Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Holiday cheer and the Saboteur

Hope the holidays have been fun and eventful! Even last week, Yahtzee had some fun as well:

Well, this week his victim is The Saboteur. I did very little research, so NSFW and enjoy!

UPDATE: Is it just me, or are the videos lately have been appearing off these past couple of weeks? I've linked direct links to Yahtzee's holiday cheer and The Saboteur here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It's the holiday season - a time for social gatherings with friends and family. What a perfect time to gather all those multiplayer games and get people playing against and with each other!

Here are my personal picks (along with some personal experience of "fun" being had) for gaming fun that everyone can enjoy:

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The last time I experienced multiplayer was when I played with a couple of Nintendo staff and Charles "It's-a-me, Mario" Martinet back in E3 this year. Since then, I wasn't thinking much on the experience, maybe because I was too star-struck back then. But the second time around, a group of buddies got 4 players going on, and we had a roaring good time!

It's no surprise that friends will be lost, relationships will be strained, and family ties will be severed (I've even heard people call it "divorce" mode), but if you have people that don't mind the abuse, the 4-player ruckus is well worth the time and effort. Sure, you'll have people hoarding items, shoving you off platforms, and picking each other up like ragdoll items...but when everyone finishes the level, you can be sure someone will say, "wanna play the next level?" It's surprising to see my friends progress all the way to World 3 before I mentioned that we had other games to play.

Any Rock Band game:

Let's be honest - not everyone can be official rock stars, playing real instruments, and get paying gigs to perform in front of a live audience without sucking a lot. That's why there's Rock Band, to give everyone else a taste of that sensation. Heck, throw in Beatles Rock Band and get 3 mics to perform some triple harmony as a 6-person set. It's probably the best way to get people together and having fun.

And with the constant stream of new DLC songs to purchase, there really is no shortage of songs to rock to. Unless you're SUPER picky of your selection. But you have your selection from the first 2 Rock Bands, Beatles Rock Band, or even Lego Rock Band for all your pop hits. Hey, without Lego Rock Band, you'd never get to play the Ghostbusters song.

Buzz Quiz TV:

There's nothing like being a contestant in a game show, and there are so few games that give that sensation. But until You Don't Know Jack ever returns again with new games, there's Buzz Quiz TV with its 4 wireless hand buzzers. So people can still grab that extra chip or snack, and still be playing the game.

Think 4 players are too little a number? Throw in another 4 buzzers for some 8-player action! That's right, you get 8 people playing at once, giving everyone a chance to screw up on those hard-to-get-right questions. And with extra DLC packs to download, you're never run out of new questions to answer any time soon.

Those are my personal-experience picks to share. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Gaming: What's new on my plate?

Happy Holidays, everyone! Thought I'd kill three birds with one stone by just making one report on the feast of gaming I'll be making this Christmas so far - Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time, God of War Collection, and Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble. Nothing like saving the universe with a robot and lombax, mutilizing Greek mythology, or getting into weird Japanese high school brawls to get into the Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Demon's Souls

I promise that other worthwhile articles will be appearing soon, but in the meantime this "Lazy Wednesday" thing brings along Demon's Souls as this week's target for Yahtzee and his perverbial wit.

What I keep hearing about the game is that it's hard as fuck, that you'll die several thousand times, and that you'll still keep playing the game despite such harsh conditions. While I have to admit that the use of online's very (and almost inspiringly) unique, Demon's Souls still has the potential to be the first game to make me toss my controller at the wall.

So while I sit here enjoying a bit of cheese with my whine, I still have other, less harrowing games to play through before I subject myself to the self-killing spree that is Demon's Souls.

Enjoy the NSFW video below!

Update: Noticed that the video seems to be a bit off, so here the direct link to the video.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Street Fighter 4 TE Stick arrives

I've mentioned it before, but I'm not a good Street Fighter 4 player. So why do I even have an arcade stick, and the Tournament Edition no less? Well, I've told friends that if I ever get at least 40% better, then I would "treat" myself to the joystick. Well, that, and a chance Amazon "deal of the day" deal sorta clinched it for me.

So, after getting somewhat better in the game (thanks to the less-frequent losses over the past few months), I bit on this chance to get a pricey gaming interface.

