to just one primary color. Also note that you have to stop the game and access the 3DS camera app in order to get new pictures. Otherwise you can simply access whatever is in your library already within the game to change camo colors. So that's Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D in a nutshell. Never have I seen such a conflicting situation when it comes to videogames. It's good on the 3DS, but you know you're going to have a much better time on the HD console ports.

You know what had me the most excited for the 3DS when it was first announced? Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. I skipped the game the first time around and was looking forward to eating snakes and stuff in 3D. Then the Met...


TGS: Hands-on with Tekken 3D Prime Edition for 3DS

Sep 14
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tekken! It's coming to the 3DS as well and holy crap it looks gorgeous, even in 3D! All the action on the top screen for Tekken 3D Prime Edition is done in 60 frames per second so the action looks very fluid and crisp. A...

Aliens: Infestation is Metroid with Xenomorphs OH GOD!

Aug 30 // Jim Sterling
As if my hyperbole wasn't enough of a clue, Infestation plays like a sidescrolling shooter with a variety of large, open maps designed for exploration. Like all good "Metroidvania" games, there are plenty of closed-off areas that require special tools found later in the game, encouraging backtracking. Such areas include elavators that require keycards and gooey blockages that need to be burned away with flamethrowers.  The game starts with four playable Marines, each with their own personalities, and up to nineteen are encountered and collected throughout the game. When one Marine dies, another takes his or her place, and trust me, they can die. In fact, they can even fall prey to a Facehugger, becoming impregnated and eventually giving "birth" to a Xenomorph. Marines taken down by Alien Warriors will be dragged to a nest, and players have a limited amount of time to stage a rescue, lest they too become unwilling mothers.  As far as combat goes, this is a brutal game with little room for forgiveness. Aliens are more than happy to burst from floors, skitter on ceilings, and relentlessly pursue fleeing players. Xenomorphs hate standing still, and will dash across floors, sometimes even performing their own little feints to confuse players. Every Alien is a threat, and players need some nerve to take them down.  Players get access to the obligatory Pulse Rifle and a pistol. Holding the left shoulder button makes a Marine hold its ground so directional fire can be utilized -- crucial to tackling ceiling-loving Aliens. More weapons can be unlocked, along with grenades and other unique tools.  As well as standard exploration and combat, there will be Power Loader combat and sections where you're firing from a speeding vehicle. The demo also included a particularly challenging battle against an Alien Queen, in which I had to fend off multiple Facehuggers while throwing explosives in the bitch's head. She took down three of my Marines before she amusingly fell face-first to the ground.   I absolutely loved what I got to play of the game and I'm very much looking forward to playing more. The beautiful sprite-based animations, comic-book personality, surprising atmosphere and panic-inducing challenge sets the scene for what might be one of the best Aliens games ever made. I can't wait to get my hands on more!

SEGA's booth was fairly lavish this year, with huge signs, flashy lights, ladies dressed like Colonial Marines, and ... one fairly quiet man, wandering around with a DS. He was completely nondescript, fairly easy to miss, and...

Hands-on with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2

Aug 03 // Robert Fooks
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (DS)Developer: TOSE Publisher: Square Enix (Japan) / Nintendo (US, Euro) To be released: March 31, 2011 (Japan) / September 19, 2011 (US) / October 7, 2011 (EU) The first thing new players will notice is the host of new and improved fully 3D graphics and effects which outshine the visual experience of the original Dragon Quest Monsters Joker in nearly every way imaginable. After taking in the graphics, I got some hands-on time with the head-to-head local multiplayer tournament portion of DQMJ2. After receiving a brief overview of its features, I felt confident in my ability to choose a competent line up of monsters. Naturally, I made a team which rivaled the 2008 Detroit Lion's considerable ability to defy the laws of chance. I was soon competing for victory with my first, and equally under informed, foe in a similar fashion as two Tee Ball teams might “compete for victory.” After a short battle, I found myself basking in the sweet, sultry essence of victory. That was simply the rise before the fall. The final battle saw me crash and burn, earning myself about as much glory as Battlefield Earth earned money. Wi-Fi and local multiplayer is supported by DQMJ2 in several formats and all three regional versions (US, Japan and Europe) are compatible with each other when utilizing the Wi-Fi features. Players can engage in “Tag Mode” which will exchange the monster party data of two players, allowing both individuals to fight each other’s parties without the player's input. Owners of Dragon Quest IX may also engage in tag mode with the new game. For those of you who would rather get together with some friends and flip open a couple of DSs, head-to-head and eight person tournament modes are available locally. One-on-one Wi-Fi battles is also included in the game's already impressive suite of multiplayer functionality and players may choose to have opponents selected for them at random or they may even challenge those on their friends list.  Such small scale competition may sate the thirst for dominance of some, but for the truly competitive at heart, the Wi-Fi tournament will be your bread and butter. The Wi-Fi tournament, held every week, will see players all across the country duking it out for points as they fight for the honor of being “that guy.” Prizes for winning the tournament range from rare monsters to access to items which will help give you the upper hand in your future Dragon Quest endeavors. Just in case you require proof of your exploits, a leaderboard, hosted by, will be available should the need arise to validate your gaming prowess. Combat was sufficiently streamlined and quite intuitive to my beginner’s eye. Even though I lacked a great deal of experience with the games platform and genre, the controls felt natural and after a single round of multiplayer I would say I could demonstrate a competent grasp of the combat mechanics. DQMJ2 allows players to exercise varying levels of control over their minions during combat such as letting the computer handle the decision making for them. Control freaks may also plan out their own intricately woven assaults, forcing their foes to weather their wit as well as their brawn. Different physical attacks and spells are available for use depending on the monster you use. Provided the user is familiar with the effects of their available magic, knowing ones opponent can go a long way towards winning as certain elemental attacks will have varying consequences when used on different monsters. Monsters come in three sizes; small, medium and large. Having personally witnessed a medium sized monster fill most of the screen, I can only imagine the large ones are comparable to battleships with legs. The size of your monster will also determine how many monsters you can have on a battlefield. So you can either have three small monsters, one small and one medium monster or just one giant monster up against your opponent. Players will be able to easily swap to different monsters right from the item menu too. Through a process of Synthesis, players may attempt to combine monsters with the goal of creating a new and unique creature which will hopefully dispense win while pwning in your name. This system of combining and creating monsters seems promising as the game boasts over 240 unique skill trees which can be “bred” into your new monsters. Finding the right monsters to mix and match might not be as easy as it first seems though. As in previous installments of the Dragon Quest series, a full day/night cycle will determine which monsters are roaming the wild at any given time. If one wishes to scout the perfect pair of monsters for their next synthesized creation, they just might have to explore the island in every condition possible. The game’s single-player storyline, though nothing to get overly excited about, succeeds in providing context to the events of the game. As players advance through the single-player story, they must rescue missing people by exploring and defeating boss monsters of epic proportions. To put it simply, a child who wishes nothing more than to be a Monster Scout, has stowed away on a massive airship destined for the World Monster Championship. Under mysterious circumstances, the ship, passengers and all, becomes marooned on a feral island inhabited by the very monsters he wishes to scout. With little more than able feet and a thirst for the destiny he so desires, the child ventures forth from the relative harborage of the airship’s mangled husk in search of adventure. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 is a fun and charming game that anyone will be able to pick up easily. Dragon Quest fans will definitely enjoy the latest DS offering and it's just nice to see there's still some good support left on Nintendo's non-3D handheld.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (DQMJ2) is the upcoming monster hunting role-playing game for the DS. The player assumes the role of a child who quite possibly aspires to follow in the footsteps of Michael Vick as he captures...

