Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aristogamer Podcast!

You read that right, chaps. We are officially announcing our new project, the Aristogamer Podcast! Starting soon, we will begin a monthly podcast to fill the gap between video reviews. We're going to be doing it live through a medium to be named later with a chat room to take thoughts and opinions from our listeners as they happen. The finished podcast will then be released for download on our site and hopefully others.

Stay tuned for more details later this month!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Demo Lacking

I love Uncharted. It has been my favorite new IP on the PS3 since the game's release, so you can imagine my excitement over getting an Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta code with Infamous 2. This event was so big, codes were being given out everywhere, even Attack of the Show. I was excited to boot the demo and get back to one of the best online multiplayer experiences I've ever had. I joined a server after reading the Terms of Service, a rather lengthy connecting process, and finally being matched up. The details on my character looked a little dull, not what I'd expect from the PS3. That's okay, I thought, it's a beta and I'm sure things will get better.

Things got worse.

My first game froze within five seconds of the match starting. I was not even permitted to jump before I had to physically reset my PS3 because my controller no longer responded. Perhaps a fluke, I hoped. I hopped into another game and this one started off in the back of an airplane with enemies coming from trucks. The addition of moving environment objects on which to stand was stunning. It looked great, or would have had the frame rate not been so terrible. I shot an enemy to death through the jerkiness and eventually died myself. Upon respawn, I was on one of the trucks outside of the plane and started to make my way back to where my teammates were holed up.

The game froze again.

I decided to give it a day, perhaps let people lose interest. This morning I turned the game on again and was happy to see a patch! Oh glorious day, I cried, Naughty Dog comes through again! After the quick download and reset, I turned on the demo once more.

I could not connect to any game servers as the demo had an error initializing.

I do not work for Naughty Dog, nor do I have any idea why the demo does not work. In fact, I'm not even sure if everyone is having this problem, but if I had to wager, this may have something to do with the amount of beta codes given out. Infamous 2 was a hit, and codes were being given away like candy all day yesterday. On top of that, all Playstation Plus members got beta codes, and guess who's a member of Playstation Plus after Sony started its Welcome Back Package? Everyone.

I am still excited about the demo, and I sincerely hope to play it and give it a fair shot, but as it stands, I can't even play the damned thing and when I can, the experience is too dreadful to tell if it's the game, my connection, or the server loads. Hopefully next week, I'll have something nice to say about it. I know this is just a beta, but I expected more from Naughty Dog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Video Games Confirmed First Amendment Protected

In what can only be described as a victory for the gaming community, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that video games are covered under the first amendment just like books and movies. The debate started with states passing laws, California being the most recent, restricting the sale of violent video games. After many months of debate, the highest court has released its ruling deeming such laws to be unconstitutional, noting the following:


"Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And "the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary" with a newand different communication medium. Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U. S. 495, 503."


Video games have their tasteless entries, just like books and movies, and I'm sure some would rather have them banned than have to look at them. But where is the line drawn? Who gets to decide what qualifies as too much crass content? Monday's ruling says nobody and that the First Amendment protects people's rights to express or enjoy themselves through games, not matter their content.

Capcom Trying to Kill Used Game Sales?

In an interesting article posted by TinyCartridge, a photo of the manual for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D reveals the game cannot erase existing save data. What this means for the average gamer is that after you beat the game and get your heart's fill of achievements, you cannot erase the game, making it useless to used game retailers like GameStop. It's no secret that game industry professionals view used game sales as destructive, but it's surprising that Capcom would make such a bold move to counteract used game sales.

A damning side effect of this is that if you want to let your friends try the game, they can no longer start from the beginning, which means there would be no point in lending your games to friends. Obviously Capcom has weighed the potential profit gains from less used sales and presumably more new game sales versus the sales added by word of mouth or game lending and have deemed this trial as a viable one. Luckily for all of us, this game is the only one of its kind from Capcom thus far. I suppose if we see this feature in more games, we'll know how the experiment ending -- with consumers losing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

LA Noire Review


L.A. NoireWhen I first heard about LA Noire, I paid it no mind. I thought it was just Grand Theft Auto 4 in the 50s, and I tuned out—I had liked Grand Theft Auto 4, but I became bored with it quickly. The week before the release of LA Noire, however, I happened across a gameplay video and my disposition did a complete 180. I saw all of the interesting mechanics and what looked to be an intriguing story. I saw next to no trace of GTA4 in LA Noire, so I rushed out and picked it up on release day. Was I right in buying the game after seeing one good trailer, or was I duped by marketing people like everyone who forked over hard-earned currency for a ticket to Pirates of the Carribean 4?

