Review: Assassin’s Creed – Brotherhood

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Brotherhood isn’t some ‘multiplayer only’ experiment: the kind of game where it wants to rely on only one online trick to convince customers to part with their hard-earned money because it uses ‘multiplayer’ like a magic word.

When Ubisoft began to talk up Brotherhood in the past year, it was hard to ignore how much of a tease they were making of its multiplayer but not so much of its single-player. The reason, it turns out, is because the single-player is alive and well and needs no introduction.
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Review: Call of Duty – Black Ops

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If there’s one thing Call of Duty: Black Ops keeps trying to tell me, I think it’s this: War is awesome.

Real war, of course, is far from that, but Treyarch’s latest work isn’t interested in painting any solemn pictures of the realities of battle. Instead, it uses American war history as the canvas for a wild experience that warms itself in the fires of explosive action-movie theatrics.

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Review: Dead Rising 2

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By Brittany Vincent
Contributing Writer

The boys are back in town. By boys, I mean ravenous, flesh-eating zombies. And by town, I mean Fortune City. Luckily Chuck Greene, motocross superstar, is on the case.

In Dead Rising 2, the sequel to the cult hit zombie apocalypse simulator Dead Rising, Greene replaces Frank West as the Average Joe on the run from the starving undead. Yes, there are plenty of zombies, but there’s a cure floating around that can stave off the effects of zombification. It’s called Zombrex, and Katey, Chuck’s tiny daughter, is in dire need of a dose every 24 hours lest she degrade into a shambling monstrosity herself.

In a world where zombie rights groups advocate fair treatment of zombies and pharmaceutical companies are profiting off the suffering of the people, this isn’t exactly an easy feat. It’s up to players to keep Katey fully dosed with Zombrex as the poignant father-daughter team anxiously tries to withstand, you guessed it, a 72-hour period before help arrives.
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I watched Skyline

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Skyline is easily the worst movie that I’ve seen this year, and one of the worst that I’ve ever seen. If you’ve watched the trailers, that’s literally everything that you have to look forward to.

Skyline is about an alien invasion of earth as giant ships arrive to vacuum up humanity thanks to their ability to mesmerize us and have us gather at convenient “pick up” points. The premise certainly sounded interesting: why do these aliens want us? Where did they come from? Will the film show us some neat scenery?

Well, I’ll answer the first question because the answer is incredibly stupid: they’re here for our brains.

After leaving the theater, it certainly felt as if they took mine.
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Capcom wants you to make a mecha for Mega Man

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Or rather, a Bonne Mecha! The Bonnes are a family in the Mega Man Legend RPG series who specialize in building special robots that perform a variety of different tasks. This time, Capcom’s devs are reaching out again to their fans to see who can make a “Bonne Mech” to feature in the new Mega Man Legends 3 title they’re working on for the Nintendo DS.

It’s been quite a few years since the last Mega Man Legends game had come out – on the PS1. While it seems aimed at older fans that remember the games on the PS1, putting it on the DS will also re-introduce this little slice of Mega Man’s RPG world to a new generation. It’s slated to come out sometime in 2011.

This contest follows a previous one where the devs had asked fans to design a heroine for the game. To help inspire budding mech designers, they’ve provided some material to go over to help spur imaginations at their official developers blog. You can’t submit new ideas yet, but they’ll let everyone know when the floodgates are open. Who knows? The mech that players cry over for being the toughest thing they’ve ever fought might just be yours. How’s that for lasting fame?

Ni no Kuni – an RPG so potentially awesome it comes with its own spellbook

This is a game that I’ve been watching for awhile now ever since I heard about it about two years ago. Level 5 (Rogue Galaxy, Dragon Quest VIII) and famed animation house, Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) have teamed up to make Ni no Kuni, an RPG for the DS and the PS3. The DS version comes out December 9th in Japan with the PS3 getting its own next year. According to the news out from Andriasang, a public ceremony is also planned on the 8th to commemorate its completion.

