Friday, June 26, 2009



Monday, March 9, 2009

Games of the Week: Week RE5 er 10

I believe just about everyone will be getting Resident Evil 5 this week. It took me about a year to pick up RE4. Actually I never got around to any of the RE releases until well after the hype had died down (for example I never played the original RE until the GameCube remake believe it or not...I actually played it after I had played the second and third gmes.) I don't know. I like zombies as much as the next guy but outside of what Romero did and only a small few of select others, I don't see what the fuss in zombies is usually. And RE has sort of evolved out 'zombies.' Dead Rising is damn fun, I'll give you that. And if you can find some people who aren't pricks or take their games too seriously, Left 4 Dead can be a great experience.

I do think RE4 and RE2 are probably locks for anyone's greatest games list, top 100 easily. But I never got into the original or any of the other games. And even RE4, as amazing as it is, took me forever to slug through. At least I can see its merits and enjoyed it. I probably would have blown through it if not for it being my last semester of college.

But the main line of thought coming out of RE5 early seems to be this being an evolution for the series into a new direction, so that piques my interest slightly. It felt like RE4 was the beginning of the break away from survival horror. Prehaps a full break is what I need to really get into the series.

I'll eventually get it but probably not until I'm done with a couple other things. Mainly Star Ocean.


PS3: Resident Evil 5, Trivial Pursuit

360: Resident Evil 5, Trivial Pursuit, NCAA 09 March Madness Edition

Wii: Madworld, Marble Saga: Kororinpa, NPC Pikman, NPC Mario Power Tennis, Trivial Pursuit, MySims Party, Totally Spies! Totaly Party!

PSP: Mana Khemia: Student Alliance

PS2: Trival Pursuit, Moomin

NDS: MySims Party, Avalon Code, a bunch of crap

Also out on multiple platforms is Trivial Pursuit. I know a lot of people that just love the board/DVD games but then there's people like me that have one friend that just cleans up on Trivial Pursuit and hasn't lost a game of it dating back over 100 matches. Games are only fun when you stand a chance.

I believe we've already talked about my love fest for XSeed. It's something I can't explain but I've picked up everything they've put out so we already know I'm picking up Avalon Code. Sounds like an interesting concept where you're not charged with saving the world because the world is already doomed. Instead your job is to catalog everything in the world that you deem worthy for when the world is destroyed and reincarnated.

I also believe we've talked about my love for the PSP and the PSP gets another one, this week a very overlooked late PS2 RPG by the name of Mana Khemia. There's apparently no major changes between this one and the original so don't feel the need to buy it again if you already did on the PS2 but its a fantastic little game with one of the best battle systems we've seen in a while (turn base is not dead) and a lot of likable characters. The ending is kind of ...meh...and abrupt but a school for alchemists? I want to see more of this place. I want it to rival Harry Potter across several mediums. Too bad we'll never see it.

I admit it, I like the MySims franchise. The second one was a lot more focused than the first and I was hoping for the series moving forward. The third game really doesn't do that. It's yet another Wii mini-game collection just featuring characters using the MySims art style. I'd advise to stay away, or find MySims Kingdom if you haven't already.

Marble Saga is a ton of fun and its a definite purchase but it'll go down in price and can wait. The big must-have for the Wii this week is MadWorld, which would be the automatic game of the week if it wasn't going up against the wrecking ball that is Resident Evil 5. Like a lot of brawlers it looks like the gameplay could potentially become repetitive but most of the reviews so far seem to dispel that worry. This one looks like a keeper.

And finally going back to the Wanted demo that came out last week. Finally spent some time playing around with it and learning what I can do. It's pretty good, much better than my intial impressions. But not anything I'm looking to buy out right. It's moved itself up to rental status though.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

3-5: 4 Demo Impressions

Nothing like spreading things out over the 52 weeks of the year as there were four new demos waiting for download on Live this morning. Gamers got a nice sneak preview of not one but two Vin Diesel vehicles in The Wheelman and one of my most anticipated games of 2009, Chronicles of Riddick: Assualt on Dark Athena. WWE Legends of Wrestlemania also came out with a surprisingly good demo and Wanted: Weapons of Fate also saw release.

I spent about 20 minutes to a half hour with each and because this is the internet I believe my opinion matters and that other people desire to hear it.

WWE Legends of Wrestlemania

Probably the most surprising of the demos. I'm a huge wrestling fan, although I go through weird cycles of attention. Over the past couple years my on-again, off-again affair with wrestling seems to be more off than on and I can only stomach a couple months at a time before needing a break. I only buy Wrestlemania now (instead of the 'big four' I was buying a few years ago) and this is down from once buying each and every WCW and WWF PPV event in the calender year.

