Thursday, September 30, 2010

3DS Launch Lineup.

Now that we've talked a little about the possible US release date, it's time talk about the launch lineup, and boy is it a doozy. Recently a video was released detailing some possible titles. Watch watch watch!

My wallet! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I've honestly never seen a launch lineup this good. Even on non-handhelds. I mean come on!

Kid Icarus Uprising
Mario Kart
Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
Paper Mario
2 Resident Evils
Star Fox 64
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater
*Head explodes*

That isn't even everything featured in the video. I think it's safe to say that Nintendo has returned to the greatness of old. I've never been more excited for a handheld in my life. I am fully prepared to sell my blood, among other things, to get my hands on the 3DS and most of these games come launch day.

The 3DS! It's Magic!

It's new! It's pretty! It uses the magic of innovation to create the first effective 3D image without the use of silly glasses! It's Nintendos' newest hand held, and it finally has a confirmed release date! So, if you live under a rock of "I have better things to do than to read video game news all the time." then I shall fill you in on this little morsel of awesome. Nintendo announced back in March 2010, Nintendo unveiled their newest addition to the DS' line-up. The 3DS. The spectacular thing about the 3DS, is that it was said to be able to produce a rather impressive and fluid 3D image, without the assistance of polarized, or light emitting glasses, or what have you. It was teased, it looked impressive, but there wasn't much more than that. We got a taste of some titles that we could expect to see, but the people were left with lots of questions, and even more anticipation. After seeing the DS the hype took off, fueled again and again by "leaks" of release dates, putting it to be sent to stores anywhere from September, to next November, all of these leaks were taken with a grain of salt, but it nonetheless spurred on the hunger to know more about this fascinating hand-held.

That is until a few days ago, Nintendo finally announced that the Nintendo 3DS will be released.... ::drum roll:: February 26th 2011!! YaaY! Confetti! WhhooHooo!!!
Oh also, that's the release date for Japan, the release date for the US and for Europe is speculated to be sometime in March. So yea! March!

So You have a few months to line up some a stash of cash. Build your monetary mountain in order to pay for this exciting entertainment entity. But how much are you willing to pay for this surreal source of supreme gaming satisfaction? (Okay, I'm done) Well, we can look at the older DS releases, all of which have hovered right at about $150, the Wii was all time high of $250, trumping the GameCube's release price of $200. So, one would assume to see a relatively similar trend, no?

Nintendo is expecting the 3DS to release, starting at $300. I don't about you, but that's a heavy price tag. Granted, it's a huge deal, this system has top notch tech. It's using the most sophisticated screens, with innovative displays, the stinking thing is still pocket sized and lightweight. It truly is a technological wonder; but three hundred bucks? I just don't know if this bus-driving college kid can afford that. That's not even to mention the fantastic line-up of release launches. (We shall discuss those with Chris later.) So in come next March, have your monies already lined up, or be prepared to have a very very sad and lonely wallet.

Next year children! Your dreams of playing Ocarina of Time in pretty pretty 3D will come true! (that is my dream anyway..) The days of neck pain and gamers thumb will begin anew! It will be an exciting and ridiculously expensive month, but I could not be more excited. Does $300 seem a little steep, or am I just a stingy college kid(I am)?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Midweek update! Because I want to(And lol cats!!)

So we iz sorry for our silence.
You may or may not have noticed that Chris and myself have been updating only the bare minimum, we did out Halo reviews, and since then all we have really done are our features. There are really two main reasons for that: Life, and lack of ANY THING HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!
I am slap in the middle of my test weeks, so my life has been a cacophony of math and circuits, while Chris.. well.. I don't really know what he does. Also, these last few weeks have just been dead as far as news. Sure yea Tokyo Game Show (which we planned to cover to some extent.. but nothing just OMG AWESOME popped up...) but since then, nothing really exciting has occurred.
Hopefully that will all begin to change!!!!!! As holiday season is right around the corner, so is a plethora of announcements(usually) and new games!! So you can bet we will have our hands full with playing all the awesome that is scheduled to release in the next few months. So keep an eye out, and thanks for reading!

Also, this:

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Outlaw's Favorite Gaming Moments: Red Dead Redemption

Don't ask me how I've gone this long without even mentioning Red Dead Redemption. It is one of my top contenders for Game of the Year, because you know, there is only ONE Game of the Year. Anyway, this entry is going to be rather short. The thing is, there is a lot that leads up to the moment and I'm too lazy to bring up wikipedia and recount all of that. YOU CAN DO IT, THOUGH!!! :-D... Or you know... you could play the game.

First of all, this event took my by surprise. John Marston (your character) has already been through a ton and now he's being told that he has to go all the way to Mexico to continue his manhunt. He finally realizes that his mission is no where near over and it will be quite some time before he will be allowed to see his family again. So as the sun sets, you start to ride off towards Mexico... and then this song starts playing.

Man... My life is so difficult... *Sheds tear*

Like I said, the moment took me by suprise. I wasn't expecting any full-length original songs that would be used to prefectly capture moments. This isn't even the only one, or my only favorite moment. Trust me, this probably won't be the only time I write about this game.

The sadness and longing the song conveys, it actually made me rethink my life (I was going through a lot at the time... don't ask). I felt empathy for John. He had been through so much during the game already (not even counting his past), and yet, he still had so much left to do. He is a tired man that is being forced to kill again and dig up old memories, and the world is no where near done with him.

See you soon (during the week!)

The Elitist's Least Favorite Video Game Moments: Borderlands (please don't hit me!)

      To start, I have two things to say. Borderlands is probably one of my favorite games on the 360, top 10 to be sure, it was a fresh game, with innovative game play, wonderfully applied graphics, endearing characters, hateful baddies, and a great plot. Mostly. Second, SPOILERZ WILL FOLLOW, because it seems that me and Chris are going to continue whining about endings, because that is exactly what I am going to do. Again. Sorry, but crappy endings are the bane of my happiness when it comes to video games. So let us begin.

      If you haven't played and beaten Borderlands, do it. Despite what you just read, the game is absolutely worth it's slightly disappointing ending. To be entirely honest, I didn't/don't really have to time to think of something creative, this popped in my head while I was studying, so I am running with it. The game is fantastic, an absolutely stunning game, made even more awesome by it's seem-less multiplayer. Love it love it love it, so, go play it, or read on.                                    

