Saturday, January 29, 2011

Two World II| Review

Synopsis: Welcome to the sequel of sequels, SouthPeak Games’ Two Worlds II has just released and our good buddies sent us a review copy to do our bidding in the world of Antaloor with the first big RPG of 2011. The story takes place shortly after the final events of the first entry, but this time around you can expect completely revamped combat, new enemies, enhanced AI, along with better voice overs and character animations made possible by a new gaming engine to help make the sequel stand out above and beyond the original. So it is time to break the chains, escape the dungeon with an Orc rescue team, and save your sister from Gandohar’s evil grasp…after you read through the review of course!

Praise: I am sure everyone has their own idea about what makes an RPG fun and sure there are some that just think they are lame, but I like RPG’s mainly for the character development and long play time without growing repetitive. Well, this has character development down in spades on top being able to choose which spells and skills to enhance on your quest to squash Gandohar, on top of breaking down obsolete weapons to improve equipped weapons and armor. The environments look wonderful along with the cutscenes, and load speeds are one of the most forgiving I have seen in a while. I do have to admit that the outlook of my review was bleak for the first hour due to not seeing everything on the screen and little bugs here and there, but after turning the safe area on to see all of the user interface and learning about how to develop my hero, I was hooked and easily distracted with both poaching in the Savannah and trying to complete all my side quests before continuing with the main quest.

Gripes: As much as I am a fan of the RPG genre, there are still many things that get to me every time, starting with the voice acting. It could have used some work as it was lacking depth, but the writing of the story and humor is what kept me from skipping the dialogue sequences to get me back in the action faster. Another issue I had was with the map, it would be a lot easier to navigate if I was able to zoom in further, especially in crowded cities. Some of the missions felt repetitious, but the payoff with experience is rather satisfying making it so that it doesn't take too long to level up and beef up your hero. Lastly, I felt like more of a tutorial was needed or at least better descriptions in the interface as there are a LOT of things that you can do on the fly to your character and even after doing it four and five times an hour, I still felt like is was not doing something right or completely missing out on more stuff to do with my items and equipment.

Overall, it has been a great experience with this title and though I was a bit hesitant to give this title a chance due to the negative stigma behind the first entry. However, this is a great example of a developer listening to what was wrong with the first try and making it completely bad ass to get us to shut up and lose our social lives. Now it is time for me to get back to my quests, side quests, and my daily poop flinging baboon slaying fix. Hey, it is not unethical treatments if those bastards started it, right? gives Two World II an 8 out of 10.

Two World II is available now for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bethesda says to pencil in these dates for gaming greatness!

Not one, two, or even three big games coming this year from Bethesda; NAY - four pretty huge games here people!

Bethesda today announced the release dates of their "summer" games, and for good record-keeping, we'll let you know how their "fall" lineup looks.

Picture a calendar, one that falls on a date, lets say that date is May 17th (North America), that day my friends, you'll be able to pick up your very own copy of Brink.  Then imagine just a few weeks later, good ol' June 3rd, when you can sink your teeth into Hunted: The Demon's Forge.

This should give you some time before two other insane games we know you can't all wait to play...RAGE releasing on September 13th, and the mother of all mother games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, coming to blow the lid of this joint on November 11th (11.11.11).

My guess is you can't wait.  But you have to.  Sorry.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What could SONY possibly be announcing so late tonight? [Update]

At 1:00am EST to be precise?  Will you be up to see all the news?

Technically, as the worlds foremost time-scientists will have you believe, since it's taking place in Tokyo, it's actually tomorrow afternoon.  That's just crazy talk, time-traveling countries, c'mon!

Place your bets here people, I'll bet dollars to donuts, they're re-introducing the SONY WEGA line of tube televisions.  Others seem to think it's something to do with the next PlayStation Portable.  Shhh, like wishing for rainbows in a cave!  Right?

Stop back tomorrow for more news...unless all you care about is some new 3D portable gaming system

This, yes, THIS is what it is:
Hi, I'm the NGP!

5th Cell sends assets of game that is not Scribblenauts related

The development team befind the Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life titles, has sent us some images for their upcoming shooter, Hybrid. This should be the first of a lot of information to come, as the next update will be during the 2011 GDC next Month in San Francisco.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get your demoes now, thank me later

That right, today is Xbox demo day as two of this year's biggest blockbusters are available now for the long as you have a gold membership of course. The first is the demo for Bulletstorm, taking place in a collapsed building, using three different weapons and over 45 skill shots. Remember to pre order, as just about every retailer has some sort of exclusive, and expect to see this title on store shelves come Feb. 22, 2011.

The other demo is for Crysis 2, and I hope you are sitting down for is a multiplayer demo, WIN!!! Though I did not get a press release for this demo, I thought I would give a heads up, and I am awaiting response from the publisher for more info.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Duke Nukem release date announced, and there was much rejoicing!

