February 8, 2013

Our favorite game music of 2012 – Volume 2

I'll return one day to antagonize YOU, Billy and Jimmy!

BGM Mode is back with volume 2 of the best game music of 2012. Today, we’ve got Paul’s picks. (more…)

January 14, 2012

Paul’s Top 5 Games of 2011 (video)

Not much to say here, check out my video of my favourite games of 2011!

December 20, 2011

Play More Games: Free Same Day Delivery!

 

Not Postal 3

Yep, believe it not there are a few developers out there that thought releasing a game 5 days before Christmas is a good idea! There are some heavy hitters coming out this week. First up is Running With Scissors’ magnum opus Postal 3. I’m glad RWS was able to push this game out the door as I have been dying to continue the saga of The Postal Dude. *Hopefully we’ll be treated with some stunning revelations regarding his past history with the shady organization known as FedSex. I know that when I was finished with Postal 2 I immediately began an online petition/campaign demanding Postal 3 be rushed out as quickly as possible as I just had to see the conclusion of The Postal Dude’s journey. It’s probably for the best that Running With Scissors ignored my email campaign, and instead spent the last 7 or so years polishing the title so we’re almost guaranteed to be treated to something special this time around. I simply cannot wait!

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December 12, 2011

All I want for Xmas: Paul’s List

Hey hey everyone! It’s time for my list of awesome stuff to get me your special loved ones for Christmas! Instead of attaching images of the products themselves, I decided to let YOU dear reader know exactly how I would react if you bought me each item. Let us commence!


5. Movies/TV: Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Bluray set ($50 USD): I’m a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so when the release date for the totally expected Extended Blu-rays was announced I circled the date on my Calender.  Of course once I saw the MSRP of the set, I proceeded to burn my calendar with some lighter fluid and matches. Thankfully, the price of the set has come down to a reasonable $50 and will even ship for free from Amazon. So who is going to do a back to back to back Lotr marathon this year? I sure am! Fly, you fools (to amazon.com to buy it)!

Lord of The Rings Reaction

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December 5, 2011

Skyrim: Kiss your social life goodbye.

Check out our very first video review!

Video Game Hangover host, Paul Sandhu reviews one of this years biggest games.

Does Skyrim hold up to the scrutiny of someone that hasn’t been a fan of past Bethesda games?

Intro and Outro credits music – Jeremy Soule – Skyrim Main Theme: Buy the Skyrim 4 disc soundtrack @ http://directsong.com

Also, Paul wants to hear from YOU about your adventures in Skyrim. Got an interesting Skyrim story? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for watching!

For more info on how VGH approaches game reviews, please read our reviews philosophy.

November 2, 2011

Batman: Arkham City review: Fists are my shark repellent

Batman AC Concept Art

Back in 2006, British film maker Christopher Nolan revived the ailing Batman film franchise with the brilliant Batman Begins. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2009, British developer Rocksteady took the video game industry by storm with their incredible Batman: Arkham Asylum and created the greatest superhero game of all time. Conclusion: the British know something about Batman that the rest of the world clearly does not.

Arkham Asylum hit so many high notes with its perfect blend of engaging hand to hand combat, tense stealth set pieces, a fully fleshed out game world, and an interesting narrative. Rocksteady showed a masterful hand with their interpretation of Batman’s universe and it was my game of the year in 2009.

Arkham City has finally arrived. The bar has been set quite high; did Rocksteady do it again?

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October 19, 2011

Xenoblade Chronicles: You say Monado, I say Monado.

Mechonis vs Bionis

Editor’s note: Xenoblade Chronicles is not currently available in North America at the time of this writing. Paul’s review is based on an imported copy of the game.

Guys, this is a tough review for me to write. If you’ve listened to VGH #20, then you heard me gushing over how incredible Xenoblade is. As a fan of the genre I was absolutely floored that a developer could release a modern day JRPG that dismissed the conventions of yesteryear while also updating its gameplay mechanics to be more in line with the modern day gamer’s tastes. Why did it take me so long to write the review?  Xenoblade is absolutely MASSIVE. I wanted to write this review when I was a “paltry” 50 hours into the game, since I figured I’ve nothing more to see and I had a pretty firm grasp on what the rest of the game was going to be like. D.J. was awesome enough to suggest that I complete the game before reviewing it, so I took his advice to heart. When all was said and done, it took me roughly 75 hours to complete.

