Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Portal 2 Videos and these arent the last of them

Day three has come and we are getting closer to the last of the Portal 2 videos. If you have been keeping track, these will be videos 4 and 5 of 7 to be released by Valve. Watch, enjoy, and try resisting the urge to pick up Orange Box again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last and certainly not least from E3 is Southpeak Games

Texas based Southpeak Games allowed us over to see them at E3 to show off a little of what they have to bring to the table in the new future and it was fun! Three words, I got nail’d! I will explain shortly, but what they did give us was time with their upcoming off road racer, Nail’d and their upcoming sequel to the massively huge RPG, Two Worlds II. Aside from their patience of having to deal with me after three NOS energy drinks and being in awe from just entering E3 for the first time in ten years, they handed me the controller and let me loose.

As stated above, the first game I got to play was Nail’d, and from having a past with years of ATV riding and my love of racers, I was ready and didn’t need much of an explanation. This title is not your realistic racer with lots of stunts, but more of an extreme over the top racer, focusing on landing huge jumps and avoiding environmental obstacles to gain boost to work your way to the front of the pack. Yes, the developer gave me an ample looking racer which I blame most of my crashes on, but the real fun was hitting massive jumps and the new feature to me, which was the ability to steer in mid air. Along with the fast gameplay, large tracks, and larger jumps, I was ready for more, but they took away my controller and sat me in front of Two Worlds II.

Now I never played the original Two Worlds title, so I had one of the developer’s actually play it for me switching between classes, skills, and environments while explaining changes made between the original and the sequel. We starting in a dungeon to show off how detailed the environments can be and the improvement of collision detection from walking through puddles, rattling hanging chains, and attacking encountered enemies, and it was pretty damn smooth. After the environments and graphics, comes the character development and here is where I am happy I didn’t get to try my hand at this because the number of options are limitless between the three classes as you have the option to customize your abilities, weapons, and armor at any point during gameplay. Here is where I fell in love, with the game of course, you can reassign you ability points towards different attributes at any time to change your character’s strong suits to help take down the harder to defeat fiends.

Get your Winterbottom on the cheap with XBL DOW

That is Xbox Live Deal of the Week of course! This week's deal of the week brings you The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom for the low low price of 400 MS points, coming to the price of just around two energy drinks. Well worth it in my opinion, no go out and buy it, if you have the points and the patience.

More Portal, less Glados

As stated yesterday, Valve is releasing seven videos unveiling Portal 2 and some of the new available abilities and tool available to you to make your way through the game. So I am going to keep this short and sweet, here are videos 2 and 3, now watch em!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Glados is back and you will regret it, you monster

For all you Portal fans, comes a new video introducing you to a new character, Wheatley, a personality sphere, that brings a bit more humor to the game. At the end of the video you will be reacquainted with an old friend...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sega keeps it short and very sweet at E3

Though it was the first booth I went to and regretfully the last post regarding my time at E3, Sega's booth was one of the first booth's was saw as we entered E3, and with the bright colors and of course Sonic it definitely caught my attention. Though we did not have time to check out a lot of what Sega had brought to the show, mainly because I had been distracted by a couple other games, what I did get my hands on were a lot of fun.

Tournament of Legends is a new fighting game slated to come out in the next couple weeks, and it was a very well polished fighting game for the Wii. The only other fighter I have played for the Wii was Capcom vs Tatsunoku, and thought it was not as fast paced, it was a lot prettier and technical. Also the fighters in this title are legendary creatures and warriors, so it is less cutesy and more of a grown up fighter. Though it was not the controls I was used to, I do want to put in the time to learn and master Bravehoof the Minotaur.

Sonic Free Riders did not get any hands on time from me but it did have me standing outside the playable booth drooling on the window. Free Riders is a racer that uses the Kinect peripheral and you control a variety of characters from the Sonic titles with yourself as the controller. The person playing the game was able to jump, reach out and grab power ups, and then throw the power ups at the other racers.