Renegade Kid bringing ATV Wild Ride to the 3DS

Jul 29 // Nick Chester
[embed]207394:40045[/embed] With its follow up, Renegade Kid hopes to inject the ATV Wild Ride with a shot of adrenaline, bringing it up to par with console experiences. Renegade Kid is promising twice as much content as the original: 12 exotic locales, six of them new to the series; 48 tracks, half of them built specifically for ATV Wild Ride 3D. All of the tracks have been enhanced in ways that will take advantage of the 3D graphical capabilities of the 3DS, as well. This means that the classic tracks fans of the original already know and love will look better and play smoother than ever. "The 3DS is very powerful," Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham tells me, "which means more detailed environments with bigger vistas, and a bevy of cool visual effects such as shadow maps, particles, specular highlights, mipmaps, and the nifty stereoscopic 3D effect, of course. "In a nutshell, our original vision of the game can truly be realized on the 3DS." Renegade Kid also listened to feedback from critics and gamers on the original title, most of which Watsham says were positive. With the core gameplay already tight, the developer is focusing more on adding even more airborne tricks and track diversity, including more "dramatic elevation changes." The developer is also expanding the benefits of the game's trick system as well, with something it's calling "Wild Ride" mode. Successfully performing three difficult tricks in a row will cause you to enter "Wild Ride" mode, which Watsham likens to NBA Jam's "On Fire." In this mode, you'll be locked into a super speed, Nitro-style boost for a limited amount of time, which should encourage players to try out riskier tricks. ATV Wild Ride 3D is also getting an oft-requested feature that was absent in the original: online play, in addition to local, for up to four players. As of right now, Renegade Kid doesn't have a publisher for the title, which made diving into development headfirst a bit of a risk. "Yes, starting the development of a game without funding is a little risky," Watsham admits. "But this is how we started Renegade Kid." "Dementium started without the aid of a publisher," he recalls of the the first-person survival horror/action title for the DS. "In fact, the DS version of ATV Wild Ride also started this way. We created a playable demo of the game and shopped it around." The key is believing in the product, he says, knowing they have something special players want. "We believe we're creating something that offers a fun and unique gameplay experience for the 3DS," he says, "so we keep the faith that publishers will think so too." Another Renegade Kid title, Mutant Mudds, is being self-published on Nintendo's 3DS eShop. While it's possible that the racer could end up on the eShop, the project's scope means a developer will be needed to see it to completion. "We're a small studio and have limited funds," Watsham explains. "We need to find a publishing partner to complete the development of ATV Wild Ride 3D, whether it's release on eShop or at retail." We'll have more on ATV Wild Ride 3D as Renegade Kid moves through development. Given how solid the original title was, fans of extreme racing and kicking up dirt may have a solid reason to pick up a 3DS when the title's complete. Follow the latest updates on the official ATV Wild Ride 3D website.

Renegade Kid's Destineer-published Nintendo DS title, ATV Wild Ride, hit the market at an odd time earlier this year. With the Nintendo 3DS just ready to launch and promising more everything than the current handheld, the sol...

So many Kirbys! Kirby Mass Attack preview

Jul 14 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]203224:39139[/embed] Kirby Mass Attack (DS)Developer: HAL LaboratoryPublisher: NintendoTo be released: September 19 This time around you need to use your little Kirby army to get through the game, as opposed to the traditional consuming of your enemy's abilities. You start off with one Kirby and must collect fruit to fill up a meter to get more Kirbys. You can get up to ten, after which you'll just continue to accumulate points for collecting fruits. Having multiple Kirbys will be key in order to progress, as there are numerous obstacles and paths that can only be accessed by a certain amount of the pink heroes. Certain obstacles, like giant plants for example, can only be pulled down if you have a few Kirbys latched on. Levels themselves need a minimum amount of Kirbys before you can enter them too, such as the boss stage that requires all ten Kirbys. There will be plenty of replayability too as you go to levels multiple times in order to collect goodies you missed the first go-around like special coins due to lack of Kirbys. Other than that, you can proceed to any level on a map in any order you want, so long as you have the right number of Kirbys. Even though you have a little army, the controls are simple enough so that all the Kirbys respond together. You just tap or hold on the touch screen to move your Kirbys forward. To attack, you tap on an enemy and watch your Kirbys swarm over their target. By doing a flicking motion with the stylus, you can fling your Kirbys at enemies or blocks. You'll also be able to guide your Kirbys by drawing a path, like in Kirby: Canvas Curse. By holding down the stylus on the touch screen, all the Kirbys will clamor around the point you're touching. They'll then follow the path you trace until you've hit the line's length limit. When a Kirby gets hurt, it'll turn blue. If it gets hurt again, it turns into an angel and drifts away. Angel Kirbys can be saved by flicking another Kirby to pull them back down. If the angel escapes though, you can just repeat the whole fruit-collecting thing to bring it one back -- there's plenty of fruit to spare. There's also a healing loop located at the mid-point of each level to heal blue Kirbys. That's basically the gist of it. It's an odd-sounding concept, but just watch the trailer above to get a basic sense of it all. Despite the weird premise, Kirby Mass Attack was plenty of fun. Controls were simple and intuitive, and you're a horrible, inhuman filth monster if you don't like Kirby!

Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby Kirby! Yes, I'm excited for a new Kirby game, but the reason I just repeated the pink little suckball's name is because that's exactly how many Kirbys you'll be controlling in Kirby Mass Attack. An evil villain has split Kirby up into ten pieces, and you need to find a way to put Kirby back together as one.

The next Harry Potter has a very Gears of War feel

Jul 11 // John Speerbrecker
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, PC)Developer: EA Bright LightPublisher: Electronic ArtsTo be released: July 12, 2011 There are quite a few other similarities between this game and Gears of War. For example, in Harry Potter, you lead a team of grizzled high school veterans against hordes of Death Eaters. In Gears, you lead a team of grizzly military types against evil aliens. Your lead character in Harry Potter has a scar on his face as does Marcus Phoenix of Gears. They both like making big explosions and running around with their friends blowing stuff up too.  The team says that they have addressed what the fans were asking for from the previous version of Deathly Hallows, such as being able to play as other characters in the story. During the demonstration,  Professor McGonagall was used to fight off one of the giant bosses in the game. They also simplified the control scheme. Each spell in Harry's arsenal is mapped to a button on the controller and you simply pull the R trigger on the controller to cast whichever spell is equipped. There is quite a bit of strategy in the way that you will have to defeat your enemies. Certain spells are just for defeating your enemy's shields and other spells are for dealing damage. You will have to find the right method of knowing which spell is going to be needed to take out the bad guys. Later in the game, you will also get the Apparate spell which will allow Harry to teleport to nearby cover in case of a surprise attack which seemed to happen often. This game is a great starting point for kids whose parents will not let them have the Gears experience or if they are just Harry Potter fans in general. Either way, it is definitely a game that can be enjoyed by all. If you really want to spoil this game, there is a movie that will be coming out on Friday based on the exact same story. You should watch it. It's a big deal, apparently. 