But I have to admit, the quality is all there. Real arcade buttons and joystick, hefty controller weight...It's like I ripped the controls off of an arcade machine.

Wait, that gives me an idea... ;)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

zero punctuation catchup: Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii

With all the holiday spirits, cold mornings, and busy schedules, I've had hardly the time to even have a "Lazy Wednesday." So this week I bring you two of Yahtzee's witty reviews, covering three games - Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

I'd comment more, but I'm prepping more posts to fill out the rest of this week, so I'll just say "NSFW" and "enjoy" for now.

Assassin's Creed 2

Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Monday, November 30, 2009

The push to playing online

There's no doubt about it - playing online has become big this year. If not this year, in the past two months. Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Demon Souls, and Borderlands (which I have borrowed from a friend) have all become extremely popular in their own right, and it's all thanks to their online properties.

Maybe it's just me and the friends I've been with, but when all these titles came out on their release date, I've observed an increase in friends not only talking about the game, but when they will play online with each other, myself included. I think after Uncharted 2, I felt more connected online than I have with any other game that offered as such.

Sure, I'm not the typical Halo or Gears of War online player, and that's not because I don't have the console for it - I just earnestly didn't feel like I would offer much to the online community, let alone feel good about not doing well. And I never was into World of Warcraft either, which, in the long run, was probably for the best. And I'm sure these games handled online just as well as these titles. So what changed?

I think the ideal that good online multiplayer can only exist on Halo titles is wearing thin. Or maybe the concept of only playing deathmatch online where everyone is against everyone else is boring. I mean, no one wants to play online only to find time and time again that they just suck.

Nowadays, there's much more variety now into online capabilities, as Demon's Souls demonstrates with their unique way to communicate our past failed attempts to other online plyaers randomly. Or in Borderlands, where the seemingly-limitless gun stats produces countless hours of playtime to find the best weapon for the job. Maybe the opportunities to become great online has finally exceeded the need to have the highest ranking.

Either that, or I just have more friends that want to play online games with me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Gobble-Gobble Day

Just want to wish all gamers a Happy Thanksgiving on this festive holiday! And rest up for the deals that will start Black Friday morning!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Modern Warfare 2

Alright, Yahtzee. I respect you as a "tough-as-nails" reviewer, but when you gush about Modern Warfare 2's co-op multiplayer mode and not even acknowledge multiplayer in general for Uncharted 2, I smell shenanigans.

I mean, if you're gonna rib a game for all its poor traits, at least be thorough about it. Sure, you may not finish games, but the least you could have done is went through all the modes in the menu.

I enjoy your video game reviews and the snarky wit you apply each week to them, but without professionalism...well, then they're just rants.

Witness Yahtzee's NSFW love-fest for the game below.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Dragon Age: Origins

Y'know what's really been bugging me? Games with colons in the title. Really makes my post titles a bit redundant. Anyways, this week's Zero Punctuation review takes a (sword) stab at Dragon Age: Origins, a game that everyone I've talked to say it's "omg the best RPG ever." Which is better than hearing Modern Warfare 2 fans screaming "GOTY" at the top of their lungs, but that's another rant for another day.

I'm sure all the people that enjoy Dragon Age: Origins are the same people that enjoy Fable. Or Fable 2. Or World of Warcraft. I'm just not a fan of these games, so I probably won't enjoy the game myself. But if you enjoy these types of RPG, you should give Dragon Age: Origins a shot. It's got the "omg" stamp of approval - how can you refuse?

The video below has the NSFW stamp of approval itself. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Super Mario Bros. Wii makes a surprise appearance

New Super Mario Bros. Wii didn't make a lasting impression on me during E3, despite the fun I had playing with the voice of Mario, Charles Martinet. I've always thought that the game was strictly multiplayer, and that there was no way to play the game by yourself. Boy, was I wrong.

Not only is the game a new Mario Bros. game, but it's a nice throwback to the classic layout of the original Super Mario Bros. (complete with fireworks), map screen styles and bonus games from Super Mario Bros. 3, and the use of Yoshi from Super Mario World. Toss in a few new powerups along with the challenge of New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, and you have a marvelous Mario montage.

After doing a 100% complete on New Super Mario Bros. on the DS after many hours, I'm expecting an even harder challenge on the Wii. And hopefully my wife will be my player 2.