Good
I’d like to talk about the story, gameplay, or controls first, but if there’s one thing that sets LA Noire apart from every other game, it’s the facial animations.


After playing LA Noire for five minutes, you start to realize just how poorly animated faces are in nearly every other game. I found that spot-on facial animations were absolutely essential when interrogating an uncooperative witness. Even the cut scenes were vastly improved by accurate facial expressions and they added believability and depth to the characters.

Okay, now that the faces have been covered, we can focus on the story. You take control of Cole Phelps, a rising star cop quickly promoted to detective. Throughout the game, you’re expected to solve mysteries, collect clues, interrogate witnesses, and ultimately, convict the criminals. Most of this is a pretty standard story, but the personalities given to the characters through their faces, words, and body language allow you to more easily care about the outcome of the game. Team Bondi most certainly did a smash up job getting the player emotionally invested in the characters.

Another outstanding aspect of LA Noire was the gameplay. Standard actions like moving, shooting, and driving aren’t the main focus here, as they are all identical to Grand Theft Auto 4. What really makes LA Noire special are the ways in which you solve cases—by interrogating witnesses, collecting clues, and drawing conclusions. 

When interrogating witnesses, it’s your job to determine if they’re lying, telling the truth, or simply being deceptive for unknown reasons. If you select the wrong option, the game notifies you as such, but the case keeps progressing and Cole loses potentially valuable information. The game also lets you know if you’ve collected all the clues in a certain area, but doesn’t require that you do so. All of these decisions culminate in prosecuting the criminal, though sometimes you aren’t quite sure about the identity of the guilty party. Whether you have all the clues or not, it’s up to you to decision who to send to jail for the crime, be they guilty or innocent.

Another interesting feature in the game is intuition. When interrogating someone, you can choose to use intuition to assist you. One of the options is to remove an incorrect interrogation response and eliminate some evidence. The other, and more interesting choice, is to ask the community. This option displays the percentage of people who made what decision and the percentage of players who got the question right after using intuition. It’s a very useful tool for acquiring information, and it makes perfectionists feel better about their decisions.

Bad
There’s only one bad thing I can say about this game and it’s a matter of the side missions. In them, Cole must stop bank robberies, or catch thieves, or run down escaping criminals. Cole Phelps is supposed to be a good man, someone who lived through the war and has a strong moral compass, yet he kills 95% of all lawless individuals he comes into contact with. I would have preferred to have the option of chasing them down and having them arrested, instead of going on an LAPD-sponsored murder spree.



Verdict
LA Noire is a fantastic game, certainly worth a buy whether you’re a fan of the action/detective genre or not. The wonderful graphics and gameplay make for an engrossing, tense experience that will have you drawn to your television until the very end.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Valve Updates TF2 with Free Play, Meet the Medic

Team Fortress 2 is undoubtedly one of the most popular multiplayer experiences for PC gamers, and has been for almost four years. How do you keep the Mountain Dew-drinking, ADHD masses interested in your game for that long? Frequent updates, user generated content, and bonus materials outside the game certainly do not hurt. The "Meet the..." series is a collection of videos detailing the lives of the raving lunatics working for rival construction companies and murdering each other. Sound funny? Valve made Portal, of course it's funny. This week, Valve teased a large up date with a new "Meet the..." video, and my word did they deliver. Meet the Medic is not quite my favorite in the series, but that's like saying Half Life 2: Episode 1 was my least favorite Half Life--it's still remarkably good, just not quite as good as its relatives.  Without any more ramblings about this, I present you with Meet the Medic:





Did you notice the other headline in the title? "Free Play, J?" you may be saying "What ever does that mean? The game already has no subscription fee." I know, however, now players can join the Team Fortress 2 cult family for absolutely no dollars.

Team Fortress 2 is free to download and play from now until the end of time. If you still haven't played the game or don't believe that Valve obviously has Scrooge McDuck levels of money and doesn't need to charge for the game anymore, have a gander at this Valve HQ surveillance video image and trailer from the TF2 website:






Well what are you still doing here? If you've not played the game, go get it, and if you already have the game, go welcome new players into our fold!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Magicka PVP Trailers

It seems the makers of Magicka have finally siezed the opportunity that was dangling before their eyes all the time--PVP. In a game where spell mishaps are so common, it's often your partner that garners more frustration than the enemies. Now's your chance to get them back for spellcasting you to your death. This new gameplay mode makes the already enjoyable game even more appealing. If I hadn't already bought it, I would be ten dollars poorer today. Believe me, if you have a couple of friends and an empty Friday night, there is nearly no better way to spend it than playing Magicka.