During the EA Summer showcase, the newest entry to the Harry Potter videogame series was available to check out just before it becomes available this Tuesday. In this final chapter of the story, you must save the world and yo...

E3: Jimpressions of Shinobi 3DS

Jun 12 // Jim Sterling
Shinobi 3DS does a terrific job of bringing back the old school feeling of the Shinobi series, where methodical progress and well-timed movements are key to victory. The most important move is the Parry, which will be needed to fend off the attacks of enemies. Failure to master the parry command will result in death.  Like the old games, opposing Ninja will duck and jump while tossing knives at you. Your Parry only defends for a second, so you'll need to time your movements with the enemy perfectly before unleashing your own attacks. This consideration of enemy movement, and knowing when to parry, move and attack, leads to a game that more modern players may not appreciate due to its slower pace. Shinobi fans will feel right at home, though.  Shinobi 3DS is definitely more forgiving than its Genesis ancestors. The player can absorb a lot more damage before facing death, and health items are a bit more liberally spread than before. Nevertheless, the game still puts up a good fight, especially with some of the tricky environmental navigation. Spikes and pitfalls continually threaten the player's life, and you'll need some quick reflexes to utilize the grappling hook, wall-jump and avoid all manner of traps.  For the most part, the controls worked well enough, but I did find a few commands sluggish, especially the wall-jumping. The protagonist could do with being a little more responsive, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker.  Graphically, the game is certainly not the best looking on the 3DS, but it's got a really excellent use of color and a stylized, cartoon-like appearance that I found quite endearing. The game's magic attacks are especially impressive, and really pop out at you with the 3D slider on. The minimalist approach to visuals won't impress everybody, but I think it helps make the game look pretty unique. I found Shinobi 3DS' demo pretty enjoyable. It wasn't a stunning revelation but it was a fun sidescroller with a very welcome respect for the series' eighties/nineties roots. It throws up familiar enemies, a cool horse-riding section, and the kind of thoughtful action gaming that we haven't seen since ... well, since Shinobi's heyday, I suppose.  So yeah, I guess I liked it!

My love for Shinobi is palpable. I had one of those six-in-one Genesis cartridges as a kid, and The Revenge of Shinobi was one of the most played titles on the collection. I was never a big fan of the series' move to 3D last ...

Preview: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean 3DS

Apr 06 // Max Scoville
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, DS, PC, 3DS [Developer: Traveller's TalesPublisher: Disney InteractiveTo Be Released: May 10th, 2011  In terms of gaming, the LEGO franchise has come a very long way. Early releases like LEGO Island and LEGO Racer came out during my “I’m too old for that” years. This was coincidentally right around the same time that LEGO started releasing their first licensed Star Wars sets, which I definitely didn’t consider myself too old for. LEGO Star Wars was the first licensed LEGO game, and it was followed closely by other successful properties like Batman, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter. My experience with these titles hasn’t consisted of much more than idly fiddling with them at friends’ houses or Best Buy demo kiosks. I thought the games were cute, but never gave them my full attention. To get completely off-topic for a second, here's a little anecdote for you: When I was a kid, I had a ridiculous LEGO collection, and my next door neighbor had more Super Nintendo games than anyone I knew. He’d always come to my house and play with my toys, and when I was over at his house, all I wanted to do was play SNES. Somehow, I wound up writing about video games and he’s got a job doing illustration and design-related work for LEGO. Go figure. I was on the phone with him last year, and he accidentally mentioned some Pirates of the Caribbean project he’d been working on. This was top secret news at the time, so I promised to keep it to myself. I never got too excited about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. First one was fun, but I didn’t have a fanboy panic attack over the sequels. As a property to get LEGOficated, though, Pirates totally works. The old LEGO pirate toys were responsible for some of my most un-traumatic childhood memories. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean? Yeah, I can get behind that, even if it's a movie tie-in. Traveller’s Tales games has gotten the LEGO adventure games down to a science at this point. They’ve done three Star Wars games, two Indiana Jones, Batman, and Harry Potter. If you aren’t familiar with the style of gameplay used in these titles, it’s pretty simple.  Players control LEGO minifigure versions of familiar characters like Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter, and play through adorable and cartoony LEGO adaptations of scenes from the characters’ respective movies/stories. A lot of the gameplay is puzzle-based, and relies on building stuff out of the LEGO bricks in the environment. There are also plenty of LEGO battles, which are hilarious and adorable, since there’s nothing upsetting about watching LEGO people get dismembered. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean adapts the three existing films, and this summer's addition On Stranger Tides. There are four levels from each movie (five in the Xbox 360 version of the game.) I had a chance to play the last couple levels of At World’s End, the third movie in the series. Conveniently, I’ve seen the first two movies, but turned the third one off halfway through. I can’t vouch for how accurately the levels I played reflect their corresponding scenes in the film.  The first level I played took place on a pirate ship in the middle of a whirlpool, and focused on solving puzzles. I was making a little LEGO Will Turner run around and gather objects hidden on the ship in order to perform a Voodoo offering that would make sea-witch Calypso grow really big. Pirates of the Caribbean fans will make more sense out of this scenario than I did, hopefully. Everything in the world that’s made of LEGO pieces can be interacted with. This means firing cannons, turning cranks, smashing crates. Little bricks flying everywhere. One puzzle involved using Will’s sword as lever to open a hatch. Inside the hatch was a gear, which I then placed on one of three small posts. In video game puzzle logic, there are two more gears to find, which can then attached to posts. Cranks get turned and a platform appears with a cannon on it, which Will can use to fire himself into the ship’s rigging to continue the Voodoo scavenger hunt. One of the main features of these LEGO games is being able to play as a variety of characters with different abilities. If you count alternate outfits, there are over a hundred different playable characters in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean on the 3DS, and some of the puzzles can only be solved by a specific character. In the level I played, I needed Elizabeth Turner’s grappling hook ability to access certain areas. Switching from Will Turner to her was just a matter of tapping her icon on the bottom screen. After the puzzle stage is over, a bunch of enemies showed up, and adorable LEGO violence ensued. Some of the stronger enemies can’t be killed with basic melee attacks or gunfire, so you’ll be forced to duel with them. This is done through fairly simple quick time events. Each duel started with tapping B fast enough to fill up this sort of duel-meter, and then matching button combinations shown on screen to block the enemy's attacks. After I fought all the monster pirate guys on the ship’s deck, Davy Jones appeared. I guess he’s a boss, but fighting him didn’t feel like any kind of epic, important challenge. It was just a matter of following him around the ship and beating him at several duels. If for some reason it wasn’t abundantly clear, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is aimed at kids, so you really can’t blame parts of it for being easy or simple. It's funny and endearing, which is more than can be said for most children I know. What’s extremely amusing is watching a cut scene where a LEGO guy gets impaled with a sword. It’s cute because it’d actually be really gruesome in real life. As far as the 3D effect on the 3DS goes, I thought it looked good. Not distracting, but also not half-assedly underwhelming. Coming from me, that’s pretty high praise, because I generally think 3D looks dumb. I’m not gonna lie, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is really neat. Sitting down and playing it made me want to break out my old LEGO pirate sets. As far as the gameplay goes, I was amused, and I think I might have to go back and check out some of the other LEGO games that don’t involve Orlando Bloom. LEGO minifigure or not, I'm still not a fan.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave on the moon with your fingers in your ears, you’re probably aware that LEGO has had a consistent presence in the video game world for the last decade. As someone who grew up pla...