Lego Rock Band is a little of column A, a little of column B...

Legos and Ray Parker Jr. Those are the only reasons I could think of that possessed me to take an interest in Lego Rock Band. Legos were my main childhood toy, giving me the ability to create whatever I wanted - a car, a police station, a miniature model of the treehouse with secret entrance that my parents never built for me. And Ray Parker Jr. wrote the song for one of my favorite movies, Ghostbusters.

Okay, so my E3 impressions left me with a better impression than I thought. The one thing that made a lasting impression was the challenge mode, which made playing the song more like a music video than a concert. Through the power of rock, you can destroy a building apart lego piece by lego piece.

At the very least, you have to give Harmonix props for putting all new songs that aren't in any previous versions of Rock Band. And, if you really dislike the Lego setting (and are too lazy to switch discs), you can fork over another $10 to export the songs to Rock Band 2.

Well, if the challenges are half as entertaining as the building demolition one, then my childhood's gonna have a grand ol' time playing this game.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Critter Crunch...finished!

Puzzle games are a dime a dozen, but good puzzle games are a rare breed. In my video game life, I've probably played Tetris, Tetris Attack (Panel de Pon in Japan), and Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo the most, and not in that particular order. So, when Critter Crunch completely consumes my attention at hours on end, you know something's right.

Since checking the game out at E3, Critter Crunch gameplay showed a lot of potential and promise as a good puzzle game. The concept follows a simple food-chain system where you feed smaller critters to larger critters. Feed them enough, and they pop and unleash their jeweled innards to consume. Also, there's only 3 different-sized critters, so there's no confusion about what consumes what.

The game also includes your standard fare of powerups and special critters which make the game an even bigger challenge. I only wished that all of them were revealed earlier on, instead of distributing them evenly across the adventure mode.

When you tire of adventure mode, there's also puzzle, challenge, and survival mode to test your skills. All three modes live up to their name, especially challenge mode. However, the randomly-generated starting screen can be often times unforgivably difficult, making challenges much harder than they usually are, and making adventure mode progression a luck-of-the-draw restarting game.

Multiplayer is also fun to play whether in co-op or versus, but if you haven't progressed through adventure mode, some of the later items will be brand new to you. And even if you have seen all the new items, there's nothing in it telling you about the multiplayer-only items that appear during the matches. Like the one powerup that makes your opponent feel like he took a cocktail of drugs and is tripping balls. Nothing like a whole lotta "wtf" to get you cursing.

Despite puking your contents into your son's mouth for bonus points, Critter Crunch is nowhere near the craziness of my favorite puzzle games. It's a good challenge, but it's more a frustrating challenge than an "I think I can do better" challenge. But it has a spot in my list of games to kill away 5 minutes. Or 5 hours.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little Big Planet (PSP) Game Jam Session winners

To promote Sony's upcoming Little Big Planet release on the PSP November 17th, Sony Computer Entertainment America and the Acadamy of Art University School of Game Design organized a 24-hour Game Jam Session where groups of game design students designed Little Big Planet levels within 24 hours.

Last night's event at Roe Restaurant in San Francisco revealed the day-long level creations to guests and judges. Pushing past the learning curve of the level creation tools and the 24-hour time restriction, the students managed to construct large and enjoyable levels centered around popular Bay Area icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Koit Tower.

Overall, every level in the contest was very well constructed and thought out. One of my favorites was the Golden Gate level, with its creepy electrified taxis that try to slowly run you over. It was quite as lengthy as the actual Golden Gate Bridge, and perhaps almost as unforgiving, but it was a great challenge. Eric, one of the members of Team Golden Gate, told me that in retrospect the difficulty was perhaps a bit too high. But the level displayed a good use of level depth that Little Big Planet's known for.

In the end, however, it was Team Cable Car (Doanna, Desiree, and Nathan, pictured above from left to right) that wowed the judges with their cable-car racing level, littered with many familiar San Francisco sights as your cable car whizzed on by. One decoration I particularly liked was the clever abstract design of the Fisherman's Wharf sign, using a flame graphic from one of the stickers as the basis for the crab claws. For being the contest winners, they each received a PSPGo, a copy of Little Big Planet for the PSP, and their level available for download when the game launches. As for all the other teams, everyone else also received an early copy of the game as a consolation prize.

