September 2, 2011

BGM Mode: Overworld Themes


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.


September 1, 2011

VGH #20: I Want Your PAX

VGH #20: I Want Your PAX

D.J. has returned from PAX Prime in Seattle with a cornucopia of new and exciting games to share (as well as a virulent new strain of the PAX pox). We also discuss Deus Ex, Xenoblade Chronicles, fine Canadian comedy and football games that nobody buys.


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 25, 2011

VGH #19: The Line Piece Is for Noobs

VGH #19: The Line Piece Is for Noobs

Crossovers! The VGH crew stitch together elements from some of their favorite video games into a twisted new batch of franken-games. Developers: are you listening? Plus: D.J. gets bionic, Paul finds a sneaker sleeper, and Randy looks for the fun button.


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.


August 18, 2011

VGH #18: Attack on Your Wallet!!

VGH #18: Attack on Your Wallet!!

Get hype! As the Summer drought comes to an end, the VGH crew looks into the back half of 2011 for that one game (or two, or three) that seems most worthy of our hard-earned burrito money.


August 17, 2011

Play More Games: “Blasphemy”

We apologize for this image.

I don’t know what a Metatron is, but I think I want one.

It’s been a good Summer for people who like pretty games. Recent retail titles like Catherine, Shadows of the Damned and Alice: Madness Returns as well as downloadables like Outland, Bastion and From Dust have all boasted uniquely inspired art direction and high levels of visual polish. None of these hold a candle, however, to the insane amount of “pretty” on display is this week’s big new release, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron.

Developed in Japan by Takeyasu Sawaki, one of the character designers on Devil May Cray and Okami, and released Stateside by Ignition Entertainment, the game attempts to do for Christian mythology (“El Shaddai” means “God Almighty” in Hebrew) what the God of War games did for Greek mythology. El Shaddai is adapted from the Book of Enoch in the Dead Sea Scrolls, apocryphal texts dating back to 150 B.C. that were omitted from the Old Testament.

On the surface, the story of Enoch (a living man permitted to reside in Heaven), sounds like classic quest-style gameplay: Enoch is charged by God to head to Earth and round up a group of seven fallen angels who have been inbreeding with the local wildlife (a.k.a. “the humans”). Your liaison with God while you’re on Earth is Lucifer, way before he had his little fallout out with upper management.

Instead of getting bogged down in the theology, the game instead focuses on a “simple to learn, hard to master” style of combat that includes single-button attacks, counters, blocks and parries. Early previews suggested that fans of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta-style games would be right at home. Beyond all of this, though, the visual appeal of the game is what drew me in: saturated colors, glowing Tron-like lines, and pencil sketch backgrounds with cell-shaded elements. Simply put, there isn’t a single other game out there that looks like El Shaddai. Reviews have been highly favorable, calling the game “visually inventive”, “a delight to play”, and “an absolute masterwork”.

I was initially concerned that this would be another case of style over substance (I’m looking at you, Alice) or, God forbid, a sly propaganda piece for the Republican Party, but the demo and reviews have eased my worries.  I’m dying to get my hands on it.

A few other releases on the VGH radar this week:

- Grasshopper Manufacture’s 2007 Wii release, No More Heroes, gets an HD up-rez and PlayStation Move support (in addition to other changes) in No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise for the PS3.

- Two of our recent XBLA crushes, From Dust and Bastion, will be available for download on the PC this week.

- Breath of Fire IV, the classic J-RPG from the PSOne days, is available in the PlayStation Store this week.

And now, a note on Space Pirates and Zombies from D.J.:

Back in the mid-nineties, I played the absolute crap out of a Mac game by Ambrosia Software called Escape Velocity. It was essentially an RPG that started you off as a spaceship pilot, warping commodities and VIPs around the galaxy and occasionally tangling with space pirates as you upgraded into progressively swankier ships. Eventually, you could buy huge battleships to fight aliens and put down (or lead) a rebel uprising against Earth. As Randy would say, it was freakin’ excellent.

Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a successor to Escape Velocity, and I think Space Pirates and Zombies, or SPAZ, could be a contender. It’s got the whole space pirate and mercenary thing going, except instead of just your solitary ship, you can custom-build an entire fleet and swap between each ship in real time. There’s a massive galaxy to explore and conquer, weapons and technologies to research, and, as you might have inferred, zombies get involved at some point. Will it recapture the the innovation and magic of Escape Velocity? I’ll let you know.

Of course, you can always try it yourself. SPAZ is out on Steam this week, and there’s a very thorough demo available if you’re curious. It was developed over the last two years by Minmax Games, a team of two mere mortals, who I’m sure would love it if you played their game. If you see the appeal in the life of a space pirate, or you just want to support a cool indie developer, clear your schedule and give SPAZ a try.

August 11, 2011

VGH #17: A Giant Bottle

VGH #17: A Giant Bottle

A huge enemy is approaching fast! This week, the VGH crew takes on boss battles: Do they still have a place in modern gaming or are they relics of an almost-forgotten age? We’ve also got groovy coasters, bordered lands, and secondhand shooters. I hit it with my axe!


August 9, 2011

Play More Games: “KSHING!”

Fruit Ninja Kinect

There’s only one notable release this week, but oh, is it a big one: Halfbrick‘s runaway mobile success, Fruit Ninja, is finally out for Xbox 360 and Kinect. No longer confined to your phone or tablet’s tiny screen, Fruit Ninja is now super-sized and ready for your living room.

It sounds like a pretty straightforward port of the mobile game, which is interesting since most of the original gameplay modes last about a minute or two on average. I don’t think my longest Fruit Ninja session could have lasted more than 10–and that was at the height of my addiction, and on a platform that didn’t require me to flail my arms around wildly.

I did get to try the multiplayer mode for the first time recently, and it was a surprisingly tense affair. After hearing that Fruit Ninja Kinect supports two players on the same screen, my reactions were, in order: That is awesome, and almost immediately after, Just how many injuries per minute can you expect when you have two people standing side-by-side and swiping their arms at anything that moves? I might pick this up just to watch people play it… from a safe distance, of course.

That’s if I had a Kinect, obviously. I have to admit that this is among the accessory’s most compelling offerings, alongside Child of Eden, but I’m still waiting to truly be convinced.

Have you got a Kinect and are taking the 800 Microsoft point plunge this week to chop some virtual fruit? Let us know in the comments!

If you dare brave the rest of this week’s new releases, check out Tech-Gaming or

August 4, 2011

VGH #16: A Hard Road to Hoe

VGH #16: A Hard Road to Hoe

With only 10 minutes on the clock, the VGH team will weigh in on two recent gaming headlines: The demise of the Red Faction series and the big Nintendo 3DS price drop. We’ve also got Viewer Mail, the Hangover, Last Call, and lightsabers. Time’s up!


August 3, 2011

Play More Games: “Overwhelmed and Underplayed”

Trying to see everything that this year’s PAX East gaming convention had to offer in the course of a single afternoon was an enterprise doomed from the start.  In my first 3 hours on the show floor, I had only managed to see two of the booths on my wishlist (Red Faction: Armageddon and L.A. Noire) and meet up with some fellow Dragon Quest IX devotees.  I needed to devise a smarter plan of attack or I was destined to waste what little time I had waiting in line to watch a video of the first 10 minutes of Portal 2.

What I decided to do was this: see smaller games.  I knew that behemoths like Duke Nukem and SOCOM would inevitably get plenty of press from gaming magazines and blogs (and, as it turns out now, more than a few mediocre reviews) so it was in my best interest to use my day in Boston to fill up on as many cool, creative, under-hyped indie and downloadable games as possible.  These games, by nature of their budgets and visibility, were bound to get less media coverage further down the road.  Plus, their lines were shorter.

Some of the games that I played that afternoon have, by now, been released: Bastion, Outland, and The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile all delivered on what they promised during their demos.  A few still haven’t seen the light of day: Orcs Must Die, Fallen Frontier and Warp all intrigued but are awaiting concrete release dates.  One of the games I was most impressed by, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, is out today as part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade.