PAX East is over, which makes me sad. Thankfully, the show went out on a good note, at least for me. The last game I got to play at the show was Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D. If you've been following a long, you'll know that...

Preview: Rango

Feb 16 // Nick Chester
Rango (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS)Publisher: Paramount Digital EntertainmentDeveloper: Behaviour InteractiveRelease date: March 1, 2011 Rango tells the tale of a pet chameleon, one who believes himself destined to be a hero. He gets his chance when he’s thrust into the role of the sheriff of the miniature Old West town of Dirt. That’s where Behaviour Interactive picks things up, with players as Rango exploring areas beyond what the film will have to offer when it hits theaters on March 4. From a game mechanics perspective, Rango doesn’t seem to break any new ground, owing quite a bit to Insomniac’s popular Ratchet & Clank series. It’s all about shooting, platforming, brawling, and -- yes, I’m going to harp on it -- hopping on the back of a bat to take flight. Controls draw inspiration from the third-person action titles that came before it, locking on targets with the left trigger, firing off rounds with the right as you strafe back and forth to avoid crowds of gun-toting lizards in cowboy hats. Rango can also get in the faces of his enemies with powerful melee attacks, stringing together combos for multiplier bonuses, even rolling into them before landing a powerful uppercut. It’s not all about aggressive action, as Rango also mixes in light platforming elements, and puzzles. In one of the games areas, I hopped on a rail with the Y button, grinding down a roller coaster-like maze of pipes. Jumping over and dodging obstacles, I eventually jumped up to grab a string of festive Halloween pumpkin lights as I continued on my way. Taking even more cues from Ratchet & Clank, everything you destroy -- be it enemies, barrels, or boxes -- explodes into a satisfying blast of collectible sheriff’s stars. Rango can redeem these stars at locations across the game’s levels to upgrade abilities; picture Resident Evil 4’s merchant, but only as a lizard wearing a trench coat and a fedora. Rango also contains a surprising amount of variety in terms of locations and set pieces. In addition to the expected Old West desert towns, I explored an alien space craft and stepped into a warp zone that zapped me into the 8-bit world of a dusty, abandoned arcade machine in the level “Nowhere & Back.” “I’m in 8-bit hell!” shouts Rango, as he’s transported to a 3D Dot Game Heroes-style world made up of orange and yellow blocks. Even the game’s enemies take on a 3D, almost Minecraft-like appearance, made up of various blocks and bits. The music here -- scored by Han Zimmer’s own composition team -- is also a highlight, an odd mixture of sounds that can best be described as Ennio Morricone meets chiptunes. Rango’s not entirely about shooting and jumping, although that’s definitely its core -- variety also spills over into gameplay. During one level, “Zombie Invasion,” I was tasked with holding back a horde of zombie lizards as they pile on top of one another to tear down a metal fence. Using a golf club and my trust A button, I made Rango send an exploding bug into the air, doing damage to the ravenous crowd. And let’s not forget about flight -- all three levels ended with Space Harrier-style flight sections, including one on top of the much ballyhooed bat, and one (quite inexplicably) on a flying goldfish. Developer Behaviour Interactive also got a helping hand in the visual department from Hollywood visual effects studio wizards, Industrial Light and Magic. It shows, too -- getting assets from ILM keeps the game consistent with what I’ve seen in trailers for the film, and looks sharp and smooth in action on your television screen. Games based on films get a bad rap, and games based on animated films have it even worse. Fortunately, the current trend in the industry seems to be leaning towards developers and publishers giving these titles more care and attention. Rango The Videogame looks to continue that movement, and being able to ride a bat is really just the icing on the cake. Rango The Videogame is out March 1 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and Wii; the Xbox 360 version of the game was played for this preview. Bats.

It probably won’t make it to the back of the game's box, but you get to fly on the back of a bat in Rango: The Videogame. Yes, Behaviour Interactive’s upcoming title based on the animated Gore Verbinski film will ...

Hands-on: DualPenSports for the 3DS

Feb 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
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DualPenSports is made up seven sport mini-games which are soccer, boxing, archery, basketball, baseball, skiiing and power gliding. The key difference with this game from other sport game collections is that you'll need to u...

Pac-Man & Galaga 3DS is better with the 3D off

Feb 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions (3DS)Developer: Namco Bandai GamesPublisher: Namco Bandai GamesTo be released: 2011 First let's talk about Pac-Man Tilt, which doesn't even have a 3D feature but for good reasons. You play as Pac-Man (duh) as you run through various levels. In order to reach certain areas in the level, you'll need to tilt the entire 3DS left or right in order to gain moment for Pac-Man or the platform he's standing on to get through obstacles. So you can see why 3D would be a problem. I've never been a fan of any Pac-Man game that sees him with arms and legs (Pac-Man World, anyone?) and this one was no different. Doesn't help that I've never liked accelerometer controlled games. Oddly though, I did enjoy Galaga Dimensions so long as I turned the 3D off. The game is a 3D first-person shooter much like Star Wars Arcade or the end credits in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Waves of alien insects come at you and you have to kill them all with either your lasers or missiles.  Sounds like a good concept until you realize that the controls require that you have to move your entire upper body, not just the 3DS, in order to look around. It's kind of insane how you have to control the game and I would never want to play it in a public setting because of it. It's because of these controls that I can't stand the 3D for it either. I felt like I going cross-eyed just because of it in fact. For you Galaga die-hards out there, I made sure to ask if they included the two spaceship trick where you let the alien ship capture one of your ships and then recover it on the next life. Sadly, they aren't including it. Not that you really need it as you have rapid fire lasers, but it would have been a nice throwback for nostalgia.

Galaga is turning 30 years old this year and to celebrate, Namco Bandai is putting out Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions for the 3DS. Pac-Man Tilt is a sidescrolling platformer while Galaga 3D Impact is a first-person 3D space shooter. Probably the last thing you were expecting for both those games, right? Well here's something else I wasn't expecting: I hated the 3D effect for Galaga 3D Impact.

To those of you that asked about Radiant Historia

Jan 10 // Dale North
Radiant Historia has you traveling back and forth through time to fix history. You'll live through many situations twice, but they'll ultimately unfold in totally different ways. You've been wanting a non-linear RPG? Well, this one is all over the place, but in the best way. You'll have access to a branching tree of multiple paths of history that you can revisit and change. This makes for a huge and entertaining game that beats the crap out of the standard save the kingdom story. The battle system is also really fun. There's no random encounters (yay!), but you wouldn't mind them with the game's puzzle-ish grid battle system. Enemies will apear on a 3x3 grid, and you'll eventually learn battle techniques that let you push them around, group them, and eventually attack them all at once. The top screen of your DS shows the battle timeline, and you'll eventually gain the power to alter that timeline, letting you smack the crap out of enemies with 10 attacks in a row. The best word I have for the battle system is satisfying.  I could go on, but I don't have time. Know this about Radiant Historia: Huge game, neat story, fun battles, wonderful art, great music. So, for those that asked? Yes, it's a buy. Go reserve it, actually. You'll want the package that comes with Yoko Shimomura's soundtrack CD. Atlus will be releasing Radiant Historia on February 22; look for my review soon.