After seeing all the wonderful San-Francisco-themed levels created in such a short time span, I'm inspired to go back to my copy of Little Big Planet on the PS3 and revisit many of my abandoned level creations, including the one level I completed. After all, as the students displayed that night, Little Big Planet's only limit is your imagination.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (crushing mode)...finished!

This is an odd feeling. Finishing games is one thing, but to go back to them and complete it all over again on the hardest setting is something I would've never considered years ago. So why the change? Well, games that are actually fun more than once around the block. Such was the case with Batman: Arkham Asylum, and such is the case today with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

If this keeps up, I might have to make a new stamp just for completing games on the hardest difficulty.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

This week, Yahtzee reviews Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the PS3. While I normally reserve my own opinions to myself and sit back and enjoy the wit from his angry rants, I feel like Yahtzee didn't give the game enough chance, let alone leaving out multiplayer altogether.

Actually, the one thing that sticks to me (pun intended) is his claim that your character clings to any wall it encounters. You need to press a button to hide behind a wall, so it's not like some auto-cling. But I agree, it's not quite so clean when you want to leave the wall to attack, to move, or just run away.

But the really sad thing? Having people completely base their purchases from Zero Punctuation. Listen, despite all the attacks he does to the games he reviews, it's still all his opinions, albeit very witty and genitalia-filled. Personally, I watch them as a sort of relief to the typical video-game review, away from all the constant "game of the year omg must buy" articles and "perfect 10s."

That being said, this video is clearly NSFW, so please enjoy. And remember, this is just entertainment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Washington D.C.

This week's "Lazy Wednesday" is brought to you by...Washington D.C.? Looks like our buddy Yahtzee is in-between events, so he's doing a little sightseeing around the area. And, more likely, just not around his computer to do a proper game review. So here's something outside the norm.

Does that make the video any less NSFW? Hardly...enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Video Game Horror: Dead Space and Resident Evil 4

Yes, it's past Halloween, but my post about playing two horror games will finally be up. Bear in mind that I played the games last week, but was just too busy to write them up, so here you go.

Dead Space (PS3)

There have been only two times I played this game before last week, and the first time I ran like a bitch shooting at anything that breathed. This time, however, I decided to take things a little slower. It didn't help my nerves any better, though. I mean, this game was meant to warp your senses and was all about setting the atmosphere to an uncomfortable level of horror. If you believe that a monster is breathing on your neck to your immediate right, chances are you're dead right. Well, at the least dead.

I would say that the majority of gameplay is just cowering your character in fear most of the time. Areas that are just a mere room become an acre of slow careful treading through dark crevices. Monster encounters become a counting task of ammo conservation as you become increasingly frugal at dispensing damage. Fearing death becomes an involuntary uber objective from the start.

Dead Space is still a game that gets me clutching at my heart and makes me second-think my peripheral vision. Will have to continue this game in the future with some extra clean underwear.

Resident Evil 4 (Wii)

Playing Resident Evil 4 after pissing my pants in Dead Space, the game came off a little light. Putting aside graphical differences, the initial setting puts me outdoors, in a village, in the evening with a light fog around the area. Okay, eerie setting...but still nothing like the darkness of space in a nearly-empty spaceship.

And the first enemy encounter was just a person my character mistaken to be a regular human, only to put it down after it came after me with a weapon. Not quite suspenseful, but it's to be expected for a Resident Evil game.

In fact, I ran through the first part just as I would in Dead Space, but there was no nail-biting "oh shit" moments. Just a normal town with less-than-normal residents brandishing weapons and wishing harm upon my being in afternoon daylight. In trying to focus on the story, I conserved my ammo for a while, then wasted it on the chainsaw guy as he took my head off. I was actually more annoyed than frightened at that point, as if the game flipped me off for even trying to play the game.

The controls are, however, nice and responsive. The game still had the awkward movement control system, so I found it hard to turn on corners, even with the added 180-degree flip.

In the end, the game went right back into the box. I think half the reason for that was that the game just pissed me off in a bad way, and the other half because it's a Resident Evil title.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Brutal Legend

In a "brutally" honest review, Tim Schafer fan Yahtzee puts his personal feelings aside and delivers his thoughts on Brutal Legend. Whether or not the game is really an RTS or not, the fact that RTS is brought up against this game can't be terribly good, especially with all the misleading demo and gameplay that has been going since E3.

