An outbreak of the T-Virus (or something) at VGH headquarters delayed the recording of a new episode for over a week! We’re back now, in better health and clamoring to share our thoughts on Dragon Age 2, Bulletstorm, PixelJunk Shooter and more. Randy’s experiences at Volition’s Community Day and PAX East lead to a discussion about our favorite video game developers, past and present. Paul’s love for Bioware and D.J.’s love for fine Mexican cuisine all factor in somehow. Put it in your ears!
Episode Timeline (skip to the time stamp for each segment):
Where Randy’s Been: 4:22
What We’ve Been Playing: 32:50
Favourite Developers: 58:45
Outro: 138:15 (why would you ever skip VGCT?)
Referenced in this week’s show:
-The Heroic Little Zangief – (This kid is my hero -Paul)
-Spy Party aka that spy game Paul mentioned
-Google Crisis Response – donate to the Japanese Red Cross here
-Charity Navigator’s “Guide to Intelligent Giving”
It’s a good week to be a fan of games starring big-eyed characters with brightly colored clothes and/or hair. After a few weeks of big, Western releases like Killzone 3, Bulletstorm, and Dragon Age II, it’s time for Japan to show its hand.
Possibly the highest title on the list is Sega’s Yakuza 4 for the PS3, the latest (at least in America) in the long-running, open world series about Japanese mobster/babysitter/golfer Kazuma Kiryu. Despite mediocre US sales ever since the first game came out on the PS2 back in 2006, Sega continues to find the time and money to bring these games to its small but fiercely devoted fanbase. After all the controversy over Sega cutting some content from the Western release of Yakuza 3 because of budget constraints, those fans will be pleased to know that the only things cut from this installment are a trivia minigame and the original opening song, which had to be replaced because of a licensing issue. Players should still have plenty of stuff to keep themselves busy while Sega figures out whether to localize the latest Yakuza game, which is a strange mix of Japanese gangsters and zombies.
Because I’m a devoted Monster Hunter fanatic, I’ll probably have to pass on Gods Eater Burst, which is Namco’s answer to Capcom’s PSP monster-slaying phenomenon that has gripped Japan for the last half-decade. Gods Eater mixes things up a little from the Monster Hunter formula by—among other things—adding a jump button and letting players carry both a gun and a sword simultaneously, the latter of which transforms into a giant maw to consume weakened monsters. (I’m guessing that’s where the “god eating” comes in, unless there’s something I missed.) There’s also a lock-on targeting feature, which should be a godsend for anyone who couldn’t get the hang of using the infamous Monster Hunter claw grip to keep your quarry in sight. (Monster hunters, this is where you can either scoff and/or shake your head in disapproval.) So why am I skipping the game? Well, mainly because embarking on a new monster hunting career when I’ve still got hundreds of hours to go is my existing one just seems irresponsible. I have to admit, though: It’s tempting.
I talked a little about Hard Corps: Uprising a few weeks ago when it came out for the 360:
In game downloads, we’ve got Hard Corps: Uprising, which is a spiritual sequel to Contra: Hard Corps. This game has stayed pretty far under the radar, but all you need to know is it has classic, sidescrolling shooting action and gorgeous 2D graphics. Actually, all you really need to know is: SPREAD GUN!
Since then, I’ve been able to try the game on the 360 and it plays very much like an updated Contra or Metal Slug. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they’ve added a dash move to make your character a little more agile than previous Contra soldiers, and, although it wasn’t great for my character’s lifespan, I quite enjoyed trying to make it through as much of the level as possible while holding down the dash button and shooting wildly. I blame that on the hard rocking guitar soundtrack by Guilty Gear series composer Daisuke Ishiwatari, which was another pleasant surprise. No promises that I won’t try to do this during online co-op.
