Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Quick note just to wish everyone a happy new year and that we look forward to growing as a site and moving on from being here on the blog domain!

There are loads of quality games on the way for 2011 so expect much more up to date reviews and as always news coverage will be as up to date as can be...Once this holiday season is over which it now pretty much is it will be business as usual!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Nine Hours: Nine Persons: Nine Doors - Review

By Mark

Being tipped as a visual novel with ‘escape the room’ gameplay segments will no doubt make a lot of folk cover their eyes and ears and run for the hills screaming to get away, yet if you were to do that it would be a mistake. Nine Hours: Nine Persons: Nine Doors (simply known as 999) is an absolute master class in video game storytelling in every aspect from character design to writing and even to the atmosphere the musical score creates while unfolding the complex narrative.

999 is the story of nine people that have found themselves kidnapped by a fellow named only as ‘Zero’ and have awoken on an old ship whose location is unknown. What is known, however, is that our hero ‘Junpei’ and his eight new companions have just nine hours to escape the ship with their lives intact. In order to do so however requires our group to enter through nine doors each with a puzzle on the other side and whether people live or die depends on the choices you make although you’ll have no idea at the time of choosing just how important that seemingly passive comment could be. 

Meet the Nine. Seem generic? You're wrong.
You see, that’s where this game strives, in its narrative and it needed to as the only ‘gameplay’ to speak of is the escape the room segments of the game which in themselves are well designed and fun to play. The overall structure of the game can be broken down to this in essence ‘narrative, dialogue choice, room choice, room escape’ which may seem like not a whole lot or not interesting and that’s where you’d be wrong. Each aspect of the game is handled so well that you find yourself all but enthralled within this little title and a lot of the credit has to go to the localisation team as they have captured the very nature of the narrative perfectly, there are no discrepancies with the text and it reads just as well as any great book. 

The escaping segment of the game is done incredibly well, you’ll investigate a particular room (or multiple areas depending on your location) and this is handled entirely via the touch screen. You’ll be scrutinizing all of the rooms and backgrounds you can see and all the objects within them to find the next clue that leads to your escape; you can also rest easy knowing that everything you find in this game has a purpose so there’s no red herring as it where. This means that paying attention to anything and everything pays off and you will be rewarded in some way or another and not always in the form of an item but rather interesting notes from your companions or humorous dialogue. Speaking of the items you find, some will have a fairly obvious use while others must be combined with each other to make a new tool or new item entirely. While there is the strong theme of nine hours to live the puzzles themselves have no time limits, so those of you thinking that maybe the puzzles and game is all on a real time 9 hours would be mistaken although that would of changed the ‘urgency’ of the title entirely.

The premise of 999 can often feel like the Saw films at times but with less on screen gore and more descriptive grisly text to depict the gruesome nature of some of the games more grim scenes which works to its credit; writing in games this good is rarely seen. The nine rooms you can venture through will rarely feature the same characters following you through as the rules of ‘Zero’s’ game dictate that only 3 to 5 people are allowed through any one door at a time meaning your group will split into multiple teams to access different rooms. This leaves you and your team wondering when the next time you’ll be seeing your friends will be, if at all. It should also be said that if these rules are broken a bomb is detonated within the person killing the rule breaker and presumably anyone in close proximity. 

The characters you meet on this journey through human nature under pressure and the fight against an unfair fate seem like a typical anime bunch at first glance, yet due to the effortlessly good prose used to portray them and their plight you soon uncover damaged psyches and people with tortured pasts. The eight that ‘Junpei’ meet aren’t openly spilling their backgrounds immediately however as the cast all issue themselves code names as protection in this somewhat hopeless situation, it’s through the nine hours however that they come together and whether it’s when they clash or tell a tale of woe you learn a lot about each character. This is shown through the loveable goofy giant ‘Seven’ or the blind but intuitive ‘Snake’ and even ‘June’ who is actually Junpei’s childhood friend who he hasn’t seen in 9 years.

Clover and Snake
The reason you grow to like these characters is the writing and while I’ve said this at least one too many times already it’s the truth, think of all the other anime style games that contain cut scenes and voice acting to get across their characters. You immediately think of a somewhat shoddy attempt at a dub especially when it comes to the games that are developed in Japan and the localisation simply isn’t on a par with this title. By not having any voice acting or large amount of animation to show off character emotion it’s the prose that truly shines, the level of description and the talent at work is great. Each character is believable and their desperate struggle against time is conveyed brilliantly and when you add this into an overall fantastic plot and you have a great package for those willing to give it a chance.

The musical element to the game is composed well and adds to the atmosphere well and the composer has managed to capture the mood of each scene and situation fittingly and the game offers 6 endings for you to discover. It is recommended that you hunt for all 6 however as the game somehow makes them all fit together in an attempt to help you understand the true ending (unlocked after triggering a false ending first) which has a simply mind blowing twist that I refuse to explain here as it must be experienced not told.

