Monday, August 29, 2011

Dood, here is the Mashbuttons review of Disgaea 4

Some of you may have seen our hands on impressions of Disgaea 4, some of you may not have, but worry not, because here is our review of the Strategy RPG title from NIS America, Disgaea 4 for the PlayStation 3. The sequel to Disgaea brings in a new graphics engine that provides more emphasis on the anime style along with enhancing the battle mechanics. A Promise Unforgotten is the first in the Disgaea series to feature both 1080p high definition graphics to show how Disgaea is meant to be seen along with...a senate. Yes, you read that right, this sequel allows you to become a dictator and create a political party for you to manipulate and take advantage of for new features used in battles, by of course if necessary, bribing your party members to sway the votes. So, now we enter the review of the hilarious underworld of vampires, werewolves, and the like.
When I had done my hands on impressions of Disgaea 4, I was about ten hours in, now going into the review I have surpassed twenty hours and still truckin. I have played Disgaea, Disgaea 3, and now Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, I have no idea how I missed the second, but three out of four isn't bad either. One of the things I love most about the Disgaea games is that it has always had writing that makes the story fun and engaging, poking fun at dark subjects, and this time around, it seems like the writers have really outdone themselves, I mean a sardine eating vampire, and an undying promise to save the Prinnies from execution, sure it doesn't make sense now, but just you see the political satire. The gameplay is fast in comparison to many other SRPG's out there, even though you will most likely spend twice as much time in between missions preparing for the next, but you can't have a strategy RPG without the strategy, or else you would have...not as much fun. HD? Finally!!! I was just talking about this with another writer about how a lot of the PS3 titles do not have play in 1080p, and though this may have been the last game I would have expected to play in 1080p, it looks great, even though it is not realistic like other next gen games, it appears bright and very smooth while the battle animations are fast and fluid. 
I have almost nothing but praise for the newest Disgaea, almost! You can have too much of a good thing, and by that, I mean the amount of gameplay features, ie stacking, throwing, geoblocks, stat modifying, fusion, etc, etc. It is a bit overwhelming when trying to determine your plan of action. Though variety is always a good thing and keeps me coming back for more, I did catch myself at times using multiple saves and going back to try missions again with different tactics to increase my overall score, ultimately to find out I have spent an hour and half trying to complete one mission just to soon be able to purchase the item I was trying so hard to earn as a reward. The senate feature was interesting and though I have already spent a couple hours appointing my minions to specific areas, I was left feeling like it took away from the gameplay, yes, even though placement of senate members and passing motions was beneficial on the battlefield at times. 
There are two SRPG series' that I have played through until completion, the first would be Final Fantasy Tactics and the other being Disgaea. I am not saying those were the only titles in the genre I enjoyed, but it says a lot that those two franchises are the few in which I have played to completion and Disgaea 4 will make sure that the pattern holds true, from the entertaining story, to the hilarious dialogue, and the addicting gameplay. Though this does not stray far from the previous Disgaea games, it does add a decent amount of new features while focusing on polishing what has worked well in the past, making this a great sequel to the series. Disgaea 4 will not be leaving my PS3 and will be there for eternity...or you know, at least until the next review for you doods.

Go inside the Digital Madhouse with LifePix | A Studio Profile

Living in the hot, sun-soaked state of Arizona, those of us in the gaming industry have little options in terms of checking out some local studios.  Most developer houses are born out of cities where things actually happen after dark, instead of the masses crawling back into our Air Conditioned homes for refuge from the day.  We had Rainbow Studios (a THQ studio most known for their ATV Offroad series, and a few licensed games), but lo and behold THQ just shut down their studio this week.  We have Running with Scissors, a Tucson-based pc developer most known for shock and awe, than really anything else resembling good games.

