Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Taking Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II for a test drive

February 7, 2009
Dawn of War 2

Dawn of War 2

When the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II beta became available for everyone with a PC over Steam, I honestly had no intentions of downloading it. I’m not a Warhammer fan, I haven’t played a PC game in a while, and the whole RTS genre isn’t as appealing to me as it was in the past.

For one, they’re just too damn complicated for my ADD mind. I lack the patience to learn the super-advanced knowledge bank typically associated with the genre. However, contributor Michael talked me into it and we took the plunge together – I’m glad I did, too.

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Eurogamer to Resident Evil 5: “That’s racist!”

February 5, 2009

Eurogamer has some hands-on impressions of Resident Evil 5, but it’s not the gameplay coverage that’s going to get most people’s attention. I only skimmed through the article because quite frankly, I don’t want to read the spoilers, but an interesting bit comes up on the last page: the great race debate.

We all heard the fuss many people made when Capcom revealed that the game would be taking place in Africa and, hold your breath, players would be gunning down Africans. A majority of the gaming world rolled their eyes and pondered how Capcom would handle this. Well, judging from the demo, they caved in and I’ll be damned if I’m not shooting more Mexicans than Africans.

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Left 4 Dead: Breaking new ground

February 3, 2009

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OK, I’ll admit it. I was wrong.

That’s all I can really say to myself as I finish up the No Mercy campaign for the 50th time. I was one of the skeptics who thought Left 4 Dead’s hype was getting a little out of hand. I played the demo, and I listened as everyone told me that the AI director was so good that it was actually being controlled by Valve employees.

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Truly the Pits

February 2, 2009
Try not to look directly into his junk.

Try not to look directly into his junk.

No amount of desperate wishes and prayers to the Goddess of Light Palutena have been enough to drive the latest 3D concept of Pit out my brain. I really debated whether or not to give this image a post, but as a diehard Kid Icarus fan, I feel that I can’t keep silent on it.

For those in need of an update, the image up top is rumored to be an early 3D Pit model that Factor 5 cooked up for a new Kid Icarus. Although no confirmation has ever happened, it’s been known that Nintendo let Factor 5, at least at one point, work on a new Kid Icarus for Wii. With all of the recent financial issues at Factor 5, however, that might not be happening.

Back to the point, this image was leaked to the Internet and if you haven’t seen it yet, it might be for the better. It’s terrible. It’s horrible. It’s absolutely not Pit – at least not what Pit should be.

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Resident Evil 5: A Story of Clunky Controls and Apologists

January 29, 2009

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There’s quite the controversy going on in the gaming world since the demo for Resident Evil 5 hit the Xbox Marketplace that seems to have many gamers going at it across multiple message boards.

The issue lies with the control system. On one hand, you have the crowd defending Capcom’s decision to stick with the Resident Evil 4 style tank controls. On the other is the crowd baffled by Capcom ignoring a more advanced control setup, like Dead Space. Not being one to hold back my thoughts, it’s time to get my word in.

Resident Evil 5’s controls are archaic. I do not say that with a smile on my face, and I do not say that without firm support to back my argument. In fact, I say this with extreme disappointment, as Resident Evil 5 could have, and should have, been amazing.

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Ironically, Kirby doesn’t suck

January 28, 2009
I wish I could have a pet Kirby.

I wish I could have a pet Kirby.

My appreciation for Nintendo’s pink marshmallow has dramatically increased in the past year. It started with my download of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for the Virtual Console, which turned out to be a fun sidescroller I passed on back in the N64 days. But my interest in getting back into the series really came with the latest Kirby on DS, Kirby Super Star Ultra.

I seriously love this damn game. It’s essentially a remake of the SNES Kirby Super Star, but with some added content, and obviously in handheld form. The cart is packed with a lot of content. There are multiple scenarios that are basically full on Kirby games to play through, as well as some touch-based mini-games.

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A small tribute to 1UP Yours

January 27, 2009

1up_yours

As many of you now know, the face of 1up has drastically changed over the past few weeks. Some of the best people in the gaming industry lost their jobs when UGO stepped in and took over. And with those people we also lost access to some of the best gaming media available on the Internet. I’ve been a huge fan of 1UP for the past three years, and it all started with the sites podcast, 1UP Yours.