It may read as though I have done nothing but praise this game but what would you have me do? Lie about shortcomings that aren’t there? Even upon completing the game once you are then allowed to fast forward through scenes you’ve already read to save time so you can hunt down the content you have yet to see even more efficiently and while a ‘chapter’ skip would of been handy it doesn’t detract from the experience. Depending on who you are you may complain that the game is too text heavy or not gameplay centric enough and I’d honestly say that’s an issue for you and not the game as Nine Hours: Nine Persons: Nine Doors shows just how well story telling in gaming can be in this journey of nine people in a race against time to save themselves and discover the truth behind Zero’s ‘Nonary Game’.

In a nutshell we...

  • Narrative that leaves your brains where your carpet should be
  • Quality writing and a fantastic localisation effort
  • Intuitive but not too complex puzzle elements

Not So Much
  • Alot of reading if you don't enjoy to do so
  • Multiple endings are needed to make full sense of the plot
Nine Hours: Nine Persons: Nine Doors - 9

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Kinect and WoW...Together

By Mark

Joining the fast growing list of hacks for Microsoft's Kinect addon for 360 comes this World of Warcraft controlling method.

The Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California demonstrate the use of it live in this video, they can control the movement, targeting and spellcasting all with Kinect.

Piracy Figures - Shocking Stuff

By Mark

Torrentfreak have tabled up some piracy figures showing the top 5 titles on the PC, 360 and Wii to be downloaded in 2010 and it comes as no surpise that the most pirated title is Call of Duty: Black Ops which on the PC landed over 4 million hits.

Here are the figures:

PC Downloads

1 Call of Duty: Black Ops  4,270,000
2 Battlefield: Bad Company 2  3,960,000
3 Mafia 2  3,550,000
4 Mass Effect 2  3,240,000
5 Starcraft II  3,120,000

Wii Downloads

1 Super Mario Galaxy 2  1,470,000
2 Wii Party  1,220,000
3 Donkey Kong Country Returns  920,000
4 Kirbys Epic Yarn  880,000
5 Red Steel 2  850,000

Xbox 360 Downloads

1 Dante’s Inferno  1,280,000
2 Alan Wake  1,140,000
3 Red Dead Redemption  1.060,000
4 Halo Reach  990,000
5 Call of Duty: Black Ops  930,000

While these numbers won't be exact, they are still in the ballpark and the thing that surprised me most was on the 360 chart Dante's Inferno was the most pirated. What do you make of all this?

Source - Torrentfreak

Sakaguchi May Be All Done If 'The Last Story' Does Poorly

By Mark

Hearing Hironobu Sakaguchi talk about stepping away from video games isn't anything particularly shocking, every game that he's behind always comes with rumblings of it being his last title. Yet in a Q&A session at a presentation he has stated that if 'The Last Story' is poorly recieved then it may be time to step down:

"If the game is received poorly, perhaps my sense does not match with the times. In that case, while I won't go as far as 'I won't ever make games again,' it would be meaningless to make games for a while. With that feeling, I've given my all."

Here's hoping it does well with the bigger reviewers as Mistwalker is one of the only studios still trying to drive new JRPGs in times where for all intents and purposes they seem to have no place. So let's hope the game is as awesome as it looks. 

Source - Andriasang

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Last Story PV

By Mark

There was an event recently that showcased 'The Last Story' with Final Fantasy grandfather Hironobu Sakaguchi and out of it has come this PV for the game. It mainly shows off the battle system which looks pretty interesting check it out:

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Trailer - Going Old School

By Mark

Capcam continue their onslaught of fighting game media and information as this new trailer for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which introduces a much younger Heiachi and a new luchadore female.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Soul Reaver Chars Now in Guardian of Light

By Mark

It shows that Christmas is a time of slowness for worthy posts but here's a trailer showing the latest DLC pack for Lara Croft: Guardian of Light featuring Kain and Raziel of Soul Reaver fame.

It's both sort of cool but also just pointless really, regardless it's here let us know what you think. Things will pick up after the holidays. Honest.

Future FPS - Anything Like This?

By Mark

freddiew has made some pretty great videos in the past and here's the latest one showing off an FPS only using real life as the graphics. The video represents them well too, or at least it represents CoD, anyway don't be a square and watch this vid!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow DLC Inbound

By Mark

It looks like the latest Castlevania title is going to be treated to not one but two packs of DLC that will fetch you the expected new areas, new monsters and new plot points.

The first addon to come will be called 'Reverie' and will see Gabriel return to the castle in order to help Laura the former servant to the vampire Carmilla, in destroying the an evil that was previously kept held back by the recently slain Queen.

Then once this is done players will have access to the second addon which continues the games plot from where it concluded. This will be called 'Resurrection' and features Gabriel in "a final showdown with a very notorious enemy".