But I've always kind of had a hate-relationship with wrestling video games. Outside of the Fire Pro series there just was never enough there to keep me statisfied. Yeah we played the hell out of WCW/NWO Revenge and WWF No Mercy was good enough to throw parties to play but the Smackdown series has just been horrible in my eyes. I'd play them for a few hours and either get bored or have to go to the optomitrist as the first three were wretched eye sores.

Some how Legends of Wrestling (of which there are three games in the series) actually wound up capturing my gamer attention, after all it had Mil Mascaras, Man of a Thousand Masks and the wrestler I could beat anyone with. The games weren't particularly amazing in quality but we put several sessions into the games nonetheless. After a small hiatus apparently its now WWE Legends of Wrestlemania. The license somewhat limits it in terms of roster and that one of the appeals to LoW, the insane amount of wrestlers at your disposal not under WWE contract. Flying Brian Pillman for shit's sake. Rick Rude. That alone made it awesome.

But for what it loses in roster it does make up for in presentation and official music. I wish I knew more about the match types and how multiplayer works but so far impressive and the game has moved up my board into potential buy realm. Even with just two available matches I had a lot of fun.

Relive mode appears to be where it's at as you get to relive some of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history (well other than Macho v Steamboat WM3, probably the greatest match in the history of the event) and there seems to be a sort of 'scorecard' where you have to meet objectives for that match, do things that actually happened in the real match. Sometimes you'll even be asked to take the job and lose to get the points. It's piqued my interest and hopefully someone has a list of matches before it hits retail.

+ Excellent presentation
+ Official WWE theme music
+ Commentary by JR and The King is hilarous
+ Build-up videos to sort of set the context for the 'Relive' Wrestlemania matches
+ Controls seem fairly easy enough
+ Relive mode sounds interesting
- Glaring omissions on the roster. No Macho? No Dragon?
- Time Action events. Thanks, Shenmue.....
- Wrestlers look so good they almost look strange in movement
? Multiplayer
? Variety in matches


So much for getting the video game out to tie-in with the movie. For a product all about super-accurate marksmen they've missed that mark twice with the theatrical release and the DVD/BR release. Maybe they're aiming for the USA Network release? Starz? Here was to hoping that it meant they were trying their best to make a good game.

I spent by far the least amount of time with this demo than any of the others. The opening didn't grab me and for some reason there was no chance to look at the control scheme so I didn't really exactly know which button did what or what any of the on-screen HUD meant. The obvious stuff yes, but the two bullets up in the corner? Not a clue.

If I had adjusted my brightness I guess it may have been better but game looked too dark (yes, again I know stealth is an element but I should still at least be able to see something) and the coolest part, maybe the only cool part of the movie was the bending of the bullets, which I couldn't figure out at all. If that's really the only thing you have going for you, cool bendy bullets, give me that shit right off the bat. But I didn't get cool bendy bullets right away and I got discouraged. Call it adult ADHD, cal it whatever. I call it boring. With so many games coming out in 2009 and competing against three other demos (and the Halo Wars demo I still haven't played) you needed to come out the gate swinging. And didn't. I'll probably still rent it and see how it is knowing what I can do.

+ I'm sure cool bendy bullets are there some where
- But I didn't find them
- No choice to change control scheme
- No bendy bullets to be found
- Didn't hook me at all
- Based off a movie that wasn't that good and tried to be edgy to only cover up for being piss poor


I have a secret to admit to. I'm secretly in love with Vin Diesel and pray that there's an alternate reality somewhere in the fabric of space-time where he's won an Oscar. And there's like 20 Riddick movies and the release of Pitch Black was a culture changing event. And Babylon AD led to world peace....ok that last one is stretching it a bit but maybe The Pacifier did the trick instead. Either way, he's kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. God, he's so horrible but so good at the same time.

I'm looking forward to Wheelman the movie, but the game....maybe not as much. I ended the demo right after I completed the first mission and there's some things to like and some things where you just shake your head and you know this game might be on the boring side. But hey, its built around car chases and car chases are awesome, even the bad ones. Combine them with Vin and I'm sold. Fast cars and Vin Diesel has it failed before?

Not really much to say other than you're the Wheelman for a woman that's robbed a bank in Barcalona and you have to escape from the cops, ditch your car, find a new car, escape from a rival gang and shoot people while driving. But only bad guys. Can't shoot civilians , cops or anything, wrong game. Just other gang members.

There's no dialog from Vin during the game until the cutscene you're rewarded with upon completing the first mission. And OMG I HEART THE CHEESY VIN-TASTIC DIALOG!!! HE TRUELY IS AN ARTIST IN SUCH THINGS!

"You know where to find me - behind the wheel."

Get it? He's the Wheelman. Get it? Get it? Fuck yeah. I feel so flithy for marking out over that shit.

