2:41 PM 1 comments

Borderlands

 

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Wow I'm totally blown away by Borderlands. Here's a game I've been watching for a while now and wasn't sure what to expect. Yeah I knew that Id bee getting a cell shaded wasteland featuring coop play , but the game had some stiff competition it that category with Halo ODST being released a few weeks prior to it.

As far as I'm concerned this game blows Halo ODST away in the coop department. Not that ODST was a bad game it just wasn't meant to be a coop game in my opinion, Borderlands was built from the ground up for coop and it shows. It also lends its self at being a great single player game to.

The game is all about picking up loot. From weapons (tons of them) and shields, to boat loads of cash and rare items. This game does for me what I wish Too Human could have done and that's get me addicted to it. Borderlands also succeeds at being a great FPS and RPG all at the same time, a formula that doesn't always turn out to well. I guess there's something about the wasteland setting that makes these two genres work great together…think Fallout 3.

So why should you buy a copy of Borderlands

  1. Its a First person Shooter
  2. Its also an RPG
  3. 4 player online coop !
  4. Addictive as hell
  5. And a Gagillion Weapons !

-TX

7:16 AM 0 comments

Be your own Lego developer !

Lego fanboy I may seem like but not really. Thing is  have 2 boys who love Lego's and love the video games even more.  Enter Lego Indiana Jones 2. The Lego games have always been great fun but one huge thing was missing from the games until now and that was a level creator. Checkout the video below and see what Indies new game has to offer. Now all they need to do is release a stand alone Lego creator game.

 

Source: Kotaku

-TX

2:38 PM 1 comments

Introducing Lego: Left 4 Dead ! Not Really ….

 

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First lets thank whom ever it is that you pray to that there is no true a Lego:Left 4 Dead game because that would just be plain old silly. What's not silly is checking of pictures of your favorite game turned in Lego's. At Saber-Scorpion’s Lair.com You can check out many more games turned into Lego's such Mass Effect, Half Life, Assassins Creed and many more …..

-TX

5:18 PM 1 comments

Forza 3 Demo vs. Grand Turismo 5 Prologue

 

200908032139 The long awaited Forza 3 Demo had finally made its way to the XBL Marketplace 2 weeks ago and so far it really impresses. The Forza franchise is the number one racer when it comes to user created content and online play. Forza 3 looks to push the envelope even further this time around with a more stream lined marketplace for buying and selling user created vehicles that either have custom paints , tuned engines or even both !

The competition against Forza is slim right now. Games Like DiRT  2 and NFS Shift  offer fast and furious racing action but they do it in a more arcady sim fashion. The only other sim racer looking to go head to head with Forza is GT 5 and for now all we know is that wont be releasing till sometime in March in Japan and the U.S. shortly after.

But while we still have to wait to play both games, we do have playable version of both games in a demo form of sorts. GT5 Prologue has been out for some time now and is basically a very small portion of the game wrapped up in a $30 package. And of course like I mentioned XBL just received the Forza 3 demo not to long ago. Id like to do a little comparison of the two “demos” based on graphics, gameplay and presentation.

For starters Forza 3 is a beautiful game. The 60 fps, the lighting and the over all overhaul in graphics just makes this game some serious eye candy. GT5 Pro is just as pretty of a game and even edges Forza out a bit in this area. While both games have a great frame rate and lovely environments to race in GT5 has the better lighting effects and I think the in car cam is a bit better in GT5. Its still great in Forza but again its just edged out a bit that's all. The same could be said for the car models as well. Over all they are both breath taking to look at and worthy of showing off each consoles capabilities.

__Gran_Turismo_5_Prologue

I think when it comes to gameplay both games excel in the sim department as they should, but I feel Forza 3 not only handles the “sim” part of racing better, but also it allows new comers the chance to ease into the game. Forza 3 and GT5 both allow for customized driving difficulties with the option of turning driver assists on and off, but as of right now only Forza 3 allows for the player to have the auto brake feature that slows the car down with the proper braking to help keep you on the track and in the race.  The addition of the rewind feature will be loved by the hardcore player as well as the new comer. You screw up and just do it over again !

I think the A.I. still and has always gone to the Forza franchise. The A.I. keeps true the real life style of racing for position as opposed to be programmed to stay  in a certain line like GT5. I felt that Forza 3 was heading in this direction a bit, but after some more time with the demo I've come to realize that the A.I. is a bit more aggressive then before , but still makes the moves it needs to win the race on its own.

As far as production values and game presentation both games impress. I think that GT5 Prologue being in more of a game state gives it the upper hand here so I think Ill pass judgment till The full retail version of Forza 3 comes. The demo did show a much cleaner presentation, but again it wasn't much to go on.

With both games landing and consoles soon I think gamers choosing one way or the other wont be disappointed. For me my I have to stay with what's made me happy over the past few years and that's Forza 3. Both games are going to demand a lot of time and energy just to play  so to have both would be setting ones self up for gaming fatigue. That being said I need to go pre-order my copy of Forza Motorsports 3.

-TX

9:22 PM 1 comments

BioShocked! Where Has My Interest Gone?

In the Summer of 2007 (2008 for PS3 owners) gamers were treated to an incredible gaming experience, one which won the heart of gamers and critics alike, 2K Boston's Bioshock . Many of you I am sure were left with an indelible impression of wonder and excitement as a result of your exploration of the city of Rapture, its inhabitants, and the adventure of which you just partaken of. The game's environment set the mood and the story took you on a wild ride through the underwater city and, in the end, left one wanting more of Rapture. At least that is how I felt, and so with that I waited for word on an impending sequel.

When a sequel was finally announced I was excited indeed and I followed the news for the upcoming game very closely, but a funny thing has happened to me on my path to the Sea of Dreams. I have noticed that recently my desired return to Rapture was not what it used to be, that it has waned significantly, almost to the point of myself giving a big shrug to the games recently (and finally) announced release date of February 9, 2010. How could this have happened? How could my interest for the sequel for one of my favourite games of all time fall away so? I took some time recently to analyse this situation, and I have came up with a few points that may be responsible for this phenomenon:

ken_levineThe Man They Call Levine: Ken Levine was widely considered the mastermind behind BioShock, and for good reason, he was the mastermind behind BioShock and its trippy and wonderful storyline. When the sequel was announced we were also made aware that the development would fall to the dev team at 2K Marin, well stocked with original BioShock development veterans. No offence to the hard working team at 2K Marin, but when you lose a lead like Ken Levine from your project, it is not going to do your game any favours. Early in development it was announced the Ken Levine would have some input on the new BioShock, but I speculate with Ken hard at work on his own super-secret project and no word on his involvement since, that BioShock 2 will be for good or ill a Levine-less project.

