• Super Street Fighter II THDR Beta released!

    Well the day is finally here, the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix beta is available on Xbox live for those who purchased Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3. Simple select the Download Beta option from the main menu and get to testing! The beta version has one stage and allows you to play as either Ken or Ryu.

    It should be enough of a taste for when the final version ships and also help Capcom to make sure that this HD remix preforms perfectly on release. Online fighters have been a huge issue on XBLA, I’m hoping that this will be the game to fix it. Some glorious HD shots of Ken and Ryu follow.

     
  • Gyrostarr, Reviewed [WiiWare]

    High-Voltage software has already wowed us with their 3D engine tech demo, and made us drool with their announcement and gameplay trailer from the upcoming 3D shooter the Conduit, but today they have something else entirely for you on Nintendo’s WiiWare channel. That game is Gyrostarr.

    Gyrostarr is a 3D shoot them up that has you racing through plasma tracks killing bad guys and collecting plasma to unlock the next level. You can think of this game a s a mash up of the old school arcade game tempest mixed with some N2O for the trippy visuals and WipeOut meets F-Zero for the insane speed. That my friend is a good mix in my books.

    Gyrostarr’s 50 levels have you hurtling your ship down winding plasma tracks blasting the enemy spacecraft whilst you pick up power-ups and plasma balls to charge the gates that will take you to the next level or bonus round. The tracks have a series of lanes that you occupy similar to Tempest as mentioned earlier that you shoot down or collect your power-ups in. Enemies will also travel down these lanes, but as you get further in the game the lanes start to mean less and less to them as they will constantly be moving in and out. Read more ›

     
  • Alone in the Dark now shipping!

    Well the day has arrived, Atari’s Alone in the Dark should be hitting stores around the country as I write this. I’m quite excited to dig into this new entry to the series, as it’s really the game that started the whole survival horror genre as we now know it. Now a days flat shaded 8 polygon models won’t cut it, it’s all photo realism now. If the screens linked below are an accurate representation of how the whole game will play out, well this version has nothing to worry about.

    I’ve been seeing a few reviews of the game pop up and it looks like it’s been so far getting mixed reactions. It’s been mostly praised for it’s cinematic presentation of the action. I’m interested to see how the fire mechanic plays out; apparently almost everything can be lit on fire. The VCR mechanic intrigues me as well. You can basically skip over the hard parts of the game when you are stuck, or try to soldier through if that’s your thing. Being a father of two little ones I’ve had to drop many games for simply being too hard or taking too long to finish, I don’t have all the time in the world any more. I should be receiving my copy soon and will be posting a full review once I’ve had the chance to fully dive in.

    If you are jonesing for a copy, EB Games has a bundle while supplies last that will net you the game and the soundtrack. Not a bad deal.

    I’ve placed a gallery of 35 new Xbox 360 screen after the jump to whet your appetite. Hopefully it’ll tide you over until you can get your mitts on a copy as well! Read more ›

     
  • Browsing Around: Enter the World of Soul Eater

    Soul Eater

    While browsing the vast recesses of the Internet last week I came across a show we immediately thought the readers of Nukoda should know about: Soul Eater, and thus far, this has been the best discovery since Death Note.  Soul Eater is your typical Shonen comedy; young boys get nose bleeds when they see a naked women; flashy fight scenes are action-packed; the story is actually good and full of laughter.

    That’s not a combo we’d normally associate with a comedy.

    It’s currently only airing in Japan, and the series started off as a manga in 2003. It is scheduled to be released in the United States next month.  But that’s next month… the anime can be seen now if you know where to look, of course.  If you don’t mind subtitles, you can view the first 11 episodes now in the dark, dank area of the Intertron – somewhere we don’t recommend.  A brief outline of the plot, courtest of Anime News Network, awaits you after the jump.

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  • UFC 2009 Undisputed – Unveiled and Detailed

    Aspiring fighters and fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Spike TV-fueled pop culture explosion will now be happy to know that, courtesy of THQ, they can now bring their favorite bloodsport to their current generation (PS3/Xbox 360) videogame console of their choice with the newly announced UFC 2009 Undisputed.

    It’s an announcement that shouldn’t surprise anyone, given the recent success of the The Ultimate Fighter — Spike’s flagship reality TV series — and Mixed Martial Arts in general with the popularity of other leagues such as WEC and Pride.  Nevertheless, THQ seems dead-centered on doing the franchise justice, with a press release promise to “be the most realistic fighting game to date.”

