June 29, 2011

VGH #11: Cartoon Animal Abuse

VGH #11: Cartoon Animal Abuse

We’re back! Taking inspiration from their favorite books, movies, and TV shows, the VGH crew is wishing, hoping, and dreaming of video game adaptations that probably won’t ever see the light of day. Plus: Paul finally gets bitten by the DQIX bug, D.J. leaves the house, and Randy is easily offended. In the community theater segment, we hope to not get sued by the creators of Sam and Max.

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June 21, 2011

Play More Games: “Party like It’s 1998″

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

It seems like the dry spell may be coming to an end for 3DS owners. We recently saw the opening of the 3DS eShop and its surprisingly tasteful selection of classic Gameboy games, and this week, the handheld is getting its first, definite must-have title in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo’s given Link’s classic N64 adventure some much-needed, modern visuals and what’s being called the best use of 3D yet. There’s also a convenient touchscreen menu interface (sure to come in handy for any submerged temples you come across) and a second quest that should give veterans something to do even if they’ve already memorized the original game. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve played Zelda 64, so I am officially interested. That’s +1 game I’d like to play on the 3DS.

Shadows of the Damned is decidedly different. It’s a third-person action game and a collaboration between Resident Evil‘s Shinji Mikami and the always-eyebrow-raising Suda 51. You can definitely see both developers’ influence as the game plays a bit like a new-school Resident Evil with a completely insane sense of humor, although both the action and characters feel pretty stale. For instance, the main character is yet another rugged, Hispanic man who constantly scowls and calls the bad guys cabrones. Is there a single person left who thinks this archetype is novel, let alone amusing? I have to give them credit for the neon-lit, Día de los Muertos-esque take on Hell, but I’ll probably pass on the game. I am totally itching to hear the soundtrack, though, which was provided by Silent Hill‘s Akira Yamaoka.

Finally, F.3.A.R. is out this week. I think I’ve mistakenly included it in a couple past Play More Games, only to find that it suffered yet another last-minute delay. I’m pretty sure you can actually buy it now. I’m 99% certain. Call ahead just in case.

For a full list of games out this week, visit Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.

June 14, 2011

Play More Games: “Vaporize”

Final Fantasy VII Reunion HD

Long have gamers waited for this day. When Final Fantasy VII first arrived on Western shores in 1997, few could have foreseen the extent to which it would change the gaming landscape. It turned an entire generation onto JRPGs starring spiky-haired heroes and started Square Enix (back then, simply “Square”) down the path to becoming a global superpublisher. Yet even after countless sequels and spinoffs, many of the series’s fans would argue that nothing has come close to recapturing the magic they experienced when they played Final Fantasy VII for the first time. For years, the fans pleaded with Square Enix for a remake.

Now, in 2011, they’ve delivered: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion HD is finally available for the PlayStation 3 after years in development. Similar to the PS3 tech demo first shown on the back in 2005, Reunion HD reunites players with Cloud Strife and the world of Final Fantasy VII, this time with the same imaginative environments rendered in real-time in 1080p and Nobuo Uematsu’s classic score, reorchestrated and presented in 7.1 surround. You’re also sure to run into all your favorite characters (and maybe a few new ones) along the way.


Half-Life 2: Episode Three

Before the release of Half-Life in 1998, people saw FPS games like Quake and that other game as a venue for shooting their friends. Now it’s impossible to read about a new FPS without hearing about the unprecedented levels of immersion, the advanced enemy AI, and the enthralling storyline. With each new Half-Life game, developer Valve has managed to push the boundaries of first-person shooters a little farther, and the results have been unequivocably brilliant.

This week’s Half-Life 2: Episode Three is no different. (SPOILER WARNING) While it’s already been leaked that the game jumps ahead a bit and begins with Gordon Freeman and company already struggling over what to do with the experiment from the recovered Borealis vessel, where the story goes from there is anyone’s guess. Expect to see other players’ influence on your own trip through the campaign thanks to Valve’s new “enhanced singleplayer” philosophy, and keep an eye out for a surprise cameo from a popular Portal character. (No, it’s not who you think. No, not her, either.) Episode Three is available now in stores and, of course, via Steam.


Duke Nukem Forever

Originally announced back in 1997, Duke Nukem Forever promised to be a wise-cracking, alien-blasting follow-up to the surprise hit, Duke Nukem 3D. During its comically long stint in development, we’ve seen entire series like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty rise up and conquer the industry. Gearbox Software, the developer who rescued the game from the husk of 3D Realms, is betting that Duke still has what it takes to win over a generation of gamers who probably never even played Duke 3D.