I implore you to feast your eyes upon this wonderful trailer.



If you're wondering about the actual combat, an equally entertaining but more informational trailer is after the break.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Review


Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two WorldsJ. Wellington Rommefeller here, presenting you with a review done by one of my dearest friends Lucian Bravado. This game series is one he has long been a fan of and requested to do the review personally. I was happy to oblige, of course, and so here it is, the review for Marvel vs. Capcom 3


Imagine Wolverine, Deadpool, and Dante facing off against the Incredible Hulk, She-Hulk and Haggar. In a fight to the finish, who would come out on top? What about the Avengers; Captain America, Iron Man and Thor vs. the likes of Akuma, Magneto and Super Skrull? Are these merely childhood fantasies you only discussed with your closest chums whilst sampling from your parents’ liquor cabinet? Nay, these fights and many more are possible by taking part in the wondrous series that is Marvel vs. Capcom. In the third and newest installment of the franchise, fans familiar with the game and newcomers alike can assuredly appreciate the classic arcade style mixed with a newer, more polished look and feel.

If you were ever a child punching quarters into a fighting game at the local nickelodeon, chances are good that you have played Marvel vs. Capcom. After all, what's not to love about the game? Take your favorite Marvel comic book characters (i.e. Spiderman and Phoenix) as well as Capcom video game characters (i.e. Ryu and Amaterasu) and thrust them into a team-based battle, letting them engage in a brutal bout, until only one team is left standing. In gamers’ minds (and this is true in adolescents and adults alike), the idea of proving who is truly "the best" team ever created has an intoxicating allure.



Marvel vs. Capcom 3 certainly sticks with the "if ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, keeping the premise of the game virtually the same as its predecessors. The only real difference between this game and the previous installments are additional characters and easier to grasp controls. In the newest chapter of the saga, players can choose from over 30 different characters to throw down fisticuffs within a team-style brawl against friends or the computer. Gamers can truly test their skills by challenging the newly improved A.I. in arcade mode; battling a barrage of enemies with their pre-selected team in a knockdown, drag-out fight to the finish. These battles can be extremely frustrating for some, however, as the A.I. tries to pair up the most difficult combination to counter the team set in front of it.

If you are lucky enough to pass every stage in arcade mode with relative ease, your good fortune is about to change. The final battle is against none other than Galactus, the long-lived super-villain of Marvel lore. Just when you think you have a good understanding of your team’s moves and a firm grasp on the game’s mechanics, this battle will help remind you that you truly need more practice. Your bout with Galactus will likely consist of two parts; one of which will lead to Galactus unleashing two of his greatest fighters to battle your team not one on one, but simultaneously. Seem simple enough? Well I can assure you it is more difficult than it sounds, and if you happen to conquer the dynamic team he sets before you, then and only then will you battle the mighty Galactus. Let's just say this is probably the most frustrating battle of the game, as it’s nearly impossible without an unreasonable amount of practice. Once you finally defeat Galactus, you can begin to unlock a multitude of in-game extras, from game art to individual endings with each character. These little extras are certainly worth the effort for the hardcore players of the game.

Creating a solid fighting team in MvC3 is completely up to player preference. The ability to fully customize your team not only to fulfill childhood dreams, but to fit your particular style of fighting is an incredibly important aspect of the game, and one that works quite well. Some players may find themselves entranced with creating a team consisting entirely of extremely powerful, brute strength characters such as Incredible Hulk, Haggar, and She-Hulk. 



What players may sacrifice in speed and movement in this sort of combination, they more than make up with sheer power, creating hit combos on their opponents that can cause serious damage. However if speed is your weapon of choice then players are open to some truly great combinations of characters to choose from. Imagine a team of Wolverine, Deadpool and Dante showing the players that sometimes size isn't everything. This particular combination, when handled correctly, is my favorite as players can unleash seemingly endless combos making their opponent extremely frustrated. I know what you’re thinking. “Lucian, isn’t purposefully making your opponent angry not a very classy thing to do?” and my response is “It was all the doing of Wolverine, Deadpool, and Dante. I had no part in it.” 

Every character in MvC3 also has a special attack, called a hyper combo, which can be unleashed after filling a meter in the fight. 



To fill this meter, players can chain together moves to form combos, or just be beaten upon, the former being more effective than the latter. Players can build up to five levels of special attack, each level more devastating than the last. While each attack delivers a visually impressive attack causing a terrible amount of damage, if you can manage to land enough combos to your opponent, a fifth level hyper combo will deliver a horrific amount of damage to your enemies. Players who are familiar with Street Fighter 4 or other games that offer this type of leveling system will find this very easy to grasp, but newcomers to the series can oftentimes find themselves mashing away at buttons begging for a special attack to be unleashed. 

