Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daggerfall!

It's hard to believe how quickly time flies, but 15 years ago today, Bethesda Softworks released the second installment of its RPG series. While the end result of all that hard work was a more stellar experience than TES: Arena, it was still a bit buggy in spots. That said, Daggerfall was still impressive for its amazing visuals, scope and gameplay. Ah, memories. I still have my copy of the original game minus the interior box and the cool letter opener thanks to a really stupid roommate years back when I was living in NYC. At the time, I was recycling some cardboard boxes for mailing and I kept a small stack of folded boxes near my games collection, as I was using the boxes to ship out games I sold or traded. One day as I was going out to work, my roommate asked if he could use a box to ship a gift out for his mother's birthday and I recall saying something like "Sure, take anything near the stack of games" before heading out the door. Little did I know that my invitation was a call for some major stupidity and minor theft...

THQ To Publish The Haunted: Hell's Reach for PC, PSN/XBLA

Nice. Now this is what I love to see: an indie project that wins an award and then gets snapped up for release to the masses.THQ is publishing The Hunted: Hells Reach (the winner of this year's million dollar Make Something Unreal contest) as a budget release through its ValuSoft line. For a mere $19.99, you'll get a pretty solid package that includes a 330 level single player plus a number of online co-op and multiplayer modes for up to four players. The PC version will hit retail and download services first (October 20, 2011) while the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade versions will launch sometime in 2012. I think i have a few screenshots here somewhere, but I'm working on the September banner at the moment, so maybe I'll post them after I'm done...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PAX 2011: Hawken Desert Gameplay (Yes, The Game is Still Amazing)

What? TWO updates from Adhesive Games in less than a week? This must mean their baby is closer to completion. I love how they announce their videos with text notes referencing the team size or how long the project has been in development. That's focused ego in action and it quite admirable. Anyway, while the approaching completion of Hawken is indeed great for gamers, I'm still hoping for a console release at some point in the future. A game this amazing looking should be played by as many people as possible.

XCOM Gameplay Video: Why 2K Games Deserves More Respect...

There's SO much hate for this game from people who haven't even played it yet or worse, have such a death grip on their beloved (and indeed, absolutely classic) PC game that they're unwilling to let the dev team make the game they're trying to make. I say let 2K Marin and 2K China do their job and enjoy their take on XCOM on its own merits. The team has already bowed to an incredible amount of pressure from some of the more vocal "fans" out there, making tweaks to the gameplay to add more 'tactical' elements. But I think that's all that needs to be done to appease some that still don't seem to understand that every story needs a beginning. Hell, something as huge as the X-Com organization you know and love didn't come from a vacuum. I see the new game as laying the groundwork for a more complex future that includes all the other turn and action-based games in the series. Bending over backward and taking do or die orders from a mostly mean-spirited bunch that's not even interested in touching the new game will only strip away what the developers are trying to create.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breaking Bad Brings A Little RAGE Home Early...

Note: This video features flashes of graphic violence from the game and the TV show. However, if you're watching Breaking Bad, well - you know what to expect.

Bethesda and id sure know how to plan ahead and pull off major surprises, that's for sure. In case you didn't know, there are some major Breaking Bad fans at id and their upcoming shooter RAGE will feature some references to the show that should be well worth tracking down. However, last night's episode of the show (which was shot some time last year if I'm not mistaken) featured Aaron Paul's meth dealer/addict/lab partner/killer character Jesse Pinkman playing the game with a light gun in a nicely done sequence.

Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Platform: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC)

Developer: Eidos Montreal

Publisher: Square Enix

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: A

Eidos Montreal had a lot to prove with Deus Ex: Human Revolution and thankfully, the long development cycle has paid off with an exceptional single player story driven role-playing game that's an instant classic. Fans of the original will find this prequel sets up events to come flawlessly while those new to the franchise will absolutely want to play this one and seek out the two other titles just so they can see how well the game fits into the trilogy. For those who crave non-stop action, you have the choice to go in guns blazing all the time if that's your thing, but you'll definitely want to see how the entire story unfolds because it so well done. As in previous Deus Ex games, you're also able to play through the entire game without killing anyone (except a handful of mandatory bosses). No matter how you play, every action or conversation has a consequence that reverberates through the story in one way or another. Some minor presentation hiccups and a bit of age-old boss battle issues aside, what's here is a brilliant game no true gamer should miss.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CS:GO Trailer Brings Back Memories, Brings In Consoles

Valve's upcoming online shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will not only finally bring the supremely popular game up to speed for today's gamers, the game will also be playable on consoles with the PS3 version getting PlayStation Move as well as USB keyboard/mouse support. Not only will this allow for cross-platform gaming between PC and PS3 owners, it just may put to rest the notion that consoles get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to control. Sadly, Xbox 360 owners are out of the cross-platform loop not because of Valve wanting to piss off that user base, but due to certain Microsoft's policies that probably aren't sitting to well with those who want to see the game playable across anything it can be played on.

Final Fantasy XIII- 2 Japanese/English PAX Prime 2011 Trailers

Of course, Square Enix's hallmark franchise is tops on the list for plenty of longtime fans and this new trailer really shows that the game is going to deliver where it counts and then some. Take a look at the official PAX Prime trailer for the game, presented here in both English and Japanese. No doubt there are going to be those who prefer the original language, but the dub sounds great to my ears. The game is set to hit PS3 and Xbox 360 in January 2012, so clear out your calendars - this one's going to be huge.