Early reviews paint a grim picture of a clunky first-person shooter that’s been muddled thanks to a decade of redesigns and developer departures, but let’s be realistic: There’s little chance any game could survive 14 years in development and come out intact, let alone live up to its hyperbolic expectations. Any well-informed gamer starting up DNF has hopefully tempered theirs and will understand what they’re getting: an artifact of a bygone era of gaming that’s been dragged into a new one via a near endless chain of questionable decisions. It’s here more as a formality—for our observation and for closure instead for entertainment—but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s finally here.

Yes, Duke Nukem Forever is out today.


For more real games that game out this week, check out Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.

June 8, 2011

VGH Bonus Round: E3 2011

iTunes

The VGH crew offer their fascinating insight and biting commentary on the big announcements from E3 2011. Kinect, PlayStation Vita, Wii U—nothing is safe in this mini-episode to end all mini-episodes!

Episode Timeline:
Intro: 1:05
Microsoft Conference: 3:05
Sony Conference: 24:55
Nintendo Conference: 43:09

Corrections:
D.J.: I mentioned that the new 3DS Animal Crossing trailer showed indoor furniture (specifically, torches) placed outside. It turns out that the torches were just in a room where the wallpaper made it look like it was outside. There will still be new objects like benches and lamp posts outside, though.

June 7, 2011

Play More Games: “Go Beneath”

Red Faction: Armageddon

Did you miss us? It’s been a while since there have been any notable releases, but a few stalwarts have decided to be brave and send a couple of their games out right in the middle of E3.

First out is Red Faction: Armageddon by Volition, Inc. If you’ve listened to any of our shows (especially last week’s), you already know that all three of us are hopeless fans of the previous game in the series because of its online multiplayer and signature destructible environments. You may also know that Volition caused a little controversy by removing the multiplayer component from Armageddon. I’d be lying if I said I’m not disappointed, but there’s still a lengthy singleplayer campaign where you get to shoot aliens with a huge arsenal of over-the-top, sci-fi weapons, including a gun that flings around whatever debris you can get in your sights. Of course, there’s a sledgehammer if you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.

In addition to the campaign, there’s a four-player, cooperative horde mode called Infestation, and Ruin mode, which tasks you with obliterating every structure in sight with your weapon of choice. Many developers have dabbled with destructible environments in their recent games, but none of them deliver quite the same satisfaction that comes from watching structures crumble under their own weight as only Volition’s Geo-Mod 2 tech can accomplish. That destruction is front and center in Ruin mode, and I’ve got to confess that it’s a little addictive watching your score creep up as buildings collapse all around you. It’s definitely worth trying if you’ve got a penchant for putting holes in walls or giant laser beams.

It’s also worth paying attention to the audio as you play. Guerrilla already had fantastic surround sound support, but they seem to have taken extra special care with the sound effects this time. Explosions and gunfire sound are crisp and pack a real sonic punch, especially when you’re dual wielding some Banshee heavy pistols. There’s also a cool, eletronic vibe to the soundtrack, composed by Brian Reitzell.

As for competetive multiplayer, here’s hoping for its triumphant return in Red Faction 5.

The other big game out this week is Sucker Punch’s Infamous 2, which returns you to the shoes of Cole MacGrath. He’s still zapping bad guys and generally causing mayhem with his lightning powers, but this time he’ll do it in a new city that very much resembles New Orleans. The morality system that we discussed at length in episode 7 makes its return as well, although Sucker Punch promises your decisions will carry more weight this time around. Paul should be happy.

To coincide with their announcements at E3, Nintendo’s turned on the eShop for the 3DS. Just power on your system and apply the latest update to gain access to the 3DS’s lineup of downloadable titles and classic Gameboy games like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. The sooner you do it, the better, since they’re giving away a version of the NES classic Excitebike that’s been updated in 3D. I’m a little jealous.

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

Are you getting either of this week’s big games? Has E3 fever got you too preoccupied to actually play games? Let us know what you think of the new releases and any of the news coming out of E3 in the comments!

June 2, 2011

VGH #10: Honk the Horn

VGH #10: Honk the Horn

M-M-MULTIKILL! The crew discuss their unhealthy obsession with multiplayer gaming, including a certain game starring ostriches on Mars. Also: We put on our robes and wizard hats, Randy says something inappropriate, and VGCT bids farewell to an old friend.