First off, I really love that I'm Destructoid's go-to guy for details on upcoming JRPGs. People have contacted me via AIM, Twitter, Facebook, private message and email in the past asking for early verdicts on upcoming games. ...

Preview: Monster Tale

Jan 04 // Colette Bennett
The first thing I noticed about Monster Tale -- and the thing that you likely won't be able to help noticing either -- is that it feels so much like playing something on your Super Nintendo, it's not even funny. For that alone, I love Majesco for this. Not everything retro-flavored is good ... but if it's done right, it can be wonderful. When Monster Tale opens, you'll meet Ellie, the blue-haired girl you are going to play. Ellie finds herself in a mysterious world with an adorable creature named Chomp who follows her around and just so happens to be willing to assist her during battle. This is where your adventure begins ... and while it's not exactly a unique premise, it does give the developers the opportunity to put some really fun game mechanics into play. The second thing you are going to notice about Monster Tale right off the bat is that its map system works like Castlevania's does in the more recent DS titles. By no means is this a bad thing, either. After Chomp's introduction, you'll be gently eased into the ways he can be used. I especially appreciated the speed at which we are introduced to new mechanics here -- it does a wonderful job of explaining without making the user feel talked down to or left in the dark. As shown in the screenshot above, both screens are cleverly implemented by dedicating the bottom screen to something called Chomp's "Pet Sanctuary". The little critter can swoop down there to regain health, eat powerups you find ("pet items"), and learn new skills by reading scrolls. It keeps you busy and dices up the sidescrolling part of the adventure, but never feels like a chore. Monster Tale also manages to pull off another challenging feat in being cute without being annoyingly so. It is not as difficult as the sidescrollers it seems to be inspired by, but remains challenging enough to be worth playing. As Chomp develops, you can carefully customize him by using the money you find on weapons, powerups and more, so his performance is really what you make it. You'll want to choose wisely too, because there are lots of epic bosses coming that you'll need to be ready for! Monster Tale comes out this March for the Nintendo DS and will retail for $29.99. If you want some quality gaming time reliving the joy of your 16 bit days, you just might to check this one out!

Sure, the DS is choked with cute platformers -- we all already know that. Still, when I hear that a game is coming our way that not appeal to my retro sensibilities, but also is being headed up by the same folks who took the ...

Preview: ATV Wild Ride

Dec 15 // Nick Chester
Like a lot of gamers, Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham played Black Rock Studio’s 2008 stunt racer Pure and had the time of his life. But as a fan of handheld gaming, he wondered: “Why is there nothing like this on the Nintendo DS?” Sure, there are a few other ATV/MX racers on the market, but there was a slight problem -- none of them are very good. Unlike most gamers, Jools was in a position to do something about it, and the result is ATV Wild Ride, scheduled to hit retail early next year. At its heart, ATV Wild Ride is about two things -- going really fast and wild stunts. From what I’ve played, Renegade Kid has justified both bullet points, with a speedy game that runs at a smooth 60 frames per second and a nice batch of insane “oh no he didn’t!” tricks. Renegade Kid offers two control styles for the game, and surprisingly I found the default setting to be the least comfortable. “Type 1” maps the gas and, brakes, and boost to the handheld’s face buttons, with a combination of L/R and the direction pad to pull off various tricks. I personally found this scheme uncomfortable, so finding the second scheme hiding in the menus -- which maps the tricks to the face buttons, and the brake/gas to L and R respectively -- completely changed how the game felt. Your mileage may vary, but I'd suggest trying both out early on before you get to some of the game's more difficult races. Of the tracks I played (which was most of them), all seem designed with both speed and tricks in mind, with plenty of opportunities to nail jumps. By pulling down on the d-pad, you can “pre-load” a jump; pressing up as you reach the apex of a hill will get you the most air. Once soaring through the sky, you’ll be able to pull of three levels of tricks -- A, B, and C -- the difficulty of which will depend on your boost pay off. These are the kinds of over-the-top stunts you’d expect from a game called Wild Ride, including one called the “Lanky Doodle” where the racer hops up on the seat and does a single jumping jack in mid-air. (Terrifying, but pretty cool to watch.) The more difficult moves you’ll have to reserve for only the best air, so timing your jumps and finding the best inclines on the game’s tracks is key. The game single-player experience is broken up into a number of modes, including the standard quick race, a score-based freestyle stunt mode, and time trials. The meat of the game is its “World Tour,” which has you competing against CPU racers around the globe at a number of varied locations, including Mexico, England, Thailand, Canada, and the United States. There are 24 tracks in all, and this is a great way to experience all of the game’s content, and even unlock hidden content in the process. “World Tour” is broken up into four separate tours, unlocked by earning points for landing in the top spots in each race. As I found out, they get increasingly difficult. During my first and second tour, I spent most of the time ahead of the pack, far and away taking the lead in every event. I mentioned this to Jools who pointed out that the AI riders get smarter and more aggressive as you progress. He was right -- by the third tour I was struggling to keep up, my ego kept in check as I remained neck and neck with racers right up to the very end. Like I mentioned earlier, there aren’t any monsters lurking anywhere that I was able to see, but ATV Wild Ride does feature its fair share of characters. There are eight riders to choose from, seven of which are locked from the start, each with their own look, style, and voice. One of the riders, the fictional British racer Simon Jeremey, even sounded suspiciously like Mr. Watsham himself. You’ll also have your pick of ATVs, as well, a total of eight. Like the riders, only three are available at start, leaving you something to work towards as you make your way through the tour. Vehicles are rated on four categories -- speed, acceleration, and handling -- with some of the best only obtainable as unlockables. ATV Wild Ride’s music is also notable, as well. It’s the kind of aggressive punk-style music you’d expect from this type of racer, original music by Gregg Hargrove’s band, Swift Justice and the Hired Goons. Why’s that remarkable? Hargrove is Renegade Kid’s co-founder and art director so it’s not likely you’ll hear the music in any other title. “Back in the day I used to attend their live performances here in Austin,” Watsham tells me. “So I was familiar with their songs already, and when it came to the music for ATV Wild Ride, it felt like a natural fit.”From what I’ve played, ATV Wild Ride definitely feels like it'll be a natural fit for fans of high-energy, arcade-style racers when it ships early next year.

In 2007, developer Renegade Kid screwed with our heads and terrified us on the go with its first-person shooter, Dementium: The Ward for the Nintendo DS. Its next handheld title, Moon, stuck to the first-person formula with t...