Such a B-A group. Yea, even the girl...
     So after so much praise, what was it that makes it worthy of my lexicon of less-than-laudable game moments? Well, really just the ending. Through out the entire game you are being coaxed along this path of death and carnage (baddies death, your carnage, lets get serious) with the intent of obtaining some legendary treasure, expressed only in rumor and described in name only, The Vault. Apparently whatever lies in the mysterious vault was left by an alien race know as the Eridians. There is more to it than that, but essentially treasure seekers are drawn the desolate planet of Pandora in order to find the priceless alien technology that was left behind. So, you are to find it. Easy enough? Well, no one really knows where it is, nor does every one truly believe it exists at all. Well, upon your arrival, you are presented with the face of a beautiful woman, who claims to be a "guardian angel" and she says that if you follow her direction, do exactly as she says, and tell no one, she can lead you to The Vault. So because that makes so much bloody sense, the player decided that's a great idea, and you being you quest to find "The Vault".
To be fair, I probably would have listened to her.
     So you follow her directions, and you fight your way through Pandora, helping some inhabitants, and ruining others day. Those that help you, get help, those that hurt you? Well, you can imagine what your rocket launcher that shoots flaming missiles can do to such an individual. Poor sap. Anyway, after many trials tribulations, dead monsters, and beheaded psychos you find your way to the well sought after Eridian Vault. But wait! First kill this really big monster!! RAWR FINAL BOSS FIGHT

The Destroyer. I wish I was kidding. I wonder if I am supposed to shoot the giant blue eye?
     So you kill this all powerful Destroyer! Alright! Wealth! Power! Everything you could ever want will now be yours! You have found the mythical and evasive Vault!!! Oh no, wait, you were actually just used by some ethereal [expletive removed].... Because you see, The Vault was actually just something created by those silly aliens to keep this giant ugly thing inside, and thus unable to kill everyone. So miss "Guardian Angel" thought it would be cool to trick you into finding the vault so you could kill the thing before the other ar-tards running around trying to find "The Vault" wouldn't unleash some horrid evil. I really have a hard time believing this giant amorphous ...mutant octopus... could do much to an already desolate wasteland of a planet so yay you saved a sterile and contemptible planet. Hurray you found The Vault! It's actually a giant effing monster you have to risk your life to kill!! Grrr... I wanted alien artifacts. I wanted to buy my own planet...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stand up for the First Amendment!

Video gaming is one of my passions. I wouldn't be co-writer on a blog about them otherwise. I have a few others, though, and one of them is politics. Don't worry, you don't have to prepare yourselves for me spouting off on current events here. However, sometimes the realm of gaming and the land of politics cross and this usually involves politicians trying to curtail gaming rights. This stuff, to put it bluntly, pisses me off.

I don't know if you've heard of the case EMA v. Schwarzenegger or not, but if you haven't, the details can be found here.

Now that you are all educated, you're probably wondering if there is anything you can do about it. Well, there is. You can sign ECA's online petition to help their upcoming case with the Supreme Court. I will post a link at the bottom of the post. If you value gaming rights and the First Amendment at all, please click on the link and sign the petition. It takes no time at all and it's for a good cause. Thanks!

Sign the petition now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Outlaw's Least Favorite Game Moments: Fable 2

Warning: OMG SPOILARZ!!! Also, some naughty words near the end.

Have you every played a good game and thought, "Man, this is a good game."? Did that game have an antagonist that made you hate him? Did that enemy kill your sister and dog? Lastly, and most importantly, was it possible for you to wait too long to kill said antagonist which results in him being shot by a guy who acts like a total prick? If you answered yes to all of these questions (or just read the title) then you know I'm talking about Fable II's ending.

I can usually handle bad plot twists or something like that (except for that sodding wife arm), but this was ten times worse than any bad plot twist. Like i stated before, yes, you can wait too long and the asshat that stole your life and family from you can be killed by someone other than you. You see, I'm the kind of person who likes to sit and let the villain make his big speech. That way, I feel like I'm rubbing even more failure in my adversary's face. However, if you do, then the second biggest jerk in the game, unless you've decided to be evil, decides that he's grown tired of the "I will rule the world" speech and just shoots the guy in the head.

"I'm sorry, did you want to kill him? Why are you staring at me? Put the gun down!"

So what if you don't let him finish the speech and you just fire on him, you ask? He just dies. That's it. End of story. All the training. All the leveling. For what? A boss fight that isn't even a fight. One hit death that might not even come from you. The end.

No witty comment. Just an apology over how crappy the video is.

I don't care what message you're trying to get across. I don't care if you think it's funny. Making this the final boss fight is nothing but laziness. You don't build something up like this to have it end the way it did and you certainly don't present a chance to have closure ripped away from the person playing your game. There are certain words that can be used to describe this, one of the main ones being "anti-climactic". I love the Fable series, but few things have ever pissed me off like this game's ending.

Oh, and Fable III... Don't fuck me.... Don't you ever try to fuck me.

The Elitist's Favorite Game Moments: Dead Space.

Like many of our Favorite/Least Favorite Game Moments, this too is chock full of spoilers! Read with caution, but seriously, go play this freaking game.