    Anyone familiar with THQ’s history knows that they’re responsible for some of the greatest Wrestling games of all time, and by that I mean WWF No Mercy (seriously).  Undisputed looks to utilize a similar structure to wrasslin‘ games of yore with a Create-a-Fighter system and the ability to incorporate different fighting styles — a feature which should be much more interesting this time around with…you know, actual fighting styles.

    If that’s not enough to draw a lack-of-blood-to-the-brain knockout for UFC fans, they’ll be happy to know that online play is included as well — all within an engine that allows “amazing ripple effects across the faces and bodies of their fighters from the impact of devastating punches and kicks” and an improved collision detection system.

    Given the clumsy playability of past UFC games on the PlayStation 2, we’re cautiously tiptoeing our way to our nearest game retailer to preorder a copy of this Spring 2009 title.  Mapping organic moves to a few button presses still hasn’t been perfected in an intuitive way on most modern Wrestling games, and with MMA’s complexity of different fighting styles, pleasing fans while prioritizing playability may be a hard middle-ground to reach for THQ.

     
  • Exhibit: Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

    Konami is rolling out the next entry in its annual soccer series, Pro Evolution Soccer (better known to you folks as Winning Eleven) as expected, this year.  It’s fitting for this season: everywhere we go, we are drowned in constant chatter of this year’s Euro Cup soccer tournament and plenty of horn honking from enthusiastic – and probably Italian – fans.

    Clearly, there’s some football in the air, and Konami plans on [slide] tackling the soccer market.  One way to get us interested is to send us some gorgeous screenshots!

    One screen stood out to us with impressive clouds and lighting, featuring a sky cluttered with clouds and a darkened field, with light where it could filter through the cloudy layer.

    Most dazzling were the in-close action shots, a camera that blurs the background and allows us to focus on the light gracing the flowing fabric and remarkably detailed character models; one player even had a distinct look of panic on his face upon being tripped, one with the fidelity of a sports section capture in the morning paper. We could pick out each individual strand of grass as solitarily occupying the field and the stitched ball glistening in midair – we can’t wait to see it in motion!

    Call us shallow, but early screenshots indicate a strong showing on the graphical front. While last year’s entry scored merely in the “average” range, we hope the team can pull it together and generate some solid play in 2009.

    If you’re a regular reader, you know the drill; for the rest of you, well, carry on and “read more” to get a glimpse of our latest batch of screenshot-hotness for PES2009.

    Read more ›

     
  • Exhibit: Guitar Hero World Tour

    Activision and RedOctane’s response to the juggernaut success of Rock Band last fall hardly came as a surprise to us when the first details of Guitar Hero World Tour’s multi-instrumental onslaught were first revealed earlier this year — however, new images of the peripherals passed over the Nukoda news desk today seem to be turning a few more heads.

    While the drum set for World Tour has already been described in detail several times over, it’s the Guitar peripheral in particular that seems most interesting (it is *Guitar* Hero, after all).  A thorough analysis of the puzzlingly Stratocaster-shaped peripheral reveals that, while you can use your old controllers, there’s a number of added bonuses on the new axe that seem to verify Activision’s commitment to the promised music-making feature unveiled a few months ago.

    If you look closely at the picture above, you’ll notice a few changes to the design.  First up: the controllers now have a bridge below the strum bar used for activating star power.  The real magic comes from it’s double-duty as a means of palm-muting your notes in the music editor — a technique essential to real guitar playing.

    Perhaps in response to Rock Band‘s extra frets used for solos, World Tour‘s guitar will feature a touch pad, dubbed “The Slider,” which serves a similar purpose in the game, and an expanded use an — and if you’re familiar with guitar you’ll know we’re not making these words up — arpeggiator.  Finally, located around the Xbox 360 Dashboard button is an accelerometer knob, which is also useful in the music editor, serving the purpose of bending the pitch of notes.

    Looking at these peripherals, it’s obvious that their integration with Guitar Hero World Tour’s music editor seems to be of chief concern with Activision.  Provided EA doesn’t retaliate with another iteration of Rock Band, Neversoft and the rest of the crew on World Tour may really be on to something very interesting.

    Check out our full-blown gallery after the break!