Delays: Though we now have a firm release date as I stated above, BioShock 2's pushed back date has put it out of sight and out of mind behind a sea of tripe-A games. It will be about two-and-a-half years between games, while not a huge amount of time between sequels, it does give one time to forget possibly why they were excited in the first place.

bioshock-2-1Competition: Remember that sea of triple-A games I just mentioned? Sure fire hits like Halo 3: ODST, Forza Motorsport 3, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Assassin's Creed 2 as well as games like Borderlands, Tekken 6, and Lost Planet 2 will be arriving before BioShock 2. Each of these games are not only highly anticipated, but also have serious legs. Will we be ready for BioShock by February? Will we care if we are knee-deep in our Modern Warfare 2 or Halo 3: ODST multi players?

Increased Financial Expectations: BioShock 2 is already earmarked as one of Take 2's flagship franchises and with all the expectations that go along with it. Like the Grand Theft Auto franchise, much of Take 2's fortunes ride on BioShock and its sequel. With sales expectations of more than 5 million for this game (much more than the games original sales) the company has a lot riding on it's success, and I fear that these expectations will not be met. What would that mean for BioShock going forward?

bio2mpToo Many Cooks: With all these expectations heaped upon BioShock 2, 2K Games is sparing no expense in order to ensure this game's release schedule slips no further. No less than four separate development teams are involved at this point in order to bring the game to market. With lead developer 2K Marin creating the core of the game, 2K Australia has taken over the testing with Digital Extremes creating the games multi player component and Arcane Studios lending a hand with the art design. BioShock 2's Sea of Dreams appears to be spread all over the globe. Will they be able to pull all these desperate pieces together into one cohesive collection of a game?

bioshock_2_teaserThis is Not the Prequel I was Looking For: Yes I am judging this very early, but I think it is because I had certain expectations from what I wanted to see from this game, particularly from the prequel/multiplayer portion. Early on when rumours were swirling about the next BioShock game, the idea that it was to be a prequel really caught my interest. I really wanted to experience Rapture before the fall and interact or see the story unfold for Ryan, Fontaine, Doctors Tenenbaum and Steinman, Sander Cohen and all the great Rapture personalities which were alluded to in the first game. I imagined a Rapture before the fall being a bright, vibrant, world that Andrew Ryan envisioned when creating his undersea utopia. BioShock 2 will visit Rapture before the fall, but only as a component of its multiplayer, therefore bypassing all that potential and esthetic. The multiplayer takes place in the thick of the Rapture civil war, ignoring all the great stories that could have been told. Perhaps we will get the prequel I wish for someday.

bioshock_2Big Daddy, Big Problem: Everybody loves the Big Daddy, right? I think we can all agree on that. But to play the entire game as one? I am not so sure about that one. Yes we will be able to explore Rapture's undersea back yard, but we will miss that feeling of being a helpless every-man trapped in this strange world. Will the first Big Daddy versus the Big Sister sustain through the game? <SPOILER> I think I may miss being the prodigal son returning.

It appears that I have some major concerns with the potential for this game, and I do. It has definitely slipped off my radar a lot, but it is still there, and I do intend on purchasing the game. I hope to play it and be proved wrong, hoping that 2K Game's army of developers can recreate the magic of BioShock and climb out from under Ken Levine's shadow. As I stated before, I loved the original and want to once again be immersed in this world. While I am not sure if BioShock ever needed a multiplayer component, it appears we are getting one anyway. So February 10, 2009 will be the test, lets hope that we have room on our calendars and in our hearts for this sequel with the uphill (up swim) climb.

-SG

8:23 AM 2 comments

A Halo Launch

 

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In the past I would do a blog post that gave an hour by hour detailed schedule of what Id be doing up until the midnight release of a Halo game. It was fun considering that I happened to be off of work for both Halo 2 and 3 making the anticipation for each release that much longer through out the day while others at least had an 8 hour work day to kill some time. (today is no different)

What was it about this franchise that made these midnight release dates such a big deal ?  What made myself plus millions of other gamers lineup in the brisk fall weather to wait for the game ?  Well  I think it stems back to the original Halo Combat Evolved. Never before has a console shooter come a long with such spot on gameplay along with a story and new a Hero that intrigued us all. With all the overwhelming amount multiplayer options the first Halo had, it left  just one thing out. Online play !

Well due to the fact that it was released on the launch day of a new console I think made it kinda hard to just jump online. That didn't stop hardcore gamers from finding out which was the better team,  Red or Blue.  Halo became a phenom in the multiplayer community with people packing up their TV’s and Xbox’s and driving to friends house or even tournaments to play the greatest first person shooter ever !

Then it happened, on November 9th 2004 Microsoft and Bungie Studios released Halo 2. This would be the biggest launch in video game history. Why ?  Because for the first time ever you could take the Master Chief online and lay the smack down on the rest of the world. Oh and a little added bonus was the incredible campaign that came along with  Halo 2.

That's leads us to the only game that would be bigger then the Halo 2 launch and that would be Halo 3 of course. Halo 2’s campaign ending really left some us (most of us) feeling empty inside and wanting to “Finish the Fight”. Well not only would we get that chance, but we'd get to do on the box 360 the new home of the Master Chief  in all of his high definition glory. So with New maps, new weapons and the chance to hand the Covent their ass its no wonder why this was the single most biggest console exclusive game ever ! 

I think that most of us  were apart of all the excitement of the last two Halo games, but there's one more on the way tonight. So where's all the excitement for this one ?  While it may not seem as big as the last two games that dropped (get it, dropped…) it still generating some new buzz for the fans of the Halo Universe. So no we wont be suit up in our Spartan armor this time around, in fact Master Chief will be no ware to be found in this Halo title.

What's the big deal then ?  Why all the excitement ? ODST ……Orbital Drop Shock Troopers ! Now we get to play as the highly trained Marines that do a lot of the dirty work behind the scenes we never got a chance to see. These guys bring us a whole new campaign that takes place during Halo 2’s timeline. The ODST’s also pack in all of the Halo3 multiplayer maps plus 3 new ones and even bring us an entirely new game mode called Fire Fight. In Fire Fight you and up to 3 other buddies can take on waves of Covent scum while trying to survive. Top it all off with co-op campaign and its another Halo recipe for success !

So while I wont be blogging about my entire day till the midnight launch or even the fact that I may not even be going to it tonight, that doesn't mean I'm not excited about the new Halo game and all its new modes and features. I think I'm more excited about this Halo game with its high emphasis on co-op play more then ever before . Halo ODST…….. T minus 13 hour 40 mins till DROP !

TX

9:54 AM 0 comments

Playstation 3: It only does Everything ….sorta kinda

 

20090825ps3slim So it does everything they say……. Well I guess it does. Thing is how well it does “everything”. From my personal experience it just doesn't measure up to the Xbox 360 in terms of being stream lined and ease of use.

What I mean by this is the simple things like downloading a game demo or navigating the systems dashboard or menu. Even the slick looking Playststion store could use some fine tuning.