     Dead Space 2 is up and coming, and my roommate recently beat the first one, so it's a game that has recently been on my mind quite a bit. It helps that it is a fantastic game that I have played and replayed. It seemed like quite a fitting installment to my favorite game moments. Dead Space (1) was a game that, in my opinion, brought the horror/thriller genre back to life. It took such a basic style and revitalized it with a new ideas for combat (strategic dismemberment!), engrossing plot and amazingly detailed environment. A psychologically involved game that pulls you into your faceless characters shoes and really puts you in the state of mind that is needed to make a game as dark as Dead Space a truly emotionally sinister experience.
Would you brave death for her?
     Dead Space begins with you watching a video of a beautiful woman, who seems very sad. She is saying things that lead you to believe that something very bad has happened. Her tone is remorseful, she speaks as someone who has lost everything, she wishes things could have ended differently. She has always loved Isaac, and she only wanted to see him again. You see, Nicole was on board a planet-cracker class frigate named the Ishimura. Isaac Clarke, Kendra Daniels, and Zach Hammond receive a distress signal from the planet-cracker, and so like any hero worth his weight, Isaac must save his damsel. The crew of the USG Kellion (Isaac and crew's ship) arrive at the Ishimura only to crash land on the ship, destroying their shuttle, and forcing them the find another source of transportation. After they unravel this mystery.
This would make me sad
Upon landing on the Ishimura they discover that the crew has been transformed into these horrid mindless abominations called "Necromorphs" The transformation is the result of an alien life-from that infected the colony and crew after the Ishimura uncovered a relic called the Marker. I won't go into much more detail, but Isaac, in his quest to save Nicole, encounters unspeakable horrors. Every turn leads him closer and closer to a gruesome end. As he explores the ship he is constantly under siege by these blood thirsty necromorphs, he encounters survivors of the Ishimura who have lost all remains of sanity and humanity. He watches men kill themselves, finds data logs of the crew spiraling into hysteria, killing and destroying everything around them, he is constantly defending himself from the absolute horrors the Maker has brought to the Ishimura. He continues on, to save Nicole. Isaac goes on mission after mission, being told be different people, who to trust. Who can he trust now? He is separated, alone, desperate, everyone wants his help, but who is it that just wants to use him. Hammond is killed, another friend gone. All of these atrocities soon lead to Isaac taking the Marker back to the planet, as he was instructed to do by a surviving doctor aboard the Ishimura. Upon returning the Marker, Daniels appears, and she brings harrowing news.
The source of so much agony. So much destruction.
      You see, the Marker has a way of getting into peoples minds, it's alien (well mostly. play the game) and it has been playing Isaac this whole time. So has Daniels. Isaac discovers that Daniels is a government agent and has been charged with returning the created Marker back to her higher-ups. She leaves Isaac to die, but before she goes, she destroys his world. (The only video I could find had disabled embedding I guess to be greatly inconvenient, so watch it here.)
     It's brief, but it is powerful. Isaac watches this video, watches it to the end, and then a man who has seen more death, darkness, and insanity then any man alive, a man who has survived and fought against alien forces beyond his comprehension, a man who has been hardened in order to keep living to save this very woman, breaks, if only for a moment. The idol of his soul, the thing keeping him moving and fighting this whole time, has been gone. She is dead, and Isaac is alone. This character has no face (at this point) no voice, no real character to speak of, but through his stumble back, his head hung low and shaken with grief, the silence interrupted only the shuffle of the Marker and the somber music, pure unrestricted anguish was portrayed. It's fleeting, he recovers the way he can due to his reinforced psyche, but for that moment, he was broken.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Halo: Reach Matchmaking: Brace For Carnage...

Double Kill, Triple Kill, Overkill Killtacular, Killtrocity, Killmanjaro, Killastrophe, Killpocalypse,  Killionaire Skullamanjaro!!!! Halo is back and it's multi player has arrived in all of it's expected glory. Halo has fundamentally changed the way people think about the Xbox, but more importantly how people think about FPS's. You will almost always hear people compare any new FPS to Halo (and Call of Duty). That's because Halo was really the first game to bring in the whole gaming community together to kick ass and take names together. Reach is no exception. When Chris and myself decided to split the reviews up, I had initially expected I would have to easier time. I could not have been more wrong. The matchmaking for Reach proved to be just as in depth and original as when Halo was first released. Sure, it's the same game at it's core, but the tweaks additions and upgrades to the game has given it such a great feel, that I ended up having to look at so much more than I thought. This game has really blown me away. Again.

     I suppose a good place to start, is to first assume you have played Halo matchmaking. Primarily because well... that makes my "job" easier (job.. right..). That being said, I do still want to talk about some fundamentals of Halo. Halo has always been about the weapons the vehicles and the fast paced firefights. Unlike more realistic FPS' Halo's use of shields, vehicles, Equipment(Halo3), and a plethora of unique weapons, provided the potential for long tactically involved match's. Balancing the huge selection of all these facets made Halo unique to the FPS world. That, still remains, and has been improved. The first major change of the matchmaking, as far as how each match plays, are the additions of the load-outs. These behave allot like the way the equipment did in Halo3, with one major change. They are permanent. For example, when you start a match (depending on the game type) you select a load-out. Let's pretend you choose Sprint. Now, while you are playing you can activate your load-out and sprint around the map! Whoo! Supa Fast! All load-outs have a cool down, represented as a circle right above the team scores in the bottom left of the screen. Pretty intuitive, not to intrusive, a good addition to the HUD, as well as making the game a little more interesting. 
    So let's talk about the load-outs. I won't list all of the combination of load-outs, because there are about 1 billion of them (ok maybe not... but there are allot). I will however introduce each individual ability. 
Armor Lock: This one might be my favorite. It allows you to crouch down into an impenetrable shield for a short amount of time(6seconds). During this time you are unable to move or attack, you are essentially immobilized, however invulnerable. The bonus is this, if you do hold the shield for the full 6 seconds(you can turn it off before this happens) you will emit this wave that will eat all shields around you, including your own. Great for beating in faces.

Jet Pack: Pretty self explanatory. You fly. I found it really difficult to control, because you simply fly the direction you are moving, and up. Watch your fuel level, because fall damage will still make you sad... and dead.

Active Camo: Again, something we have seen before in the form of power-ups. While active, you are invisible and all nearby radars (again, including your own) just go crazy with red dots. The more you move/shoot, the less invisible you are. Get it? Got it? Good.

Sprint: Uhh... you sprint....

Hologram: This one is a pretty sweet new idea. When activated, you spawn an exact copy of yourself that just runs towards the spot you were targeting when you activated it. It doesn't shoot, jump, or turn, it simply runs in straight line until it arrives at it's destination, at which point it will stand. Last for 10 seconds. Distractions are great.

Drop Shield: This one we have seen before in previous equipment. You drop a shield that cannot be penetrated by bullets, lasers, grenades, etc. A player can however run into the shield and roflstomp you that way, but you knew that.

Evade: This one is... cool but not creative. It's just a super juke. You lunge (and do a pretty sweet flip in the air) in the direction you are moving. If you got the fast aim, this one is pro.

