Review: Street Fighter X Tekken

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By Tony Maher
Contributor

“Street Fighter X Tekken,” the latest crossover fighting game, is great start to finish. The title maintains what made each of these franchises into classics, and introduces new accents to keep it interesting. Although each franchise has added recent releases to their histories, Street Fighter X Tekken seems to stay true to the original formulas that made the originals so legendary.

Since the days of my youth, “Street Fighter” has been the series I compare all other fighting games to. I spent many a quarter battling my friends at Maxwell Street Pizza with Ryu, Ken, Guile and the gang for the title of current champion. I honestly cannot count the hours we spent playing Street Fighter on any available system. Since then, there have been many different versions of Street Fighter and many other fighting games. Few of those, however, could hold a Hadouken to the original Street Fighter 2. But Street Fighter X Tekken is excellent as a new incarnation of an old breed.

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A choice for the ages: Would you pick Barry Sanders or Herschel Walker?

EA Sports’ fan vote to decide which Heisman winner will appear alongside former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III on the cover of “NCAA Football 13″ is down to two candidates.

Herschel Walker and Barry Sanders. Two of the greatest college running backs of all time.

Walker won the 1982 Heisman for the Georgia Bulldogs at the end of a brilliant college career. Walker went pro for the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived USFL before playing for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. Walkers also represented the United States in the 1992 Winter Olympics as a bobsledder, which this writer thought was awesome.

Barry Sanders won his Heisman for his accomplishments in the 1988 season, during which he rushed for an average of more than 237 yards per game. Sanders went on to spend his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions and earned distinction as the best real-life running back of his era. (Bo Jackson, of course, is the best Tecmo Super Bowl running back of his era.)

 

You can vote here. There are more important elections this year, but this one is pretty cool.

Review: Resident Evil – Operation Raccoon City (X360)

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Capcom’s Resident Evil series has gone through a lot of changes over the years, some good some bad, and Operation Raccoon City’s laser focus on its third-person action is one of the series’ riskiest moves. Eschewing terror for bullets, the game asks players to go back to where it all started and to see things from the bad guy’s perspective.
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Mass Effect 3′s ending, the “Indoctrination Theory” and something I call the “Franchise Imperative”

Anyone reading a gaming blog has probably noticed that a lot of Mass Effect fans are dissatisfied with Mass Effect 3′s ending.

I don’t know exactly what the developers had in mind in crafting the game’s finale, but I am 100 percent positive the ending is not meant to be taken literally. SPOILERS after the jump.

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Review: Mass Effect 3

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In almost any other circumstances, it would be easy to proclaim Mass Effect 3 to be a triumph. But these are not ordinary circumstances for the science fiction saga.

Mass Effect 3 is a tremendously entertaining game that provides moments of exhilaration, humor, horror and even heartbreak as players experience the story of a desperate war being fought across the Milky Way.

Indeed, Mass Effect 3 could have earned a place as one of the best games of all time, but these are unusual times for Mass Effect fans. Although the game has much to praise, some questionable business practices on the part of the developers at BioWare and publishers at EA Games may result in the game being remembered more for the sudden fan backlash that has overshadowed news of its release.

At this point, it’s impossible to review Mass Effect 3 in a vacuum and ignore the anger the game’s conclusion has aroused among many of it’s fans. I don’t want to spoil the ending in this space, and I think much of the anger is overblown, but the reaction is understandable given that fans expected Mass Effect 3 to provide a conclusion to one ambitious stories to be told in the history of video games.

Instead, BioWare provided an open-ended climax that has many fans expressing worry on Internet forums that the developers and publishers plan to charge players extra to download a “real” ending. Other fans are even petitioning the game’s makers to rewrite Mass Effect 3′s climax.

The reaction to the game’s conclusion follows the discontent that greeted news that players who did not buy the game’s more expensive Collector’s Edition would have to pay an extra $10 to download “From Ashes,” content that previously was said to be only available to those who bought the Collector’s Edition.

