The Force Unleashed II

WHOSE EXCITED…….I AM….. The Force Unleashed II released yesterday and I can’t wait to play it. I have been so busy that I haven’t even had the chance to check out the demo. I had a lot of fun with the first installment and I expect the same from this sequel. I guess I have to chance to read a few reviews since it has already hit the market.

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How are you spending your Holiday 2010 gaming dollars?

It’s late October. Do you know what that means? It means…GAMES!!!!! The holiday release window is in full swing. For some, this is a wonderful time to sit in front of your TV, controller in hand, having to remind someone to tell you to blink. However, for me, it just means my pile of shame will increase exponentially. With so many games coming out I started to wonder who actually has the money to buy all this fun. With new franchises, sequels, and a couple big peripherals, it can be a hard sell from a publisher’s perspective to make people hand over cash for their products.

If you ask me, my GameFly Q is a gift from the gods that allows me to enjoy all of that holiday goodness. But others might feel different. I remember the days when I would do odd jobs around the house and clean gutters around the neighborhood just to get that one title that I had been eyeing for months. There has to be a lot of 2010 teens out there in the same situation. Also, let’s not forget those college students holding on to those last few dollars refund dollars trying to decide between food and Call of Duty Black Ops. So I ask you, the people, how do you spend your gaming dollars?

Some people will choose a game that offers an engrossing story. A game with a world a player can get lossed in and characters with substance could be worth your money. These are games that you can quest to your heart’s content and include story archs that dissapear from the choices that you make.

    Dead Rising 2 (PS3/Xbox 360)
    Fable III (PC/Xbox 360)
    Fallout: New Vegas (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)

Maybe you’re more of an action game person. You enjoy combos, multipliers, and maybe a little story. The following games will lead you down a path of at least a different story, but you can take them out however you want.

    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3/Xbox 360)
    Disney Epic Mickey (Wii)
    Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3/Xbox 360)
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (PS3/Xbox 360)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want to stab and shoot guys. Give me an assault rifle, pistol, and a combat knife and I’ll wreak HAVOC!!! If that’s what you’re into, you might want to check out these titles.

    Blacklight: Tango Down (PS3/Xbox 360)
    Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC/PS3/Wii/Xbox 360)
    Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)
    Medal of Honor (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)
    Vanquish (PS3/Xbox 360)

“Wait, what if I have a wife and kids and might not be able to get any of the previous games if they can’t partake?” Well if this is you, I introduce to you the Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect. Whether you want to wave an ice cream cone in front of your TV while looking like an idiot or just want to look like an idiot (albeit with family and friends), you can try a few of these games.

    Dance Central (Xbox 360)
    EyePet (PS3)
    Fighters Uncaged (Xbox 360)
    Kinectimals (Xbox 360)
    Kinect Adventures (Xbox 360)
    Kinect Sports (Xbox 360)
    Kung Fu Rider (PS3)
    Racquet Sports (PS3)
    Sports Champions (PS3)
    Your Shape Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360)

Lastly, if you’re feeling kind of nostalgic, these two Wii games might hit the spot.
P.S. I didn’t have a category for these games.

    Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
    Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii)

So, which ones will you choose? Talk amongst yourselves in the comments below.

DC Universe Online Trailer

Last week I saw the trailer for the new DC Universe Online game and was blown away. First lemme say, a 6 minute trailer for a videogame? eeek! Most movie trailers aren’t even that long. This is by far the best trailer I’ve ever seen. I’m excited to get my hands on the game, but not looking forward to the possible $15 a month online service fee.

This game is created by Sony and will be exclusive to the PS3 and PC, but they are making attempts to make it cross platform which would be really cool!

Stay tuned for the release date, early 2011.

Storyline

The story of DCUO is set in the “present day” and the game begins with the arrival of a time-traveling Lex Luthor who has come to warn the Earth about a future battle that kills off the majority of heroes and villains, leaving the planet vulnerable to an invasion by Brainiac.

The cinematic trailer, “Who Do You Trust”,[18] which appears to be the opening sequence of the game, depicts a dark future where Lex Luthor and other villains are engaged in what seems to be a final battle against what’s then left of the Justice League. The future Luthor and his allies (including Deathstroke, Joker and Harley Quinn, Black Adam, Giganta, Metallo, and Circe) battle Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. Half of Luthor’s team (Black Adam, Giganta, Metallo, and Deathstroke) are defeated, while Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern are destroyed. Luthor, Joker, Harley, and Cyborg remain while Brainiac‘s ship arrives overhead with an entire alien armada. Back in the present day, this future Luthor tells the Justice League that Braniac then proceeded to eliminate all of the heroes and villains who would attempt to defend Earth from his attack, Luthor remaining as the sole survivor. He stole some of Braniac’s technology in order to return to the present day and inform the heroes.