After years of development and resting in limbo, it was announced last year that Gearbox, the developer behind Borderlands, has taken over finishing and releasing Duke Nukem Forever. Well it was just announced that the epic and over the top shooter has a release date and that date is, wait for it...May 3rd! Here are a couple screenshots for you to take in.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Square Enix releases trailer for next Final Fantasy

But will it be the Final Fantasy you have been waiting for? Final Fantasy XIII-2 has previously been announced and now to go with the news is a CGI trailer if your looking for some serious eye candy. This was done previously X-2 and as I remember, it fell rather short, lets see if XIII-2 will be the redemption that the Final Fantasy sequels need.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a 3DS News Day, price and release date announced

Following Nintendo's press conference yesterday, it seems a plethora of news has found it's way to my inbox, so it is only proper I share it with you. To start, the release date for the US is March 27th, while the price tage will be set at $249.99. Also, 30 plus games have been announced to be available on release.

Ubisoft has announced the below listed games for their lineup.

Asphalt 3D
Driver Renegade
Rabbids Travel in Time
Rayman 3D
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Tom CLancy's Splinter Cell 3D

Also, recently announced while writing this post were Sims 3 and Super Monkey Ball 3D from EA and Sega.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kingdom Hearts Re: coded | Review

Synopsis: First off, thank you Square Enix for sending me a review copy of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded for the Nintendo DS. This new entry to the Kingdom Hearts series is a remake of the mobile title Kingdom Hearts Coded for mobile phones, with improved controls, revamped combat system, and new gameplay mechanics. The premise of the story behind Re:coded is that you once again take on the role of Sora in the “datascape”, called upon by King Mickey to find out how a mysterious message was placed in Jiminy’s journal used to hold the story of the first adventure against the heartless. Will this hold a torch to the console titles that I played through multiple times and even saw its debut announcement at my first trip to E3?

Praise: Gameplay, I can stop there but I am sure you would like me to elaborate. It is fast and action packed with massive, and I mean massive amounts of character development, in which you acquire chips to place on a circuit board to unlock boosts to your abilities. Throughout the story, Sora will also acquire new equipment and keyblades, along with skills that can be mixed to make bigger and stronger abilities and magic. In the beginning of the game you also get to choose your primary and secondary abilities whether it be magic, strength, or defense. The cut scenes look great for a DS title and the boss fights are pretty epic, making it feel as big as the consoles versions.

Gripes: The bad, well I think that would be the story. I wouldn’t say bad is the word to describe it, but it did feel a lot like a Kingdom Hearts 2.5. the reason I say this is because it is a lot of the same worlds and enemies, and the story doesn’t differ much aside from the “datascape” element where you use a radar to locate rifts in the world to enter a matrix like mini level where you have to take out a set amount of enemies per floor to clear it, earning currency, experience, abilities, and chips for the circuitboard. The worlds are also pretty long taking me about two hours on average to complete each, and like the first and second Kingdom Hearts, some of them aren’t so much fun, making it harder to work your way through.

Overall, I had fun with the gameplay and since there is a good recap to the original games, newcomers can pick up this title and start where the previous games left off. Though I did say that the story is a little bland for me since I am still pretty familiar with the events of the last, it does not get old due to the fun and engaging gameplay along with the in depth character development. Whether you are an adult or a child it is still a blast to play through Disney’s bright and colorful worlds with the mechanics that Square Enix has always been great at providing. gives Kingdom Hearts Re: coded a 7 out of 10.

Kingdom Hearts Re: coded is available now for the Nintendo DS.

Developer Trailer for Two Worlds II trailer to Whet your Whistle before release

We are getting closer to release of the uber large RPG, Two Worlds II, next week to be precise. While you wait, SouthPeak Games has provides it's fans with a developer diary showcasing how the game overshadows the first in graphics, gameplay, and customization in astounding ways. As a fan of the first Two Worlds and just about all of the developer's RPGs so far, I am counting down the days and playing Little Big Planet up until the games release.

Conduit 2 Trailer shows off new weapons and destruction

Yeah, I know I need to pick up and play through the first Conduit title before reviewing the second one, but I have a couple months to do so. Those of you who have played the first would enjoy this trailer to see the new weapons available in the sequel and to see what destruction can be done with them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Atari's next Ghostbusters to be downloadable in 2011

Atari has provided our office with screens of Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, their downloadable title to be released on XBLA, PSN, and Windows PC this Spring. This top down action game will still have a number of weapons along with massive supernatural foes. Take a look and keep an eye out for more as we get closer to release and be sure to stock up on MS for the soon to be available XBLA titles to be released in the next month.

