Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A seriously WET review | Review

Due to the double entendre title of this game illiciting teenage boy's fantasies everywhere, let us first explain that WET, is actually short for Wetwork. Wetwork is a euphemism for assassination or killing, referring to an assassin's hands 'wet' with blood.

WET almost never saw the light of day. As one of the castaway titles from the Activision-Blizzard merger, WET lost it's publisher late in the development cycle. The team at Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M) kept working on the game, and eventually it got picked up by Bethesda Softworks, most known for their publishing RPG favorites, The Elder Scrolls series, and recently, Fallout 3.

Continue reading the full review after the jump

Risen trailers to whet your whistle

The next role playing game to come out for the XBox 360 and PC is only 5 days away. To celebrate it's upcoming release, Deep Silver has provided two new teaser trailers. While the teasers do not show anything in the way of gameplay, the CGI looks good and I am looking forward reviewing the title and getting a review posted.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Dreamkiller trailer to help haunt your sleep

The teaser trailer for the upcoming FPS for the XBox 360 and PC. Now get get more of an idea as to what to expect with the attached behind the scenes video of the title. From the looks of it, Dreamkiller will be full of over the top shooter action with large upgradeable weaponry. This horror shooter is slated to hit store shelves on October 12th.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Auctung!! Wolfenstein Review

First Wolverine, now Wolfenstein, at this rate Raven's next title surely will be "Wolfgang Puck's Fantasy Cook-off"; that may actually be better than this new version of id's classic shooter, Wolfenstein.

As a direct story-driven sequel to 2001's "Return to Castle Wolfenstein", "Wolfenstein", finds you again in the persona of the famous BJ Blazkowicz, a highly decorated member of the OSA (Office of Secret Actions of course).  Your mission is to infiltrate the heart of the Reich, bent on discovering evidence they Nazi's may have stumbled upon a new and mysterious power, the Black Sun energy.  But wait, YOU also have access to an array of powers almost out of the gate, gaining access to The Veil, a dark parallel dimension full of geists and other creatures that you can only see while in this mode.  Yes, already we've added in parallel worlds, and mysterious powers, that allow you to slow time amongst other things.

Continue reading for our full review

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Way of the Samurai 3 bound for North America

Come October 13th, XBox 360 and Playstation 3 alike will be receiving this sequel. The new entry to the Way of the Samurai series will feature refined style of gameplay, graphics, weapon crafting, and branching storyline with multiple possible endings. Not sure how I feel about the ability to play as good or evil, because we all know the dark side always prevails, but with the 15 available endings, I may choose good over evil on the second go round. It also looks like the weapon aspect took a page out of Borderland's book with 200 different parts and materials for weapon creation.

Enjoy the screenshots, trailer to hopefully come soon.

Nostagia trailer looks to the skies

The recent trailer for the new high flying RPG on the DS has been released and full of airship adventure. This airborne exclusive also provides treasure looting, world travel, and random battles. I can't think of any necessary RPG elements left out, so chalk this up as something to put on the playlist.

Friday, September 18, 2009

BioShock surfaces on February 9th, 2010 | Release Dates

I have it on good authority (from 2K Games) that the Sequel to one of the most original games of 2007 will be released, globally mind you, on February 9th, 2010.  That's a mere 5 months away.  Would you kindly let us know what you will do in the meantime?  I mean, I'm not sure if there will be enough games to play to hold us over...maybe.

Check out a few screenshots after the jump

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DiRT 2 | Review

Synopsis: DiRT 2 is the sequel to its critically acclaimed predecessor that was released in 2007, adding new technology, race types, large scale events, locations, drivers, and vehicles. Players are taken on a World Tour, consisting of over 100 events across nine different locations, combining solo and multi car races. Up and coming rally racers Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and Dave Mirra compete with and against you throughout your career, along with voicing their strongdisapproval when you’re trading paint or sending them out of control. Online gameplay allows for two to eight players, racing individually or on teams, to gain experience towards increasing their online level or just make their way up the leaderboards. To help provide that fast paced racing style that Codemasters is known for, DiRT 2 includes a garage, chocked full of the “best-in-class” licensed rally cars and off-road vehicles.