It's unfortunate that something like that would bring a good game down a notch or two, but being a key point in gameplay, it's hard to dismiss. Fortunately, the humor's still there in the cutscenes and dialogue, but I don't want to give out sighs of relief when I encounter them after heavy RTS moments.

Yahtzee's NSFW review below, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Video Game Horror: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

At a time when the Nintendo GameCube's reputation for being a "kiddie" system was accumulating title after title, Silicon Knights threw Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on the fire and boiled it until blood came oozing out. I still remember turning off all the lights at night when I first started playing this game.

At the time, if you were looking for something that wasn't "kiddie," Eternal Darkness had your number. Not only did it had plenty of the red stuff, but the game's horror was quite the unique brand. Taking advantage of people not facing enemies, the insanity meter punished those who could not vanquish their foes. For any enemies that the player failed to take down, your insanity meter would rise, and weird, random shit would start happening to you. You'd suddenly hear moans coming from the distance, or you'll see walls dripping with blood. And if you pump that meter to the max, you might as well check yourself into a mental institute because that's when all the shit flies off the handle - your own body parts will fall off, rooms will be flipped upside down, or (one of the most sinister illusions) your GameCube won't recognize your controller as you helplessly watch your character get maliciously killed by monsters.

And with the gameplay traversing through multiple characters across different time periods,the story in Eternal Darkness is one for the books. It is the most common story of good versus evil, but chronicling its battles through the ages. Which means you (while you're still playing the game) don't know whether your character will live or die by the end of the level. This leaves you detached from the character and more focused on the story overall, which is often overlooked in most games these days. In fact, you don't get the entire story unless you complete the game 3 times - which I've done.

If you haven't played this game yet, Eternal Darkness will give you a decent scare and give you a good story to go along with your pissed pants.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Week, Gameritis style!

It's Halloween Week here at Gameritis, and all this week the posts will be centered around the holiday "spirit." Also, all this week, I'm committed to playing the games that are meant for Halloween, namely Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, and will be posting my heart-skipping impressions here, all for your amusement.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty...finished!

For a short story leading up to Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, the gameplay for Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is quite short. But the boss battle at the end felt like the same caliber as a retail game, so it was still enjoyable in the end.

I wish, though, that there was some more redeeming value to the DLC other than delivering a little more story to Tools of Destruction. Sure, there's some features that are unlocked from recognizing the save file from the game, but Quest for Booty could have had some more replay into it, considering that it played by itself.

Oh least the wait to continue the story is only a couple days for me, unlike the months that earlier players had to endure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ratchet & Clank secret origins revealed!!

With plenty of characters and creations being blatant rip-offs of characters from media past (A good example is Simba from The Lion King compared to Kimba from Kimba The White Lion), you'd think that Ratchet and Clank was a concept originally conceived. And in the upcoming game A Crack in Time, their origins will finally be revealed! While Insomniac might have one story in mind, I have the real truth. I mean, where else would you find a furry creature toting around a robot on his back? Oh wait...

Yeah, that's right. Back in The Empire Strikes Back, ol' Chewy here had C-3PO on his back long before Ratchet and Clank made their debut. I don't know if anyone ever made the comparison, but it would be interesting to see a large Chewbacca lumbering around destroying things, while C-3PO just worrying his metal head off.

Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty up and running, filling in gaps

Cutting it really close to the sequel's release, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is in my "finished" line of sights as I continue where Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction left off. Much like Prince of Persia's Epilogue add-on, Quest for Booty attempts to extend the story life of the first PS3 game by charging a nominal amount to give you some story while you wait. Fortunately for me, the wait is less than a week away.

Unlike Prince of Persia, however, the story will continue on in the upcoming sequel, A Crack in Time. And, while the small DLC is probably only 4 hours in total playtime, the additional story hopefully will provide some answers to questions left behind from ToD. Will probably set up a "finished" post over the weekend to mark this before Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is out next week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction...finished!

In anticipation of the newest Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, I've completed (finally) their first PS3 outing, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. This, along with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, completes the duo-game purchase of titles receiving sequel treatments this year.