Hands-on: Pokemon White

Oct 03 // Jonathan Holmes
Pokémon White (DS)Developer: Game FreakPublisher: Nintendo/The Pokémon CompanyReleased: September 18, 2010 (JP)To be released: Spring 2011 (NA/EU) The first thing you'll notice about Pokémon White is that its opening movie is focused, serious, and very story-driven. It looks a bit like a water-colored storyboard for one of the many Pokémon movies that have come and gone over the years. Barely any Pokémon are shown. Instead, you see a green-haired young man being crowned king of... something, presumably of some mysterious organization. It's actually a pretty evocative and borderline spooky little animated storyboard, more like the intro to a Castlevania game than anything I've seen in the Poké-verse before. After that, you get a gameplay montage with the traditional Pokémon intro music, with the words "Hope," "Dream," and "Discovery" scrolling across the screen. It's a very different introduction to what feels like a definitive change in direction for the Pokémon series. Thankfully, the game still hasn't "grown up," but it has definitely filled out. Despite being on the same hardware as the last main entry in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Black/White is a definite technical step up from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. If anything, the fact that Game Freak was stuck with "the old DS" seems to have just pushed them harder to try to impress us. Unlike with past Pokémon sequels, they couldn't rely on the the power of new hardware to impress the crowds. Instead, they had to pour every ounce of imagination and craftmanship into the game as they could, and it shows. It's hard to go back to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum now that I've been spoiled by Pokémon White. I'm not going to even try to list all the ways that Game Freak polished up the Pokémon formula. That would lead to a laundry list of epic proportions. From basic menus to fonts to in-game shopping, everything about the game has been tweaked for the better. Instead of getting into all that, I'll touch on the three areas that show the most drastic improvements: the environment, the story, and the battles. The fully polygon-based backgrounds are stunning. There is so much going on with them; little animations and flourishes that don't necessarily jump out at you, but work to make the whole experience feel much more cared about. The soundtrack is also much more dynamic, and will change on the fly for a variety of reasons. For example, the second or third town you enter has a rather sparse soundtrack, until you meet an in-game drummer and guitar player. Talk to them, and they'll start to play their instruments along to the music. It sounds like a little thing, but enough of these little moments added together really makes the world you're looking into through your DS screen feel like a real place. More eye-opening are the new dynamic camera angles. Depending on where you're going and what you're doing, the camera will act accordingly to help express the moment. It may swing behind your back to emphasize that you are moving through a three-dimensional space, or pan out for a sweeping "crane shot" to emphasize the distance you have to cross, or zoom in for a dramatic close-up when a serious Poké-moment is about to go down. These camera moves don't happen all the time, but that only makes it more dramatic and evocative when they do. There is one area where all you have to do is ride your bike across a bridge for about a minute (albeit a huge bridge, on the way to a city that greatly resembles Manhattan). There are no battles, little dialog, and no need to explore, yet because of the camera work, it's one of the most memorable parts of the game that I've seen yet. As the opening cinema hinted, the game is much more story-focused. You spend much more time talking to and battling against/alongside) your rivals, getting to know the game's gym leaders, and thwarting the game's token Pokémon "Team" -- Team Plasma. That green-haired man from the opening is named N. He definitely has some association with Team Plasma (their king, perhaps?), and as such, he plays a major role in the plot. You see him around a lot, though at this point in the game, it's not entirely clear if he is your enemy or not. At one point, he took me on a private Ferris wheel ride just to hang out. Maybe there was something more menacing about that then I could tell, but it seemed that he was working against the knowledge of Team Plasma, in order to tell me something super-serious. Due to my shabby Japanese, I'll have to wait until the game gets localized next year to know for sure what that was all about. The emphasis on spending time with recurring characters is all over this game, particularly with your rivals. You'll see them at least once or twice in every town, where you'll talk to them (in person or over video chat), battle them, or team up in double (or even triple) battles. You work with them so closely that "rivals" doesn't actually seem accurate anymore. They feel more like party members who just happen to spend most of their time out of your party. As in the most recent Pokémon games, there are two rivals in Pokémon White/Black: a cute, upbeat blonde girl named Belle, and a serious, spectacled, dark-haired boy named Cheren. Although my Japanese is too weak for me to be sure, Belle seems to symbolize the American way, where Cheren symbolizes Japan. In fact, that "East and West together" theme seems to carry on throughout the whole game. There is a lot of stuff here that seems to be an attempt to recreate America, but from a Japanese perspective. You'll even meet a few NPCs that speak English. Ironically, it's usually a Rastafarian-looking dude who is constantly dancing. They remind me a lot of Tom from Shenmue, but in a good way. As for the triple battles I just mentioned, they're awesome. They really force you to think differently about the game, as your three Pokémon can only attack opponents that are directly in front of them, or one space to the left or the right. That means the Pokémon on the farthest left can't attack the enemy on the farthest right. That's actually just the first way to take three Pokémon into battle at a time. There are also rotation battles, where you can switch between three Pokémon on the fly without any penalty losing your turn. In short, true "party-based combat" has finally come to the Pokémon series. For me, that would have been enough of a gameplay evolution, but it's actually just the start of the new ways to play the game. There's more new stuff here than I could possibly list, but highlights include the wild double battles, the new types of moves (like the water/fire-type scalding splash), multiple new online features (including live, real-time trading with anonymous strangers), and strangest of all, the Inception-like Dream World. I haven't gotten to try it myself yet, as the site has been down for the past two weeks, but in theory, the Dream World lets you put one of your in-game Pokémon to sleep. From there, you can play in their subconscious on your real-life personal computer at the website While dreaming, you and your Pokémon can get new items to be used in the waking world, and best of all, interact with at least thirty Generation-1 Pokémon. After meeting them in the Dream World, you can plant the idea in their heads to show up in your DS game. After you wake up, they'll be somewhere in your game of Pokémon White/Black. That's actually the only way that I know of to see those thirty Gen-1 Pokémon, or any old Pokémon, for that matter. I've heard that you see more "old" Pokémon in the wild once you beaten the last boss, but I won't know for sure until I do that myself. I can say with certainty that every "regular" Pokémon I've encountered in the game so far has been brand-new. In a series first, you won't even see the Pokémon mascot, Pikachu (better known as "Pokéman" to non-Pokémon-playing parents), unless you trade for him or do that Dream World stuff. I don't miss him, though. The game's two new Pikachu equivalents, a limited-time-online-event fire mouse named Vicitini, and a flying electric squirel named Emonga, are totally badass. In fact, I don't miss any of the old Pokémon. This new group is incredible, particularly because of their animations. I've been carrying around my DS since I got the game, showing my new Pokémon to the people of America, and they've all voiced their approval. You may not have been impressed with all the new Pokémon designs that you've seen thus far, but trust me, that will change once you see them in motion. The animations here use a combination of traditional frame-flipping animation and computer-aided squash-and-stretch animation, and the results are smooth and expressive. Of course, there are always a few duds. I'm not particularly taken with the red guy made of rock wearing a karate gi, but for the most part, this new group is as good or better than their Poké-predecessors.  The designers at Game Freak put a lot of love into the these 156 new Pokémon and their character-specific animations, and it shows. So that just scratches the surface of all the things that I love about this new Pokémon game. I'd say more, but I promised myself that I'd cut this monster off at 15 paragraphs. In short, Pokémon White is easily my favorite Pokémon game in the series, and I will not hesitate to buy the Black version when it comes out in the US next year. If you wanted Pokémon to get a total reboot, or go MMO or Grand Theft Auto on us, then you likely won't be too impressed by this game. You probably won't be happy until Pokémon isn't Pokémon anymore, and therefore, this series propbably isn't for you anyway. However, if you're a past or present fan of Pokémon, but have been waiting for the series to take some risks, and stop relying the on the same style, presentation, gameplay, and most of all, Pokémon, that have been mainstays for the past fifteen years, then you might also declare Pokémon Black/White as your new series favorite. It's easily the newest-feeling Pokémon game to see release since Red and Blue.

I planned on having this post up last week. I figured that playing through ten hours or so of the new Pokémon game would be enough to give you some impressions of how the game turned out. I was wrong on two counts. Fir...