The story revolves around a young boy whose mother has recently passed away. But his tears bring a doll to life which leads him to another world where it might be possible to bring her back. Aside from the fact that Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli will be doing the animation work for the game, it also comes with a – get ready – 352 page magic book to help uncover secrets within it as well as flesh out its lore. I only hope that the gameplay is solid.

Check out the Japanese trailer below showing off the DS version and quite a bit of the animation work telling the story within the game. And let’s hope it makes it over here sooner rather than years later!

Review: Star Wars – The Force Unleashed II

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The Force Unleashed from Lucasarts is the kind of fantasy wish-fulfillment that franchise fans hope to see from their favorite worlds.

It’s also not the first time that Lucasarts had dabbled in giving players a chance to step into the robes of a Force wielder. But unlike the subtle nuances of Jedi Knight on PCs or Bioware and Obsidian’s take with Knights of the Old Republic, the Force Unleashed tramples the screen like a rabid rancor.

It’s unfettered by bothersome things like guns or a library of Force skills. Instead, it whittles the experience down to the bare essentials allowing jump-in Jedi to brazenly wield the Force as a god-like adept capable of delivering a beat down to Darth Vader and the Emperor.

I thought it was tremendous fun, though with a few rough edges – especially involving one Star Destroyer. But I liked it. It had a certain flamboyantly overpowering style that made it a Force flavored guilty pleasure in blasting countless Stormtroopers into the air again and again.

The Force Unleashed II, though, wasn’t quite the sequel that I was looking for.
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Bond Back in 2012?

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The famous words “James Bond Will Return” at the end of his films is usually a promise kept. That is, until MGM had run into money troubles that ultimately led to the storied studio filing for bankruptcy. It didn’t bode well for the projects under its roof such as Daniel Craig’s run as Bond. But now there’s word that he could be back in 2012.

Dark Horizons reports that as a part of MGM’s plan, they’re looking to shoot a new Bond film in 2011 in time for a 2012 release. Not only that, but also plan to release a new Bond every two years after that in order to keep money wheel turning. That’s pretty ambitious.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’ll be great to see Bond back on screen but the talk that Daniel Craig may have to be replaced in order to meet this schedule isn’t that encouraging. And promises in Tinseltown are a dime a dozen.

Candid Kinect

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Kinect came out yesterday amidst much hoopla and joy for those that managed to snag one. If you haven’t heard of what it is, it’s the motion sensing accessory for the Xbox 360 that essentially follows your body to do stuff onscreen – like control your dashboard or actually play games using it.

It’s got a leg up on the Wii and the Move by not forcing you to hold anything, but did you also know that it takes pics of you? That’s what Destructoid is reporting.

Apparently, someone “got too hot” while playing Dance Central and took off their clothes. What they didn’t realize is that Kinect randomly took pics of them and now they have no idea how to delete the potentially embarrassing album on their console.

So I guess the moral of the story is: Kinect is watching you? Play safe, my friends.

Review: Vanquish (Xbox 360)

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Arcades back then were filled to the brim with row upon row of cutting edge excitement, the kind that ate quarters and tokens as if there was no tomorrow.

When new and fancier consoles arrived on the scene from Japan, Capcom, Konami, Sega, Data East, and many others would blister thumbs and recycle gamepads on an almost monthly basis with simple, action packed titles that warranted the price that they were sold at. In those days, it wasn’t so much how long a game would last than it was for simply having that kind of arcade fun at home without having to stand next to someone that hasn’t taken a bath in three days for an open spot.

And that’s what Vanquish has resurrected with its fast, frenetic, third person, kill-em-all action fest filled with ridiculously crazy explosions and a host of mini-bosses that shake the screen with their very presence. This is an unabashedly arcade tour de force for the console complete with online leaderboards and a scoring system challenging all comers to do better.
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