Read the rest and check out LifePix after the break

Yelawolf's No Hands shows off sites of Driver: SF

Ubisoft has been working in conjunction with Shady Records artist Yelawolf, for his new single, No Hands, where apparently he is sittin on a motha...hundred grand. The video shows off the real life Challenger used in the video game Driver: San Francisco along with the playable areas of the city. If you dig the song, you can pick up the album, Radioactive, on October 25th, but you can pick up Driver next week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The God of car combat rears it evil head come V-Day

Those that can't decode that title, well, I pity you but I will spell it out for you anyway. It means Twisted Metal is going to be released on Valentines Day, 2012. I see this as bad news being married and knowing that is one of few days a year that I can't play video games. Yes, I am happily married but Valentine's day is every year and Twisted Metal games come few and far between. I mean who can compete with new weapons, environments, vehicles, the ability to fly, and Twisted Metal on a working online network? Oh, and there is a new trailer!

Its time for the PAX Final Fantasy XIII-2 trailer, kupo

A few months ago we got to enjoy the E3 trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2 from Square Enix's booth. Unfortunately, we got to see the PAX trailer from our hot office in Phoenix, but I think I actually enjoy this trailer more, even when viewing by myself from a cube on a 17 inch monitor. Why? You ask. Easy, more gameplay, less cut scenes and lots of action...enjoy!

Squenix shows off the Coral Tombs of Heroes of Ruin

 The anticipated dungeon crawler which is Heroes of Ruin for the 3DS has been rather quiet in terms of screenshots and gameplay video, but it just seems the good people of Square Enix were just saving that information for the right conference and it appears that conference is PAX Prime. The screenshots received show off the coral tombs of the game along with some walking shark baddies, as if normal sharks aren't scary enough. We will let you know as more comes our way.

More Dead Island news as we inch towards release date

Our dear old buddy over at Deep Silver has provided Mashbuttons with a tid bit of information regarding Dead Island as we anxiously check our mailbox daily four our review copy. So the news is that Dead Island avatar items are now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. On top of that, Dead Island has taken over PlayStation Home. And then on top of that there is an additional pre order bonus if you pre order from amazon, you get a digital strategy map on top of the previously announced art book, so what are YOU waiting for?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Phineas & Ferb: Across the Second Dimension | Review

So we finally got our copy of Phineas & Ferb: Across the Second Dimension a few days ago from Disney Interactive Studios, and I've been busy playing it ever since.  After seeing the Disney Channel movie of the same name about 40 times now due to having a young one who is hooked (I also like it), I feel I was ready to jump right in.

Read more after the jump

Mashbuttons reviews Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Well folks it has been a while since my last review and though I have enjoyed the slow summer, I am ready for the AAA games to be thrown at the masses and doing back to back reviews. Square Enix broke my casual Mortal Kombat and Black Ops habit by placing a shiny new PlayStation 3 retail version of Deus Ex into my mailbox to critique and get my impressions to you, my faithful Now that I am off my little soapbox, lets get down to the game, where you take on the role of recently augmented Adam Jensen, ex SWAT, newly appointed security specialist for an experimental biotechnology firm. Well, it seems to really hit the fan, because the scientists you are hired to protect get killed, so of course your job requirements change a bit, especially now that you are augmented like a more futuristic Robocop. Now you are tasked with figuring out just why this had to happen all while choosing the path of your liking to determine mankind's fate. 

When I first started the game I wasn't too sure what to think mainly because Mr. Jensen did not have much in the way of skills aside from cover and shoot, but it doesn't take long for thing to get heated and the meat and potatoes of the story to come out and slap you upside the head. Once augmented in your Robocop/iRobot form, you have the potential to build your character however you like, with over 50 different augmentations and 20 customizable weapons. The character customization adds enough variety to keep you coming back for more, but even without it, I was hooked. Without giving anything away and because storyline changes based on your actions and interactions, the story is great, and by great, I mean awesome and refreshing with twists and a conspiracy filled plot. There is something for just about all type of gamers, whether you face your opponents head on or take the time to stalk and stealthily take out anyone that stands in your way, you are rewarded by XP and points to allocate towards augmentations(attributes), furthering your ability to alter mankind's destiny. This is a first person shooter that relies heavily on cover if you plan on staying alive, the part of gameplay that I liked was that enemies actually react to where you hit them, the AI is smarter than that seen in similar shooter, and weapon recoil can be unforgiving depending on the firearm, unless of course that is a focus of your augmentation changes, personally I chose to level up my hacking ability. I am not able to go into the boss battles, but I would have to say, there is good reason for that story wise, what I can say is wow, the fights along with the enemies are pretty epic.