If you’re looking for something more relaxing, there’s Capcom’s Okamiden, the sequel to the PlayStation 2 action-adventure game starring goddess-turned-wolf and occasional Marvel vs. Capcom contender, Amaterasu. It’s good to see that the series’s distinctive, sumi-e-inspired visuals survived the transition to the DS. I imagine it’ll also be easier to accomplish all that cosmic paintbrushing using the DS’s stylus instead of an analog stick.
If you’re really into imaginary words, there’s Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel for the PS3, which is an RPG and the third and final game of this series which began on the PS2. I wish I could say more about it but I unfortunately don’t have much experience with the series, apart from really enjoying the few bits of the soundtrack that I’ve heard. Hopefully the voice acting is better this time around. (For the record, the music box stuff going on in that video is not the part of the soundtrack I was referring to.)
Finally, we’re getting another PS1 classic on the PSN Store this Tuesday. In order to build hype for the upcoming The 3rd Birthday (AKA Parasite Eve 3), Square Enix is bringing us the original Parasite Eve, which was their first big, multi-disc RPG after they got the world’s attention with Final Fantasy VII. I have extremely fond memories of this game, although sometimes I have to be reminded it exists—maybe because its contemporary New York setting and horror/thriller elements are so different from what I associate with Japanese RPGs. It’s definitely worth a look if you’ve never played it. Just take a look at this intro movie and try telling me that 1998 wasn’t a great year.
Whew! That was a lot of Japanese games. What are your options this week if you’re a Japanophobe, though? Well, there’s Homefront. It’s a first-person shooter where army men yell “HOLY SHIT!” and shoot machineguns. Sounds awesome!
And one last thing: I’d be remiss writing this Japan-centric Play More Games without mentioning that, even though I’m across the globe, I’m still reeling from the news of the terrible earthquake and tsunamis which struck Japan last week. As someone who’s gotten years of enjoyment and—just maybe—enrichment out of a pastime that’s so closely associated with the country, I feel like I have that much more reason to help provide aid to everyone affected over there. Through efforts like the annual Child’s Play Charity, gamers have shown their enormous capacity for generosity. Here’s another chance for us to give back. If you’re able, please find a charity to support or simply donate to the Japanese Red Cross. Even a few dollars could make a difference.
Update: We’ve mentioned on the show that we’re fans of CheapAssGamer.com, for many reasons. Not only are there some great people there, but the site owner (and Tokyo resident), CheapyD, has repeatedly shown himself to be a generous and upstanding individual. In fact, he’s just opened a CAGs for Japan Relief fund via GlobalGiving and will match donations up to $10,000. If you’re planning to make a donation to any charity for Japanese tsunami relief, I think this one is an excellent choice.
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.
Q-Games’s brand new PSN game, PixelJunk Shooter 2, came out yesterday. If you haven’t played it yet, now’s your chance! We’re giving away a copy of the game for one lucky VGHangover fan. All you have to do is follow us on Twitter and tweet this message:
RT and follow @vghangover for a chance to win PixelJunk Shooter 2! http://bit.ly/dQRBJc #vghangover
The contest will run until Monday, March 7th at 3PM Eastern, and we’ll randomly choose a winner around 5 PM. Make sure you’re following us and include the #vghangover tag in your tweet so we can find your contest entry!
This contest was made possible by VGH fan and veteran trophy collector, freakyzeeky! Here’s what he has to say about PixelJunk Shooter 2:
I really think this game is a definite improvement over it’s predecessor due to the slightly challenging nature of the main game, whereas the first game felt like a walk in the park in comparison. The online portion of the game also did not feel ‘tacked on’, it’s pretty beefy, with multiple unlocks of weaponry, shooting styles, spells, and the like to keep you occupied, and like the first game, the trophies aren’t really that hard, as you’ll unlock most of them as you play through the campaign, which can be played solo or local co-op. I say buy it, it’s easily one of my favorite PSN titles to come out this year, and worth it’s $9.99 price tag.
Thanks, freaky, and good luck to everyone who enters!
