Friday, December 30, 2011

Risen 2 gets new video showing off some factions

Risen 2 has been releasing some pertinant information regarding it April 24th, 2012 release of the sequal to the quircky Risen. As some may know, I went through hell trying to get this title to work on the PC, so needless to say I was a bit apprehensive to give another shot on the Xbox, but anyone that has played or enjoys the Deep Silver RPG's will know what to expect and appreciate in this upcoming release.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spec Ops The Line says goodbye teaser, hello trailer

So after seeing the teaser for The Line, if you didn't know much about this upcoming title, then you really don't know what to expect in this Dubai based shooter. Well, now you have a trailer to watch just how gritty it will be, and no that is not a sand pun. From what I have been following this is a linear shooter where your squad is tasked with recovery of a soldier, but the story has a number of twist and just as many ethical decisions to be made. I still can not wait from the first glimpse I had with the gameplay two years ago at E3.

Kingdom Hearts Triple D announced for 3DS

So the 3DS will definitely be getting an iteration of Square Enix's ever popular Kingdom Hearts, this time adding Dream Drop Distance to the title. We can expect to see this some time in 2012, but new worlds and gameplay will be discovered in the upcoming action RPG. The premise is that King Mickey and Yen Sid put Sora and Riku through the Mark of Mastery exam in the sleeping woods to be deemed the Keyblade Masters if successful.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2K Games releases weapons podcast for Darkness II right before the holidays

Our friends over at 2K Games have let us know about a new podcast for their upcoming title, The Darkness II. The podcast is free and both the audio and the transcript can be found at the below URL's. In case you are on the fence about checking it out, I can assure you that will touch on quad wielding, demon arms, and the new darklings minion.

Podcast page, where the episode can be downloaded or streamed:

Full transcript:

Mr Grimm will be your last minute valentine

So Sony had sent me a press release for Twisted Metal last week, and yes I know I am a little late to post this but if you don't have a valentine, it is a great reason to look forward to valentine's day. The reason being is that it is the release date for the new Twisted Metal title, you remember, the Sony exclusive car destruction, ice cream truck driving, mayhem?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Learn the Origins of Rayman | Review

In what will likely be Mashbuttons final 2011 game review, Ubisoft has sent us one of the final games of this Holiday season.  Enter Rayman: Origins, a "Next-Gen", beautiful piece of platforming art.  I've always maintained that if developers really went back to their roots, and created a side-scroller (a'la Shadow Complex) reminiscent of our early gaming years (at least my generation), it'd be gold.  Could you imagine a TRUE next-gen Mario, with a little less cartoony, but more of the depth found in something like...something like...well; something like Rayman: Origins.

Check out the above image from the 1995 original that debuted on the Sony PlayStation.  The game was cartoony, sure, but it was very colorful, and had a humor that was welcome for the time.  Fast forward about 16 years, 5 games, and a few game-iterations (3D, etc) later, and we've come back to the beginning.  The origin, if you will, and back to the same side-scrolling platforming that so many of us grew up on.

Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about.  Pure hand-drawn animated game-play, with several levels deep, providing more than just the single-planed platforms from the past.  A lot of graphics always strive to look like a Disney movie, or at least the caliber animation, and this game truly has it in spades.

Okay, now that I've gushed over the graphics, (still screens won't do seeing it in action justice, btw) lets talk about the all important part of the does it play?  Like some older games in the genre, you begin in an over-world hub of sorts, and as you progress through each level, you'll unlock new powers/abilities, collect "lums", and overall progress towards rescuing your friends and Electoons.  Initially, you can only jump and attack enemies from stomping on them, but as you break free your friends, you gain new abilities.  Firstly, you'll be able to punch/kick, but pretty soon you'll be able to shrink yourself, run up walls, and glide across long chasms.  Like other current titles, you can do this just by yourself, or bring up to 3 others for some 4-play co-op drop-in/drop-out gameplay.  It's really quite awesome.  As you progress through the levels, you'll collect the obligatory item, in this case, "lums" and after you collect so many, you'll free Electoons.  Really, just a carrot to keep you going.  There are time-trial modes as well once you beat a level, wherein you can go back and try for more lums and a faster time and unlock more and more. 

Story is typical fare for the aforementioned progress, everyone's just out minding their business when an unspeakable evil imprisons your friends and the Electoons.  This unspeakable evil so happens to be an old woman who just doesn't like the rhythm of your life.  Again, not much here, but there really doesn't need to be.  There hasn't been a platformer like this since the 16-bit heyday my generation hails from.  Mario purists may disagree, but if you need any other reason to go out and pick up this title, knowing this is the best of the genre in many years, let alone of this year, you owe it to yourself to play Rayman Origins.  It's fun, wacky sense of humor, incredibly beautiful hand-drawn animation and tight controls will have you enjoying each and every new delight waiting around the corner.