There's a few 'cinematic' moments during driving like when you crash through shit or go over the ramp where I'm thinking it might be best to get this on the PS3. I think there's going to be a lot of eye candy appeal and right now I only have the PS3 on HDMI.

Apparently the game will feature an open world and side-missions. I'm not entirely against the sandbox format but it almost makes me groan. I'm sure others the words 'sandbox' makes them whet in various places.

+ Vin Diesel
+ Cheesy dialog
+ Game + Movie = a new franchise
+ Shooting people on motorcycles
+ Car chases
+ Looks good, probably more so in HDMI
- No Vin oneliners while driving
- Has the potential to be maybe a bit boring in gameplay
? How the sandbox format will work out


Do we need to go over how awesome Riddick and Vin Diesel are again? I think we do. Vin Diesel is the man Superman, Paul Buynun and Chuck Norris look up to. He is the original Bill Brasky and he created the Earth in just two days. Then wrote Strays and Multi-Facial with the other five.

Escape from Butcher Bay proved two things to the X-Box crowd in 2004. Of course all things featuring Vin Diesel (besides Babylon AD) are amazing, and that someone could make a great video game based on a movie. Thanks mostly belongs to Vin but Starbreeze Studios I guess deserves some credit.

Assualt on Dark Athena is the sequel to said game but it also features the first game, completely redone in HD graphics and alongside the new Dark Athena campaigns. So even if the Dark Athena campaigns suck you still have Butcher Bay which was, even without Vin, completly fun to play. I would tell you to go find Butcher Bay and see for yourself but now I can tell you just buy this and you'll get both for the price of one.

+ Vin Diesel
+ Features the original game redone
+ Essentially two games for the price of one
+ Knife to the muthafuckin' skull
+ You can buy it twice. Once for the 360. Once for the PS3.

So what did everyone think of the demos? Which was your favorite and which demo maybe conveinced you to give its game a look upon release? Likewise, did any of the demos turn you off on something you thought you may have bought?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Games of the Week: Week 9

Better late than never I guess. Most of this is out already but I've been busy and the NHL trade deadline required my full attention for twelve hours today.

So let's consider this the abridged version of the Games of the Week.

X360: Major League Baseball 2K9, SBK: Superbike World Championship, Halo Wars, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

PS3: Major League Baseball 2K9, MLB 09: The Show, SBK: Superbike World Championship, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

Wii: We Ski & Snowboard, Major League Baseball 2K9, Sonic and the Black Knight, Grey's Anatomy

PSP: Phantasy Star Portable, MLB 09: The Show, SBK: Superbike World Championship

DS: Major League Baseball 2K9, Littlest Pet Shop: Spring, SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off, Grey's Anatomy

PS2: Tomb Raider Underworld, Major League Baseball 2K9, King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match

So Eat Lead was pushed back to this week. Which was enough to allow me some time to get my head straight and skip it. Apparently its not very good.

I downloaded the Halo Wars demo and never played it. Even if 2008 was the year I got into RTS games I just can't get excited for mawr Haloz. And I even actually like the series, believe it or not. I think I may try it tonight after Buffalo and Montreal.

Ditto goes for HAWX. It's been sitting on my Harddrive for a bit on two sysytems and I haven't gotten around to it. Again I'll probably boot it up after Buffalo and Montreal.

Last year MLB The Show was one of the biggest surprises and now its definitely not sneaking up anyone but it looks like, from early reviews, that this year's offering knocks another grand slam and actually improves on the formula. Also on the baseball circuit is 2k9 but judging from last year and the demo (which I actually did play) then I'd stay away. If you only own a 360 and you're a baseball fan....I'm sorry but you're going to have to buy a PS3.

Like everyone else I'm cautious on Sonic and the Black Knight. It looks good but so did Secret Rings and Unleashed. I liked Unleashed but it didn't come close to saving Sonic. Reviews aren't everything but IGN's 3.9 awarded to Black Knight makes one cringe.

Tempted to get Phantasy Star Portable but I'm happy with my PSP library right now (seriously get LocoRoco 2 and DJ Max Fever) and with Phantasy Star Zero on the way for the DS in a couple months, I think I'll pass.

But of course KoF '98 is definitely the buy this week. I was sadden that the Orochi Saga collection didn't have the Dreamcast port of KoF '98 which was the far superior version by a Texas mile. I guess because they knew I'd pay separate just for this version. Plus there's a sneak peak look at KoF XII on the disc.

Outside of the Show and KoF I'm probably not picking up anything this week but that's good I'm still working on SFIV and Star Ocean. What's everyone else picking up on the week?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Games of the Week: Week 8

February 22-28


Legacy of Ys: Book I&II
Puzzle Quest: Galactrix
Peggle Dual Shot

I've always been anamored with the Ys series. Maybe it's because of its odd name or the fact that you don't wind into too many people who are versed in the series. More than likely its because I could never get my parents to burn the money for a TurboGrafx-16 and the series became sort of this unobtainable object put on a pedastool. I finally got ahold of Ys III thanks to the SNES port and played it through several times....despite the fact that now Ys 3 probably is my least favorite in the series that I've played.

