Friday, May 28, 2010

Metal Slug XX | Review

Synopsis: Metal Slug is back, this time in the form of an XBLA release toting an XX suffix. Of course we got a review copy from our friends at SNK Playmore to take me back to the days of arcades, quarters, and Neo Geo. This time around, we get two additional characters to choose from, Ralf and Clark from King of Fighters to help the returning cast of warriors. On top of seven stages, each with multiple paths to play through, there is a combat school which is loaded with more than 70 missions to complete. Multiplayer is also available in this release to play through the missions side by side with a partner, and what is a Metal Slug game without the Slug vehicles; as you have six to use throughout the missions. To preface the review, I’m a huge fan of Neo Geo titles, run and gun shooters, and nostalgic remakes, so the Metal Slug series holds a place in my heart along with taking loads of money from me to get the number of releases across multiple platforms. It’s time to storm the beaches of Garbage Island and take on Morden’s forces in another off the wall shooter which is Metal Slug.

Praise: There is a huge amount of replay value from the available characters, each with their own special weapons and moves; on top of that, there are a variety of Slug vehicles which help with blowing stuff up. While Metal Slug titles have always been true to its roots, XX seems to add more than games I grew up on, with a longer game, multiplayer coop, and combat school missions. Each of the seven levels has multiple paths, so it is easy to go back and play through multiple times and experience things not seen in the first playthrough. For those new to Metal Slug, you can expect to find a satirical cartoon looking 2D platformer with a variety of weapons and large bosses to take down while playing through only takes about an hour, but you WILL play it again, especially with a friend and a second controller. Combat school is what I probably enjoyed the most; because it is easy to pick up and play through the missions, but combat school provides a number of trials to complete in order to rank up.

Gripes: It is always fun to play coop from time to time and Metal Slug XX gives you that option, unfortunately every time I try to find or create a match, I am sitting waiting for five minutes before I give up and go back to single player. Like my issue with the Mega Man games, your range of fire is extremely limited, being that you can only shoot horizontally and vertically, unless you are in a Slug vehicle. The other Metal Slug titles are ten dollars or 800 Microsoft Points, but this new entry is fifteen dollars or 1200 Microsoft Points, and while this does have some additional content over previous releases, it still doesn’t feel like it warrants the increase in price.

Overall, Metal Slug XX is rather entertaining, while not perfect, it holds enough replay value to keep you playing for a while. Unfortunately, due to the price tag and lack of people playing online, you may want to rethink purchasing if online play is important to you. This does stick to its roots, so anyone familiar with the series should consider adding XX to their library, and with the download being pretty small, you will not need to clear up space on your hard drive to download and start the running and gunning. With the multiple paths on each level, the replay value is there and will keep you coming back, whether you want to play through over and over again or just to pick up and kill some time. gives Metal Slug XX 7 out of 10.

Metal Slug XX is available now for the Xbox Live Arcade.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Alpha Protocol shows you can teach a sly old dog new tricks

While the below trailer is full of trick and sly moves, but where is the dog? I must be missing something, either way, when Alpha Protocol hits store shelves, dogs will be the last thing on my mind. There has been a decent amount of content released for this title and though most of the time it gets tiresome, but Alpha Protocol is high on my list of games to play this year.

Shaun White Skateboarding trailer has released without its front man

Where have we seen cities being transformed into skate parks? Well, I am going to leave that unanswered, but it looks like it will be possible again but this time, not EA, not Activision, but this time Ubisoft will be releasing a skateboarding game, with Shaun White's name in the prefix. Check it out if you like, it has a pretty good song, but no gameplay footage.

Time to F.E.A.R. Alma yet again

Warner Bros. released the Point Man trailer for the upcoming FEAR 3 that we will all see this Fall. Being a fan of the second title, I am hoping for a strong title and from the looks of the trailer, looks pretty promising so far. From the information received, Alma's sons Point Man and Paxton are going to be a forced to be reckoned with.

Classic DOOM II on XBLA today - lets play co-op!

Revisiting the classics; that's the definition of nostalgia, and today marks the release of another great classic; Doom II for the Xbox Live Arcade (Sorry PSN).  You know the drill, unless you were too young in 1994 for mommy and daddy to let you play, (I actually wasn't too young, but I did have to hide the game myself from the ol' 'rents at the time) Doom II was the follow-up to Doom I, and introduced new weapons, monsters (Hellions) and environments (Hell).