So there are also new weapons. Which is awesome, they introduced "new" Covy Carbine, in the form of the Needle Rifle. It's the covenant compliment to the Spartans new Battle Rifle, called the DMR. The DMR, instead of firing a burst of bullets, shoots one powerful shot. Similarly, the Needle Rifle shoots a needle, which explodes the way Needles do. We have grenade launchers (even a plasma grenade launcher!!), energy cannons, and all the typical shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and energy swords that we have all grown to love. The new weapons are easy to figure out and add more excitement and fun to an already extensive arsenal of potential death bringers. For a full, far to in depth look (for my taste) at all the weapons for Reach, check it out.
Oh also, new vehicles. Go play the game and find them. While you are at it, use the Armor Lock while a ghost charges you, and be prepared to laugh. Allot.

More new stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is after all, a new game, amirite?! Of course.
So, new game modes, that's fun. The only play list that really caught my interest was called Invasion.

Whoo. None of my friends (except Chris) have the game yet, so I have not been able to experience these play lists in all of their glory.

All in all. It's Halo. The new engine makes the game look even more beautiful and shows what fans have always known the 360 can do. The weapons are new, they are shiny; the explosions are fiery and real. The maps, remade and new, are prettier and more detailed then they have ever been. It's a fresh skin, a new look, and an wonderfully innovative way to make a franchise that has already been around for 9 years feel unique. I had initially been worried that this was going to be another re skinned Halo3 (the way ODST felt to me) but after spending some serious time with Reach's match making, I am thoroughly pleased to say this is truly a new game, worth every dime.

Final Score, 10/10 no clever comparison. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Halo: Reach Campaign Review

Another Halo, another explosion of hyperbole, headshots, and fanboy hatred. Like it or not, Halo is a big deal. It made the Xbox what it is, it showed that console shooters are the real-deal, popularized console LAN-parties, and eventually set the need for Xbox live. So how does Bungie's final Halo game stand up? Well, I'm here to give you my opinion.

First, I will tackle the new additions, mainly the loadouts. While I didn't use every one of them extensively, I will say that some seem a lot more helpful than others. I found myself favoring sprint above most, though (which tells me sprinting might have been a good idea to implement as a normal ability a long time ago). If that sounds boring to you, then you also have the choices of a jet-pack, bubble shield, armor lock, ect which you can switch between when given the opportunity. You're never presented with all of the choices at once, though, which makes sense. It would make things too easy if you could just jet-pack everywhere. Scribblenauts learned that the hard way. Where the loadouts really shine is multiplayer, but my co-blogger will cover that.

Another welcome addition is the new engine. Not only is everything a bit prettier, but things seem more dynamic. Look above you during a mission and you can see an air battle raging overhead. Not only does it look cool, but it reminds you that you are not the only person risking your life for the well-being of Reach. And speaking of the air, I'm sure you all know about the space combat mission and the mission where you go from area to area in a falcon (it's a flying vehicle, not the bird). They are a bit too simplistic, but overall a good change in pace, especially the falcon mission. My real issue was they didn't last long enough, once again, especially the falcon mission.

Not the falcon...

But, the thing I was probably looking forward to the most (and you will know this if you read my impressions over the one of the trailers) was the addition of a team. Yes, I know that ODST had team elements in it, but you were separated from them most of the time. Way to defeat the purpose. The reason I was excited was because I love getting to know characters in games, and the more the better. I thought Halo: Reach might actually attempt some of this, and they did... to an extent. This is where I get into spoiler territory. I normally try to avoid this, but the game is a prequel and if you can't guess that everyone dies then you are a fool. So this time, I break my rule. Anyway, yes they did attempt to throw in characters you could get to know. The problem is they all die way to quickly for you to care. Yes, it's one at a time, but when one spartan's personality really starts to show, you know they are about to bite it. The problem is the one who is supposed to be the most troubled by all of this (AKA the most interesting one) dies first. I believe I mentioned defeating the purpose at some point in this review earlier.

Want to get to know this guy a little more? Too bad. You see, there are these things called explosions...

The weapons are a mix of old weapons, different versions of old weapons, and some really cool new ones. My favorites are probably the needle rifle and the one that shoots a bunch of plasma grenades (it makes things go boom!). Pretty much the same could be said for the vehicles. Besides the aforementioned stuff, the main new vehicle is like a mini version of the Covenant's Wraith. Fun stuff.

As for combat, well, it's a Halo game. Expect the same plus all the stuff I mentioned before. If you don't like the main way Halo works, then you won't like this game. It might have awesome additions, but it's still Halo. Some of the enemies are thrown at you a little differently, though. While all the enemies you love to hate are present, you'll meet ones with new armor and even small arm-shield wielding Jackals. Trust me, those bastards are a lot faster without a body shield to hold up.

The hardest part of all of this for me was comparing it to past Halo titles. The campaign is good and different, but I couldn't figure out if I preferred it over 3. The thing is, the campaign seems shorter. Whereas it took me about 8 hours to get through the others, this one felt like it took around 6. Not a terrible thing, but I wish it had gone on longer. The ending is what gave me the most trouble. At first I was pissed because there wasn't some epic moment on par with the escape at the end of Halo 1 or 3. Sure, there was a pretty big fight, but it didn't have my heart racing. Then, the credits rolled and the game throws one last thing at you. I won't tell you what it is, but it's a really cool way of dealing with the end. That moment made all the difference. It made me realize, that story wise, this game would have been the lesser if it tried to emulate Halo 3's ending. Reach isn't about escape or finishing the fight. It's a lot more somber and more about the darkness before the light. You aren't suppose to survive to fight again. You are supposed to die so that others may live. You set the grounds for the future fight. To put it bluntly, Reach is about sacrifice.

Bungie's final Halo is ultimately successful. No, not everything met it's full potential, and it is too much like other Halo title's to feel totally new. However, it serves as a terrific cap to the franchise under Bungie. Great job guys, good luck in your future endeavors.

9 out of 10 Covenant taken out with you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday update! How do you say Reach in Japanese?

So... Pink...

Remember that thursday update I did last week? I decided I like it. Therefore, you will see more of them.