Word on the Internet is that is that Xenoblade is the best JRPG to come out in a decade. It’s the savior of the genre. On Metacritic, It’s the 6th highest rated game in Wii history with a 93 overall, eclipsed only by the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and other Nintendo staples.

For a while there, I thought that I was going to feel the exact same way as majority of people that have played Xenoblade. But if you need a sound bite that sums everything up nicely, Xenoblade Chronicles is a masterpiece that never was. Just a fair warning folks, Xenoblade is a massive game, and even without delving into everything I want to talk about, this review is going to run a little longer than our usual fare.

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October 18, 2011

Play More Games: A Rogues Gallery of Games~

I'm Batman.

This is it! The “other” of my most anticipated releases of the year comes out this week (P.S. Witcher 2). Excuse me whilst I gather myself off the floor. Yep, I’m a huge Batman fanboy, and I make no bones about it. Way back in 2009, Rocksteady completely redefined what a superhero video game could be with their incredible Arkham Asylum. Lauded for it’s perfect mix of stealth, hand to hand combat and adventure style game play, Arkham Asylum pulled off what we thought was impossible. They created a game where the player WAS Batman, and they did it while staying true to the 72 year history of a character that I consider to be the single greatest modern day mythological hero. The sheer weight of this history would be enough to crush most developers, but Rocksteady did an amazing job of paying homage to some of the more popular Batman mythos while crafting their own original take on the character.

My personal favourite version of Batman is from Batman: The Animated Series, so it brought me great joy when I learned that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill would be lending their amazing voice talents to this series. Even though the final battle in Arkham City was probably it’s greatest flaw, there was just something magical about hearing Conroy say “I’ll never let you win….. NEVER.” at the conclusion of that fight. Conroy is Batman, and Mark Hamill is every bit his equal as the Joker. It is unfortunate that Arleen Sorkin will not be reprising her role as Harley Quinn in Arkham City, but I’ve full confidence in the voice talents of Tara Strong (FFX) as a replacement. Other notables in the cast include Stana Katic (Castle), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) and Nolan North (every video game in existence).

Rocksteady is on the record saying that the Arkham City game world is approximately five times the size of  that in Asylum. Gone is the hyper linear world of Asylum, replaced with an open world environment that you’ll get to explore and punch faces in. From what I’ve seen, Rocksteady has found some really creative ways to make sure that the narrative does not suffer at the hands of this new game play style. Arkham City looks to just take everything that made Asylum so incredible and just give you more of it, with a sprinkling of freedom!!!

Look, this game is going to be bloody fantastic. I want to review it for VGH, so I need to go. My copy just arrived.

Gotham Arkham City needs Batman!

And I’m Batman.


Costume Quest (PC) – Note: Matt wanted me to mention that even though this was a game that was released in the previous week, because he loved it so much he just wanted to make sure it got a little extra attention. For his thoughts, please check out this post! Also a special thanks for Matt’s help with this week’s Play More Games.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link DLC (PS3, 360, PC) – Eidos, or is it Square? Decided it would be a great idea to release some DLC for their 2 month old game right when the fall release crescendo begins. What a shame. Even though I want to play the DLC, just how am I (or any other gamer) going to justify going back to Deus Ex now? I absolutely loved Deus Ex, but this is just really, really bad timing for what I assume will be a couple of hours of game play. I’ll definitely have to check this DLC out when things settle down, like sometime in 2037 perhaps.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (PS3) – Apparently Ratchet & Clank is one of those incredible series that I’ve completely missed out on. Randy is a huge fan though so this’ll probably be on his hit list. Any game that has 4 player co-op as the primary focus will instantly grab my attention, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Insomniac Games has in store. Are YOU brave enough to solve the mystery of the Creature Collector? Find out in the next installment of… Ratchet & Clank!

