Friday, April 29, 2011

Call of The Dead Promo Poster Makes Me Wonder...

This HUGE and amazing poster for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops: Escalation DLC arrived today and fooled me for a hot second as I thought it was for an actual FULL GAME. Robert Englund, Sarah Michele Gellar, Danny Trejo AND Michael Rooker in a game as zombie killers? Whaaaaaat?!! That's a day ONE buy, Oh hell yeah!

Then I see the release date and had to feign a dropkick at my PS3 (for not getting this pack on the same day AND the current PSN debacle). My 360 is deader than a pack of blown-away flesh-eaters, so it looks like I'll be a lonely, lonely non-undead killing fool next week (*sob!*). Ah well, there's always the long wait for the Game of the Year Edition, I suppose...

Er... Activision? I'm sure a whole hell of a LOT of diehard COD fans, zombie fans and B-movie fans wouldn't mind skipping yet another military-themed COD one year for a dozen or so of non-stop hours of zombie destruction with these four genre legends, a great single-player/co-op focused storyline packed with genre cliches galore, some fine multiplayer modes (YES with MORE arcade bonuses) and so forth and so on.
Trust me, it'll sell like.. er, like Call of Duty, dammit!

Oh, that's George A. Romero as the lead zombie, in case you haven't guessed.
I'd know those over-sized thick glasses ANYWHERE.

Say, does anyone reading this (in the U.S. of A, that is) WANT this awesome poster, by the way? Shoot over a reply and I'll see what I can do...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Binary Domain Gameplay Footage

Sega shoots out this gameplay trailer from its upcoming sci-fi action/shooter. Looking pretty cool, so far... we'll have to see how it all comes together with some hands-on time...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nintendo "Officially" Announces New Console For 2012

Although news (and a few images) have been leaking out for a little while now about the successor to the Wii, an
official statement from the company's financial report has been popping up all over the Internet today officially announcing the new console will be shown (and possibly playable) at E3 this year. Codenamed 'Project Cafe', the new console is rumored to feature HD visuals that rival the PS3 and Xbox 360 along with an innovative new controller with a 6.2" touch screen that enables downloading and playing games through the console without turning on your TV!

The new system is expected to launch in 2012, but no pricing, features or software announcements have been made yet. This is certainly exciting news for Nintendo fans and gamers in general, as there's little doubt that we'll all be seeing something innovative and extremely user friendly very shortly. Of course, we'll also see the Wii and its games drop in price, so it'll be interesting to see how his affects those numbers, as traditionally, "dying" consoles get a spike in sales as budget-minded families seize the opportunity to grab up systems and games for kids who care not a whit for flashy graphics and expensive new controllers. Time for another poll, I guess...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: Battle Slots

Platform: PC

Developer: 8Monkey Labs

Publisher: Phantom EFX

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating:

Official Site

Score: B+

At first glance, Battle Slots might look like yet another Puzzle Quest clone, but you'd be mistaken if you thought it wouldn't be as solid or fun as Infinite Interactive's two gems. It only takes a few spins of this one-button winner to find out it's a really fun and addictive little hybrid RPG that's easy to pick up but very difficult to stop playing. The light and breezy humorous notes the story hits keeps the game from sinking into overly serious territory even as the battles grow increasingly more challenging. While there are no multiplayer modes at all, this is one of those tightly focused single player experiences that makes the hours fly by whenever you sit down for a session. After a few of those hours spent spinning reels and leveling up you'll be wanting to hook up a coin drop and REAL slot arm on the side of your PC, is all I'll say...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Trailer (Broadcast Version)

Nice... I want a dozen to go, hold the cheese (as they're plenty here to choke a horse twice). The uncensored one is going up on the other blog later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Film Review: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Advertising isn't new to entertainment at all, folks. In fact, in the last century, both radio and TV broadcasts were sponsored by major companies pushing everything from cigarettes to cars to cereal and dishwashers. Soap operas were in fact, heavily reliant on pushing laundry detergent to a mostly female audience (though that selling point was phased out over time, the name stuck). However, these days, it's gotten to an over-saturation point where too many films,TV and even news shows are non-stop advertisements for nearly everything held, eaten or otherwise remotely handled by their casts.