Valkyria Chronicles 2 was probably my personal favorite, even though it is for the PSP and that is the only portable device I do not have, luckily my cowriter will not know his is missing when I take it. Like the first title, this is an action RPG and takes place two years after the original. I was placed back in to the war and immediately into battle as new recruits still in military school. As most of you may know or will soon find out, I love tactical strategic RPG titles and this is one. I had not played the original but after 15 minutes with Valkyria Chronicles II, I bought the original in preparation for the sequel.

Tecmo Koei felt safe enough to let MashButtons play their games

I promise I am finally coming to the end of the E3 coverage, but don't quote me on that. One of the larger booth with a great and more organized setup and most if not all game there playable, was Tecmo Koei, though being strapped for time, I was only able to get my hands on two of their titles on display. These two titles being Quantum Theory and Warriors: Legend of Troy, below is a brief hands on summary of my first impressions.

The first game I picked up was the third person shooter Quantum Theory. I got the play completely through the demo level, only embarrassingly dying a couple times. But the control this far was a fast and fluid style that reminded me of the Gears of War games. However, that is the only thing the two titles seem to have in common as this contains more a fantasy aspect where you play as Syd and it is your goal to destroy an evil tower. The tower level I played through had a dark fantasy look and was introduced to a unique element of controlling a partner through gameplay which appeared to be a woman I could throw at enemies to help distract or take them down.

The other title I got my grimy hands on was Warriors: Legend of Troy, which was an action hack and slash game that felt like Dynasty Warriors, however seemed visually more entertaining as you play due to the story or setting taking place is the poem about Troy. Yes,kind of like the movie if you want to be technical about it, but without Brad Pitt and with better action sequences, more along the lines of 300. Though, I have never gotten into the Dynasty Warrior games, this game was entertaining and full of action and violence.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More legends revealed for the tournament

Wordplay! That right, well after seeing this game at E3 and seeing the character reveal trailers, I am unable to determine exactly why I am so interested in getting my hands on Tournament of Legends. Could it be that it is a good looking fighter for the Wii or that the characters to play as an customize going into battle sound equally awesome to play as. Whatever the case may be, here is the recent trailer showing Jupiter and Kara, enjoy...oh yeah, this game is going to be priced at $29.99.

Lost in Shadow box are and pics revealed

Just received from the friendly folks at Hudson is the box art and screens from their upcoming summer release, Lost in Shadows. For those just following this title, it is a Wii exclusive where the player is put in a strange tower in an unknown world full of moving shadows. Using a companion sylph named Spangle, you move the shadows around to help navigate your shadow boy to his destination. The concept is rather unique and I am looking forward to a good non racer, FPS, or sandbox title to play through for a bit.

InterWorks peripheral is going to be breaking my wallet

As a racing game enthusiast, seriously, Blur hasn't left my Xbox 360 since it came out, I was pleased to come across a small booth for a company I hadn't heard of but will probably remember it the most. The peripheral was a PS3 controller that had me confused at first with two buttons resembling pedals, instead of the left analog stick was a narrow scroll wheel that only went in two directions, and and led that resembled a gauge. I picked up the controller and after some quick instructions, I got to race, and well I sucked, at first, then one lap later i had the hang of things and was drifting like a pro, better than I would with regular controller. After being told that the controller was wired for faster response i was sold, I know what I will now need to go with Gran Turismo 5.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Driver San Francisco goes in the way of the supernatural

Yes, there is still E3 coverage being published because I was the only person from our site that could go and well, there is a lot of news still coming out, so deal with it. Okay, I am only playing but one title Ubisoft had shown off that took me back to memories playing the original Driver on the first PlayStation and even destroying a couple controllers in frustration.

It seems as though a lot has happened in between the original and San Francisco, but the most important is bringing back the old driving style. The weirdest and most interesting new feature to the franchise is "shifting" and this ability allows the player in pursuit to stop time and have a sort of out of body or shall I say car experience and enter a different car in the area to either get closer to the said car in pursuit or use it as a tool to finish your pursuit. Sound confusing? I suggest watching the video walkthrough.

