Review: Bulletstorm (X360)

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Bulletstorm has a story, but you won’t be paying much attention to it or its testosterone-washed dialogue as you kick, slide, and shoot the naughty bits of your enemies – all in a drive to score points that can be used to upgrade your arsenal of destruction. It’s a wonderland of smashing, bashing, and lashing that doesn’t quite make it so much an FPS as a carnival sideshow gallery of kicking bags for adults.
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New Skyrim trailer teases gameplay

Out today is a new trailer from Bethesda Softworks for the next major chapter in their Elder Scrolls series: Skyrim.

This time, it has gameplay that drops more than a few hints on what would-be heroes can look forward to when this open-world RPG arrives on November 11th. Players on the PC, Xbox 360, and the PS3 will all have a chance to save Tamriel, though if the previous games were any indication, they’ll have to set some time aside for this one. Oblivion, its predecessor, literally had a hundred plus hours of gameplay to it especially when you factor in the add-ons.

Now the bigger question is: will my PC be able to actually run this thing?

Review: “Killzone 3″

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After living out several cinematic action fantasies in the past year with “Red Dead Redemption,” “Call of Duty Black Ops,” and “Halo Reach,” newcomer “Killzone 3″ ranks among the

very best of shooter games.

Imagine you’re in a viscerally brutal James Cameron battle sequence, unleashing bone-jarring devastation with some pretty memorable weaponry.
It’s a deeply immersive thrill ride you’ll have a hard time getting off.

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Review: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

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“Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” is a solid choice for gamers looking for a quick burst of superhero-inspired energy. Although many players, this reviewer included, have grown to appreciate the increasingly ambitious storytelling efforts made by the people behind such franchises as Fallout and Red Dead Redemption, Capcom’s latest offering is a refreshing reminder that video games are still games.

The new game’s premise could not be simpler: A lot of people like fighting games, and a lot of people like Marvel Comics. Progressing through the game’s arcade mode eventually takes players to a battle to save the earth from Galactus, Marvel’s planet-consuming threat with a big purple helmet. How you get there doesn’t really make sense in terms of any of comic book continuity – assuming such a thing exists – considering that players can choose among sworn enemies for their three-character teams. But who cares? The point in MvC 3 isn’t to tell a story, but to be a wacky fighting game.

MvC 3 succeeds as a game that’s easy for just about any player to pick up and almost immediately execute ridiculous combos. I have not yet tried the simple mode, which makes special moves as simple as a single button push, but the basics are not difficult to learn. As far as control schemes go, there is little difference between the game’s 36 characters. If you can make Street Fighter’s Ryu perform his signature hadouken move, you can make Marvel’s Deadpool unleash a duel-pistol attack.

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EA Sports case heard in Pasadena courthouse

The Pasadena Star News, with an assist from the Associated Press, reports a three judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will heard arguments in a case revolving around EA Games’ use of college football players’ likenesses in the publisher’s NCAA Football franchise.

A central question the three-judge panel of
the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena was asked to decide in
the case filed by a former college quarterback Sam Keller is whether
such video games are protected as “expressive art” under the First
Amendment.

Keller is seeking compensation from Electronic Arts Inc. and
the NCAA for the use of his image in the “NCAA Football” video game.

Attorneys for Electronic Arts Inc. and the NCAA argued Tuesday
that video games are constitutionally protected as free speech – much
like authors, filmmakers and songwriters use real people in their works.
They are seeking a dismissal of the lawsuit.

Please click the link for the full story.

Dead Island is still kicking around

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A new trailer was released for Dead Island, a survival-horror game that was announced nearly four years ago and then just as quickly disappeared into vaporware. It’s being done by Polish developer, Techland, whom some might remember for the Western-styled FPS, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. It’s still alive and it’s actually expected out this year on the PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360. If Techland can make the game as fun as Bound in Blood, Capcom’s Dead Rising might actually find itself with a little competition.

It’s described as something of a ‘Dead Rising’ styled zombie masher with an RPG system in place to allow characters learn skills that can help them survive the outbreak. But it’s unique in that the outbreak takes place at an island resort leaving the survivors with very little to fight back with except for their wits and whatever they can get their hands on. The smell of coconut oil might only make you seem more appetizing to the walking dead.

Still, there’s really not much else to go on other than the bare basics. Oh, and there’s the new, 18+ or older only trailer I mentioned. It’s a remarkable piece of work even though it shows no gameplay. It’s depressing and shocking at the same time and not because of the gore that spills from nearly every frame, so be warned when you click on this link to IGN to see it. Definitely not what your typical zombie trailer.

Nintendo: Last shipment of Super Mario All Stars is away

Nintendo has dispatched its final shipment of “Super Mario All-Stars,” a Wii re-release of the Super NES package that was itself a reissue of four Mario games, upgraded from 8-bit to 16-bit graphics.