They're likely to hit next year although no exact date has been given so watch this space. 

Get Up To Speed On Dead Space

By Mark

Been a while since you played Dead Space? Or perhaps you just haven't played it but are looking at Dead Space 2. If that's the case then this video will bring you up to speed, you can also find the same video at the start of the demo released the other day.

Motorstorm Apocalypse Dev Diary

By Mark

A dev diary now for the latest Motorstorm title, Evolution Studios have released this rather lengthy diary showing never before seen gameplay from the explosive racer. What gets explained here is the campaign or 'festival' mode, it's also stated that:

"There's a ton of unseen game footage in this video that I hope you like and also some glimpses into the recording of the original soundtrack. It features Paul 'Rushy' Rustchynsky, our Lead Designer and handling design guru, and Simon 'Barlos' Barlow, our invaluable Assistant Game Director who looks after big chunks of the gameplay features,"

The diary clocks in at 6 minutes but is worth the watch if you're a fan of the series or simply have a little time to kill!

Secret of Mana Now On iPhone - Nostalgia Time

By Mark

Sometimes you just have a hankering for something nostalgic and if you were around during the SNES era you may well have heard of Square's Secret of Mana. It was an old school RPG that achieved tremendous success and has gone on to have sequels and remakes in different forms.

Now we are presented with the game being released on the iPhone and it looks pretty good!

New Zelda Only Half Way Done - Miyamoto

By Mark

Itching to get your hands on the latest title in Nintendo's mega franchise Zelda? You may be in for quite a wait it seems as Zelda: Skyward Sword is only 'half done'. Speaking with Pocket Lint Miyamoto states in reference to the game's progress:

"What we are focused on is creating gameplay mechanics so the gameplay experience feels very dense," 

"In fact, the overall experience is going to feel more dense. We hope that people will want to go back and replay the game once they finish it".

We know Nintendo only like releasing titles like this when they truly feel that they've done the best they can, so it seems waiting is all we can do for now. 

Source - Pocket Lint 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Syndicate Awards 2010

By Mark

Well this year is just about all done up and in the past so it’s time to give my personal awards to the games I enjoyed the most this year and maybe a nod or two to games that disappointed me. Keep in mind these are the games I found most enjoyable or felt deserving of recognition and you may not agree. If that’s the case let us know what your favourites are!

This is going to be a lengthy article as you can imagine but if you do stick with it then thank you for your time and here are my Syndicate Awards.

Studio of the Year – Bungie

I don’t really think this award needs any justification. Bungie have proven with Halo 3 that they dearly love their fans and with Reach they only extend that warm fuzzy fan love, giving players a ridiculously improved and even more user friendly forge mode nay forge world (okay it’s more like a gigantic map but still!) and updating their multiplayer with new elements and features all the while listening to fans.

Characters of the Year – Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Enslaved was hit or miss with most folks but I don’t really feel you can honestly say that the portrayal of the characters in the way they act/look/speak is bad. As it simply isn’t, a lot of things are subjective when it comes to taste in video games but the fact that Enslaved boasts tremendous motion capture work and believable characters is an objective fact. So this award goes to Ninja Theory for Monkey, Trip and Pigsy. Next!

Best Handheld Title – Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals

Taking an old classic and revamping it is nothing new, that doesn’t mean it’s bad though as Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals shows. Adding in new quests and fun minigames to break up the usual cut and dry RPG breathes new life into the game and an overhauled battle system that focuses more on action appeals to a broader audience. Add in the charming characters and decent narrative and we have a winner here.

Best FPS and Best Multiplayer – Halo: Reach

Not much of a surprise here really, as I stated earlier in the Studio of the Year award Bungie did all they could to ensure their Halo Swan Song was as good as it could be and aside from the step forward in forge and MP they also cracked out a great single player that told the tail of the Fall of Reach. 

Best Hack n Slash – Bayonetta

Need I really say anything? Really?

Best Platformer – Super Mario Galaxy 2

Best Action Adventure – Red Dead Redemption

This was a title that for all intents and purposes I didn’t feel would resonate with me and yet the story of John Marston’s struggle against the government and life itself was a fantastic trip to the Old West. If you haven’t played this game then I strongly recommend you do.

Best Racer – Blur

Although Blur kinda tanked once it was released for reasons unknown, the game itself was actually a blast. It controlled well, looked good and delivered high octane racing action while allowing you to take out friends online. Mario Kart grown up was the idea but it just never took off.

Best Sports – FIFA 11

Best Original Soundtrack – Halo: Reach – Marty O’Donnell

Best Downloadable/Indie Title – Limbo

Best DLC – ME2 – Lair of the Shadow Broker

This was a fantastic piece of DLC from Bioware as it had all that was needed for just ‘that bit extra’ to add to Mass Effect 2, we got to experience a car chase sequence with witty banter, the return of Liara and it was all about the Shadow Broker himself and all led up to a stunning end. If you haven’t put out yet for this DLC, do so now.

