Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kane & Lynch 2 announced with new gameplay features

IO Interactive has confirmed that the sequel to 2007's Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days will be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the PC in 2010. For those not familiar with the series, Kane & Lynch is a crime shooter following two disturbed criminals, but in this entry, the player will follow the characters through the Shanghai underworld. We have requested additional media from the publisher to keep you, our valuable followers, up to date with release information, videos, and screenshots.

Left 4 Dead 2 | Review

Synopsis: Valve has just released their sequel to the critically acclaimed action horror shooter, Left 4 Dead, right around a year from the release of the original title. While we were lucky enough to receive a copy from Valve for review purposes, it was my pleasure to get some hands on time to review the fast paced coop extravaganza. Though many Xbox owners have played or heard of Left 4 Dead, the sequel boasts new episodes, weapons, infected types, gameplay modes, and survivors. The AI Director has also been improved to 2.0 for this entry, changing the weather, size of zombie hordes, effects, and sounds, based on the party performance. Players are taken through 5 new campaigns drudging through swamps, cemeteries, amusement parks, malls, motels, and more places that seem fitting to decimate zombies with your diverse survivor friends. Along with more guns to choose from, melee weapons such as chainsaws, frying pans, and ninja swords are equally satisfying for zombie wetwork. Though many fans of the original are skeptical and on the fence as to whether the sequel came too soon or a should have been a DLC expansion, now that the release has come, we will see if Valve does what it is known for.

Praise: The gameplay is just as fun and addicting as the original Left 4 Dead, with great improvement across the board, staying true to what made the game work so well in the first place. The graphics have been improved along with the variety of weapons, ammo type, and melee weapons to keep the slaughter fest fresh. Killing zombies with the melee weapons such as the chain saw or the frying pan is almost more fun to me than taking out a horde with guns blazing. Dialogue between the characters seem to give each survivor more personality and the “uncommon” common infected types, such as clowns, mudmen, or zombies in hazmat suits seem to make each campaign more unique. The AI Director 2.0 is good, I did not notice much of a difference from the original, but also did not feel that anything needed to be changed.

Gripes: The first thing I noticed right of the bat in multiple campaign attempts was lag, sometimes so bad that I would have to quit and find another match. When I was able to find a match that was not lagging, other characters would experience lag during gameplay. I know that this will be resolved, but it should not be an issue with a game where online coop is the main focus. I have also spent some time with the other gameplay modes, versus, survival, and scavenge, while they all add to the variety of gameplay, they did lose their novelty quickly and had me heading straight back to the coop campaigns.

Overall, I did not feel as if this title was an expansion and felt as if it were a true sequel. Like most other sequels out there, Left 4 Dead 2 holds true to the formula that works, while adding new features to improve and help it stand out from the original. I have to admit that I was one of the skeptical many that thought it was too soon for a sequel; Valve did exactly what they stated while still providing support and new content to the original. Once the lag is resolved this will be a near perfect zombie kill fest. gives Left 4 Dead 2 a 9 out of 10.

Left 4 Dead 2 is available now for the PC and Xbox 360.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For our AZ Local fans - Need for Speed NITRO is coming to PV Mall this weekend

Just a heads-up to all of you Phoenicians out there, EA is coming to Paradise Valley Mall this weekend, Friday, November 20th - Sunday, November 22. EA is stopping by on its Mall Tour to showcase some of their hottest titles available, and upcoming for the Holiday Season. Need For Speed NITRO will be on display to play, as well as other game demos.

They'll also be giving away daily prizes, including six Wii systems, just in time for that thing we call Christmas.

As of now, we don't have any further details of times, or if this will be located right outside your favorite Justice store or not, but will be reaching out to get more details for you. Stop on by, we're going to drop in on them as well. Hit us up in the comments if you're going to check it out. See you there!

Hey you, wanna RIDE?

So you've given up playing Tony Hawk, that by the 13th version, you had enough?  Well, along comes Activision to inject some new life in the tired franchise.  11/17 marks the release of Tony Hawk: RIDE, with it, introducing a new way to skate or die!

This time you won't just be using your thumbs, as you'll need to get your lazy bones off the couch and use the included wireless skateboard controller to pull off your ollies and kick-flips. 

Considering the abuse a real skateboard gets, I'm surprised Activision isn't offering an inurance package for this, ha!

Check out the launch trailer below

Tony Hawk: RIDE is available now for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii all for a MSRP of $119.99.  That's about $20 more than a real skateboard.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 | Review

In case you haven't already picked up your copy of the latest installment of Infinity Ward's classic take on near-future gun-shooting, and you say you're "on the fence" for this game, then please read on.  Apparently, analysts are predicting over 7 million day-one sales world-wide, and Activision estimates 4.7 Million copies were from North America and UK alone.  So what's the big deal? Why do my feet stink?  All very good questions.

