Friday, 3 December 2010

Catherine Box Arts - Yes...Arts

By Mark

It was made clear since day one that Catherine was by no means a child friendly game and being aimed at a 'mature' audience and such claims even reach out to the games' box arts, I say 'arts' as there will be two different releases. One for the 360 and one for PS3, as far as we know this is just the Japanese ones as there's still  no word whether the EU or North America are getting the game yet.

Anyhow here's the PS3 version

And now the 360

I don't really know what else to say apart from I wouldn't really mind which box I got, I'll leave now and let you form your opinions. But before I do here's the official site to check out more, it's in Japanese though -

Yakuza 4 Character Trailer

By Mark

We've said previously that in Yakuza 4 there will be 3 new characters to play as instead of just good ole' Kiryu Kazuma, and one of them is this guy: Akiyama.

Ghost Trick - Demo Available

By Mark

I hadn't heard of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective until just a few moments ago when I came across an online playable demo over at Gamespot. It's a new DS game from the same fellow behind the legendary Phoenix Wright games so do yourself a favour and go and play the interactive demo through your web browser, you get to play what appears to be the very start of the game and it's also good for passing a few minutes.

Demo link -

Dev Diary - Homefront MP

By Mark

We bring you a Developer Diary now from THQ's upcoming close to home war game 'Homefront', it focuses on the multiplayer aspect of the title and lays down some information.

Source - x360achievements

Extra Map for Bad Company 2 - With a Friendly Catch

By Mark

Bad Company 2's Vietnam pack drops on the 18th December for PC and the 21st for the consoles and there will be an extra map on offer so long as we gamers use a little good old fashioned team work. DICE will be stat tracking and once 69 million resupplies, revives, heals, spot and repair team actions are recorded the map will unlock.

Here's a little vid to check it out.

Evil Ryu and Oni Akuma on Their Way to SSFIV Arcade

By Mark

It was rumoured last week sometime that Evil Ryu/Oni Akuma were coming to Super Street Fighter IV by way of some leaked achievements which were thought to be false. What is true however is that the pair are on their way to the Arcade version as this trailer shows, they appear toward the end if you must see them immediately (around 2.20).

Back to the Future Trailer

By Mark

The weekend is here once more and to kick it off let's go Back to the Future with this trailer from the upcoming game.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Want a Surprise? Look At This Game From Iran

By Mark

When you think of high profile game studios your mind doesn't exactly jump to Iran of all places. Not that the location of a studio is 'that' important as this trailer clearly shows, the game is entitled 'Garshasp' and its an action affair. Looks pretty good, if we get word of an international release we'll let you know.

Disgaea 4 Opening

By Mark

Holy crap there's been alot of openings for games today, here comes yet another from long lasting SRPG series Disgaea. I was unaware a fourth was on the way, show's what I know, enjoy.

First Two Catherine Trailers Subbed

By Mark

As with the subbed 'The Last Story' trailers, we can now view the first two Catherine trailers and understand them which is hugely important given the high levels of what the frack this game has.

Trailer One

Trailer Two

I'll be sure to post up the latest trailer as and when it's subbed so keep checking, like the look of the game so far?

Deus Ex Limited edition Announced

By Jonny

The "Augmented Edition" (Perfect name by the way) of Deus Ex has been recently announced as well as all the extra goodies you will get for parting with a extra $10 dollars of your beloved cash. The limited edition features a 40-page art book, a "Making Of" DVD that also includes the game's soundtrack and "special trailers," premium packaging, and a motion graphic novel.

So it's pretty much your basic limited edition fair but that's not a bad thing right? besides it has a cool name. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is due out on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in "early 2011."

Valkyria Chronicles 3 Opening

By Mark

The official opening for Valkyria Chronicles 3 is here and while it's not as catchy as the Persona 2 remake one (as far as anime style games go) , it fits the mood of the scene well and is worth checking out if you're even slightly interested in the game!

Mindjack Hack Gameplay

By Mark

A new trailer now from the game 'Mindjack' which is about what the title is really, hacking into peoples minds. And here's how.

