Thursday, February 24, 2011

MLB 2K11 Developer Call

On February 23rd 2K Sports held a call with their development and marketing team to give us the scoop on MLB 2K11. This year they are focused was the depth of the core of the game as well as enhancing the realism of the franchise simulators (realistic stats and outcomes based on ratings). In the past they have made improvements to the hitting and pitching but this year a big focus was fielding. So superstar fielders will look like superstars in the field; I’m guessing this change was made especially because of Franklin Gutierrez. The only big change in the Million Dollar Challenge is the entry age was moved from 18 to 13 and the first opportunity to win is April 1st. They don’t expect this year’s winner to have as easy as a time as last year due to fielders not being as fast and the possibility of more errors. They also feel that there will be more walk committed by the user and borderline pitches won’t automatically be strikes but more 50-50. My favorite section, My Player, doesn’t receive any new features, but does get an overall polishing like much of the game. You can also look forward to 2K’s new player models which all players will get a makeover with. You can look for MLB 2K to launch March 8.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hyperdimension Neptunia | Review

Synopsis: What is Hyperdimension Neptunia exactly, well besides the obscure name; it is the recent RPG from Idea Factory, the same folks behind Record of Agarest War. This is a very unique RPG, as the characters in the game are consoles in the form of goddesses to save Histoire, while facing monsters inhabiting the land of Gamindustri, sent forth by the big baddy, Arfoire. Another fun fact about this evil goddess is that she is a game piracy device in the form of a goddess and it’s your role as the game console Neptune, which also appears in goddess form, but you will go through battle in journey as both human and goddess forms that are customizable with new parts. So are you confused yet? Don’t be, as hopefully this review will help with that and determine if this quirky game is for you.

Praise: The concept is a great, with the characters resembling gaming consoles we have all grown up with, crawling the dungeons of Gamindustri, and going back and forth from goddess to human. The story and dialogue is intriguing and captivating enough to keep me playing a couple hours at a time, while being quirky and keeping the mood light with comic relief. The gameplay and experimentation with combos and the attack system is fun, while I felt it overshadowed the story some, as there is a buttload of customization options the further into the game you get to power you up and decimate dungeons as you trudge through them. Finally, the anime art style that Idea Factory is known for with the tongue in cheek suggestive character outfits were very vibrant and went well with the JRPG genre that we normally see from similar developers.

Gripes: Unfortunately, in my playthrough with Hyperdimension Neptunia each of the good points had a bad side, making it a double edged sword. Controls, whether it be navigating through dungeons or moving the camera, it felt rough and clunky. The story managed to lose my interests from time to time, not so much for the content, but more so due to the lack of animation, especially in the beginning as there is close to an hour of dialogue with no animation, just still characters on a solid background. The fights are longer than those in other titles but luckily there is a skip button for you to mash on throughout battle to help speed the game along to level up.

Overall, I have played much better RPG’s but this is not a bad title, especially in comparison to the JRPG’s that have come out for the console, and provides a number of customization and features to make you think about your approach into the next fight. Though it does not provide a fast fun journey to resolving the ever present conflict, it is more like a slow journey that will consume many, many hours of your time. Hyperdimension Neptunia is exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and includes a hard cover art book to go with all your other pre order and collector’s edition swag. gives Hyperdimension Neptunia a 6 out of 10.

Hyperdimension Neptunia is available now for the PlayStation 3.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds| Review

Synopsis: Fighting fans, it is time to celebrate the release of the recent blockbuster fighter from Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It has been a decade since the release of MVC 2 and it is now time for a three on three battle royale pitting some of Marvel’s most notorious supers against Capcom’s hit squad. Powered by the MT Framework, used in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, bringing you brilliant backgrounds and ultra-detailed character animations to fill MVC 3: Fate of Two Worlds with enough eye candy to make your eyes melt. Like the previous versions of its predecessor, this title is still toting signature combos, assist attacks, and special moves to master whether fighting the computer or online. The controls have changed since MVC 2, bringing back the simplified three-button control layout seen in Marvel vs Tatsunoku, while also providing a “Simple” mode if you want to use as a tutorial. Get ready to go for a ride with our review of MVC 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

Praise: Where do I start, it is such a tough call to determine the game’s most redeeming feature as the environments, characters, and animations are all amazing. The controls are easy to get and similar for almost all the characters, however each character handles differently, so determining your team does take some trial and error to lock down. Like Super Street Fighter 4, there is a huge online community which makes it incredibly fast and easy to find opponents. Playing this game with a fight stick makes a world of difference on the gameplay, even with my sub par Hori arcade stick, the gameplay was much better than trying to master the controls with the PS3 controller, although almost loud enough to wake the household with the button mashing. Strategy is definitely needed on harder difficulty levels and online as some of the moves can be absolutely brutal on your team if caught off guard, making it harder to rush and spam your enemy when the battle starts.