Mashbuttons gives Rayman Origins 9 out of 10.  It's available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS, and the upcoming PlayStation Vita

DiRT Showdown is shown off in the form of dubstep

As some of you may know, I am a big fan of the DiRT series. With the second entry being my favorite, I did however like the Gymkhana mode in DiRT 3, and looking at the teaser to DiRT Showdown, I am not sure what to think about the addition of Destruction Derby and Hoonigan events. But who knows, destruction tends to make most any game more enjoyable so it could work out in their favor. Either way, I am looking forward to more from Codemasters regarding Showdown.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In case you haven't gotten enough of Disgaea

As the titles states...Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is coming to the PS Vita. Color me intrigued, as I didn't seem to care when the PS Vita was announced because let's face it, one portable console is enough, well looks like after seeing gameplay videos of Marvel vs Capcom 3 and now the announcement of Disgaea 3 on the portable, I have already pre ordered my Vita. But back to Disgaea, this rendition will feature all new characters and stories. Though not much has been announced, we did get some screenshots.Check em out dood!

Rainbow Six Patriots debuts trailer at VGA's

Though there hasn't been much revealed about this title up until recently, Patriots got a pretty awesome trailer shown at the VGA's last weekend. Admittedly, I have never really gotten into the Tom Clancy Rainbow Six titles, however, this one does stand out as a pretty serious title fighting an American terrorist group of citizens turned radicals calling themselves "True Patriots".So of course it will be you, the leader of the Rainbow counter terrorism unit to take them down regardless to the cost. Exciting, yes?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MashButtons take Sonic Generations on the go with the 3DS

With Sonic Generations releasing a few short weeks ago for the consoles, it is now time to see how it's portable counterpart fares against it's bigger siblings. We are of course talking about Sonic Generations for the Nintendo 3DS. In this portable version, you will play as both classic Sonic and modern Sonic playing in levels that should be familiar to you as they span the last twenty years of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. The conflict this time around is an unknown force that is creating time holes that are taking Sonic back in time, both Sonics and their friends, but the good news is that you get to play as both to get the job done and see who is to blame for this dilemma. In the portable version of Sonic Generations you will get some exclusives, one being able to play in 3D on the go, the other being environments made for the 3DS, and the last being items and challenges exchangeable via SpotPass. Now let's get into the meat and potatoes behind this timeless franchise.

For one, I thought the gameplay was great with the game taking advantage of the system's capability giving the environments more depth and bringing the player that much closer to having a seizure with the lightning fast speed. Sonic to me has always been hold the directional pad right and try and jump before impact with baddies at lightning fast speed. The gameplay between both Sonics vary significantly enough to provide both a vintage and modern feel. I myself preferred playing as the modern day Sonic with the targeting and just felt like it played a bit more fluidly and looked cleaner than the levels with Sonic of the past.

What I did feel was missing was the rest of the game as you only get one level with each sonic per world along with one special stage. Though each level looked and played exactly as I hoped I just wanted there to be more of it. In terms of the gameplay, I wish more time would have been spent on the targeting mechanics, because there were quite a few times in which I was expecting to lock on or it would lock on a tad too late. While the 3D is clear and beautiful, I felt that I could not play as long as other title played on the system before beginning to feel my eyes strain.

All in all, Sonic Generations for the 3DS was a refreshing title that the portable needed in it smaller than expected library. It is that same Sonic feel that I grew up on with the modern touches that make everyone's favorite hedgehog continue to be relevant in the video gaming industry. Though it did have some shortcomings, like not having enough of a good thing, it was a lot of fun to play and if you feel that need for the blue blur, you can go back to prior levels to achieve faster times and medals.

2K Games finally gives us a trailer for Spec Ops: The Line

So we get an email recently for Spec Ops: The Line from 2K Games. This is a title I saw two years ago at E3 and the environment blew my mind. Playing in the sand ravaged town in heated firefights and using the sand as a weapon depending on the location. So we watch this trailer and can say that it doesn't do the game justice and just wait for more to come.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City Interactive has some promising titles coming up

This just in from our friends at City Interactive, not one but two games slated for 2012 are beginning to look solid. The first being Combat Wings: Great Battles of World War II, which is obviously an aerial combat title based in the 40's with a strong focus on dog fighting that you can see in the below trailer, with it's beautiful dog fight sequences and environments.
The other title is a WWII based first person shooter by the name Enemy Front from Stuart Black, the guy from...well, Black. But this gem will make use of the CryEngine3, that oh so good looking engine to remake the historical war and locales we have seen before, but in this visual style from such a seasoned shooter developing mastermind?