I’m taking a short break from being completely absorbed in Tactics Ogre to remind you that, yes, there are still more games coming out this week. And best of all, unless you’re planning on picking up a copy of Fight Night Champion, you can get all of these without even leaving your house!
If you’ve got an Xbox 360, you’ll be happy to know that the HD remastering of the much-beloved Beyond Good & Evil arrives on XBLA on Wednesday. Originally released way back in 2003, this was the first game to successfully combine 3D action, photography, and talking pigs. At the risk of inciting an Internet riot, I have to be honest and say I don’t fully understand why this game receives quite the amount of gushing praise it does, but that’s not to say I didn’t have a great time playing through it and recommend you do the same. That is, again, if you have an Xbox, since this is yet another timed exclusive.
But don’t despair yet, PS3 owners! Q-Games feels your pain and has prescribed PixelJunk Shooter 2, the followup to their quirky game about a tiny spaceship that discovers that water and magma don’t always get along. (OK, they actually never do.) This first direct sequel in the PixelJunk series of games (unless you count PixelJunk Racers: 2nd Lap, and really, let’s not) features brand new worlds and an even brander newer online versus mode that lets you heap all kinds of geological calamity (or just old fashioned bullets, if you prefer) onto one of your soon-to-be-former friends. It’s out this Tuesday on PSN.
Also out on Tuesday are a couple more DLC packs, the first being the First Strike map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. It’s completed its exclusive tour of duty on the 360 and is now ready for patient PS3 gamers. The second DLC, coming to both PS3 and 360, is Dead Space 2: Severed, an add-on episode for Dead Space 2 starring a couple characters from Dead Space: Extraction. Spoiler alert: Limbs get cut off.
Lastly, Square Enix and Sony have a surprise gift for everyone this week in the form of a PS1 Classic: It’s Vagrant Story, the cult classic, dungeon crawling RPG that just happens to be the all-time favorite game of one of your VGHangover co-hosts. (Hint: It’s mine.) I could extol the virtues of this game for hours, but for everyone’s sake (and because I really need to get back to Tactics Ogre), I’ll summarize: It’s another game from Yasumi Matsuno and his dream team. This time around, he leaves the isometric battlefields of Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics behind in favor of a complex, 3D battle system where you customize your own weapons and combos. Enriching the experience are gorgeous art and graphics (despite this being a PS1 game, I think the visuals have aged quite well), Hitoshi Sakimoto’s magnum opus soundtrack, and, in true Yasumi Matsuno fashion, a twisting, mysterious plot where pretty much no one is who they appear to be. The game can be frustratingly harsh on new players, but if you stick with it and take the time to learn many of the intricacies, I think you’ll agree it’s one of the finest and most rewarding games out there. If you’re looking for a fresh, new experience, please check this one out and definitely let me know what you think of it.
If you want a closer look, check out the game’s trailer which first captivated me back in 1999:
The VGH crew discusses the unofficially unannounced state of video game DLC and a conversation about the Xperia Play phone turns into something else entirely. Also, our listeners weigh in on their earliest gaming memories and Paul dreams of a world that more closely resembles Canada. Lastly, a new installment of Video Game Community Theater gets all “Buster Wolf” on your ass.
Referenced in this week’s show:
- Dates of DQIX events
- Nokia N-Gage Sidetalk
- Miguel Concepcion/bluedotlounge’s gaming articles on Examiner.com
- KC Munchkin
- The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
- It’s not a motorcycle, it’s a chopper.
In gaming, as in life, timing is everything. Selecting the ideal release date for your studio’s big title can be a dicey guessing game for even the most seasoned marketing team. Most gamers, like myself, have limited funds available to indulge their hobby of choice and can’t afford to pick up multiple $60 games during the same pay week.
On May 18 of last year, three much-hyped games hit store shelves: Split/Second, Alan Wake, and Red Dead Redemption. Red Dead, as anyone who follows the gaming press undoubtedly knows, went on the become one of 2010′s most beloved and best selling games. Split/Second and Alan Wake, unfortunately (despite offering solid and unique experiences in their own right) both undersold expectations and were quickly discounted by retailers.