Etrian Oddyssey III video shorts welcomes newcomers

So you may not be familiar with the Etrian Odyssey series, well Atlus has just released a series of video shorts for those of you. The purpose of the shorts are to help you learn what has occurred over the past two titles, and for the obvious reason to get newcomers to purchase this Nintendo DS title without having experienced the previous entries. Below is the video short for all you devoted and new fans of the fun portable odyssey.

Kane and Lynch movie and now a comic series?

Earlier today, I get another email regarding Kane and Lynch, but this time to my surprise, it wasn't a trailer or videos displaying the multiplayer modes. It was instead the DC comic covers for issues one and two of the upcoming Kane and Lynch comic series from Ben Templesmith.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More twisted videos from naughty bear for our sick little viewers

From the team behind a wide variety of games ranging from Kung Fu Panda on the Wii and Wet for 360 and PS3, it seems like the developers were debating on what the next release will be and just met in the middle. Here is the launch trailer and another video which shows off the various multiplayer modes.

Compuexpert shows off their new cans and the newest in joystick protection

As a fan of all things loud, so loud it rattles windows and wakes babies, that sort of thing does not really fly when you have a wife and daughter that go to bed at 8 PM and then it is time to game...quietly. So of course I see a pair of headphones and my instant thought is just how loud can it be. On my way between meetings, I came across the Compuexpert booth and see the Sharkoon Xtatic digital headphones and remember reading the specs in a previous press release so I give it a go. The headset goes on and the volume goes up, the Split/Second race begins, and I get a grin from ear to ear. These black beauties send 5.1 sound to your ear holes, rather well I might add from the three laps I raced before having them pried away. My only issue was bass, but I am used to two 12 inch woofers in a hatchback so what do I know? The other thing that caught my eye was that these were compatible across multiple platforms, supporting Xbox, PlayStation, DVD, PC, and other devices.

Before I end this memory of headphone bliss, I was leaving the booth and was handed what looked like joystick condoms, which I guess are just that. The Grip-It product wraps around the top of the joystick and does exactly what it says, grips. I would not think it would make much of a difference with the joysticks being rubberized in the first place, but it does reduce sweat, and I did find myself using less pressure to accomplish the same actions, so I am hoping they last a while, as they wont be removed from my 360 controller anytime soon.

What is Tera?

After walking the show floor at E3, I came across a smaller booth that was roped off and on the outside was and LCD screen playing a trailer on a wall of LED's moving to the trailer. The trailer is what looked like an MMORPG, which I am not a fan of but hearing people speak of the title on the show floor, intrigued me. When I made my way into the booth, there were four computers for each person to play and an Xbox 360....huh? Yes, Tera is a PC subscription based MMORPG due for release in 2011, which does support game pads. After a half hour as a Berserker with my team of strangers, in the lush world battling massive enemies, could I be converted?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Become a made man thanks to Mafia II E3 trailer

One trailer seen at E3 that won't have you waiting until 2011 to get your hands on is Mafia II. This titles is scheduled for release on August 24th and the below trailer shows the conflict in choosing the family you are born into and the family you will be loyal to. After fifteen minutes of time playing this title in a 50's era room, it was a lot of fun, while relying on the cover system for gun combat and the soundtrack and vehicle handling give an authentic feeling to the era the title is based off of.

Yes, I got to meet Method Man, along with other celebrity appearances at E3

Yes, those that know me, know that I am a fan of hip hop. Not the new hip hop of autotune and covering classic music behind the lyrics, so when I found out that I was going to miss the Redman and Method Man concert, I was bummed until I ran into him on my way to the Bethesda booth and shot a picture with him.

Along with Method Man and Redman, there were a number of other celebrities, such as Captain Sig, Russell Simmons, Verne Troyer, Levar Burton, Suicide Girls and more.

