Review: Mass Effect 3: Leviathan DLC

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The new “Leviathan” DLC pack for “Mass Effect 3″ falls so far below this reviewer’s expectations that everyone at BioWare and EA Games who had a role in developing or marketing this add-on needs to pull out a dictionary and look up the word “promise.”

Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition) defines a promise as “1. An oral or written agreement to do or not to something; vow. 2. Indication, as of a successful prospect or future; basis for expectation 3. Something promised.”

In a sentence: “The Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3 does not deliver what its advertising promised.”

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Review: “Sleeping Dogs” (PS3)

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By Neil Nisperos

Staff Writer

For those who have ever dreamed of being in a Kung Fu movie or Hong Kong crime thriller, Square Enix’s new “Sleeping Dogs” offers that kind of experience, even if it is not a perfect sandbox game.

Sleeping Dogs allows players to explore the complex and labyrinthine environs of Hong Kong while assuming the role of Wei Shen. Shen is a fearless Hong Kong police officer who infiltrates a Hong Kong Triad criminal organization. Going undercover in the game’s version of Hong Kong means players enter a world of high-speed chases, shady business deals, shakedowns and bone-breaking beat downs.

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Farewell, Mr. Armstrong, and Thank You

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Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, has died today at the age of 81 due to complications following heart surgery earlier this month.

Uttering the immortal words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”, Neil Armstrong and his crew became heroes to more than just a nation but to the world.

Armstrong’s self-made accomplishments were many, even before reaching the Moon. He had served as a Navy pilot having paid for flight lessons with a clerk’s job and fought during the Korean War, earned his degree in aeronautical engineering with top marks (and went on after his astronaut days to earn a Masters degree in the same field), became a test pilot, and had even directed a musical for his fraternity. He also holds honorary doctorates from a number of institutions.

Cool under pressure, he demonstrated his knack for doing his best in any situation during a dramatic episode during the Gemini 8 mission when he saved the capsule from an out-of-control spin. Armstrong and his partner, David Scott, guided the Gemini safely back to Earth having survived the ordeal.

After his astronaut days, Armstrong would go on to become a professor at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio teaching for eight years up until 1979. Afterwards, he would be a spokesperson for several companies and would heed the call of his nation when they needed him again at NASA to help investigate the Challenger disaster in 1986.

He quietly took himself away from the public spectacle in the last few years, but the impact of his life and that of his contributions to science won’t be forgotten. He once said “”As a boy, because I was born and raised in Ohio, about 60 miles north of Dayton, the legends of the Wrights have been in my memories as long as I can remember.”

I’ve little doubt that many others will continue to go on in being inspired by his life, and those of his fellow astronauts, in much the same way. Thank you, and good journey, Mr. Armstrong.

Review: Sleeping Dogs (X360)

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Sleeping Dogs might never have come out if Square-Enix hadn’t snagged United Front Games’ latest project after Activision axed it. It was a bold move. The relatively young development house had only ModNation Racers to their name and they were working in territory urban sandbox specialists Rockstar and Volition called home. It wasn’t hard to see why Activision suddenly developed a case of cold feet over its prospects -  even when some of UFG’s members had cut their teeth within those same studios. But then again, no one thought that Rocksteady could pull off as legendary a take on the Dark Knight not once – but twice – with about as much on their resume, either.

UFG’s crime drama takes players to Hong Kong as Wei Chen, an undercover cop on loan from the States working to bring down the Sun On Yee triad. Having grown up along the city’s rough and tumble side streets before his family moved to America, his early education with the swagger and bark of its worst before graduating grade school make him a valuable weapon to his new HKPD boss. 
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Review: Darksiders II (X360)

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In 2010, the first thing that Darksiders did was to destroy the world. It brought on the Apocalypse reserving players a front row seat as one of the Four Horsemen. Humanity was dead, and War was on the march.

Fueled by the vision of comics industry veteran, Joe Madureira, and his team at Vigil Games, it took the charred building blocks of a Biblical end and gleefully twisted them into a vast adventure battling through the aftermath as angels and demons fought over the bones of what was left. But like any good story, there’s always more to tell. And like any good sequel, there’s always more than one way to improve on the original.

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Oppa Gangnam Style

You might not have heard of Korean pop artist, Psy, but his video on Youtube has gone mega-viral with over 40+ million views in the past month and a half alone prompting quite a few people to sit up and take notice such as CNN.

Even though this isn’t the first time he’s performed, his comeback after a short hiatus has been nothing short of incredible. Thanks to the social buzz chasing after his catchy tune, and the total wackiness of the video, he’s reached members of an audience that might never have bothered to know who he was. It’s par for the course for an increasingly digital world used to minting stars like Justin Bieber in the same way.

So in in this latest hit from the ‘net, Psy demonstrates his horse-like dance moves while singing on about “Gangnam Style” from parking lot decks to the inside of a bus. Surreal comedy? Certified music video genius? Or just something that only K-pop can deliver? You decide. In the meantime, I’m going to hit it up again.

Gamescom 2012: Remember Me game footage

Over in Germany, Europe’s own version of E3 is being held in Cologne where a number of announcements have revealed a slew of new titles. Capcom was up with their reveal of Remember Me by Dontnod Entertainment, a game that takes place in the future where memories can be traded, sold, stolen, and even remixed. According to the backstory, in exchange for the loss of privacy, people have accepted the security that this kind of social society has given them in exchange.

Neo-Paris is the setting and you play as Niln, a “memory hunter” who casually pockets stolen memories as easily as we do loose change. It’s slated for May 2013, but no word yet on what platforms. Still, it looks like it could be another great title for cyberpunk fans.

The trailer below takes you through a typical job for Niln as she’s asked to “remix” someone’s memory. There’s some language, definitely some violence, but it’s slick sci-fi for the eyes. Could be good.

Bethesda gets a stellar cast for “Dishonored”

“Dishonored,” the upcoming steampunk-esque revenge-themed title from Bethesda Softworks and Arkane Studios, will have a cast of voice actors including Oscar winner Susan Sarandon.

Sarandon won her Academy Award for her role in 1995′s “Dead Man Walking.” In the movie, Sarandon played Sister Helen Prejean, an nun who while opposing capital punishment, tries to prevent the execution of a murderer played by Sean Penn. In Dishonored, Sarandon will play Granny Rags, who Bethesda describes as a “an intriguing old blind woman now deranged after years of street life.”

From Bethesda’s announcement:

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe-winner Brad Dourif takes
on the role of the inventor Piero, creator of the iconic mask worn by
Corvo as well as a wealth of gadgets Corvo can use. Emmy winner and
Hollywood-icon Carrie Fisher can be heard broadcasting government propaganda over loudspeakers throughout the city of Dunwall, where the game is set.

The all-star cast continues with John Slattery (“Mad
Men,” “The Adjustment Bureau”) who takes on the role of Admiral
Havelock, a Loyalist who helps Corvo on his quest, as well as Michael Madsen who brings his videogame voiceover experience to the role of Daud, a mysterious assassin. Chlo Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass,” “Hugo”) portrays Young Lady Emily, the Empress’ daughter who is kidnapped after her mother’s death while Lena Headey joins the cast as Calista, Emily’s caretaker. In addition to the star-studded voice cast, Composer Daniel Licht (“Dexter”) lends his musical talents to create the game’s original score. 

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