The look of I.T.S.P. instantly appealed to me: all shadows against deep hues with massive, multi-eyed, multi-tentacled monsters in pursuit of a tiny, seemingly defenseless UFO.  As I played with the ship’s lasers to take on smaller baddies and it’s claw to move obstacles, the charm of the gameplay began to click with me, as well.  The attendant manning the booth wasn’t willing to talk about multiplayer at the time but recent previews are describing it as more of a tactical co-op experience.  In short, I’m dying to get my hands on it this week.

On the subject of great independent games, LIMBO, one of my faves from 2010, is making it’s PlayStation Network debut this week.  If you don’t have access to an Xbox, this is your chance to play one of the most beautiful, engaging and singularly infuriating games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

Lastly, if the summer gaming and television drought has made you truly desperate for entertainment, you can indulge your need for both in the video game versions of Bleach, Phineas and Ferb, and Sesame Street that are hitting store shelves this week.

July 28, 2011

VGH #15: Very Menu Heavy

VGH #15: Very Menu Heavy

Ding! Achievement unlocked! In this week’s show, we discuss the allure of trophies and achievements in video games. Feedback is read, “retractments” are issued, and the Last Call offers some sage advice for managing your backlogs.


July 26, 2011

Play More Games: “A Girl Named Catherine”

Contrary to whatever the hell I committed to in VGH#2, my junior prom date was actually a girl named Catherine. While I would eventually grow in to the shining example of maturity and social grace that listeners of the podcast have come to know, the late 80s/early 90s were not the best of times for me: I was chubby, nearsighted and bespectacled, prone to wildfire breakouts of acne, and hopelessly awkward. Why Catherine ever asked me to go to the prom with her (yes, that’s right — she asked me), remains a mystery for the ages.

In Catherine, the new game for PS3 and Xbox 360 from Atlus, gamers play as Vincent, a thirtysomething office drone whose life is thrown into disarray after a one-night-stand with the titular character. Despite a 5-year relationship with his pregnant girlfriend (named, oddly enough, Katherine), Vincent is quite literally haunted by his encounters with Catherine: much of the gameplay centers around a series of nightmares where our protagonist must climb crumbling staircases, avoiding obstacles and death, to reach the top and survive the night.

While a patently adult-themed video game about the lurking horrors of modern relationships was initially quite intriguing to me, it’s this detail (along with the reported extreme difficulty of Catherine) that has me hesitating: will balancing the intricacies of Vincent’s life during the day and surviving the nightmarish puzzles every evening keep me locked in to the game for 20+ hours and across multiple varying endings?

As long as one of those endings doesn’t involve me sitting alone in my room, still wearing my powder-blue accented tuxedo while listening to The Cure’s “Pictures of You” on repeat, Catherine has to be more compelling and satisfying than Prom Night 1991 was.

Also out this week and worth mentioning: XBLA’s Summer of Arcade continues with From Dust, Eric Chahi’s (Out of This World) spiritual successor to Peter Molyneux’s 1989 game, Populous. In the game, players will assume control over the environmental elements in a barren archipelago in an attempt to allow a nomadic tribe to flourish. Sounds interminably boring to me but I know there’s a huge audience out there starving for modern “God-games” like this.  PS3 and PC versions of From Dust will arrive later this year.

3DS gamers (both of us!) will be happy to see that there’s another release this week that might actually be worth playing: Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions brings six new versions of the classic Namco games to Nintendo’s handheld, including the addictive Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions. Surely those must be worth a $40 purchase, right? RIGHT?

July 21, 2011

VGH #14: Top Shelf, Very Classy

VGH #14: Top Shelf, Very Classy

Why can’t we have nice things? Critics loved some of June’s big new releases but gamers were mostly indifferent. In this week’s show, the VGH crew weighs in on this disturbing–but not terribly surprising–trend.


July 19, 2011

Play More Games: “Summer of Candygun”

The King of Limbo

I hope you’ve cleared your schedule: Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade kicks off this week, and, as if in response, there’s plenty of new games out on the PlayStation Network as well. And this is just week one! Get ready for the palest, most shut-in summer ever!