Anyway, we've played a ton of Reach and the reviews should be up very soon (Mine will for sure be up today or tomorrow). Hooray for not having to wait almost two weeks for a review! As for the Tokyo Game Show, we've read some interesting things. We will try to talk about as much of that as possible. Suda 51's collaboration with the director of Resident Evil 4 looks interesting and there is also some new stuff about Dead Rising 2. The biggest buzz so far seems to be the Devil May Cry reboot... Oh I'm sorry... They're calling it Devil may Cry now. Don't know why "may" isn't good enough to be capitalized. However, I wouldn't call the buzz positive as it all pertains to Dante's new appearance. It's.... well... it's... just go find it. I don't want it on the front page for any amount of time.

See you very soon!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Halo: Reach: The Wait is Over!

It's been 3 years since the release of Halo 3. Three years since Bungie showed, once again, that they are the masters of the FPS gaming for this generation. Now, the new installment, Halo:Reach is here. And not a moment too soon. I'm not here to say much more than "WHOOHOO IT'S HERE OMFG I WANT TO PLAY FOREVER... oh and work. Tomorrow then". Also, reviews on the game (single player and multi player) will be out hopefully by the end of the week. The game looks awesome, and we cannot wait to get some one on one time with it. Stay tuned for our reports, let's see if Bungie can sweep us away and blow our minds once again. Go pwn some n00bs, and lets us know what you think of the game so far!!

*Bonus Message From the Outlaw*
Hello everyone. Halo: Reach was completed this morning. I have a score in mind and my opinions have all been made. Hopefully I can get a single-player review up within the next few days. It honestly should not be too long from now. Stephen will be taking care of the multiplayer. That means I get to kill people without thinking about stuff!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Metroid: Other M Review

So it's been three years since the incredible Metroid Prime Trilogy concluded, and Nintendo decided it would be a good idea to go back to a more 2D third person approach... er 2.5D... whatever. Seeing as I absolutely love Super Metroid, I was totally stoked (Gross, I just realized it is impossible for me to say that word without sounding like a douche). Anyway, then they announced Team Ninja (Creators of Ninja Giaden) were the ones who were making it. Cue another freakout! It looked to be the old Metroid I love with some awesome finishing moves thrown in. Judging from the videos I saw, it looked incredible. Sure, I was worried that the inclusion of a cut-scene driven story might be a little odd, but I have to admit that I was intrigued.

Fast forward to the present and I have beaten the game. To stream-line the review, I am going to cover a few categories followed by my overall score. These categories are as follows: Story/character, combat, and progression (item collection, power obtaining, and general pace of the game).

"Chris, is the rest of the game this pretty?" "You mean besides some cut-scenes or Samus' suit?... No."

To be fair, this is the first time a Metroid game has focused on a cut-scene driven story and character (Notice how I started this section with "To be fair"? Yeaaaaaah). The problem with the story is that it is a really good one that happens to be told badly. The dialogue is cheesy and in most cases delivered poorly. Before you ask, no this has nothing to do with Samus' voice. Samus having a softer voice isn't a problem at all. She might be experienced, but she isn't old. The problem is that she sounds almost disinterested and bored, especially when she recalls something. If she wasn't telling me how she felt all the time I would honestly have no idea. Some of Adam's dialogue is actually delivered decently, and Samus DOES have her moments, but I found it all-together lacking.

Character is a whole different story. I know that Samus has never been super expanded upon, but her actions didn't make a lot of sense to me. It's hard to go into great detail about these situations without spoiling anything, but an example would be her basically freezing up at an important moment. A hardened bounty hunter does not act that way. Also, and I'll talk more about this later, the way she handles orders from Adam is somewhat ridiculous. I know that this is a Metroid game and Samus needs to have her powers taken away, but I would have rather she lost them than Adam tell her she cannot use them. First of all, his reasoning doesn't make a lot of sense. The thing is, he is afraid of the effects they might have. Samus, respecting the authority he used to hold over her, follows his commands and doesn't use her abilities until he okays them. I'm sorry, but she is an independent bounty hunter. She is perfectly capable of determining these things for herself. Also, I seriously doubt using a grapple beam can screw up the mission in any way. The thing is, Samus will encounter a situation that needs action immediately, but she will just stand there until Adam says she can use the power she needs. That... Is.... Stupid. I know she respects Adam, but I doubt she would act like a total dependent just because he tells her too. She is an experienced bounty hunter. She knows how to handle situations. Adam might be a commanding officer in the Galactic Federation, but Samus has EFFING SAVED THE GALAXY MORE THAN ONCE! Sorry, it just irks me. Moving on.


OOOOOOHHHH YEAAAAAAH. YE-YE-YEAH. SNAP INTO AN ALIEN! *Ahem* Sorry, I was under the impression Randy Savage impressions were popular again. Actually, I'm not sorry. I had fun dammit.

This is where the game shines. Some might say the finishing moves (for lack of a better term) get a little repetitive, but excuse me if I never find throwing a giant bug across the room fun. It's quick and dodging soon becomes second nature. I finally got the feeling that Samus is as quick and deadly as she is beautiful (In a classy way you pervs). Also, the weapon upgrades are useful and fun to use, especially when you use them in interesting ways against bosses. However, using missiles is a (censored) pain in the ass. Whoever thought that stopping in your tracks to shoot them is a fool. For one, it ruins the quick pace of combat, and for two... I shouldn't even have to elaborate.... YOU HAVE TO FREAKING STOP!!! Remember the old Metroid games where you could switch between your cannon and missiles? Apparently they didn't want to use some unused buttons on the wiimote and decided that this was a better idea. Attention everyone who makes a major game on the Wii: Stop shoehorning in motion contols. It didn't work for Zelda; it won't work for Metroid.

Excuse me mister enemy sir, could you please sit still while I shoot missiles at you? It would really suck if you hit me while I was stuck in position.

I know I started out praising most of the combat, but if the rest wasn't so good, this might have ruined it for me. Luckily, it was. NEXT TOPIC!


This one is a bit of a toughy. I've already talked about how stupid the system for getting your weapons back is, but they do seem to come around at just the right time... although you can't use power bombs usefully until the segment after the credits. Looking for upgrades is also done very well. There are also plenty of them. I loved looking for the next secret just as much as I did in the older Metroids, and once I figured out a new move would allow me to get an old upgrade I missed I rejoiced. The whole system is just very satisfying.