Verdict

Overall, whether you use the game to live out childhood grudge matches between your favorite comic book/video game characters, or simply pick up this game as a new playing experience, you will not be disappointed with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This game sets the standard for arcade style fighting games as one of the best created so far. From stunning graphics and sound work to the easy-to-comprehend gameplay for unfamiliar players and veterans alike, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is definitely worth a buy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gravity Daze Trailer

Today is that last day of E3, and it seems most all of the news worth reporting has been reported. I finally found the trailer for what looks to be the most eye-pleasing game of the PS Vita's launch titles: Gravity Daze. Accoring to SCE (the developers), this is still a working title, but that doesn't detract from the wonderful graphics and interesting gameplay mechanics. Do you remember the cinematography in the hallway fight sequence of the motion picture Inception? Of course you do, who doesn't! Gravity Daze seems to be in the spirit of that, with a strange girl who has the ability to control gravity. There's also a cat (the Baron will love that). Oh what am I saying, just watch the trailer from some kind soul on YouTube named nanashimann1 and enjoy. The game will be out this holiday season along with the hardware it's played on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Few Morsels of News from E3

Despite what I (and I'm sure many gamers) previously assumed, Wii U will not be backward compatible with Gamecube games, only Wii titles. Honestly since the last generation of consoles, I've stopped expecting backward compatibility. PS3 and Xbox 360 were absolute disasters with respect to that particular feature at launch, hardly working with their previous console iteration's titles. Microsoft made the 360 better while Sony stripped the feature completely. I believe that backward compatibility confusion combined with handhelds only supporting one previous generation (at least Nintendo's) makes this news less surprising than it would have been 7 years ago. I will say this though, I would have been outraged if Wii U wasn't backward compatible with Wii--the new console uses the old's bloody name.

Assassin's Creed, despite its many iterations, still has gamers heart strings wrapped around its deadly little finger. As a result, Ubisoft has announced that an Assassin's Creed title will be coming to Wii U. No other details have been announced, including if it will be a port or a new entry in the series, but I'm sure gamers are already imagining the creative ways to do in their enemies with the new controller.

Playstation Vita has been getting a positively mammoth amount of buzz about it lately, but here comes more. It seems a Sony Europe employee has almost confirmed that the console will not be region locked. This feature, one added by the Nintendo 3DS despite the DS being unlocked, means that gamers can import games from overseas and play them without having to fiddle with hacking their system. I personally believe region locking is silly, so good on you Sony for making the smart choice here. Remember, this is still a rumor, but when it comes from someone working for Sony, it may as well be confirmed.

Sony also made news during its press conference with its announcement of a Playstation branded television. The 24" display will feature full 3D capabilities along with an added feature allowing for 2 people to view different things on the same television with their active shutter glasses. Honestly, this isn't new technology and I'm still confused on how the audio would work, but it's encouraging to see Sony include new features in a gaming-centric display, even if that display is smaller than most gamers' monitors.

Rayman Origins is an odd beast in a generation marked by realistic graphics and dark visual tones. Its gameplay looks simple, but fun, just like the graphics. It's appears like a very cohesive game that sticks to cartoony, dare I say "old school," fun; like an HD remake of a Super Nintendo game with similar gameplay. Rayman fans and non-believers alike should enjoy this new experience. I think this is exactly what the Rayman series needed. The official trailer along with some Ubisoft execs talking after the break.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More E3 News

The press conferences were only the start. Tons of news continues to flow from the E3 trade show floor. We've rounded out some of the best ones here. Where noted, videos will be linked to after the jump break.

Asura's Wrath can't help but be compared to the God of War series, but its visuals and scale destroy the bar Kratos has set. Giant space god finger? Oh my yes. No release date has been set yet, but it will certainly remain on my radar. The new trailer is after the break.

Mario Party 9 is a new entry in the party game series notably absent since 2007. Like so many other games, no release date has been announced, but it will be coming to the Wii. The trailer for it is after the break.

Surprise hit Pikmin will finally have a third entry in its series soon. Every year, gamers ask about its presence at E3 and every year, they are put off. This year is no different, but an interesting fact was revealed. Pikmin 3 will not be a Wii title. Now it is officially coming to the Wii U. If that doesn't move units of the new console, I don't know what will.