Both are expected in 2012 on multiple platforms.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sonic Generations | Review

So our good friends over at SEGA have sent us the latest in the Sonic series by way of one of the coolest packages ever!  Being it's Sonic's 20th Birthday, they pulled out all the stops; this is SEGA's Mario, after all.  Coming in a large shoe-box type package, therein lies a copy of the new game.  Also, some really cool collectibles in the form of a blue 3D ViewMaster (you know the one from your childhood that you could view stereoscopic images with), a 20th Anniversary pin, a seperately boxed Gold Ring, numbered for authenticity as well, and lastly a dvd and history/art book.  Quite the presentation I must say.  But since this isn't an unboxing, but rather a review of the aforementioned title, lets get right down to it.

Old School

New School

I remember, back with the launch of the Dreamcast, (9/9/99) the new 3D Sonic Adventure.  This was the first time the franchise had made the transition to a 3D playing field, and though I imagine it difficult, they were able to keep the speed, and the frantic sense of "I'm going so fast, I'm almost out of control, but not" feeling that is synonymous with the series.  Sonic Adventure was a day-1 purchase for me, and we played the heck out of it.  Fast forward 11 years (and what seems like 20 titles) later and we're greeted with a new entry which tries to mix up the best of the 2D with the best of the 3D.

Read the rest of our review after the break

MashButtons goes on the hunt for Makarov and dog tags in Modern Warfare 3 review

It’s another year, so that means another Call of Duty, but this, we are going back to my favorite story line of the franchise in Modern Warfare 3. You will still play as multiple characters on the hunt to take down the Russian Federation forces led by Vladimir Makarov before the world is brought to its knees in a pile of rubble. Like Call of Duty’s past there are still loads of content beyond the single player campaign with two player coop survival mode, online multiplayer that features a new kill streak and leveling system, topped with the online Elite services. As I have played and/or reviewed the last four Call of Duty titles, this review will focus on my experience with the single player campaign and new features to the multiplayer gameplay. So with much anticipation, I bring you MashButton’s review of Modern Warfare 3.
As to be expected, the single player game is phenomenal, from the story to the tried and true gameplay; I was hooked and couldn’t stop playing. It is still short like the Modern Warfare’s past entries but it is to be expected when the majority of the game is focused on online gold. One thing in which I noticed was that you can tell that in terms of visuals, nothing appeared to be updated visually as that graphics that looked so great two years ago are now dated. Throughout the campaign though you will see some well-known locations such as New York, Paris, Berlin and more, but following suit to the last entry there is a potential “disturbing” part that you are prompted upon starting new game to skip for those that have not been desensitized to violence. Also like the last, you will play as numerous characters throughout the story, some new some old, but equally awesome. I also loved what was done with the loading screens and how it tells the story as the level is loading and once completed, you are thrown into the action.
As to be expected, the single player game is phenomenal, from the story to the tried and true gameplay; I was hooked and couldn’t stop playing. It is still short like the Modern Warfare’s past entries but it is to be expected when the majority of the game is focused on online gold. One thing in which I noticed was that you can tell that in terms of visuals, nothing appeared to be updated visually as that graphics that looked so great two years ago are now dated. Throughout the campaign though you will see some well-known locations such as New York, Paris, Berlin and more, but following suit to the last entry there is a potential “disturbing” part that you are prompted upon starting new game to skip for those that have not been desensitized to violence. Also like the last, you will play as numerous characters throughout the story, some new some old, but equally awesome. I also loved what was done with the loading screens and how it tells the story as the level is loading and once completed, you are thrown into the action.
As with both of the previous Modern Warfare titles, I had a blast with MW3. Infinity Ward never disappoints when it comes to providing an emotional white knuckle campaign and they have done so again with the end of this iconic trilogy. The changes made to the online gameplay have not taken away from the experience, at least not yet, as I am only level 18 at this time, however, I am looking forward to my first Prestige to see how I can spend my prestige points. If you are a fan of the previous Call of Duty titles, you will not be disappointed as the team takes what worked well and expanded on it. The maps, at this time, feel a little bland but I recall feeling the same way in the last entries and they all managed to grow on me over time, with the exception to one or two. Activision sent us a copy of the Hardened Edition for the Xbox 360 so that we can give our impressions on this title.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eagle-Eye Version 3.0 for PlayStation 3

Good news for all of the PlayStation 3 owners out there who enjoy playing games with a mouse and keyboard. Eagle Eye Version 3.0 for PlayStation 3 will be arriving at the end of September. Eagle Eye Version 3.0 features improvements over its predecessors with a refined Advance Calibration System. The new calibration system consists of 5 components which gives the user greater control over the calibration settings. Eagle Eye Version 3.0 is compatible with all PlayStation 3 games and converts any USB HID Keyboard and Mouse into a PlayStation 3 controller. The suggested retail price is $59.For more information and a complete guide on how to setup and use Eagle Eye 3.0 click on the links below.