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May 31, 2011

VGH #9.5: Portalable

iTunes

Here there be spoilers! In this bite-sized episode of Video Game Hangover, the hosts discuss only one game: Portal 2.

This Week’s Music:
“Science is Fun” and “The Courtesy Call” by Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratory

Referenced in This Week’s Show:
Download the free soundtrack to Portal 2 here.

May 23, 2011

VGH #9: Big Revelations or Whatever

iTunes

Modern Warfare 9!? We love our gaming sequels… or do we? Some are good, some… not so much. In this week’s episode the VGH crew talk about what they think makes a great sequel. In our Hangover Segment, D.J. impresses with his encyclopedic knowledge of the Godfather films. We also dive into a discussion on some of our personal favourite and not so favourite gaming sequels.

In this episode’s installment of Video Game Community Theatre, we try our hand at Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. The results? Well, listen for yourself! In the second part of our show, we play “The Sequel Game” which we blatantly stole from Kotaku. Thanks Kotaku! Also, one lucky listener wins the AWARD OF THE WEEK!

We’d love to get your reviews on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. We’d love it even more if those reviews were positive! If you’ve enjoyed the show please take a moment to follow the links and say something nice about us. Perhaps, in an upcoming episode, we’ll take a little time to say something nice about you in return?

Episode Timeline:
Intro: 0:00
Hangover: 5:15
Game Sequels: 20:20
VGCT – Uncharted: 57:55
The Sequel Game: 59:05

This week’s music:
“Krakbound”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson
“Popular potpourri”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson (from the VVVVVV soundtrack)

Referenced in this week’s show:
Kotaku – The Sequel Game
Fruit Ninja (iOS/Android)
The Impossible Game (iOS/Android)
Tiny Wings (iOS)
Stupid Zombies (iOS/Android)

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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May 4, 2011

Even More Blips and Bloops: D.J.’s Selection

Akira Yamaoka performs

There’s just too much incredible music out there to fit into one show! In an attempt to cover even a fraction more of it, we’ve each collected a few more songs we think are worth listening to. It was still nearly impossible for me to narrow it down so there’s quite a bit on here, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to a few of the songs here. Let’s start with a few songs from my all-time favorite game composers, in no particular order:

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May 3, 2011

VGH #8: Blips and Bloops

iTunes

Toe tappin’ and neck snappin’! While the PlayStation Network is down, the hosts find time to indulge one of their second-favorite loves: video game music. Rather than just talk about their faves, you’ll hear excerpts from classic scores and modern tracks with color commentary from the VGH crew.

In The Hangover this week, Randy and D.J. are having fun with science in Portal 2 and Paul has been platforming with Trine.  Finally, in Video Game Community Theater, our reluctant thespians take on Dead Rising.

In the final moments of the show, listen closely for directions on how you can enter our newest contest and win a copy of the Video Games Live DVD.  It’s “nüawesome”!

We’d love to get your reviews on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. We’d love it even more if those reviews were positive! If you’ve enjoyed the show please take a moment to follow the links and say something nice about us. Perhaps, in an upcoming episode, we’ll take a little time to say something nice about you in return?

Episode Timeline:
Intro: 0:00
Hangover: 2:15
Game Music, Part 1: 20:30
VGCT – Dead Rising: 49:30
Game Music, Part 2: 51:00

This week’s music:

Intro: “VGH #8 Radio” medley featuring Jonathan Coulton, John Keston, Hiroki Kikuta, Christopher Lennertz, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Keichi Suzuki, and Akira Yamaoka

“Magnetman Stage” – Yasuaki Fujita
“Battle with Magus” – Yasunori Mitsuda
“Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV” – Nobuo Uematsu
“The Hall of Souls” – Nine Inch Nails
“Terran One” – Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke and Jason Hayes
“Propane Nightmares” – Pendulum
“Alden Strikes” – Amon Tobin and Jim Dooley
“A Despair-Filled Farewell” – Kow Otani
“Aria di Mezzo Carattere” – Nobuo Uematsu
“Adventure” – Koichi Sugiyama
“The Tragic Prince” – Michiru Yamane
“Sleepyhead” – Passion Pit

Outro: Hitoshi Sakimoto medley

Referenced in this week’s show:

Moog Cookbook – “More Than a Feeling”
LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer featuring “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit
Play for Japan – A game music charity album for Japan relief efforts, organized by Akira Yamaoka and featuring Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Bear McCreary, and others.
Songs for the Cure – Series of albums by game music composers and remixers. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
Jim Noir – “My Patch”

April 20, 2011

VGH #7: The Bad Ending

iTunes

Backloggery! A less-than-inspiring collection of recent releases has given the VGH hosts an opportunity to dig into their gaming backlogs a bit. D.J.’s been playing through Aksys Games‘ “visual novel”, 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, which inspires a conversation about memorable moments in games. Paul and Randy are playing through Sucker Punch’s inFAMOUS, which gets the crew a bit worked up about morality as a gameplay device (as well as the long-range accuracy of snipers). Plus: we’ve picked a winner in our “Free Ramen” PAX/Amazon contest, we’re easily distracted by Ninja Cat, and a new Video Game Community Theater wants your delightfully evil little brain!

We’d love to get your reviews on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. We’d love it even more if those reviews were positive! If you’ve enjoyed the show please take a moment to follow the links and say something nice about us. Perhaps, in an upcoming episode, we’ll take a little time to say something nice about you in return?

Episode Timeline:
Intro: 0:00
Hangover: 5:15
Memorable Moments: 33:15
VGCT – Psychonauts: 56:15
Tough Decisions: 59:00

This week’s music:

“Krakbound”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson
“Popular potpourri”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson (from the VVVVVV soundtrack)

Referenced in this week’s show:

Cute Roulette!
Diablo Lore in a Minute

April 19, 2011

Play More Games: “Valve Time”

PORTAL 2 GRAPHIC HERE

It’s time. No matter how hard the gaming draught has hit you this month, there’s something for you to play this week.

Let’s start with the big one: If you’ve spent any time on the Internet in the last week, you probably already know that Portal 2 is out today. When I finished the first Portal, I told myself that I wouldn’t mind if they never made a sequel—the game was brilliant but so concise that I was afraid the wonderfully fresh concept would start to get stale if there was too much more of it. Apparently sometime between then and now I changed my mind, because now I can’t wait to get back to the lab to shoot some holes in walls.

The other big game out this week (maybe even bigger than Portal, depending on who you ask) is the ninth Mortal Kombat, which aims to return the series to its blood-spurting roots, before recent installments got bogged down with multiple fighting styles and DC superheroes. With fighting games enjoying something of a Renaissance thanks to Street Fighter IV, it’s high time Mortal Kombat tossed its razor-brimmed hat back into the ring, and this outing could be a real contender—based on the demo, the game feels a lot like Mortal Kombat II, which was arguably the high point of the series.

Also making its long-awaited return is the SOCOM series in SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. As someone who loves the idea of a tactics-heavy shooter but spent most of his time in SOCOM Confrontation spectating from beyond the grave, I’ve been cautiously following SOCOM 4 since it was announced, including spending a few hours in last month’s beta. (Thanks for the beta code, kube!) Unfortunately, I came to a lot of the same conclusions shared by reviewers and SOCOM die-hards—developer Zipper has made some serious changes to the gameplay in an attempt to broaden the series’s appeal to the trigger-happy Call of Duty crowd, and as a result, SOCOM 4 doesn’t feel quite like older SOCOM games. However, Zipper has promised a litany of patches to return that classic feel to the game. For the sake of “Socrack” addicts everywhere, I hope they deliver sooner rather than later.

If you’re looking for something a little more whimsical, look no further than Square Enix’s Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for the PSP. This is yet another rerelease of the Final Fantasy classic, but since this one happens to be my favorite of the series, I’m willing to let it slide. Whereas the recent DS remake of FF4 opted for full 3D graphics, this PSP version returns to the hand-drawn sprites of the SNES original, although they’ve bumped up the detail quite a bit and, for the most part, the results are gorgeous. The game also includes a similarly enhanced version of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years—a somewhat-extraneous follow-up to the events of FF4, and an interlude game that connects the two. Personally, I would be fine with just the original FF4, but I’m glad (I think) to have the opportunity to try this new chapter.

This last notable game this week, Dino Crisis 2, was a bit of a surprise, both when it originally came out in 2000 and when Sony announced its rerelease this weekend. Whereas the original Dino Crisis was a forgettable survival horror game (It’s like Resident Evil with dinosaurs!), DC2 transformed the series into a dinosaur shooting gallery where protagonists Regina and Dylan mow down wave after wave of giant reptiles with everything from dual submachineguns to anti-tank cannons. I played it just a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that shooting dinosaurs was just as fun as I remembered. It’s out today on the PlayStation Network for a mere $6. If you need a break from everything else coming out this week, it’ll be waiting for you.