Uncharted 3's multiplayer component has been fawned over by gamers since its announcement. The proverbial pot just got sweetened, however, with the addition of LAN gaming support. Finally I can bring my PS3 to a LAN party and not be laughed out. They may still chuckle at my required leather armchair, smoking jacket, and mahogany ice chest of fine cheeses, but the console will no longer be an issue.

Dynasty Warriors is coming to Playstation Vita. The new trailer sports added features for the touch screen and rear touch pad. Other than that, it looks like the standard Dynasty Warriors format, but with the series long history of mind-numbing fun, who can blame them from sticking with the winning formula? Trailer after the break.

The Professor Layton series is a worldwide hit. The charming animation and puzzles keep lads and lasses alike glued to their DS. The fourth game, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, is a game released in Japan almost two years ago, but it is finally coming stateside this fall. Trailer after the jump.

Paper Mario is making is 2D jump to the 3DS. The hit series goes back to gameplay styles found in the first two games, with an RPG style combat system and a helper. No word on a release date, but fans are assuredly preordering the game on shady websites as I type. Trailer after the jump.

I've never been a fan of Animal Crossing. It seems there's something I'm mentally lacking that fans of the series are not, however I can appreciate the popularity of the series. Nintendo can as well, as the create a new entry in the series for the 3DS. This isn't anything spectacular (we've already seen on on the DS), but fans will be positively excited about it. Trailer after the jump.

Last, but certainly not least, is a new trailer for Bioshock Infinite. This game, said to be a departure of sorts from the series, features high speed action blended with the usual powers/guns FPS combo of the originals. Also, it's in the sky, which is far more exciting than the ocean. The latest trailer is after the jump.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Conversation of Nintendo Live Press Coverage E3 2011

J Wellington Rommefeller 10:53 am
Good morning!

D O'Dubhslaine 10:53 am
Morning you young holligan
starts in 7 minutes

J Wellington Rommefeller 10:53 am
The Baron is biting my hand
I just hope he calms down or leaves before the conference starts
Also, this press conference is going to be an exciting one

J Wellington Rommefeller 10:55 am
With all the rumors on the internet about this console, I'll be interested to see which are true and which are falsehoods

D O'Dubhslaine 10:56 am
seeing as I just woke up, I'll let you take the highlights on this one
and 'll do the aim convo

J Wellington Rommefeller 10:56 am
Sounds good to me
My internet went down half an hour ago
and I was quite distraut!
Luckily, the good ol solution of "unplug it and plug it back in" paid off

D O'Dubhslaine 10:57 am
good thing you didn't have to resort to the Russian solution

D O'Dubhslaine 10:57 am
and hit it with a hammer


Nintendo E3 2011 Press Conference Highlights

Link's Awakening, the first portable Zelda title is available now on the Virtual Console market for Nintendo 3DS. The Colonel distaste for the 3DS was rightly melted away by his favorite Zelda game. Good show, Nintendo.

The remake of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for 3DS will be out next week with better graphics, framerate, and new features. You can certainly expect this game to be reviews swiftly and soon.

Legend of Zelda Four Swords will be available as DSiWare in September. The Four Swords titles changed the way Nintendo's portable games could interact with one another. The multiplayer aspects we're seeing in some games now were present back on the days of the original Game Boy Advance, so it's smashing to see the quirky series again.

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword is coming this holiday season for the Wii. Wiimotion Plus is required. A special, gold, Zelda-themed Wii remote will also be released. I was more excited about Twilight Princess than I was this game--that is until I saw the most recent trailer (below). Now I find myself excited all over again!



Legend of Zelda symphonies will debut around the world in each region in the Fall. More details will become available as regions solidify dates. If it's anything like the orchestra at the beginning of the Nintendo press conference (and there are as many Zelda fans), I'd wager there will not be a dry eye in the house.

Two soundtracks, one for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and one for Skyward Sword will be released, the former of which will be available for free for the first people to register the game with Club Nintendo. It's an interesting ploy to get people to join Club Nintendo. I must wonder why the sudden push now? Perhaps Nintendo is up to something sneaky.

Mario Kart 3DS is  the new entry in the kart racing mega series. It comes with greater kart customization and new features, like the ability to drive underwater and glide with a hang glider. This series never ceases to amaze me in its ability to turn a room full of dear friends into a den of scoundrels looking to ruin your chances of success.  Mario Kart 3DS will be released this holiday season.

Star Fox 64 3D will offer gyroscope options and better graphics. In battle mode, your front facing camera will be turned on to better identify that ruddy chap who keeps backflipping. It will be released this September.

Super Mario 3D is the new game in the Mario brothers franchise. Not many details were given or shown besides improved graphics and 3 dimensions. The game will be released this holiday season.