Today, we see a similar showdown at play: Bulletstorm and Killzone 3 are out and vying for, seemingly, the same target audience’s disposable income. Bulletstorm, available for both the PS3 and the Xbox360, follows the bloody and over-the-top exploits of a wise-cracking space pirate and his cyborg sidekick. Killzone 3, a PS3 exclusive, follows a pair of interplanetary special forces operatives as they attempt to foil an invasion from alien evildoers.
Will one title trump the other in this battle for gaming dominance or do FPS fans have room in their hearts (and bank accounts) for both releases? Only time will tell. Personally, my money is on Killzone 3: the previous game in the series was such an energetic and chaotic take on conventional sci-fi shooter tropes that I’m curious to see how developer Guerrilla Games has upped the ante for this new installment.
If gray skies and galactic shenanigans don’t tempt you perhaps de Blob 2 can bring some color into your world. Or you can just forgo gaming altogether this week and curl up with a good book and Cozy Fire, a downloadable WiiWare title that creates the illusion that your TV is, you guessed it, a fireplace. Seriously. This is the best selling console of the current generation?
Lastly, I’d get an earful from Paul if I didn’t mention that Xenogears, the classic PS1-era sci-fi RPG, is available to download from the PlayStation Store today. Get your “deathblow” on.
The February games onslaught continues this week! I’m still pouring hours into Test Drive Unlimited 2, but hopefully I can find time for a few breaks from that to play Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. I already talked a bit about this in our 2011 preview post, so let me just be lazy and quote that here:
If you played RPGs or strategy games in the mid-90s, you already know the Ogre series is practically legendary. If you’ve never heard of it, this PSP remake is your chance to play one of the most revered tactical RPGs of all time, featuring strategic battles and an intricate storyline from the team behind some of my favorite games of all time, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. The remastered soundtrack by composers Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata may be enough reason to pick up a copy, although it pains me that the PSP speakers won’t do it justice. Finally, if you preorder this on Amazon, it comes with a set of tarot cards (series fans will understand) illustrated the game’s artist, Akihiko Yoshida.
Something I hinted at is that this is the latest game (or latest remake, anyway) from my favorite game designer, Yasumi Matsuno. With all the improvements in this version, you might even consider it a director’s cut. For a little background info on the production, here’s a great Q&A with director Hiroshi Minagawa, who previously was the art director for Ogre Battle, the original Tactics Ogre and Vagrant Story.
I picked up Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation for the DS a couple days early on Saturday at a Gamestop signing event. Series creator Yuji Horii was there, and I’ll be talking a little about that in Episode 4. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be getting to the actual game for a while because of Tactics Ogre (and the fact that I still haven’t played the DS versions of DQ4 and 5), but I’m still really looking forward to it since it’s brand new to the U.S. and is supposedly Yuji Horii’s favorite of the series.
The big game for most people this week is probably Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds for the PS3 and 360. Fans have been begging for it for years and it’s been the subject of countless fake screenshots and April Fool’s jokes, but now it’s finally here. I haven’t been a big fan of the VS. series since the original Marvel vs. Capcom, but maybe I’ll play a little Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on PSN this week to see if it changes my mind. I’m really disappointed and still pretty surprised that neither Strider Hiryu nor Captain Commando made it into MvC3, though. Those guys are MvC!
Before writing this, I didn’t know anything about the PS3′s Hyperdimension Neptunia other than the fact that it had a really cool name. It looked like a super, super-Japanese turn-based RPG full of scantilly clad anime girls. In a bizarre meta-twist, though, the plot is a loose allegory for the current console war and features characters based on the three major consoles. (Watch for the black, green, and white heroines in this trailer.) This might be a hit with people who thought Game Dev Story needed more combat and boobs.