Today's release isn't just a simple port, in fact, we're calling it Doom IIi (2.5), as it adds even more enemies, 32 new levels and co-op mode over Xboxx LIVE or system split-screen, deathmatch, and a never-before-seen bonus chapter "No Rest for the Living". 

All this can be yours for 800 MS Points ($10).  You know you want to check it out.  And check out some screens below.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Awesome Blur trailer pokes fun of Mario Kart

In what should be our last update on Blur before the game's release tomorrow, we wanted to share with you the awesome new commercial poking fun of childish Kart-racers (a'la Mario Kart, Crash Bandicoot Racing, etc).  Embedded below, you'll be hard pressed not to fall in love with the cartoonish characters, and we're hoping that Bizarre Creations actually enables some DLC or puts out a cheat code where you can play as Brocolli Head boy or Pinky.

Lesson learned, Racing IS about winning...and blowing lots of shit up on this case.

Blur is out tomorrow kids - go get it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing out blogging with the iPad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Split/Second| Review

Synopsis: Reality TV fans, racers, and just plain destructive people in general have a reason to unite with the new racing title, Split/Second. Disney Interactive got us our review copy on Friday, so we got a few days without multiplayer to unlock new cars for when multiplayer racing went live Monday night. In Split/Second, you are a driver in a reality TV series show, where racing takes place in a destructible environment and your goal is to complete the season and become the champion. Explosive events and power plays triggers which, when timed right, take out opponents and alter the track are rewarded for drafting, drifting, close calls, and catching air. These trigger are what separates this title from other recent racing titles. The season is made up of 24 episodes and each episode has a number of events to play through to unlock the next episode and specific requirements to unlock additional cars on your way to become champion. Let’s get to the review so I can get back to playing online.

Praise: Racing fans rejoice because this is all you will need to cure your itch for fast paced near flawless racing. This is not your typical racer, it’s like Burnout and Grid, made a baby and Blackrock Studios shows their love for their work when playing through this. Whether you are into single player, two player split screen, or online play, you will enjoy all that there is too offer as there are numerous race modes to prevent single player from getting old and racing online has not lagged for me at all. There are a variety of cars and each handle significantly differently focusing on different things like drift, speed, acceleration, and strength. Rather than unlocking the newest car and only using that, it is helpful to change up your cars for the different type of events to help your chances of becoming champion at the end of the season. Outside of the gameplay aspect of Split/Second, the looks and sounds are like you are watching an actual race, especially with the very minimalistic HUD. Another new feature that is a great way to show off all your achievements to friends and rivals is that the achievement pictures are placed on your car as decals. Oh yeah, it’s also nice to have more explosions than a Transformers movie.

Gripes: A few features and issues that I wish were different in the game is a very short list. There is no vehicle modification outside of visually, as it would have been nice to have some sort of performance modifications available to make to the cars in your garage. Though there are a number of events, about halfway through the game, it does begin to feel a little repetitive, but the motivation to unlock better cars to play in multiplayer does make it so you want to complete the season. The lack of licensed cars is something I feel took away from the title as most games nowadays have licensed vehicles and not generic vehicles made to have a “similar” look. Finally, the opponents on the single player mode rubber band constantly, as it seems no matter how well you race or how many cars you take out, the other racers always seem to be right on your tail.

Overall, this is a game where you come for the single player season but stay for the online races. With a huge replay value as long as you have an Xbox Live membership that allows you to play online you will be coming back for a while. There are only a few online modes but how often do you get race in a remotely destructible environment, having races that only last a couple minutes each, and enough online support to minimize the amount of lag when online. Little issues aside, this is a game that is just plain fun, not having to worry about getting through a story, just plain racing, so if you like your games with that good arcade feel, it is definitely worth the purchase. gives Split/Second a 9 out of 10.

Split/Second is available now for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Blur gets Facebook integration, some retail bonuses and

We're just a few days away from the release of Bizarre Creation's latest racer, Blur (May 25th), and we have a few more pieces of information and a new trailer for you to gaze upon before you pick up your copy.