Luthor sends some form of energy towards the surface of the Earth, which ripples in a shockwave around the geographical locations around Metropolis and Gotham City, and tells the JLA that he has just given them a fighting chance against Brainiac. It turns out that this shockwave is Lex Luthor releasing exobots stolen from Brainiac into earth’s atmosphere. These exobots hold the power to bestow the powers of superheroes or supervillains upon anyone they come into contact with. Luthor hopes that this will give Earth a fighting chance against Brainiac’s invasion.



What Am I Playing: Zenonia

I haven’t had much time to play games lately because of working, gym, and gf time. These things have caused me to put Halo: Reach and BioShock on the back burner for a while. I know this sounds sad to so many people but it’s ok. I have found refuge in a little device named the IPhone. This past week there were a crap ton of sales in the app catalog. Being as cheap as I am I didn’t capitalize on all of the sales, but I did come across one little gem. Zenonia is a real time role playing game created by Gamevil for the IPhone and Android devices.

Zenonia is a mash up of Zelda and Final Fantasy with a little PokeMon sprinkled on top. In the story you play as a young man named Regret (hell of a name). At the start of the game he is found in the middle of a battlefield and raised by a soldier. I haven’t made it through much of the story but I don’t want want to spoil any of it for those who decide to pick up this game. Like I stated before the game is in real time and the combat system is very similar to Zelda. With combat being in real time, controls are key in this game and so far this is my only gripe with this game. First of all the IPhone doesn’t have any physical buttons so at times i was tapping the screen frantically not knowing where my fingers were placed. This is something you cannot really blame on the game. Any game on a touch screen device is going to be this way. The one thing that I do think could have been worked on a little more is the directional pad. At times it could be a little finicky and unresponsive. That’s where my negativity ends with this game.

This game is visually stunning with bright and vibrant colors. The look and feel bring me back to when I first played games like Zelda and PokeMon for the first time. The environments are rich and detailed and unique. The menu systems and upgrade systems are well designed and laid out in a way that is easy to understand and navigate. Zenonia is a simple game that can become more complex the more your progress in the game. The complexity of combining items and upgrading abilities is a perk for me in this game. Gamers are always looking for something that is easy to pick up and play but also has some type of depth that keeps them coming back to play more.

I could go on talking about this game forever but I would rather you go out and try it for yourself. I am having a great time with this title and I believe any lover of old school rpgs will do the same. When I downloaded this game it was it wasn’t too expensive. If you enjoy this game there is a sequel available in the App Catalog. Until next time…..Stay frosty my friends.

First Impressions: Enslaved

Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down and spend some time with the Enslaved demo. Now for a quick and dirty synopsis of what I think so far.

Story: There wasn’t too much that I could get about the story from the demo. I do know that it is based off of the Chinese novel “Journey to the West” just like many other stories in video games and anime (Dragon Ball). What I got from my short time with the game is that you play as two characters throughout the story (Monkey and Trip) that were captured to become slaves and you need to get the hell out of dodge. The demo takes place as you attempt to escape this air ship before it’s too late. Everything else you can find out for yourselves.

Visuals: The first thing you notice when you start this game is the way it looks. The world that it’s set in is beautiful and full of color. It definitely shows that the current gen systems are not yet at the end of their life spans. In some ways it visually resembles Heavenly Sword (take a look at the main female protagonist). The character designs are very detailed and unique. The visuals in the game will definitely  keep your attention.

Controls: Once you take control of Monkey you will notice that the controls are a little touchy. They weren’t horrible, but they will take some getting used to. I’m sure that there were some game settings that I could have tweaked to make the experience more enjoyable but I didn’t feel that they took that much from the game. Sensitive controls aside, traversing through the world is very fluid. The controls are overall simple and easy to understand.

Game Play: As far as the demo goes you won’t see anything new here. At it’s base level it can be considered a hack and slash. I would compare it to Devil May Cry (with brighter colors). I was not allowed to go to deep into the combo system but it all felt really intuitive. Outside of the combat system there is some Prince of Persia like game play. Although you don’t play get a chance to take control of Trip in the demo, it is shown in game play videos that she tags along with Monkey throughout the story.

Overall I can say that I am excited to play more of this game. Now I just need someone to buy it for me :).

Playstation Move – Sports Champions (Off-Screen Video)

With the fact that Playstation Move has been out for over two weeks with nothing more than a whisper from Sony PR about sales, I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of you haven’t played or seen Playstation Move. Well, the fine folks at STLGamer have come through in the clutch….well, more like after the game is over and I’m helping you with the equipment, but whatever.