Players and publishers have yet to reach a consensus on where to draw a line between deciding how much content should be included in games’ retail editions and what can be withheld as downloadable content, and the circumstances of Mass Effect 3′s release have highlighted how strongly many players object to publisher’s embrace of DLC.

Those issues, important to the future of gaming as a business, should not obscure the strong evidence in support of Mass Effect 3 being a very good game. As in the franchise’s previous chapters, Mass Effect 3 boasts well-developed human and alien characters and players assuming the role of protagonist Commander Shepard will have to make occasionally painful decisions that determine the fates of beloved characters and entire planets, including earth.

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Review: Asura’s Wrath (X360)

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Asura’s Wrath is an unusual game. It’s short, at around five or six hours, and heavily scripted with Quick Time Events telling you what to do. It’s a wash of chaos, blinding colors, and cosmic explosions interrupted only by a little story daring to pause the relentless face punching it delivers.

In some ways, it’s also like a series of anime episodes complete with “to be continued” in between each act as its Unreal Engine powered leads ponder their next step before launching into even more over-the-top madness. But with as much hand holding as there is, there’s fun to be found here.
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“I don’t want to be an eggplant again,” and other lines from the Kid Icarus: Uprising trailer

The new trailer for the long-awaited “Kid Icarus: Uprising” shows what could be a very fun game that lets players fight a bunch of monsters while somehow manages to include at least one robot-like device in a world that’s inspired by Greek mythology.

It also features some of the cheesiest writing in gaming history. At first I wondered if the writing was just bad, then I realized it was intentionally bad.

Or maybe this is just Nintendo’s way of tying to convince people to stop asking for voice acting in Zelda games.

Here are just a few lines:

  • “I don’t want to be an eggplant again.”
  • “If he deep fries you, keep your distance. One bite, and you’ll be finished.”
  • “It was bad enough when the dark forces were contained in the underworld.”
  • “Get ready for a display of raw angel power.”

(H/t Kotaku)

Forza Motorsport 4 is getting Porsche DLC

The excellent 2011 racing title Forza Motorsport 4 featured cars from just about every manufacturer one could think of.

Except Porsche.

That’s going to change, however, for players willing to shell out $20 for some simulated German engineering. The Porsche Expansion Pack is scheduled for a May 22 release and is set to include 30 Porsche models, as well as Porsche-themed racing events. Only two cars have been revealed so far: the 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic and 2010 Porsche Boxter S.

Images of both cars are shown below:

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Forza Motorsport 4 is an XBox 360 exclusive. PlayStation 3 owners are free to debate whether Gran Turismo or Forza is the superior racing franchise for consoles.

So maybe Iran’s not going to kill that American game developer after all

The BBC reports today the Iranian government has overturned the death sentence against the Iranian-American game developer who Tehran accuses of being a spy.

Judges had found the verdict against Amir Mirzai Hekmati was “not
complete” and referred his case to an affiliate court, a judiciary
spokesman said.

In January, Mr Hekmati was convicted of “co-operating with a
hostile nation, membership of the CIA and trying to implicate Iran in
terrorism”.

The US has urged Iran to release him.

The Tehran Times published Hekmati’s purported confession, in which he is said to have told Iranian intelligence agents that he worked with Kuma, a games company that produces the free-to-play Kuma/War series. Kuma/War games are based on real-life combat incidents and the series’ developers usually take their inspiration from the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although the most recent Kuma/War mission is based on the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

The Iranian government has claimed that Hekmati told interrogators that Kuma/War is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign to manipulate public opinion in the Middle East.

The U.S. government has also denied that Hekmati is a spy and had demanded his release.

Whether the Iranian government actually has evidence that he is a spy or is simply holding Hekmati, who has also served in the U.S. Marines, as a captive/bargaining chip during the current international tensions between the United States and Iran remains to be seen.

President Obama is today scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss what strategies, which could include actual military options, may be employed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 

(Via Kotaku)