In game downloads, we’ve got Hard Corps: Uprising, which is a spiritual sequel to Contra: Hard Corps. This game has stayed pretty far under the radar, but all you need to know is it has classic, sidescrolling shooting action and gorgeous 2D graphics. Actually, all you really need to know is: SPREAD GUN! This is out this Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade and will be coming to PlayStation Network at some point in the future. Since we established in Episode 3 that we’re all huge Contra fans, I can’t wait to play some online co-op.
Last, but definitely not least, Splinter Cell: Conviction is out for the Mac on Thursday. This game made both Randy and my best of 2010 lists, so if you’re a Mac owner and you haven’t already played in on 360 or PC, definitely give it a try.
Are you picking anything up this week? Who’s on your Marvel vs. Capcom 3 dream team? Let us know in the comments!
The VGH crew reflect on tales from their gaming “careers,” Randy wins a contest, and the Video Game Community theater gets bionic. Warning: This podcast contains multiple references to male tumescence, illegal narcotics and the 3DO. Also, games!
We apologize in advance for the extreme length of this episode. Once you hit the fourth or fifth hour it gets really good so try to hang in there.
Update: The streaming player works now! Thanks for your patience. We’re all still podcast noobs.
Referenced in this week’s show:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer
Article about Dark Energy Digital’s recent overhaul of Hydrophobia
Opening cinematic and gameplay video from Way of the Warrior
Rush Rush by Debbie Harry, as featured in Grand Theft Auto III/Scarface
I have a confession to make: After doing my best to hype up Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 last week, I didn’t actually buy it. Grin’s track record (the original BCR was their only game that wasn’t critically panned), the lack of reviews, and just a general skepticism surrounding Fatshark, the game’s partially Grin-staffed developer, made me cautious. Then there was that whole debacle about the PS3 version of the game requiring an Internet connection even though it’s an offline game. I was a little torn because on one hand, that’s an absurd practice that I don’t want to support. But on the other hand, I really did want the game! Then the mediocre review scores started rolling in and I didn’t feel as bad anymore.
Fortunately, there are still tons of games coming out this month for me to play instead. What’s out this week?
Leading the charge is the long-awaited Test Drive Unlimited 2, the sequel to one of my favorite driving games. I’m looking forward to cruising around Ibiza and eventually Hawaii, taking in the scenery and occasionally crashing into things, possibly including other players since the game populates the streets with everyone else playing the game. I hope there’s not too much congestion on launch day. This is out for PS3, 360 and PC, and is actually a merciful $50 in a world of $60 games.
Next is Mario Sports Mix for the Wii, where the multi-talented plumber proves he’s also adept at basketball, volleyball, hockey, and… dodgeball? Why not? I’ll admit I’m a little curious in this since I enjoyed Mario Hoops 3-on-3 on the DS, despite the awful, awful theme song (Don’t even click that.) and the fact that it didn’t have online play. This one does, so if the gameplay is similar, it could be a winner. Also, while looking up which sports are actually in the game, I discovered that Dragon Quest‘s slime makes a cameo, and he can apparently play volleyball. I’m going to try really hard to resist.
This was a surprise to me: There’s a new version of the hit 90s trivia game You Don’t Know Jack coming to just about every major platform. (Sorry, PSP owners!) You can now spend hours infuriating your friends with inane trivia over the Internet, which reminds me: Follow me on Twitter!
The last game on the list this week is Popcap’s Plants vs. Zombies on PSN. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’ve played it on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Xbox Live Arcade, or even performed a breakdance homage to it because you’re some weirdo from L.A. Until now, though, there’s a good chance you haven’t played it on your PS3. Sunflower…
Finally, in a bizarre alternate reality, Portal 2 is out today and not on April 19th.
What are you playing this week? Can a slime even play volleyball? What form of personal expression do you think most wholly conveys the neverending struggle between the undead and foliage? Let us know in the comments!
While I was putting together my list for our 2011 preview episode a few weeks ago, I was horrified to realize that most of the games I’m looking forward to this year are coming out in February. Well, it’s February now, so what can we expect?