The WB brings you Lord of the Rings, we promise no Wayans brother

Instead of the Wayans, the big dub brings The Lord of the Rings: War in the North trailer, which I have posted below. The War in the North brings the fellowship together again in an action/RPG allowing the player to focus on character development and coop gameplay. You can expect this title to be released sometime in 2011.

Well here it is, the teaser for Portal 2

The folks from Valve have sent me the teaser for the sequel to the critically acclaimed title, Portal, after a sit down to see a 15 minute video explaining the new features behind the anticipated sequel. Below is the teaser if you have yet to see it yet. Without giving too much away...the wait WILL be worth it.

TRON, need I say more?

In the case that I do, it won't be much but to say I got to see a life size light cycle, the game in action, and the helmets. That and to say here is the E3 trailer for TRON: Evolution which connects the storyline of the game and the movie.

John Daly's Pro Stoke Golf gets hand on time from MashButton's resident golfer

I may have been a little too late to take on John Daly but was able to out drive the O Games representative using the PlayStation Move to see who could get the longest drive with the upcoming Pro Stroke Golf. Since I did get the opportunity to play Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii with the motion plus, motion controlled living room golfing has come a long way in the last year and aside from looking a lot better, there was more a challenge giving the frustrating golf experience I love to put myself through.

More on the upcoming Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed fans can rejoice with this footage from E3 showing off video walkthroughs for both the single player and multiplayer aspects of the Brotherhood

New features to Brotherhood consist of over fifteen hours of single player gameplay, recruiting and leading young assassins to help your cause, and use earned money to rebuild the city and get the population to rally behind you and unlock new missions.

In the multiplayer walkthrough, players are able to choose from multiple classes, authentic to the era, with moves and weapons specific to each class.

3DS gets list of launch titles from 3rd parties

So after seeing the Nintendo 3DS, and drooling perhaps too much over the Kid Icarus trailer being see in 3D, without glasses, Ubisoft and Hudson both sent over a list of titles to be launched for the portable.

Hudson, is planning on releasing a Bomberman title, in hopes to add to the 10 million already sold over the franchise's history. Along with Bomberman, will come DECA SPORTS and Kororinpa.

Ubisoft has announced six launch titles, all of which are mentioned below.

-Hollywood 61
-Battle of Giants: Dinosaur Strike
-Driver Renegade
-Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
-Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
-Assassin's Creed Lost Legacy

Atlus full of news at E3 this year

Flooding our inbox while at E3, was Atlus showing off their massive lineup across numerous platforms, so let me try and sum it all up for you so you don't miss anything. Below is a quick run down of what was announced and along with console and schedule for release.

Rock of Ages - A castle destruction game slated for digital release in Spring 2011

Trine 2 - The sequel to the critically acclaimed physics based platformer will feature 3 player online coop, also in in Spring of 2011 via digital release.

Etrian Odyssey III - The exploration RPG series gets it's third entry this Fall on the Nintendo DS. New to the series is 10 new classes and 30 possible member slots.

Knights in the Nightmare - The bullet hell RPG will soon be available on the PSP this October. As a fan of the DS release PSP owners will enjoy the unique RPG experience.

Kalypso's E3 trailer for The First Templar

After releasing Tropico and with the upcoming Dark Star One, what is next for Kalypso Media. Well, at E3 we find out just that and it looks like it will be The First Templar, which appears to be an fantasy action title slated for debut early 2011. Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A blurry review | Blur Review