Unfortunately, the pacing could be better. It took a very long time for me to get into the game. The last few hours are awesome, but the beginning is super slow and a little boring. If the whole game was as exciting as the last, let's say, three hours were, I would be giving it a higher score. Another issue happens later when some heavy gravity rooms show up limiting some of your powers and negating another. I'm sorry, I wanted to progress, not be forced to remember what playing the game was like before I had a certain power. The game has enough recollection as it is. One of the major boss fights in the game (spoilers people, I'm avoiding them), is also a major let down, as it basically consists of you standing in place keeping things away from you while looking to aim at someone. The section after the credits, though... Ho-ly f**k, it's awesome. That is where you will find one of the best boss fights I've played through this year as well as the iconic escape moment you get from Metroid games.

Overall, the game had a lot of potential and could have been so much more than it was. I like the direction they are going in, they just need to do it better. In the meantime, I can only praise its good qualities and call out its mistakes. Here's hoping they nail it down next time. It was a fun ride (in its later stages) that had one too many flaws.

7 out of 10 energy tank upgrades

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Outlaw's Favorite Gaming Moments: Metal Gear Solid 4 Microwave Hallway

Lordy Lordy this is going up late. You see I was in a clinic most of the day. I am now on three different kinds of meds. That is all behind us now, though, and I get to do what I should have been doing all day: Writing things for you wonderful people to read!!!

This weeks gaming moment is very special to me. You see, this moment is kind of what I had in mind when I decided to start doing this. This moment is none other than the microwave tunnel from Metal Gear Solid 4.

Now, there is no way I could sum up the plot of this or any of the other games. It is impossible. Also, keep in mind that I am sick and I have a Metroid review to write after this. Anyway, this moment is sort of a climax in the game. Snake has already been through hell and back (and gotten half his face burnt off), Raiden has lost both arms, Meryl and Johnny are in a seemingly hopeless gunfight, and the war waging on the surface is looking bullocks. Oh, also, Otacon is being a pussy, but that is to be expected.

So you're probably saying, "C'mon, Chris, (Seriously, you wouldn't call me Outlaw in real life) you're telling me that things get even worse for Snake?! The answer is simply yes.... yes they do. You see chillens, there is only one hallway that can take Snake where he needs to go, and it just so happens that this hallway emits microwaves. Grab some popcorn and watch the video (you see what I did there?).

That sure is some HOT old man ass! Amirite?! AMIRITE!? HAHAHAHAHA *Kills self*

I literally played *pushed forward and pressed triangle repeatedly* this whole segment with my mouth agape. I honestly didn't know if Snake was going to make it. I slowly watched as his health slipped away until the gauge was empty. All he had left was his will-power. That's correct. You lose all your health and then your willpower bar starts to drain. It shows the determination of a man who had already been through so much. Not even microwaves could stop him (although they got close). On top of that, the cinematic moments that take place at the same time add to the emotional impact. Everything is going to hell and it just seems so hopeless. However, Snake finds the will to go on like he always does and saves the day despite the effect it has on his own well-being. That, my friends, is a hero.

Oh, and to add to that, he wins a fist-fight not long afterwards... MAN AT HIS MOST MAN!

Stay tuned (hit your refresh button all night) for my Metroid: Other M Review!

Dead Space 2 Multiplayer: Dismember Your Friends!

Okay, so I stole that clever line, but it presents a nice segway. I bring to you today a feature that in it's presentation brought some immediate skepticism. Allot of times with games that are very focused on single - player mode comes crappy multiplayers. Bioshock 2 for instance, great awesome fantastic game in the single player, but the multiplayer was only mediocre. When games like these try to throw in multiplayers they are more often than not very typical: deathmatch, run around kill everyone, maybe steal things from the other team, nothing new. It's easy, it is usually fun, but it has been done before a million times and gets boring rather quickly. So when my blog mate texted me, telling me about this trailer, I just kind of shrugged and said "yea sure."

See, I stole that clever little line...

Now, this trailer leaves allot to be desired. Had this been the only thing I had seen, I would still expect very little from the multi-player mode. It does however show that the basic theme of Dead Space will be kept in tact. The humans have their weapons, and the Necromorphs have stealth and speed. As far as gameplay it doesn't look any more than an objective based capture the flag or what have you.
However, saying that, I do know after having done some reading on the how the multiplayer plays that this is not the case. In fact, the multiplayer is supposedly quite innovative. Instead of the boring deathmath or capture the flag, the multiplayer is based upon 4-5 missions that you, as the four humans, have to complete. The other team consists of four Necromorphs who are charged with stopping the humans from completing their goal. Now, I have not played this and have only read how the game is supposed to play, so I won't say much more simply because at this point I am just regurgitating other peoples thoughts on the game. I will say that having watched the video, and having read several articles about the game play, I am quite excited to see how the multiplayer compliments Dead Space 2. 

The Elitist's Least Favorite Game Moments: Spore

     It was a fresh concept. Take themes and concepts from all the great video game genres and throw them into one awesome smorgasbord of a game. The hype was huge, the game was big, huge, it's sales went far far beyond 1million. So why on earth is The Elitist using it for one of his LEAST favorite video game moments? Let's dive on in.

 First, being a good little amateur  journalist, allow me to set up my case. To start I have to say that overall Spore was a fantastic game, and the majority of the game was a great success. You start out as a microscopic organism, fighting and feeding for life. This part of the game is very basic, but with it comes your first choice. Choices are critical in good games. Carnivore, Omnivore, or Herbivore? You have to pick how your species will continue to survive. Now,  you run away from big scary things, and either you eat the crap out of things smaller than you, search for some tasty plant type thingies (lame) or both! Easy, fun, great game play. Soon, you evolve (Darwin would turn in his grave, it happens so damn fast). Now, you are a creature who lives on land. Whoo! So, now that you walk you have to make your second choice. Do you viciously attack all of the other animals about, and take their food, or do you make friends with them and share, or whatever nice animals do. I always just ate everybody. The combat/interaction is very real time RPG like. You can either beat the pulp out of things, or try to court them to like you. Very fun, and the decisions you make affect the rest of the game Soon you become intelligent enough to smack rocks together and make fire and do Tribal things. It is at this point that the game takes another huge game play shift. Now, it takes on an RTS feel. You as the play control your cute little tribe and you have to either trade and make nice with all the other tribes, or kill all that stands in your way to be the dominate force. This style of game play continues as you go from tribes to civilizations. Finally, you become awesome enough to create a space ship, thus introduces the Space Age, and the games biggest flaws.