The bad, well that list is a short one. My biggest or shall I say longest lasting gripe with the title is the load times. Luckily they don't occur as often as they did in Fallout: New Vegas, but I would suggest to those Xbox users to install the title to the hard drive as numerous comparisons found on the interwebs show that it will reduce load times pretty significantly. PlayStation 3 users have to load to the hard drive and that takes about three gigs of space. Aside from the load times, the other issue I had was with the yellowish tint of the world. It is rather drab, but think adding additional filters or a chance to remove the filter would be satisfying as you would be able to see the world as a more brightly lit Blade Runner setting over the drabness currently seen. Lastly, this isn't really a gripe with the game so much as I felt that it would have been more entertaining to play from a third person perspective, but knowing that the first Deus Ex title was a first person game, it was holding true to the original.

All in all, Deus Ex is a great end to the summer gaming drought and will hold strong with the other AAA title coming out in the next couple months. Though there were some small gripes with the game, it tends to only with with the aesthetics and does not effect the gameplay. Human Revolution also contains quite a bit of replay value as the story develops and changes based on your interactions with key NPC's, making this a go to game for fans of the shooter RPG genre who are waiting for the release of Mass Effect 3.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NBA 2K12 shows off the greatests

Along with visually looking awesome, 2K sports has just released the NBA's greatest trailer which is full off the basketball greats we have grown up watching and some even before my time. We thought last year's game was pretty amazing, there was a bit of skepticism regarding how the next year will outdo the last. Low and behold, epic.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fruit Ninja Kinect | Review

Chances are you've played some iteration of the incredibly addictive game, Fruit Ninja.  First appearing on iOS devices, developer Halfbrick studios has taken the very "touch-sensitive" experience, and re-tooled it (naturally) for the arm-swinging antics of a Kinect user.

I've sat on my Kinect now for a few months (not literally), waiting for something worth while to come along that will get me to power it up again.  Little did I know it would come in the form of a game that arleady exists and one I already own.  I have it for my iPhone, and iPad, I also just got into the beta on Facebook, but the Kinect version, has to be the ultimate version of the game.  Controls are simple, you wave your arms around like a ninja (imagine that) slicing and dicing delicious looking fruit.  This is really the most ripe fruit you can imagine displayed in a bunch of high-def pixels!

The Kinect version has a myriad of gameplay modes to choose, from the original arcade mode (60 seconds to slice as much fruit as you can, while avoiding bombs) to multi-player options that help stretch the quick ADD gameplay with a little longevity.  Sure, playing on a touch device does take a little less effort, but you don't get to bust it out at parties.

Ultimately, it's a console version of a bite-sized app, and I have to give kudos to the developer who can create an addicting game that transcends from one platform to another.  Will it change the way you play games, or is it the best Kinect game of all time?  No, but it sure is alot of fun, and I'm a fun-loving kinda guy.

It's raining. gives Fruit Ninja Kinect an 8 out of 10

Hands on with Disgaea 4, Dood!

Though it is a few weeks away, NIS America seems to know about my secret love affair with strategy RPG games. Anywho, I had received Disgaea 4 and after about ten hours spent with the title and a couple nights waking up on the couch, it is time I let you SRPG and Prinny fans know about the time spent with this gem. In Disgaea 4 you play as the vampire Valvatorez, a Prinny instructor that does not drink blood but feeds on sardines. Since this is a hands on preview, that is all you get story wise, but I will let you know it does get rather deep for a lighthearted game.
To start, this is a game you have to play with the volume on. I say this because there are times in which the volume is very low or off for the sake of sleeping family members, but the dialogue and voice acting make the writing very humorous. The maps and characters are very bright and crisp while also having variety, but where the game needs to shine the most, in gameplay, it does very well. In fact, almost too well at times, as I am one who likes to try everything in this genre of games to find out what works best, but in the case of Disgaea 4, there is almost too many possibilities from the specials, to the skills, and the equipment. That is just the basics though, there are other abilities learned a couple of hours into gameplay, that will have you spending as much time trying to figure out your strategy as you will with the execution of it.
Like most strategy RPG title, there is a steep learning curve, taking upwards to two hours before letting you loose to do your bidding if you choose to take the tutorial, which I would highly suggest as there are new battle features to learn. The tutorial does move a bit slow but it does pay off in the end, as the story moves along at a nice pace. There is a LOT to be done in this Disgaea entry, quite possibly more than can be seen in one playthrough based on your play style, making for a large amount of replay value.
Disgaea can be found in stores on September 6th, 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lollipop, lollipop, ooooh, lolli...underboob and upskirt!