Rondo of Swords Review

By Mark

I’ll start things off here by saying that I acknowledge that this may seem a strange title to review what with all that’s come out recently. I would say to that however that this is most likely a game you haven’t heard of or if you have chances are you may have dismissed it out of hand. So I’m here to give some insight into this little SRPG the DS has to offer and to kill some your time if you're a little bored.

There are endless amounts of games like this, always have and always will be especially in the handheld market. People enjoy them and rightly so, but I suppose the question here is does Rondo of Swords have enough in it to make it unique or something that demands your attention and I’d say maybe so. Enough of introductions to this, let’s just dive in to it shall we?

The narrative in this game revolves around a ‘double’ to a young fellow called Prince Serdic and as the game kicks off you are told that the actual Prince is dead and that the double must now take his place and save the kingdom of Bretwalde. That’s a lot of pressure on a guy who’s supposed to attend fancy dinners and whatnot while the real Prince does other Princely things, nevertheless our ‘fake’ Prince Serdic takes the challenge and must escape his home of Egvard with two high standing knights within the Bretwalde army. 

From here the story is either very generic or surprising, the game flits between the two so often it’s a little unsettling as one moment you’re bored with the typical nonsense and then being shocked by a turn of events. That isn’t to say that the story in this game is bad as it isn’t, while the ideas may be a little old and execution a tad mediocre this doesn’t stop it from having a certain charm. You see, the characters you meet in this game are all individual and while not necessarily deep in any sense they’re likeable whether it is Ansom’s desire to be the greatest or Margus’ unending attempts at being a ladies man and if you’re no stranger to these types of games then you’ll have seen alot worse in your RPG travels. 

Margus fails again
Often in games like this however it’s not the narrative where the strengths of the game are tested, that is to say the story isn’t what these games tend to hang on. What they do hang on, however, is the battle system and this doesn’t really disappoint in that regard. It’s your standard grid based combat with a little spin on attack methods, in typical SRPG’s you’ll move to a position select an attack and execute said attack. In Rondo of Swords however when moving on the map, if you move ‘through’ or ‘past’ an enemy you will attack them if you are using a melee based character. In one sense this makes it seem a little more ‘realistic’ I guess? In the fact that you actually meet the enemy and bash through them, ranged and magic classes work a little more traditionally however by selecting their moves from afar and executing them that way.

There’s a sense these days that gaming is perhaps getting a little easier but if you venture into this game with that mindset you will be unpleasantly surprised. Atlus didn’t make this to cater to everyone and maybe that could be seen as a drawback but purists will agree that as a Strategy RPG you can’t just advance and attack everything in sight and hope to win as that’s no strategy. This game can get real challenging at times and chances are you’re not using the right method or maybe even the right characters for the job. The satisfaction however is pretty high upon scraping through that last battle so if you’re prepared to take the challenge you will indeed be rewarded. 

Let me explain now about some other elements of gameplay, during missions there are a certain number of characters available for recruitment some of these obvious and some less than so. I will say that some of the hidden folks are powerhouses and definitely come in handy so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any clues and unique enemies on the battlefield. You can also do quests, shops and what is known as ‘trials’ between stages however I felt these were poorly implemented. To do a quest you must send a character to undertake it meaning they miss the next battle and chances of success are a little shrouded in mystery, the same happens with shopping you lose a character just for some random items that could help or could not. A simpler system would have worked wonders here. What is nice however is the trials mechanic, and this is similar to a promotion system. When your characters achieve a certain level they can undertake the trials which in essence makes you lose them for a battle then they come back looking a little different and more powerful. It’s simple but satisfying at the same time.

Meet Alicia, a hidden powerhouse
Peeling away from gameplay itself now what about the visual and audio aspects I hear you maybe, potentially, hopefully ask or I’m wasting my time! The game is clearly anime inspired and this isn’t much of a shock as it comes from Atlus. So whether or not you like the visuals is as simple as whether you like anime art, the sprites are crisp and smooth looking and the animation on the combat elements is appealing albeit a little repetitive after 15 hours and there’s no cutscenes for you to enjoy here. All conversations either happen on the battlefield or through typical portrait dialogue fashion with just text as your trusty narrative aiding friend. 