Praise: The graphics in dirt 2 are amazing and with everything going on at the same time the game play does not give the player a slowdown in frame rate. There are a large number of events across the globe to keep anyone busy for hours on end, while the variety of vehicles, keep racing along the same tracks fresh. The ability to choose the skill level before each race is a great feature, so you can begin your career on casual as the game starts while moving to a higher difficulty to make more cash as you get more familiar with how each car and race type plays. Flashbacks are a godsend with the white knuckle gameplay as it is easy to lose control or total your vehicle, and if that happens, there is the ability to rewind to a few seconds before you are out of commission to correct the mistake and complete the event. Online play is great, whether playing ranked or practice matches, there was virtually no lag, finding a match is quick, and I found myself saying “one more level and then I can turn it off” a few too many times.

Gripes: The ability to tune your vehicle is missing from DiRT 2, and while you are able to choose cars that vary in regards to speed, acceleration, and drivability, I was hoping for the ability to fine tune the performance and handling of vehicles. Some of the personalization abilities such as dashboard and mirror ornaments are not noticeable unless you choose to race in the first person view, however, the vehicle wraps, known as liveries, help you personalize the way each vehicle in your stable looks. My biggest gripe with online play, which has nothing to do with the development of this title, is that occasionally, you will race against the person who expects to win the race by barreling into or through you without any sort of penalty, and this concern would not exist if there was any sort of penalty for crashing.

Small gripes aside, DiRT 2 is a perfect rally racer with loads of replay value, after the world tour is completed. As long as you have your Xbox online, there is just as much time to be spent, if not more, racing against the online community. From the stunning visuals to the break neck speed of the white knuckle gameplay, any racing fan should pick this up as they will not be disappointed, as Codemasters has stayed true to the sport of racing once again.

Mashbuttons.com gives DiRT 2 a 10 out of 10 to a very well executed title for any rally racing fan to enjoy until DiRT 3.(Here is to hoping for a sequel)

DiRT 2 is available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, and DS.

Stay cool, Get Wet!

Today marks the release of the stylized action title from Bethesda and developer Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M).  WET is now available at your favorite local retailer.  Choose wisely, who you give your hard earned cash to.

Check out some additional screenshots after the jump, and be sure to come back in a few days for our official review of the game.

Wetis available now for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two new challenge maps included in the Insane Night Map Pack | Batman Arkham Asylum

We've all been wondering, what new tricks Edios and developer Rocksteady have up their sleeves.  We've seen the tantalizing "X days until new free DLC" on the game's menu - but we've not yet known what it is.  Until now.

It's officially been announced today, that on September 17th, the Insane Night Map Pack will be available free from Xbox LIVE and/or PlayStation Store.  The map pack will offer two new Challenge Maps to perfect their FreeFlow Combat skills and continue to test players Invisible Predator prowess.

The "Totally Insane" FreeFlow Combat map players will be tested against scores of escaped lunatics hell bent on Batman's destruction in the asylum's secure records facility.

In the "Nocturnal Hunter" Invisible Predator map, players will have to exercise a wholly different approach, remaining in the shadows, utilizing Arkham's environments and Batman's gadgets to reign victorious over The Joker's army of henchmen below.

This is a great addition to an already great game, if you haven't, check out our review coverage here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tropico 3 demo available now

One month prior to the XBox 360 launch comes the demo of Tropico 3 on the PC, for those PC gamers and console gamers who can't wait. The demo includes a tutorial and the first two missions of the full version which is dated to release on October 16th. The link to download the game demo is listed below, so give Batman Arkham Asylum a break until that free DLC comes out next week.


Leliana, revealed for Dragon Age: Origins

The bard from Orlais is the most recent character from the upcoming BioWare title, Dragon Age: Origins. Bards, who tend to entertain for the aristocracy, while also practicing the trade of a spy or assassin. Leliana, however, moved on from that life to seek refuge in Chantry, praying for the forgiveness of her deeds, knowing that in time she will have to go back to that life in a chance for redemption. Check out the character video below to see Leliana in all of her glory.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Forza 3 has gone gold, making October 23rd a day for racing fans to mark on their calenders. To celebrate going gold, Turn 10 is giving fans of the series a demo on September 24th to play until it's release. The demo provides the five cars listed below to do damage on the Camino Viejo track. Leaderboards will be available to show lap times of others taking part in the demo.

• 2007 Porsche #80 Flying Lizard 911 GT3-RSR
• 2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro
• 2009 Ferrari California
• 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
• 2009 Mini John Cooper Works

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Christian Bale-bot tells us about Borderlands, FTW!