Yup, you did read that right, we are having a rather colorful day here with coverage being sent to us from gamescon. This little gem is brought to you by none other than Suda51 and screen writer James Gunn. I could go further into it but all you need to know before watching is a cheerleader with a chainsaw in the upcoming title, Lollipop Chainsaw.

Borderlands 2 teaser, I need a change of pants

Yes, I know it does not show much, but it is a teaser, what the hell did you expect. There are few games that I am truly passionate about, among those would be Final Fantasy Tactics and Borderlands. Well Tactics was released on the iPhone and to keep me from throwing my phone from the second floor office window, I am posting on my other guilty pleasure. That's right Borderlands...2. While it doesn't show much, you do get a glimpse of the new character class, the Gunzerker, and the brightly color...oh look, dual wielding.

Arkham City shows off Mr Freeze without the Governator

Though, I admit it would be pretty cool if they got the Last Action Hero to come back and play the voice of Mr. Freeze in Arkham City, it is nice to see that you will have more time against the evil doer in Arkham City than that in Arkham Asylum. Check out the gameplay video and lets see who will be next to be revealed in the upcoming bat action title.

Mass Effect 3 video shows off Shep, teamwork, and a mech?

We have gotten the new Mass Effect 3 gameplay video fresh from Gamescom 2011 and it looks gooooooooood! I can describe it for you but you know you will watch it anyway, so sit back and enjoy the fire fight then mark March 6th, 2012 on your calendar as the day you will kiss your social life goodbye.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2K Sports reveals soundtrack for NBA 2K12, were playing basketball!

Yes, what is a basketball game without a little Kurtis Blow? With how great the last NBA2K game was, there really isn't much to reveal about this years entry to make us even more excited unless you are talking about the soundtrack and the box art. Well, we have seen the box art so I guess it is high time to go over the soundtrack, listed after the jump.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dead Island has gone gold, time to paint the island red!

Our favorite PR ginger has just let us know that the upcoming zombie massacre title, Dead Island has gone gold. What this means to you, is that you WILL see this game on store shelves September 6th. Pro order if you haven't already to make sure you can double tap these zombie pendejo's on day one.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Driver San Francisco Multiplayler Trailer is Sheer Bedlam

Being shown to the great music of Clutch, are the online gameplay modes of the upcoming Driver: San Francisco. Though tag and takedown look like a blast, but driving through the city in the large amount of available cars could be equally fun. I am just ready for this title to be released to see if it lives up to the hype after seeing the developer diaries, gameplay modes, and story trailers. You can expect to see Driver: SF in stores on September 6th.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MashButtons reviews Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

NIS America has just released the recent Bleach title, Soul Resurreccion for the PlayStation 3. Instead of a fighting title we have see on the portable devices, this time around is an action hack and slash, reenacting key experiences from the anime series, fighting off the army of Arrancars and eventually playing as some of the enemy Arrancar. Playable in Soul Resurreccion are 21 characters from the Bleach anime series. Aside from the main story mode, there are additional gameplay modes such as mission mode and soul attack mode. The character leveling system makes character growth customizable to your liking with a "map" to choose abilities and statistic upgrades to your liking. Now that the standard features and background are out of the way it is time for the review.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NASCAR The Game 2011 The Review