PAYDAY: The Heist (PSN, PC) – You know this game is going to be awesome – why else would they spell it in ALL CAPS? The decision to delay it by a couple of weeks (it was originally due earlier this month) is a little troublesome, but with a premise like “Left 4 Dead minus zombies, plus bank robbing”, it certainly sounds promising. – Matt

Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS)

Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PS1 Classic, Grab it on PSN) – For some reason whenever I think of Street Fighter Alpha 3, I immediately think of the goofy (and yet absolutely incredible) soundtrack. If you haven’t played SFA3 you need to face it straight and go for broke! Don’t be such a terrible fighter! But in all seriousness I absolutely love this game, definitely check it out if you want to play one of the more loosey goosey Street Fighter games.

Bejeweled 3 (XBLA) – PopCap’s latest edition of their casual hit Bejeweled arrives on Xbox Live Arcade. You’ll eventually own this game on every piece of electronics in your possession, so get started on your collection today.

Okabu (PSN) A PSN game from a developer that used to make iPhone games… should be interesting.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (PSN) – A PSN game that used to be a Flash game… should be interesting.

Dungeon Defenders (PSN, XBLA) – A PSN/XBLA game that used to be an iPhone game… should be interesting.

Other notables

Rocksmith (PS3, 360) – You ARE the guitar. Be the music!

Tropico 4 (360) – Commies unite!

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (PC, PS3, 360, 3DS) – I’m not so sure about this “game”. From what little I’ve seen, it looks like a weird combination of a card game and a video game? Can someone shed some light on this for me?

Everybody Dance (PS3) – Anytime I see this game, I instantly think of this video. Guile’s theme really DOES go with everything.

Beat Hazard Ultra (PSN)
Sam & Max Season 2: Beyond Time and Space (PSN)

For a full list of this week’s releases, check out Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.

October 17, 2011

The First 15: Ico HD

A grand adventure

What is The First 15?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I received my copy of the ICO HD collection and for some reason I though it might be fun to write down very detailed notes of everything that was happening on screen. I don’t even know what compelled me to do this, I suppose I just wanted to conduct an experiment. The introduction to any game is absolutely vital in grabbing your attention. A developer can really set the tone for your entire experience with their game so it’s of the utmost importance to deliver something interesting right off the bat.

In its simplest form, The First 15 will act almost as a “preview” to a title’s review (if we choose to review it of course) but in the larger scale, it might be really interesting to see if there are any similarities between games that succeed at hooking players with their introductions and which games do a less than stellar job at digging its claws into you. Do The First 15 minutes of a game really make or break an experience? Or can a game that stumbles out of the gate turn into a classic? What about games that have incredible introductions but later falter? In any case it’ll be interesting to see what kind of conclusions we can come up with (if any) once we’ve accumulated enough data.

Just a fair warning, since we’ll be jotting notes as we play, some of these posts might read more like a Cole’s notes version of what’s going on in the game but hopefully we can properly convey what we’re feeling and what’s going on as we play. Another warning, if you feel that what happens in The First 15 minutes of a game will constitute a spoiler… well it’ll be “spoiled” for ya.

The First 15 starts immediately after a dream sequence in which Ico is climbing a stair case, it’s thunder storming and  when he reaches the top of the stairs, he sees a cage… with a black figure in it. The figure is dripping a black, “tar” like substance. It oozes out of the cage. A black shadow appears on the wall behind Ico and grabs him, and forces him “into” the wall, then Ico wakes up from his nightmare…

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October 10, 2011

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer – Paul’s thoughts

The worst case scenario

So it was confirmed today that Mass Effect 3 is going to have a multiplayer component.  Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series confirmed via twitter that at the very least we’ll be having co-op multiplayer missions. He didn’t say anymore than that though, I assume it is because any more details would surely break the 140 tweet character limit. True to form, posters on the official Bioware forums have exploded with their typical acerbic attitude (P.S. don’t visit the official Bioware forums unless you want your head to explode.) But honestly, I cannot see the reasoning behind such anger other than maybe being upset at Bioware for being so damned hesitant to confirm the multiplayer rumours over the last couple of months. But even so,  people just need to freaking relax. Side note: I like how the release date delay till next year makes a lot more sense now!