Gripes: Though having a crossover fighting game on the current generation consoles is nice; I do feel that this has taken a step back from MVC 2. To start, would be the controls, as I feel the old controls made the game more challenging to master over the three button controls that make accidental combos easier to perform. The speed of gameplay feels slower and less smooth than the original, which isn’t a big deal for newcomers to the genre, however, fans like me that have played MVC 2 across multiple platforms, have to either slow down their input of moves and combos or try to input the moves multiple times. Lastly, which is my biggest issue, is the character roster, as both franchises have a huge list of characters that fans would love to play as, Fate of Two Worlds has significantly less fighters than the second. There are plenty of people to make up your team, it would be no surprise if Capcom capitalizes on the roster and continuously adds DLC characters, turning this 60 dollar title into a game that will easily cost fans over a hundred dollars to “collect them all”.

Overall, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a lot of fun to pick up and play either by yourself, online, or with a group of friends. It is highly suggested that the game is played with an arcade stick or fight pad, though not necessary, especially if you want to save the money for upcoming DLC. It is nice that you can switch between the three button control method or “simple” controls, but longtime fans, particularly me would appreciate a third option, classic controls. I will see you all online and be sure to watch out for my ultra Marvel team comprised of X-23, Captain America, and Phoenix or the Capcom trio of Zero, Felicia, and Haggar. gives Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds an 8 out of 10.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is available now for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Where the hell did the epic trailer for Dead Island come from?

You remember my review for Nail'd? The off road over the top racing game I recently raved about? Well, it's developer Techland has released a trailer for it's upcoming zombie survivor game, Dead Island. Let me just say, it's looks pretty epic, where did it come from, why haven't I heard of this before, and when can I get my hands on it? Sorry, was that more than one question, I was too overwhelmed with what I just saw.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Want Balls of Steel? It's gonna cost you!

It has just been brought to my attention that Duke Nukem Forever will have a Balls of Steel Edition. Though I am not a fan of collector's editions of games, but this may persuade me to throw a Benji at Gearbox, all in ones of course. Yes, this is priced a penny shy of a hundred dollars but look below at what you get!

# Collectible bust of the greatest alien ass-kicker of all-time
# Numbered, limited-edition certificate of authenticity
# 100-page hardcover book: The History, Legacy & Legend: Duke Nukem Forever Art from the Vault
# Duke Nukem Forever postcard series
# Duke Nukem Forever radioactive emblem sticker
# Duke Nukem Forever collectable comic book
# Duke Nukem Forever foldable paper craft
# Duke Nukem Forever poker chips
# Duke Nukem Forever mini-card deck
# Duke Nukem Forever radioactive emblem dice

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dead Space 2 | Review

Two years ago, EA and Visceral Games asked us to come along on a journey into the Dead of Space, with a new IP, Dead Space.  Most gamers (and critics) found a lot to love about one man's adventure aboard the USS Ishimura...and everyone was clamoring for more.  Visceral then went on to make the slightly less loved Dante's Inferno, but going back to the Dead Space franchise has proven to be just what the team needs to securely position themselves as today's foremost scare-masters.

Forget Resident Evil, Dead Space is now the king of Horror on any platform.

Picking up a few years after the first Dead Space left off, you one again take on the role of Isaac Clarke, who after defeating the Necromorphs and coming into contact with the Marker, became infected himself.  Put into a deep sleep to slow the spread, you awake three years later in a straight-jacket on board the Sprawl, a complete metropolis on one of Saturn's Moons.  Of course, your awakening is perfectly timed to a second Necromorph attack, only this time, you're on a full-populated city, complete with citizens who have no idea of the horror that is the Necromorphs.  Shortly into the first chapter (there are 15 Chapters) you are contacted by Daina, a mysterious woman who is your only ally so far...her or one of your asylum mates who occasionally pops-up early on.  Because your seeking answers, and have an alien infestation spreading quicker now that you're awake, you'll follow Daina's direction in search of help.  And I'll end story details there, as there's alot that will happen, we don't want to ruin for you.  Lets just say, it doesn't disappoint.

