Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tropico 3 release date released

On September 7th, PC and XBox 360 owners both will have access to the demo of Tropico 3, where you take on the role of the big bad jefe, El Presidente. In Tropico 3, you play through the game as a dictator of a banana republic in the Caribbean during the Cold War. As any similar simulation title you are able to be the cold hearted corruptible leader that children look up to or you can take the overrated humanitarian that is looking out for their population's best interests.

After testing some of your political possibilities in the demo, you can release your full political agenda on October 16th.

Steam users and THQ fans rejoice this weekend

Steam has just announced that for this weekend only, the THQ Collector Pack is 25% off it's regular price. Below are all the listed titles in the pack with a new special bonus, Dawn of War II.

Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Titan Quest
Titan Quest - Immortal Throne
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Gold Edition
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War - Soulstorm
Full Spectrum Warrior* and
Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers

Your Welcome.

Authenticity is Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising's middle name

Codemaster's has provided us with another release video for their soon to be released first person shooter. While the last video we posted focused on the vehicles available, this most recent developer diary focuses the sounds inside the game that help add an authentic feel to the player. Though loud gunshots and explosion through a massive surround sound makes almost any gameplay experience euphoric and are bound to piss of your neighbors and family members, the gameplay video on top of the sound work done by the developers make this game look promising.

Left 4 Dead 2 showing off Dark Carnival at PAX

Valve made our day with the announcement that their upcoming title, Left 4 Dead 2, will be playable at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle next weekend. While the excitement is not from being able to play the game, as we will not be attending, but that a campaign is being unveiled at the expo. The new campaign will be will be "Dark Carnival" and if your attending, you definitely want to check out both Microsoft's XBox 360 booth and Valve's L4D2 booth as both will show different areas of the game.

Renegade Kid is still trying to make me lose sleep

The follow up to the 2007 action horror DS game, Dementium, is in the works and being brought to us by the same dememted mind of Renegade Kid. While not much has been released except that title to be available in 2010, we have gotten screenshots from SouthPeak Games to haunt our dreams.

Guitar Hero 5 multiplayer features video | Preview

Check out the latest trailer from Guitar Hero 5 before it's impending release. This latest showcases some of the new multiplayer types to play with up to 8 players competing against one another in a guitar showdown of monstrously epic proportions!

Okay, calm down - Yes, it's that time again, another year, and another Guitar Hero. The 5th in the series (not counting any spin-off's). Are you all ready for another 50+ songs and some new features? I think it's time to dust off that ol' plastic strat, and fire up the new songs. Yes I do.

Turtles In Time: Reshelled | Review

Cowabunga, dude!

I hate myself for typing that. It's been over 20 years since the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time was released. I honestly don't remember ever playing this game in the arcade or on any home console, but having just played the updated version of the game, released during the Summer of Arcade, I have to say I don't think I missed much.

After playing TMNT Turtles in Time Re-shelled, I am reminded of two things. First being how much the 1993 movie of the same name truly sucked ass. Secondly, I am reminded that no matter how big or small, serious or silly a game is, story is really important. I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole hill here, but c'mon.

So here is the deal: The game is based on the popular animated series from back in the 80's and starts off with that weird looking brain thing and it's giant mechanical body stealing the Statue of Liberty. Naturally, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spring in to action in order to get it back. After a few levels of kicking foot soldier ass, Shredder shows up and banishes you into a time portal. Now, maybe I'm being a stickler for detail here, but why not just do that in the first place? Anyways, you and you're turtle pals are banished back in time where there are even more foot soldiers waiting for you and are in no way changing our current time line.

Dumb story aside this is your typical late 80's early 90's side-scroller. Yes, the graphics do look pretty good. But from my point of view that's about all the game designers worked on improving. The game play is never really too challenging just mainly annoying with all of the traps sprinkled throughout each of the different levels you play through.

If you do decide to purchase this game, which I don't recommend you do, I'd say the only real way to get any enjoyment out of this game is to play co-op with up to 4 players.
If you are sitting at your home or office and are wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt, swinging around some nun-chucks while eating a bowl of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cereal I would say that this is the perfect game for you. For anyone else out there I would say to save your money and go buy Shadow Complex.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bethesda releases a 'Wet' demo | Demos

You may have missed this little tidbit yesterday, as most were focused on the Bat signal in the night sky, but our good friends at Bethesda released a demo of their upcoming third-person shooter 'Wet' on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PSN.

The title has surely flew under most gamers radar up until recently when Bethesda acquired the publishing rights for the title.

We're firing up our demo right now but let us know what you think of it (if you can pull yourself out of Arkham for a few). Oh, and if you're on the fence, you do play as a virtual Eliza Dushku, from TV's Dollhouse. There - we are relying on sex to sell this game. For shame.