First up is the new Blur - Facebook integration.  As you'll see in the screenshot below, Blur has partnered up with Facebook to offer a seamless "share" button, allowing players to send game challenges to friends, uploading in-game pictures stats, etc.  Sounds like I'll have to get ready to "hide" updates from Blur on my news feed.  I suppose it's not that bad, but these days, everything is integrated with Facebook.  Next frontier, Facebook-enabled kitchens!

Next up, is some retail purchase bonuses.  In a surprising move, if you purchase your games from Kmart, or SEARS, (the FIRST choice(s) for your video game needs) you're in for some treats; you'll gain immediate access to a chromed-out BMW 1 Series, shown below.  If that doesn't get you to don a bullet-proof vest to brave a trip to Kmart, or find a SEARS, I don't know what will!

Last up is the latest trailer for Blur showcasing the titles team gameplay modes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dementium 2 Review

Synopsis: Return the twisted mind of Renegades kid Dementium world in Dementium 2. This is the third FPS from this group and each one gets better and better. The games get smoother and more refined. This is the latest game we got in our review box and kudos to them, and yes, I had to use the diaper that came with it. You play as William as he wakes up from a brain surgery in a prison. You are locked in your cell and you have no idea why. William is taken on a twisted adventure, slipping between two worlds, one with monsters and one with human flesh and blood enemies that chase you all over the damn place. You as the player are left to figure out, which is the real world, and which is your own imagination.

Praise: The game is technically sound for the DS. It moves at a smooth 60 frames a second, there is no hitch in the action, and the game has smoother graphics than its predecessor. The enemies are great, they give you a freakish feeling as you are roaming through the prison. The game is dark and has a Silent Hill esque feeling without following the game too close and making its own unique nitch. The boss battles in this game are awesome, and have a David vs. Goliath feel that never feels overwhelming, but does challenge. One of the things I like most of this game is the smooth item menu. It’s a simple press and drag technique with the stylus which is surprisingly simple but greatly effective. One of the things that was interesting in this is the mouse like style used with the stylus. You use the stylus to look around, crouch, jump, and point one of the many weapons you can obtain in this game.

Gripes: Controls, controls, and controls. This game suffers greatly from an awkward control scheme. You have to use the stylus to turn, jump, and crouch. You also have to use, depending on if you’re a leftie or a righty, the cross hairs to move forward, back, strafe right or strafe left the buttons to do the same thing on the other side. The shoulder on the perspective side that you are using to move is the attack with. I know it’s confusing to explain and even more a pain sometimes to control. Another thing of this game is how short it is. Not just short, but REAL SHORT. I beat this game in 5 hours. The other thing that hinders this game some is the AI of the enemies. The are not challenging, the bosses are really not all that hard, but worst of all, I hate seeing a grotesque freak of nature running into the wall over and over again trying to get at me. At least they could have changed a Harvard grad to come at me. Or Macgyver, he could have gotten a toothpick, tape, and a paper clip and made a bazooka to come at me with.

Overall: This game is not without its faults. Well, if you call a short game and funky control scheme faults and stupid enemies a fault. I look at them as challenges (not the length, I guess if you want to challenge yourself to making it longer, then you can do that). The graphics are great, the game is good. The story line is ok, but not really awe inspiring.

Mashbuttons gives Dementium 2 a solid 7 of 10.

Super Scribblenauts is coming

Announced a few days ago, the sequel to the critical darling that is Scribblenauts, has an official name:

...Super Scribblenauts...

My guess is that Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment (heretofore known as WBIE); or 5TH Cell, the games developer couldn't think of a better moniker to give the creative puzzler, than Super Scribblenauts.  Frankly, sounds like a space-faring adventure, rather than it's actual puzzle based gameplay.  Perhaps what is old is new again, and the newest (lazy) way of naming your sequels is to just put a SUPER in front of it.  Oh we've seen this before, with your Super Metroid's, and your Super Castlevania's, and your Super Bases Loaded, es!

An alternative title we'd propse is:

Scribblenauts 2: The Revenge of the stolen Starites.  There, that's more palatable.

Super Scribblenauts will be available Fall 2010 for Nintendo DS/DSlite/DSi/DSi XL/3DS, etc.

First trailer of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is an adventure

Lara Croft is back, in an adventure you actually may want to play.  Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a download-only title (available this summer on Xbox Live, PSN and Steam) that's different than any other Tomb Raider you've ever seen.