I've been a fan of the series since their second PS2 game, Going Commando, came out. Since then, the only other game I've played was Up Your Arsenal. Skipped out on Deadlocked, though, as well as the PSP outings, but I might just have to hit up on the Quest for Booty mini-story to see what happens before the sequel comes out next week. Thankfully, though, they're not milking the story-between-stories, unlike other franchises.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gameritis 1.1

You'll notice that I've started to tinker around with the site here and there. A little more than 2 years ago, when I started this blog, I've been very simplistic on this site's design. But ever since I tacked on my PSN Portable ID here, I've always wondered about an added graphic here and there.

One of the latest changes came with the site's subtitle, which is now drastically reduced to rubble and replaced with a much shorter sentence - for now.

I've even set up a facebook page, should you desire to have my posts populate your walls every time I post anything. A quick search for "Gameritis" will do it for you.

More changes will follow in the coming days.

Zero Punctuation review: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

It's been a while since I called these days "Lazy Wednesday," so let's kick things off here with another Zero Punctuation review! This week's victim is Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the Nintendo DS. While Yahtzee enjoys the game, he spares no expense gutting its flaws and misgivings.

And, last I checked it's still NSFW, so enjoy!

Katamari Forever...finished!

I think this time around, finishing a Katamari game like Katamari Forever bears some accomplishment - namely the trophies that are attached to my profile. At least I can show off that I made a bigger-than-average katamari, or that I jumped exactly seven times in one level before finishing it.

Seriously, exactly seven times? I believe this was one of those trophies whose objectives are hidden to the player with the "? ? ? ?" text. They might as well have a trophy for turning on the game at exactly 10:30 am on October 30th.

The game still has some of that replay factor with their "forever" and "drive" modes (endless and super-fast modes), and the nice 1080p graphics will keep me enjoying it at a later date. However, my backlog is large, and the constant slowdowns mark this game down a notch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Wet

While the concept of Wet had promise, the demo really didn't do it for me. I really wanted to enjoy the style of the game, but the actual gameplay made me want to hurl.

So basically, Yahtzee's review this week is all humor for me to enjoy. All NSFW humor, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brutal Legend rocks into my house!!

Tim Schafer's game, Brutal Legend, is unleashed to the public today, this Roctober 13th!! If you're a Psychonauts fan or Tim Schafer fan, then you should give this game a chance to melt your face!! It helps that I enjoy Tenacious D enough to get the extra GameStop pre-order.

I've already clocked in a couple of hours into the game, and am enjoying every moment of it. Though, I have to say...all the motion-capture from Uncharted 2 has somewhat spoiled me. It's not that Brutal Legend is not enjoyable, but I just noticed how stiffer the characters move. Also, you'd think that after playing the demo, I would've noted that you don't jump in the game. There are also a couple of areas that felt unpolished, like loading text that appear for half a second before they disappear, or the somewhat frustrating camera.

But above all that, the atmosphere of the game still gets me rocking hard, and the gameplay is still enjoyable - even the RTS portion of it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days finally arrives

This is a belated post on the game's arrival, which actually came sometime mid-last week, but what with all the Uncharted 2 coverage, it got left behind. But Kingdom Hearts: 358/3 Days is finally in my possession, and in an exclusive and spiffy plastic jacket, thanks to

Initially when I pre-ordered this, I didn't think too much about the plastic sleeve. But when the game came in, the plastic sleeve was frosted, and bore a pleasant watermark-like design all over the background, covering all but Roxas, the main character, and the game logo. Here's a better shot of the contrast.

If you look closely, the watermark design is the same as the one on the special-edition DSi released in Japan a while back:

One of the more impressive game packagings I've seen this year. Here's hoping this game and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will end all the stories-within-the-story, and that we'll get a true sequel in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Uncharted 2 - Naughty Dog was here

I don't recall ever seeing this in the first Uncharted game, but early on in the game (I won't say where), I found a box bearing a familiar logo.

Here's a closer look:

Naughty Dog is quite happy with the final product, enough to give their own stamp of approval.

Uncharted 2 event 10/5 - recap, with more pictures

Here are some more pictures from the Uncharted 2 event.

Here's a picture of their 10-screen setup for the 5-on-5 tournaments they had throughout the night, as well as the big screen, which alternated between one player from each team for the audience to watch and cheer for. Turns out the winning team won the special editions of Uncharted 2 with the collectible dagger.