Actually, it seems like everyone took this week off because there’s just a small handful of games coming out. But that’s OK, because one of them is Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, the all-new sequel to Grin’s remake of the NES classic platformer. Series fans are a little worried by hero Nathan “Rad” Spencer’s newfound ability to jump, but as long as this game delivers more of the sublime platforming and shooting action the series is known for, it’s all good. (There’s actually a trophy/achievement for finishing the game without jumping, so you purists will get a shiny, virtual medal at the end.) BCR2 also has 100% more mustache than the original.
It’s not exactly a game, but Harmonix is releasing The Clash’s classic London Calling for Rock Band 3 this week. That’s not the song—it’s the whole album! Some tracks will support Pro Guitar and Pro Bass modes, too. Check out the Rock Band blog for a list.
The UnderGarden comes to the PlayStation Network this week, after coming out for PC and XBLA a few months ago. In it, you control some goofy-looking creatures as they float around luminous caves and solve some physics-based puzzles. It’s a good choice if you just feel like relaxing on the couch instead of grabbing your M41A or whatever you’re using to murder extraterrestrials lately.
Finally, there’s a new map pack out for Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Xbox 360, featuring five new maps—one of which, I’m told, involves Nazi zombies. Because of Microsoft’s exclusivity agreement, PC and PS3 Call of Duty fans can expect these maps sometime in early 2018.
Are you looking forward to anything else coming out this week? Which London Calling song are you playing first, or are you just going to run through the whole album? Let us know in the comments!
In this brief “emergency” episode of VGH, the crew discuss the recently announced Sony NGP (a.k.a. “not the PSP2″) and the PlayStation Suite. Paul also resists the urge to make Ridge Racer and Giant Enemy Crab jokes.
Links and sources:
PlayStation Blog’s post with all the gory tech specs
Sony CEO Jack Tretton’s official NGP reveal post, with info on PlayStation Suite
Sony’s Flickr gallery of shiny NGP shots
Kotaku compares the size of the NGP to other handhelds
List of publishers and developers working on NGP projects
We speculated in the show that Sony might offer contracts or some kind of subscription model for 3G connectivity on the NGP. They’ve since confirmed that 3G access will cost extra, and there will even be multiple versions of the NGP, with and without 3G capabilities. (This update concludes VGH’s “Breaking News” coverage for the year.)
In their second episode, the VGH crew chat about the games they’re looking forward to in 2011. Plus, D.J. probably doesn’t have world exclusive news about the next Soulcalibur. Addictive substances and legendary 80’s frontmen both somehow play a part. Lastly, the 3DS: Will it print money? Tune in to find out!
Referenced in this week’s show:
Pre-order a Nintendo 3DS
Journey’s “Open Arms”
Nintendo 3DS Launch Window Titles
Poncho from Animal Crossing (Paul: I miss you…)
Portal 2 co-op trailer
The Technology Behind Performance – demo of the motion capture tech used in Rockstar’s L.A. Noire
D.J.: I mentioned that Valve bringing Steam to the PS3 would be the first time there’s been true crossplatform play between consoles and PC. Microsoft actually accomplished this earlier with their Games for Windows Live initiative, allowing Xbox 360 owners to play against PC gamers in games like Shadowrun, Universe at War, and Lost Planet: Colonies. Portal 2 will still be a milestone, however, since it will be the first time there’s been crossplatform support offered for a game people actually want to play.
Click the jump if you want to see some more games we’re looking forward to in 2011!
Snow days are a mixed blessing: as a kid, it was a delight to find myself with an unexpected free day in the middle of the school week. Unfortunately, those days usually had to be made up in the sticky, sweaty days of late June.
If you’re at a place in life where you still get to enjoy snow days, hopefully one of this week’s new releases will help keep you warm. At least until your dad makes you go out and shovel the driveway.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Dead Space 2 is out today! The sequel to quite possibly my favorite horror game of all time promises more creepy, desolate, blood-dripping-down-the-walls fun and a lead character that’s slowly losing his mind. Yay!