Press on after the jump to get our full impressions.

DJ Hero | Review

Synopsis: Here comes your most recent review in the form of DJ Hero for the Nintendo Wii. Activision recently sent us the new music game and peripheral for review purposes and low and behold a review is what I have. DJ Hero is a new way to play and hear music through your console. With a track list that boasts 94 different mixes, preset and custom set lists, along with online and offline multiplayer, there is a new reason to rock out with plastic instruments. The new peripheral allows the player to use authentic DJ techniques such as scratching, mixing, sampling, rewinding, and entering their own preset effects to the mix. Multiplayer modes come to you in the form of DJ vs. DJ, DJ + DJ, and DJ + Guitar.

Praise: After playing Guitar Hero 5, I felt a little let down as it was the same game I have played over and over again but with new songs, luckily DJ Hero comes through and introduces a new “instrument” to master. The turntable feels sturdy for a plastic peripheral and the ability to reconfigure the platter for us left handed folk shows that Activision has put some time and effort into doing this right. The massive track list filled with both current and classic hits kept the playthrough fresh without replaying the same few songs over and over again. The tutorial was helpful to teach the basics and working my way up the difficulty levels, with a learning curve of about an hour. On the hard difficulty is where I felt I truly enjoyed playing as you use all the available techniques, while medium is a comfortable pace that allows the player to still scratch and get introduced to the available crossfader. Lastly, progression is determined by stars earned, so the song does not end or tell you that you failed if you miss a certain amount of notes, it is more of a no fail feature provided to the player.

Gripes: My main complaint about DJ Hero is the crossfader, as when fading to the left or right is fun in between scratching, but it is way too easy to miss the center when combining the two mixes, causing you to lose your multiplier. Much like the early guitar peripheral, the buttons are loud and noticeable, but with innovation comes new issues. I have not had any time with the Renegade Edition, so I cannot say if it has the same minor quirks as the standard turntable kit. The other issue I had with this title was that I was unable to locate any online matches after maybe ten attempts over the course of the weekend. The ability to play multiplayer with the turntable and guitar is great as most people who purchase this will more than likely already have the guitar, unfortunately there are only five compatible songs to play using the two peripherals.

Overall, DJ Hero is fun to play, especially with a loud stereo, a group of friends, and another turntable or guitar for offline multiplayer. Even with the few little issues, the massive track list and the new gameplay gives the game a fresh feel in what was starting to feel like a saturated music game market. This title is available on all 3 of the next gen consoles, toting the same features, track list, and price tag, so there is no exclusive content to any specific console. gives DJ Hero a 7 out of 10.

DJ Hero is available now for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dragon Age Origins | Review

Synopsis: BioWare has recently released their newest RPG, Dragon Age: Origins, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a review copy to see if it lives up to the hype. You take on the role of a Grey Warden, part of an ancient order of guardians that have defended the lands of Ferelden for centuries. Your mission as one of the last Gray Wardens, is to hunt down the general that betrayed the Wardens and King in battle and bring him to justice. Dragon Age takes place in an enormous world, which BioWare claims takes over 80 hours to fully explore, while your decisions made throughout the game determine the outcome of how the story is to play out. Like Mass Effect and previous entries from this developer, you are able to customize your character before beginning your quest and throughout gameplay and have the ability to choose between multiple races and classes you would like your character to be.

Praise: The story in this title is phenomenal, and how the story plays out based on decisions made is nothing less than expected from anyone that has played any of BioWare’s previous titles. The bond formed between almost all of the NPC’s is immediate, whether you feel they would be a strong asset to your party or you think they should die for their actions. The first couple hours of the game moves at a nice pace to get the player familiar with controls, equipping the right armor and weapons, leveling up your character, and fighting in battle. Enemies and bosses do not feel generic as the first time I encounter a dragon or orc, I played it extremely safe and took the battle slowly, after almost immediately being taken out for rushing into battle. Each enemy type seems unique and sometimes incredibly powerful, and sometimes even join your party if you feel the need to spare them. The ability to choose the members in your party adds to the gameplay, as each character has different abilities and interact differently through the story and the player has the ability to take the role of each character at any time during battle and customize individually to your liking.

Gripes: Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy anything BioWare, I noticed a couple things that bothered me throughout the many, many hours invested to Dragon Age. The first was the graphics, and I know graphics are not normally an issue when there is a solid story and fun gameplay, but at times it seemed like I was playing on the first gen Xbox. Dialogue was another quirk that got to me at times, when you interact with some characters, you don’t realize the amount of time spent in conversation, however, with others, I noticed myself skipping through what was being said at times, hoping to get into the next battle. Lastly, and probably the smallest issue, is probably the interface, mainly because it takes some getting used to, but even after hours of use and practice, I was still stumbling through the “wheel” trying to find that specific potion or spell.

