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.