I guess this should be the part where I mention that I purchased a new PS3 Slim. Yes that's right me, Mr Xbox 360 Fanboy has yet again sold his second Wii to buy a PS3 for the a second time. Again folks when it comes to video games and myself never ask why I do the things I do. Lets just call it a sickness or something.

I picked up my new PS3 along with Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank. Both of these game are a blast and I must say that Uncharted already has me looking forward to the sequel. Of course due to the PS3’s latest firmware update vr3.00 I had some difficulties with Uncharted in the beginning freezing up on me. Seems to be working fine now though, Ill keep my fingers crossed.

Being the economy that we are in right now and not to mention my butt is still jobless it doesn't make sense to support two different consoles especially  while I have 3 Xbox 360’s already in use in the house. For now Ill be fine with the couple games I have and there's always the option of a couple cheaper games on the PS Store like Wipeout HD and Flower.

I've always been known for bashing the Wii and the Playstation 3 and well for the most part its deservingly so. I mean who could forget  my day after Christmas 08 PS3 story ….If you missed it or forgot Click Here. Now though I think things are ok between the PS3 and myself. I'm almost certain that's its gonna stick around for a while. After all Star Wars has to come out on Blu-Ray one of these day. And Kill Zone 2 you may look pretty but you still cant hang with Teh Haloz.

-TX

9:11 AM 1 comments

My Dark times with the Dreamcast

 

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Like most gamers this week I'm more than happy to wish the the Sega Dreamcast a Happy 10th Birthday. I loved things my Dreamcast did for me like giving me some true next gen graphics, online play and a true hardcore gamers line of titles. Unfortunately not everything was all fun and games at times ……

I can remember taking the day off of work to pick up my new Sega console. Everything was pre-ordered and paid for all I had to do was go get it. After picking my Dreamcast I stopped on the way home to pick up some lunch because I didn't want to game on an empty stomach of course.

So I popped in Soul Calibur and was blown away instantly,I knew I had something special here. Things got even more impressive after playing my first game in what was to become the series to dethrone the almighty Madden.  NFL 2K1 was a master piece on both sides of the ball. Hey but what was the deal with not being able to call a timeout if you were the second player though ?

Now I'm ready to get into some serious boxing action with Ready 2 Rumble. Oh wait what's this ….its not working ???? Lets try it again. Nope nothing, lets give it one more shot its sure to work now……again nothing. Well I think we can all remember when The Dreamcast launched there were a few games that just didn't work properly or at all. No biggie I just took it back and got myself another game instead. Well my fellow gamers that was “strike one” for the Dreamcast for me.

I almost hate to admit this but I don't think I had my Dreamcast tens days and I returned after getting a few games that didn't work and was really just not happy with the whole situation that I dealt with. I figured Id buy some games for my PS1 and some new duel analog sticks. I walked out my locale game store was a ton of new PS1 stuff and said to myself “hey the PS2 will be out in a year, I can wait”. Pretty drastic I know .

The fact that I was a Sega Fanboy at the time didn't make long before I had gone out and purchased another Dreamcast a couple months later with a new batch of game. I do need to mention that the Sega Saturn and Sega Rally Championship is the reason I am the gamer I am today. I was Hooked on Sega Rally and played it for hours on end. Fast forward back to the Dreamcast and you can imagine my excitement when Sega Rally 2 finally shipped after many delays here in the states. Honestly I would never need another game after this. That was until I played it anyway. Long story short, I was less the pleased with one aspect of the game and that was the split screen play. My friends and I played the heck out of the first game this way and to find out that Sega Rally 2 was just unplayable this way due to the horrible frame rate in split screen. I was not happy, neither were most of my friends.  “Strike two”.

One thing I realize today is not to try and relive your past gaming experience in sequels or remakes. Take Sega Rally for the Xbox 360 and PS3. While not a bad game it still doesn't measure up to the first game back on the Saturn. This of course leads me to “Strike Three”. Sega’s World Series Baseball franchise “was” and I stress “was” the best in the business at the time until it came out with literally uncontrollable outfielders. Yep it was all up to the A.I. not you. Anyway you can see why this would be my “Strike Three”.

Don't get me wrong here folks I still loved that little white console with the swirl logo and red light on it. I can never forget the first time I played Shenmue. Or going online the for the very first time in NFL 2K1 and Phantasy Star Online. The list goes on with Test Drive Le Mans, Resident Evil Code Veronica, Sonics Adventure, Virtua Tennis and more. So while I may have had some issues in the past with the Dreamcast, deep down inside I still wish to this day  that it had become successful  from a business stand point. For now I just want to say Happy Birthday Dreamcast !

-TX

7:44 PM 1 comments

Sega Dreamcast: A Console of Firsts

September 9, 2009 is the tenth anniversary of the North American launch of Sega’s last entry (to this day) to the console hardware market.  After the better part of two decades of highs and lows as a hardware manufacturer, Sega managed to save their best console for last.  Though clearly not the commercial success that they had hoped (it had faltered in the face of the competition from Sony, Nintendo, and later Microsoft), it managed an amazing library of software, cutting edge hardware, and a cult following that remains strong to this day.  Ten years is a long time, the Dreamcast today is often considered a retro gaming system, though if you can get your hands on it and its games, you may question the retro tag.

dreamcast05Personally, I loved the system, and if you could see my massive Dreamcast collection that I still have to this day, it would testify to my dedication. The Dreamcast ushered my gaming life into a whole other level. It provided myself with experiences that at the time were unique amongst the gaming culture.  So it is with this post that I honour the Sega Dreamcast on its tenth anniversary as a console of firsts, a console that provided unique software and hardware and truly brought gaming into the next millennium.  The following points detail why this console for me was a console of firsts:

First Next-Gen console: Every new console generation that comes out is referred to as the ‘Next-Gen’.  That term is not only used to distinguish the current console generation from the later, but to also let the public know that this is the bleeding edge technology and one should own it if they are serious about their hardware.  I graduated from the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64 to the Sega Dreamcast and was blown away by the divide in graphics, hardware design, control, and features.  A lot of the things we take for granted in current-gen gaming, particularly online, was standard on the DC.  I won’t get into all the features here as some will make up some of the next points.  Needless to say, when you bought the DC on day-one, you had next-gen technology for a gaming system.

First Online Gaming: For me the Sega Dreamcast ushered me in to the online gaming scene.  A fun little combat-puzzler game entitled Chu Chu Rocket was my first online game.  I remember the night when my brother and I played our first online game against each other.  Growing up we played a lot of games against each other so it was good to know that from then on, no matter where we were, we could still game together.  The Dreamcast also was responsible for my online handle / Gamertag.  I have been know as SUPERGHOST ever since.

chchuFirst Internet: As a poor 20-something, I struggled finding my way in the world.  I didn’t own a PC, so when the opportunity to surf the internet via the Dreamcast came along, I jumped at the chance to use it for my exploits on the world wide web.  While it was not the greatest way to surf, it did allow me to have that experience.  Today, it is not unusual to have your console browse the internet (unless you are Microsoft), but back then it was a first.

