Strider 2014 Demo Impressions

news_capcom_announces_strider-14337Last year, I was able to preview a playable build of Strider at the New-York ComicCon, and it got me really excited. While the graphics had been upgraded to 3D models, the action still remained in the 2D-era. It controlled perfectly, every movement felt responsive and silky-smooth. In all, my brief playthrough left me feeling confident that the developers understood why this series had left such an impact on gamers that still thrives to this day. The real question was, could this promise hold out for an entire game? Only an hour into the full release so far and I can say that I think Double Helix is on the right path to bringing Strider back to glory. I can’t figure out why it took so long for a new Strider to hit the market amidst the resurgence of nostalgia properties, but it seems worth the wait.

Mar
13
2014
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Thief: NYCC 2013 Preview

Right before New York Comic Con, I got an invite to a Square Enix preview event showing off their new titles. At the top of my list was Thief, and when the PR rep mentioned where the demo machine was, I left only a cloud of dust in my haste to it.

I have only seen brief playthroughs and demos, nothing really giving me a good sense of what to expect from playing the new update to the Thief series. I had, however, read plenty of worrisome press talking of a troubled game that has the potential of missing the mark it is setting out to do by copying too much of the poor design choices of modern gaming. I’m sorry to say that I can see where these reports are coming from. An hour with the game has left me scratching my head as to what audience this game is intended for.

Nov
04
2013
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GamesCom 2013 Trailer Round-Up (So Far)

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With GamesCom 2013 underway, every day new trailers for upcoming days are hitting the web for anticipated titles like Batman: Arkham Origins, Ryse: Son of Rome, Thief: New Dawn, inFamous: Second Son, Dead Rising 3, Battlefield 4, and more. We've rounded up the trailers, both cinematic and gameplay, of the most anticipated titles and included them all below. Watching through these, it's hard (if not impossible) to get excited about the gaming enjoyment coming our way in the next year.

To check them all out, read on.

Aug
22
2013
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"Dark Souls II" Closed-Beta Testing to Begin October 5th; Registration Starts September 5th

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Dark Souls, one of the most devilishly, fiendishly difficult games of this last generation will be getting the sequel treatment as of March 2014, but fans in Europe and North America who want to get in on the action of Dark Souls II even sooner can do so by joining the closed-beta run that will be kicking off on October 5th. For now, details are relatively slim outside of the suggestion that fans who wish to participate should start paying close attention to the Dark Souls Facebook page which will be disseminating info on how to join the closed-beta testing program as of September 5th. Registration information will be appearing there, so if you want in, there's no other place to be.

Aug
22
2013
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PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Launch Game Titles Announced

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So you've got that shiny/textured new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One on pre-order, or maybe you're just eager to get one, and you're wondering what you'll be able to play on it right from the start? Well, both Sony and Microsoft have announced the lists of launch day game titles for their respective systems. Not surprisingly in this day and age when the two consoles are quite similar, there's a bit of overlap in the lists, but each console has a few exclusives along with universal titles like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Madden NFL 25, Need for Speed: Rivals, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and more. For a full list of the PS4 and Xbox One's launch titles and slightly further off titles, keep reading.

Aug
21
2013
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Sony Announces Playstation 4 Release Date: November 15th; Idiots Pay Way Too Much for a PS4 on eBay

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After telling the public virtually everything they wanted to know about the specs, forthcoming titles, and features of the Playstation 4, Sony kept one detail concealed and the internet has been speculating about it ever since: the release date. Would it be mid-October? The end of October? Mid-December? Did that flier or leaked internal memo just give it away? No, no, and no. Finally, all that ridiculous conjecture can be put to rest with Sony announcing a firm release date of November 15th. It's kind of an awkward time to release a major console though, considering it's two weeks before Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's likely all available stocks of the PS4 will sell out before then with not enough time to restock. That's a problem Sony is probably happy to have though (and maybe they're ready for it), especially considering they continue to sell like hotcakes and major retailers like Amazon have sold out of their presale and secondary presale allotments.

And while Amazon is sold out, you can still hit up Wal-Mart or be a completely ridiculous person and pay $1500 on eBay. (Seriously though, don't be that guy. Instead, be patient.) For a full breakdown of specs and features of the PS3, read on.

Aug
20
2013
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New Screenshots and Art from "Batman: Arkham Origins"

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So many things give me concern about the upcoming prequel entry to the excellent, Rocksteady-produced Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City (which I loved for their embrace of Batman: The Animated Series' voice cast) but every now and then they release some images that quell my worries. Am I disappointed that Batman: Arkham Origins isn't being produced by the same company that hit the first two out of the park? Sure, but it sounds as if they've done quite a bit of advising on the new installment. Am I sad that Batman voice acting mainstays Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill won't be onboard this time as Batman and Joker, respectively? Sure, but we've had plenty of movies to get used to it, (with Batman: Under the Red Hood having the most memorable substitutions of Bruce Greenwood as Batman and Futurama's John DiMaggio as Joker)

There are just things you have to accept about a franchise moving on (or back in a prequel's case), and as long as the franchise can retain its excellent visuals, mechanics, and storytelling, there's no big loss. The newly released screenshots and concept art below suggest that at least the first criterion is still being met.

May
01
2013
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MMORPG: The Sloppy, Bloated, Inferior Cousin of the RPG

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if you hand me an RPG, I can play it for tens of hours as I work through the story and then the multiple sidequests which pad out the gameplay taking it from a mere 40 or 50 hours to potentially 70 or even 100. However long an RPG ends up being, chances are the main gameplay never feels as repetitive until you get into the side missions where it might just boil down to hunting down a monster and killing it or retrieving x number of items. But at least the main story is long, creative, and full of varied gameplay. The same can't really be said of MMORPGs though, which is weird considering unlike a regular RPG, new content is being developed for it on a regular basis - the initial roll-out is just the first stage of its public life. And yet, they still can't always get the balance between mission variety and storytelling right.

Mar
18
2013
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Dear "Aliens: Colonial Marines", It's Not You, It's Me

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Hey my little pecan, how’re you? Good, good, listen, we need to talk. No, it’s not like that, it’s just, we have some issues I need to get off my chest.

Remember when, back in 2008 when Gearbox  officially announced they were gonna’ bring us together, how excited I was? I mean, those Brothers in Arms joints were always a blast and people seemed to really take to Borderlands and all that jazz? What could go wrong with a game based on Aliens, right?

Feb
14
2013
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The Slippery Slope: "Dead Space 3" & Pay-to-Play Antics

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Micro-transactions. Just say the word and in a matter of seconds, a gamer's blood is boiling underneath their skin. Personally, my reaction to that dreaded term isn't as extreme, but it does come attached with negative thinking. Just like you don't bring up politics at Thanksgiving, you don't bring up micro-transactions around a gaming crowd. Nothing good will come of it.

The term came into the mainstream thanks to the plethora of Facebook and mobile games that players are now constantly inundated with. Farmville was free until you hit a wall with the game play, and then Zynga started asking for real-world money in exchange for virtual crops and livestock. Back then, it made some sense. After all, these were games that were completely free to play and they needed a way of making money. It made sense at the time when they started. However, this little monster had an insatiable appetite, and it was only a matter of time before it crept into console gaming.

Feb
12
2013
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