Icarus Uprising looks like more fun than ever, and seems to have an interesting storyline. I was skeptical about the game upon its reveal, however I suppose time has been good to Pit as this game now looks not only appealing, but exciting! The game also features a multiplayer battle arena. The release date of Icarus's new game is still unannounced.

Luigi's Mansion 2 is the sequel to the Gamecube original. The game is on 3DS and seems to feature similar gameplay and a fun style that's faithful to the series. It feels great to be able to call Luigi's Mansion a series. I felt this game was oft underappreciated and one of the best titles on the Gamecube, so my fluttering heart will come as no surprise to you. No word on a release date, but we do have a trailer.



3D Excitebike is free to download in the eShop. It's the original game, but with a bit of 3D thrown in. To be honest, I would not have wasted my time downloading it if it weren't free. However, the price is right for what you get.


Pokedex 3D is an update to the Pokedex in Pokemon Black and White. An interesting feature along with this is the ability to take pictures with your Pokemon using 3DS's camera and a bit of Nintendo magic. I can just imagine the flagrant misuse of this feature. Truly terrifying. This add on is available exclusively in the eShop starting today.

Wii U is the new console. The console itself looks almost identical to the Wii, but a little more rounded. It can also do full HD 1080p resolution, which is something gamers have been yearning for since the Wii's debut. The new console is also fully backward compatible with the Wii and, presumably, the Gamecube. As per usual, the processor in Wii U has been designed by IBM and fabricated on their 45nm process (though I'm sure most of you care very little about that).


The new controller for the console looks like a mix of a classic controller for Wii along with a 6.2" touch screen. The controller has 2 circle pads, a gyroscope, an accellorometer, a forward facing camera, stereo speakers and physical buttons along with the touch screen. You cannot see them in the picture below, but there are two shoulder buttons as well as two trigger buttons in the back. The Wii U controller will also feature rumble and perhaps its own minigames if the trailer we saw was to be trusted.



 The video Nintendo is showing for the new console seems to be like the original Wii reveal trailer -- many potential applications, but who knows which will be implemented. Without further ado, I present to you, through IGN, the Wii U debut trailer.



A new Smash Brothers is on its way for both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. There are no details other than the very brief announcement, but gamers are already frothing at the mouth for this game.

New Super Mario Brothers Mii is a new game for Wii U that enables your Mii to play in the game alongside your favorite Mario universe characters.

Lego City Stories is a new, open world installment in the Lego series for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. There's not many details on this yet, but if it's anything like Lego Island, it will capture hardcore gamers looking for some nostalgia and a newer generation, not yet aware of how wonderful a Lego game can be.

Darksiders 2 is a Wii U title that will be available at the console's launch. It appears Nintendo wants to have some games appealing to hardcore gamers, and not just months after the fact either. A launch title as dark as this one seems to signal a push on Nintendo's part for more adult oriented games.

Dirt, Aliens Colonial Marines, Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden 3 are all future titles for Wii U. There are no Wii U specific details about these games yet.

The CEO of EA hinted at Battlefield coming to the Wii U.

Batman Arkham City will be also be on Wii U. I'm wondering what the release date of this console is, then, since the game will be coming out this Fall. It seems to me a late release of the game would be preposterous, so excuse me if I'm more excited about playing the new Batman game this year and not next.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Conversation of Sony Live Press Coverage E3 2011


D O'Dubhslaine 7:06 pm
I wonder if Sony is going to give us a massive apology
for the PSN super hacked

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:07 pm
i have no idea
the press conference won't even start

D O'Dubhslaine 7:07 pm
it hasn't started yet

D O'Dubhslaine 7:08 pm
just some beatnik hippies talking outside

D O'Dubhslaine 7:09 pm
shut up hippies! I don't care what you think, your minds are already ridden with poisons

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:10 pm
I grow tired of this boorish preshow

D O'Dubhslaine 7:10 pm
no kidding my friend
I could've cleaned my rifle by now
...twice
...with a napkin

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:11 pm
Blindfolded

D O'Dubhslaine 7:11 pm
while writing an opera

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:11 pm
in a rainstorm

D O'Dubhslaine 7:12 pm
covered in honey

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:12 pm
Yes! Cut to the actual event in mid sentence
Classy work, Sony

D O'Dubhslaine 7:12 pm
especially to watch a dimly lit audience
and ONLY a dimly lit audience
so what do you think about this game J?
OH NEVERMIND, IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF HEADS

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:13 pm
this game is Darkheads

D O'Dubhslaine 7:14 pm
Darkheads: The Returns of Darkpies
I really need a pie...
also Sony better not spend half the conference talking about the new handheld and how innovative it is