Goodnight, Irene (And Good Riddance)...

Other then a ton of rain, wind, Irene was (in the words of a friend) "like a cheap hooker - too loud, too expensive and gone like the wind in the morning." According to the mayor just now, no deaths in NYC were due to the storm, we lost about 650 or so trees around the area (how did they know THAT so quickly?) there were only 24 arrests (Saturday nights average around 300) and while the overall damage has yet to be calculated, it seems that the city won't sink into the sea like some thought.

Of course, others areas were much harder hit, so condolences to those who lost loved ones and property - here's to getting back on your feet, picking up the pieces and moving on. Speaking of moving on... I have a Deus Ex: HR review to finish - back with that later. Spoiler: it's a definite BUY.

Hawken Story Trailer: Adhesive Games Has Mega Talent

The small but supremely talented team at Adhesive Games (nine people, right?) continues to amaze with this latest Hawken footage. If these guys aren't snapped up by a bigger studio and given free reign to create whatever they want, there's no justice in the world. Of course, I'd also love to see them take on something like a Mechwarrior game or some other familiar game franchise just to see their spin on things. In the right hands, the ever mighty Unreal 3 engine is indeed a monster. Now, all we need is a release date (in addition to seeing the game hit consoles at some point down the road)...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Elevator Action Deluxe: Taito & Square Enix Hit The Right Notes With A Retro Reboot

Wow. This actually brought back a ton of memories and made me laugh at the same time. I can remember spending way too much money on the original Elevator Action, Front Line and many, many other Taito arcade games back in the day, so I'm happy to see EA making a return. Granted, I'm sure some of you would rather have the more realistic-looking Elevator Action Returns make a comeback instead, but I've always though that game was closer to a Rolling Thunder clone (and a good one at that). Anyway, after you finish dancing to the beat (Go, Zuntata!), click on over and keep an eye on the currently PSN-only game's progress HERE.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tales Of The Abyss Trailers Are Another Fine Reason To Snap Up A 3DS

Yes, even if you've played the game previously, Namco Bandai's upcoming remake looks good enough to make me want to go through it all over again. Given that the original can be pricey once you track it down, it's nice to see the 3DS getting more quality titles fans want to see appear on the handheld whether they use the 3D effect to its fullest or not.

Twisted Metal To Arrive On 2/14/2012, Love, David Jaffe

Thanks to an exclusive video on the PlayStation Blog, we now know when Twisted Metal will arrive on the PlayStation 3. I figured Jaffe was up to something cool based on a few tweets last night/early this morning, so this looks like what his presentation was after all. Having played a tiny bit of the insane multiplayer and seen the amazing Iron Maiden boss battle presentation a few times, I can safely say that the wait will indeed be worth it and TM fans will be in complete bliss (hand cramps and all from gripping those PS2 controllers so tightly). All I'll say to the dejected significant others reading this is you;d better learn to play some TM, because you're not seeing your partner for a while once the game ships...

Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Classics Trailer (It's Art, Alright)

A pair of classics that always get mentioned whenever the subject of games as art pops up, this HD remastering of the two Team Ico titles will please longtime fans of the originals as well as those new to both works. The added bonus of (optional) 3D is another excellent addition that enhances the experience and overall, this is looking to be one of the best deals PS3 owners are getting this year. Now, if only there was a demo of The Last Guardian somewhere on the Blu-Ray. That would indeed be pretty spectacular given the huge interest in the still in development game...

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor WIll REALLY Make You Want A Kinect

As this very cool Gamescom 2011 interview with the game's producers (decked out in their Army gear) shows, FromSoftware is on track to wow Kinect owners (and skeptics alike) with their upcoming game. Between the retro visual style and influences (the Omaha Beach sequence from Saving Private Ryan springs to mind) plus the fact that yes, you're controlling a huge walking mech in real time (and without that massive 40 button controller the original SB had back on the Xbox), this one looks like a keeper. It also looks like Kinect is getting a few games hardcore gamers will really want to get their hands on (provided they also manage to wrap their heads around the whole no controller aspect*).

*Well, the game actually DOES require a 360 controller, but you'll still do the majority of playing without it.

Videogame History Museum Project Funded!

Well, that's the good news - the bad news is losing Joe Santulli to the West Coast while it sets up the VGHM, but it's something he's wanted to do for ages and it's absolutely fantastic to see him well on his way. Of course, he'll need to wait until a little storm passes by this weekend before he's outta here, so that's a bit more good news. I can't wait to see how this progresses over time, especially given Joe's passion for gaming and game history from its beginnings until today's latest advances. Game On, Joe!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Uncharted 3 Collector's Edtion Unboxing Video

The game isn't even out yet, but as unboxing videos are all the rage for these more expensive limited editions, here's what the Collector's Edition of Drake's Deception looks as it's stripped down to its assorted parts. Very nice indeed (and thanks for Sony for posting it on the PlayStation Blog). I'm more of a standard edition guy myself, but I'd not turn down one of these if it happened to drop on my doorstep.