Overall, Dragon Age is a fun game that will get you engrossed into the story, battles, and characters, so well that you won’t realized 15 hours was spent “casually” playing over the weekend. BioWare did a great job targeting fans of the RPG, fantasy, and action genres, leaving few that would not enjoy playing through this title. With the story evolving based on decisions made and the character chosen from the start, this title provides large amounts of replay value. gives Dragon Age Origins an 8 out of 10.

Dragon Age Origins is available now for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC

Dante's Inferno demo brings you one circle of Hell in December

Visceral Games announced today that the demo for Dante's Inferno, will be available to download in December. The demo is said to include the entire first level of the game, which will introduce the game's hero, the hack-n-slash combat, and two cinematic movies. I am almost giddy from this announcement as most demo's seem to be too short but this time we get one whole circle to play through, then look forward to another nine to dominate in February 2010.

Deadly Premonition is latest to be announced from Ignition

Deadly Premonition is a new third person survival horror game to be released exclusively for the Xbox 360. The role of the main character, FBI agent Franis York Morgan, in this title is to investigate the gruesome murders which have started occurring in the rural town of Greenvale. Deadly Premonition is slated for 2010. If your looking for angel winged babies and bleeding trees, check out the trailer below.

Pre order incentives is the new black, this time with Divinity II

It seems like offering exclusive weapons and/or armor is the new thing to do for promoting the pre-order of an upcoming release. This announcement is regarding the new action-RPG from cdv Software Entertainment, Divinity II. Those who pre-order this title will receive the Blood Echelon armor and claymore. Divinity II is a sequel to Divine Divinity, sending the player to a wide open world with the task of becoming a Dragon Knight. Divinity II is scheduled to be released on January 5th, 2010 for the Xbox 360.

BioWare releases Mass Effect 2 Collector's Edition details

Mass Effect 2 is due to hit store shelves the beginning of next year and with the standard release will also come the collector's edition. The uber special version of this game will come in a tin case, shown above, with a 48 page hardcover art book, issue 1 of the Mass Effect Redemption comic book, behind the scenes DVD, and unique weapons and armor. After spending the countless hours playing the first entry, the sequel is definitely on my wish list, but will it warrant the $69.99 attack on my wallet?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 demo is live

For the few XBox Live Gold members that are not aware, the demo for Left 4 Dead 2 is yours for the taking. The demo takes place in "The Parrish" campaign and allows the player to slay zombies cooperatively in the New Orleans French Quarters. From what was seen playing through, it was exactly what I expected, which is the satisfaction or destroying hordes of zombies while frantically trying to make it to the safe house alive. Below is the most recent tv spot for Left 4 Dead 2.

Left 4 Dead 2 is being released on November 17th, exclusively on the XBox 360 and PC.

Details of Scratch controller revealed, adding to the DJ feud

With DJ Hero recently being released last week, I was curious as to when news regarding Scratch: The Ultimate DJ would surface. Well low and behold, I received a new trailer highlighting the controller used for this title and it does look like it differs greatly. Check out the video below and expect this title to launch early 2010 for the XBox 360 and Playstation 3.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins releases to retail

So you think between all of your time being spent playing Borderlands, Brutal Legend, or Uncharted 2, you might find time for another RPG?  Hell yeah! 

Today marks the release of BioWare's epic RPG, Dragon Age: Origins.  If you've ever played any BioWare title, you'll know that you're in for one swell treat!  Also, I'm sure the disc is not light on content, but they've gone ahead and also released three DLC packs as well, The Stone Prisoner, Warden's Keep and the Blood Dragon Armor.

The Stone Prisoner (1200 MS Points) - unlocks new environments, items, and characters and unlocks hours of new gameplay, involving the stone golem Shale.

Warden's Keep (560 MS Points) - gains access to a premium dungeon, explore and find new loot, including some cool ass ancient Grey Warden armor.  Also, a chance to gain two of six mysterious abilities, a new base complete with stores and wares, and a toy chest to place all your items. 

And lastly, you can purchase the Blood Dragon Armor for 0 Microsoft Points, which will give you additional combat protection in Dragon Age as well as the upcoming Mass Effect 2 - aye!!!!

Oh, and one more thing - in an odd media team-up; Jared Leto's led "30 Seconds to Mars" releases their newest single "This is War" as the title song from Dragon Age: Origins.  We've embedded the video for your listening enjoyment below.  Jared's so dreamy!!!