Leading the Summer of Arcade charge is Supergiant Games’ Bastion, a 2D action game that’s fully narrated by what sounds like Morgan Freeman’s stand-in. The narration is definitely the most discussed aspect of the game, and I’m curious to see what it adds to the final experience.

Randy and I have talked about how much we enjoyed Limbo last year, and now PlayStation owners can finally try out this monochromatic and very macabre puzzle-platformer. If you enjoyed Braid and don’t mind the occasional enormous spider or surprise spike trap, then Limbo is highly worth a look.

SNK reminds everyone that it hasn’t forgotten about its Neo Geo Station initiative by adding a couple more games to the lineup. This week, it’s Baseball Stars 2 and The King of Fighters ’95, in both PS3 and PSP flavors. I have to confess I don’t know much about Baseball Stars, but KOF95 was a landmark entry for the long-running series as it allowed players to create their own, custom teams for the first time. It also marked the debut of Iori Yagami, a now-iconic character who’s almost synonymous with the KOF name. While it’s a little frustrating that SNK seems to be taking their time rereleasing their huge back catalog of games (even more painful when they sport a yearly label), if you’re in need of a 2D fighting fix or missed the whole KOF phenomenon, ’95 isn’t a bad place to start.

Dead Block kind of snuck up out of nowhere, but after watching the trailer they’ve put together I can say it’s definitely unique. Yes, it’s yet another zombie game, but this time you’re holed up in a building and have to setup doorway traps for the slow-moving zombies as they shamble from room to room. It’s sort of like tower defense, but not quite. Developer Candygun–which is an incredible name, by the way–has packed their strange sense of humor into every corner of the game, as when you’re not planting cardboard box masks on zombies’ heads, you’re killing them with the power of classic rock and roll. This is a strange one, for sure.

Finally, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions comes to PSN today. A cleaned-up version of one of my absolute favorite games, FFT has been out on UMD for some time, but now PSP Go owners (or just PSP owners who like to go the digital route) can grab a copy without leaving their couch. It’s got the same classic, tactical RPG gameplay that made the 1997 original so addictive, plus a brilliant reworking of Yasumi Matsuno’s twisting storyline about clashing armies and the lengths to which people go for power. If you have a PSP and haven’t played this update (or the original), please, please, please check it out.

Is that enough games to keep you inside this week? Let us know what you’ll be playing in the comments!

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

July 15, 2011

Gamecenter: A new arcade draws near!

As you may have learned from Episode #13: The Nuclear Option, the arcade scene in the Bay Area is fighting hard to come back. Last week, I checked out Gamecenter in San Mateo, a brand new (opened last month!) arcade in downtown San Mateo. The owner, Myung Kim, is a former game developer who was inspired by the thriving Japanese arcade scene and hopes to bring some of that enthusiasm and sense of community to America.

So far, I’d say he’s doing a great job: When I dropped in, I found a huge, cheering crowd huddled around a row of fighting games, while the other end of the arcade was packed due to a Super Smash Bros. tournament in progress. There was even a guy attempting to teach his female friend the intricacies of giant robot-on-robot combat, for better or for worse. (Think what you will–you’ve got to give him points for enthusiasm.) All this was happening on a Sunday afternoon, which is hardly peak hours. I can’t wait to see it on a Thursday or Friday evening, which is when I’m told the biggest crowds show up.

If you’re in the San Mateo area, stop by Gamecenter and show your support! You might even learn a thing or two. They’re open Wednesday through Monday, from 3PM to midnight. For location and more info, visit their website and watch their Facebook page for up to the minute news on special events–like Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel VS Capcom 3 weeklies starting this weekend! You can also follow them on Twitter at @GCArcade.

Check out the gallery below for some photos! (Click to enlarge.)

Gamecenter - entrance

Since they’re a bit nestled into an alley, they’ve put up a helpful sign right on the street to help you find the place. Also, thai food.