Sony @GamesCom 2011 (Parts 1 & 2)

Yes, I know PAX is right around the corner (I'm not there this year) and I'm STILL writing stuff about Gamescom? Hey, I'm buried in Deus Ex: HR at the moment, so you get to watch a couple of really nice videos from Sony's press conference last week until I post my review and free up some time. By the way, so far, it's a spectacular game...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Revolution Will Be Televised (Or: I'm Going To Be Pretty Busy)...

I just completed a replay of the PS2 port of the original Deus Ex in record time (well, for me), as my PS3 review copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution arrived today. Nice. I generally skim through most review guides, but the design plus some of the amusing writing in the guide (sample quote: "DE:HR is not an arcade shooter - there, I said it.") kept me reading until the end. OK, enough yapping - off to install and play so I can get a review done. This is going to be supremely thrilling, that's for sure. Oh, PC gfans - skip buying the game at GameStop if they try to sell you an open box without the OnLive code! You're paying full price for it, so let GS know you should get EVERYTHING that's supposed to come INSIDE the box.

Happy Birthday, SNES!

While I sold off about 99% of my SNES games to get a PS3 and a bunch of other stuff a few years back, I've kept pretty much all of my Super Famicom games simply because there were too many that were never localized for a US release. Sorry for the lousy photo, but all 248 or so are up in a closet in the other room and I don't have the time to go through them at this point and pick out favorites. This project however, IS on my to-do list once I clear out some space here at the home office and find the time to get the stash down to be photographed (and a few games re-played). I have many favorite games for the system but I absolutely HATE compiling "Top 10" lists, so you won't get one from me. OK, I'm not that irascible, folks - I just need more time to re-discover some of these games when it's not so incredibly busy here. It's absolutely be a LOT more than ten, that's for sure.

Anyway, Happy Birthday SNES! You're missed in this era of digital-only releases and mobile games madness, that's for sure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bangai-O HD Missile Fury Gameplay Trailers: A Double Shot Of Treasure Madness

Part bullet-hell shooter, part puzzle game and ALL Treasure 2D bliss (presented in stunning HD), D3Publisher's download-only Xbox Live Arcade game is a total gem that will thrill shooter fans while giving the Bejeweled crowd something to blow their minds. The game manages to mix in a high level of challenge while offering some truly incredible blasting and quite possibly the largest character sprite I've ever seen. As you can see from these incredible videos, this one isn't easy at all. But it's definitely a bargain and highly recommended (even if it's not on a disc).

Sega Announces Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown Playable at PAX

Yes, this is truly awesome news, but we NEED this on a disc, Sega!!! Check out the Sega Blog for huge details and a chance to play the game at PAX. Since it's not officially coming out until 2012, that gives you hardcore VF fans plenty of time to practice (and new players plenty of time to practice losing to them online). Sure, a Virtua Fighter 6 would be a far better announcement, but this is one of those great games that still has legs five years after its release thanks to the incredible depth and fantastically precise controls. Of course, I'm still terrible at VF, having moved on to other games that require less mastering, but I'll definitely give it a go as soon as it drops into NYC at a Sega press event.

I Knew Things Were Shaky In NYC, But This Is Ridiculous...

Yeah, that was a "little" earthquake that tiptoed underneath us for about five seconds. I was doing some writing when it hit, so at least I was sitting down. Other than the slight shaking, NOTHING was knocked over or damaged. Seems that Washington D.C. was hit by a 5.6 and we got a bit of a bumpity-bump from that. This is the third one I can recall since about 1995 here. The other two were very minor rumbles that also got some news coverage, but it seems that they've were based upstate.

This one is getting mega-press thanks to the Internet doing it's stuff and everyone hyperventilating on Twitter, Facebook, et cetera. From what I recall, there's a fault line that runs under City Hall here in the city, so I bet the Mayor is thinking about NOT running for an unprecedented fourth term. Ah, life! OK, off to do some gaming so I can feel a bit more normal. Want to bet some folks in D.C. blame Obama somehow?

SMT Devil Survivor Overclocked '8th Day' Teaser

Here's a peek at Atlus's remastered RPG, headed to the 3Ds now with full voice acting, enhanced higher-definition art and an all new 8th Day section not found in the DS game. North American gamers will be dancing with joy, but UK and European 3DS owners are out of luck, as there are no plans to release this in those territories and as you know, the 3DS is region locked. Perhaps some third-party publisher can do the deed, but I'd gather it's not going to happen because of the localization issues required for each non-English speaking territory (not inexpensive to do, mind you).

PSP E-1000 Specs: Cheaper, But Still A Hot Ticket For Some...

While the uber-techies are grumping over this new model's lack of certain features, personally, I think the E-1000 is a pretty great entry level handheld for new users looking to get into the PSP and its rather huge games library. I still have my original 1000, 1001 and Slim 3000 models here at the home office, so I'm not sure I'll import this one yet.

Import as in there's been no North American release announced, which in my opinion, is a bit strange. Is SCEA afraid that the system will be blasted on message boards for being "cheap" and lacking features found on past and current models or are they implying (or is it inferring) that European gamers aren't all that sophisticated and this budget model will find a niche amongst those who don't have high-speed connections and want to get some handheld gaming in. I can see a modestly to moderately successful market for the E-1000 here provided it's packed in with a few PSP Greatest Hits (or a compilation UMD with assorted PSN titles and minis), but we'll see what SCEA decides down the road.

Specs below the jump, by the way...