Wet is available on Xbox 360 and Playstion 3 on September 15th.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here's the latest NHL 10 info, as we have it | Previews

Developer EA Canada is back again for another season of some board-checking, puck pressure, and sure to be some thrown fists between players in the latest installment of the NHL franchise; NHL 10.

Said to offer over 200 gameplay refinements to allow for a more finesse game of hockey. From their press release, here are the top key features to look forward as we approach a September release date.

From EA:
  • Battle on the Boards - A new board play physics engine lets you shield the puck with your body along the boards, kick-pass it to teammates, or pin an opponent, adding a new level of realism to cycling the puck and the dump and chase. AI teammates will support the puck and help you win the battle as fans bang on the glass.
  • Intimidation Tactics— Fore-check defenders, pressure the puck and finish checks to force your opponent into mistakes. Players fatigue, bobble passes, and avoid collisions under threat of physical pressure. Face wash a superstar to provoke the opposition, instigate a scrum and ignite the crowd.
  • Post-Whistle Action—Now, the game never stops! Antagonize opposing players, finish checks, retaliate for late shots on goal, draw penalties and pick fights—all after the referee blows the whistle!
  • New 1st Person Fighting Engine — Change the momentum of a game by trading blows with an NHL enforcer with all-new first-person fighting. Grab and tug an opponent’s jersey to land a big punch. Face wash an opponent to start a fight even after the whistle.
  • New Precision Passing— A new 360° precision passing mechanic delivers control over the speed and direction of passes so players can bank passes off the boards or play the puck into space for teammates to skate on to it. Players take poor passes off their skates and kick the puck to their sticks.
  • Spectacular Goals—Introducing spectacular new ways to score, like players one-timing loose pucks, stick-handling and shooting from their knees, batting pucks out of the air and lifting a leg to fake a shot on goal.
  • Improved Goalie Intelligence —Goaltenders position themselves more intelligently, react to shots more quickly and recover from saves faster. Plus, 250 new goalie animations, including swatting pucks out of the air, second and third saves and desperation lunges.
  • Interactive Atmosphere— Playoff atmosphere pops to life with towel-waving fans, deafening noise and crowds that react and respond to the action on the ice. Fanatical fans bang glass during board play, spring to their feet after big hits, and boo opposing stars when they handle the puck.
  • Next-Level authenticity— Over 200 gameplay refinements, including new offensive and defensive AI for more intelligent positioning, and new in-game facial animations that show player emotion when delivering bone-crunching checks or celebrating game-winning goals.
All sounds like something I can really get behind - let us know if you're planning on picking this one up next month.

There is no time - Arkham Asylum awaits!

Since earlier this year, we've written countless posts (11) consisting of countless words (1700+) hyping the game that no one saw coming (are we kidding?).

Batman appears as if it's going to be a hit (review forthcoming); so a sleeper it is not, however it's a bit surprising that a licensed game by a relatively unknown developer is getting as much attention as it is.

Good for them - the game IS awesome - be sure to come back soon for a full review.

So without any further words, Batman: Arkham Asylum is available today at your favorite retailer for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Madden NFL 10 | Review (Xbox 360)

Since Dom and Joey’s sports prowess is *cough* lacking, they needed my expertise to review the biggest video game of the year, Madden NFL 10. This is a game that I anticipate moments after the NFL season wraps up, scouring the internet, pouring over screenshots, reading every blog I can for any scrap of information of the next installment. This year, my patience, has been rewarded with a very polished and extremely well done product.

Just looking at the cover of the game, gives me something to look forward to; the Madden curse. If you're not familiar, the Madden curse, is the belief that every cover athlete will have a horrendous season or become injured, etc. This year the cover athletes are Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) and Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers), of my two least favorite teams.

From the second you fire up your first game within Madden you will see an instant difference in the presentation of the game and a new level of realism. Games start with an outside shot of the stadium and zoom to fans buying merchandise and concessions within the stadium. The coolest part of the pre-game presentation is showing the star players of the home team with their helmets off, standing for the national anthem while Airforce jets fly over head. They've also added a more realistic broadcast touch by giving a real TV-like sign out at the end of the game.

This year, they've slowed down the pace of the gameplay to make for a more realistic speed for the players, and also make their moves seem more fluid. The biggest feature add in Madden NFL 10 is the Pro-Tak tackling system that causes the player to “fight for every yard”. It just means that instead of the ball carrier just falling down when tackled he will fight to stay up and sometimes even fight off the tackle for more yards. They also added multi-player tackles and players even fight for the ball in the scrum, adding several additional layers to the realism.

