Friday, March 27, 2009
Lots of exciting things coming out of GDC, which has been going on all this week. There are quite a few trailers for inFamous, the new super-powered action game from Sucker Punch. The trailers are really cool, looks like a great setting and action elements. This trailer evokes a 300-style presentation with its slow/fast motion sequences, and really shows off the detail of the game's engine. The karma video demo displays some of the player choices in the game, allowing you to follow a dark or light path through your decisions, similar to some Star Wars games and Fallout 3. And this video shows the great uses of various types of force grenades. In all, inFamous looks pretty exciting, and is another good reason to game on the PS3. inFamous releases May 31st.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Katamari Damacy and We (Heart) Katamari were some of the most fun I had on the PS2. They were great party games, fun for any ages, as much fun to play as they were to watch, and just quirky and crazy a product as only Japan could create. I was very saddened that I lost the ability to play it when I got rid of my PS2, and couldn't bring myself to spend $100 more to get a PS3 that would be backwards compatible.
However! The newly-announced Katamari Damacy Tribute may fill that void in my life! Supposedly coming out this year for the PS3, the new title will be in HD and possibly feature redone levels from the previous series. I'd be happy if they just slapped both PS2 games onto a blu-ray disk and called it a day!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Something I hadn't really been following is Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The Gamestop review of it is just glowing. Not only is it quite a remarkable technical achievement given that it borrows the Liberty City map from GTA IV, it breaks new ground in gameplay by leveraging the DS touch screen technology. Give tattoos to make money, construct molotov cocktails, steal cars, play scratch-off lotto tickets, and even order weapons from the Ammunation website. This is definitely a title that I want to get. It's available now.
Rockstar games recently announced Max Payne 3 will be arriving Winter 2009, whatever that means. It probably means just before the holiday season, as to cash in to the predicted upswing in economic activity. Their vague date notwithstanding, I'm pretty excited about this upcoming title.
I played the hell out of the first two games. They really pulled me in with their noir feel and revolutionary (at the time) bullet-time gameplay. They were Sin City and Sopranos in video game form, before either of those shows existed. I'm hoping they can capture the same look and feel, focus on story, and great run-and-gun gameplay. Coming Winter 2009.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
On Sunday I preordered Pokemon Platinum. Already out in the islands known as Japan, it's coming out in the states on Sunday. With your preorder, you get a Giratina figurine, which my kid was very excited about. This is, of course, the same kid who sleeps with a Pikachu plushie and make-believes with Dialga and Palkia plushies he's nicknamed Whiskey and Anne (respectively). So yeah, I kind of like the Pokemans. Besides being a cute and family-friendly franchise, I enjoy the strategy interactions and RP elements of the game, building your party essentially, and tailoring your favorites to their optimum levles.
Plus Lucario will punch you the eff out.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Though the list of units hasn't been announced, recent screenshots reveal more of the units players will be able to swap in for multiplayer. These units include the Kangaroo, the Staghound, the M18 Hellcat, the Schwimmwagon, and a Marder I which is based off the French H39 (also in the game as a German unit, upgradeable with what looks to be Walking Stuka launchers). Let the plotting of abuse begin!
Update: They are definitely walking stuka. It is mentioned in this Walking Stuka article.
Update: They are definitely walking stuka. It is mentioned in this Walking Stuka article.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It's no secret I've been following The Conduit for some time. I have high hopes that this is going to be a great title and a serious shooter taking real advantage of the innovative controls on the Wii.
A new trailer is out now that shows off a little bit more of the visuals and the story behind the game. Take a look!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I was very interested to hear about Amazon.com's entry into the used game business. GameStop pioneered this business, and makes a ton of money off of it. Amazon's move comes at a time when game developers and publishers are increasingly interested in getting people to buy games at retail and keep them. All sorts of games have bonuses and special items for pre-orders, from LittleBigPlanet's free costumes to Tom Clancy's HAWX free jet. And devs are trying to string their customers on for as long as possible, by continuing game support with free and pay-for updates, like Criterion's excellent updates to Burnout Paradise that continue to release now even a year after the retail release.