Gamescom 2011: Dragon's Dogma Gameplay

Capcom's biggest in-house game to date seems to be dividing certain fans who want and/or expect them to do a Monster Hunter game for this generation's HD consoles, but I say give this new IP a chance and see how it turns out. Granted, what I'm reading about it elsewhere makes it seem not so spectacular, but I'm more than willing to give the final version a whirl just because I love seeing what any developer can do with an original IP. Action/RPGs like this always seem to find a loyal audience among those who like diamonds in the rough, so we'll see what happens once a demo goes public and more get some hands-on time. Of course, I'm sure constructive feedback from those who've played it will help the dev team tweak things a bit before the game launches. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gallery: TES V: Skyrim Character Portraits

Want to see which races you can play as in Bethesda's upcoming time-eating epic RPG? Here are a few possible combinations (out of millions or variations) thanks to the excellent character editor. As longtime Elder Scrolls fans know, a good chunk of the fun at the beginning of a new adventure is choosing just who you want to play as. I'm thinking about ditching my usual first play-through choice of an Argonian battlemage who dips into archery from time to time, especially given the more flexible skills system Skyrim offers. Decisions, decisions...

White Knight Chronicles II Goes Gold, Gets Pre-Order Goodies

OK, I'm a few days late with this news (oops), but hey, that backlog pile was a pain to dig out from under. D3Publisher of America has sent WKC II off to the presses and has announced a cool-looking armor set will be made available as a pre-order bonus (via DLC, of course) through participating GameStop retail locations or through the GS website. Don't ask me about what the armor does other than look nice and showy, but I'm gathering that once you hop online with it, you can expect a few compliments from live party members if they didn't score the bonus gear. WKC II is set to land in stores on September 13, 2011 (and remember, you get the remastered version of the first game FREE on the disc!).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Disgaea 4 Pre-Orders In Full Swing - Which One Is Yours?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! NISA sure isn't making it easy this time out, but no matter which of the three versions of the game you get, a winner is YOU. There's the $50 Standard Edition that comes with the original soundtrack on a CD, but ten bucks more gets you the Premium Edition in a nice box with a softcover art book and a cute Fuka fugurine. If you've got money to burn, you can blow $120 and get the Premium Figure Set which contains the PE box, art book, soundtrack, Fuka figurine AND nine more exclusive Disgaea 4 figures. It's enough to make an indecisive person really, really crazy, I say! Even worse, the pre-orders only go on until September 5 and the game ships out on September 6! Yaaaaah! All THAT and I haven't even mentioned all the cool stuff you can do in this latest installment (that's what the links are for)! I seriously can't decide, but methinks I'll stick with the Standard Edition just so I can eat a lot less cheap rice noodles later. Hey, I can get by on one meal a day if I really needed to...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Renegade Ops Upgrades Trailer (Someone Get This On A Disc!)

Remember when games like this used to come out left and right back in the day on cartridges and later, CD's? Sega and Avalanche Studios are going to drop a super-cool bomb of non-stop vehicle-based blasting on your heads this fall. I still think that all these publishers NEED to start compiling PSN and XBLA games onto discs and getting them into mass retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Best Buy, as there are plenty of sales to be made to those who don't have online console accounts or still use dial-up connections. Remember publishers - those folks STILL have some disposable income and might want to spend a few bucks on some of your games. Shutting them out is always a bad idea. Why not buck the trend, shock the hell out of those annoying analysts and make a bunch of people happy in the process?

Gamescom 2011: GoldenEye Reloaded Gallery

More lovely screens from Eurocom's upcoming re-reboot headed to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Along with many other GoldenEye fans, I'm more than thrilled with what's coming. However as usual in the free-thinking democracy we live in, there are people out there who just don't want the game to succeed. As long as the anti-Activision crowd (some of whom don't play many/any games in the genre or worse, judge every modern/console shooter as "bad" for some reason), overly nostalgic N64 fanboys (yes, the original is a great game, but come on - grow up and open your eyes while learning to show RESPECT to a developer updating a classic into an even better experience) AND Daniel Craig haters (who have ZERO clue about how licensing works - you're not getting Pierce Brosnan back as Bond in a new game no matter how loudly you gripe) who STILL think every FPS has been ruined by Call of Duty (they haven't) are around and thinking their loudly expressed opinions are 100% indication of actual facts (they aren't, but thanks for trying), the game might have that minor speed bump to overcome at retail. I say if you're THAT skeptical and jaded, not even a playable demo will help you. Here's hoping that a percentage of these wags actually change their minds after playing one.

Gamescom 2011: Batman: Arkham City Mr. Freeze Trailer

Finally, some chilling (ha ha) gameplay footage from the upcoming game that washes the vestiges of that awful Batman & Robin movie from the last century out of my brain for good. Rocksteady is definitely on course to deliver an even better experience than the first game, that's for sure. I'm glad that there's a separation between this and Chris Nolan's films simply because it's great to see what a developer can do when NOT tied to following or trying to capture a movie experience properly in game form. That's hit or miss, especially with games based on films based on comic books. Yes, I'll run the previous gameplay trailers within the next few days (thanks for asking)...

COD: Black Ops Rezurrection Promo Poster Is A Two-Faced Keeper...

While this one isn't as high quality or quite as large as the Call Of The Dead poster, it IS double-sided, which is funky (but not unheard of).