Sure, the over the top rant of Christian Bale tearing apart the sound guy on the set of Terminator Salvation. So the Borderlands marketing thought they would bring it back tastefully, with a robot of course!Enjoy and keep your fingers crossed for additional episodes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Darkest of Days | Review

Synopsis: In Darkest of Days, the player takes on the role of Alexander Morris, who is a soldier fighting under General Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn, and just before your untimely death, you are taken to the future by a time agent that informs you that your new responsibilities will consist of preventing an unknown faction attempting to re-write history by fighting your way through a number of epic battles of the course of thousands of years. This first person shooter takes the player back in history to reenact the most memorable battles taking place in the Civil War, World War I and II, and more. 8Monkey Labs uses their new game engine, Marmoset, in Darkest of Days to make it possible to fight on screen with hundreds of non playable characters on the screen at the same time in very large and incredibly detailed environments.

Praise: The ability for futuristic weapons to have an impact on the outcome of future missions is a very welcome feature in this title, mainly because if you are on a killing spree with a weapon from the future, you are sent back to the same time period to fight for the opposing side to even the score. The graphics stayed very detailed with everything going on from the large number of soldiers on the screen at one time to all the action taking place at once. Controls are solid and stick to FPS controls found in other games and has a reloading process, where the player needs to hit reload again at just the right time or you will be caught in the middle of a firefight with a jammed weapon.

Gripes: There is slowdown at times in the heat of battle, which I did not encounter too often but was hard to miss when it did happen. Also, the voice acting is far from Oscar worthy by the non playable characters that play a large role throughout the story in Darkest of Days. Lastly, the gameplay is fairly simple without adding to the other FPS titles available, while there is no online multiplayer, and the story is also rather linear without much replay value after playing through.

Overall, Darkest of Days is a fun game to play through and has a fresh storyline that keeps you playing to see exactly how intense the battlefields can get along with what new futuristic weapons will become available to ease wiping out the opposition. Though it lacks some elements that can help with replay value and only provides thirteen achievements, rather than the typical fifty seen on other titles, it does not feel like a chore to complete the game, unlike some others titles once you get about halfway through.

Mashbuttons.com gives Darkest of Days a 7 out of 10.

Darkest of Days is available now for the Xbox 360 and PC.

POW! Batman Arkham Asylum review

In the last 4 years, Batman has made a cultural resurgence into the hearts of many a fan, as well as introduced the worlds greatest detective to a whole new generation of followers. Since Christopher Nolan's re-boot of the film franchise, Batman is once again at the peak of his popularity. Flash forward to August of 2009, a fairly unknown independent development house out of London by the name of Rocksteady Studios, has just released the "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever" (Says The Guinness Book of World Records).

And I'm keen on believing it. You should too.

In fact, we're going to go crazy here, and tell you our score now - so you don't waste any further time in not playing this game. Mashbuttons gives Batman Arkham Asylum a 10 out of 10.

If you do enjoy our wordsmithing, then by all means please continue and click the "read more" link for our full thoughts on the experience.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Muramasa: The Demon Blade | Review

Synopsis: Boasting such rewards as best Wii game, best artistic design, best action game, and best platformer, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is Vanilla Ware’s recent title to be launched exclusively on the Wii. The graphics and background environments have all been hand drawn and beautifully executed to stimulate while revolutionizing the new side scroller. In Muramasa, the player takes on the role of either Kisuke or Momohime, which each have their own separate quests to gather the demon blades. Players are able to use the Wiimote and nunchuk, Gamecube controller, or the classic controller to play through this innovative entry to the Wii’s library.

Praise: Muramasa sticks to what it did so great in Okami, which was adding RPG elements to a solid action title. However in Muramasa, Vanilla Ware decided to pay homage to the old school 2D platformer. With a hundred and twenty different swords to seek out, each with different strengths and special attacks, equipable items and the ability to forge weapons, so it is hard not to go back through the map and seek out challenges that you could not try on the first pass, due to not having a strong enough demon blade. The simplistic controls of the game make it easy to get into, and the leveling up to get the next, stronger sword, along with striving to get high number hit combos on top of the beautiful artistic backgrounds make it hard to put down...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Defense Grid: The Awakening | Review

What it is: Defense Grid is a tower defense game that makes the player think on the fly to decide what tower to place on the specified grid to prevent the alien opponents from hijacking your power cores. The title boasts ten solid hours of story play through twenty maps in the Awakening campaign alone, with four bonus Borderlands maps, and once completed, you have over a hundred challenges to master.

