Recent Posts (Page 112)

  • Assassin’s Creed: AC, Reviewed [DS]

    acds.jpg

    For a stealth based adventure game, Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles is completely at a loss for stealth missions that aren’t absolutely broken by always-aware enemy AI. Even the “sneak button” has no effect in the world, as guards are always aware of who you are and what you plan on doing to their faces with your sword.

    It’s impossible to get the drop on a snoozing sap when he or his oblivious buddies suddenly become aware of your presence without explanation.

    It makes for a frustrating experience that is only further hampered by a crummy camera and clunky combat as well as counter-intuitive touch screen controls and a save system that will hurt you more than it will help you. While it does pay respect to its Creed console cousin, Altaïr’s Chronicles features a lot less of what made the original title fun and more of what makes videogames boring.

    Fortunately, this 3D platformer/action/adventure/ game does have a hefty amount of redeeming qualities, though they’re ultimately outweighed by mediocrity that screams “lack of effort”.

    (more…)

  • Sony May Supply Xbox 360 With Blu-Ray Drive

    Blu RayRival console makers, Sony and Microsoft, may have a deal in the works for an Xbox 360 external Blu-Ray drive.  Following the defeat of HD-DVD, Microsoft has stated that they wouldn’t rule out an external Blu-Ray drive for their console.

    In an interview with Financial Times,  Sony’s CEO of electronics, Stan Glasgow, confirmed that Sony and Microsoft were currently discussing an Xbox 360 Blu-Ray drive.  

    This is simply speculation, and it seems logical that Sony would rather protect their Playstation 3-exclusive asset to score a victory in the console war.  We’ll have to wait and see. 

  • Giant Bomb: Gerstmann and Co. Create Games Website

    giant-bomb-logo.gif

    It was only a matter of time, but Jeff Gerstmann, former GameSpot extraordinarie, has created his very own gaming centric website. GiantBomb.com will see an explosive launch (GET IT?!) this summer, but for now it seems that Jeff, and the GB staff that have yet to post, will be blogging gaming tidbits from news to reviews.

    The dude is pretty pumped about it, and considering the apparent traffic the site is getting (via comments, anyway) it’s going to be… sorry to say it: explosive.

    Jeff G:

    It’s my extreme pleasure to invite you to check out giantbomb.com. It’s the “new thing” that you’ve been hearing me and Ryan drop hints about for the past week or so. I am jumping-out-of-my-seat excited about what we’ve done so far, and the best is ahead of us. Seriously, I can’t stop smiling and it’s sort of freaking me out.

    Pretty standard fare, and we’re curious to see what the gang (whoever this elusive bunch is) can churn out in the coming months. Will they take off and be the next Joytaku? We’ll see, but for now, check out the site.

  • Ziff Davis: Bankruptcy Explained, Previews Editor Leaves

    nuclearbomb.jpg

    It became widely known that Ziff Davis, the media corp in charge of EGM, GFW Magazine and the 1up Network, was in some pretty hefty debt. Sitting in four hundred million dollar hole, the company has now filed for bankruptcy protection. Thankfully, if the process goes smoothly, everything should be just swell, according to one of 1up’s Editors, Simon Cox:

    The process will take about three to four months, and at the end of it we will effectively have new owners. In the meantime, our day-to-day operations are completely unaffected. In fact, the major bondholders have kicked in a bunch of cash to make, if anything, our day-to-day operations run smoother than they have in years… So even though [the word “bankrupt”] is unpleasant, and a bit scary, you’ll find few glum faces around the 1UP offices. Next year is the peak of the current console cycle, and we’re going into it in a much better financial state than we have been in in a long time.

    Simultaneous with this news was the departure of EGM’s Previews Editor, Brian Intihar. A long-time staffer of the site, Intihar has taken a position at Insomniac Games as their new Community Manager, according to the latest installment of The Full Moon Show, Insomniac’s bi-weekly developer podcast. The most recent chair-filler for the 1up Yours podcast seems to be getting out at the right time, according to the majority of the exploding Internet community.

    The company has been on a decline for some time, some would say. The discontinuation of Official PlayStation Magazine (only to have it revitalized a year later with Future) began a series of events that lead up to this, if not the cancellation of GMR, another Ziff magazine that unfortunately went in the toilet.

    So did Intihar leave at the right time? Maybe. News Editor Luke Smith jumped ship in mid 2007 to take up a position at Bungie, working with the Halo community, and staff member Mark McDonald recently left as well.

    With the website seeing changes on a regular basis (it recently saw a new grading system and a face-lift) you’ve got to wonder about what’s going on behind the scenes, but in four months or so, we’ll have the full details as to what’s happening with the whole bankruptcy shenanigans.

    Things aren’t always what they seem. Hopefully it’s the case here. We’re rooting for you, Ziff.