So what do I think of this announcement?

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September 27, 2011

Play More Games: Remastered

Worst box art ever

Hey folks, Paul here.

Wow! It has finally arrived. This week’s biggest, NAY… this week’s COLOSSAL release is one our most anticipated releases of the year! But absolutely horrible puns aside, we here at VGH could not be more excited about the release of the
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection. In our latest episode which is due to drop (things aren’t released, but dropped now right?) on Thursday, I very briefly talk about how my first go around with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are one of my great gaming shames. I wasn’t in a very good place in my personal life at the and I think it cannot be overstated that our real lives can, and do, have a serious impact on our enjoyment of our recreational time. Long story short, I tried both of these games when they were first released and I did not enjoy myself at all. Now usually I would chalk this up to simply a difference in taste but I think deep down I knew there was something special about team Ico’s lead designer Fumito Ueda’s minimalist approach to game design.

Perhaps I just wasn’t ready, who knows. But I think it is simply fantastic that we’re getting two games that are almost universally lauded as modern day masterpieces, re-released in full HD. Clearly, we feel strongly enough about this release that we’re even running a contest this week so we can get a copy of this collection in the hands of just one more gamer. My co-hosts simply cannot stop talking about how amazing these games are and I feel so lucky that I am getting a second chance to play them for the first time. I don’t remember much, if anything about either title so this is going to be a pretty interesting experience for me. Clearly my expectations are sky high, but something tells me that they are going to be met with gusto!

Maybe I’m making a bigger deal of this release (I’m not) than it really is, but if you’ve ever listened to the show, you know just how much I appreciate artsy games. Developers that simply attempt to make games that break out of standard AAA mould are usually relegated to indie status and don’t always get the support of large publishers, kudos to Sony for having the conviction to give these games a second release with such support. Also as a tiny, but incredibly awesome gesture towards hardcore fans, you can actually flip the game’s paper inlay/cover art around and have the original Japanese and EU box art designed by Mr. Ueda himself for your display. That’s just classy as hell if you ask me.

So… are you getting the Ico HD collection? Are you as excited about this release as we are? Let us know in the comments, and for crying out loud, enter our contest if you want a shot at a FREE copy of these games!


Once again, here’s D.J. with more of this week’s releases:

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD (PS3) – After numerous delays, PlayStation 3 owners finally get to experience Sam Fisher’s first three stealth missions in HD. For a bargain price of $40 for either the disc or digital download, you get the original Splinter Cell and its sequels, Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, all together in a convenient bundle. While it’s a huge disappointment that Ubisoft neglected to include the latter two games’ groundbreaking spies-vs.-mercenaries multiplayer modes, there’s still some quality sneaking to be found in the single player campaigns, and don’t forget Amon Tobin’s excellent Chaos Theory soundtrack.

Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X HD (XBLA, PSN) – Regarded as one of the finest of the original Resident Evil games (AKA pre-Resident Evil 4), Code: Veronica follows Claire and Chris Redfield as they continue to unravel the secrets of the Umbrella Corporation, all while dealing with pesky zombies and giant spiders. Originally debuting on the Dreamcast in 2000, RE:C:VX returns with an HD makeover, as seems to be the theme this week.

FIFA Soccer 12 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 – Two soccer games, one $60 bill: Which one will you choose?

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (DSiWare) – Nintendo’s giving DSi and 3DS owners another gift this week to celebrate Zelda‘s 25th Anniversary: a retooled, DSiWare edition of one of Link’s more offbeat adventures. This was originally meant to be played on the Gamecube using four linked Gameboy Advances, and although you can still group with three other friends, supposedly they’ve made it easier to play solo this time around. Knowing Nintendo, the multiplayer is probably local wifi only, but hey, free Zelda game (provided you download it before February 20th, 2012).