First Arcade at Home: Sure, there had been arcade game conversions on home consoles for years, but the power of the Dreamcast brought the arcade experience home with comparable, or in some cases improved, quality.  Games like Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Dead or Alive 2, and Power Stone allowed gamers to save their quarters and perfect their skills in the comfort of their home living room.

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First Motion Control: Well, kind of.  With light gun games like House of the Dead 2 and Confidential Mission as well as Sega’s own fishing controller for the Bass and Marine Fishing games, I wasn’t just stationary on the couch anymore.  With the Mad Catz light gun I was able to enjoy the quality light gun games from the arcade in my home, and with the fishing controller I was able to cast a reel in the fish with the best of them.  If I had the money I would have also shook all night long playing Samba De Amigo (which has a new lease on life thanks to the Wii).  The DC had you off your couch before it was cool.

First Emotional Impact: This certainly will be different for everybody, but for me personally two games on the Dreamcast stood out for me as having huge emotional impacts, Kenji Eno’s D2 and Yu Suzuki’s Shenmue.  Two games that pushed the envelope and that could be found no where else.  I don’t think the world was ready for these two games as their costs and pushes on technology made success hard to grasp.  But I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience them and for the feelings they brought out of me.  I get such fond memories just thinking back on them now.

Shenhua2First Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO): Phantasy Star Online was a phenomenon.  There was nothing else like it in the console space.  Such an incredible marriage of simplicity with complexity, Phantasy Star Online has since gone on to spawn several sequels, but for me they still cannot compete with the original (but I will give Phantasy Star 0 a try).  The Diablo-esque ‘Loot-and-Shoot’ was many peoples first exposure to the joys (and pitfalls) of the MMO scene.  While you adventured in parties of four, you could still converse with thousands of other gamers spread throughout the game’s lobbies. What is sad that this game arrived just as Sega was giving up on the console.  What could have been for the Dreamcast?

PSOFirst Voice Chat / Conversational Game: Alien Front Online, a simple futuristic tank versus alien tank combat game was my first experience with online voice chat in a game.  Like with Phantasy Star Online, I was drawn in to the games community and quickly the success at the game became secondary.  I spent many an hour with my brothers and my cousin having a blast with it.  Consoles still today struggle with online chat, but the Dreamcast was making it happen on a 56K modem.  And I would be remiss if I did not mention Seaman.  Seaman would probably be considered a non-game today.  You not only raised your little human-faced fish/amphibian creature, but you also talked to him…and he talked back!  Seaman wouldn’t hesitate to analyze your life.  And like a tamagochi, if you did not take care of him properly, he could end up dead.  You certainly wouldn't want to kill a video game character you had a relationship with would you?

seamanPersonally I could go on and on about the Dreamcast.  I could talk about it’s library of fighters, its founding of 2K Sports, in particular its groundbreaking Football games, its VMU’s (playable memory cards) but for all its triumphs, in the end it just didn’t have the muscle or support to keep up with the industry leaders.  It is usually the brightest candles that burn the fastest, and the Dreamcast burned brightly indeed.  Please leave a comment of some of your Dreamcast firsts, or perhaps what Sega and the Dreamcast did that holds a special place in your heart.  I would like to hear from you and share some Dreamcast memories.

-SG

1:42 PM 2 comments

The River City Revival Hits Xbox in Downtown Smash Dodgeball

 

Normally I don’t copy-n-paste others blog entries, but when I noticed this game on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace under the ‘Indie Games’ banner and later this blog entry from 1UP’s Retronauts blog by Ray Barnholt, I thought I could do it no better justice other than the re-post.  It is an interesting read, especially for those who played these Kunio games back in the day.  Enjoy the post, and if you pick up the game, let me know what you think.  -SG

Did you like Super Dodge Ball on NES? I mean, really like it? Would you believe there's a small group of Japanese gamers who feel the same way? A couple of years ago, those gamers formed the company Miracle Kidz, and went ahead and made an unofficial remake of Super Dodge Ball for PC, and just recently brought it to Xbox 360 via the Indie Games program, where it's known in English as "Downtown Smash Dodgeball." You can find it there for 800 Microsoft Points. Keep in mind that the game explicity takes after the original NES game, and not the later sequels for Neo Geo, Game Boy Advance, and so on. Aside from a higher color palette, you're getting graphics, gameplay, and other elements straight from the 8-bit version. In that regard, it's actually rather well-done, and is worth checking out if you want to see what a widescreen, flickerless version of the game would be like.


"But it's 800 points," you say. "That's ridiculous for an XBL Indie Game!" Well, I don't have much of an argument there; it is way higher than the other titles in the Indie catalog. Fact is, Smash Dodgeball is a "doujin" game from PC, and doujin games are more aspirational than the typical notion of an "indie" game; they're often made by larger groups of people (a "circle") and sold in physical form -- discs and fancy manuals and so on. In other words, this isn't a typical XBL Indie Game, where it's rarely more than one person making the thing -- Smash Dodgeball is a concentrated semipro effort that has a higher degree of polish, and probably a higher degree of passion behind it as well.
Besides, being a very blatant "homage" to the Technos classic, Miracle Kidz would have trouble getting the game on the more legit Xbox Live Arcade. Putting it on Indie Games, where releases are governed by Microsoft's community of outside XNA developers, makes it easier to get a game that is already considered a "rip" out the door... even if it is full-price.


It's clear Miracle Kidz loves the games in the River City Ransom/Kunio-kun "universe." In fact, I wasn't entirely honest in calling them mere gamers. Though their productions aren't officially endorsed by the current Kunio series rights holders, the group was started by Mitsuhiro "Yoshimitsu" Yoshida and Hiroyuki "Mokeke" Sekimoto, who were key members in the production of many of the early Kunio games, particularly the NES/Famicom ones. The fact that the men behind the original games can't let go of them is a strong testament to the undeniable charm of those games, and their intention to accurately reproduce them on modern platforms is mighty appreciated. I'm not demanding you buy Smash Dodgeball (even though it is just 10 bucks...), but it wouldn't hurt to consider where it comes from, and maybe show your support one way or another.

10:03 AM 0 comments

Virtual Steelers on the road to Greatness !

 

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I started  off my franchised mode with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Madden 10 with a controversial loss to the Tennessee Titans after the officials called  for a review from the guys upstairs in the booth. After reviewing  my amazingly acrobatic touchdown catch by Heinz Ward the “guys upstairs” in the booth felt the need to over turn my touchdown which would have tide the game at least sending it to overtime.

