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Archive for June, 2010

Disciples III: Renaissance (PC) Goes Gold

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I spent many, many hours on the fantasy strategy of Disciples II so it’s with some anticipation that I await Disciples III: Renaissance. The wait just got shorter with the announcement that Renaissance has gone gold and will be landing at retail (in North America) on Jul 13, 2010.

Singularity (360, PC, PS3) Arrives at Retail

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Today Activision announced that Raven Software’s first-person shooter Singularity has arrived at retail for PC ($49.99), Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 ($59.99).  It seems to have been a long time coming, but in case you missed the details:

Thrust onto the mysterious Russian island base of Katorga-12, filled with Cold War secrets that threaten time itself, players must fight their way through an ever-shifting environment, haunted by time-ravaged creatures and mysteries. Armed with an arsenal of high-powered weapons and the Time Manipulation Device, players must contend with sudden time waves that hurl them back and forth between 1955 and the present day. In addition to a story-driven narrative, SINGULARITY offers players a unique multi-player experience, where Russian Special Forces with individual powers take on a team of creatures from another time including the powerful Radion, the gravity-defying Phase Tick and the time-altering Zek.
Singularity is rated “M” for Mature.

Naughty Bear (360, PS3) Ships

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Developer Artificial Mind and Movement and publisher 505 Games announced today that Naughty Bear  is now available at retail for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game “allows players to take on the role of the infamous Naughty Bear, who is driven to seek retribution after his fellow bears snub him one too many times.” So, it’s kind of like a teddy bear picnic if they all ended up dead.

A few more details:

Waging psychological warfare against all things cute and fluffy, as Naughty Bear, players engage in sadistic scuffles on all that crosses their path. Using a hilarious array of weapons, interactive objects and endless scare tactics, gamers create chaos on the Island of Perfection to earn Naughty Points as they inflict physical and psychological harm on Naughty Bear’s numerous enemies. This all-new scare-based points system allows players to win the most rewards for being truly deviant and maniacal. As the ill-fated bears become more difficult to harass and terrorize as the game progresses, the variety of scare-based attacks allow for a completely new experience each time players pick up a controller.

(more…)

Dead Rising 2 Gets New Release Date

Monday, June 28th, 2010

In our recent preview, after some hands-on time with the E3 demo, I wrote that Dead Rising 2 would be hitting right at the end of August. Today Capcom has let the world know that its release has been pushed back one month to September 29, 2010 (in North America).

Hopefully that extra month is being used strictly for polish because I can’t believe that Capcom would move the release date to clear that time frame for 2K’s Mafia II (August 24). That’s not a dig at Mafia II, I just think there’s still plenty of room for 3rd Person action games.

“Transformers: War for Cybertron” Ships (360, PC, PS3)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

[insert transforming sound effect here]

Activision and Hasbro announced today that Transformers: War for Cybertron has hit retail for PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

“Transformers: War for Cybertron has absolutely been a passion project from day one, a true reimagining of the franchise that transports gamers straight to the core of the TRANSFORMERS universe,” said David Pokress, Head of Marketing for Licensed Properties, Activision Publishing, Inc.  “Players will experience full online co-op along with several deep multiplayer modes while they can create their very own TRANSFORMERS character and compete head-to-head with their friends.”

I’m in the camp that this isn’t so much a “reimagining” as it is a call-back to the Generation 1 animated series that dominated my mid-80s childhood.  Transformers: War for Cybertron has been rated “T” (Teen) by the ESRB.

More from the press release: (more…)

E3 2010: Short Notes for Jun.16/10

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

And here’s a quick bulletpoint summary of E3 for June 16, 2010:

  • Rage (from id Software and Bethesda) may be the best looking game I’ve seen this week.
  • Fallout: New Vegas – Did you like Fallout 3? Then you’ll feel right at home here, though with some slight modifications.
  • Nintendo 3DS is a true successor to the DS.
  • Nintendogs + cats looks to make use of all the new functionality of the 3DS, including the inside camera.
  • Pikmin for Wii is still a ways off.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has some mechanics that feel like they were taken from the Rainbow Six series. (i.e. marking targets and calling in help)
  • The hard drive on the new Xbox 360 slim will still be removable though there’s no comment on how big the drives might get.
  • “Kinect” will launch in North America on Nov.14/10. No explanation of the setup procees, but Microsoft insists it will be easy.
  • Microsoft also assured me that the controller isn’t going anywhere.
  • “Douchebags” rebranded as “polarizing fanboys.”
  •  GoldenEye 007 is a re-working on the original N64 title; supports just about every controller input you can think of; and features 4-player split screen multiplayer, with up to 8 players online.
  • I’m much more interested in Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions after getting a demo. Rather than a sprawling open world adventure, it’s a much more directed experience kind of along the lines of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Plus, the art style is great.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Looks great, many explosions and a fully-controllable helicopter. Makes me think Treyarch will finally be able to step out of Infinity Ward’s shadow.
  • I played StarFox 64 3D for a bit. The 3D really does help pick-off targets and the new controler nub is a really good fit.
  • The Metal Gear Solid 3D demo on 3DS was impressive. (It was just an extended cutscene of sorts where you could swing the camera around. Konami’s obviously spending some time experimenting with what the unit can do.