When Activision sent us their latest game Blur, I attempted to figure out the best way to write up a review.  Considering the beta was out for some time, countless users on Xbox Live had their chance at the reigns just as we did.  The multiplayer addiction that is the online racing infused with that "just one more race" leveling up component, was known about months ago.  So what more can I possibly tell you?
Well, considering the fairly low numbers of the gamers online last time I checked in to play a few rounds, apparently, I need to tell you all about this game.  Blur being "just another racing game" couldn't be further from the reality here, and even I admit, I was in that camp initially...that was until I played a few races.  You've no doubt seen the latest commercial airing, taking on a comic approach touching on the nostalgia that we've all played Mario Kart in our days.  This is boiled down to Mario Kart for Grown Ups.  Not "grown-ups" as in you have to be old and proper and talk down to kids (though that's always fun as well), but more Mario Kart, Grown Up.  The game-play itself has seen an evolution, an aging as it were, with the polish you expect from Bizarre Creations (the devs that brought us the Project Gotham series on Xbox), who have a little experience with the genre.
So what's different?  Well, there are two main game-modes.  The single-player, and the multiplayer.  The Single-Player career mode plays out in similar fashion as we've seen before.  Start off with a few (slow) car options, and work your way through the "level" as you compete in a number of gameplay events.  From straight-up racing against 19 other cars, to a checkpoint mode, just you and the stop-watch, careering to each gate with as much time left as possible, to the destruction mode; where you just chase after spawning cars, and destroy as many as you can while you make your way through the track.  You gain levels by earning "fans" by driving in style, utilizing your power-ups, competing in specific fan challenges, and overall just winning races.  As you level up, more cars open up, as you work your way towards each level's "boss"; a one-on-one race to the finish, winner take all event.
Single player is a good time, and if you're socially inept, you can find a lot worse to waste your time with, but where the meat of this game really shines (can meat shine?); is the multiplayer.  The devs did a fantastic job of easing you in, and you can start in the kiddie pool/bunny hill online, where you're limited to levels 1-10.  Play a handful of races, and you'll soon be graduating out of the room and moving on to bigger and better players.  The multiplayer gameplay is the same as the single-player, but the element of human opponents really ups both the challenge and reward payout.
Power-ups include a number of what you'd come to expect in an action-racing title.  Shooting projectiles forward (or backward), a heat-seeking missile, speed burst, repair, and a few others; a nice selection, though I was hoping for something a little more unique to the series. gives Blur an 9 out of 10.  Graphics are arcade-y, but also vibrant, and the animation maintains a smooth FPS throughout.

Blur is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC

Monday, June 14, 2010

Codemasters reveals new FPS Bodycount

Codemasters has revealed the pre alpha gameplay trailer of the new FPS title Bodycount being developed for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Check out the trailer and looking to get some hand on with this title tomorrow. Expect this title to be released Spring of 2010.

E3, I am here and hope your ready for me!

So after 6 hours of driving and over 30 dollars in parking, I am in Los Angeles and ready to see what the show has to offer. The sun is shining and it is significantly cooler than Phoenix. So here is the first of many pics to come, and lots of news.

Castlevania Harmony of Despair info and screens | E3 2010

Just announced today, the return of Xbox Live Arcade's Summer of Arcade is right around the corner, and as-promised, we wanted to show off some of the first screens of all of the titles.  First up is Konami's Castlevania Harmony of Despair.  Following in the formula of "music reference" and "adjective" naming convention that started with Symphony of the Night and followed up with the numerous GBA titles coming after it, this is the first made-for XBLA Castlevania title.  And we can't wait.

Click through the jump to see some screenshots to whet your appetite for this Summer's excitement.

Summer of Arcade 2010 is coming | E3 2010

You may recall a gaming window in August of 2009 that saw back-to-back/week-to-week XBLA releases that to this day still haven't been topped...that is, until now.  Microsoft announced a sequel to their incredibly successful Summer of Arcade, this time with some excellent titles in the pipe.  We'll touch on the titles here, but will post some more details in upcoming posts.

  • Castlevania Harmony of Despair
  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Limbo
  • Monday Night Combat
This (third) annual Summer of Arcade kicks off in July.  But that's not all - there are a few other titles coming that aren't on the official SOA list, some that deserve to be high on the radars of all of us, with Comic Jumper, Hydrophobia, Sonic 4, and Super Meat Boy.  We'll be posting on all of these titles with screenshots and news as it becomes available.  In the meantime, check out the trailer above.