Director Morgan Spurlock is no stranger to throwing himself head first into his documentary projects as a more than eager human guinea pig and in POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, he dives into the rather shifty world of product placement and manages to pop up smelling like roses and shilling to the masses simultaneously. The film is a hilarious peel back the curtains "Doc-buster" on how advertising agencies along with Hollywood film and TV studios have turned nearly every form of entertainment or information source into stationary or moving ads for thousands of popular products. If you've ever wondered about why you're seeing all those familiar foods, cars, clothes and tech toys called out by name or lovingly displayed in your favorite shows, films and news, you'll want to drop that remote and go buy a ticket to this instant classic.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge "Call of The Forge" Trailer

Excellent behind the scenes video featuring InXile staff talking up their upcoming co-op centric action RPG (which is a ton of fun, by the way). May 31st can't some soon enough for me. PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, folks...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Urban Behavior Wants You To "Love Your Guts" For The Kids!

Urban Behavior is a LA-based fashion outlet definitely deserving a lot of props for supporting a number of key social issues such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Paws for a Cause through its UB FREE and UB Kind tote bag projects. UB's newest tote bag aims to raise awareness and support the battle against children's diabetes. As you can see (look left... then right, please), they've got an awesome new bag out that's not only got a nifty design on both sides, it's for a very worthy cause.

The best thing is (other than the bag being a SUPER high quality product, as I can gladly attest to upon holding one in my hot little hands last week), it's only a mere $20, ALL of which goes to the Children's Diabetes Foundation. Boogie on over to UB's web site by clicking HERE (or below the photo packed with extra info about the bag below the jump) if you're interested in supporting CDF or any of the other causes UB is working with.

Oh, if you DO indeed snag a bag, be sure to SHARE where you got it from - that's called word of mouth, folks!

Sonic Generations Trailer

Hot on the heels of the game announcement yesterday, here' s a peek at Sonic Generations gameplay. Set for a winter release, this PS3 and Xbox 360 game is looking to be the definitive HD Sonic experience (provided it all gels together everything its trying to do right and gets the fans happy). I'm liking what I see, that's for sure... and Classic Sonic is back on the block!

Help Evil Controllers Save the Planet... By Playing Games!

Aha. So Evil Controllers isn't so 'Evil" after all (I knew they had a soft side!). Anyway, the company is teaming up with Chicago's Whitney M. Young HS' Gamers Go Green team for a rather cool and power-saving event that's a good way for families to get together for an hour of quality gaming time... even if there's NOT a video game in the house!

Details below the jump. Go, Evil!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nippon Ichi's Japan Aid Program Offers Up Prinnies Galore!

I'm liking all the excellent 1:1 donation projects whipped up by game companies (I bid on a few of Sega's awesome items and didn't win any, but I'm sure happy to have participated) and Nippon Ichi Software America has come up with a great way to support Japan relief a dollar (or more) at a time. Just click on over to the NISA online store HERE (or on that Prinny above) and donate a dollar (or more if you wish), which not only goes to the Red Cross, it nets you a huge honkin' file of amazing Prinny art that includes banners, wallpapers and plenty of avatar icons you can use to spread the good word. Jump on board if you haven't done so, spend a buck to help out and enjoy the Prinny goodness direct from NISA!

Gallery: Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon Bestiary

Want to know what sort of over-sized opposition you'll be facing off against this July 5th? Well, here you go - a look at some of the enemy types from D3Publisher of America's upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 bug-blasting action game. Hmmm... Fireworks on the 4th and more fireworks on the 5th? Sounds like a plan...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Earloomz Introduces Star Wars Bluetooth Headsets

As a long recovered former hardcore Star Wars geek, I tend to unsee most licensed products within about a minute (which has had the side effect of keeping my cluttered work space a bit less busy). However, the folks at Earloomz and Lucasfilm Ltd. have finally managed to use their Jedi mind tricks on me (and rather successfully at that). So here you go: a peek at their first four Star Wars themed Bluetooth headsets. Created with form and function in mind, these officially licensed headsets feature iconic images of Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and The Empire Strikes Back’s climactic ’Dark Duel.’