"That alien is ugly I need to kill it" That's the problem with the world these days.

      So, you are a big shot space pilot, able to conquer (or alli with) entire planets with your awesome (and upgradeable) space ship. You fly around, terraform planets, sell spice, help allies, defend your planets and be a general badass. Soon you become the destructive force of a huge sprawling empire, covering star systems light years apart. How can anyone compete with such a force of power? Well apparently, during the process of creating faster than light speed travel, and the best weapons in the galaxy, no one thought it would be a good idea to invest in a military. See, even though you are the (second) most powerful empire in the entire galaxy, your ship is the only force of policing and protection for your vast array of controlled planets. Environmental hazard threatening to destroy the planets atmosphere? Can't send a small terraforming division, you have to go. Pirates stealing your spice? Can't send the police, you are their only hope. Another species as found one of your planets and is attacking? You can't send ambassadors to negotiate, you must go solve the problem. You happen to be hundreds of systems away from the planet that is under attack? Well... I guess they are shit-outa-luck. So, you have collected enough money/eradicated a sufficient number of creatures/converted a healthy majority to your religion, now what do you do? Well as far as the game is concerned you have won. Almost. Right at the end, you discover some great secret at the center of the galaxy. Should be easy enough, jump through some worm holes, fly on into that super massive black whole in the middle there. Oh wait, that's right, and unstoppable force of an evil and malicious race known as the Grox inhabit all the surrounding systems. They apparently thought to train more than ONE FIGHTER PILOT, and each planet is protected by a plethora of such warriors.  So to reach the center of the universe you have to... well.. what you have to do is.. umm... See, I actually have no idea, because I just got sick of struggling through Grox infested planets to reach an unknown goal, all the while my home is being ravaged raped and plundered while their only defense is millions of billions of miles away seeking the center of the galaxy.

     Spore had one of the best character/building/vehicle creators ever made, in my opinion. For the first 3/4 of the game, it was really really fun. On the whole, it was a great game, worthy of the success it received. However, it does have the taint of being one of the most disappointing games I have ever played. It's a sad thing, but that's the video game industry, Ups and downs. See you all next time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

C-C-C Combo Breaker!

So here's the thing.
I have finished Metroid: Other M and the Scott Pilgrim game. My PS3 is at my blogmate's house to I finally bought it again on the 360. This means I am definitely going to write to review for other M and the jury is still out on writing a Scott Pilgrim one. In case I don't, I'll tell you right now. It is awesome and if you love old-school brawlers at all get it... like now.

As for Other M, I should have a review up within the next few days. The reason for the title of this post, though, is that I planned to have it up today. Then I decided, consciously, to get sick instead. So now I am sick... yay! I will do my best to work around this while my co-blogger just attempts to keep up with work. He is a busy person, so expect to see a lot of me... or read a lot of me... I mean my articles. You can't really read me. At least, not in a literal sense... siiiiiiiccccckkkkk.

See you soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday update! Still in Beta.

As you might be able to guess, it is hard for two people to keep up with everything that happens in the game industry. After all, we have other obligations such as school, eating, friends, eating, sleeping, eating, ect ect. Despite this, I really hate it when a few days go by without much being posted so I came up with this idea the other day while I was eating. I am going to try to provide a weekly update of smaller news stories and posts we are working on. Basically, I am going to try to keep you updated so you know what's going on and you don't think we've died or something. So let's give this a go.

First off, my original idea was that my co-blogger would write the review for Metroid: Other M (as he knows more Metroid than I do), but I am much farther along in it. Thus, I will probably be the one to write it. I am almost done so it should be up in a couple of days. Also, I beleive Halo: Reach will be out next week and I will try my best to get it finished and reviewed as quickly as possible. I seem to have much more time to slack off than my partner.

In random news that I find amusing, Duke Nukem Forever is actually going to be released. Lols all around. We'll keep our eye on it, but so far we are very skeptical. Also an Ex CEO at Rare called out Activision. Encore lols please. Those stories always amuse me. Anyway, class is about to start so I shall be off! See you later (today?).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Portal 2: New Stuff From PAX

    So as you all know, because all normal people keep up with nerdy conference type things, PAX happened this week/last weekend, and some pretty cool things came from it. As you also should know (because, duh) my favorite thing from PAX was the new Portal 2 game play videos premiering new gadgets and gizmos to touch your puzzle solving heart. Let's show the people what's up.

This one is my favorite, mostly because "Thermal Discouragement Beam" is a great name for a laser that cuts through almost anything. WHOA BUT WHAT IS THIS?! THERE IS MOAR!?
      Edit: Those last three videos, I just linked them, when I embedded the videos some html Spartan Madness would happen and I couldn't get all the videos to display at once. In order of link-age, we have a video displaying another new level gadget type thing that is quite hilarious. Then we have an awesome/adorable trailer for the co-op play (Which looks hard as crap) then lastly there is some walkthrough business that I mainly posted for the sake of getting to see more game play. Whoohoo! interwebs magic!

These just make me so super happy. I am was really really happy when the first "new things for Portal 2" wave was released back at Gamescom, and now that I know that there are more things to come to make this game more challenging more intricate and more awesome, I can't wait to get my hands on it. PHEW!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Elitist's Favorite Game Moments

Warning!!! Spoilers ahead!!
-The Outlaw is in his blogmate's article, adding sum wordz.