Biggest Surpise – Mafia 2

Mafia 2 was a game that had a strange relationship with me. I played the demo when it came out and found myself not liking the game very much at all so it’s only a mystery as to why I ended up with the full game once it was released. However I’m glad that I gave it another try as it turned out to be a great experience with a good narrative, great characters and a beautiful city to play in. The game had downsides sure such as the lack of side content or the pretty blunt conclusion but all in all this game really surprised me and deserves some credit.

Most Overlooked/Dismissed Game – Alpha Protocol

I’m almost fed up with describing and explaining why Alpha Protocol shouldn’t just be ignored and called crap just because of a few flaws (albeit fatal flaws to some). If you haven’t heard of it or have found yourself to be a dismissive of the title but you love RPG’s then give this a go, you never know you may be forgiving and find yourself loving it like I did. Check my review for it here

Most Anticipated Game of 2011 – Catherine

If you’re a regular reader and are surprised about this award then shame on you...shame on you. Next!

Biggest Disappointment of 2010 – Final Fantasy XIII

Five years in the making and some people love this game and some people hate it. While I don’t by any means hate it, this is definitely the game this year that let me down. Although I liked the characters, the story and the battle system Final Fantasy XIII just couldn’t make me love it as effortlessly as past titles. It didn’t feel the same in any regard and apart from recurring features like Chocobos I just couldn’t care for the game. That’s not necessarily the game’s fault but as far as disappointment goes, this was it for me.

Game of the Year 2010 and Best RPG – Mass Effect 2

Again, no surprises here right? Released at the beginning of this year Mass Effect 2 hit stores and immediately I knew it would most likely be my Game of the Year. It took the game we already loved and made it much darker, and a whole lot more epic. Some favourite characters returned (if you kept them alive from the original that is) and a whole new bunch was thrown in there as well. And being told before we even got the game that it’s about a suicide mission and not everyone will make it back (if anyone) only added to the intrigue.

It had its problems sure but forgiving them and enjoying this title fully was a great way to start off this year and I eagerly await the next instalment.

Honourable Mentions

This section is really just here for games I feel deserve some kind of shout out so here they are.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Fallout: New Vegas
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Last Window: The Secret of Cape West
Super Meat Boy

There are indeed more but let’s leave it there for this year shall we? 

That about wraps it up folks, if you’ve made it this far thank you for reading and why don’t you share your favourite games in the comments below!

Hunted; The Demon's Forge Trailer

By Mark

Bethesda are publishing a game developed by inXile titled 'Hunted: The Demon's Forge' and you may know little about it but the developer is describing it as 'Gears meets WoW' and is a co-op fantasy game.

Now I don't know about you but that's one hell of a strange statement. One that makes me confused, intrigued, worried? I'm not sure but here's a trailer explaining some details about the game's lore.

Gears of War 3 Unlocks For EPIC Fans

By Mark

Have you played Shadow Complex, Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War 1/2 or planning on picking up Bulletstorm?

If the case for you is yes then you may find yourself bagging some extras in the form of rewards on Gears of War 3 next year, speaking on Twitter Cliff Bleszinski has said:

"Look for special unlocks in Gears 3 for those of you who have played other Epic games such as Shadow Complex, UT3, Gears, and Bulletstorm."

There's still time to go and play all of the aforementioned games or pre order Bulletstorm so don't freak out if you don't want to miss anything once release rolls round.

Bulletstorm Wishes You a Merry Christmas

By Mark

You gotta love it when developers go out of their to make something a little extra for the fans and the folks at EPIC Games have released this little video wishing you a merry christmas.

Protagonist Grayson Hunt decides Christmas trees should be adorned with glowing spikey balls and dead bodies attached to them, he also does it with style.

NASCAR 2011 Dev Diary

By Mark

Bit of a weird one to start today off but hey it's nearly Christmas. Activision's upcoming racer 'NASCAR The Game 2011' which was only revealed this September has gotten a dev diary explaining why the game is gonna rock you and in particular about the dynamic damage to the cars.

Any NASCAR fans?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Black Ops DLC Announced and Detailed

By Mark

Call of Duty: Black Ops will be recieving its first DLC package on February 1st and will once again be overpriced at $15.

You get five maps in total, four regular mutliplayer and a zombie mode addition. Two of them taken from the campaign in the shape of the Arctic Circle and Hong Kong while the others are the Berlin Wall and an Ice Hockey stadium. While your zombie addition is entitled 'Ascension' (may tie in to SP locations with that name who knows).

That's what you'll be getting for your $15 dollars and to me in a month where both Bulletstorm and Homefront are launching this just doesn't cut it anymore. Shape up Activision!

Halo: Reach Stats May Make Your Brain Mushy

By Mark

Gamers love to play online. Alot. The latest stats from Bungie show that this is far from a lie as 1.3 Billion games have been played so far.