Sam Thompson, one of the producers, showcased a level not-yet-revealed to the public, and displayed his talent for stealth-killing a bunch of baddies.

Theater decorations were pretty simple, but the logo shining on the ceiling was nice.

The cover art was literally all over the place, on flyers, postcards, and on the lanyard VIP passes.

And throughout the event, random raffle prizes were passed out, including a PS3 red controller, USB headset, some blu-rays, and a PSPGo - all of which I didn't win.

Uncharted 2...finished!

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune really gave a great movie feel, all without segmenting the gameplay and cinematics. And Naughty Dog only intensified this further with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The movie had great action, romance, and witty remarks that kept everything fresh, even though I died about 116 times. That's probably because I selected Hard mode to play the game (I think 16 deaths alone were just at the end.)

Despite how good the cinematics are, there's nothing like pulling off your own climatic moment. The feeling of performing a quick and sudden headshot, or lobbing a grenade blindly and taking out 4 people at once - those moments really make your heart race. I think I may have performed one of the most climatic ways to finish the game. I was excited for sure that I finished it, but much more exhausted that it was over. Now THAT'S what a good action movie should make the viewer experience.

Stat tracking is great in this game, too. Looks like I spent just under 13 hours to complete the game, and killed about 915 enemies. Some of the more prouder stats are my 6 headshots in a row, or 5 stealth kills in a row, but my hit ratio was a paltry 41.32%.

Now, with the single-player campaign under my belt, I'll probably play more multiplayer online, since there's tons of leveling up to do there.

Be sure to pick up Uncharted 2 when it comes out next Tuesday, October 13th!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts screams innovation, and the ability to conjure up whatever you want to materialize and use to help you solve many, many puzzles. However, it's this seemingly limitless bag of treats that makes the game a bit too much to wrap our heads around, often making players rely on the same old trick to pass through many of the game's harder moments.

It's this path of thinking that Yahtzee and I have a parallel in, but I frankly would like to think he has a limited imagination. Fortunately for him, that doesn't hinder his ability to reference anything and everything NSFW in his reviews.

As always, enjoy his wit in this week's video!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Uncharted 2 event - the spoils

After failing twice to make it to the round 2 team tournament, I decided to leave the Uncharted 2 event early. But not without taking home a surprise bonus that was given to everyone that attended - a grab bag that not only contained an Uncharted 2 T-Shirt, but a copy of the game a full week before its release! How cool is that??

And to many people's delight, Naughty Dog's Creative Director behind both Uncharted titles Amy Hennig was there to greet the audience and narrate over live Uncharted 2 gameplay on Sony's 4K digital projection screen. I was able to quickly snag her autograph, as well as get a picture with her in front of the limited-edition dagger display at the Embarcadero theater.

And yes, her autograph is there twice. The first one was at the corner, but that got covered up by the instructional manual clip. She was happy to sign the other, more centered autograph for me, though.

While I had no good questions to give, I exclaimed how welcoming playing online was, and that the gameplay was well rounded so that anyone would have a good time. She was glad to hear that, saying that she wants people to enjoy playing online and "not take it so fucking seriously." Thank you again, Amy, for making me less afraid of online play.

And yes, I can't smile worth shit in that photo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Uncharted 2 event - inside the theater

And on display... the contest-only limited-edition bundle for Uncharted 2, complete with a 1:1 replication of the dagger in-game. This will surely be a prize giveaway tonight.

Uncharted 2 on the big screen!

A week before the game's release, Naughty Dog is holding special screenings of Uncharted 2 at 4 different locations tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 5th and 6th), and I'm at the Embarcadero theater in San Francisco for one of them.

For $15, not only will attendees get the chance to preview the game (on a big screen, no less), but they'll each receive a gift bag, raffle ticket, and participate in tournaments for prizes. Representatives will surely be around to answer questions and provide tips and tricks as well.

I'll be posting more pictures and impressions later tonight.

Uncharted 2 brings out the online gamer in me

I'm not much of an online gamer.

I don't play World of Warcraft, I don't play Halo online, I don't even play Mario Kart online as much. Combine the lack of skill I possess compared to the world, and online multiplayer becomes a tired reminder of how bad I suck.