  • FlatOut: Head On Preview

    FlatOut: Head On

    I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a preview build of FlatOut: Head On for the PSP. I have to say that I was genuinely impressed with how this racer is shaping up for it’s March 11th release date.

    Racing games can basically be distilled into two key types; the Arcade Racer and the Simulation. FlatOut thankfully has always accepted that it was the former and pushes that envelope. Any game with a driver high jump event as a challenge can’t be taking itself too seriously after all.

    Tha glass goes flying.

    Head On is the latest in the series of games that started out on the previous console generation and most recently made an appearance on the Xbox 360 as FlatOut: Carnage. Head On is based on that 360 version and places heavy focus on its predecessor’s Carnage mode. Carnage is a perfect fit for the quick pick up and play gaming habits that us portable gamers tend to develop. Instead of trying to finish first in a race your goal is to cause as much damage as possible while running the race.

    Think of it as a cross between Burnout‘s crash mode and a smash up derby, and you’ll have a good idea what I’m talking about.

    (more…)

  • Call of Duty MMO?

     

    cod4.jpg

    Activision CEO Bobby Kotick hinted at the prospect of a MMO based in the Call of Duty universe.

    Kotick discussed the idea at the 2008 Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, when addressing a question pertaining to the merger of Activision and MMO giant, Blizzard. Kotick said that by teaming up with the pros at Blizzard, they would potentially use their talent to transform the Call of Duty franchise into a Massively Multiplayer Online game.

    He then immediately brushed off the comment with talk of Guitar Hero user-created-content. Nuts. Keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t get your hopes up. I mean, we all know how well MMOFPS’ work, right?

  • D&D Creator Gary Gygax Passes Away

    gary-gygax.jpg

    Dungeons and Dragons might be a touch nerdy for some, but like it or not, the game ascended the RPG to an entirely new level. Helping create and transcend the genre, D&D is a game that’s been played and enjoyed since the mid-60’s by super-geeks worldwide. Sadly, the creator of the pen-and-paper role playing game, Gary Gygax, passed away today.

    The “Father of Role Playing” was 69 and had been struggling with strokes and a heart attack.

    Rest in peace, big guy. Keep mastering those dungeons.

    Thanks, Matt Burnett.

  • Half-Life Meets Super Mario Bros.

    I love mods. It’s a wonder this one, embedded above, wasn’t made sooner. This genius Half-Life/Super Mario Bros. hybrid nails the first level of the classic platformer to a “T” in this clever clip.

    The rendition is nearly identical to its 2D counterpart, and the appropriate “?” blocks upgrade Mario Freeman’s guns. I’d love to see more, despite the fact it looks boring to play. Plus, headcrabs in place of Goombas is freakin’ awesome.

    Now where the hell is my Bionic Commando first-person mod? Now that would be rad.

  • Too Human on March 16th: Amazon

    Amazon sent me an interesting little thing today. Since I’ve played The Simpsons, it thought I might be interested in Too Human, which is apparently being released on March 16th according to Amazon.ca‘s preorder page. While the American page still reads it as May 6th, we’re still optimistic.

    With Xbox.com listing it as “soon” and Amazon listing it as very soon, we’re anxious as hell, but we’re still going to wait for an official date from Silicon Knights.

  • Sam & Max 103: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball, Reviewed [PC]

    banner-copy.jpg

    Time flies when you’re having fun, or whatever, and the Freelance Police have the evidence to make that case in Sam and Max: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatballthe third, funniest, and most brain-dead-easy of the Sam and Max season of point-and-click adventure games.

    The mafia centric parody has our heroes in search of a mole within a mysterious mob, solving exceptionally simple brainteasers along the way. While the puzzles are clever and hilarious, they’re all instantly solvable.

    You’ll never find yourself at a loss of what to do, which makes you feel extremely smart, even though you’re aware you just added two-and-two, or something equally as brainless.

    It’s only appropriate to be gambling (and cheating, having hits put on comrades and to be making highly illegal deliveries, so our Freelance Policemen aren’t at a loss for entertaining things to do in this ironic twist of a story. Along the way they’ll take part in some seedy hypnotizing activities, and provide the most amounts of legitimate laughs in the season thus far.

    Insult interrogations (Insultigations?), Yo-Momma jokes, and winning a hundred million dollar poker hand carry the comedy to a new level in the shortest, easiest, and most entertaining edition of Sam and Max yet.

    poker.jpg

    Time is the lubricant in the cogs of TellTale Games’ funny-machine, and if there’s any indication as to what we can expect in the future, it’s higher quality comic, and fun-filled entertainment.

    Just try and make the puzzles a little more difficult that “put the item you’re holding right now in the slot that’s in front of you right now”, and have the experience last longer than a couple hours – I was having too much fun, and it was over too soon.

    [Rating: 4/5]