There are loads of crazy stats such as:

  • 2.7 Billion Headshots
  • 33 Billion Kills Across All Modes
  • 687 Million Sniper Kills
  • 1.5 Billion Pummels
The list goes on all just as insane as the last. Make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside or surprised? Imagine these stats in another couple of months.

LBP2 Beta - Final Fantasy VII Remake

By Mark

Now I know I've posted a fair amount of content from the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta but it must be done really, what people are managing to do is surprising not to mention ambitious. This is the most interesting one to me personally and while it's clearly got a long way to go it's still great to see what some people are aiming for.

So far the overhead map can be shown as can characters and even the Shinra building, things get a little shakey once a battle is shown but like I said it's early days. Got some time to kill? Then have a looksee.

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracles 3DS Trailer

By Mark

Everyone's favourite DS detective is looking to get his career started on the 3DS next spring with the release of 'Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracles'. The narrative centres around a powerful mask that can grant wishes but has also been connected to some rather mysterious events so it's up to the Prof to see what's what.

We also get to see in this trailer Layton when he was at college where it seems he was rocking a serious afro, check it out.

Uncharted 3 'Not Forced' To Implement Move

By Mark

There are worries from select groups of people that with Kinect and Move launching it is inevitable that we will now face AAA franchises implementing needless motion control just for the sake of it. Speaking with Edge Magazine Naughty Dog's co-president Christophe Balestra and game director Justin Richmond have said that this isn't the case as far as Uncharted 3 goes.

"Sony's never said that to us," Balestra said, when quzzed on conspiracy theories that platform holders force things like Move and Sixaxis on their developers.

"They're not telling us we have to use Sixaxis or Move. They'll say it'd be nice, of course, but they're not going to go against our judgement if we say it's not the right thing to do."

It's good to see that developers aren't necessarily pushed into using methods that might hamper the game in the long run such as implementing pointless extra control sequences or features just for the sake of it.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Trailer For First New Vegas DLC Rolls In

By Mark

'Dead Money' the first installment of DLC planned for Fallout: New Vegas looks to be real action heavy as you find yourself with an explosive collar on your neck and taking orders from a mysterious older gentlemen who wants the treasure. Looks like you can't say no or run away either as the trailer demonstrates in head explodey terms.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Not Ready to Roll (Delayed)

By Mark

Certain games you don't feel that annoyed by when they get delayed. Deus Ex isn't one of them however. Square Enix has pushed back the RPG title to April next year and while that's only a month the reason behind it isn't exactly great:

"With weak sales performance of console game titles that have been newly released during the current fiscal year as well as harsh market feedback regarding a key title, the Group recognizes the reinforcement of development capability in our Digital Entertainment segment as our most critical managerial issue.

We therefore have decided to spend additional time to further polish our upcoming game, DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, resulting in a shift in release timing from our prior plan of the current fiscal year to next fiscal year."

On the bright side it should mean an extra month of polish on the game and we'd rather have a more refined experience to a bug filled one right?

Source - Kotaku

Motorstorm Apocalypse Gameplay

By Mark

Motorstorm: Apocalypse is coming and it's the third main installment to the franchise and now looking to head in another direction in addition to jungle, dirt, and canyon locations we seem to now have an apocalyptic city to race around in. It's nothing mindblowing granted but it will keep it feeling fresh, here is the trailer to see what you think.

Yakuza 4 Character Trailers

By Mark

We've had one of these before for Akiyama and now there are two more featuring Saejima and the franchise start Kazuma. Remember in the latest title you'll not only be playing as Kazuma but in addition three more. Anyway on with the vids.

New Mortal Kombat Is 'Fan Service'

By Mark

Ed Boon (one of the top guys working on MK) has said during a video interview with 1up that the new Mortal Kombat is essentially that dream MK game diehard fans have been so eagerly awaiting. He states:

"Mortal Kombat's taken a number of turns and we've kind of reinvented ourselves a few times and in the last game was the biggest departure because we were actually a T-Rated game, so this game will really come back and be as 'Mortal Kombat' as anybody ever remembers."

I'm sure we all remember the DC Universe cross over and whether you enjoyed the game or not, you can't honestly say it was a proper Mortal Kombat game as the brutality of the title was held back by the fact that seeing Superman get his face mushed is a bad thing. Regardless! This just further confirms that the new title should blow your mind and make you feel 12 years old again with good ole' hearty violence.

Source - 1up

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Nail'd Review

By Mark

With all the adrenaline filled dirty racers centred around ATV’s or otherwise such as ‘PURE’, ‘Motorstorm’ and ‘FUEL’ (there’s loads more honest) it begs the question what exactly Nail’d fetches to the table to make it worthwhile. All the expected features are here in the form of a campaign mode set around tournaments, simple free races, customisation and of course multiplayer. Yet again I must say that all these features are now run of the mill and what one would expect of such a game so there’s not exactly any bonus points won here.