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  • Exhibit: Tomb Raider: Underworld

    Lara Croft’s treasure hunting adventures in the Tomb Raider series have always been a hot-topic of discussion, and not necessarily because the games are particularly good. There were exceptions, yes, and Eidos’ front runner franchise spawned an entirely new genre, but the slump the games took in the later days of the PlayStation-One would seemingly be the end of everyone’s favorite tomb raider.

    Of course, the PlayStation 2 release of Angel of Darkness some years ago did nothing to prove that Lara still had legs, but when then we finally saw Legend, and its complete overhaul, we were ecstatic for more. After Anniversary, we demanded an original title, and we wanted it stat. It looks like developer Crystal Dynamics is in the same boat, and with a tight focus on the Norse underground, Tomb Raider: Underworld looks to launch the series skyward like never before.

    The artistic style and graphical upgrade grabbed our attention immediately. The incredible texture detail and imagery are astounding, and Lara’s model itself has seen a bit of a polygonal makeover. The environments we’ve seen are obviously limited to one or two areas of the world, and Eidos is promising a global romp in order to stop an evil, ancient power from destroying the human race. Stop us if you’ve heard this before.

    Still, as cheesy as the story might be, we’re excited to try out Croft’s new arsenal of items. Of course there’s a combat focus, but after feeling how slick the controls of the last couple Tomb Raiders were, the platforming and exploration can only be an excellent time, filled with plenty of pitfall hopping and acrobatic feats. It’s yet to be seen how they’ll be implemented, but the heroine’s archaeological gear is supposed to play a prominent role in puzzle solving as well, and if previous iterations are to be held in tradition here, you can expect to face plenty of physics-based brain teasers.

    We haven’t seen the game in motion in any form, so we’re excited to see how exactly the panther-punching battles will go down, and whether or not Crystal D has finally perfected the shooting mechanics, something that’s definitely seen its share up upgrades along the way, but never quite felt right. Tomb Raider: Underworld is coming out some time this November, and if your only gaming console is a PSP, we’re sorry to hear it. That’s about the only platform you won’t see Underworld on this fall.

    If you want to get your own eyes on the game, check out our gallery of shark-shootin’ action after the jump.

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  • Resident Evil 4, Reviewed [Wii]

    In 2005 there was one survival horror game that on everyone’s minds. Resident Evil 4 was heralded as a return to form for the franchise and was widely known as one of the best games on Gamecube. Now it’s on its way to the Nintendo Wii, following a detour on the PS2, keeping all the extras that the PlayStation version featured, while incorporating some of the best Wii controls to date.

    Resident Evil 4’s story follows Raccoon Incident survivor Leon Kennedy who is given the task of rescuing the Presidents daughter from a Spanish Village. What follows has Leon encounter a parasitic virus; an overly sized vicious plant; and an old friend, in the form of the classy Ada Wong. The story suits the subject matter, and engrosses the player from start to finish. As a survival horror game, RE4’s narrative is up with the best films of the genre, leaving you with just enough inkling of future events to keep you playing.

    The main change that Capcom have made for the Wii version of Resident Evil 4 is the controls. You aim your gun with the Wii Remote, and press A while holding B to shoot.

    This works like a charm, and thanks to the accuracy and size of the new Wii Edition aiming reticule, you’ll be blowing up heads from the get go.

    Read more ›

     
  • Free Metal Gear Database for PSN June 19

    For those of us who are still baffled by Metal Gear Solid‘s complex, convoluted universe, Konami is offering up a free download for PlayStation 3 users tomorrow. The Metal Gear Solid 4 Database is an “official knowledge base of everything that is Metal Gear, reaching all the way back to the very beginning of the franchise,” said Konami Online’s Brandon Laurino in a recent PlayStation blog post.

    The information hub will detail every minute detail of Metal Gear’s 21 year run, and if you’re paranoid about Guns of the Patriots spoilers, Konami has gone ahead and courteously censored them until you’ve completed the game. With any luck, it’ll fill in the gaps between titles as well, since MGS4 didn’t really explain how Raiden became the badass-supremo cyborg he is in the last of Hideo Kojima’s ‘Tactical Espionage Action’ franchise.

    We’ll follow up tomorrow if the database offers anything more than text and images, but the fact that it’s got timelines and trees for relationships gives us hope that the impossibly confusing series can be successfully explained. Check the PSN tomorrow for the free Databse download.