Xbox announces exclusive Partnership with ESPN

Xbox has made an incredible amount of announcements today, and we're just getting caught up on all the news.  One of the biggest announcements, especially for all you sports fans out there, is the exclusive partnership with ESPN.  An on-demand network of over 3,500 sporting events, including content from the NBA, MLB, NCAA College Football, and Basketball...interesting no mention of the NHL, or NFL.

Gaining access to this content is merely a gold subscription away.  That's right, if you have an Xbox Live Gold membership, you will get this content.  There are some integrated features with Kinect, fan voting and what not, but this is pretty big news, and another feather in Microsoft's cap of features no other console can match, at least currently.

I'm not a huge sports fan, but I can easily see the attraction of such an announcement.  Keep coming back for more info as it unfolds.

More slim Xbox 360 images (and info) to view with your eyes | E3 2010

As announced earlier today, Microsoft unveiled their new Xbox 360 console.  Available now (shipping today) in shiny black, we thought we'd show off a few more images direct from the gang at Microsoft.  We expect to post some images from the show floor, but in the meantime, check out all the angles here and let us know what you think.

Additional info on what's inside this smaller footprint has also been announced.  This isn't just your same ol' Xbox 360 in a smaller (candy) shell; but you're getting some pretty hefty upgrades here.  250gb built-in (but removable) hard drive?  Check.  You want built-in wifi?  You got it, and you're getting 802.11n here people! Oh, and apparently, this thing is whisper quiet, but we've not yet experienced it for ourselveves, but that would make alot of people very happy!  So c'mon, let us know what you think.  Are you going to upgrade your 360 for $299?  I'm heavily considering it.

Microsoft changes Natal (name) and unveils new 360 | E3 2010

A flurry of Microsoft announcements today ladies and gents, most importantly are two key hardware-related news pieces that we feel you'll want to know.  First is the Project formally known as Project Natal, has a new name.  We declare, the Microsoft Kinect! 

I know, I know, I think I'll still refer to it as Natal, sounds more mysterious.  Instead, it fits in nicely with the other recent Microsoft phones, the Kin. 

Secondly, as if you didn't already figure this out based on the image above, is Microsoft unveils a new Xbox 360 console.  Available today, the newly designed (smaller/slim) device has a decidedly "different" look to it.  I can't quite put my finger on it, the shiny-blackness makes it seem just sort of fake?  Is it just me?

Never one to judge before seeing in person, I'll withhold judgment for now.  Too bad we weren't in the audience when they announced, as everyone there will be getting one.  Stay tuned for more details on the new unit.

E3 has officially begun, and the damn breaks... | E3 2010

The flood of information is beginning.  It's officially E3 season, and while I'm here in the office, with too much to write on, my partner, Dominic should be touching-down in LA as we speak.  He's positioned there to bring even more information from the show floor that we'll be bringing to you.

Stay tuned to the site for all the latest news, screenshots, trailers and pictures from the show!

Here we go!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Toasty! Mortal Kombat trailer shows off new title

So after a live action teaser feature the Mortal Kombat characters, it looks like it was a teaser to the Mortal Kombat E3 trailer that was recently released. Though I was never a huge MK fan, this looks like a fresh remake to a classic title. Check the trailer below, and hope to have some hands on feedback from E3 next week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands | Review

