Thursday, January 12, 2012
Games: The wife and I finished Gears 3 a couple of days ago, and I've got a review in the works. It's been a fairly difficult one to write since I focus more on the story and character aspects than about how many weapons are available in multiplayer modes, or how explosive the setpieces are.
I'm not quite sure how well it will go over since I think my reaction to the story (and especially the ending) are not typical... that's never stopped me before, though. We’ll see!
I also spent about three hours with the new XBLA title, AMY, and have submitted a review already. It's not exactly the smoking wreck that everyone says it is... well, I mean, it is a smoking wreck but it's a very strange one because the biggest offense it commits is that it feels as though it was developed a decade ago and only just recently discovered in some lost vault or archive. I really can't imagine how anyone could have greenlit a game that feels so outdated and atavistic. I mean, it's as though the developers were living in a cave on some remote, isolated mountaintop and haven't played anything since the PS1 days.
In any event, it's a real shame that the game went south because I think the premise is strong and I would have been quite interested to see the concepts go in a different direction. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and under no circumstances am I suggesting anybody should pay for it. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
After AMY, I took @KayinAmoh’s advice and spent some time with Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai on 360. You may not believe it, but the game is completely awesome.
No, seriously. This is not a joke. It's awesome.
Basically, it's Uncharted at the core, except that the story moves at a breakneck pace and the developers have taken the liberty to approach the title with tongue firmly in cheek. There are so many goofy things that happen that it's utterly brilliant; it's so absurd that it's pure genius.
After crashing his plane in the remote Alaskan wilderness, the main character must rescue his passenger and her mysterious cargo. Along the way, he scales mountains like Spider-Man, kills a nature preserve’s worth of wolves, dogsleds like an F1 driver, stuffs a woman inside a moose to save her life Empire Strikes Back style, travels with a magical teleporting husky, finds the cabin of someone who could be a stand-in for a retired Solid Snake, collects vials of medicine as large as his own body and shoots a bunch of cougars and bears RIGHT IN THE GODDAMN HEART.
I don't see how anybody can not love this game. I haven't finished it yet, but from what I've seen so far, this looks like a total RECOMMEND.
My good friend @ChrisGreen87 tackles the question of what it means to be Batman in his latest blog post. It's an interesting read and examines the merits of constructing Arkham City in open-world fashion.
You can take a look and see what he's got to say right here.
If you're a regular reader of this blog you may remember that a little while ago, I was considering including PR releases and general games info at the bottom of my posts. I asked you, my readers for feedback, and I didn't get anyone who thought that sounded like a bad idea, so tonight will be the first night that I'll try this out...
Everything below is basically cut and pasted verbatim from the numerous press releases I get every day. I'm not endorsing any of the games or products below, I'm simply passing along word for those of you who may be interested.
If you don't want to be subjected to a whole lot of information overload, feel free to stop reading now. Also, if you’ve got a minute, drop me a line and let me know whether you actually like seeing this stuff, or if you'd rather have me not include it.
FALLOUT® MMO RIGHTS RESTORED TO BETHESDA SOFTWORKS® IN INTERPLAY LITIGATION
All Fallout® Intellectual Property Rights Belong Exclusively to Bethesda
Under the terms of the settlement, the license granted to Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void, and all rights granted to Interplay to develop a Fallout MMO revert back to Bethesda, effective immediately. Interplay has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand or any Fallout intellectual property for any game development. ZeniMax will pay Interplay $2 million as consideration in the settlement, each party will bear its own costs of the litigation, and Bethesda will continue to own all Fallout intellectual property rights. Interplay will be permitted to continue to sell the original Fallout ®Tactics, Fallout® and Fallout® 2 PC games through December 2013, after which time all rights to market those games revert to and become the sole property of Bethesda. Under the original agreement pursuant to which Bethesda had acquired the Fallout property, Interplay was granted certain merchandising rights to sell those original Fallout games, but those merchandising rights will now expire on December 31, 2013.
Feeling angry? Having a bad day? Then unleash that rage with the official demo for Asura’s Wrath, available on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE in North America.
Introducing a brand new style of game, players will control Asura in a blend of action and cinematic sequences, delivering a fresh take on the genre. Download the demo and face off against distinct enemies in two episodes from the game. Meet the planetary sized boss Wyzen and Asura’s old mentor Augus on this journey for revenge against each of the eight deities who betrayed Asura 12,000 years ago. Execute a mix of range attacks and visceral close quarters action to fill Asura’s ‘Burst Gauge,’ unleashing the full forces of his rage and devastation.
The Demon Slayer Beckons: Third and final character class rounds out the massive MapleStory Legends update
The third and final character class to complete MapleStory’s Legends update has finally arrived in the form of the Demon Slayer, who joins Mercedes and the Canonneer to round out Maple World’s elite roster. As a former underling of the Black Mage, the Demon Slayer came to his senses and discovered where the real truth in battle resides, within the Resistance movement.
In his quest to free Edelstein and atone for his evil past, the Demon Slayer fights with a mighty one-handed mace and defends himself with the Demon Aegis, a shield made exclusively for this formidable class. His unique energy gauge, known as Demon Fury, charges as the Demon Slayer defeats deadly monsters. Through his Demon Impact skill, the Slayer’s dormant power is instantly activated to target multiple enemies at once, becoming more amplified as the power is used against boss monsters.
Kalypso Media is pleased to announce that Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, the next installment in the much loved Jagged Alliance series of tactical role-playing games, will arrive in North American retail outlets on February 14, 2012. Jagged Alliance: Back in Action puts players in control of a private military corporation that has been hired to depose an evil dictator, who has taken over the tropical island of Arulco. Sector-by-sector, inch-by-inch, the player’s squads of mercenaries will recapture the island using their wits, willpower, tactical skills, and of course – plenty of guns.