That’s not to say there isn’t any voice work at all, it is just incredibly sparse through the game. You’ll hear some during special moves and maybe at the end of a level but it’s such a small amount you can’t help but question why they really bothered. Aside from the voice work the rest of the audio in Rondo of Swords is pretty much par for the course, it really is nothing special and yet nothing diabolical either. It’s just another factor to the game and does its job as well as it needs to. 

Where does that leave us then with this little SRPG from the land of the rising sun? The game unfolds in around 18 hours maybe more or less depending on skill level or how you find it and there’s nothing else after that if you load your final save the game begins anew but with nothing carried over that I could see. The narrative is dull in parts yet genuinely enjoyable in others, the gameplay is endearing yet challenging and the other factors do what they need to. Would I recommend this to everyone? Not at all. But is it worth playing for those of you itching for a SRPG with an anime style and time to kill? Then yes, yes I would.

Rondo of Swords – 6.5/10

Donkey Kong History Video

By Mark

Everybody's favourite pounding, jumping, cart riding gorilla has had his fair share of games, and to take a trip down memory lane Nintendo have released this video showcasing the Kong's best games. Take a look and nostalgia hard. Also currently playing through this for review so keep a look out for that soon. 

Resistance 3 Trailer Coming at VGA's

By Mark

This is just a quick heads up to say that at the upcoming VGA's next week on the 11th there will be a new Resistance 3 trailer. Little is know about the title other than it will feature full co-op, improved AI and a smoother online experience. Oh, and that the new hero is named Joseph Capelli. 

Remember to stay tuned for what will be an absolute influx of trailers and reveals at the VGA's next week, be sure to come here for the latest!

Some Crazy Xbox Live Factoids

By Mark

Here's something i didn't really expect, Microsoft have come out and said that around half of their Xbox Live subscribers are in fact 'Gold' Members. With around 25 million members in total thats aroun 12.5 million gold accounts out there which is an insane amount of money being put across for online services.

Microsoft's Dennis Durkin (head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business) stated at the 'Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference': "Of our 25 million members, about half of them are subscribers to the business and pay us about $60 a year for that," "So it's a very large business for us and for our partners."

It comes down to about $1 Billion in revenue each year according to an analyst, for the full report head over to IGN.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Xbox Live Reward System

By Mark

If you have an Xbox Live account you're no stranger to Microsoft Points, and I'm sure some of you hate buying them. Well, with the new reward system from Microsoft maybe you won't have to anymore albeit the fact that it may take you a while to accumulate some.

From now on things like renewing your Live subscription and taking part in select promotions and surveys will net you some MSP for free. It's only available in the US and UK and the amount of points is uncertain at the moment. Head to the official site to get involved

It may not seem like much but it's something at least and definitely nothing to complain about.

Bioshock 'Big Daddy' Cameo in WoW

By Mark

World of Warcraft has about as many cameos as there are Dynasty Warriors games and then double that then times it by 12 then add some. But that doesn't stop them from being nifty, it's the thought that counts right? You can find a fellow in the 'Stonetalon Mountains' area called 'Large Daddy' and he looks like this.

Pretty cool right? There's a quest chain for both horde and alliance that involve our deep sea rapture-ess friend, if you want to know where just check out Kotaku's vid.

Binary Domain Reveal Teaser Trailer

By Mark

Let us kick the news off today with the latest game from the Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, it's entitled 'Binary Domain' and it's clear that this is a title that is certainly trying to appeal to more than just the niche market and the Japanese market. While this teaser does little in terms of showing us the game in action, it sort of sets the premise for the game and lays down some information and action.

If you've got five minutes to spare at work or are just bored, do indeed check it out. 

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bad Company 2 Getting Yet More Maps

By Mark

There's been quite a few map packs now for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and EA has confirmed that the seventh one is infact coming tomorrow. It's fetching some fan favourites back like Harvest Day, Cold War, Heavy Metal and Oasis. 

They have also finally put a release date out for the Vietnam package and that will be coming on the 18th December.

Here's the trailer for tomorrow's maps.