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:16 pm
I'm watching it on G4 TV

D O'Dubhslaine 7:16 pm
as am I
I got sick of my streams crashing

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:16 pm
It's quiet
....too quiet
then the raptors run in

D O'Dubhslaine 7:16 pm
with Samuel Jackson riding the Alpha Raptor

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:16 pm
starting off with some very unnecessary techno

D O'Dubhslaine 7:17 pm
Good to Sony form, it's a collage of things to come

J Wellington Rommefeller 7:17 pm
I believe they call this Dubstep

D O'Dubhslaine 7:17 pm
OH DID YOU SEE? GREEN LANTERN GAME!
Because all games directly released off a movie are wonderful

Sony Live Press Coverage E3 2011

First off, Sony, we get that you like collages but my Lord you need to tone it down! Also, calling the Playstation Network being down as an "outage" is just insulting. You were hacked. You were super hacked. You were dumb and allowed yourselves to be super duper hacked. Apologize like a man and get on with life. That being said...


-Uncharted 3-

Sony kicks off with their pride and joy series, Uncharted. Already you can see very well done graphics and motion with the rocking of the ship and the character properly reacting to this movement in order to maintain balance. Shadowing and lighting are crisp and combat seems very fluid. Even not having personally played the previous Uncharted titles, I shall now due to Mr. Rommefeller's recommendation and this coverage.


-Resistance 3-

The direct sequel to Resistance 2, this game seems to follow along the same energetic combat that the previous titles have included, hopefully involving more energy and involvement. Previous titles were fun but slightly underwhelming and predictable, but based on the footage for this sequel, we may be getting a much more refined and polished game. Let's hope so, because if you can't get the formula right after three games, you might as well give up.


-Some Basketball Game-

I'm sorry, I really don't want to say anymore than I need to here. It's a basketball game that uses the Playstation Move and is mostly point and click. It looks boring, Kobe Bryant came on stage and still hardly anyone reacted, and I yawned. Moving on.


-Medieval Moves-

It's another simple motion control game. Swing for your sword, reach behind you to grab an arrow to notch, and it's in 3D. Again, the player on stage and the audience just looked rather bored. Even when the announcer says "Wow", he says it as if he had just awoken from a nap and that was the first word he thought of. Usually I'd say this could be geared for a younger audience, but with so little happening, I don't know if even the younger audience would fully enjoy this.


-Infamous 2-

This shows to be an highly anticipated sequel to the electrifying (OH HO HO) game Infamous. Footage shows that it will continue to use the open world combat that made the first game fun while also incorporating new content such as gamer created level construction.


-Little Big Planet Fingerprint-

We don't know if the fingerprint image really is in the title but unless proven otherwise, we're sticking with it. If you liked the first Little Big Planet, this won't disappoint. Granted it's on the *ahem* Playstation Vita, it should prove to be one of the few titles worth playing on this device.




-StarHawk-

Without much known about this game from my or J.'s end, we are very intrigued by this title. It seems to be a futuristic style war that will include both on-planet and off-world combat. Further details on this will definitely be sought after tonight.


-Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time-

This looks to be a faithful followup to the series, one that I never played. If you did, probably would be worth checking out.


-Dust 514-

Although previously unveiled, this appears to be an FPS style companion game to EVE Online, bringing in its concept under the premise "One Universe, One War". It appears fairly good and graphically beautiful, definitely worth the attention of further inquiry.


-Bioshock: Infinite-

Based on the shorter trailer we saw this evening, I can say that this looks to be an exciting game that is very intense and continuously attention grabbing.


-Star Trek-

Being a fan of the series, I am excited to see a game coming that isn't entirely a "play through the movie that just came out" game. It looks clean, involved, and pretty interesting. I'm personally excited to see more on this title.


-Street Fighter X Tekken-

Without much known about the game, the trailer shows that this should prove to be a game that'll be well accepted with fighting style gamers everywhere.


-Playstation Vita-

Also known as the NGP, this next generation handheld Playstation portable is to be a great followup to the semi-popular PSP. Including two analog sticks, touch-screen, motion sensors, and dual cameras, along with the standard WiFi and control scheme. Granted it has a 5-inch screen and will be under the supervision of AT&T for service, the new Vita will probably be a great portable overall for those who want one, which I'm sure those who do already know they're getting one. That being said, personally, I don't care. I really don't care. I'm sorry J., but I just couldn't give two royal wigs in a bag filled with olives care about this device. It's tiny, it looks like I could break the thing with one hand, and it's called Vita.