An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED
In early December, an article was published about a law firm acting on behalf of CD Projekt RED, contacting individuals who had downloaded The Witcher 2 illegally and seeking financial compensation for copyright infringement. The news about our decision to combat piracy directly, instead of with DRM, spread quickly and with it came a number of concerns from the community. Repeatedly, gamers just like you have said that our methods might wrongly accuse people who have never violated our copyright and expressed serious concern about our actions.
Being part of a community is a give-and-take process. We only succeed because you have faith in us, and we have worked hard over the years to build up that trust. We were sorry to see that many gamers felt that our actions didn't respect the faith that they have put into CD Projekt RED. Our fans always have been and remain our greatest concern, and we pride ourselves on the fact that you all know that we listen to you and take your opinions to heart. While we are confident that no one who legally owns one of our games has been required to compensate us for copyright infringement, we value our fans, our supporters, and our community too highly to take the chance that we might ever falsely accuse even one individual.
So we've decided that we will immediately cease identifying and contacting pirates.
Let's make this clear: we don't support piracy. It hurts us, the developers. It hurts the industry as a whole. Though we are staunch opponents of DRM because we don't believe it has any effect on reducing piracy, we still do not condone copying games illegally. We're doing our part to keep our relationship with you, our gaming audience, a positive one. We've heard your concerns, listened to your voices, and we're responding to them. But you need to help us and do your part: don't be indifferent to piracy. If you see a friend playing an illegal copy of a game--any game--tell your friend that they're undermining the possible success of the developer who created the very game that they are enjoying. Unless you support the developers who make the games you play, unless you pay for those games, we won't be able to produce new excellent titles for you.
Keep on playing,
co-founder CD Projekt RED
Yesterday, EA announced not only that the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo is coming January 17th, but also that the Reckoning team is teaming up with Mass Effect 3 to offer players a cross promotion of exclusive in-game items for both full games. For more info please visit reckoningthegame.com.
Today we’re announcing the complete list of Versus Modes for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Players will be able to experience online 4 vs. 4 team battles playing as either a member of the Umbrella Security Service (USS) or US Spec Ops. Check out all the details on the modes below and visit the press site to download the brand new gameplay trailer.
Take on the role of the bad guys with USS members Vector, Beltway, Lupo, Four-Eyes, Spectre or Bertha. Alternatively play as the good guys and experience the horrors of Raccoon City as Tweed, Dee-ay, Harley, Willow, Shona or Party Girl, members of the US Spec Ops that we revealed earlier this week in the Triple Impact trailer. Meet the US Spec Ops characters in person by downloading their new character art on the press site. Breaking the conventions of traditional third person shooters, players will not only have to compete against their team’s opposing squad but tackle a third unpredictable force as zombies and B.O.W.s add to the mix.
In Team Deathmatch, battle for the most kills in brutal triple threat chaos that leaves players never knowing what’s behind them, an element that could only exist in the twisted Resident Evil universe. Ensure that samples of the G-virus are returned safely to their base in Biohazardmode while fighting off all the competing forces at play in Raccoon City. Try to survive the horror just a little bit longer while waiting for rescue in Survivors mode. There’s limited space on board a helicopter so fight off the opposition and survive the hordes of hungry zombies, risking infection if they get too close. Try to make it out of Raccoon City alive!
Of course there’s also the previously announced Heroes Mode which allows fans to play as one of their favorite Resident Evil characters,including Leon S. Kennedy, Hunk or Jill Valentine.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will be available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 20 in North America.
If you haven't heard yet, the website for the BlazBlue Revolution (BlueRevo) has gone live last month.
BlazBlue Revolution, or BlueRevo for short, is the biggest open invitation BlazBlue team tournament in Japan. Participants from all over Japan are gathering their strongest allies and heading to their local qualifier sites for a chance to battle it out in the BlueRevo Finals. And now participants from North America have also been invited for a piece of the action!
Here in the United States, a single team of three will be chosen to participate in the prestigious BlueRevo Finals in Japan on March 24th, 2012. Aksys Games will provide full airfare and hotel accommodations to the selected players; all you need to do is prove that your team is the strongest in all of North America at the BlazBlue Revolution US Finals on Februrary 25th, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA.
Ready to battle it out? Check out the Events or Rules section for more info on BlueRevo at www.blazbluerevolution.com. Updates about the preliminary events held all over the US and the US finals will come next week!
Tripwire Interactive are pleased to announce the release of the modding and map making tools for Red Orchestra 2, available free to everyone that owns Red Orchestra 2. While the limited functionality preview versions of the SDK have been available to select modders for a while, this release now makes the full capabilities of the Mod SDK available to everyone. Users can now make and publish everything from simple mods and mutators, through custom maps and on to full total conversion mods.
Modders and map makers have been hard at work with the pre-release SDK and several great maps and mods are already coming together. For a preview of what is to come, check out these three total conversion mods already in production for Red Orchestra 2:
Rising Storm - http://www.risingstormgame.com/
In Country Vietnam - http://www.incountrymod.com/
Iron Europe - http://www.ironeuropegame.com/
And to check out all of the latest custom maps, mods, and content head on over to the modding section of the Tripwire Interactive forums: http://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/forumdisplay.php?f=83
The Mod SDK is available to download from Steam, completely free to anyone that owns Red Orchestra 2. Just go to the tools tab in Steam and install the SDK. And if you don't already own Red Orchestra 2 head on over to the store page now (http://store.steampowered.com/app/35450/) and get it so you can join the fun and make the level, mod, or game mode of your dreams!