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (PSN) – After debuting on Xbox Live Arcade last summer, Konami’s strange Castlevania mash-up is coming to the PSN, with all of its many, many DLC packs included for free. Differing from the 2D Castlevania games of the last few years, Harmony of Despair is a multiplayer, co-op affair that lets players choose one of their favorite Castlevania heroes and make their way through a smaller version of Dracula’s castle before fighting one of the series’s bosses. Personally, this isn’t my preferred way to play Castlevania, but it’s garnered something of a cult following so it may be worth a look.

Mercury Hg (PSN, XBLA) – After its previous outings in Mercury Meltdown on the PSP and Mercury Meltdown Revolution on the Wii, the heroic blob of molten metal (Is it the same blob every time?) is making its jump to an HD system, in case the awful pun threw you off. Guide as much of the little blob as possible to the end of a maze that’s part Marble Madness and part miniature golf. It’s more fun than it sounds, and is definitely way safer than playing with the real thing!

Rochard (PSN) – Rochard has you playing as the titular space miner as he deals with aliens invading his asteroid workplace. It’s a 2D platformer where you use your gravity-gun-like weapon to manipulate objects and lower gravity to help you traverse the environment. Check out some trailers of the game in action here.

Child of Eden (PS3) – Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s successor to Rez is finally, finally out for the PS3. Instead of the 360’s Kinect peripheral, players can use multiple Move controllers to shoot down waves of enemies threatening an AI program. It’s also in stereoscopic 3D–recommended if it’s been a while since you saw your dealer. (Note: Video Game Hangover does not endorse the use of psychotropic drugs while playing Tetsuya Mizuguchi games.)

For a full list of this week’s new releases, check out Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.

September 21, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – What a game.

It’s difficult for me to write a review of Human Revolution without calling back to the original Deus Ex and its sequel. Deus Ex is still widely regarded as nothing short of a masterpiece for its execution of a groundbreaking mix of various game play and storytelling elements. In fact, 11 years later, I have a hard time thinking of many games that have matched Deus Ex in that particular regard. It isn’t easy to make a sequel to a game of such outstanding pedigree as the luke warm reception to Invisible War will show you. What Eidos Montreal has pulled off with Human Revolution is a pretty rare feat in this industry. They’ve not only paid homage to an incredible game, but they have eclipsed the original title in many ways.

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September 2, 2011

BGM Mode: Overworld Themes

Zelda~

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of RPGs. Right now I’ve been playing a metric ass ton of Xenoblade Chronicles and the absolutely gorgeous soundtrack got me thinking of some of my favourite Overworld themes from games of yesteryear. Near the end of Episode #20 of VGH Randy asked me what an Overworld theme was, and of course I didn’t answer him because I’m a jerk! But seriously, an Overworld theme is just the music plays while your adventurers (usually in an rpg) traverse the world (map)!

(Note for Randy, the song that plays in DQ9 when you’re running around between cities would fit this criteria)

Xenoblade doesn’t really have a traditional rpg “Overworld” per se but the music is simply incredible and inspired this weeks BGM Mode. So it may or may not get two slots this week. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the game currently has my soul in its grasp.

But lets kick things off with what I consider to be the greatest/quintessential Overworld theme of all time, and it doesn’t even come from a traditional RPG!

The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme – Koji Kondo

You may have heard this song before. Over 20 years later and Koji Kondo’s masterpiece still resonates with gamers. Nothing more needs to be said.

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August 30, 2011

Play More Games: The More Things Change, The More they Stay the Same

Ye$! Madden 2012 is finally here! I love thi$ game $o much! It i$ ab$olutely incredible ju$t how much the Madden $erie$ evolve$ from iteration to iteration! Madden football is amazing!!!* P.S. Money!

*None of the preceding text is true. In fact just apply “opposite day” rules to it.

It’s a pretty quiet week in terms of releases we’ll actually play here at VGH Industries. Obviously Madden 12 will end up selling about a trillion copies and that’s cool, it just isn’t our cup of tea. Early reviews have been pegging Madden 12 as a step back from previous versions, so I have no idea how EA’s monopoly on sports games is going to turn out for fans of their games in the future. Personally, I stopped playing the only sports series (EA’s NHL games) I’ve ever cared about years ago. Since the death of 2K’s sports games I wonder if EA has just gotten a little complacent in terms of pushing their sports franchises forward. Rather than turn this into a commentary on my thoughts on the current business practices of EA, let us move forward!