So what are you playing this week? Portal 2? Mortal Kombat? Both? (Portal Kombat!?) Let us know how you’ll be dividing up your time in the comments.

For a full list of this week’s new releases (and there are quite a few I didn’t get to here), check out Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.

April 12, 2011

Play More Games: “‘Play Fewer Games’ Edition”

Patapons get sidetracked

You know it’s a light release week when the highest profile game coming out is a PSP game: It’s Patapon 3! The Patapon tribe continues its trek across the land, this time with the help of some new hero Patapons. Players tired of making the lonely journey towards Earthend by themselves will be happy to know that they can play the entire game co-op with a friend online, which should help break up the monotony of alternating the same couple of button presses over, and over, and over again, every ten seconds, for hours. Seriously, Patapon: I want to love you so much. You’ve got a great art style, cute characters, and a silly soundtrack that remained stuck in my head long after I put down the original game, but all of those can only distract me from the monotonous gameplay for so long.

If Patapon’s not your thing, there’s always Michael Jackson: The Experience. It’s Kinect-enabled! And… yeah, OK. Just save your money for next week, because that’s when everything’s happening.

April 8, 2011

Crysis 2 review: Will it blend?

Don't screw with this guy

Much like a nanosuit-wearing badass’ ability to silently sneak up on enemies, Crysis 2 crept up on me, surprising me with a thoroughly entertaining campaign and fast-paced multiplayer modes that I feel compelled to keep coming back to. There isn’t anything necessarily ground-breaking here, but what is here is a perfect blend of ideas and concepts found in other popular modern shooters, with a dash of its own ingredients added for flavor.

Crysis 2 was an interesting proposition for me. Having never played the original, I wouldn’t exactly say that the sequel had been “on my radar” in the months leading up to its release. After a brief hands-on with the multiplayer beta, my interest level skyrocketed. I ultimately decided to buy the full game and I’ve been impressed overall with the experience.
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April 4, 2011

Featured musician: Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson

PPPPPPowerup!

If you’ve had a chance to listen to Episode 6, you may have noticed there’s something different about it. That’s right: New intro music! I’m proud to announce that Video Game Hangover now opens and closes with the addictive chiptunes of Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson, who you might recognize as the composer for Terry Cavanagh’s perilous VVVVVV!

If you haven’t played VVVVVV aren’t familiar with his work, his songs bring to mind the infectious melodies and low-fi simplicity of classic games like Mega Man, Legacy of the Wizard, and M.U.L.E. They perfectly suited a retro-styled game like VVVVVV, and to call the soundtrack “background music” would be unfair—SoulEye’s tracks immersed me within VVVVVV’s world as much as the gameplay itself. Beyond game music, he’s composed a number of catchy, original pieces, including a recent track for the Songs for the Cure charity album, Remedy.

The tracks we’re featuring on the show include one of his original compositions, “Krakbound,” and “Popular potpourri,” a VVVVVV medley. If you want to hear more, check out the digital music section of souleye.se for lots of original work, including the full version of Krakbound. You can also buy copies of PPPPPP (the VVVVVV soundtrack) and PPPPPPowerup! (a collection of remixed VVVVVV songs) in MP3, lossless FLAC, or even on CD. Whether you’ve played VVVVVV or not, definitely visit his site and then let him know how much his music rocks on Twitter!

If you make awesome videogame-inspired music and would like to be featured in future episodes of Video Game Hangover, get in touch with us at contact@vghangover.com.

PPPPPPowerup! cover image by Roger Svanlund.

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 30, 2011

VGH #6: Freakyzeeky Is Better than You

iTunes

Metacritic: Is it the devil? Probably not, but on this week’s show we talk about that and the world of video game criticism, in general. We also weigh in with our early impressions of the Nintendo 3DS and our 3D gaming wishlists, the new leaderboard-centric Need for Speed, and an inaccurately named not-quite-sequel to Contra. Plus, we announce our next big contest and there’s yet another installment of Community Theater. Finish him!