Gamecenter - SSF4AE, GvGN

I was greeted by Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (posing as Tekken 6) and four linked cabinets of Japanese sensation Gundam VS Gundam NEXT. It’s not well-known in the States, but I hear the competition at Gamecenter can get downright fierce.

Gamecenter - PS3 cabinets

Six back-to-back, custom PS3 cabinets running Super Street Fighter IV AE, Marvel VS Capcom 3, Tekken 6, BlazBlue Continuum Shift II, and Arcana Heart 3. You need to buy a $7 wristband to play these, but that means unlimited play time until they close. I’ll say it again: unlimited play.

Gamecenter - 3rd Strike/Virtua Cop 3

Fighting games not so much your thing? There’s a row of other games to hold your attention, and they’re no slouches: Next to the requisite Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (admittedly, a fighting game), there’s the criminally underrated Virtua Cop 3. Not pictured: Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, Espgaluda II, Magical Drop III, and a cocktail cabinet playing classic games like Centipede.

Gamecenter - Ikaruga

Oh, and Ikaruga. My old nemesis, we meet again.

Gamecenter - games for rent

There’s an array of TVs at one side of the arcade where you can hook up consoles to play on. They’ll even rent you a Japanese Xbox 360 so you can try out some of the imports they have on hand.

Gamecenter - Neo Geo games

(I won’t say anything here so you can just drool over this exceptional Neo Geo library.)

Gamecenter - memorabilia

Various pieces of gaming memorabilia.

Gamecenter - Smash Bros. tournament

Gamers preparing for the Smash tournament. You can tell these guys were serious because they were all playing Melee and their characters looked like they were constantly having seizures.

Location Test is a recurring report on real- and not-so-real-world locations of interest. Visit the archive for more.

July 14, 2011

VGH #13: The Nuclear Option

VGH #13: The Nuclear Option

On this week’s show: Gaming in the Digital Age! The crew wax poetic about how evolution in the gaming distribution landscape is a total GAME CHANGER. Guest stars this week include: Vegan Nuclear Bombs, Uncharted 3, Navi and someone named Steve???


July 12, 2011

Play More Games: “My Head Explod”


It’s a pretty light week for new releases, but at least one of these is guaranteed to keep you glued to your controller so badly, you might gnaw off your own thumbs to escape.

That game, of course, is the sequel to Twisted Pixel’s ‘Splosion Man: Ms. ‘Splosion Man, naturally. The basic gameplay premise is the same: press A to explode–excuse me, ‘splode–yourself into the air, off walls, and through pesky scientists as you navigate a slew of platform-based puzzles. Early reports describe this as being a more refined game (Does that even makes sense when your sole action is to detonate yourself?) with better boss battles, an overworld map, and the much-hyped “2 Girls, 1 Controller” mode, where each analog stick controls a separate Ms. ‘Splosion Man. Commence the thumb gnawing.

Ms. ‘Splosion Man is out this Wednesday, exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade, for 800 Microsoft Points. Or, if you refuse to own an Xbox because of your Apple fanaticism, you can look forward to the inevitable iPhone knockoff sometime next year.

This week’s other big release is the meticulously timed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2), releasing for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PC, N64, Colecovision, Fisher Price See and Say, etc. A reliable source told me that our own Paul Sandhu is already camped out in line for it, even though someone already spoiled the ending for him. Even if you’re not a die-hard Potter fan, if you own a PS3, you might want to pick up a copy anyway since it supports the PlayStation Move and you can pretend that you’re playing that Sorcery game that they showed off at E3 2010. Remember when they were making that game?

Anyway. Motion-controlled wizardry or endless explosions. Take your pick.

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

July 7, 2011

VGH #12: Flong

VGH #12: Flong

On this week’s show: games! Specifically, the guilty pleasures and bargain-bin treasures that keep us entertained between all of those Big Important Games we play. We’ve scoured our collections for the titles that we’d categorize as “so bad it’s good” or “too cheap to suck” and included our favorites here. If that isn’t enough, we’ve also got sweat, dude-bros, James Bond and swanky new music by Brother Android. So good it burns!