Upon cranking up the ‘campaign’ portion of the game you'll notice that it’s standard fair here, there are multiple tournaments that you must work your way through and unlock to complete the game and you’ll be competing in standard races to ones where you have infinite boost or limitations. It doesn't really extend much beyond what you could come up with and that's a shame, there was definitely room for some really creative modes with the huge jumps it has and the speed involved.

The gameplay is obviously going to make or break the title and it’s a little strange. Nail’d gives the finger to real life and all of its physics in order to do whatever the hell it wants to make you go ‘awesome’ and it works at first but doesn’t have the holding depth. When racing along the ground the handling is ridiculous in the sense that it isn’t there due to it being to ‘perfect’, it’s one of those games where you can pull a 90 degree turn but not lose any speed or have any trouble doing so and to me it sucks away any challenge in the races. When not sliding around the floor you are instead being thrown into over the top crazy heights and drops and the game lets you ‘handle’ mid air for tricks and to brace yourself for a decent enough landing to continue. It may seem like a small amount of gameplay features but that’s really it for Nail’d and it’s a shame, sure you have a boost bar if you drive well but as I say it’s impossible to not drive well as the game is just too easy. It feels like the game is calling out to be put in arcade which is where it actually wants to live.

Aside from a slightly drab tournament based single player component there is of course the online which has a stupidly small amount of holding power. There’s no ‘competitive’ feeling and even when you win you don’t exactly feel satisfied but rather just ‘oh..okay’, the lack of features or twist on the tried and true just doesn’t do enough to make you come back for more and after a few races you’ll be quickly done with the multiplayer on offer here. It may seem like I’ve skimmed over this aspect but really that’s just how little you can expect to find from Nail’d’s online offering.

One thing the game has flowing for it are its looks, while boosting round the courses and flying through the air you want to be able to admire the view on the long drop down and for the most part you can. The vistas are inspired by a certain madness and I find myself often wondering how the hell this track came to be or what world everyone in Nail’d must live in if this is all fine and dandy. Some jumps you’ll hit then find yourself dodging out of the way of blimps and hot air balloons or on one jump you just literally freefall down the side of a mountain range (a seriously high one at that). I have to say though that the game gets confused on these jumps, I found myself ‘crashing’ in strange ways and strange in the sense that I’d just get respawned for no apparent reason. 

All in all the one thing I found myself asking when playing this and consequently finishing it up was why Nail’d has come to exist. Developer ‘Techland’ had previously handled the Call of Juarez games and ‘Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood’ was leagues better than this fairly average ATV racer so why they jumped from western shooter to a relatively harder market is beyond me. Nevertheless diehard fans of this genre should lap it up as you’ll find some enjoyment here and at one point when boosting over a cliff with ‘Re-Education’ by Rise Against blaring it was hard not to feel badass. For the rest of you though you can safely move along there’s nothing to see here.

Gotta' Love It
  • Madness, madness everywhere
  • Sense of speed? Achieved
  • Visual fidelity
Gotta' Hate It
  • Done before? Yep, maybe better too
  • Boring/bland/dull/whatever else a thesaurus can say multiplayer
  • Little variety 

Nail’d - 7

Explodemon Speed Trailer

By Mark

When watching this trailer try not to think too much about how strikingly similar it is to 'Splosion Man', yes the gameplay is centered around platforming and a character that blows up while doing so. Yet this game looks like it may be good enough to hold its own, originality isn't always key its what you do with what you've got.

It looks pretty good to me, what about you?

Mass Effect 3 a 'Single Player Game' - No MP?

By Mark

There's been more than enough rumours recently about Bioware throwing a multiplayer component into the studios huge 'Mass Effect' franchise and whether it would be in the main series or a spin off is unknown. Although over at the Bioware forums an official moderator has stated:

“Now that BioWare has officially announced Mass Effect 3 with their press release yesterday, I’m going back to my age-old thread closer here: Mass Effect 3 is a single-player game. Feel free to dissect the trailer in this thread, I suppose.”

Now it's hard for me to sit here and say that this is 'confirmation' as it's just not really, no discredit to the mod but we need something more solid. Still if what he says is indeed true at least Mass Effect 3 would be focused on bringing us the epic end to Shepard's story. What do you think, do you even want MP?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Dreamcast Collection On The Way

By Mark

It's been hinted at for quite a while now but SEGA has finally confirmed that a collection of Dreamcast classics is on the way to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Talking with Game Informer, Alan Pritchard (executive VP of sales and marketing at Sega) states:

"The Dreamcast fans are very devoted. You see on eBay people are still buying the games and system,"

"We actually have a Dreamcast collection coming out soon. We are looking to bring some of the old Dreamcast games to market digitally and packaged."