Episode Timeline (skip to the time stamp for each segment):

Intro: 0:00!
3DS Chat: 4:30
What We’ve Been Playing: 16:15
3DS Games We’d Like to See: 29:45
VGCT – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: 37:00
Reviewing Game Reviews: 38:45

This week’s music:

“Krakbound”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson
“Popular potpourri”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson (from the VVVVVV soundtrack)

Referenced in this week’s show:

QWOP (and the sequel, GIRP!)
Article from Kotaku about the Bioware developer that surreptitiously reviewed Dragon Age II on Metacritic
Article from the MTV Multiplayer Blog about publishers tying bonuses to Metacritic ratings
Zero Punctuation game reviews by Yahtzee

March 29, 2011

Play More Games: “Revenge of Moon Lord”

not that Moon Diver

Something really strange is happening in gaming right now. Just a few weeks ago, Konami and Arc System Works released their Contra-inspired sidescroller, Hard Corps: Uprising, with minimal fanfare. And it was amazing! After a long drought of games like it, its breakneck 2D shooting action was just what I needed. So imagine my surprise to find out that Moon Diver, the new game from Kouichi Yotsui, the creator of Strider, is out today. Like Strider, you spend much of the game climbing up walls and slicing enemies into pieces, except this time you can team up with three other people online. I don’t know why these developers decided it was time for a 2D action game revival, but you won’t hear any complaints from me. I’m anxiously awaiting my chance to press start when the game releases later today.

If you prefer your slicing to be single-player only, Dynasty Warriors 7 is out this week for PS3 and Xbox 360. Even if you’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game, I think you know the drill at this point.

After what seems like an eternity in development, The 3rd Birthday is finally out on PSP this week. This game continues the story of Parasite Eve heroine Aya Brea as she battles the forces of (presumably) evil mitochondria. This time around, she’s got the ability to “zap” into other characters and take control of them as she fights through the streets of New York City. I’m pretty curious about this since I enjoyed the original Parasite Eve, although when you say “third-person shooter” and “PSP” in the same sentence, I start to worry about how well I’ll be able to shoot while trying to juggle the camera controls.

Finally, the final Mass Effect 2 downloadable mission, Arrival, goes live today. Without spoiling anything, it promises to bridge the gap in the storyline between Mass Effect 2 and 3. Now that all the bonus episodes are out, I might have to sit down finally have a marathon ME2 session so I can get caught up.

Oh, and lest I forget, DragonForce’s infamous “Through the Fire and Flames” comes to Rock Band 3 today. You’ve seen people melt their fingers off playing it on expert in Guitar Hero; now Rock Band owners get their chance. You can even play it in Pro Guitar mode. Here’s an idea of what to expect.

And one more thing… Nintendo released a new portable this week. Have you heard of it? The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the much-loved DS and lets you play games in eye-busting 3D, without the need for special glasses. For our initial impressions, tune into Episode 6 later this week.

Until then, here are a few of the 3DS games that are out now and (probably) worth checking out:

Augmented Reality Games/Face Raiders (built-in) – These reality-warping games make use of the included AR cards and the 3DS’s camera to cause dragons to pop out of your coffee table, or to plaster your friends’ faces all over shootable targets, the latter of which sounds way more antisocial than it actually is. There’s not really an experience like this on any other platform, so definitely give this a try if you have the chance.

Nintendogs + Cats – If you’ve played Nintendogs, you probably know what to expect from this. Among the new features is an augmented reality mode that lets you view your virtual puppy or kitten in your real life surroundings. Just don’t let your actual pet find out.

Pilotwings Resort – It’s the Pilotwings we all know and love: Fly your glider or rocketbelt through rings and balloons and try to land on that target without incurring too many broken bones. Or more likely, try to land as hard as possible see if you can make your Mii scream like a lunatic.

Ridge Racer 3DS – It’s RIIIIDGE RACERRRR… in THREE DEEEE! Seriously though, you really can’t go wrong with Ridge Racer, and the 3D effects are supposed to be incredible.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition – This is actually probably my pick for the top 3DS launch game, and that’s completely ignoring the 3D features. With this, you get the full version of Super Street Fighter IV, on a portable, with real online play. There’s an over-the-shoulder camera mode for really showing off the 3D effect and it looks incredible, but is kind of impractical for actually playing the game. Still, portable Street Fighter!

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars – This might be the sleeper hit among the 3DS’s launch games. Instead of a third-person tactical shooter like the console Ghost Recon games, it’s a turn-based strategy game that’s more in line with Advance Wars. Also it has cool character names like Richter, Saffron, and Mint, which is worth bonus points in my book. Also, Tom Clancy.

That about sums it up for this week. For a full list of this week’s new releases, check out Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.