Preview: Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011

Sep 27 // Leah Bayer
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS)Developer: CauldronPublisher: ActivisionTo be released: October 26th, 2010 Well first things first, there are no zombie deer. I asked. Twice. There are no zombies at all, but the game does feel a bit like Resident Evil with wolves and more ammo. The story, written by Brad Santos, revolves around a young hunter and his dad who go off on an epic hunting expedition that goes south pretty fast. I mean, someone gets mauled by a giant furry beastie in the opening scene, so it's pretty clear from the start that this is no average hunting game. What I saw of the story seemed interesting, and basically revolves around how crazy your dad is. I mean, this dude is really crazy. He makes you eat the heart of an animal you kill. Raw. Mmmmm, tasty! Later on you go on a safari to Africa with him, which is where most of the story takes place, but I did not get to see past the first few levels which take place in some snowy mountains. The beginning of story mode is a basic tutorial on how to shoot. The Top Shot Elite controller takes a bit of getting used to, especially considering how sensitive it is on the PlayStation 3, so for once I actually appreciated a tutorial. Lemme tell you, shooting apples off a tree is not as easy as it sounds when every little bit of motion changes the angle of the screen. The PS3 version is still being worked on, so we were told that it would be less sensitive in the final version. In any case, the sensitivity really adds to the horror-survival elements as you have to keep totally calm while wild animals lunge at your throat or the screen starts looking as freaked out as you are. The mix of horror/survival elements in story mode and survival mode is a refreshing addition to a worn out genre. Animals jump out of nowhere, and they seem to have a pretty decent AI. I actually jumped in the Full Moon level when a flock of birds flew out of the woods because I was convinced they were a giant bear about to maul me. The animals are scary, and you are shooting them not for sport but to survive. But now, it's time to go on your first real mission in the game: an elk hunt! See that elk? Yeah, I'm about to shoot it at point-blank range in the head with a sniper rifle. HEADSHOT! The controller itself is incredibly fun to play with. For the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, which were the ones I got to play on, you get a sensor bar to stick to the bottom of the screen (kind of like the Wii's sensor bar). Only it's sleek and black and sexy-looking. For the Wii version you can pop your Wii Remote and Nunchuk in, which makes it cheaper but less fun since the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have buttons in the perfect spots, and are much easier to get the hang of. The motion sensor works surprisingly smoothly, with no lag between my motion and the motion of the screen. Forward and backwards motion is controlled with the analog stick, but going/looking sideways is controlled by the Top Shot Elite. Simply tilting it a bit to the side causes you to spin around, so you have to be really aware of every little motion you make. It seems tedious at first, but after a few minutes it became almost second nature. Probably the niftiest feature of the Top Shot Elite is the infrared scope that you can use to track animal prints or blood trails. Combined with the fact that you have to physically reload the gun, it feels a lot more realistic than some shooters. I'd love to see this used with other games like Call of Duty, as it has a lot of potential for really improving how people play first-person shooters. Of course there are modes besides story, so if you want something a bit faster-paced there is a shooting gallery and a survival mode. Both are multiplayer and up to 4 people can play at once. For both of these there is no split-screen, which is a huge bonus for me. I hate split-screens, and find them distracting and obnoxious. Playing on the same screen as other people is a much more immersive experience. The shooting gallery is pretty standard fare, although it is much faster-paced than your average hunting game. You play for points either by yourself or with other people. Animals run by, you shoot them. However, you have to switch between weapons depending on what animals you are aiming for (points are deducted if you get it wrong), which adds a strategic element. For me, the survival mode was the most enjoyable. In survival mode you are... well, trying to survive. There is no set "end" to levels, you just play for as long as you can until some wild animal inevitably kills you. I am kind of a terrible shot (my aim is atrocious) so I lost three out of four rounds to my photographer, but I found myself enjoying it anyway. In fact, I wasn't even paying attention to the points. I think I was too busy trying to shoot the giant baboons to care about winning or losing, and I am usually pretty damn competitive. You know a game is fun when it's so immersive that you forget you are in a competition in the first place. I never thought I would walk out really looking forward to this game, but I honestly am now and I look forward to playing more of it when Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011 is released!

I am not usually a fan of hunting games. Of course, shooting things is usually a fun activity, but not so much when the things you are shooting don't put up a fight. I'm always up for new twists on worn-out tropes though, so ...

Hands-on: GoldenEye 007 for the Wii and DS

Sep 13 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
GoldenEye 007 (Wii, DS)Developers: Eurocom (Wii), n-Space (DS) Publisher: Activision To be released: November 2, 2010 (US), November 5, 2010 (EU) Remember the tank level in the 64 version of 007? It was a pretty badly designed and boring level. The new tank section in Eurocom's version of the game is a gigantic blast though, mainly due to the fact that there's a ton of action taking place on the screen. Enemies are coming at you from the ground and the air giving you something to shoot at throughout the entire level. Along with the massive amount of enemies, buildings are getting bombed all around you in an attempt to stop Bond from giving chase to his target. It's pretty impressive to see buildings crumble (for a Wii game, anyway). This section of the demo was short but it did the job, showing how much Eurocom has changed from the original. The new game's story follows GoldenEye's plot for the most part, but there are some additional missions never seen in the original game or movie for that matter. Of course, the real meat to GoldenEye is the multiplayer. They've updated the scheme so that it takes a more modern day approach, meaning that you have loadouts to pick from whenever you spawn instead of finding weapons scattered throughout the map. You can only carry two guns and a few grenades at a time, too. As a fan of the original, I wasn't all that thrilled with the loadout feature. I get that enough in Call of Duty and the Halos. What I really like that is new, though, is all of the modifers you have at your disposal. Only a few were shown, but expect to see things like paintball mode, Golden Gun matches and a modifer that makes people explode when they touch each other. If there is anything that will really hurt GoldenEye, it's the graphics. Multiplayer is a ton of fun, but when you're on a map with wide open spaces, it's nearly impossible to spot the (up to eight) other players from afar. Along with the Wii version, I checked out the DS game being developed by n-Space and it was alright. It's just a matter of FPS games being your thing on the DS. n-Space has developed all of the Call of Duty games for the DS and they know how to make a solid handheld shooter by now. You'll like it if you've enjoyed their other offerings. I'm actually split on GoldenEye. It's a case of overwhelming nostalgia dulling my feelings and being a big James Bond fan. I'll play it just to see how much has changed, but take away my love for the original game and I don't think GoldenEye 007 would be on my radar at all. Oh, also, ODDJOB THROWS HIS FUCKING HAT AT PEOPLE. FUCK YEAH! For more on GoldenEye, check out Matthew Razak's interview with Eurocom and another preview of the game from gamescom.

The Nintendo64 had some great games, but they were always few and far between, especially in the early days. That was a big problem for Nintendo's last cartridge-based console, until Rare came out with GoldenEye 007, that is...


Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for the DS was, quite frankly, a surprise. While the console versions of Shattered Dimensions are a great opportunity to see all the variations of the webbed wonder, they were, at the end of t...