Presented in an isometric view (think Diablo, or most recently Torchlight), and you have an idea of the style here that Eidos  and Crystal Dynamics are going for.  Little is known of the game so far, except this time Lara will not be alone, and there's some co-op flavor built in here. Eidos has just released the first official trailer; and we've embedded it below.

Check it out, and let us know what you think.  This seems like a title I could get behind.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Holy Crap - Tons of releases today

I don't know what's so spectacular about May 18, but apparently at least 4 fairly high-profile game developers chose today as the day to unleash their latest awesomeness upon us.  Not fair guys, how can we balance these landmark titles!?!?!

Of course I'm talking about Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption, Remedy's Alan Wake, Disney Interactive's Split/Second, and less we not forget about Ubisoft's Prince of Persia...whew.  All on the same day.

I think I speak for the entirety of the gaming community when I say "Thanks guys..."

My (World) Cup runneth over | 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Review

Being a big fan of FIFA 2010 for the XBOX 360 I was a little worried about how FIFA World Cup South Africa would be on the Wii platform.  After playing for a while I was pleasantly surprised. The gameplay and general atmosphere of the Wii game is quite a bit different than the XBOX 360 game, with the Wii game playing more like an arcade game rather than a realistic game. However, playing an arcade style soccer game was a lot of fun.

The graphics aren't the best, but you can tell the artists and designers put a great deal of effort and time to ensure that the players, kits and stadiums all work together to create a great environment. While playing as the US team I could instantly recognize several of the more popular playeys. The Donovan, Bocanegra and Howard models were all very accurate. It was also cool to see all the new kits and squads which will be used in the upcoming World Cup.

After a few minutes with the Wii remote and the nunchuk the controls felt very easy to use. At specific points in the first match you play a dialog box pops up and guides you through using the controls for each situation, including headers, free kicks and corner kicks. Quite a few of the controls are timing based which did take a few tries to figure out. The combination of shaking the Wii remote, slow motion action and stylized ball (trail and sometimes fire!) all make shooting a fun experience. Shaking the remote is a big part of the controls, it is used for shooting, winning balls from free kicks and corner kicks and taking and saving penalties. The controls make for a very interactive experience.

There are several game modes to choose from, including Hit the Pitch (exhibition), 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (the World Cup tournament) with single and multi-player support, Global Elimination (multiplayer) and Zakumi's Dream Team (complete challenges to build a stronger team). gives FIFA (for Wii) a 7 out of 10.  If you aren't looking for an ultra realistic soccer experience the the arcade style of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is a lot of fun.

Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West| Review

Synopsis: While waiting for an unnamed western soon to be released, we received a review code for the PSN and PC online third person shooter, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West. This title places players in the Wild West to relive the myths we all grew up on when playing with our toys guns and watching spaghetti westerns with our parents. Focusing on team based action, some of the available gameplay modes include conquest, which has your team trying to take over specific areas in order, greed, which has the players trying to carry as much gold sacks to a drop off zone in a set time limit, and my favorite, powder keg, which has each team trying to blow up a set objective by moving an explosive powder keg to a set destination, but you can easily take out your opponent if they are carrying the keg and you happen to shoot it. If you’re a team shooter fan, the below is for you.

Praise: For a downloadable title that is strictly online multiplayer with exception to the practice play, there is a lot to like about Lead and Gold, starting with the simplicity. The developer does a good job at making this feel like a western, from the great maps that look like how I would picture the west and classes that use the character classes we have grown to love in other titles in the genre while still feeling like they fit in with this game. A class specific synergy system is a feature new to me from other team multiplayer games I have played and works well, as synergy is a unique ability that is effective only when teammates play cooperatively and tactically. There are four available character classes which consist of short range, mid range, long range and explosive weapons, the deputy being my favorite as he uses a mid range weapon, pistol as secondary, and can tag an enemy so that even if they run out of your line of site, you will still be able to locate them. I have always been able to locate matches without experiencing lag, not even once so far, and once I would start playing a good two or three hours would go by before even thinking about turning it off.