AS I noted a while back, Activision absolutely NEEDS to slap all the DLC on a disc and get out some sort of Game of the Year package while very seriously thinking of making a full-on standalone zombie-blasting series at some point.

Oh, I haven't decided if I'm going to give this one away like I did with the other posters, but if I do, you'll be the first to hear about it... watch this space.

Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Flipnote + How To Draw Link Videos

Between the cool 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword coming to the Wii soon, the live symphonic concert and a few other treats for fans new and old, Nintendo even has some nice and arty Zelda-themed surprises in these two videos. I like that green DSi XL in the How To Draw Link clip, but we'll see if it's actually released outside of Japan. Seeing that Link sketch reminded me that I have a long-unfinished pencil piece here that I need to finally get done one of these days...

Gamescom 2011: Ridge Racer Unbounded Gallery/Gameplay Footage (Bugbear Redeemed, Part Deux)

Bugbear's take on Namco's seminal racing series definitely has a Burnout thing going for it visually, but given that Criterion has changed their popular crash-fest into a top-down retro-looking family-friendly download only arcade affair (say that three times fast!) with Kinect support over XBLA (it's actually a lot of fun), it looks like gamers who want polygons pushed around into assorted scrap metal might be looking at a new contender for the crown. As a HUGE FlatOut fan, I like what I see quite a lot and can't wait to take this one for a spin. Screens below the jump.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gamescom 2011: Sonic Generations Trailer - The Hedgehog Still Has It Going On...

It looks as if we're getting yet another solid Sonic game zooming our way soon enough. This time, classic and current play get mashed up in a cool way, so everyone should be pretty pleased with the end result. Of course, I'm still waiting for those Panzer Dragoon Box and Shining Force III Complete remakes, a new Otogi game and a ton of other stuff Sega's NOT working on, but I'll take the good stuff they're producing one game at a time starting with this one...

Trine 2: Atlus' Download Only Blast Of Fresh Air From FrozenByte

FrozenByte's absolutely beautiful physics-based action/adventure is one of those great games that keeps classic gameplay alive and well. While this one is all is set to hit PSN and Xbox Live soon, it WOULD be nicer to also see a disc release with the first game as well as Atlus' other download-only hit, the offbeat brawler/shooter/action game, Zeno Clash. Not all core gamers have access to PSN or Xbox Live accounts, so making sure they have the same opportunities to play as many of the games everyone else does should be a priority for all publishers until we see as close to 100% of the user base with high speed connections as possible. More games for everyone at both retail and online means more money for game companies and developers, right?

Gamescom 2011: Resident Evil Revelations Trailers

Definitely looking like a step up from the last RE 3DS game, Revelations brings improved gameplay and a new storyline to the mix that focuses on events from the original classic rather than a rehashed game mode from another game. As you can see from the two gameplay trailers below the jump, RER has some of that classic feel fans crave, but the presentation is definitely a lot more impressive than it was back on the PlayStation. Here's hoping the overall experience is much better than expected and there's a better save system in play.

Gamescom 2011: Street Fighter X Tekken - A Winner Is Everbody!

Another one-two punch from Cologne = stop ducking, stick your chin out and get carried away by the blow. Capcom and Namco's upcoming fighter is still bending fans' brains around the concept of these classic 2D fighters finally meeting up and battling classic 3D ones. Of course they'll pull it off remarkably well, as you can see in this pair of trailers. Street Fighter has been on a roll since SFIV revitalized the franchise and it looks like the new game will do the same for Tekken,a s Namco Bandai will be rolling out a few new games for different platforms featuring characters from its seminal fighting franchise.

Ken Levine On Bioshock Infinite & PS Vita

Super cool and informative video from the Playstation Blog that reveals Irrational has some major plans for Sony's upcoming handheld. Right now, there's not much to worry about in terms of Vita getting sunk by not having enough good games, that's for sure. 2012 is certainly going to be a deciding year for "dedicated" handheld platforms. I think too much emphasis is being placed on pure casual experiences on devices over more well-rounded gaming experiences that might cost more, but deliver MORE for that money. Let's hope that the core gamer base can prove me right while allowing Vita to also cater to those who want less "serious" games.

Gamescom 2011: Rayman Origins Trailer Is Nostalgia Of The Best Possible Kind

Of all the UbiSoft games I've seen this year, I'm most looking forward to playing Rayman Origins. I still have my Atari Jaguar copy of the game (I'd be playing it again, but I need another Jaguar) and remember how amazed I was back then. RO is pure fun and just amazing in how it brings together all of what makes platforming games so great while being highly accessible to anyone who want to pick up a controller. Here's hoping all three versions (PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii) do well - I want to see this one pop up on the Vita as well, but I guess that's for the bean counters to decide in a bit. November 15 is just around the corner, so make sure you get this one...

Disgaea 4 & Atelier Totori Trailers Bring That 2D Bliss Home

NISA just can't stop pumping out the sweet and tasty mixture of gorgeous hand-drawn 2D games on the PS3 (keep that flame alive!) and that's how we like it. The latest installments in the ridiculously deep and often supremely hilarious strategy/RPG franchise is well on the way, as is the newest game in Gust Incorporated's magic-making simulation/RPG series. Between the custom map feature in Disgaea 4 (yes!) and the fun crafting and Atelier Totori's mix of adventure, alchemy and classic combat, fans of JRPG's will no doubt be sinking many, many hours into each of these games. Now, where's that time machine so we can find the few hundred hours to sink into these two?