MashButtons Preview: Crusader Kings 2

If you are like me most of your free time is consumed by playing either Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3 but let’s not forget there are other games out there! Sometimes a good strategy RPG is a nice change of pace from the fast twitch shooter games. Crusader Kings 2 could be a welcomed addition to your videogame collection. Crusader Kings 2 is a sequel to the 2004 game Crusader Kings. The game is set in medieval Europe between 1066 and 1453. Your job as Lord or Lady is to build a strong dynasty that can withstand attacks from Mongol Horde, Moor, the Heathen and the Heretic. In addition, you must struggle with the Pope for control of the Bishops. The game also features a 32 player completive multiplayer mode so you can battle your friends online Medieval Style! Stay tuned for more information!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rayman Origins gets slap happy in Meet the New Crazy trailer

What may be the last trailer before the release of Rayman Origins, could also be the best trailer to date. It has it all from in game features, environments, bosses, and of course lots of slaps. Though I must admit, I was never a big fan of face slaps, unless a couple drinks are involved or if I am watching How I Met Your Mother. But this slapfest has some additional news to pique your interest...the Rayman Origins demo is available now on PSN and XBL. We are told the demo includes three maps consisting of jungle, food, and ocean worlds. You can find Rayman Origins in stores on November 15th.

MashButtons goes bullet hell crazy in Konami shmup, Otomedius Excellent

What’s that? You never heard of Otomedius Excellent? Have no fear, neither had I, with the exception to a quick meeting I had with Konami at E3. Otomedius Excellent is the sequel to the 2008 Japanese title, Otomedius Gorgeous, with numerous updates to enhance visuals and gameplay to that of its older sibling. Being that this is a Konami title, the developer does boast that it is Gradius inspired, and after further research, the title loosely translated means Maiden Gradius, fun fact of the day. The cold hard numbers for this title stack up to 9 lovely ladies to play as, 3 player online play, 8 new 2D levels, and loads of downloadable content to be announced at a later date. So after numerous playthroughs with multiple characters, I figure it is high time to get to my impressions so far.

This is the first time Otomedius has come stateside, and as history has shown, things can tend to be lost in translation; however a shmup overseas translated for the western demographic is still a shmup, damn fun. The action is fast, the graphics are bright and colorful, and the bosses gigantic. You can easily identify the inspiration from Gradius through the enemies and weapon power ups, but what sets this apart is the sex appeal. It is over the top from beginning to end in what almost feels too disturbing to enjoy, but I am a Gradius fan and like women characters in my video games so it’s a win for me and sounds like it will peak the interest of the majority of US gamers. The game takes about an hour to play through but you will pick up weapons cards, level up those weapons, and choose your weapon load out before starting, making the replay value huge. Also attributing to the replay value and taking you back to the days of 80’s and 90’s arcades is the ability to play online with up to two other players.

Sounds great right? I earlier alluded to the game being lost in translation when being developed for the western demographic and much of the games story and dialogue falls victim to this, whether it be the voices in Japanese or the English subtitles that you need to strain to see in the bottom right corner. What’s that, you keep dying when trying to read the subtitles, it’s okay I did the same. Though the story may not grip you and keep you coming back, the gameplay will. Aside from the subtitles and story, there really wasn’t much I can say I disliked. Things can get pretty hairy with three players online, large amounts of enemies and trying to wade through the bullet hell without dying, so this doesn’t come as a surprised that frame rate slowdown was encountered at times, but not enough to cripple the gameplay.

I was a bit apprehensive to review this game with the busty and provocative maidens, but with inspiration from such a great side scrolling shooter, the formula does make for fun and hours of gameplay, whether you play online or couch multiplayer. As a fan of the genre, unfortunately a lot of the games are fun but don’t live up to hype or get boring rather fast, but the ability to get new weapons, level them up, choosing your weapon loadout, and repeating will put you in an endless loop you won’t even realize you are in.