Tropico 4, sequel to Tropico 3, which was a sequel to Tropico 2 which was a sequel to Tropico 1, is out! As someone that absolutely adores city/world builder games I finally gave the Tropico series a try a few months ago when I picked up Tropico 3 on a Steam sale. It was stunningly gorgeous but the game play didn’t get its hooks into me like other games in this genre have in the past. Case in point (not really) I’ve spent like 300 hours with Civ 5, and apparently Civ 5 sucks! Also it is pretty much nothing like Tropico! I may just have to back and give er’ another go though, because the over the top humour in Tropico 3 was actually pretty great and I think I didn’t really grasp much of the game play which is what probably hindered my enjoyment a bit. Next time… I will complete the tutorials instead of just jumping into the main game!!! Rawr!

Releases for the Week of August 29th

Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Psp, Wii, Ps2)
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC)
Tropico 4 (360, PC)
ClaDun X2 (Psp)
Duke Nukem Forever (Osx)

 

August 24, 2011

Play More Games: Sneak, Shoot, or Shoryuken

Clearly Deus Ex 2 needed more shades.

 

This week marks the release of two games that I want RIGHT NOW. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is finally out, and early word has is that the game returns the Deus Ex series back to its glorious roots. This is great news for fans of the original game that felt the sequel Invisible War was a bit of a misstep. The original Deus Ex is still considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all time for its (back then) original take on the typical first person shooter. Actually, now that I think about it, there really aren’t a whole lot of fps games coming to mind that tackle character progression like Deus Ex does. Hmm…

I think it is kind of interesting that most of the complaints surrounding Human Revolution are regarding the “poorly” implemented boss battles. As you may or may not recall, we tackled the very topic of Boss Battles, way, way back on VGH #17: A Giant Bottle. Apparently in Human Revolution, you cannot sneak up behind a giant bottle and slit its neck and instead have to punch it in the bottle face. That just goes to show you, a developer can hit a home run in every way, but if they screw up the boss battles… there will be hell to pay!  Grr!

Also being released this week is the fully revamped Street Fighter III: Third Strike! Complete with online modes for your Boxes of X and Stations of Play! Unfortunately for me, when Third Strike first came out I was losing interest in the fighting game genre and never really spent a lot of time with it so I am really looking forward to giving the game some proper care. By all accounts this is a definitive, re-balanced version of the game so I am definitely excited to see the property being treated with such love. Capcom has been doing an incredible job with their support of older fighting titles and really all they need to do at this point is release an HD version of Capcom vs SNK 2 and that could be the last game they ever release as far as I care.*

More importantly though; there is a new map pack being released for Call of Duty: Black Ops this week. Clearly, that is where your dollars should go.

So what are you interested in? You gonna sneak around and kill some dudes? You gonna throw some fireballs and shoryuken someone in the face? Or will you just shoot people in the face in CoD? (Play some other games d00d!) Let us know in the comments section!

Releases for this week

8 /21
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (PSN, XBLA)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC, PS3, 360)
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Rezurrection (XBLA)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (3Ds)

August 19, 2011

BGM Mode: Blizzard Tunes

Stay a while and listen!

Welcome to the first installment of VGH’s new music themed blog posts!  Here at VGH we love game music, that was made pretty obvious way way back in VGH #8: Blips and Bloops. So we’re going to continue our unabashed adoration for all things Bloopy (and some Blippy stuff too) on a regular basis now. In this first installment of BGM Mode, two of our hosts will be showcasing a few of their favourite music from various Blizzard  games. Blizzard always seems to have such incredible production values for their games and I think it is safe to say that their sound tracks are among the best in the industry in terms of quality from start to finish.


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May 17, 2011

Play More Games: “One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall”

Who will win??

It’s a battle royale!!!!

