November 22, 2011

Play More Games: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

Zelda: Skyward Sword

Is the brunt of the Fall releases over? (I secretly hope not, because if I can’t complain about all the games coming out I’ll have to figure out some other way to introduce these posts.) Anyway, it’s definitely waning but we still have a few more big releases left in the year. So what are they?

The biggest this week is undoubtedly The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for (what else?) the Wii. If you already listened to Episode 30, you know it’s a bit controversial among the VGH crew for its decision to use only motion controls, but I’m optimistic. Nintendo says they’ve prepared a cool, 1:1 swordfighting experience, and I want to see how well that works. I found the waggle-laden sword action in 2006’s Zelda: Twilight Princess to be pretty pointless, so at the very least this should be more engaging.

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November 18, 2011

BGM Mode: Coming Up Aces

Project Aces

It was inevitable that I’d eventually have to feature Namco’s Ace Combat here in BGM Mode, since Ace Combat 5‘s soundtrack was directly responsible for piqing my interest in the series. Actually, Soulcalibur–another Namco game–also deserves some credit; after countless hours spent playing SC2 and 3 and enjoying the catchy and bombastic soundtracks, I started looking for more work from the series’ main composers, Junichi Nakatsuru and Keiki Kobayashi. As it turned out, they both worked together on the Ace Combat series, along with Tetsukazu Nakanishi. Somehow I settled on Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, picked up the soundtrack, and–after being totally blown away–finally played the game.

Eventually I made my way through each of the PlayStation 2 installments, and while their quality went up and down, the soundtracks were consistently excellent. Here are a few of the most memorable tracks, starting with Ace Combat 04, from all the way back in 2001, and wrapping up with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, which just came out last month.

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November 17, 2011

VGH #30: I Luv Food

VGH #30: I Luv Food

Gaming is awesome, except when it isn’t. In this week’s show, we’re talking about some of our least favorite things in the world of video games. Also: Mario rescues Peach, Paul goes full Skyrim, and someone’s growing a glorious moustache. It’s itchy!

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November 16, 2011

Spending hangover cure: Buy one game, get one half-off at Amazon

There’s simply too damn many good games out this time of year. If you’re one of the crazy types (like some of us…) who try to play them all, it can be a pretty expensive proposition – in terms of both time and money. Luckily, Amazon has thrown us a bone which should help a little bit in the money department.

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November 11, 2011

Weekend Hangover: “The Numbers All Go to 11″ Edition

Veteran’s Day, National Metal Day, Skyrim day, 11/11/11. There’s a lot of shit going on today.

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November 11, 2011

Preview: Where is my Heart?

Pixies are a rock band, Alien is a horror movie, and Braid is just a puzzle-platformer.

While all of those statements are technically accurate, true pop-culture connoisseurs know that what these three examples do is utterly unique within their respective genres.  The same is true of Where is my Heart?, a new game from Danish indie developer Die Gute Fabrik.

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November 10, 2011

VGH #29: Recharted

VGH #29: Recharted

In this week’s episode we chat about Uncharted 3! Spoiler alert, we chat about Uncharted 3, and only Uncharted 3.
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November 10, 2011

Contest: win Sideway: New York!

In case you missed it, we just posted our review of Sideway: New York this week. I really liked the game, giving it a 4 out of 5, so I thought I’d share the love. VGH is giving away a PSN download code for the game to one lucky winner. There are multiple ways to enter, so read on for instructions on how to enter.

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November 9, 2011

Sideway: New York review: Play it, don’t spray it

The hip, graffiti-themed universe of Sideway: New York was born as the result of a collaboration between “advertainment” agency Fuel Industries and W!ldbrain Entertainment, the proprietors of the eccentric children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba! While this dynamic duo of marketing spawned the game’s world, the game itself was developed by Playbrains, whose previous console outing was a Madballs-licensed game for Xbox Live Arcade. With all these puzzle pieces aligned, it seems to paint a picture of a concerted effort to create a cross-media, kid-friendly entertainment franchise. Whether or not Sideway gains enough traction to be spun off into a Saturday morning cartoon remains to be seen, but I found the game itself to be a surprisingly fun platformer.