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Patch, Or Not To Patch (Or Maybe Get It Right So It Doesn't Require a Patch)...

Bleh. I think I've mini-ranted about console games requiring one or more patches to run properly previously (and a few times at that) but it's gotten to the point where some otherwise decent games are hard to review properly because they're a patch or two away from being more enjoyable experiences. Some of these games (which have issues right out of the package that should have been caught by QA instead of too many gamers and jaded critics) won't even get to that point thanks to reviews that grind them to a pulp for issues other (and more popular) titles get an automatic pass on, which is unfortunate.

Granted, not much could have saved Mindjack (unless that patch had a new script in addition to the bug fixes) and a few other games I've played parts of that have baffled me. On the other hand, a few quirky recent games with not bad at all stories or other unique elements NEED some elements tweaked just so some areas of those games aren't so blasted annoying to replay time and time again (you'll see the results of that wish not being granted in a review or two coming soon)...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon Hands-On

D3Publisher of America brought along bullet hell, beast hell and bug hell to their recent NYC press event and fans of insanely deep dungeon crawlers, trippy arcade shooters and giant bug blasting will all be well-served soon enough with a few key releases. I'm working on a separate hands-on for Dream Trigger, Bangai-o and Gods Eater Burst - from this point onward... this article is all about Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon and how much it simply rocks.

I've been waiting patiently for D3Publisher of America to drop into NYC with a build of Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon and after playing a bit of the very solid, very fun three-player online co-op and a bit of the intense Survival Mode, I can very safely say that the game's going to be a keeper for EDF fans old and new. The missions are lengthy and challenging even on the easiest setting with bugs appearing in differently sized packs that come from multiple directions, often mixing in different types of pests that end up being more than enough to keep you on your toes. I'm getting ahead of myself here, so I'll break it down from the beginning.

Update: Xseed Still Loves You, Wizardry Fans - You Just Need To Get With The Program...

Well, it looks as if Wizardry fans in the US hoping to see the upcoming Labyrinth of Lost Souls as a retail release will have to go all in on the digital version instead. I poked a note Xseed's way a few days ago and got back this reply:
Hi Greg,

Good to hear from you, and please excuse the late reply as things have been pretty busy with the launch of TiTS.*

Didn't see this article of yours before our Wizardry announcement, how funny. Unfortunately, we have no plans to release it on disc right now so no use holding a survey just yet, but perhaps we can consider something similar to Japan where the first one did so well as a digital game that they released it and its sequel together on one retail package later (of course that means sales here will have to be above expectations too for us to consider this).

Thanks for posting the news, glad you liked our announcement.

*Er, for the record... TiTS refers to The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky, the new PSP role-playing epic just launched a few days ago. That acronym is banned on GameFaqs, as i amusingly found out while updating a post there with this news. My evolving thoughts over this (which may be helpful to the resolute die-hards grumbling away about a download-only release) can be distilled HERE.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Evil Controllers Reveals Million Dollar Controller (It's A One Day Sale, Hint, Hint)...

Yikes. They call it the Evil Bling... I call it the Ultimate Evil (now where's my check for those naming rights?)... Yes, it's April 1st, folks, so take this news as you will. Although I hear The Donald has ordered a dozen already just to show he's not just spending all that money he supposedly has on a hair stylist (and failed chances at a presidential nomination)...

SOE Cuts 200+ Jobs, Kills The Agency -THQ Drops Staff At Kaos, Volition Studios

It's been a capital "L" Lousy week for the industry in a pretty rocky few years that have seen quite a few layoffs, studio closures and newer, smaller studios formed after such shakeups. But the cost is certainly getting higher. Sony Online Entertainment has let go 205 employees and shot down the PS3/PC massively multiplayer online shooter/action game, The Agency, which had been in development for a few years. This news in particular irks me because I remember seeing and playing a very early demo build about two or three years back and thinking the team was onto something really unique. I recall asking if the team planned to do the game as single player with straight co-op modes and no MMO functionality in case things went south during the rest of long dev cycle, but everyone seemed to believe the game would find an audience based on the spy theme and solid Unreal 3-powered visuals... Now we'll never know.