"The titles are still to be announced. The Ultimate Genesis Collection did huge numbers on PS3 and 360, so it's an important part of our business. We've already been releasing some Dreamcast games digitally; Crazy Taxi [for one]."

I'm sure this is good news for a lot of people, when you think of the Dreamcast there really some awesome titles that will hopefully find their way to a bigger platform by way of these 'collections'. Once the word is out on what titles will feature we'll be sure to let you know.

Source - Game Informer 

Homefront SP Trailer Lands

By Mark

Homefront really is trying to slam its place in memory with its setting and emphasis on strong narrative and multiplayer.

We have here a trailer from the single player aspect that infuses some real Korean marching and gameplay, say what you will about the settings and events around the product but the actual game itself looks pretty good. Whatcha think?

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Gameplay In

By Mark

Remember when we told you there'd be gameplay from Uncharted 3 on Jimmy Fallon last night? Well it's here now and Naughty Dog clearly aren't pulling any punches with a hectic opener involving escaping from a burning chateau.

Aside from the game looking incredibly nice and much like the predecessors some changes have occured and the most obvious one is probably the melee combat, it looks a great deal more fluid this time around. Aside from gameplay tweaks you get to see Drake and Sully back together so enjoy!

The Old Republic History Gets Thrown Down

By Mark

Whether you're a Star Wars history buff or not the latest video to trickle out from Bioware for upcoming MMO title 'The Old Republic' is pretty interesting. Here's an extract from the video description:

In the years following the Great Hyperspace War, the Sith exiles on Dromund Kaas faced a daunting future on a harsh world. The guidance of the Emperor and the Sith Lords were critical, but Republic Intelligence has stolen historical records that indicate the resilience and determination of the early Imperial Military were no less crucial to the Empire's reconstruction. Master Gnost-Dural has identified one Imperial Military Leader in particular whose story exemplifies the strength that runs throughout every level of Imperial Society.

It's things like this that really show you the expanse of lore the universe of Star Wars has and it only seems to keep on growing, anyway here's the 'holorecord' narrated by actor Lance Henrikson

X-Men Destiny Trailer

By Mark

I'd heard little about this game until just now really but X-Men Destiny has received a new trailer that pushes home the point that 'Destiny' is indeed key to the game, telling you that your actions will shape the story. Reading around some rumours point to this title being an RPG of sorts and if that's true and the narrative isn't aimed at the younger crowd this could be a great title if executed right.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim To Use All New Engine

By Mark

When I saw this it was hard to not pass out. It has been revealed via Nick Breckon's twitter (community manager at Bethesda) that the newest installment of The Elder Scrolls will use an all new engine developed in house at Bethesda.

The tweet reads: 'We can now confirm that the TES V: Skyrim engine is all-new. And it looks fantastic.'

That means no more Gamebryo which is only positive news for fans everywhere so feel free to let your excitement spill over and out of control. Not that it already wasn't.

Source - Nick Breckon

'Another' Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Trailer

By Mark

It almost feels like this package is either never coming out or with the way its being marketed, the biggest thing ever. Another new trailer has been released for the upcoming Vietnam DLC for Bad Company 2 which is due to land December 18 on the PC and on the 21st for console counterparts.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Roundup of VGA Announcements/Trailers

By Mark

While the VGA's themselves may have been a little dubious in terms of results, the show did come packed with announcements and reveal trailers. I'll state now that this posting will be real video heavy so bear with me, let's keep this brief and informative shall we?

Kicking things off is the announcment of 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim', you've been waiting long enough folks and the good word is here.

Next up was the actual trailer for Batman Arkham City and while no real gameplay is shown (awwh!) it does make you question what's going down for the dark knight.

Easily the announcement of the show for this particular gaming journo, Mass Effect 3. No words need to be said apart from 'holy shit!' and that time can't pass quick enough.

Another exciting trailer came by way of Naughty Dog with 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception' and was one of the videos to actually show us some gameplay.

Moving swiftly on we had Resistance 3 on show and Insomniac Games have turned the gore factor to maximum. Surely welcomed by fans of the series although I can't help but feel the technique used in the trailer that jumps from live action to gameplay worked that well.

The mastermind behind films like Pan's Labyrinth is now doing a video game that will 'question your morality' and most likely make you a little confused if the reveal is anything to go by. Guillermo Del Toro is making a push into video games and I for one am excited.

Not many more now folks and this time it's the Mortal Kombat konfirmation (sorry had to be done!) of Kratos appearing in the PS3 edition of the upcoming fighter.

Our penultimate video here is the reveal of none other than Forza Motorsport 4 and you see what you'd expect really, good looking cars but with the added kinect features we saw at this years E3

And lastly we have the Portal 2 trailer that showed off the games co-op partners and their quirky charm

Quite a show for sure, what's got you stoked?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Screenies

By Mark

Wow! This saturday at the VGA's Uncharted 3 will finally get a trailer and in the US the talk show host Jimmy Fallon will have the first live demo of the game on Monday so be sure to look for any videos here.