The franchise mode is by far the most important aspect of the game for me (yep, I’m an armchair GM). This year’s franchise mode has its ups and downs, but overall I am ok with the finished product. They removed the ability to improve players through weekly drills and instead give every player a potential grade (A-F system), that will determine how good a player can get in their career. Other factors that play a role in play progression are age and how they did the previous season.

Overall (Mashbuttons) I give the game a 9 out of 10. The realism of the game play is above and beyond what I’ve ever seen in any sports game. The franchise mode isn’t great but it’s still really good (but then again I am really picky when it comes to the mode). Finally, the soundtrack is great, including a lot of 80’s rock and even a Slipknot song (big plus with me).

Madden NFL 10 is available now for Xbox 360, Playstion 3 and Wii

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our Shadows have a complex | Shadow Complex Review

I've been tossing around several ideas in my head on how to best approach this review. So I've decided to write it for two separate audiences. The first, for anyone who's ever played Super Metroid (SNES) and/or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (or it's many Nintendo DS brethren). The second, for those that have had no experience with those other titles, as a majority of them are well over 10 years old.

To those of you who've played Super Metroid and SOTN, Shadow Complex is the modern-day version of those games. Complete with 3D environments, high-def graphics, and 5.1 surround sound, but with the old-school 2D side-scrolling gameplay. This has been touted across the industry and other blogs since E3. It's this simple review that if you have played those, and enjoyed them, you will greatly enjoy this title.

But I'm not satisfied as just writing this off as a "if you like x, you will like y" review, no - I must give as much as I can do those who're not familiar with those titles, or those that may have forgotten the allure, the satisfaction of exploring the vast levels that make up the whole. Shadow Complex comes from Chair Entertainment, who recently were acquired by EPIC Games, and who've already had one success on Xbox LIVE with "Undertow" back in 2007. Powered by the incredible, but oft-used Unreal Engine 3, Shadow Complex is a richly detailed action adventure with more than 10 hours of gameplay rivaling that of most full retail titles. Set in the world of Orson Scott Card's bestselling novel, "Empire", you "fall into" discovering an underground base while searching for your girlfriend, (whom you've just met by the way).

Honestly, the story is a mild detractor, and likely the ONLY negative tick on this release. It's fairly laughable - but it's not the reason you're playing, and want to keep playing until you get to the grand finale. And while the voice-acting is actually pretty good, I kept getting confused if I was playing Prince of Persia or Uncharted, as the lead character is voiced by Nolan North, a voice who's lent his talent to almost every game I can think of in the past 10 years.

But the game itself is full of action, item-searching, secrets, character level-increasing, etc. It is constantly rewarding you with 17 unique power-ups, and more than 100 additional items and modifiers to discover. The boss fights, are large, and make excellent use of the environment in most cases.

Overall, Mashbuttons gives Shadow Complex a 10 out of 10 (Our first perfect score). You need to play this game.

Friday, August 21, 2009

10 things to know about the PS3 Slim

So you're thinking of getting Sony's black behemoth now the price has been economically lowered to that sweet $299 price, but you're not sure if you should spring for a current system, or wait until the slim is available around September 1st? Well, our friends over at Gizmodo have come up with a list of the top 10 things you need to know about the PS3 Slim. I've placed the top 3 here - but be sure to follow the link below to view the full list.

1. Available September 1, Prices Already Dropped (North America)
If you prefer your PS3 fat and glossy, the existing 80GB model has now dropped to $300—that's how much the new 120GB PS3 Slim will be in September. (The current 160GB PS3 has also been reduced, to $400.)

2. You'll Probably Want the Stand
As Jason said in his hands on, the Slim isn't really stable enough to balance vertically without its stand. Problem is, the stand is sold separately, and at $24, seems over priced. You also won't be able to pick one up until 2 days after the PS3 Slim first goes on sale.

3. Hard Drive Upgrades
As we've mentioned, FCC records indicate that Sony may also have plans for 150GB and 250GB versions of the 120GB PS3 Slim. Either way, it only takes one screw (now located under the front, instead of the side) to swap in your own SATA laptop hard disk (and doing so won't avoid the warranty).

Read the full list here:

Let us know if you have a preference?

4 new RAGE screenshots from GamesCom | RAGE

Rarely am I a post of few words, but really the title of this one is quite succinct and to the point.

So here they are:

For more Sackboy fun...just add water | Beta alert

Media Molecule, the brilliant team behind Little Big Planet, have announced they are taking beta applications for their upcoming "add-on" for Little Big Planet Water.

Head on over to this link and register with your e-mail, PSN ID and the country in which you reside currently (please note, actual birth country does not need to match).