Gamescom 2011: Uncharted 3 Trailer Is Pure Thrilling Brilliance

Every new piece of footage or screenshot makes Nathan Drake's latest adventure clearly one of the best, most polished game experiences to date on ANY platform. Naughty Dog is at the top of their game and you and gamers will be on the edge of their seats whether or not they play this on in HD or 3D (which I hear is outstanding ans some of the best in a game, ever). This one's going to walk away with a TON of very well deserved awards in every category. I'd say they're going to have to create a new category this year for a number of these upcoming releases simply due to the fact that so many great games are coming that some will get shut out of voting because there's not enough room for every single one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gamescom 2011: Soulcalibur V Trailer

If the super-early demo I saw a few weeks ago was any indication, fans of the series will be in for a real treat. Combat is faster, more fluid and feels more like an action game than a traditional fighter. Sure, there's no blood spilled here, but there's a definite God Of War influence to the new combat, as even slower characters are getting a speed boost. This, of course, will probably lead some longtime fans who love beating the stuffing out of opponents using Sigfried or Nightmare wanting these characters to be their old selves. However, it seems that the dev team is merely following the trend of making a game more accessible to all sorts of players rather than simply rehashing what's come before. As with any game, we shall see what happens once a public demo is available and Nsmco Bandai hears what the fan base says...

Gamescom 2011: Armored Core V Online MP Trailer

It's simply amazing that FromSoftware has kept this long-running mech combat franchise going for longer than some systems have been in existence. I can still remember playing the first game on the original PlayStation and being floored by the game (which was made using a modified King's Field engine from what I recall). ACV looks to be one of the best entries in the franchise with a much stronger focus on online play than in previous entries, improved visuals and as you can see, pretty fast action. I'm hoping there's a solid single player campaign somewhere in the mix that's better structured than in the last installment, but we'll see what happens as the game moves closer to completion.

Why A Console Diablo Is A Really Great Idea (Again)

If you've been around for a few console cycles and managed to snag a copy of this game (which still fetches a premium price in some spots), you probably remember this shiny little gem from the "ancient" PlayStation days. It ate up nearly a whole memory card for saves, was brutal as hell and had endless replay value for those who loved it. Well, It looks like console owners may finally be getting another Diablo-like game after all... this time from the makers of Diablo, and I couldn't be happier.

According to a posting on the
official Diablo III Community Forums:

"We're exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles and are currently looking to fill a few senior console-related positions on the Diablo III team. As we've said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we're interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in such a project. If you're passionate about all things Diablo and have the requisite skill and experience, then head over to our jobs site to check out the positions and apply.

Please note that this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs and don't intend to allow any possibility of a console interpretation to delay or affect the release of the game."

Reading that made me grin for a few minutes too long, but it's stellar news if it actually gets done at some point. Granted, the PC-only adherents are up in arms and whining as usual (in some over the top rants that make as much sense as a Rick Santorum supermarket speech). Nevertheless, I say it's one of the smartest moves Blizzard can make going forward and benefits everyone at the end of the day...

Gamescom 2011: Borderlands 2 Screens Tease More Greatness...

2K Games and Gearbox Software are set to deliver an even bigger blasting bonanza with this upcoming sequel to everyone's favorite post-apocalyptic shooter that already had too many billions of possible weapons combinations. Nice new environments, new characters and as mentioned, way too many weapons to count. Full press release below the jump and yes, you can now dual wield anything you like, which should make online play SUPREMELY cheap when everyone's packing twin sniper rifles or some sort of crazy homing weapons that means they can camp and prey on unsuspecting newbies. Good thing I'm only in for the single player campaign. Still, this one will be a major smash for 2K and Gearbox (which is having a pretty darn good year so far)...

The King of Fighters XIII Gameplay (Or: Oops, Make That TEN Trailers!)

Yeah, yeah, I forgot one video (Atlus posted it a while ago), but then again, it was pretty late here when I finally got around to posting the other clips. Anyway, here you go. Screenshots from the upcoming 2D fighter to come in a separate post. Don't say I never gave you anything, grrrr.

Gamescom 2011: Asura's Wrath (A One-Two Trailer Punch)

Cyber Connect 2's latest is still hilariously mind-blowing even after seeing it in action a few times. It's got that God Hand meets Dragon Ball Z vibe going on big time, yet there's a great cinematic thing going on that should make the game pretty fun to play. Capcom should have a fun time marketing this one, that's for sure.

Battlefield 3 Caspian Border Trailer WIll Make You Want To Upgrade Your PC

Even though I have zero interest in online shooters (no matter how good they are), it's hard not to (actually, it's IMPOSSIBLE) not to say anything against them when Dice is running the show. With up to 64 players on maps like this amazingly huge showcase they've whipped up (LOVE the jet action!) and that incredible Frostbite 2 engine doing everything it needs to do (and really darn well at that), this one's going to be an instant hit. Yes, on consoles as well, even though the player cap is a "mere" 24 (which is nothing to sneeze at, mind you). All Dice needs to do is find a way to make some PC gamers less lame jerk-ass braggarts about building their own systems and showing off to the point of embarrassment and the would will be a happier place.

