Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sega Auctioning Off Rare Game Goods To Benefit Japan Relief

Sega is doing its part for Japan relief in a big way with an auction of some pretty cool (and rare) game-related goodies with ALL the proceeds going to the Red Cross. Read below the jump and if you're a collector with a fat wallet in this economy, Go do the right thing and BID!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Set to Hit PSN This Spring (Huzzah!, But It's Time To Start A Retail Release Petition, I Say!)

Well alrighty, then! I guess my little commentary from a few months back made the rounds at Xseed's offices or something, as the news that the publisher is in the process of localizing Acquire's PSN role-playing game for a US release over the PlayStation Network. While that Spring 2011 download-only release is in the works, I'm hoping that Xseed just does the right thing and gives us BOTH games on a disc as Wizardry Double pack (the same way they were released in Japan after their PSN debuts).

Is it nicely-written and well thought out online petition time? We shall see... in the meantime, I'm a damn happy camper with his fingers crossed. Press release below the jump - more screens, too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Catherine Announcement Trailer (Late, But Still "Fun" to Watch)

Speaking of Atlus - I'd forgotten to run this nicely disturbing Catherine trailer from a few weeks back, so here you go - enjoy! I really can't wait for this one, but now that it's US-bound, I don't need to spend too much money on the import version and bugging a few folks to assist in translating things. Awesome.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga Soundtrack BonusTrailer

Here's a peek at the latest trailer for Atlus' upcoming RPG Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga featuring some of that excellent music, which by the way, is going to be on the bonus CD included with the game (thanks Atlus!). There's a demo hitting Xbox LIVE on March 22, and the full game will be available in stores on April 12, 2011. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the changes and sinking way too much time into this expanded version of the original.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mastiff Steps Up To The Plate For Japan

Awesome - read it and GO "like" them on Facebook.


March 15, 2011

An open letter from Bill Swartz, President, CEO and Head Woof of Mastiff

Mastiff's thoughts are with the millions affected by the immense disaster suffered by Japan this weekend. I am relieved to report that Mastiff's staff and friends in Tokyo are all safe and accounted for.

The United States and Japan have accomplished great things together. The videogame industry in particular owes much of its success to the partnership of our two countries. Our work at Mastiff would not be the same without our Japanese employees, partners, and supporters.

I have loved Japan since before my first visit there in 1977. My wife, and my second language, are Japanese. I have spent more than 12 years of my life in that great country. I owe my career to the Japanese games industry, which gave me my first job out of college, working in product design for Koei (now called Tecmo Koei Games), located outside Tokyo in Yokohama. The Japanese industry continued to support me during a ten year stint as Managing Director at Activision Japan, a subsidiary of US game publisher Activision.

I hope that you will join Mastiff and me personally in helping Japan's recovery. In addition to the funds that Mastiff and I are personally contributing already, Mastiff pledges that for every 100 people who like us on Facebook between now and the end of April, Mastiff will donate $100 to the Red Cross for Japan relief, up to $25,000. The Mastiff Facebook page can be seen HERE

Most Sincerely,

Bill Swartz

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Japan: No News Is Not Good News and Ignorance Isn't Bliss...

While some folks have seemed to it's tough to simply go into a "life goes on..." mode given the current situation in Japan. Most of the folks I know there are OK and the ones I haven't heard from yet I'm keeping an ear to the ground for news when I can. If you want to help, getting on a plane isn't recommended, as even the government there is discouraging travel (unless of course you're showing up on a Navy transport). Feel free to give to a LEGITIMATE relief organization if you've the funds (check out anyone you're donating to fully, don't just click or ring up funds to some random "Donate NOW!" site).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - I got a review copy of Yakuza 4 on Friday (thanks, Scott!) and was a few hours in when I heard the earthquake news, so I haven't played all that much since. I've been pretty much contacting folks and eyeballing a few news channels from different world locations. It's definitely an interesting comparison between NHK's matter of fact presentation and any US networks and their annoying "play that slow piano tragedy theme" coverage that falls into the same pattern no matter what the event is. Ugh. Anyway, off to try and get some work done. Hey Hide J! If you're somewhere reading this, ring me up, dude.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Brink Hands-ON: Splash Damage At The Top Of Their (& Your) Game

UK-based developer Splash Damage has every right to be chest-out, chin up proud of their upcoming shooter, Brink. The game is a total blast to play and everything from the deep character and weapons customization to the smartly paced addictiveness of the team-centered FPS gameplay is stellar stuff. I got to check the game out recently when Betheseda dropped into NYC with it (and InXile's fun RPG action/romp Hunted: The Demon's Forge) and yes, it's not only ridiculously impressive, it's designed so brilliantly that even non-FPS fans will want to pick up a controller and have a go. With its destroyed futuristic "Ark" setting and two groups pitted against each other in a race against time for what each sees as humanity's future, there's a solid sense of urgency under the trappings of what would be just another shooter du jour in less capable hands.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Earth Defense Force Insect Armgeddon Update: Pre-Order Kickoff GO!

D3Publisher of America has launched the pre-order program for its upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 release Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon with a pretty neat deal for those who want a little more bang for their buck. GameStop and Best Buy locations will be offering those who slap down a deposit one of two different cool DLC weapons packs for the game's customizable armor sets.