That’s it for Day 2. Today (the last day of the show) I’m headed over to Take 2 and Sony.

E3 2010: Short Notes for Jun.15/10

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Though the Exhibits have only been open for less than three hours there are many notables, so here they are in no particular order with the occasional editorial commment thrown in:

  • Nintendo 3DS – no ship date or price mentioned, but the main thing is that top screen really does display is 3D without the aid of glasses. Plus, 3D pictures can be taken with the twin cameras on the lid. Also, boasts more power and there even the announcement of full-length Hollywood movies being made available for the gyroscopic device.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising – Pitt finally returns in a game made exclusively for the 3DS. It’s definitely a step-up from the graphics of the DS.
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Zelda game coming next year with one-to-one control for the sword!
  • Activision is bringing GoldenEye back to the Wii.
  • Though not specifically mentioned, Mario Sports Mix must be in development at Next Level Games. The inclusion of hockey was my smoking gun.
  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn has a great style. It shows that Nintendo (once again) knows how to make a game look awesome by creating an art style that isn’t dependent on HD graphics.
  • Some rapid-fire “announcements” for the 3DS included Dead or Alive Extreme and a Metal Gear Solid title.
  • Return of Donkey Kong Country — in development by Retro Studios.
  • Absolutely zero mention of the Vitality Sensor.
  • Dead Rising 2 looks and plays a lot like the original. Don’t know about the “modifcations” to the save system…
  • Prices for Playstation 3′s Move peripheral needs to be sorted out. I heard only part of the press conference (on the show floor) and what I heard made no sense in terms of all the stuff you need to buy to start enjoying yourself.
  • PSP is getting another marketing push.
  • There are a lot of Master Chief wannabes on the show floor. They all look the same…
  • … as do the number of dance and exercise titles that is featured at every other booth.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine — Think C&C Renegade but set in the Warhammer universe. I liked what I saw, even if it showcased yet another armored space dude gunning down monsters.
  • NBA Jam – Can’t wait to play this with my family.
  • Force Unleashed 2 – Being a Jedi has never been so much fun.
  • It’s a very noisy place! It’s about as loud as the last time I was here, but much brighter.

There you have it. A quick look at the first day of E3 2010. Still have appointments with Bethesda this afternoon, which will be followed by a Nintendo Developer Roundtable in the early evening.

- Aaron Simmer

Dreamcast Games Going Digital

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

crazy taxi          sonic adventure

Almost 11 years since the Dreamcast made a stealth launch in 1999, Sega has announced that starting Fall 2010 they’ll start to roll-out Dreamcast titles on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, beginning with Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure.

Each game is based on the original Dreamcast incarnation, featuring all of the gameplay that older players fell in love with, whilst allowing a new audience to discover it for the very first time. The games incorporate all-new enhancements and features such as high resolution visuals and surround sound.  Online leader boards are now implemented, allowing players to compare their skills with friends across the world!  In addition to this, all-new Achievement and Trophy integration will be available for each game released. (more…)

“Mortal Kombat” Returns in 2011

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

The fate of Mortal Kombat was somewhat unclear when Midway folded, but the announcement today from Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios  is the clearest indication yet that Mortal Kombat is not dead!

I write that as a Master of the Obvious, since it the announcement was pretty explicit: a new 2D Mortal Kombat on PS3 and Xbox 360 coming in 2011.

“We can’t wait for players to get their hands on Mortal Kombat, said Ed Boon, Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios. “This game really is a response to what players have been demanding: mature presentation, reinvented 2D fighting mechanic and the best, most gruesome fatalities ever!”

This announcement comes on the heels of the (awesome) live action short (or preview) that has been circulating, Mortal Kombat Rebirth.

Soul Calibur IV Now Available on XBL “Games on Demand”

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

It’s hard for me to believe that Soul Calibur IV was released two years ago. Seems like yesterday, which is why I was kind of gob-smacked with the announcement by Namco Bandai that the game is now available through Microsoft’s Games on Demand service on Xbox 360 for 1600 MS points ($20US).

We reviewed both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions, bathing both in a positive light. And of course, Ivy Valentine was included in our Top Ten: Best Cleavage Part III.

NHL Slapshot Gets Gretzky (Wii)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I’ll admit. I got super excited about NHL Slapshot based solely on the name. But rather than a licensed tied to the 1977 classic starring Paul Newman (which was “Slap Shot”), this is something new. This from the press release:

NHL SLAPSHOT introduces a revolutionary hockey stick controller that allows players to shoot, pass and body check just like the pros. In addition to having his likeness on the front of all packaging, Gretzky will be available as a playable character when NHL SLAPSHOT is available in retail stores this September.

“EA SPORTS has been making great hockey games in Canada for 20 years now, and the team behind the game is really passionate about the sport,” said Gretzky. “Being on the cover of the new Wii version of the game is exciting and is probably going to make me a bit cooler in the eyes of my kids.”

That last part is in bold because of the way it’s worded. It strongly suggests other versions of NHL Slapshot. My guess would be via Xbox Live or PSN. Makes sense considering the motion peripherals coming for Xbox 360 (Natal) and Playstation 3 (Move); you wouldn’t even have to modify the controller! Either way, more hockey on the Wii is a good thing!