J Deisel and Smoov LT took a stab at Duel, one of the many Wii Sportseque games packaged within the Playstion Move game Sports Champions developed by Zindagi Games. Never heard of Zindadi Games, well, me neither. According to their website, “…we’ve collaborated directly with Sony on the Move tech since its inception all the way through R&D and production. The result is Sports Champions, a collection of 6 fully developed sporting events designed and engineered to showcase the Move controller to the fullest extent of its capabilities.” Unfortunately, I don’t think this particular Move title would be something to hang your hat on. Now this is just my first impression of the move. I didn’t get to play any of the other games within Sports Champions. Nor did I play any of the other Move launch titles. However, I have played the Wii.

I tried moving my sword in a figure eight but my avatar onscreen only made one strike. I tried using my shield but then remembered that there is a button for that. I did like the fact that there were onscreen queues to let you know that you could do something cool. However, if I wanted to play a game where I could only swing my sword the way they wanted me to, I’d go out a by a Wii Motion Plus and get that fix.

The juggling combos, super strike, and the visual fidelity of the game are all great but where is the one-to-one movement that Sony touted at E3? One thing I did notice, if you look at the video, there are a few small tutorial instructions before the match starts. The one that made me laugh was the ‘Multiplayer’ screen that has two players in front of a screen holding TWO motion controllers. We only had one controller per person in our demo. I heard that Sony stated that developers needed to design their games with one move controller as the common denominator (a decision that fellow STLGamer TheImpetuousOne calls ‘a compromise into mediocrity’). So do you need two controllers to get one-to-one movement? I guess that’s why I need a button for my shield.

So in the grand scheme of things, Sports Champions looks great! But the visuals can only go so far. Sony needs to stop touting the visuals of their games. That’s going to come with the system. I would love it if they focused on their gameplay, make sure they deliver on what was said at E3, and do something new to a technology that was just up-resed and made pretty.

New Fez Gameplay

I’ve been looking forward to this game since the Independent Games Festival back in 2008. Since then, release windows have come and gone. Currently, the Fez official website states a release date of “20XX” for Xbox Live Arcade. We’ll see what happens, but I wouldn’t hold my breathe if I were you.

For those that haven’t heard about Fez (shame on you), the main character Gomez makes his way through a 2D world but can change his view to another 2D perspective. This is similar to the Playstation Network title Echochrome, however, you do not control the viewing angle that you change to. If you want see what I’m trying to explain, see below.

Source: Video

Gears of War 3 Pushed To Holiday 2011

Many triple-A titles have moved out of the congestion of the holiday season to the first and second quarter of the next year over the past two years. This time we see a game that purposefully had a release date in the second quarter get pushed back into the holiday rush.

Epic Games, along with Microsoft Game Studios, have announced that the third installment in the Gears of War series will now have a Holiday 2011 realese window. Fortunately, this is not because the game needs more time to finish. Don’t believe me? Well here is a statement from Executive Producer Rod Fergusson:

I know fans are going to be disappointed with the new release date, but rest assured that this is a business decision between partners, and not a quality issue. Gears 3 was on track to be the most polished Gears of War game ever when it released in April, and this additional time allows us to polish it that much more before it hits shelves next fall. Next week we have a major multiplayer press visit at Epic HQ, and I’m really looking forward to the fans seeing and hearing about Gears 3 versus multiplayer for the first time. Lots more exciting news to come.

From a business perspective, I can see why the decision was made. Since Microsoft is publishing the title, I’m sure they would love to give Halo: Reach and their upcoming motion camera Kinect the spotlight that they deserve. But let’s not forget that there could be a few key titles exclusive to the Playstation 3 next fall that Microsoft would want to keep an eye on. One might think that Uncharted 3 could be announced for a fall 2011 release since there development cycle ran two years from their first to their second Uncharted title. However, Insomniac Game’s Resistance 3 is currently set for fall 2011. Resistance and Gears of War went head-to-head back in holiday 2008 with both of their second games in their respective series. Gears of War 2 sold over two million units through its first weekend available while Resistance 2 sold about 900,000 units from November through December. I’m sure Microsoft would love for history to repeat itself.

Now calm down Gearheads, this is not a bad thing. Yes, you’ll have to wait a few more months to chainsaw lambent drones just to toss them off before they explode. However, this will give the developer time to ‘polish’ the game. Hopefully Epic Games would be able to fix some of the multiplayer issues that usually hamper the online experience of past Gears games around launch.

Source: Epic Games