That's the NFL for you my friends and just like real life even in the Madden 10 sometimes you need to cures out some bad calls made by the officials. From there the rest of the season has been flawless After going down to the Titans 17-10, I was able to rally the troops back for 3 straight victories in a row. With a record or 3-1 this is what it looks like so far.

  • Titans     17-10  L
  • Bears       28-7   W
  • Bengals    31-3   W
  • Chargers  42-24  W

After one bad call and 3 straight wins the road to the Superbowl seems pretty bright for the my Steelers. Madden my be a game that gets a lot of criticism for being the “same” every year, but for me I've only owned the game twice in the past 6 years or so and find it to be a real treat to play.

-TX

10:31 AM 1 comments

The Return of the Playstation Brand

 

182688-1-1 Ok those of you that know me know that I've bought some things then turned right around and sold them shortly after. Examples would be the PSP, Wii and PS3. Don't ask why I do these things because I really couldn't tell you. Call it a case of trail and error.

Then of course there are times when I repurchase the same product all over again. Like I said don't ask. That brings me to the title of this post “The Return of the Playstation Brand”.

Im referring to the PS3 making its way back to the TormentX home front. Not only that but the PS2 will see its way back as well thanks to Sony not having backwards compatibility in the PS3. Again Im sure your asking yourself why. That I can answer.

Now more then ever it makes total sense to buy PS3 for the Blu Ray. At $299 its a no brainer to a have a high def movie player that also plays games. Well what about the PS2, what's the sense of buying a system over 10 years old ? Ill tell you…..

20081029_playstation-2-sony I guess I should mention first that something has to go before I get all of this. It wouldn't be me if I didn't. Yes you guessed it…. the Wii for the second time will be leaving the house. Why would I get rid of it again you ask ? Well two reasons.

One lack of use. Although I think EA Active is awesome my foot still hurts and it will not allow me to use it to its fullest potential (plus I'm hoping for a better Natal version). Two ……my kids hardly touch the darn thing. Not to mention that my 4 and 1/2 year old still doesn't get that he needs to point the damn remote at the screen to play it. So Wii is out….. again !

Now the PS2 part of the whole deal is so that my young one can get the Dora's, the Diego's and the Sponge Bob type games without the motion control gimmick not to mentions so many other games on the cheap !

It will be a good couple of months or so before it all goes down , maybe even after the holidays. I think the Playstation brand may stick around a bit longer this time around…..maybe a just a bit.

-TX

10:19 AM 0 comments

So What's in a Price Drop ?

 

x360-white-elite-bob The next wave of price drops are soon to hit us for the 09 holiday season. So there's no better time to jump into the High Definition gaming platform ……or is it? While Sony has already announced its new PS3 Slim with a price drop of $299, we are still awaiting the “official word” from Microsoft on the “new” Elite SKU of $299.

So now you can get a Xbox 360 top of the line Elite system for just $299 or can you ? Like Sony before it the new 360 SKU comes with more the just a price change. It also comes with a bit of a down grade. Yes you still get the Black Xbox, 120 GB HDD, headset and Ethernet cable, but the one thing you don't get that is the HD component cables which now need to be purchased separately. Instead just “standard” A/V cables are packed in. 

What's the big deal you ask ? Well for anyone using an HDTV set it would mean spending more money to get the true next generation experience. Now a days a simple $10 HDMI cable will do the trick so the cost isn't that bad. My biggest problem here isn't the added cost, but the fact the average consumer may  not even know that that they would have a choice to maximize their gaming experience. Here's to hoping that most people are educated in the world of High Definition. Folks gaming on a normal TV set would be good to go.

On the brighter side of things the price of gaming is coming down at a time when the we are in a economic state of BLAH which is great for the industry going into the holidays season. $299 for a High Definition gaming system is a great deal. And as always there's still the $199 entry level Xbox 360 Arcade unit and the $250 Nintendo Wii.

-TX

12:00 PM 0 comments

Because You WANT to see more FORZA 3

 

-TX

7:05 PM 2 comments

In The Mail Today

 

Courtesy of NeoGaf:

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- Schu

3:14 PM 1 comments

Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition: The Great Debate

 

modern-warfare-2-prestige-edition1 I have been having an internal debate as of late in regards to the recently announced Prestige Edition of the Modern Warfare 2 package that will be hitting retail this November.  With three SKU’s on the books, gamers once again are going to have to decide how ‘big’ of a fan they are of their beloved franchise.  Two years ago I declared myself a huge fan of Halo by spending the big bucks on the Legendary Edition of Halo 3.  I do not regret the purchase, but had I waited a few months I could have saved big time on the ‘cat-helmet’.  So once again decision time will be rearing its ugly head, this time for the Call of Duty franchise.

Initially I was stoked about the package as I have always wanted to own my own pair of night vision goggles (even if they are just a low-grade version).  That and the whole box and collection looks very cool.  Then I began to look at the slew of Fall releases leading up to Christmas and began to realize that spending $150+ dollars for one game and no game-related peripheral probably is not the best idea.  It is a rare occasion when I come to my senses and think responsibly when it comes to game purchases and Collector's Editions.  I wouldn’t come away empty handed in this situation.  The Hardened Edition still comes with all the really cool stuff like the download code for the first Call of Duty and a Modern Warfare art book.  Not a bad haul indeed.

I was pretty comfortable with the decision I had made until Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward’s community manager had to open his big mouth.  Robert went on the record and said that the Prestige Edition would truly be limited, and once the game launched, no more of this particular edition would be produced.  That tugged at the collector heart-strings in me and once again made me second guess my choice.  Now I should not put too much stock into that statement, I happen to remember Bungie stating the same thing two years ago with their Legendary Edition.  Too this day you can still find it at a greatly reduced price.

In the end I believe common sense will win out, not because I am smart, but rather I am poor. Between all the cool other games, guides, and extras I plan to pick up I will need every last cent.  So I think the debate just may be over…for now.

Modern Warfare 2

-SG

3:02 PM 2 comments

LTTP: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

Text Adventure: So Schuey, what were your initial thoughts going into Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, which was originally released in November, 2007.

Schuey: Uncharted in my mind had a lot to live up to. Not only was it my initial foray into the PS3 landscape, but Uncharted in many people’s eyes is still regarded as one of the top titles for the system. Going into the opening sequence of the game you are treated with a well put together opening cinematic, which shows of the solid animation and voice acting in the game, which I will come back to later. Into the first jungle level proper though, I felt a little underwhelmed by the graphics.

TA: Underwhelmed, how so?U3

Schu: I guess it was probably the jaggies. With the jungle environment being pretty busy, it seemed to be more noticeable.

TA: Did you opinion change on the graphics change as you proceeded to play through the game?