If you've played the first, you know how this one controls, it's a third-person over the right-shoulder perspective (to give that cramped perspective) with no HUD, as it all is either on your suit, or emitted as holograms.  Like the previous, there's a strategy to severing the limbs of your attackers, as opposed to the usual "head-shot" fest, so use your ammo wisely, as it is sparse.  Difficulty definitely seems a little harder this time around, but as long as your familiar with the play, you should do just fine on "normal" difficulty, though if you have a true surround-sound, you may want to play with it up, so you can anticipate the necromorphs who are trying to sneaky-sneak up on you.  Zero-gravity is ratched up this time around, rather than bounce from one flat surface to another, you have full-360 degree movement while in Zero-G, and while disorienting at first, you get used to it, and it's a blast.

Overall, the team at Visceral really out-did themselves this time.  I liken it to the first Uncharted, good, but flawed, whereas Uncharted 2 really polished the gameplay, and brought it to the next level, Dead Space 2 has it all.  Graphics are beautiful, the level of detail is astounding, Sound is damn near flawless, with a fitting score to go with.  You owe it to yourself to play one of 2011's game of the years.  Too bad, it came out so early, it'll probably be forgotten by the time the year ends. gives Dead Space 2 a 9.5 out of 10 and is available on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3

Editors Note: A copy of the game was received from the Publisher, EA for our Editorial consideration.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll | Review

Synopsis: Koei has just provided us with their newest title from game developer Omega Force, Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll, and of course we got our hands on a review copy to give our impressions of playthrough. The premise of the game is based on a prophecy that the king will be slain by his offspring and to top it off, the belief that the continent of Vyashion was created by the god Notoon is not shared by all its inhabitants, leading to a failure of a unified society. Your role is to control three characters, a warrior, a wizard, and an assassin on the fly to defeat enemies and ultimately the evil King Balor. Confused yet? Well don’t be as I am here to break it down and see if this story holds up through the course of the game.

Praise: I must admit that I had no idea what I was getting into with this game and turns out it has a strange effect on me and time as I have yet to play it less than two hours at a time, hell, the first night I threw this game in, I spent four hours playing in one sitting, saying just one more quest numerous times. The gameplay is great, being a fast paced hack and slash, you are able to map two sets of three skills that you can change on the fly on top of being able to change your playable character on the fly. What this means is that you can set up some devastating combos once familiar with the controls. Souls of Zill O’ll has some RPG elements that keep you playing, such as a wide array of weapons, upgradeable skills, and more quests than you can shake a stick at. The method to my madness in this game was to take on as many quests as possible then grinding through them all before going back to town and cashing in on my rewards. The graphics are good, but I feel the strongest part behind the visuals is that regardless to the amount of enemies I had on screen, I did not experience any slowdown.

Gripes: The story started out strong and fizzled out just a couple hours into the story. I still focused on the main story, but after a while, I found myself fast forwarding through the text on side missions along with the gossip in taverns. Being that there are three characters, it seems like it would have been possible to make this a three person online coop game for those wanting to play socially, eliminating the ability to switch on the fly. One thing I quickly noticed was that I was backtracking to a lot to places I had previously been to in order complete fetch and rescue missions. The closest comparison in which I can think of is Final Fantasy Tactics, where you take on new quests in places that you have already been to numerous times. The learning curve also takes a while, between two and three hours, to get comfortable with as you actively use every button on the controller, sometimes with little to no opportunity for much thought and the character development is relatively deep, with hundreds of options as to how to upgrade and focus on specific skills.

Overall, I am having a blast with this solid action RPG and don’t see it growing old for a while. I do wish I could play it in smaller amounts to prevent playing through it before the weekend, but is that really a bad thing? Though this is not a full-fledged RPG, the closest game I can relate this to would be what Final Fantasy XIII should have been in terms of action and gameplay along Final Fantasy Tactics in regards to the towns, where you don’t actually move around, but have a list of places to go to for gossip, spells, weapons, and quests. Now please excuse me while I go back to mad questing. Well done Tecmo Koei, as I have gone from not liking your action games, to now looking forward to what is next after Fist of the North Star and now Trinity. gives Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll an 8 out of 10.

Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll is available now for the Playstation 3.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Behold, the Dungeon Siege 3 trailer

I have put by far, way too many hours into Dungeon Siege on the PSP, and after hearing about and seeing Dungeon Siege III for the PS3, I am excited. Having the ability to play this entry on a HDTV should make this title so much better even if it is the same as the handheld counterparts. Here is a trailer for your viewing pleasure to raise that excitement level up a notch.

Darkness II is coming

Yes, this is huge news to me as The Darkness was the first game I purchased for my 360, and got me into the comic series. Well, its back with a vengeance this fall and set two years after the original, still toting the quad-weilding mayhem. Expect more news regarding this title whether you like it or not.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mindjack | Review

Synopsis: Promptly following the Lord of Arcana review, Square Enix has apparently decided that they want to keep us busy since it was too cold to do anything else over here in sunny Arizona. Mindjack is the recent futuristic shooter from the company most known for their RPG titles. With little promotion behind this game, I am here to tell you what this title holds and to help determine if this is a diamond in the rough or just an ordinary lump of coal. In Mindjack, you join a rogue team of agents fighting for survival only to get deeper in the middle of a conspiracy. Two features that are unique to this game is the ability to seamlessly go from single player to coop when people join your game and also the ability to hack into enemies, vehicles, or civilians to get the upper hand in battle. Now, on to the review.

Praise: The gameplay behind this title is rather unique and helps to make the game more fun. This holds true especially when you are shot and killed because you are able to find a civilian to “hack” into and continue the good battle. The other good side behind the hacking ability is that when you take down an enemy and not kill them, you can then turn them into slaves, building your own army to take out the opposition. The cutscenes resemble that of the typical Square Enix titles, which is always fun to watch and kept me playing to see what happened next. The coop feature was pretty nice and was able to find people to play with rather easily; however, I have yet to have someone join me in my single player game.

Gripes: Unfortunately, in Mindjack, I felt that the cons outweighed the pros, specifically with the graphics, gameplay, and story. The graphics looked rather flat and unpolished, as if the game was rushed and put out before being totally finished. One thing that bugged the hell out of me was when you shoot the enemies, they do not react when hit, making it hard to tell if you are even hitting your target. The story is also rather bland, starting with the background behind your character and conflict, which seems to start strong, but I quickly lost interest into what was going on, and started focusing on enslaving enemies and racking up experience points to level up and evolving my character’s play style.

Overall, Mindjack was not a bad game, but did lack some key elements to help improve its list of shortcomings. Though I would not suggest this game as it wasn’t my cup of tea, but for those interested, my best description of it would be to compare to a mixture of The Club and Lost Planet should they have a short deadline to fully develop what they originally had conceived it. Those looking for trophies are able to rack them up as I was getting one every ten to fifteen minutes. Though I don’t think I will be going back and playing again, I do still plan on finishing it, as it is still generally entertaining, at least until the release of Bulletstorm, which we should be reviewing in the next week or two. gives Mindjack a 4 out of 10.

Mindjack is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 | Review

Synopsis: The sequel to what I feel was one of the best downloadable titles is out, putting me back in the shoes of Nathan "Radd" Spencer in Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. That's right, the quirky platformer involving a grappling hook and no jump controls is back, but this time around you CAN jump. So what has changed since the first Rearmed was released? I am glad you asked as there are improved visual enhancements, weapons, and attachments for your bionic arm. It's now time to put Nathan against the evil General Sabio and see if he is once again triumphant or fizzles out like last year's disk based form of the series.

Praise: Nathan "RADD" Spencer, I mean come on, this man is an icon to the platforming genre, like Duke Nukem to the FPS. A character can't carry a game himself and the developers knew this, making the graphics and music a lot better from the first Rearmed. The graphics are some of the best I have seen on a downloadable title since Shadow Complex and the music has an electronic/dance feel with retro samples from the original NES title. The addition of the ability to jump is nice and greatly reduces the frustration of having to navigate through the level using just your arm to make it across gaps and up towers. Lastly, the attachments to your bionic arm help increase the replay value to go back and collect them all, while changing the gameplay throughout each stage.