Legacy of Ys gives you the first two games (Vanished Omens and The Final Chapter, which was far from final) on one cart and a nice little soundtrack CD, which by itself is worth the price. But if you're looking for a short action RPG to take on the road and don't mind throwing retro-googles on you'll find a pretty charming classic.

Puzzle Quest was one of the bigger surprises two years ago and it went from an obscure DS and PSP title to released on everything. The sequel combines Bejeweled with RPG elements with a sci-fi setting (unlike the medievel setting from the original) and adds a slight twist to making the game board a circle rather than a box. Except the sequel to suck up 100+ hours of your the original.


Uhm nothing this week. Moving on.


Ski & Shoot

Moving on again.


50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
Killzone 2

Blood on the Sand...yeah. Apparently its fun but repetitive. I'm just going to stay away for the most part.

According to Sony fanboys Killzone 2 will be the last game you'll ever have to buy. The Beta has been fun and its a very, very good FPS but it doesn't really reinvent the wheel or do anything out of the ordinary. But it does it all very well, outstanding even. I don't think it will be changing anyone's lives, but its the start of a lot of good PS3 exclusives this year.


Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop

Dead Rising was a great little game on the 360, and it still is but now its coming to the Wii and I don't know what to think. Killing zombies is always fun but so much has been made of the Wii's lack of graphical horsepower. I already have Dead Rising, why spend money to get the game again but with worse graphics and even worse control scheme? I'm sure if you're just a Wii owner then it's a game that you need to pick up but Dead Rising can be found for in and around $20, there's little excuse to not own the game if you have a 360.

XBOX 360

Star Ocean: The Last Hope
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

I may have to wait and see on it but Eat Lead seems to be a neat little idea of a 'sequel' to a series of games that never actually existed. You play Matt Hazard, a washed up video game character who's popularity is years behind him, now he's been given another shot to prove he's the king of shooters as a publisher has decided to make him the star of their next game. Looks to be filled with all sort of meta-humor and such. But will it be a good enough game to slap down $60 on remains to be seen.

I can't really tell you much about Stoked but maybe TCO can (if he ever reads the damn thing) because snowboarding games are his bread and butter. From the way he talks about it Stoked may be a pleasant surprise for the rest of us.

I'm still playing through the first two Star Ocean thanks to the PSP rereleases of both. Last Hope looks amazing but the thought of (supposed) 30-40 minute cut scenes, a cliched, corny story and bad voice acting has me a bit worried. And the 300+ hours to collect every single Battle Trophy. Still Star Ocean's battle system is one of the finest (and most fun) around making it very easy to overlook the bad stuff.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Street Fighter IV

Looks like I've got a bit of catching up to do after the nice 12 hours at work today. As some of you may know the rumour is (and apparently confirmed) that Commodore 64 games are coming to the WiiShop Channel. More useless stuff for you to spend your spare Wii points on. I will however be doing a list of the ten C64 games I want to see on the Wii Channel by the end of the year. Thanks to work don't expect the list until Thrusday afternoon.

But on to the main focus -- I finally caved and put the money down for Street Fighter IV on Sunday. My original line of thinking was that I don't like playing online and if I were to play it multiplayer it would be over at any number of friend's houses that are already getting the game and are "tourney-fags" so no matter how many hours of practice I put in they'll probably still kill me.

But the thing that was stopping me was the fact that they're selling a product that really can't be enjoyed out of the box for the $60 you spend. Now I know yes, there are people that will get it and be happy with the game but the only way to play Street Fighter (or any game in the fighting genre) is with an arcade stick, which doesn't come cheap as the tournament edition stick runs about $150 at retail and good luck finding that now. There's another stick for about $70 and then there's the 'fight pad' that still gives you the blister enducing d-pad but at least you get a 6-button layout. That runs about $40.

I'm not trying to be a smug elitest for the genre but honestly you can't play a fighting game on the 360 controller or even on the PS3 sixaxis (although its slightly less horrid.) So at the very least you're spending around $90-100 to enjoy the game at its fullest. That's my problem. But I reasoned if I spent close to double that on something like Guitar Hero or *sigh* Wii Fit, then why am I whining about a game, that at its fullest, I'll actually enjoy.

I got the fight pad but I assume I'll quickly upgrade to a stick if I find one. I also got the game for the 360. I'm trying to figure out if I did so out of habit or are acheivements really that big of a selling point for me.

So seeing as everyone is picking this up tomorrow, are you going to deal with the regular controllers or did you splurge and pick up one of the sticks?