Info for Deus Ex: Human Revolution US Preorders

By Mark

Deus Ex will be upon us once more in March and here are two different pre order package and trailers to match, one set featuring weapons/augmentations and credits while the other packs a punch with a grenade launcher and extra mission. This is US only as of now, no word on the Euro or elsewhere.

Pack 1 - This includes the Linebacker G-87 Grenade Launcher, the M-28 Utility Remote-Detonated Explosive, and extra credits for augmentations and upgrades.

Pack 2 - This includes the Longsword Whisperhead Suppressed Extreme Range Sniper Rifle, the Huntsman Silverback Double-Barrel Shotgun, and extra credits for augmentations and upgrades.

As always be careful and check what pack you'll get with your select retailer.

Dead Rising 2: Case West Trailer

By Mark

Here comes a trailer for the latest downloadable feature from Capcom for Dead Rising 2, its the 360 exclusive Case West package. We get to see some co-op play with the return of Frank West! A release window is said to be sometime this December while nothing is set in stone.

Dead Nation Launch Trailer is Serious

By Mark

Yes there is a ridiculous amount of Zombie video game content out there at the moment, but people love to bash on the undead in many ways. Dead Nation gives you the opportunity to take on the hordes of shufflers by being a pretty good looking twin stick shooter with a fair amount of similarities to other Zombie-spired games. The game also features full co-op so thats another gold star for it.

Gears 3 VGA Announcement Not What You're Expecting

By Mark

Cliff Bleszinski is set to reveal some Gears of War footage at Spike's VGA's but is saying it's something you are not expecting. Now what that could be we really don't know, it's bound to be surprising though I'm sure. Here is the video of the announcement of the announcement with Cliff himself and that guy who does voiceovers for just about everything.

'Another' Comedy Tomahawk Blops Kill

By Mark

There's been a couple of these shown here already but this one manages to kill 4 guys with just one tomahawk through, and well maybe the help of an RC car but hey it's still pretty awesome. They shouting doesn't help from the player but he's happy I guess.

Black Ops: Mythbusters Ep 1

By Mark

Videos like this are great, they test out those little queries you have about the game but can't be bothered spending the time yourself to test them out. In this episode they try out things like: Can you dive over an RPG? Can you shoot down care package choppers and valkyrie missiles? Does flak jacket save you from an RC-XD explosion? And more so be sure to watch.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Creepy New Vegas Glitch

By Mark

We've seen some fairly creepy bugs and glitches come from Fallout: New Vegas but maybe not one quite like this. A user on youtube has found that by going through a certain process (on PC at least) you can find yourself 2 rather unpleasent looking NPC's.

Splinter Cell 6 Coming, Ubi Toronto Heading Development

By Mark

A new installment in the Spinter Cell franchise is coming, and it will be headed by Jade Raymond. No details on the game itself have been revealed other than that it exists, here is a video tour of sorts featuring the aforementioned lady and some of the guys down at Toronto. 

Impressive GT5 Backflip

By Mark

We're probably set for a lot of similar styled videos now that Gran Turismo 5 is in the consumers hands, so here's the first 'stunt' video from the game. It's a pretty sweet backflip and that's all there is to it, check it out.

Bad Company 2: Vietnam Dev Diary

By Mark

I had forgotten about this package entirely and it's still not dated for release yet although the 'this year' release plan hasn't changed apparently. Anyway enough grumble, EA have released a new 'Dev Diary' for the upcoming Vietnam DLC for Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam, we get to learn about differences in combat, vehicles and weaponry.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Planet Earth Made in Minecraft

By Mark

We've seen some impressive things in Minecraft and this is definitely up there in terms of things that make you go 'wow'. It's a scale replica of the Earth and while it is a little rough at the minute, the process involved has surely paved the way for some truly crazy creations. You can get a full rundown on the process over at HotBloodedGaming.

Final Fantasy Behemoth Boss in Mario Sports Mix

By Mark

Check out this video of a boss battle from the upcoming wii game Mario Sports Mix, it features a boss character from the Final Fantasy series and that is a 'Behemoth'. The game will also feature more characters from the RPG franchise and will also have cameos from the Dragon Quest series.