1UP Yours set the standard long before iTunes and the Zune Marketplace were flooded with gaming podcasts. I’m sure many of these podcasts we see now were directly influenced by it.

I can still remember the first time I downloaded 1UP Yours. Not being a huge podcast guy at the time, I wasn’t really expecting to get much out of it.

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From left to right: Garnett Lee, John Davison, and Luke Smith

However, I soon found out that I was listening to a show that was going to be very special. After a couple of months spent shuffling through lineups, they finally found the pieces that fit with Garnett Lee, Luke Smith, Shane Bettenhausen, and John Davison — it was a perfect blend of personalities. There was something about this group that clicked right from the beginning — I was hooked. Having 1up Yours there every Friday marked the beginning of the weekend for me.

How would Luke taunt Shane this week? Why is Garnett playing devil’s advocate again? Is Denis Dyack going to appear and bludgeon us with his thesaurus?

Shane Bettenhausen and Andrew "Skip" Pfister

From Left to Right: Shane Bettenhausen and Andrew "Skip" Pfister

It was time to sit back, relax, and listen to some guys who were not only colleagues, but really good friends. That’s what made 1up Yours so special; friends sharing their opinions and stories about a hobby that we all love. I don’t know any of these people personally, but after listening for so many years, I felt like I did. It was like having a special window into the inner workings of the gaming industry — I was in the invisible fifth chair.

Thanks to all the people who made 1UP Yours what it was — especially Skip Pfister, who produced and edited all of 1UP’s podcasts. If you are interested in downloading a torrent that has every 1UP Yours episode, follow this link. For those who aren’t aware, Garnett will be hosting a new show soon. While it may never replace 1UP Yours, I have no doubt our weekends will still be confirmed.

Too Human trilogy’s future may be uncertain

January 27, 2009

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The Xboxist is reporting that the fate of the Too Human sequels is uncertain at this point, citing Microsoft’s hesitation to support Silicon Knights with the economy in such a poor state. I can’t say I’m familiar with the Xboxist, or how reliable they are, but it does make sense.

For the sake of no official confirmation, let’s just treat this as “probable” rather than “fact.” I say probable because logic should be able to tell anyone that Silicon Knight’s president Denis Dyack’s much talked about Too Human trilogy might never be finished. I won’t say fact because while the article is written as if it were actually happening, there’s no source to validate the information. Too Human’s development cost totaled to around $80 million, according to the Xboxist, and Too Human turned out to be a bust. It didn’t light the charts on fire and it certainly oisn’t critically acclaimed.

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An ever-growing backlog

January 26, 2009
Like this except with games.

Like this except with games.

Written by: Justin Sanchez

It really should be a rule of mine to quit buying so many damn games until I beat the ones I have. This is really starting to become a problem lately because of a recent addiction to surfing the Cheap Ass Gamer forums. As the name implies, it’s a bunch of gamers reporting the latest deals that can be found, and I end up buying games I don’t need simply because they can be found on the cheap.

For example, let’s take a look at The Darkness. I picked that one up at Game Crazy on Black Friday because it was a mere $5 new. As I recently mentioned, I finally got around to firing it up and playing it, but I can’t really enjoy it. It’s not a terrible game, but when I have so many other games in my backlog that I know I’ll like more, it’s hard to really get into it. However, I’ve started it so I feel like I have to finish – I wanted to this weekend, but unfortunately I didn’t.

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Sony selling Killzone 2 short, Microsoft wouldn’t

January 26, 2009
Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Written by: Justin Sanchez 

There has been something here lately that’s really bothering me, and that is Sony’s unwillingness to get Killzone 2 into the mind of the public. Here’s a prediction I’m going to make: When all is said and done, Killzone 2 will massively under perform on the sales floor – it shouldn’t, but it will. The second part to that is that if it were a 360 title, it would kill (no pun intended).

It has nothing to do with which is a better system, but everything to do with how pre-game advertising is handled. With Killzone 2 coming in less than a month, Sony should be force-feeding gamers with how awesome it’s going to be. They should be making everyone, both hardcore and casual gamers, aware that if you want this game, you have to join the Sony team and pick up a PS3.

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