- A game developer has finally caught on to the roller derby phenomenon: Jam City Rollergirls is available for download on the Wii this week.
What new releases are crawling out of the ducts and eating your brain this week?
After a few dry weeks (hope you’ve been working through your backlog!), the release schedule is filling up again with a few must-play new releases. Here are some of the highlights:
- Nearly a year after it was first released on the 360 and PC, Mass Effect 2 is finally arriving on the PS3 today. The PS3 edition also includes over 6 hours of additional content that was originally sold as DLC on the 360.
- LittleBigPlanet 2 expands significantly upon the game-making tools of the first installment: you now have the ability to create racing games, RPGs and multi-level games, compose original music, and swing through levels on a spiffy new grappling hook.
- Plants vs. Zombies shambles on the DS this week, as well.
For a complete list of this week’s releases, please visit the good folks over at Tech-Gaming.com.
What new games are you looking forward to this week?
#5: Splinter Cell: Conviction
I’ve admittedly played very little Splinter Cell prior to Conviction, but it was still easy to see how much of a departure this game was from the rest of the series. Instead of the calm government operative he was in the earlier games, Conviction’s Sam Fisher is a free agent calling his own shots, and it has a huge impact on the gameplay. Everything feels very organic and on-the-fly, and without your support team chattering in your ear all the time, there’s a great sense that you’re really on your own. The main storyline is short, but it moves along so briskly that I had a hard time putting the controller down, expecting another shocking twist to be around the next corner. Also noteworthy is the multiplayer co-op campaign, which serves as a prequel to the main story and has one of the most memorable finales ever.
A game that was released in late June and then, it seems, somewhat quickly forgotten about. Singularity is an FPS in the BioShock vein, combining shooting mechanics with powers (in this case, a time-altering mechanic) that increase in intensity as the game progresses. As an American marine who’s helicopter crashes on a mysterious island, you inadvertently cause a time singularity that results in a future world where the US is under Russian rule. It’s flawed, but it’s fast-paced and has enough unique stuff going on to keep it interesting.
9. Picross 3D
This puzzler for the DS kept me coming back. Breaking blocks to reveal the shape hidden inside sounds like kid’s stuff, but the challenges actually became quite nefarious as the game progressed. There’s tons of stuff to do on this cart, including hundreds of puzzles, the ability to create and share your own challenges, and new downloadable grids each week. Addictive and insanely fun.
Continue reading »
It’s finally here! The moment that practically no one has been waiting for!
In their first episode, the VGH crew discuss their favorite games from 2010. Plus: Tom Clancy, peanut butter, and Paul really, really likes Mass Effect. Really. Also: the premiere of Video Game Community Theater.
Referenced in this week’s show:
Splinter Cell: Conviction trailer featuring “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash.
What is Gyromite? This should make it perfectly clear.
#10 (barely…) Fable III (Note: this really should be the #1 worst game of 2010, why is it on my top 10? -Paul)
You make good games!!! So stop promising us that you’ll change the world with your projects! That way, a solid title like Fable III won’t be labeled a disappointment in some random blog post on the internet. Your team knows how to create charming worlds, with interesting gameplay mechanics, but can’t seem to grasp the technical side of game development. : ( I hope your feelings aren’t hurt and we can still meet for tea and crumpets some day.
P.S. Those are my initials! : – )
P.P.S. Please make sure you release your titles without game breaking glitches. It is kind of embarrassing when people have to restart their game because of clipping issues. When I say restart, I don’t mean reboot their console, I mean RESTART their entire game/save. That’s so 1996….
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Video Game Hangover is live! Well, it’s not that kind of live.
In this short introductory episode we say hello, talk about the future of the VGH podcast, and address one of the great gaming questions of all time. Put it in your ears!