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November 8, 2011

Preview: Stealth Bastard

Sure, there are some pretty big games out this week, but it’s also nice to take a minute and see what awesome new things are kicking around in the indie space from time to time. In a world littered with modern war-faring and the rimming of skies, it can be pretty refreshing to see some of the big ideas being dreamed up by little teams. Enter Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole (you probably didn’t see him come in though.  You know, because he’s stealthy).

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November 8, 2011

Play More Games: The Postmodern Warfare World

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

By now, you probably don’t need to be reminded that we’re in the middle of the holiday release season. (Your smoldering or about-to-be-smoldering bank account is probably enough reminder of that.) You can tell the storm’s reaching its peak when a new Call of Duty shows up, though. That is this week. Hold onto something while we go over that and some other stuff coming out.

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November 7, 2011

Rochard gravitates toward Steam Nov. 15th

Finnish developer Recoil Games has just announced that the gravity-bending Rochard will be arriving on PC by way of Steam on November 15th. This should be welcome news to PC gamers, as we had a heck of a good time with the game when it first hit PSN back in September. Rochard won’t weigh too heavy on your wallet either – the PC counterpart will still sport the reasonable $9.99 price tag that it does on PSN.

Source: Rochard website

November 4, 2011

Weekend Hangover: Twister Mania edition

What the hell is going on in this screenshot? Is that a lobster?!?

I occasionally take part in the House Party promotional program, where participants are sent a free product and in return, they agree to have friends over to try it out and take pictures of the event, etc. I’ve been sent a copy of the Kinect-enabled Twister Mania, so now I have to subject a group of my friends to it this weekend. If it ends up sucking, we can always switch to Fruit Ninja Kinect or just play some Rock Band 3 instead.

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November 4, 2011

PSN indie hit Joe Danger heading to XBLA

When Joe Danger hit the PlayStation Network last summer, it was universally loved, or at least universally liked. The Hello Games-developed title appeared to be a simple, Excitebike-like side-scrolling motorcycle racer at first blush, but in reality turned out to be more of a platformer-on-wheels. Charming humor, vibrant color, and challenging mechanics made for a rather enjoyable experience. A year and a half later, Hello Games has announced that the game is coming to Xbox Live Arcade in the form of Joe Danger: Special Edition, with Microsoft Studios signed on to publish it.

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November 4, 2011

Two is the loneliest number – Sony cracks down on PSN account sharing

The party is officially over for cost-conscious “game sharers”. Sony has just announced changes to their PlayStation Network usage policies regarding how many unique PS3 consoles can make use of purchased content. Effective November 18th, each individual PSN account may only utilize purchased content on two activated systems, a decrease from the current limit of five systems. The only positive note is that purchases made prior to the 18th are not retroactively affected.

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November 3, 2011

VGH #28: Layton-Assisted Suicide

VGH #28: Layton-Assisted Suicide

The first official trailer for Grand Theft Auto V prompts a conversation about our hopes, dreams and fears for the next installment of one of our favorite gaming series.
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November 3, 2011

New Alan Wake, new Bioware game to be unveiled at 2011 Spike VGAs

First things first: I do not like the Spike Video Game Awards. I think they are a bombastic, overblown, and ridiculously over-hyped display of most, if not all, of the things I like least about gaming and gamers.

But… those sweet, sweet EXCLUSIVES!!!!

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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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November 2, 2011

Grand Theft Auto V trailer careens onto Internet, mows down 7 pedestrians

In a move that has become uncomfortably common, last week Rockstar Games announced the announcement of Grand Theft Auto V. They essentially only confirmed the game’s existence (which was a no-brainer for a series of this popularity), offering zero details, other than stating that the game’s trailer would be released on November 2nd.

Well, today’s the day and here it is – feast your eyes on the GTA V trailer.

So, what do you think? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

October 31, 2011

Clever girls (and guys) get Jurassic Park for free with 1 year of Playstation Plus

God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs… Sony creates savings opportunities!

Sony has just announced that anyone who purchases a one-year subscription to PlayStation Plus will receive the PSN version of Telltale Games’ forthcoming adventure, Jurassic Park: The Game, for free. One year of PS+ will run you $50 and the game will be priced at $29.99 when it releases on November 15th, so the deal definitely has teeth.

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