Hit play and then read this entry: 

There are two major releases out today. One has the marketing power of Rockstar Games behind it, thus it is all over our tvs, bus stops, and the internet. The other, only the second game made by a relatively unknown game developer out of Poland. Place your bets folks, because this is definitely a David vs Goliath scenario. I’m sure both games have their merits, but I am clearly going to be championing The Witcher 2 today. I make no apologies for this, The Witcher is one of the best games I’ve ever played, and it looks like The Witcher 2 will be following suit. Unfortunately my PC gaming career has been plagued with random disasters and a constant lack of minimum system requirements (and really, whose hasn’t). So of course my video card died last week and I’ll be unable to actually PLAY The Witcher 2 today. If you’ve listened to any of our shows, you know just how much I loved the first Witcher.

I simply cannot speak highly enough of The Witcher. It does almost everything right, and you can tell that CD Projekt really cares about this franchise. For those of you that don’t know, the first Witcher was released back in 2007 and was a total mess. The voice acting was atrocious and the game was plagued with bugs. CD Projekt re-released the game with completely new voice overs, updated graphics, updated NPC models and a much more stable, glitch free game a year later in the form of the “Enhanced Edition”. It is pretty ballsy of a developer to realize they made some critical errors and then actually fix them. By the way, they offered this Enhanced version free of charge to people that purchased the game on it’s initial run. Classy stuff.

Oh and by the by, Good Old Games, that digital distribution company that is oh so anti-DRM (yay!) is owned by CD Projekt. These guys are like heroic knights on steeds! They can do no wrong! Except for that little “fake shutdown” fiasco a while back.

I don’t normally game on my PC, but when I do, I choose The Witcher.

You should too.

Then in the other corner we have L.A. Noire. It’s probably not a stretch to say that your 10 month old cousin Macy has heard about this game and has had it on pre-order since last year. Anytime Rockstar is involved you know that dump trucks full of money will be used to market the hell out of a product. But guess what!?  It turns out the game is like a super updated, modern take on those old PC point and click adventure games. That’s pretty damn spiffy if you ask me!

There has been a ton of discussion on the internet about developer Team Bondi’s incredible motion capture technology, but it does warrant mention yet again. Normally I’m not one to care much about graphics engines and/or technology, but I really admire the way Team Bondi integrated game play with this new technology. This is their first major release as a studio and L.A Noire sounds like a hell of a way to get things started as a company. I am definitely looking forward to picking it up in the next few weeks as I’m a sucker for a really good film noir  styled detective story.  But I’m sure you’re probably sitting on your couch right now, playing this game. So keep on enjoying it dear reader!

Oh yeah Fable 3 for the PC comes out today, and so does some Lego game. Cool, I guess…

May 15, 2011

Even More Blips and Bloops: Paul’s Selections – Part 1

My apologies for the delay in getting this blog post up! I recently had a bunch computer related issues last week and was unable to work on anything. As I mentioned in VGH #8, game music is my favourite genre. This will be part one of my game music blog posts. Today I want to showcase some of my favourite game intro music and a few of my favourite composers. Let us get on with it shall we?!

 

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April 1, 2011

Free Ramen from VGH

All righty boys and girls, pay attention! We’ve got an INCREDIBLE prize pack of gamer goodies to give away and all you have to do is answer a simple quiz. This prize pack has a metacritic rating of about 75 and includes some nifty swag such as:

 

– a Red Faction T-shirt
– a Killzone Backpack
– a Behemoth games lanyard
– an Official PAX East Convention Program
– Also included in this prize pack is a $20 gift card for Amazon (.com or .ca if you’re awesome).
– AND MUCH MORE!!!