Schu: Most definitely. The jaggies become less noticeable and the subtle details started to show themselves from the swaying of branches in the wind, the movement of the grass, to solid texture work and lighting on the rocky surfaces. However the thing that stood out the most was the animation, which as I said earlier is not only great in the story sequences, but also in gameplay. From Drake’s little stumbles while running, reloading of guns, melee combat and grasping at ledges after a big jump, Uncharted is beautifully animated.

TA: How does the animation compare to other games in the genre, like say Tomb Raider or even Gears of War?

Schu: Very well, actually much better in fact. Not only were animations well done and varied, the controls still felt responsive. The fact that Uncharted 2 is supposed to surpass the first game on many of these fronts, it bodes well for the sequel.

U2

TA: Speaking of controls, what did you think? Many of the gameplay/control conventions seemed to be stripped right from Gears of War, especially the cover system and gunplay.

Schu: Your right. Gears was clearly an influence, from the one button cover to the over the shoulder gun play. The shooting and cover mechanics were solid enough, but not quite as polished as Gears in my opinion. I’m hoping that U2 improves on this. At times it took too many shot sas well to take down your enemies. This seemed to be mentioned a lot by others after its initial release.

TA: Moving on from the controls, how did the story hold up for you?

Schu: I really enjoyed the story, even though it kind of stuttered a bit near end. Playing Nathan Drake, who was modeled to be somewhat of an every man, who can make mistakes from time to time seemed very believable. Not only Drake, but the supporting characters around him stood out as well. Give me Drake and Elena every time over the tired Lara Croft!

TA: Uncharted has only one game still remember, there is still plenty of time for Drake and co. to become tired!

Schu: True. I’ll give you that. The new leading lady in U2 looks very interesting as well. Hopefully the characters will continue to evolve and be given more depth.U1

TA: How long did the game take to complete?

Schu: Oh, I would say about 8 to 9 hours, which felt like the perfect amount of time. The fact the I was motivated to beat the game very quickly after getting it shows that it was able to draw me in.

TA: So it’s safe to say you will be picking Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, after your experience with Drake Fortune?

Schu: Most definitely. It is easily one of my most anticipated games in the Fall line-up, 360 or PS3.

TA: What’s next for you on the PS3?

Schu: I’m already into Valkyria Chronicles, which is a tactical strategy game set in a WWII setting, with a Japanese take. So far I think it’s fantastic.

TA: How about for the Xbox 360?

Schu: Just working on my backlog until the Fall onslaught with some Battlefield 1943 thrown in as well.

TA: Well that’s about it, thanks for your time Schu.

Schu: Your welcome…………Playstation 3!

2:21 PM 1 comments

Steam Powered: Dawn of War II

Dawn-of-War-IILast  night when I got home I received a pleasant surprise when my Facebook page had informed me that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II went 50% off at Steam.  When I was planning on buying my new laptop, one of the things I had in mind for it was to do some PC gaming.  Dawn of War II caught my eye early on as an interesting starting point to delve into PC gaming, after all what is more PC than a Real Time Strategy game (RTS).

Granted I did not know much about it other than it was developed by Relic who created the critically acclaimed Company of Heroes (which is on sale as well) and that it was not as intensive as other PC RTS games tend to be.  Last but not least I was also intrigued by the fact that I could earn LIVE achievements to pad my Xbox LIVE Gamerscore.

I did download and enjoy the demo, now I just need a little time to get immersed into the game.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous to be using the mouse and keyboard for controls, but I am happy that it is not a ‘twitch’ game, so I think I should be able to handle it.  Interesting times ahead!

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War® II

-SG

10:07 AM 2 comments

SCHUEY F1: Gaming in the 4th Dimension

Last week I picked up a Playstation 3, disappointing I’m sure my fellow blogger’s Superghost and TormentX. I have been waiting to get one for some time, but haven't came across a good deal or I have been waiting for the price to drop (which will probably happen shortly no doubt!).

sony-ps-160gb

I managed to get a pretty solid deal. For $450 I got the 160gb sku (reg. $520), which comes with Uncharted. I also got Killzone 2 for free, which I may just trade in. I traded in a few 360 games and was able to knock the price down to $340 and with $100 already saved up from a few months ago that equals $240, not bad , even if the price drop happens!flower

I haven’t been able to give it a proper run through yet, but I briefly tested Uncharted, MGS4 and Flower. I also have Valkyria Chronicles, but due that strategy nature of the game, it will need a bit more time. From what I played, I though the quality was really nice, even though the games I played are over a year old now I think. From what I have seen of Uncharted 2, it definitely looks like an upgrade. Flower gave me a good taste of proper Sixaxis controls, like most people though, I think Sixaxis is best left alone for most games. The XMB interface is elegant. I think I still prefer NXE though. Maybe the PS3 will get a new interface at some point.

Overall I’m happy with the purchase and I’m looking forward to some the PS3 exclusives coming down the pipe (Heavy Rain!).

- Schu

9:50 AM 0 comments

My Fantasy Zone: Reviving Classic Sega Franchises

 

Like many of you, if you were a fan of video games, particularly in the 1990s, you were either a Nintendo or a Sega fanboy.  My path followed closely that laid out by Sega.  I remember buying my first video game console with my own money, the Sega Genesis. Later, I became a fierce fan of the Sega Saturn. Finally, the Sega Dreamcast highlighted my dozen or so year love affair with Sega hardware.  But all good things come to an end as Sega, after a rocky decade, could no longer support its hardware business and went on to exclusively be a third party publisher, supporting Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and others in their future hardware ventures.  As a Sega fan I have seen the fruits and failures of Sega’s new direction. 

SEGA

So indulge me if you will as I imagine that Sega has hired me, a long time Sega supporter, to be in charge of a newly created department that would be responsible for developing games based on some of their most illustrious and notorious franchises.  So I have selected several properties I think Sega needs to revive or reboot and how they need to go about doing so.  So  I have gathered my inner circle at Sega headquarters for our first meeting.  Here are the games my staff will making:

sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog: The biggest name in Sega’s pantheon of characters is in need of the biggest reboot.  Though Sonic has seen several launches over the last decade or so, yet it still has not been able to get close to recapturing its former glories.  So I would decree to give the fans what they desire most, a return to the glory days.  Sonic’s next game would be a 2.5-D revival based on the original two games of the 8-bit era.  I would drop all of his friends except for Tails (useful in co-op situations) and use him in clever new ways to assist sonic.  Like Epic’s Shadow Complex, once in a while Sonic would break the 2-D plain for some 3-D action.  Leader boards, collectables, puzzles, and Chao raising (an amalgamation of Sonic Adventure’s Chaos and Night’s ‘A-Life’) would be incorporated to give the game legs.  All this and a friendly price point to reel in the masses and I think Sonic would be once again on top of the world.

phantasy-star-onlinePhantasy Star Online: One of my all-time favourite games has already seen its own ‘next-gen’ remake, but I say don’t fix was is not broke.  Forget Sony’s Home or Microsoft’s Avatars, my idea for a PSO revival is to reintroduce the series as a downloadable title via each consoles respective download service.   Phantasy Star Online would once again become gamers social destination as the games lobbies would be filled by players wishing to chat or party up for experience earning, loot-grabbing expeditions.  No subscription would be required, the game would become a gold mine via micro-transactions.  You could tweak your look by buying unique styles for your existing armour, weaponry, and Mags.  Also, new episodes would be made available for purchase to ensure you keeping coming back for more.  The game would also support itself with in-game advertising (In all truth I hope that somebody at Sega actually reads this and gets them thinking along these same lines).

ct Crazy Taxi: the original Crazy Taxi was a runaway success, unfortunately its sequels could not recapture the originals fire and the franchise soon disappeared from our radar.  Imagine if you will Crazy Taxi Online.  Think of what could be done with a city not unlike Paradise City, where online players would compete for fares, do crazy stunts, and cause general mayhem.  Crazy Taxi Online would be a licence to print money.