For now however we have these screenies to look at of Drake in the desert in a seemingly crappy situation, but it's Drake right? He'll hit a few wise cracks and be outta there in no time!

The Witcher Making Its Way to iPhone

By Mark

The Witcher looks to be set to appear on the iPhone with a title called 'The Witcher Versus', development will be headed by one2tribe and published by Chillingo.

The game is a turn based online affair allowing players to choose classes like: Witcher, Sorceress or Frightener you can also quest and level up with online leaderboards. It sounds like it could be pretty decent here's the trailer.

An Extended Deus Ex Trailer? Yes Please

By Mark

The Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer that came out all the way back in June has now been extended to a 5 minute fiasco of awesome. You've got 5 minutes to kill so watch this!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Dragon Age 2 - Catch Hawke's Voice and Hear Thoughts of Bioware

By Mark

Bioware have put out a 'making of' diary talking through some of the more whackier ideas they had for Dragon Age II, including what stayed, what had to be toned down and what simply didn't make the cut.

It's an interesting video to see some of what they think and you also catch a small snippet of male Hawke's voice.

Video from x360achievements

Two New Ladies Announced for Marvel vs. Capcom 3

By Jonny

It's time for the ladies to take center stage as X-Men's Storm and Street Fighters Crimson Viper join the crew in Marvel vs. Capcom , bringing the total of revealed fighters up to 32.

If you've been following the reveals you'll know that with each new fighter comes a new trailer and here they are.


C. Viper

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds hits stores on February 15. Head over to IGN for a rundown of the entire roster so far -

New Wii Horror Game to Use Balance Board

By Mark

Some of you out there will have the Wii balance board and used it maybe 4 times and wonder why it's still around, well there may be a game that actually warrants breaking it out and using it...maybe.

Marvelous Entertainment are backing a horror game no less that utilises the balance board, how it'll play what game mechanics and whatnot will actually be in the game I have no idea, here's a video to see some of the game though.

Zelda and Link - Mosaic Style

By Mark

It's great when hardcore fans really go out of their way to create something awesome for a series they truly love, the guys over at Kay Circle have painstakingly made two fantastic mosaic images of Link and Zelda using every single Zelda game released. That's crazy, here's what they say:

"These mosaics have been created using various sprites and screenshots from every single Legend of Zelda game ever made. This includes the infamous CDi games such as The Wand of Gamelon and classics like A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time"

Now that the describings all done feast your eyes folks. Here's Link

And Zelda
For the full size images and release article get on down to Kay Circle.

Bomberman Live Battlefest Trailer

By Mark

I can't really believe Bomberman still has staying power. I'm sure we were all playing Bomberman back on the SNES and the franchise is going nowhere as the latest title 'Bomberman Live Battlefest' is upon us.

The launch trailer features a few things such as new power ups so here it is

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Two Worlds II Finally Dated for UK and North America

By Jonny

Two Worlds II has been officially dated for a UK and North American release in January 2011. Two Worlds II publisher SouthPeak have announced that TopWare Interactive (Who?) will be dishing out the marketing in the UK while SouthPeak will stick to North America allowing each publisher to solely focus on the game in their respective countries.

Managing director of TopWare Interactive, James Seaman released this statement "Both TopWare and SouthPeak want our game to get the attention it deserves. SouthPeak wants to give the North American market 100% of their attention, and we're happy we were able to take some of the weight off their shoulders. Two Worlds II really is a labour of love, and after seeing how far the game has come, the fans are going to be blown away in January!"

The Two Worlds Publishers have dated the UK and NA release just after the game has shipped more that one million units in Europe after some pretty impressive feedback from the European press.

Two Worlds II is set for a simultaneous release on January 25th, 2011 in both North America and the UK. Here's a trailer showing of some of the feedback relieved from European press and Reviewers.

Arkham City Teaser Trailer

By Mark

It's videos like this that I feel shouldn't be allowed, you get to see  a teeny tiny glimpse of what's on offer, here is the new 'teaser' for Batman Arkham City. Now seriously, don't look away even for a second or you'll miss it oh and don't expect gameplay!

<a href="" target="_new" title="Exclusive: Batman - Arkham City Teaser Trailer">Video: Exclusive: Batman - Arkham City Teaser Trailer</a>

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Trailer

By Mark

One of the most awesome DS titles on the way is this one for me, we had a link up showing you how to play a demo of the game in your browser to see if you'd agree and now here's a trailer as well. What do you folks think? If you haven't played the demo then go do so immediately and report back!

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Dev Diary

By Mark

Wanna geek out a litte? Then watch this dev diary from CD Projekt about The Witcher 2, they go into detail about what their new engine (the RED engine) is allowing them to do and also extensive details on the hardware capabilities and needs. The game hits next May.