Deus Ex : Human Revolution TV Ad (UK Version)

It's finally out (well, review copies are being shipped this week and next) and definitely worth the wait. Eidos Montreal's hard work looks to kick off this supremely busy season of games in the best possible way, so let's hope it's all it's cracked up to be and then some. To some off-base skeptics, Square Enix still needs to prove that it's not JUST "those Final Fantasy guys" (even though they've published a few solid non-FF western developed games previously). Hell, i say just buy, play and enjoy this one - you'll definitely be back more than once just because there are so many ways to play...

The King of Fighters XIII Character Trailers (Yes, All NINE Of Them!)

Atlus, I love you so much, but this is ridiculous... in the best possible way. OK, I'll shut up now and let you get to watching all these brief HD trailers starting with the ladies first because I'm a nice guy. OK, Mai said she'd beat me up and I'm not into that rough stuff. Anyway, one here, eight below the jump. I COULD have done nine separate posts, but there's still a ton of stuff to tackle from other publishers (not to mention a review or two) and I don't want you all to think I'm a TOTAL Atlus freak or anything (he said, stroking his copy of Run Saber gently). Oh yeah, The King of Fighters XIII is coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in October in HD with an incredible amount of new and updated features.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gamescom 2011: Black Knight Sword (Yamaoka & Grasshopper Manufacture) Coming To PSN/XBLA In 2012

Yes, I'm swiping someone's YouTube video, but here's a case where I'm sure my living vicariously through their video eyeball is worth it as long as I share and give credit where credit is due. I absolutely love the art style and it looks as if the gameplay will be classic side-scrolling bliss. As usual, the NeoGAF crowd is all over this one (which is usually a good thing). While it would be nice to see this on a disc with a few other similarly themed PSN games, don't hold your breath...

Gamescom 2011: Dark Souls "Mighty Fiends" Trailer Is Indeed, Mighty

I saw this particular boss battle played out live at the Namco Bandai event a few weeks back - the rep playing put up a stellar fight, but lost despite his valiant efforts. When the guy doing the awesome speed run through the demo (one of the best and funniest examples of "I've been playing this build for a few months, so I know what to do here" I've ever seen) gets his armored clock cleaned by a pair of gargoyles, you KNOW the final game will be a total nightmare. I can't wait...

GoldenEye: Reloaded Mi6 Trailer - Wow (+ Tax)

Veteran developer Eurocom continues to prove they're at the top of their game with this latest Goldeneye: Reloaded trailer. I think it's time to finally retire the N64 back to the un(der)used systems box here at the DAF home base. Now, all I need to do is choose which new version I'd like to play, PS3 or Xbox 360...

Gamescom 2011: Starhawk Trailer

As I said when I saw the game demoed live a few weeks back here in NYC, if you don't fall in love with Starhawk within seconds of seeing it in motion, you REALLY need to find a new hobby. The game looks great, is FAST and makes the RTS accessible and still highly challenging for novices while providing a stellar new experience exclusive to the PS3. Even better, it's getting a disc and PSN release, has a dedicated single player campaign you can play offline (awesome) and did I mention it was FAST (as in silky smooth frame rate and non-stop action with just enough time to breathe and stretch between rounds)? I can safely say without hesitation that LightBox Interactive and Sony Santa Monica Studios have an instant classic on their hands that every PS3 owner NEEDS to own.

Sony Announces PS3 Price Cuts Now, Nintendo To Release Lower Priced Wii This Xmas

Yup, the ongoing economy issues worldwide have made these price cuts necessary, but it's also the beginning of the build up to new consoles (which should more than likely be announced at next year's E3 for a 2013-2014 launch by my calculations). At its Gamescom 2011 press conference, Sony announced that effective immediately, the core 160GB PlayStation 3 model will now retail at $249.00 and the core 320GB console for $299 in the US.

Sony also announced a new value model PSP without Wi-Fi support at the event, but as far as I can tell, this model is only set for an European release at a price point of 99 Euros. I'd hope that this model makes it to US shores, as there are literally TONS of UMD games out there that will sell if bundled with the new lower-priced unit.

Gamescom 2011: EA Press Conference

As usual, Electronic Arts knows how to blow the doors (and walls and eardrums) out with its press conferences and the Gamescom 2011 showing was no exception. Here's a look at the entire thing, so sit back, grab some popcorn and a drink and enjoy. Also, feel free to click down to the BioWare LiveStream feed and contribute to the conversation, as there have been some amazing reveals at the show as well as some decent conversation in the live forums there...

Gamescom 2011: DmC Trailer - Ninja Theory Does It Right (Yet Still Gets No Respect)

Yikes. As much hard work as developer Ninja Theory has done on their upcoming game, diehard Dante fans are doing nothing but pooping on their parade with some of the nastiest comments I;ve seen. Look, kids, the franchise wore out its welcome by the fourth game in the series, so it's obvious that going back to his beginnings when he was a younger less talented punk makes sense. Let's see him as a dark-haired emo kid coming up in the world and discovering his destiny. As anyone who's actually played and enjoyed a Ninja Theory game KNOWS, this team has a way with crafting stories through solid writing and direction as well as innovative action sequences that make their games a blast to play. So, pipe down and at LEAST wait for a demo before you give yourselves embolisms. Then again, clearing out the bile-filled fools from the gamer landscape means a bit more peace and quiet, so if you want to pop all the veins in your head at once, go on ahead. Me, I love what NT is up to and can't wait for some hands-on time...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ace Combat: AH & Inversion 101 Gamescom Videos Show Off The Goods Quite Well...