Hands-on: Battle vs. Chess is not a simple game of chess

Aug 13 // Tara Long
Battle vs Chess (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, MAC, DS, PSP)Developer: Topware Interactive/Gaijin EntertainmentPublisher: SouthPeak GamesTo be released: September 2010 Now, I can’t speak much to the game of chess itself. Too much critical thinking involved for my tastes. So let’s focus on the details, shall we? Battle vs. Chess was implemented using Fritz11! chess software, and has 10 different levels of difficulty to accommodate players of any experience level. You can test your abilities against a computer in single-player mode, or face off locally or online in multiplayer competition with the friends you probably don’t have. The game uses the Elo rating system, the world’s official standard in chess rankings, to keep track of your scores. So whether you’re a casual user just looking to improve your game or an aspiring eight-time Chess Master, this will provide hours of entertainment and a learning experience all bundled into one sexy package. Undoubtedly the most valuable feature in Battle vs. Chess is the option to have hints accompany each turn (along with a detailed explanation of why a particular move is optimal), making the game a great investment for any beginner looking to procure mad skillz. For intermediate players, there are a handful of modes designed to challenge and improve your existing skills, such as gameplay with a limited number of turns or pieces. There’s even an option that transports you directly into the seat of former chess masters, allowing you to compete in games that mimic actual famous matches in chess history. Other notable variations include “Madness” mode, where the computer randomly distributes pieces across the board. Then there’s the “Tactic” mode, where players have the option to arrange pieces on the board however they like while still abiding by the traditional rules of the game. What really sets this one apart from just another chess emulator, however, is “Battle” Mode. This form of fantasy gameplay puts a combative twist on the classic game by transforming the board into one of eight virtual battlefields whose pieces end up duking it out for the contending spot. The twist here is that rather than peacefully advancing an opponent’s square, the pieces come alive using distinctly realistic animations and the players must fight using weapons or strength. Though an interesting spin on the classic game, I don’t expect this feature to elicit much from the player other than a fleeting “Huh, that’s cool.” It offers no real advantage in terms of technique or strategy, and frankly, if I wanted to play a fighting game I’d bust out my Sega Genesis and rock Streets of Rage like it was 1992. Regardless, Battle Mode is interesting if only for its inherent uniqueness. I could see it being more suited for group situations, but if digitally-generated chess is a frequent activity at your parties, chances are you have bigger things to worry about anyway.

Listen up nerds, it’s time to take off your robes and wizard hats for a second ‘cause there’s a new game in town, and it answers to the name of Battle vs. Chess. If you’ve ever found yourself wonderin...

SDCC: Seriously, GoldenEye on the DS

Jul 24 // Dale North
At first I got the same demo as everyone else, driving a tank through town, blasting other tanks and running over other soldiers. It wasn't the most impressive way to show off the game, but it worked well enough. The d-pad controlled the driving while the stylus aimed. I blew up tanks, cars, and eventually a helicopter. One-hit kills. Again, not quite exciting, but this is a key scene, and it's nice to see how they're thinking with this DS version.Show me something better, I asked. My friend at n-Space did. He pulled up the Bunker stage of the game, which is the location where GoldenEye was built in the story. On this stage I was on foot, moving in first person in what could be called an exploration stage. Again, the d-pad moved while the stylus aimed. There were contextual buttons on the bottom screen, and the right bumper button fired your selected weapon. This stage actually had a bit less shooting and a lot more puzzle solving, with key cards and locked doors and the like, and made for a good level to get a feel for the game's control. It's atypical to see a mostly non-combat stage, but I like the idea of Bond being a smart problem solver, and not just a badass with a gun. In this stage I moved through tight spaces in the dark, crawling under ducts and hopping over large pipes, all of which were automatic based on context. Combat was limited to shooting out security cameras to protect from being spotted. Doing things like kicking doors open and opening locks used gestures that made sense. I saw these and a few other stages, all of which looked nice. None of them would blow you away visually, but neither would the Wii game, really. As before, it's all about fun first-person shooting, and from what I saw, this DS game had plenty of potential. I got the sense of playing a larger console game here, and you could tell that this is what the developers were trying to achieve. Keep in mind that this was a beta build, so a lot could change. And they haven't said a word about the included multiplayer aspect yet. Stay tuned.

Yes, this is a real thing. GoldenEye on the Wii is something you've probably already heard about. We expected to see it here at an Activision preview event, but we didn't expect to see a DS game. At least not yet. It was here...

MySims SkyHeroes is all sorts of fun

Jul 22 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]179552:31628[/embed] MySims SkyHeroes (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS) To be released: September 2010Developer: The Sims Studio Publisher: Electronic Arts While there is a story and racing mode to SkyHeroes, the real appeal is the dog fights. Think the battle mode from Mario Kart but with airplanes. Up to ten-players (six on the Wii, four on the DS) will battle it out to be the top player of the match. Weapon pickups are all over the map which include missiles, laser beams and -- I kid you not -- an orbital strike laser. Giant beams of lasers will literally freaking rain down from the sky! As this is a Sims title, you can definitely expect customization features for your character and your airplane. On top of that, there will be special characters included from other EA games. Isaac Clarke from Dead Space, Morrigan from Dragon Age, Shepard from Mass Effect, Dusty from Medal of Honor and Salem and Rios from Army of Two will all be unlockable as playable characters. And in a way, this will be the first time any of these games will be represented on the Wii! Speaking of which, the Wii will have minimal motion controls. The developers on SkyHeroes really want players to focus on the actual combat. So you won’t have to worry about too much motion control. Plus, you’ll immediately respawn when your plane is destroyed and you won’t take damage from running into a wall. MySims SkyHeroes is a real blast. It may not appeal to everyone, but I had a really enjoyable time with the game. Look for this late September.

The original plan was to group a quick look of MySims SkyHeroes along with the rest of the Sims previews. After playing it though, I feel like this game deserves some proper attention, especially with the hardcore audience we...

Multiple previews for multiple The Sims 3 games!

Jul 22 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Sims 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS) -- Fall 2010 I'm happy to say that The Sims 3 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 works when it comes to the controls. Sure, it's not as quick as a mouse and keyboard combo, but what I saw of the Xbox 360 version of The Sims 3 was simple enough that anyone would be able to get the hang of in no time, including veteran Sims players. So other than that, The Sims 3 on consoles is like the PC version but with a couple of new features. The main addition being the "Karma Power" menu. Think the disaster menu from the Sim City games basically. You'll be able to make your Sims become either very lucky or curse them with bad luck. It's a fun little tool, but abusing the power will come back to bite you if you're not too careful. Another feature that's really great to see on a console game is the ability to create and share content with other players online. The process is simple and sharing with others is very easy to do within the game. For the Wii, Sims 3 will feature multiplayer party games. On the DS, expect the everything you enjoy about The Sims but on the handheld. The Sims 3 Collector's Edition (Android, exclusive to Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile) -- Summer 2010 It's the Sims 3, but scaled down for Android based Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile phones. Yup. The Sims 3 Ambitions (iPhone, iPad) -- Summer 2010 Like the one for Android, it's The Sims 3 for Apple's portable devices. No screens but check out the logo! It sure is logo-y. Sim City Deluxe (iPhone, iPod Touch) -- Summer 2010 More Sim City is on the way for the iPhone and iPod. The latest one will feature better UI, improved graphics and there will be scenarios in place for players to jump right into the city managing game. Plenty to pick from later this year. Which, if any, interest you?

Sims, Sims, Sims! Electronic Arts loves to come out with Sims games and they had plenty on hand at a recent press event. There were a total of seven different versions of The Sims 3 games in fact, each for a different platfor...

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