 

 

THE QUIZ:

1) In Episode #1 of VGH D.J. had a pretty huge meal. What did he eat? (1pt)

2) In Episode #2 of VGH, Randy talks about his incredible date with Martha Washington. True or False, Randy Dickinson is 687 years old? (1pt)

3) In Episode #3 of VGH our hosts talk about well nevermind, you’re probably still listening to it since it’s about 700 hours long. (1 free pt for listening to the entirety of Ep #3)

4) In Episode #4 of VGH we reenact (VGCT 53:22) a battle between two titans of the fighting game genre. Who loses the battle? Hint: He’s american, with blonde hair. (1pt)

5) In Episode #5 of VGH we learn that the burrito capital of the world is in California. What city is the burrito capital of the world according to D.J.? (1pt)

6) In Episode #6 of VGH the crew talk about 3DS games they are looking forward to. Which wild and folksy sequel is the crew pretty much guaranteed to get? (1pt)

Bonus Question 1: In VGH #0 where do the hosts (Randy) recommend you put VGH? (1pt)

Bonus Question 2: In VGH #2.5 we had the most epic of VGCT segments at the end of the show. Quote it. (1pt)

The RULES:

All you have to do is email your answers to the quiz to contact@vghangover.com with the subject line “QUIZ”. Please include your name or online handle if you’re not comfortable with your name potentially being called out on the air during our next show. That’s all you have to do. Please submit your answers only once. We’re on the honor system here folks.

***Also please note that this contest is only open to residents of the continental United States and Canada***

How This Works:

You might have noticed that each question is worth a point. Everyone that scores 6 or higher on the quiz will get an entry into our random draw on April 11th. You earn points for every correct answer you submit so try to be sure about your answers when you enter. For every point you earn over 6 (Acing questions 1-6) you gain an additional entry into the draw on April 11th. So essentially you can get a total of 3 entries if you get every question right.

During episode #7 we’ll do a (not so live for you folks) live drawing from the pool of entries and announce our winner! The winner will be contacted via email on April 11th. Happy test taking~

 

March 9, 2011

Play More Games: “Bloody Blood!”

Whoops! I was too busy playing Jelly Car 2 (for the DSi Ware) yesterday to get this Play More Games post finished! My apologies to all!

So, while the internet was still recovering* from the manufactured and not even remotely funny controversy surrounding the recent release of Pokemon Black & White, I looked around and realized that this is a pretty quiet week in terms of new releases.

So yeah, how about that Jelly Car 2? Have you played it? What are your thoughts? Personally I enjoyed Jellycar 1 a lot more, but we’ll see how things go with Jelly Car 2!

If you enjoy sleeping and eating whilst watching sports, maybe MLB 11: The Show (can someone explain the subtitle to me?) will be right up your alley. I think this game is framed around a narrative involving men hitting a ball with a stick and then running around, and there is no crying in this game AT ALL. But I probably shouldn’t make fun since I enjoy a sport that involves men sliding around on patches of ice and whacking a rubber disc with sticks…

For those of you that enjoy a Diablo-esque experience but don’t own a PC, I have great news for you! Torchlight was released on XBLA this week. It’s a hack n slash rpg made by some developers that had previously worked on the Diablo series. I’ve spent a little bit of time with it on the PC and had a grand old time.

Each class plays pretty differently, and I think I settled on the alchemist for my main game. The fact that you have a companion doggie that can help you in battle and also be sent off to sell all your vendor trash while you continue adventuring in a dungeon was a small detail that totally added to the charm of the game for me. Unfortunately Torchlight is missing one key feature that would make it a MUST BUY recommendation. It has no multiplayer! What a shame. With multiplayer I’d have probably spent more than 6 hours with the game. I still highly recommend the title for anyone with some time to kill.

Finally, Captain Janeway returns in Dragon Age II: Blood, blood, and more blood. Lt Barclay** joins Janeway on her adventure to TURN OFF PERSISTENT GORE. Some of that might be true, some of it not so true, but if you decide to play Dragon Age II, I highly recommend turning off the absurd persistent gore option. No idea what I’m talking about? Just play the game, you’ll hate it too (the persistent gore, not the game).

Fans of the first Dragon Age might be turned off by some of the changes that Bioware has made in the sequel, but stick with it, the game will grow on you. It’s certainly not perfect, but I am loving the hell out of it so far. We’ll see how it goes, but this is the big release of the week!

For a full list of this week’s releases check out Tech-Gaming.

*I think it recovered in .01 seconds since there was no controversy at all.
**Bioware always seems to have a few Star Trek alums doing voice overs in their games.