Thursday, April 30, 2009

More on Katamari Forever

Kotaku has a bunch of information regarding the upcoming Katamari Forever. I talked about this a month ago, and now new information has come out. They have a ton more screens and more information about game features, and it just looks great. It's essentially a Katamari Damacy redux, with the levels from the original game along with new levels, and remixed music. Only in 1080p, booyah! Exactly what I was looking for. Release is scheduled for this fall, but I'm not sure if that's a worldwide release or only Japan? Here's hoping US folks can get their trip on this year.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Battlefield Heroes

At long last, the beta has finally gone live. Gamespot is giving keys out, and I had to grab one just to try it.

The install was one of the strangest I've ever seen. You have to install through a web browser, and actually create your character through the web-based interface. Finally you can launch the game.

The game is cute but dated, obviously designed so that it's quick to download and runs on any system. Very cartoon-y look. When it first came around a year ago, I was worried it was too close to Team Fortress 2 territory, but it's more like a old-school DoS shooter in the Wolfenstein style. With the game sitting still, it looks strangely like a circa 1992 point and click adventure game in the style of The Dig.

Sounds are competant, good engine and gun noises, love the kitchy music. The animations are funny, amusing how my soldier plays his shotgun like a guitar or nervously looks around his environment.

I like that ammo just regenerates over time, you don't have to mess with trying to find ammo around the map. You just get in there and go. Everything in the game is this way, very quick to just play.

Obviously lost the first match I joined. But it looks like you can gain experience and level up, although since it's the beta who knows if it will stick.

The thing about the game may be the gulf between free and paying customers. If you can buy upgrades and level faster or whatever, there's a real advantage there. But, nothing to get that worked up about. It's free after all!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Punch-Out Hands On

New hands-on Punch-Out! preview from Gamespot. I'm really looking forward to this game, sounds like it's the perfect mix between silly arcade and fun action game. It'll really bring back the memories!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Demigod Rampage

Played a couple matches of Demigod last night, and a couple more a few nights ago. Along with the dozens of matches that went on at the LAN party a week ago, and Demigod has taken the forefront in my gaming lately. And it's a freaking blast.

First of all, the game plays great. It's an easy action game, taking queues from Diablo II and Warcraft III. The avatars themselves are all a treat to pilot around the boards, stomping and oozing their way through creeps and enemy players. Items, leveling, and picking a specific skillset, which we've started calling builds, allow you to customize your character, making each match different, depending on how you equip and level your budding deity.

Then the game just looks and sounds great. Visibly the game is a treat, perfectly rendered demigods and smaller minions. The animations are also great, from the swipes of the Unclean Beast, to the slams of the Rook, to the undulations of the Queen of Thorns. The music is suitable and epic, evoking a cinematic feel, and the weapon and fight sounds are solid. My one complaint here is the overly cheesy and really poorly done voicework on Regulus. I go out of my way to not play the character, it's so bad.

The multiplayer has gotten some bad reviews, and I have also had a bad experience with it. But I'm willing to forgive, because I actually have a group of friends I prefer to play with, so we just find each other through the Custom Game option, and never have a problem connecting. Over a LAN it's also amazing.
Demigod has proven to be a lot of fun, and exactly the easy to get into action game we were looking for.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

I picked up GTA: Chinatown Wars for the DS last week based on the high praise of just about everyone in the entire world.  I have not been disappointed.

I've played about twenty hours, and I've done maybe twenty missions in that time, along with quite a bit of pharmaceutical merchandising.  Dealing in the game is a great way to make money, and unlike throughout much of GTAIV, money is actually worth something in Chinatown Wars.  There are a dozen or so safehouses you can buy, you need money to make money in drug deals, and there's always weapons and ammunition to buy from the Ammunation website.

The missions themselves have been fun, but tricky.  I've been frustrated by a couple, only to realize I was kind of doing them wrong.  You can miss the "right" way to do a mission, but that's been true in any GTA game.  But the missions are good, from tossing stolen goods into a moving truck to a violent shootout in the street, complete with burning cars serving as roadblocks.  The most unusual so far was sabotaging a rival's car by stealing it and using the touch screen to cut wires under the hood, bash the engine block, and puncture the radiator with a screwdriver.

The touch screen mini-games have been fun, too.  Jacking cars is great, there are three different ones there to disable the car alarms to ensure a clean getaway with no police intervention.  Making Molotov cocktails is great as you take care not to spill too much of the expensive gas on the ground.  Plus all the map, e-mail, and weapon switching takes place on the touch screen, making those really quick to use.

The controls are a little to get used to, and the camera can fail you from time to time.  A few times I've been stuck next to a building behind a car, taking me a second to get free.  It can be frustrating when you're getting followed by the cops, but it's usually not a problem.

Add to all this the music, sounds, and written text.  There's a great style here, a tongue-in-cheek absurdity from your protagonist and a hand-drawn manga style different from previousgames in the franchise that really make Chinatown Wars unique.

The game has been a lot of fun, and is really something different considering the typical feel-good nature of the mobile Nintendo platform.  If you enjoy action games and you aren't a child, you should definitely pick it up.

Gaming Deluge

It's crazy just how many games I've been into lately, and not bothered to write a word about any of them.  With my situation at work and the new house, I've really wanted to relax rather than write more, but I certainly plan to put up some words about all the games I've been into recently.  Those include three DS titles (Pokemon: Platinum, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure), a couple PC titles (Demigod and Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor), plus a return to Super Smash Brothers Brawl!  All that and more in the next couple days.  And hopefully some form of gaming goodness this weekend, with a mini-LAN perhaps!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Details on The Conduit Controls

Read some more about the great control scheme customization present in the upcoming Wii shooter The Conduit.  Seems like you can just about set up the controls in any way you want.  Nice for all those picky hardcore gamers who just want everything!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guild Wars April Fools

I've always enjoyed the ArenaNet April Fool's events, and this year's is just adorable. See!