NatalSeaman and Jet Set Radio: Two franchises that were made for the new generation of camera and motion control.  Before there was Natal’s ‘Milo’, there was Seaman.  This half human, half fish ‘lived’ in your Sega Dreamcast.  As you raised it, it communicated with you and via a microphone included with the game, you communicated back.  Now imagine Seaman brought to life with the Natal or Eye Toy.  It would recognize your face, perhaps even sense your mood.  Via motion control you could interact with Seaman and his environment.  You could even map yours or someone else's face to the Seaman (creepy)!  Like many Sega franchises, Seaman was ahead of its time.  Natal was made for games like this.

Imagine Jet Set Radio using he motions of your arms and hands to spray paint or ‘tag’ your environment. Uh oh, the bad guys are on to you so it is time to book.  You take off with the motion of your legs, or perhaps your Wii balance board to mimic skating.  You direction changing or shifting of weight allows you to perform stylized stunts.  Again I believe Jet Set Radio would be a perfect match for this generation of motion-based controls.

PDOPanzer Dragoon: One of Sega’s most storied franchises, Panzer Dragoon has a rich and detailed universe that is begging to be remade for the next generation.  I would like to rerelease the original Panzer Dragoon Saga along side the creation of its sequel.  Saga’s unique melding of Dragoon’s patented combat in a RPG setting made this game an experience like no other.  So much work has already been put into creating this properties universe, including its own spoken language, that it would be a shame that we never get to experience its colourful universe again.  We were blessed to have four solid games out of Panzer Dragoon, but how many people really got to play them?  I think we can do better for this franchise.

shenmueShenmue:  Say what you will about this franchise, but one thing is for sure, we need closure.  GTA III changed the face of open world games forever, leaving games like Shenmue in its wake.  So instead of trying to compete with that level of detail, I would like to produce either a series of interactive movies or one great episode to conclude the Shenmue storyline.  Again, so much effort was placed into this franchise that it deserves a better fate.  At the end of the day it may just be fan service, but with the guaranteed millions of earnings  from the above titles, I think we can once again role the dice on Sega’s most notorious game series ever.

So far I think I have my new division at Sega off to a tremendous start.  I think the above are the keys to returning Sega to its former glory.  New Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia RPGs would be in the next wave.  Also I need to put Chu Chu Rocket into the downloadable space as soon as possible.  What Sega franchises would you like to see resurrected, retooled, or remade?  I would like to hear from you, so please leave a comment.  Sega has one of the most rich and beloved library of properties in the video game world.  They need to get out there a grab the gold ring!  Make it happen Sega.

SEGA

-SG

7:16 PM 2 comments

Ok Bioware…..You Got Me!

Up to this point I have been on the fence about whether or not to purchase Dragon Age, which is a RPG set in a mix of low and high fantasy and is the spiritual successor to Baulder’s Gate. Today though, they revealed the Collectors Edition, which comes with….are you ready…a cloth map!

mapCloth maps, which tended to be more or less standard with computer RPG’s back in the day (see the Ultima series) are pretty high on the nerd scale, but I think they are great, and that they are the kind of swag I like to see with CE’s. I’m also a fan of Mass Effect and the Dragon Age CE is also supposed to come with something a little extra for Mass Effect 2.

However, what I will not be buying is the “Prestige Edition” for Modern Warfare 2, which comes with working night-vision goggles! I don’t want to end up like this guy below…

morecrap

* picture courtesy of NeoGaf

- Schu

9:17 PM 0 comments

MechWarriors…Come out and Play!

An interesting bit of news surfaced this past week that caught my attention.  IGN reported that Smith and Tinker and Piranha Games are rebooting the storied PC Mech franchise with an all new game on the PC and Xbox 360 entitled MechWarrior.  Now you can read the article in its entirety and watch a teaser trailer for the upcoming title here, but what I want to write about today is what this announcement means to me by looking back on my Mech battling past.

MechAssCHawkTo start of I am going to go way back.  All the way back to 1988.  I was in my mid teens and a Commodore 64 owner looking for a fresh and exciting RPG to sink my teeth into.  I was recently wowed by my first experiences with the Robotech animated series and was looking to find a game that was comparable in story and scope.  Via the magazines of the time I was introduced to the Battletech series, seeing ads for the game Battletech: The Crescent Hawk Inception. Even though the C64 version was mildly ‘nerfed’ compared to its PC counterparts it was a solid RPG and was an unusual genre for the franchise as future games would focus on the direct piloting of the Mechs.  I quickly completed this game, but little did I know that it would be the better part of two decades before I would get to revisit the Battletech/MechWarrior  series.  This time it would sport a new, hipper title, MechAssault.

mechassaultIn the first days of Xbox LIVE is was really about two games, Ghost Recon and MechAssault.  For me I was not as interested in the complex military action of Ghost Recon so I quickly latched onto MechAssault.  I appreciated its variety of Mechs, online teamwork, and accessibility of play.  A spent  many an evening playing the multiplayer component if favour of the single player campaign.  I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that this game was a moderate success on the platform.  It also brought twitch gameplay to the franchise that had been firmly rooted on the PC since A couple of years later a sequel was released entitled MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf.

When MechAssault 2 came out it appeared that it would be a sure fire hit as it looked to have improved on the original title in everyway possible on paper.  One of the big bullet points for this title was a persistent online conflict where your conflicts had an overall effect on the balance of power within the games universe.  While the game pushed forward the mythology of the Battletech universe the game was mired in several game breaking problems.  The games poor matchmaking and lack of flexibility to chose your Mech within its persistent online battle often left me and my friends stuck in lobbies waiting for enough people to make a game.  We not so fondly began to refer to the game as ‘Lobby-Assault’.  The poor performance of two fan favourite properties (the other being Shadowrun) led to Microsoft disbanding the development studies and selling the rights to Smith and Tinker.  Now I led with where that went, but I am not ready to return to that story.  Two other great games were yet to be played, Steel Battalion and Chromehounds.

