Recent Posts (Page 12)

  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Reviewed [XBLA]

    Released on Wednesday as part of Microsoft’s now annual “Summer of Arcade” feature, Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a direct sequel to the original Hydro Thunder which was released on Sega’s Dreamcast some 11 years ago, and was a game that I absolutely adored. The game has been developed by Vector Unit, a small 6 person studio, and is published by Microsoft Game Studios.

    To put it simply, you drive a number of high tech speedboats through 8 different water based environments, in a series of different challenges.

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  • Microsoft Killed Cross-Platform Gameplay Due to Total Unbalance

    Microsoft killed Xbox 360-to-PC cross platform projects because PC gamers routines wiped the floors with console gamers, according to Rahul Sood, founder of luxury computer designer Voodoo PC and CTO of gaming at Hewlett-Packard.

    In 2007, Shadowrun, that let gamers on both Xbox 360 and PC destroy one another for sport. Shadowrun, based on a Dungeons and Dragons-type pen-and-paper RPG, flopped the cross-platform feature was dropped, though it resurfaced once or twice in third-party titles as the years shot by.

    Sood says in his blog that Microsoft killed the project when it found that “mediocre” PC gamers could wipe the floors with the very best players on Xbox.”The goal was to bridge Xbox gamers with PC gamers so they could play against one another in games like Unreal, or Gears of War. This was all part of their Live strategy, and had Microsoft just stuck to their guns and made it work PC gaming might be in a much better position than it is today,” said Sood. The assertion that PC-gaming is on its way out has been a popular maxim year after year, yet it never seems to come to pass.

    “There was a project that got killed at Microsoft. This project was designed to allow console gamers and PC gamers to interact and battle over a connected environment,” Sood went on.

    “Personally I wish it would have stayed the course. I’ve heard from reliable sources that during the development they brought together the best console gamers to play mediocre PC gamers at the same game… and guess what happened? They pitted console gamers with their ‘console’ controller, against PC gamers with their keyboard and mouse. The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the Xbox team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative. Is this why the project was killed? Who knows, but I’d love to hear from anyone involved – what happened?”

    Sood reckons had Microsoft kept the project alive, it might have resulted in the Xbox integrating into the PC.

    There’s no doubt that console games currently hold vast sway and gaming studios are sold on the concept since without a centralized digital distribution model like Steam, they can still sell physical media, itself a form of DRM.

  • Star Hammer Tactics Reviewed [PSP Mini]

    There’s something to be said for simplicity in design. A simple design, if executed well, can make a great game. And while we may not be looking at a great game with Star Hammer Tactics, we’re certainly looking at a decent mini.

    The basic premise is that the human race is at war with a race of creatures known as “The Nautilids.” You’re a commander in the earth forces, and with a fleet of starships at your command, you must cut a swathe through opposing Nautilids and win the war. There’s a lot more detail to the story, but it doesn’t come out in the gameplay. The campaign is strictly a set of battles, beginning with “This is the enemy, go get ‘em.” Instead, you have to select the “Story” option from the main menu, where you’ll be led to a few walls of text detailing the specifics of the war. To be honest, the story’s pretty standard stuff, but this game was never meant to have heavy story elements. No, this is a strategy game. So it’s made and broken on how rewarding the gameplay is.

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  • LittleBigPlanet 2 Release Date and Collector’s Edition Details

    The PlayStation blog has announced the first firm details for LittleBigPlanet 2‘s US release, giving it a release date of November 16th.

    Fans of the first game should also be prepared for the Collector’s Edition of the game, pictured above. It looks to be one of the most essential in recent years, though a warning that the package is truly limited may produce a flurry of pre-orders. For just $79.99 you get a plushie SackBoy, LBP themed bookends and a host of exclusive DLC including costumes of Sony favourites Ratchet and Clank and characters from Toy Story and Tron.

    We are definitely excited about the prospect of playing LittleBigPlanet 2 over the Holiday season, and be sure to check out the DLC screenshot gallery below to whet your appetite.

  • New Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Trailer Surfaces

    The trailer above comes straight from the San Diego ComiCon, where Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is impressing with its extensive multiplayer modes. Look out for even more news from Ubisoft over the next few months, as us here at Nukoda are super excited for the prospect of getting our Assassination on in November when the game arrives on 360, PS3 ad PC.

  • Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky, Reviewed [DS]

    Over a year has passed since the release of Dragon Quest IX in Japan. Selling close to 5 million copies in that time, the game has finally made it to Western shores. Can the game achieve the same level of success over here, and does the 9th entry in the series live up to its predecessors?

    Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky (its western only subtitle) is a game of risks. First off, the game is a full DQ sequel on the Nintendo DS. It’s not a spinoff or a side story, but the sequel to the PS2 classic VIII. Add to this the new focus on a multiplayer experience and this is definitely a new breed of Dragon Quest game. You and up to 3 other friends can journey together, each with fully customisable characters though the experience still has one main host, the only person who progresses in the story. With no Wi-Fi support though, the appeal of this is lost slightly on Western shores. It’s a step away from the conventional series format that can often work for the better, but as with any Co-Op focused game, the single player experience has suffered. (more…)

  • SnoShred, Reviewed [iPhone]

    While checking out the pictures on the App Store for SnoShred prior to downloading it for review, I began to become excited at the prospect of playing such a good looking Snow Boarding simulator on my iPhone.

    What I wasn’t ready for was how unplayable SnoShred actually is. The design is basic, giving you the option to pick between a male or female character, which board you ride and a course from the paltry selection and your off. Once on the board though things begin to take a turn for the worst as you attempt to steer your surprisingly good looking character through gates and over jumps. This is rarely fun thanks to the poor motion control that forgoes any actual control over your rider, instead forcing you to turn your iPhone ridiculous amounts to make any change in direction occur.

    Graphics are smooth, despite the bland textures of the snow grating after only a few minutes. But what good are graphics when in a mode where pulling off near impossible tricks is necessary to win. To pull off tricks in SnoShred you have to gain speed by pressing the acceleration button, below which is an area that must be held in order to jump. If you’ve acheived this, then you have to move your thumb back to where it was before to pull off tricks. Its far too frustrating to enjoy and could have been so easily fixed by moving the jump ‘button’ to the other end of the screen.

    I really can’t recommend SnoShred to anyone looking for snowboarding action on their phone. Yes the game is pretty but there’s very little fun to be had here.

    [Rating: 2/5]

  • PS3 Exclusive Mafia II DLC Detailed

    2K Games has announced details of exclusive DLC coming to the PS3 version of Mafia II on release day.

    Included in every new copy of the game (activated via a code in the sealed box), The Betrayal of Jimmy is a set of arcade style missions where you play as Jimmy, the muscle of your Mafia family. Purely focused on the action sections of Mafia II, this seems to be quite a substantial extra piece of DLC supposedly worth $9.99 on the PSN if you pick up the game preowned.

    This is yet another example of closing content off to those who buy a game pre-owned, though for Mafia II this content is locked for 360 owners too.

    Look for more on Mafia II as we approach the game’s August release, and check out 3 screens from the DLC below.

  • PlayStation Move Bundle Details Confirmed

    With PlayStation Move just 2 months away, Sony have confirmed the configurations for each of the bundles heading to North America on launch.

    For those yet to purchase a PS3, a pack priced at $399.99 will include the console, a DualShock 3, a PlayStation Move Controller, PlayStation Eye and a copy of Sports Champions; everything you need to get started with Move. For $99.99 those who own a PS3 already will be able to get the same deal, probably the highest price Sony could have got away with for an optional peripheral like this. Standalone Move controllers will cost $49.99, while the optional Navigation controller (A DualShock 3 serves the same purpose) will set you back $29.99.

    Check out all three ways to buy a Move Controller in the gallery below, and look for PlayStation Move on US stores on September 19th.

  • Okamiden Collector’s Edition Might Be a Little Extravagant

    For a DS sequel to one of the most well loved, but low selling PS2 titles the collector’s edition pictured above might seem a tad extravagant.

    Most likely conceived as a thank you to the few but hugely dedicated Okami fans in the world, Okamiden will be packaged in a huge box with a selection of exclusive trinkets. The best of the bunch has to be the super cute headphones pictured below, though the DVD, soundtrack cd, Artbook and plushie keyring are sure to be adored by fans too.

    The offer is set to hit Japanese stores when the game releases on September 30th, pricing reaching ¥8000 (Around $90). Let’s hope that Okami fans in the West will have the same opportunity when Okamiden reaches our shores next year.