July 5, 2011 is the official release date for the game and (YES!) D3 is dropping into NYC next week with EDFIA and a bunch of other upcoming titles, so expect a few hands-on reports once I finally come up for air. Three more screens and another trailer below the jump!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Got Used Games? Go GameStaq!

As someone who's been playing console games since game consoles were created, I can very safely say that there's been a massive market for used video games market since day one. Before game shops became an important part of the retail chain, pre-owned titles were either sold/traded between friends at home, school, work and yes, garage sales or flea markets. In the 80's, a number of used game shops across the country such as FuncoLand, BRE and others began the huge boom in dealing in large amount of pre-owned titles along with new releases at brick and mortar locations. Even back then, many consumers complained because they weren't given the best value when trading in recently purchased games and accessories even if they were in fantastic condition.

Sega Knows How To Throw A Par-Tay...

Yakuza 4 hits stores on March 15, 2011 exclusively for the PS3 and Sega held a little bash for the game in downtown NYC last night. The game is indeed ridiculously DEEP and nicely done from what I got to play. I think I ate more sushi than I've had in my entire life, but probably not...

Anyway, a review will go up once my copy of the game arrives and I get a good chunk of time into it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gallery: Battle Slots

Phantom EFX has a super-nice surprise for fans of the Puzzle Quest games and slot machines in its upcoming PC (and possibly console) release, Battle Slots. Yes, it's a hybrid game that mixes all the addictive fun of gambling and all the addictive fun of RPG's in one package. Or bacon wrapped butter dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with bacon bits to some of us.

More screens below the jump. the game is currently in development, so expect an update and new images as more info drops this way. I'm warming up my favorite chair as we speak and even thinking of installing a coin drop on the old monitor here.

WIN FREE STUFF! D3Publisher Announces Sweepstakes 4 Gamers Facebook Promotion!

Lazy ol' me is finishing up a few articles and reviews (yes, that Dead Space Weekend thing I mentioned to one or two of you a while back went well - all three games played back to back over the weekend), but while you're waiting for new stuff to read, why not enter a cool contest and try to score some MAJOR prizes? Below the jump, you must go, Padawan...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok

Platform: PC

Developer: Wax Lyrical

Publisher: Iceberg Interactive

# of Players: 1

PEGI Rating: 7+

Official Site

Score: A

Despite the market overloaded with fast-paced shooters and action games as well as plenty of licensed properties that get a lot more press coverage, point & click adventure games are far from dead. The genre, while not getting the massive ad budgets of the aforementioned "Triple A" action blockbusters, continues to forge onward with a number of excellent releases from publishers brave enough to slow things down to a more cerebral pace while giving fans the mystery, suspense and puzzles they crave. Wax Lyrical's Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok is an excellent new game that features a nicely (and increasingly) unsettling atmosphere, brain-bending puzzles and a solid story that grabs you right from the start. From the photo realistic pre-rendered visuals, excellent sound design and music that will have you looking over your shoulder every so often, the Baron is a worthy addition to any adventure fan's library.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Win Free Stuff! Anyone Want a Killzone 3 Moleskine Lined Journal?

I have ONE of these to give away, US residents ONLY (sorry you folks from up north and across the pond!). All you need to to is post a comment below and you're in the drawing. feel free to get someone to sign up and post here if you're not a Killzone fan. As long as they live in the U.S. of A., I'm not picky!

Of course, the winner needs to cough up an actual mailing address so they can get their prize. DON'T put your personal info in your post, of course! This is a pretty slick leather-bound journal with lined pages and a band to keep it shut. I think it's 100 pages, but I didn't crack it open to count them. Quite a cool item you won't find in stores, so good luck!

Official-sounding rules below.

CONTEST RULES: OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY! To enter: post ONE random comment here - that's it. Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, March 7, 2011. Winner will be contacted via email or through the DAF site in order to get your correct US mailing address. Item will be shipped out within 48 hours after winner has been chosen. Cash value of cool prize: zero (unless you decide to sell it on ebay and make a profit).


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hunted: The Demon's Forge Hands-On

Fans of tightly focused "old-school" hack & slash RPG's as well as anyone looking for a hefty challenge should absolutely stick inXile's upcoming PS3/Xbox 360 game on their to-do lists. At a recent Bethesda press event, I got to sit down with a final build of the game and was very impressed at the level of challenge in the game (and the presentation's not bad either). While inXile has noted previously that Hunted's cover-based gameplay is inspired by Epic's Gears of War series, the fantasy trappings and two tough yet likable leads should appeal to both male and female gamers alike. I got a taste of both the single player and co-op story modes (with a fellow editor) and yes, you should click on down to read the real deal on what's going to be a bit of a sleeper hit this June.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Atlus to Set Catherine Loose on Gamers This Summer!

EXCELLENT. Thank you, Atlus! After a ton of interest from gamers outside of Japan even as the game's developers said they had no plans to localize the PS3/360 game for Western audiences, the (no doubt going to be) Mature-rated horror/puzzle/strategy game hybrid is headed for a US release this summer. There was a HUGE teaser e-mail sent out last week that used the same pink background as well as a line from the game, so it was easy to figure out what was what. I ran a few movies on the other blog a few weeks back, but I'll be updating.both sites with image galleries once I get shots of the US version in action. Awesome - I guess I'll be getting both versions since they're doing the dual cover thing (yeah, I'm THAT crazy).