And the field of games that use it don't offer much variety. Most of the time, it's just "deathmatch" or "capture the flag." And it's either you let yourself or the entire team down as you die time and time again.

But with Uncharted 2, I feel a little different - I feel a little more useful.

First off, there's the additional co-op modes, either campaign or arena. It's called a "friends" list for a reason. This way, I don't have to sever ties with my online buddies and, instead, play a co-op game where I help out my fellow comrades. Besides, this just unleashes a hoard of baddies wave after wave, making teamwork all the more satisfying.

Also, the gameplay mechanics are very well tuned, probably because not much has been changed since the first game. Guns aren't absolutely punishing, and your character is quite agile enough to dodge most dire situations...all with the fluidity and grace one has come to expect in an Uncharted game.

The leveling up system is also very pleasant, allowing you to improve your online stats and character the more you play. It not only makes playing online more rewarding, but it also feels like a brand new game in addition to the normal single-player game.

What really cinches it for me was the Cinema mode. After a deathmatch game I played, the entire game was saved to my PS3. Now I can view the entire match, change from player to player, and observe everyone's actions and reactions throughout the game! And, as an aesthetic touch, you can also adjust cameras and lighting, and change the environment settings for dramatic flare, as well as pause the action to take snapshots of particular victories.

Now, when I finally get better playing online, I can show my friends my greatest matches, or show them pictures of my glorious takedowns!

Expect me to be playing this game online much much more when Uncharted 2 ships officially October 13th!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Katamari Forever rolls through the front door

Katamari Damacy and We (heart) Katamari were two very awesome titles that said "the hell" with fancy graphics and gave us something so addictive, so simple and so bizarre - the ability to roll up balls of random shit. The game could have been called "Dung Beetle Rolling A Ball of Crap" and I would've still thought the game to be very awesome.

Two other games, Beautiful Katamari (360) and Me & My Katamari (PSP) have also made it to market, but offer pretty much the same flare.

Now the PS3 is next in this largely-drawn-out series with the new Katamari Forever (Katamari Damacy Tribute in Japan). As the Japanese name implies, this is a little re-hash of some of the best levels from the game series, as well as some new ones (At least to me...maybe some were from the 360 version, but I wouldn't know.)

Having not playing the previous games in some time, it was great to go back into the mindlessly-rolling world of Katamari again. And while the game is still really fun to play, there are still some issues that irk me; random lag times during gameplay and pop-ups plague the game at times. Overall, though, the randomness and quirkiness of the game pleases the child in me, so it'll be worth my time.

Zero Punctuation catch-up: The Beatles Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5, and Darkest of Days

Apologies for the stagnant week of no posting. At the very least, though, on this "Lazy Friday," I can at least double up on the amount of Zero Punctuation reviews, with a review of The Beatles Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5 (two reviews, one video), and a review of Darkest of Days.

My own personal experience of The Beatles Rock Band have been gone over already, and it's a splendid title to have if you've exhausted your fill of Rock Band 2. Guitar Hero 5, on the other hand, has been off my radar for some time. In fact, I've officially made my peace with it some time ago, and haven't looked back since.

Darkest of Days appeals to my interest in time-traveling (BIG fan of Back to the Future, read Time Traveler's Wife), so I could foresee the game to be a quick and interesting romp through the most famous battles in history.

Both videos below and NSFW. Enjoy!

The Beatles Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5

Darkest of Days

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Beatles Rock Band...finished!

And not only finished, but 5-starred every song on the game! Well, okay, this shouldn't have been TOO surprising for many reasons, but playing through their songs reminded when I listened to their music in my youth.

Like Rock Band 2, The Beatles Rock Band will warrant much more replay value in the months to come for a couple good reasons - my wife is always willing to sing, and the trophies list is quite challenging to complete, if not downright impossible. Well, perhaps not for someone specifically good at one instrument. I don't foresee myself completing that 550-note streak for expert drumming anytime soon. But so far I'm knocking them down as I go.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days arrives

The second game in the series, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days has arrived for PSP, along with its new content and tower gameplay mechanic from Disgaea 3. Hopefully, like the Disgaea PSP game before, the added portability factor will allow me to invest much more time into this game than I normally would if I had to hog the TV before.

Plus, it's harder for me to move the entire TV to the bathroom if I want to play in there.