Gripes: My first issue with this title, which didn't directly affect me but will get on the nerves of those without a dedicated online connection, mainly because you unable to play, even single player, without being connected to the PlayStation Network. The even better part is that you need an internet connection to play single player, but there is no online coop or multiplayer available in gameplay. Though it isn't a huge deal that there isn't online multiplayer but that was my main issue with the first title and I was hoping that it would be a feature seen in the sequel. The controls also seem to have taken a step backwards and whether using the bionic arm or the new leap ability, the physics are a bit off, making it feel like as if the missions were taking place on the moon.

Overall, this game feels like the Bionic Commando from long ago, even with the new jump ability. Though I do not feel that this game is better than the first, it is a strong platformer that is both fun and challenging. There is a great amount replay value as it is hard not to go back to replay levels and get new attachments for the glorified bionic arm and more weapons to boot. However, if you do not have or plan to get your PlayStation online, I would not recommend getting this title. gives Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 a 6 out of 10.

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Zircon's review of Lord of Arcana

Well my PSP-RPGer's, Lord of Arcana, a multiplayer guild, fetch, dungeon crawling RPG has been released on the gaming masses. Can it live up to the reputation of awesome RPG's that have come before it? We shall see.

Lord of Arcana is a Dungeon crawler that starts out with the typical story of a land in chaos that was saved when a legendary warrior fought an evil and powerful dragon, saved Mankind, and then passed into myth. You start your journey as the intrepid warrior-savior of old, going on to defeat the dragon. The story then advances a generation and reincarnates you into the present world as the true heir of Legendary Hero, leaving you soon to realize your current vocation.

Monster Hunter! Before I go any further, lets talk about the presentation of this game from our beloved Squeenix. (Square Enix, get it?) The graphics are truly amazing, looking like developers really loved making this title, while taking the time to appease us all, so big thumbs up, way up. Character animation is detailed and clean, not like the pixels on a paper plate effect that many DS RPG's give us. The artistic style behind this title, provides the player are so pretty that you may find yourself just looking around once in a while.

The story continues to release bit after bit as you continue on and guess what? The game gets better! A dear friend of mine a few weeks ago was describing a game he was playing as, "The first hour was painful and I immediately started to hate the game, but hours 2 through 18 have been AWESOME!". Well, I don't know if "awesome" should be the description about Lord of Arcana, but I will say, a job well done. The game had me engrossed for many hours and I am happy that Square has released it.

The PSP has been the portable go to system for these lost and overlooked RPG's so being that I love them, I will always have uber respect for the developers who take the risk and release these for us to enjoy. Lord of Arcana also hails its multiplayer chops with a robust multiplayer aspect, which I tried and it was very fluid with no lag issues so far. Square has also just announced that they are prepping Final Fantasy 4 and 5 for release on the PSP, possibly in time for the release of the NGP (PSP 2), so lets hope they polish them up a bit and not just provide the Playstation One Chronicles or Anthology versions, amazing as they may have been.

Thank you Square-Enix, next up, Mindjack!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Square Enix releases their trailer upcoming Deus Ex

That is right game fans and PC gamers that were into and played the original, we have gotten the newest trailer for Deus Ex Human Revolution, which gives a back story as to the protagonist's role in the story. Though it is a cinematic trailer, the original title was very good and had a strong following so I feel that this has a high potential for success when released.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's time to check out the final trailer for Trinity: Souls od Zill O'll

Tecmo Koei has provided us with their final trailer for Trinity. The good looking trailer actually has 3 minutes of both in game cinematics and gameplay to give you a good idea of what is to be expected in this Action RPG. Those that can't figure it out, well, it looks like you quest to find your grandfather in which ordered your death along side with two other heroes to help achieve success in your journey. Expect this title to hit store shelves on next Tuesday.

NIS lets us know Ar tonelico Qoga is available for pre order

What is that, you ask? Good question, Ar tonelico Qoga is the upcoming RPG for the PS3 and the pre order bonus, well that is going to be a fully illustrated hardcover art book. Is that all? Nope, you also get a soundtrack with over 60 minutes of in game music.