Anyone who knows me, knows that Bioshock is one of my all time favorite games ever ever infinity amen. Alright, well, it is the first game I suggest to people who want to play something new and are kind of new to video games ( or may be just casual gamers). That being said it a grand total of 5 seconds for me to decide on this moment on my way to class this morning. My favorite moment is brought to you by the fantastic game: Bioshock! (I really hope you had already figured that out...) I really like dark moments in games, it makes me feel better about myself cause I can think "Wow, at least I'm not that much of a dick." Also, I just think it's kind of cool. So anyway if you haven't played Bioshock yet, I hate you. Go play it to regain my love. Anyway, there isn't really much background that needs to be explained, because the moment I want to describe doesn't really make plot-sense until toward the end. All you really have to know is that Andrew Ryan is the leader of an underwater "utopia" called Rapture. Rapture went to hell, and you have crash landed to have to kill your way to survival. Oh also, the whole time you are being controlled by a psychopathic maniac that wants to control all of this genetic altering substance called "Adam" which basically give you superhuman power. So, at some point you confront Andrew Ryan, and delivers a rather cryptic message.

I just get chills. It's dark, memories are flashing back into your mind (fake and real) an evil secret is revealed although you are not really sure what it means. Rapture is falling apart and all hell is breaking loose. Ryan simply walks up to you, shows you your greatest weakness, then allows you to kill him, knowing full well that your conditioning simply makes you nothing more than a slave.

If you haven't played this, play it, then play the second one, then read our article about the new one set to release in 2012, Bioshock: Infinite.

The Outlaw's Least Favorite Gaming Moments: Mega Man X's Maverick Spider

First things first: I love the hell out of Mega Man X. I love it so much that I stayed up all night last week beating it in one sitting. The music, the enemies, the powers, the upgrades: It's all so magical. However, it has one thing I can't stand; effing Maverick Spider.

Don't get me wrong. There are harder bosses in the game, but none of them are as cheap. Sure, he can only move on poles and it gives you a chance to predict which ones he'll use, but once he starts he moves so quickly you don't have time to guess. And as the fight goes on, he starts to move more quickly. On top of that, he spits out little spiders to harass you while you try to dodge. AAAAANNNNDDD, he can only be hurt for a split second when he is at the bottom of his path while his eye is open. This kind of sucks seeing as his weakness is shotgun ice. It's not the slowest weapon, but it's also not the quickest. You can play it yourself, but it's much easier to just watch a video. Here, watch a video.

See? It's easier. Now here's a video that's actually related. Ignore the annoying guy and skip ahead to the boss fight if you want.


Granted, once you get in the groove and learn how to dash effectively it becomes a little easier. When I finally did beat the bastard I had full health while he only had about a 1/4th left. He did get close to killing me afterward with his speed increase, however.

I spent longer trying to kill the three stages of Sigma and his dog, but it never felt as cheap. I found a strategy and it worked. With Maverick Spider I felt like I was just getting lucky. That's why he is one of my least favorite boss fights and one of my least favorite game moments.

Mega Man Universe: 3 New Gameplay Trailers

     Capcom's most endearing mascot has made a recent appearance in Capcom's "here are really cool things coming out" list. The Mega Man Universe teaser trailer was released several months ago and had allot of us scratching out heads thinking; how the heck this game was going to play? Why is Ryu there? Why is it animated in this adorable claymation style? Why is that kids room so friggen messy? Holy bad-art Batman, is that the Bad Box Art Mega Man?? Whyyy?! If you missed this little pearl of confusion, here it is in all of its wtf glory.
     So, this is not really conducive to any sort of excitement because, well... it didn't really show anything of importance. Until now.Capcom gave Gamespot IGN and 1up a hands on game play on Mega Man Universe.They were of course released as three separate videos; Gamespot playing as Bad Box Art Mega Man, IGN as Mega Man, and 1Up as Rockman. Luckily for me, someone created a lovely compilation, making my life easier. Enjoy.


The music is awesome, I love the rock version from Mega Man 2, the rendering is beautiful, it looks absolutely brilliant... for an updated Mega Man. Everything about this looks prefect, but it comes with one small disappointment. Capcom claimed that Mega Man Universe would "Break the mold..." However this trailer would lead one to believe that this is simply going to be the same Mega Man that we have always known and loved, just a little prettier. This is cool and fine, and I'll buy it and play the crud out of it, but when I heard that from Capcom, I had anticipated something I would not be able to anticipate. Maybe this is meant to lead us astray and then they will just come up with some crazy twist that none of us saw, maybe not. Either way I am super excited for Mega Man Universe.

Oh Also, OMG RYU?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Epic Mickey's Opening Cinematic WIll Make You a Child Again

A few days ago, the full opening cinematic for Epic Mickey was released, and OH BOY *in Mickey voice* was it ever wonderful. If you haven't been paying attention, I am somewhat of a nerd. One of the things I happen to be nerdy about is Disney, however not so much the more modern movies. Don't get me wrong, I love the Lion King and whatnot, even though Land Before Time did that stuff first, but I am crazy about the old cartoons. You know, the ones from forever ago. The animation is incredible, the characters are timeless, and they are legitimately funny. So when they announced Epic Mickey was being developed and the man in charge was responsible for none other than Deus Ex, I flipped out. I almost Didn't watch the released cinematic because I wanted absolutely nothing to be ruined... but I did it anyway. Watch below.


I nearly cried... OK I didn't but you know what I mean. Seeing Disney's old characters that were never used again, such as the Mad Doctor, come back to life in gorgeous 3D animation was incredible. And if you're wondering who that rabbit fellow was, his name is Oswald and he is the leader of the world Mickey enters. He was one of Walt's early creations that was taken from him before he made his own studio. Then he made Mickey, so obviously there will be some jealousy issues.

This is one of my most looked forward to games of the year and this cinematic has only increased my anticipation. If there are any more of you Disney nerds out there I want to here from you in the comments!

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Japanese Kirby's Epic Yarn Trailer

Anyone who has seen my current blog profile picture could tell you that I am crazy excited for the newest addition to the Kirby franchise. It's cute, the physics are amazing, the animation is incredible in every way, and all the things that Kirby turns into are absolutely adorable. Now, I can't tell you a ton about the new trailer because I don't speak Japanese, but I think it can speak for itself. Watch below.


Everything about it is... I just can't... It... MAKES ME SO HAPPY! I mean... DOLPHIN KIRBY! It's ingenious! I haven't been this excited for a Kirby game in a long time, but I can honestly say I am already in love with this game. Unfortunately I have to wait until October to play it.

Are you as excited as I am over Epic Yarn? Let me know in the comments!!!

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