What’s to enjoy: Hidden Path stuck to the basics of what makes a tower defense game addicting, easy to pick up, and fun to play. The high definition graphics make this XBLA title look great, and while there can potentially be a lot going on all at any given time; it is still easy to see what is going on. Defense Grid started as a PC game last year and while tower defense games tend to be a lot easier to play with a mouse than a controller, the developer did a great job converting the control scheme to the Xbox controller.

The not so great: There is a good amount of trial and error to completing each map, especially the further you get into the game. The first four of five missions are pretty straightforward as to where the towers can be placed, but after that, you need to be more careful in regards to what tower is used and the location it is placed to prevent numerous missions restarts. The checkpoint save locations also does not help when all the power cores are taken, in most instances it is more beneficial to restart from the beginning than from the last checkpoint.

All in all, there is a lot of fun to be had in playing Defense Grid. The progression in difficulty makes it easy for newcomers to the genre to pick up and get into the frantic tower building process while suppressing phases of alien invasions does not get old, just remember to think a couple steps ahead of the enemy and keep an eye on the power core meter.

Mashbuttons.com gives Defense Grid: The Awakening an 8 out of 10.

Defense Grid: The Awakening is available now for the Xbox 360.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger | Review

Synopsis: Raven Squad is a unique title that blends both real-time strategy (RTS) and first person shooting (FPS) into one game. The characters and scripting were inspired by such movies as Predator, Commando, and Delta Force; incorporating the over the top dialogue and one liners. The story takes place in the Amazon jungles and the player is able to take command of the characters and switch between them at any time from the two available squads, each soldier having a different weapon specialty. Multiplayer co-op is available and the ability to switch between RTS and FPS at any given time allows for multiple solutions to completing each mission.

Praise: Raven Squad definitely goes outside of the box in regards to bringing something new and innovative to the table with the option to switch from FPS to RTS on the fly. A short detailed walkthrough takes you through the basics and gets you in the middle of the action without a long overly drawn out tutorial. Lastly, the multiplayer does not take long to find a partner and playing through the title cooperatively is enjoyable, especially with a headset on.

Gripes: Where this game exceeds, it does have its downfalls. Though the ability to switch from RTS to FPS is a new feature to the shooter genre, but there is a lack of polish in the graphics and gameplay. The graphics appear to be equivalent to if not slightly prettier than the original Xbox, and the gameplay tends to slow down and get choppy in certain parts of playing through. The scripting and the voice acting is the other downfall with this title, as it tries to stick to the same type of dialogue found in the movies that inspired it, while sticking to the restrictions of a “T for Teen” rated game.

Overall, this title tries to be a big hitter right out of the gate when a little more time could have helped a lot on the final product. However, in a saturated genre, it works hard to differentiate itself from the rest and bring something new to the table that does work very well. Raven Squad is an entertaining game at some points playing through the title but did release at the right time before the big holiday releases to prevent being overlooked.

Mashbuttons.com gives Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger a 6 out of 10.
Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger is available now for the Xbox 360 and PC.

Register now for Star Trek Online closed beta

Atari has just announced that you, the uber Star Trek fanboy, can now
register for the closed beta of the upcoming Star Trek Online MMORPG. If
interested in signing up for the beta, visit, www.startrekonline.com, to
try and get in on this MMO that offers both space and ground gameplay.

New L4D2 art and info straight from PAX

Valve has released some of the art from the playable Dark Carnival
campaign being shown at PAX this weekend. Along with showing off the new
campaign, a new boss infected monster has been introduced as well, the
Jockey. The Jockey lets you attack lone Survivors and wrestle control of
their movement away from them-into fire, off ledges, or straight into the
middle of a zombie horde. The zombie clown infected found specifically in
Dark Carnival along with a handful of new weapons, such as the electric
guitar, machete, and the American baseball bat are also being shown on in
the Valve and Microsoft booths.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fishing finds it's way to your couch via the Wii

Activision has announced the first fishing game developed specifically for the Wii, Rapala: We Fish. Since this is an Activision title for the Wii, you know there will be a game specific peripheral, which is a rod and reel to attach the remote and nunchuk that allows the player to set the hook, cast, and reel in. The title was also designed to be over the top and humorous so it does not have that Saturday afternoon lure infomercial feel.

We Fish has game play modes that include co-op tournaments, 4 player split-screen, and multiplayer modes where each player is able to chose from the five characters Activision provides or their custom Mii. With eight locations, twenty four tournaments, and fifty species of fish, I am looking forward to doing even less from my couch. Thanks Activision!

Rapala: We Fish is scheduled for release on September 29th.