Okay, I’ll admit it I’m a bit of a NASCAR fan. I don’t wear cut-off jean shorts or sport a mullet but I enjoy the high speed left turning action. The last time I played a NASCAR game was probably in 1997 on my dad’s PC. I remember driving the wrong way and trying to create spectacular crashes.
To get the full feel of a NASCAR race is difficult, mostly because the races are hundreds of miles and laps mixed in with some slow paced cautions and numerous pit stops. I think the many pacing options as well as computer assist options keep the game fun and allow you to slowly ease into the action. The addition of drafting off of cars in front of you adds a nice touch to racing, not to mention a level of strategy. Something I was really hoping for was more realistic damage, while it’s not bad, I think they could have done a little better job with how the look of the car changes due to contact. If you win the race you have the option of doing burn-outs and doughnuts to gain extra experience points. On top of that the driver will come out of the car and celebrate; I won with Danica Patrick and surprisingly it actually looked pretty close to her.
In closing, it was a fun game with enough realism to keep you playing. I try not to be too critical because I think it’s a difficult taking a 3 hour long race that mostly consists of left turn into a game. I think the casual gamer wouldn’t be too thrilled by this game, but if you are a big NASCAR fan you will defiantly get a kick out of it.
  MashButtons gives NASCAR The Game 2011 a 7 out of 10.

The War in the North begins in November

Warner Bros. and Snowblind has just announced that their upcoming action role playing game, Lord of the Ring: War in the North will hit store shelves on the first of November. Along with the release date we have also received the box art for the title that will be playable on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. 

Mashbuttons iPhone skin?

Yes, this is what I hope is the first of many reviews for tech accessories along with the typical game reviews. I recently got a press release for a company called, a site that specializes in device skins, from consoles and controllers to phones. Since I recently got Verizon's white iPhone, I figure this was the perfect opportunity to expand our reach and of course protect my new phone. The hardest part of my experience would easily have to be figuring out which skin I wanted, because as soon I had picked the skin I wanted, I was shown Marvel skins, so I ended up changing my mind a couple times, and eventually (an hour later) picking the X-Men first issue cover. Upon checkout, I was also prompted to purchase a screen protector at an additional charge, which was purchased with the skin and four days later, my package was received.
Here is the part for anyone on the fence should pay attention to. The skin for the white iPhone was received, which included front top and bottom pieces with a home button cutout, left and right pieces with volume and mute cutouts, the back cover with the camera and flash cutout, and the screen protectors, one only for the touch screen and the other for the full front. There were detailed instructions for the screen protector and also an email containing the wallpaper to match. Now, I am not the craftiest person when it comes to sticking decals on devices straight, but the Gelaskins were very forgiving as long as you have a clean surface and you don't rush. The screen protector on the other hand, was less forgiving as it seemed overly hard to line up and install without fingerprints, unless you have some plastic gloves and a dust free environment. The nice part about the screen protectors is that it comes already cut to fit between the top and bottom pieces.
 I do work in an office so my phone doesn't see much wear and tear, so I decided to put it through my very own stress test, the Arizona heat. It is 105 degrees presently so I figured I would leave it out in the heat, direct sunlight, a hot car and the bottomless pit known as my wife's purse, each for in between one and two hours. The outcome, no bubbles in the Gelaskin, unfortunately, the screen protector did start to lift and resulted in picking up dust from being outside and in a purse. I also removed the skin, cleaned the phone and reinstalled the Gelaskin...still no bubbles, just a very hot potentially voided phone. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the product and the ease of install, and know the difficulty will obviously vary depending on the device, but the iPhone 4 was a breeze, 3GS is more difficult due to the curved back, and costing $14.95, I would definitely purchase the Giant Size X-Men skin starts to peel.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Supremacy MMA gets melodic less gritty trailer

We did post on Supremacy MMA shortly before E3, but the hardcore brutal fighter that will be released in the next month is making another appearance in our inbox. With the new trailer, you are welcomed with a classical ditty while seeing some of the hard hitting blows and hands on testimonials. Now, lets get a demo so we can see how this bad boy/girl handles.

New Ratchet & Clank shows off some firepower

We have received the first video of the weapon series, which shows off just a few of the weapons that will be seen and used in the upcoming Ratchet & Clank All 4 One title from insomniac games, so keep an eye out as there will be more to come shortly.