Gripes: This is a multiplayer game, so if you are looking for a single player story to play along with the multiplayer matches or to just get used to the gameplay of Lead and Gold, good luck as it is strictly multiplayer with a small practice mode. As well as the lack of single player, it seems the developer also left out a tutorial, sure you can pull up options for instructions and controls, but in regards to experience points and character development, there is not much to help the player get their bearings as to what to expect while playing through the multiple game modes outside of what is seen in the load screens. While I have not had a problem with finding matches or lag, I have yet to play a match where all of the player slots are full. I think the most I have seen in a match was six people and the maps are pretty large, making it difficult to locate the one or two opponents you are playing against. There is also no cover system which I have not had an issue with in previous games, but it would definitely be a welcome feature in this game as you are unable to duck before popping up and releasing a bullet storm on an unsuspecting passerby.

Overall, Lead and Gold is a fun game and for the price and the replay value, it is well worth the fifteen dollar price tag. While there are a few things that take away from the fun to be had, there is just enough, if not more content to help you get past any issues you have with the mechanics. One thing I am worried about with this game releasing so close to Red Dead Redemption, it is hard to tell exactly how many people will still be playing this after it hits store shelves. I am hoping that since this is not a sixty dollar title, there will still be a large number of Lead and Gold owners standing behind this title. gives Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West a 8 out of 10.

Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is available now on PC and the PlayStation 3.

Lost Planet 2 | Review

Synopsis: Lost Planet 2, the sequel to the debut Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions which has sold close to two and a half million copies, has recently released and with that came a review copy for us to play through and project our impressions to all you mashers. Whether you’re a diehard fan on the original entry, new to the series, multiplayer junkie, or gaming loner there is a lot to be done to complete this title. The sequel picks up a decade from where the previous ended, terraforming activities have proven successful, and the once frozen land of E.D.N. III is now full of beautiful jaw dropping environments. Rather than playing through as one character, you take over the roles of heroes, each with their own story, showing more than the one perspective. The grappling hook is back, which is strange because the feature didn’t work in Bionic Commander, so it seems a gamble to try again, but with supporting weapons and VS vehicles to also take advantage of to make the huge-ass Akrids slightly less of a challenge. One last thing before I get to my review is the available gameplay options are the classic single player, four player online coop, and up to sixteen person multiplayer.

Praise: I had tried playing through the first Lost Planet game and after about 10 hours, got bored with the game and stopped playing all together, so I am going into this review with a lot more optimism following the press releases regarding changes made to the sequel. Like the original and probably my favorite feature over the multiplayer modes is the large boss battles, taking on enormous Akrids with VS armor and other characters, either coop or AI, is a lot of fun. The change of environment from the bland frozen lands to the new great looking and bright rain forest surroundings is a nice change as most of the first title was a bland white and grey. The character customization is nice and I feel it may be the reason for the increase in the replay value, though it takes a little while before the customization is available, but once you start, it is a never ending battle to have the points to make the next change to your character. The coop is a lot of fun, it was easy to join a game, did not have any problems with lag, and with the right group, one could play for hours and not get bored.

Gripes: I hope you fans are a glutton for punishment because even on easy there are minimal checkpoints per chapter, so you will respawn a ways back having to fight to the point you were killed, hoping to not make the same mistake twice and that there will be a checkpoint or end of the chapter coming up soon. The offline AI does not really help and I definitely suggest going the way of coop if you have the gold membership and an internet connection. The story and the campaign are just south of mediocre and the entertainment value of the game relys strongly on the coop and multiplayer matches, which is a good thing coming from someone that is not a fan of playing online multiplayer. I am unsure if Capcom sent out a batch of bad disks, but it seems that after thirty minutes to a half hour into playing, I get a disk read error, having to reset and start back where I left off. Lastly, the customization of characters and weapons is not very user friendly as it takes some trial and error to get accustomed to the system.

With all the recent and upcoming sandbox and first person shooters, having a fresh third person action title release is a very welcome break from the norm. There is plenty to do after you have completed the story mode, mainly playing on a harder difficulty and playing coop to help others through the story and also help yourself with more character customization. If Capcom keeps this up, then they can expect a very profitable year, as both Super Street Fighter IV and Lost Planet 2 have been good games if not great games, I am hoping Dead Rising 2 follows the pattern of even better than the original sequels. gives Lost Planet 2 a 7 out of 10.

Lost Planet 2 is available now for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.