 SBcontrollerSteel Battalion and its online sequel, Steel Battalion: Line of Contact, were games in my opinion that were well ahead of their time.  Unfortunately the game’s greatest strength was its greatest weakness, the prohibitively priced, but oh so awesome controller.  Steel Battalion weighed in at a hefty $250 price tag, its price at the time was comparable to the price of the entire console it ran on (the Xbox if you did not know already).  Also due to the pricing the game was available in very limited numbers.  But those who were able to find the game and pay the price discovered a game experience that you could not find anywhere else on home consoles. 

Capcom’s ambition increased ten fold with the release of the online expansion, Line of Contact.  The online game supported 5 vs.. 5 Vertical Tank combat, collectable rare items, chat rooms, an action house, and a persistent online conflict where your battles again would effect the state of the overall conflict.  I had an awesome personal campaign going in LoC, but two things in this game doomed my interest.  When you die in Steel Battalion, you die.  Your career is over and all you have accumulated is gone.  So when my character died I actually was shocked and felt like somebody kicked me in the stomach.  That coupled with the ‘lobby assault’ where it could take up to 30 minutes to get a game together spelled the end for this game for me.  Steel Battalion burned the brightest, but certainly not the longest.  I often wonder what could have been had this game waited one more generation to be released.  Again it would be a couple more years before the torch was picked up again with Sega’s Chromehounds on the Xbox 360.

chrome_houndsI was very excited for the arrival of Chromehounds.  I had a lot of confidence that the third time would be the charm and this persistent online world thing would finally take a hold in the Xbox LIVE community.  Once again though it appeared that poor net coding would be the bane of this genre of gaming on the Xbox console space.  While I and my friends had a lot of fun building ‘Hounds and taking part in the battle, in the end we had to settle for playing against the computer as the game could just not handle the scope of the games online play.  At the end of the day I am left to wonder if this genre, this style of play had anywhere to go this generation.  Fortunately it appears that we will get at least one more opportunity with the franchise that started it all for me, MechWarrior.

While we are only introduced to this game with a teaser trailer, from what I observed it appears to strike a balance between Steel Battalion and MechAssault.  The inclusion of 4-player co-op is a huge win as well.  So after years of hits and misses in this genre I am very confident that the retooled MechAssault franchise will strike the correct chord once and for all.  I will be watching closely any developments on this game.  Xbox 360 and PC owners be on the lookout, the new generation of Mech assaulting will soon be at hand.

IGN: MechWarrior Revealed

-SG

1:07 PM 0 comments

EA Active ….One week later

 

ea-sports-active So one week later I headed back to EA’s personal home trainer for the Nintendo Wii EA Active. While I wish I could have continued my 30 day challenge I had to pass due to actually injuring my foot while using it the first day. It even set back my normal fitness routine a bit, but I still managed to push on.

I chose to lay off the cardio and focus on my strength training for the last week at the gym and that was sort of my focus on my EA Active workout today.

So I entered my own personal workout today and stayed away from anything that might have me taking many steps like lunges or running in place. I Still burned off 226 calories in 30 minuets all while keeping my feet grounded.

First I did mix of sports, cardio boxing ands upper body training . Sports consisted of playing volleyball, baseball and basketball. These exercises really let you focus in on the motions yours using while actually playing these sports and let you feel the muscles being used. You really don't think about it when your doing these things in a real game , but when you turn it into a workout and push yourself with each and every motion you feel it !

The upper body training consisted or more exercises using the resistance band. I went for a mix or curls, shoulder presses and shoulder raises. The cardio Boxing in this game is great. The trainer has you throwing jabs and straights with left and right crosses then turning to the heavy bag were you are  given a different number for reps to complete between 30 and 100. That's when you want punch the hell out of the bag at this point as fast as you can all while trying to maintain a nice balanced form.

I ended my workout with standing squats to give the legs a little burn with out putting a lot of pressure on my foot. I did a seconded workout that was made up of mostly Boxing and Tennis. for a bout 12 minutes and again ended with some squats.

Once my foot is better I'm going to restart my 30 day challenge not only so I can report on how well it went but so that I can further better my own personal fitness goals. For someone who just started studying to be a personal trainer I made a big mistake. I didn't warm up or stretch. I do it in the gym but overlooked it at home. So I still stand behind EA Active and the quality of the training given on screen. So stay tuned for more virtual fitness from me TormentX, my Wii and EA Active.

My Review for EA Active

-TX

6:32 PM 0 comments

SG’s Adventures: The Hiatus Return Edition!

It has been a long couple of months for me as my focus was turned away from blogging and towards my studies.  Now with my exam written and in the books I am free and clear to return to my neglected blogs and show them some love.

fallout-3-point-lookout-hillfolk-enemy-screenshotAs was before, Fallout 3 is once again the focus of my blogging.  Point Lookout is the latest in the substantial series of DLC Bethesda has provided for their smash RPG. I love the feel of Point Lookout, the developers have really captured that Hill-Folk scare factor (see the motion picture Wrong Turn) and incorporated that into their version of post-apocolypticia.  As I play this story I cannot help to think how this could be co-opted into a Silent Hill RPG, in fact if it did not have the Fallout 3 trappings, it wouldn't` take much to make the switch.  Their is a lot to explore here, possibly more than Project Anchorage and The Pitt combined.  This to me is the first DLC package that really feels like a new chunk of land to explore, rather than the mostly linear progression of the previous entries.  Once I am done here I think I will begin to proceed to the Fallout 3 endgame, Broken Steel.  Right now I am sitting on about 117 hours, think it will soon be time to make a change.  As much as I love the capital wasteland, I think I need some new scenery.  That is not to say I won’t return, I would definitely come back for visits!

ikaruga-ship When I went online this afternoon I was pleased to see that Ikaruga is the Xbox LIVE Marketplace ‘Deal of the Week’.  I always wanted to purchase the game, even if it was only for Dreamcast nostalgia.  Now it is half off and priced at 400 Microsoft Points.  If you were like me and too cheap to take the plunge before, now is the time to strike on a classic ‘shump’.

mirrors_edgeLast year, Mirror’s Edge was firmly on my radar, but time was not on that games side as it arrived in the middle of a crazy videogame season, Fall 2008.  As I listened to what people had to say about the game I got a little turned off as well.  Earlier today in fact I reiterated those same feeling to my cousin COKTOE (formerly COKTOE 360 of Xbox fame).  I basically stated how I let that game pass me by.  This afternoon I was perusing the 360 games at a local store when I Mirror’s Edge for a mere $20.  Being on vacation right now and looking for something fresh I decided to take the plunge and purchase the game.  It is funny how that works sometimes.  I has put some serious thought into NCAA 10, but the high price of game lately is scaring me off.  Possibly a little purchasing patience may be my new order of the day.

-SG