So as I sit here and play *Ubisoft's latest, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, I am torn on whether it's actually a good game or not. So that probably has you thinking I'm going to declare it a bad game, but that's the conundrum. It's not bad actually, something just feels different this time out. A little over a year ago, Ubisoft released their last princely adventure, but as a series reboot. A dramatic new cell-shaded art style, a companion throughout, less fighting and more pure exploring and solving environmental puzzles. This title was met with relative acclaim (81 average metacritic score), but something prompted Ubisoft to go back to the more realistic graphics and revisit the time controlling gameplay element that made the original Sands of Time so exciting. That "something" is a little movie by a producer known for action (Jerry Bruckheimer); this summers blockbuster flick of the same name.
So do you release another title in the series that doesn't artistically match the box office parallel? No, and now you're starting to see why Ubi decided to go this route. In a way, it's clever marketing setup to ride the wave of the movie-release, but for a change of pace, the game's actually not based on the movie at all, instead following events in the Sands of Time Universe, your Prince is in the kingdom of his brother, as he's fighting off a siege of attackers, you make your way through meeting up with him where the Sands are locked up.  Desperate to survive, the Sands are unleashed once again, setting off evil that only you can right.
Featuring incredible acrobatic maneuverability, tight combat, puzzle solving and climbing, you feel truly in control of the Prince, that is until you fall that first time, and remember the Sands of Time feature, rewinding just before you meet your perilous doom.
The "levels" are logically laid out, I didn't find myself sitting in any one room, growing frustrated trying to figure out the path, but there was just enough difficulty to satisfy as well.  Again, combat is actually fun, as if you did play the last Prince title, you rarely had a chance to swing any swords or weapons.  Throw in a little "RPG" elements (what game DOESN'T have some sort of RPG element these days?) in upgrading your health, magic, special attacks, special defences, and you'll likely enjoy the average length adventure.  Most will play through within 8-10 hours, depending on your skill level.
After all of that, doesn't sound like a bad game, and it's not, we are giving it a pretty good score.  The problem with the Forgotten Sands, is just that, it's easily forgettable, especially in the current wave of other excellent titles available.

Mashbuttons gives Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands a 7.5 out of 10
PlayStation 3 version reviewed; but also available on Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and PC

*Ubisoft provided a copy for editorial review.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow Review

The latest review copy stuffed in our mail box was 3D Publisher's Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow. Kudos to them for providing us with such a wonderful game to review. Now, without further ado, the review.

Synopsis: Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow (From here on out, referenced as Blue Dragon) is the third installment into the Blue Dragon Series. Blue Dragon takes place two years after the first title on the XBOX 360 (Blue Dragon) and one year after the second installment on the DS (Blue Dragon Plus) You take on the role of our fully customizable character. You choose the look, you choose the name, and then you start the play. Your character has amnesia, which leads to the plot points of the story. You, with the full cast of Blue Dragon world characters that return, investigate what a mysterious light was that stole every ones shadows, except yours. You emerge from an underground elevator just as every ones shadows are stolen. Thus begins the adventure.

Praise: Blue Dragon once again changes its formula, the original was Turn Base traditional, Blue Dragon Plus was a Tactical RPG, and this installment goes to an action RPG. This change is good and gives the feel of a different type of adventure. 3D Publisher definitely didn't go with the old cookie cutter formula. They did something different with the Blue Dragon world and I feel it turned out for the better.

The graphics on this game are truly amazing and really push the DS to its limits. Frequently, the cut scenes roll between both screens with vivid colors and animation. The controls in this are definitely well done, you have a choice to play by the stylus pen for touchscreen play, or you can just use the cross hairs to move around. Moving with the touch screen is just a touch and follow method. I preferred using the cross hairs and buttons personally, but the best part is, the choice is yours.

Blue Dragon features impressive long game play, ranking in at an average of 30 hours. There are a ton of side quest to do, so completionist will be kept busy a whole lot longer. Side quest will also unlock a load of playable characters. If you are bored with solo play, you can always link up with three friends to battle it out in the Blue Dragon World.

Bitches and Moans: The story in this adventure seems kinda hollow, and really feels like it takes a back seat to the side missions available. However, with a lot of these type of games, that have a main adventure and side quest, this can sometimes happens. It doesn't really hamper the game at all, just something to note. I would have liked to have scene more voiced over dialogues, it happens sporadically throughout the game, however, that is just a want and not really a let down.

Overall: Blue Dragon is a well put together action RPG that will keep fans of the Blue Dragon franchise happy and playing for sometime to find and complete everything. The graphics are great and the customizable character is always a plus. I really suggest picking this one up and playing it.

Mashbuttons gives Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow a 9 of 10.