The package includes “Super Mario Bros.,” the game’s Japanese sequel (known in the United States as “The Lost Levels”), “Super Mario Bros. 2 (issued as the Mario-less “Doki Doki Panic” in Japan) and “Super Mario Bros. 3.”

The package also includes a CD with music and sound effects from the Mario franchise and “Super Mario History,” a 32-page booklet on Nintendo’s signature series.

Bioware: The Guild’s Felicia Day to work on Dragon Age: Redemption

Felicia Day, whose online series “The Guild” provides further evidence that women play games*, will appear in “Dragon Age: Redemption,” a six-part series based on Bioware’s Dragon Age franchise.

From the release:

“I’m a huge Dragon Age
fan, and I have been looking for a follow up project to ‘The Guild’ for
quite some time,” Day said. “I was thrilled when the opportunity to
work with BioWare materialized. Dragon Age: Redemption allows me to tell a fantasy story in a new way, using a universe I really love. It has been a dream working together.”

In Dragon Age: Redemption,
Day stars as Tallis, an Elven assassin hired by the Qunari to capture a
rogue mage intent on wreaking havoc throughout the world. In her quest
to find this dangerous mage, Tallis is joined by other companions who
are not always aligned in their beliefs and goals, but who band together
to defeat their foe, in an attempt to restore peace and balance to this
dark fantasy universe.

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Day is scheduled to show a glimpse of the new series during the Feb. 16 broadcast of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The series is set to debut in the summertime.

Bioware’s and EA Games’ “Dragon Age II” is scheduled for a March 8 release.

*I’m well aware that plenty of well adjusted women enjoy gaming, but what would the Internet be without foolish stereotypes?

XBox Live “House Party” to begin next week

XBox Live’s “House Party” promotion is scheduled to begin Feb. 16 with the online release of “Hard Corps: Uprising.” Four additional games are scheduled to be released on successive Wednesdays.

In this writer’s opinion, the re-release of “Beyond Good & Evil” is the most interesting of the five House Party games, if only because I never had time to finish the game when it first came out in 2003. It’s a shame too, because the title seems to have the reputation as being one of the best games of its generation that very few people played.

That said, the action RPG “Torchlight” has gathered some rave reviews and may also benefit from a chance to find a wider audience.

Here’s the full House Party release schedule:

  • Hard Corps: Uprising (Konami). The action 2D side-scroller in the “Contra” tradition is set for a Feb. 16 release. Price: 1,200 Microsoft Points.
  • Bejeweled Blitz Live (PopCap Games). Why are casual games popular? Because the addictive ones are easy to figure out, quick to play and tempt players to keep coming back and beat their last score. American productivity may very well come to a halt when the XBox live version of this game, featuring a 16-player “Party” mode is released Feb 23. Price: 800 Microsoft Points.
  • Beyond Good & Evil (Ubisoft). Originally released during the GameCube/PlayStation2/XBox generation, this is a futuristic action-adventure that puts playersin the role of a female photojournalist on a mission to expose a government conspiracy. There are also aliens. Somehow ,this game was not a hit, but it gets a second chance March 2. Price: 800 Microsoft Points.
  • Torchlight (Runic/Microsoft Game Studios) An action RPG with more than 800,000 units sold, according to the people at Xbox. Game Informer reviewed the game as the “best Diablo clone in years” and praised its difficulty, character progression and “clever enemy design.” The XBox Live release is scheduled for March 9. Price: 1,200 Microsoft Points.
  • Full House Poker (Microsoft Game Studios, XBox/Krome Studios, Windows Phone 7) This is a Texas Hold ‘Em game with multiple play modes for the console and Windows Phone. Release is set for March 16. Price: 800 Microsoft Points.

 


Leaked: Crysis 2

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Developer Crytek joins a sad list that includes Electronic Arts and Valve to have a game of theirs leaked ahead of release. In this case, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it’s a development build of Crysis 2 for the PC. The actual posting that had initially reported the leak is here on Facepunch. No, it doesn’t lead to where you can get it. It’s only a post from a reader that found it elsewhere and wanted to report it to others.

The actual game is scheduled to come out on March 22nd, but depending on how far along this particular build is, it could very well be close to what will be considered the “gold” copy that will go out for production. In other words, this is incredibly bad. To make things worse, sites including those above report that the build apparently has the game editor (for PCs), multiplayer, and the master key files for online authentication.

A post on the official Crysis forums by Crytek expresses their disappointment at the news and urges players to support the game when it comes out in March. With more than a few publishers and developers appearing to be looking for excuses to leave PC gaming in the dust, this leak can’t be helping.