Yeah, yeah, I'm a bit behind here, but that's because I'm swimming in stuff to do. Anyway, a one-two punch from Namco Bandai here. ACAH is looking too dynamic for words (who needs Top Gun? Bleh.) while Inversion continues to amaze me for a few reasons. People need to start looking hard at Saber Interactive's upcoming shooter, as it breaks a few rules while breaking new ground (literally and figuratively) in the game space. I need to play this one again at some point, so I'm hoping we see a demo before it ships in 2012...

SMT Devil Survivor: Overclocked Auction House/Fusion Video

Atlus sure knows how to make the end of the world highly enjoyable, that's for sure. Even though I sunk something like 160 hours into the DS version, I'm actually thinking about doing it all over again on the 3DS shortly. Check out some of the Demon Auction and Demon Fusion parts from Atlus' upcoming RPG. Yeah, the person doing the bidding in the video isn't exactly the best beast buyer, but I'd gather this clip is only showing off the features to those who haven't yet played the game or who want to see what it looks like in action on the 3DS.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nintendo Irks Me Again (And Few Other Folks As Well)...

Yes, yes, we know you want Wii U to succeed and you're slowly but surely winding down the number of key first-party Wii releases so gamers can make a smooth, quick transition whenever the new console is launched. However, seemingly PASSING on a US localization of Xenoblade when it's getting a PAL release (with multiple language options as Xenoblade Chronicles) is too much for me to ignore. Here's another game that shows the Wii can indeed to high-quality graphics and sound while also scoring quite high in Famitsu (36/40) AND garnering a nicely sized fan base here in the states and you decide to skip over it? For what? Sure, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be a mega-hit and sell like hotcakes, but the Wii NEEDS more than ONE high quality (and long in development) Adventure/RPG worth lining up for. Remember, you even showed this one at E3 2009 (as Monado: Beginning of the World), so even thinking of depriving North America of yet another promised title will win you no love even amongst certain loyal fans who've stood by you through thick and thin...

Friday, August 12, 2011

BioWare TV Gamescom 2011 Livestream

Man, this modern technology is really neat, isn't it? Lame joke aside, definitely check out BioWare's LIVE feed from the EA area at Gamescom for updates and live interviews with game producers for Battlefield, Mass Effect, SWTOR, Need for Speed, gameplay footage and lots more. It's like watching TV, but not really because your TV is in the other room. Or it's in the one you're in now, but you're not paying attention to it.

Gamecom 2011: Counter Strike: Global Offensive Announced For 2012

Boom! It looks live Valve has done it again, stealing the thunder from an important games trade show with a big announcement. "What big announcement?", you say (ignoring the headline) Oh, a BIG announcement like the return of one of the seminal multiplayer online shooters (and greatest game mods) ever created. Awesome news, but I still have to add a "Hmmmmmm..." here. That's all fine and dandy... but I really, REALLY want to see Left 4 Dead hit the PS3. As in on a disc with BOTH games and all the additional DLC along for the ride plus some cool fill up a Blu-Ray disc bonuses. Maybe one day... I'll wait.

For now, I'll just practice my screaming like an upset toddler because I completely stink at Counter-Strike... "Waaaaaaaah!!!" press release below the jump, by the way.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ridge Racer Unbounded Gamescom Trailer: Bugbear Redeemed!

Hmmmm. Now that the game has a neat track editor, a lot of the misplaced heat has dissipated from the haters. Excellent. Bugbear certainly knows how to make a solid racer, so it'll be interesting to see how well their City Creator works in terms of ease of use and what sort of online/offline functionality it has. Color me even more thrilled - way to go, BBE! Now find someone to fund a Glimmerati update for consoles and handhelds and I'll be even happier!

Nintendo Announces Flame Red 3DS Model For 9/9/2011

Hot on the heels of the recent price drop announcement, Nintendo has revealed a new Flame Red 3DS model set to hit stores September 9th, the same day Star Fox 64 3DS is released. Combine this with the 20 free downloadable games deal Nintendo is offering early adopters and you're looking at a nice package for any gamer finally looking to snap up the handheld. The big Q here is will a flashy new color help drive sales along with what's looking like a pretty solid 3D remake of another popular franchise game? I'd say that's up to you non 3DS owners out there to decide, right?

QuakeCon 2011 Panels: 1st Person Perspective/Community Managers

Two complete hour-long panels from QuakeCon 2011 for your viewing pleasure. Take notes if you like, as both are pretty fun and informative, especially if you're a gamer who wants a bit more than the usual trailer and screenshots one-two combo. Hey! Who says you can't learn anything from video games?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ace Combat: Assualt Horizon Phantom Pre-Order Bonus Trailer

Namco Bandai's latest high-flying entry in its seminal flight combat franchise gets a really cool pre-order bonus with a pretty recognizable plane. If you're a new or longtime fan of the series, don't forget the game's Facebook page can always use a few more of you top gunners. Strap on that emergency chute and get ready to rack up some killer frequent flier miles on your PS3 or Xbox 360 soon enough.