Hot Dogs and Vomit can only mean another trailer for Bulletstorm

We just received a new trailer for the next Epic Games title, Bulletstorm. For anyone that has heard about this title knows that Bulletstorm is just spewing with over the top kills, action, and gore. This trailer provides even more with what looks like action figures in a large diorama. Watch, enjoy, and pre order, you owe it to yourself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective | Review

Synopsis: Capcom has surprised me with their DS title Ghost Trick Phantom Detective, brought to us by Shu Takumi, the original maker of the Ace Attourney titles. As a fan of Capcom titles, I have to admit that I have not been looking forward to this title as Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Okamiden were overshadowing this gem. In Ghost Trick, you assume the role of newly dead Sissel, looking into your reason for death, while altering others' fates along the way. This adventure puzzler is chock full of content, containing 15 stages, 25 areas, and one very short time limit to alter the fates of over 30 characters.

Praise: I must admit that I have not played any of the Ace Attorney titles, but after playing through the numerous puzzles, it looks like I will be picking them up before my weekend trip to Redding. I love a good puzzler, but one of my favorite puzzlers which immediately comes to mind is Puzzle Quest, mainly because it has a story and dialogue, and with Ghost Trick, the humorous dialogue almost overshadows the puzzles. That is not to say that the puzzles aren't fun, in fact the puzzles are a blast and unique, being interactive in a way I have yet to experience. The way in which the puzzles work, is by Sissel going back in time to four minutes before other characters' demise, locating items in which are interactive, before going into the real world and performing a "trick" to prevent death along with learning more about what happened in the few moments leading up to your murder, and the information acquired changes based on how situations play out.

Gripes: In regards to the downsides to this title, there wasn't much to complain about when it comes to the technical aspects behind this title. One thing in which I felt that took away from the gameplay was the lack of help when it came to trying to solve some of the later puzzles and while the game plays out regardless to your actions made, sometimes those aren't the actions in which you intended on. Also, the stages seemed pretty long, making it harder to pick up and play without having a full half hour to play through a stage, because the process consists of watching a character die, then solving a puzzle in both the ghost and real world, then performing tricks to alter fates, learn more about your demise and on to the next stage, so it is ill advised and hard to put down before completing stages.

Overall, Ghost Trick is definitely an experience for puzzle gamers, as its interactive puzzles are a blast to play and see how items act differently to try and see how fate plays out when you can manipulate the outcome. Whether you come for the puzzles and stay for the humor or vice versa, this title provides a good amount of content and with a great story and lots of replay value, it would be a hard title to pass up, and with it being on the Nintendo DS, you can take the phantom detective wherever you go, unfortunately poor Sissel spent most of his time either in the bathroom or in bed with me. gives Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective a 9 out of 10.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is available now for the Nintendo DS.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lost in Shadow | Review

Synopsis: Hudson comes through with a review copy of Lost in Shadow to give my Wii some use over the holidays with something to play besides Donkey Kong Country Returns. Lost in Shadow is a unique action platformer exclusively for Wii where shadows are altered as your main source to manipulate levels to work your shadow boy up the tower and discover its secrets. You will not complete this journey alone as you are accompanied by a sylph that goes by “Spangle” to help manipulate light and shadows to ensure your way to the top. Lost in Shadow is a platformer with puzzles, action, RPG elements, and of course shadows. As some may know, I have been looking forward to the finished product after playing through the demo multiple times, so let’s see how the experience was.

Praise: The visual style behind Lost in Shadow is what makes this title really shine. The gameplay is rather basic but does not grow old and while it does have some RPG elements, the majority of the gameplay focus lies within attacking shadow creatures, manipulating light, and working your way up the tower. Getting used to focusing on the shadows throughout the castle takes some time, but once you get the hang of it, you are hooked! Along with the fun gameplay, there are a lot of puzzles to keep you thinking while not making the game overly difficult and keeping you on your way to the top. The title takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete and it goes by rather quickly collecting keys and unlocking paths to continue to the next floor. Though Lost in Shadow does use the remote and nunchuk, the controls work rather well as it does not rely on motion controls.

Gripes: While my experience was mostly favorable, there were some issues I had in the initial play through. The biggest was combat, as it is very simple, just hit the attack button when by the enemies, and the whole combat aspect of this game was sluggish for the most part. The other problem was that if you miss any keys to unlock your path to the next segment, then you will be backtracking to locate what you may have missed. While the graphics add a lot to the environment and gameplay, the story and sounds are shy of memorable, while the sounds of gears and industrial noises go with the moving behemoth of the castle, it did not make it feel any larger, in fact it kind of made the tower feel smaller.

Overall, Lost in Shadow was a blast to play and easy to go back to after the first play through, even though it does not provide much in the way of additional content, it is just a unique, good looking game, with a concept that borrows from multiple games like Ico and Limbo. I would say that if you’re not a fan of puzzles in your games, you may want to stay away. However, if platforming and puzzles is your cup of tea, then you will like playing through this title over and over again. gives Lost in Shadow an 8 out of 10.

Lost in Shadow is available now for the Nintendo Wii.