It will be interesting to see how Amazon does with their new foray. To be sure, they are making new customers who may not shop used with Gamestop or others. But they are also surely aiming for Gamestop's used game business, hoping to win over some of those customers. A little competition may mean higher trade prices for game intakes, which is good for the consumer.
The loser, of course, continues to be the game developers and publishers, who don't see a dime of the sales on a used copy of their game. So good luck to them to try to figure out a way to reward those of us who buy their games new. That's a win for me.
Friday, March 6, 2009
After long last, I've finally aced every level in LittleBigPlanet, woo!
For those of you who aren't among the faithful, to "ace" a level is to complete it without losing even one of your adorable sackpersons. And really, shouldn't that be everyone's goal?
After playing the game for four months, we're all still having a lot of fun with it. There's always something more to discover or accomplish. The first level pack DLC came out in December, and I can only assume many more are on the way. This is just one of those games that you can play forever.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
New details are coming out everyday about one of the few Wii games I'm looking forward to in this first half of 2009. That game is Punch-Out!!
Harkening back to the day of Little Mac taking on Glass Joe and friends, Punch-Out promises to expand on the frantic and sometimes exhausting gameplay of the Wii Sports Boxing minigames. Combine that with the modern-day update of the classic franchise, and it could be a fun arcade-style boxing game with old-school appeal.
For those not accustomed to moving their arms, a recent announcement from Nintendo pledges that NES-style controls will be available in the new Punch-Out!! Promises to bring even more nostalgia to the game.
Punch-Out!! drops in May. !!.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I purchased Flower, made by Thatgamecompany, last night from the Playstation Store. I'd seen some gameplay videos and understood the concept, but wanted to be surprised so I didn't read too much about it. (It has since gotten pretty favorable reviews.) So I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing!
First of all, the audio and visual presentation are incredible. The landscape looks lush, beautiful sky and saturated colors fill the screen. The soundtrack and effects are satisfying, responding as you create a tune by flying flower petals around on the wind. Areas are much bigger than I took them to be, allowing you to explore far afield and take levels at your own pace.
I was playing with a group last night, and everyone kept asking me what the point of the game is. I'm still not sure. But I know it's pretty, and it's fun, and I keep wanting to awaken the landscape in this representation of a plant's inner desires. Kind of crazy, but this game just makes me happy. It's almost like a fireworks display, everyone who watches it just keeps going "Ooooh!" and "Aaaaah!" It's a high concept, but it works.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Spotted a new trailer for Night Game, an upcoming WiiWare title that smacks of LittleBigPlanet and World of Goo -- two of my favorites from 2008. The game is from an indie dev who's made freeware games. The game looks adorable, filled with physics puzzles in a stylized environment. No word on a release date, but something to watch.
Yeah I got Entrenchment, the new Sins of a Solar Empire micro-expansion, and I flipping love it. The new game options really add a lot to the game. The AI uses them very well, especially the starbases -- maybe too well! It seems like every other enemy system I enter has a starbase. Whew.
On to the new features.
Starbases are essentially capital ship emplacements. They have properties similar to capital ships, in that they have upgrades that are possible. Only instead of adding them when they gain experience, you just pay for them. And wow are they powerful. For example, the Advent starbase begins with two drone squadrons. Three upgrades later, the can have fourteen. Another upgrade increase hitpoints, shields, and regeneration rates. I fought a starbase with nearly 14,000 hull strength alone. It's just nuts. Starbases are just an incredible way to lock down a given gravity well, including suns!
Another new addition is mines. Although a small addition, this is another good one. Although you have to do a little bit of manual action, you can fill a whole gravity well up with mines, blunting a possible attack or completely eliminating small ships moving through your territory.
I'm still getting into more of the changes, but I have a pretty positive view on the entire expansion. Really adds some new content where there were options lacking before. For $10, it adds a good deal more to an already deep game.