Check out the trailer below to see the always cute, always fun, Sackboys getting wet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trials HD | Review

Synopsis: Trials HD is the recent Xbox Live Summer of arcade title that greatly expands on RedLynx’s previous independent title, Trials. Trials HD is a motorcycle stunt/racing game with a large emphasis on physics. The title included 50 tracks with race and skill modes where the player needs to get to the end of the track in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of crashing and mini games that emphasize different skills. Your friends list is also incorporated in game to show how you fare against them on the track currently being played. To add to the varying tracks, Trials HD features rider customization, unlockable bikes which handle differently, global statistics, level editor, and amazing graphics.

Praise: Trials is a clean, addicting game, which is extremely easy to pick up for a short amount of time or for hours on end if you’re not careful. The graphics rival those of a retail game, while the lacks of load times add to the appeal of sometimes having to restart a level every 15 to 20 seconds. Even though the physics engine can be rather unforgiving at times, it adds to the replay value of levels along with trying to go back and improve times with new cycles for higher medals and to move up on the leaderboards. Wrecks are also just as satisfying as completing the level as they are realistic and the rider’s entire body takes damage such a broken bones and joints.

Gripes: The physics engine that makes the game is probably the only short coming. The reason being is that when you get a new bike you are not familiar with or land a jump with just a little too much throttle, you have to restart the level or go back the previous checkpoint and lose your potential medal for completion. The ability to only download levels from your friends is disappointing, because let’s face it, a lot of your friends may not be into this title or are just not all that creative.

Overall, Trials HD is easily worth the fifteen dollar price tag it totes. From the looks, to the controls, and the design of the levels, this is a title that will not get old for a while. It is unfortunate that it released a week before Shadow Complex, but with an addicting demo and a full game offering many tracks and mini games, you will not be disappointed to spend more than the typical ten dollars for this addition to the XBLA library. gives Trials HD a 9 out of 10.

Trials HD is available now for the Xbox 360.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tanks, Choppers, and Hummers, Oh My!

No, this is not an innuendo, but the list of the handful of vehicles available for the upcoming war game, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.

Another unique feature to this title is that a hardcore mode is offered, which removes the HUD, which essentially takes away the cross-hairs and compass, only leaving you with a map to complete your mission.

Dragon Rising is the newest sandbox shooter from Codemasters, that is slated for release on October 6th, for the Xbox 360, PC, and Playstation 3

EA adds Randy Couture to the MMA lineup

In a move no one saw coming (except probably everyone), EA announced Randy Couture will co-headline EA SPORTS™ MMA alongside Fedor Emelianenko.

Couture, who once moonlighted as Commander Warren Fuller in EA's own Command & Conquer™: Red Alert™ 3, is a legend in the sport of MMA. This very month, he's scheduled to fight against former Pride World Heavyweight Champion (breathe), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (breathe). This post is truly a mouthful.

EA SPORTS™ MMA will be available next year on the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms.

A smattering of new screens for Need For Speed SHIFT from Gamescom

This morning EA had their Press Conference in Germany, kicking off their contribution to Europe's newest gaming festival, Gamescom. EA showed off a ton of new videos and screens from their slate of upcoming releases, here, in rare form, are the screenshots released for the latest in the Need For Speed series.

Need For Speed SHIFT will be available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this Fall

Double Fine and EA invite you to ROCK (via demo) on September 17th | Demo season

Prepare to get "headbanger whiplash", at least in a small form come September 17th, as Brütal Legend will unleash it's powers amongst the Xbox Live and PSN that day. A short month away, we'll all get to experience what those lucky few did at E3 2009. Tim Schafer's newest masterpiece's demo will showcase the game's non-stop hack n' slash action and mayhem.

If you pre-order the game from Gamestop, you get access to the demo a week before the mainstream - so go pre-order online or in-store! I know I'm doing it today!

From the release:

The demo opens as Eddie awakes in the age of metal where he must quickly learn how to use the powerful ancient axe, ‘The Separator’ and electrifying guitar ‘Clementine’ to unleash combo moves that destroy the demons of darkness. As he comes face-to-face with zipper-faced nuns and devilish druids, Eddie encounters the beautiful and tough-as-nails Ophelia, an ally and would-be love interest. Together, Eddie and Ophelia use double team attacks for more powerful combo moves to defeat the rock demons that are after them. Luckily, they are bestowed with a super-charged, druid-destroying vehicle, ‘The Deuce’ that can be upgraded with weapons and armor throughout the game. From the bowels of the druid dungeon to the tops of corpse mountains, the Brütal Legend demo is just the beginning of an epic journey.

Brütal Legend will launch on October 13th (Oct 16th in Europe) on both the Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION®3