(J's note: I'm incredibly excited about this console. Have a trailer, chaps:)




(And one more of gameplay from the new Uncharted game for the Vita from IGN:)


Conversation of Ubisoft Live Press Coverage at E3 2011

D O'Dubhslaine 4:38 pm
Rayman
it's a Rayman game
the end

J Wellington Rommefeller 4:39 pm
Rayman's got a novel look to it

D O'Dubhslaine 4:39 pm
especially to start off with a sidescroller like Ubi is

D O'Dubhslaine 4:40 pm
it is very cartoony
very slapstick
like a Stooges game

J Wellington Rommefeller 4:40 pm
i'm alright with that

D O'Dubhslaine 4:41 pm
I hate it when announcers force out emotion no one else is feeling
"THAT WAS CAAARAZY NO?!"
...*crickets*

J Wellington Rommefeller 4:41 pm
I agree
Aaron Priceman, hello sir

D O'Dubhslaine 4:41 pm
Mr. Caffeine, hello
I'm Mr. Drinks whatever I'm in the mood for

Ubisoft Press Conference Highlights

Rayman Origins is looking as neat as ever, its visual style its very cartoony as is its humor. It's definitely an appealing title and not just to to Rayman fans.

Driver: San Francisco had great looking action and graphics, but there wasn't any gameplay shown and Driver has historically gone downhill since the first two games, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Farcry 3 had an intense trailer and gameplay montage that showed off smooth gameplay, varied kills, and great camera work. Farcry 3 is far surpassing its predecessors, differentiating itself from other shooters with its bright colors and fast paced gameplay.

Here's the game's trailer with an intro by Mr. Caffeine. He works for Ubisoft. But I wish he didn't



Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 looks like a mix of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Inglorious Basterd. Crazy, over the top, hilarious Nazi slaughtering action. The trailer looks fun, let's hope the game is too.

I apologize profusely for the Mr. Caffeine intro:



Tintin looks faithful to the series: old school fun and adventures with a lighthearted tone. If Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are excited, the game is either really good, or needs big names to push it along; only time will tell which.

The Microsoft press conference gave us a taste of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, but Ubisoft went in depth into the futuristic shooter. The graphics and tactics aspects of the game look impressive, but too much of the syncronized mission execution could prove to be tedious. The weapons technology and emphasis on squad certainly set it apart from other war shooters.

Ghost Recon Online is a free online shooter from Ubisoft that seems to want to capture a share of the online team based FPS market. The price certainly seems right, but the other side of the coin is "you get what you play for."

Trackmania Canyon? I think this may be a game. I couldn't tell because of the muted mic audio. Looked like a standard racer though.

Raving Rabbids Alive and Kicking is a pretty standard offering of Rabbids games--a large collection of minigames. The only difference with this game is that it's on Kinect, which opens up new ways to play. It's certainly aiming for the party game market, and it comes out this November.

Dance games have been coming out since the Wii debuted, but they just got popular with the Kinect and Move. Just Dance 3 is a multiplatform game coming out October 11th.

Guitar simulation games are a dime a dozen, however Rocksmith hopes to turn gamers into actual guitar players. It claims to turn learning guitar into a fun new game. It debuts this fall. Now only if they had Rocksmith for classical piano....

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 is a sequel to Your Shape, an exercise game. It looks indistinguishable from other exercise games on the market right now, so excuse me if I'm not excited for this. Even the trailer looked boring.

Assassin's Creed Revelations is what everyone was looking forward to in this press conference and Ubisoft did not disappoint. Ezio's story becomes more complelling as he's not only aged, but has been captured and is being lead to his death. The gameplay looks to be similar to the others, but the graphics seem updated, with more details. Revelations is to Brotherhood as Brotherhood was to Assassin's Creed 2: new story, added features, and new locales improve on its precedesor. Ubisoft is great at adding in features to this series that you had no clue you wanted. This November, we'll see everything the new game has to offer. Here's the smashing new trailer:

Conversation of EA Live Press Coverage at E3 2011

J Wellington Rommefeller 2:32 pm
Oh my, launching right into gameplay footage. I wonder what game this is
Oh, Mass Effect 3, how silly of me.

D O'Dubhslaine 2:34 pm
yeah no kidding

J Wellington Rommefeller 2:34 pm
Looks like we'll be getting a more indepth look at the game
Thank the lord, it's not on kinect. I've had about enough of that peripheral for one day

J Wellington Rommefeller 2:35 pm
After playing LA Noire, these facial animations just aren't good anymore. He looks like a Ken Dol in a jump suit

D O'Dubhslaine 2:36 pm
oh man yeah
the new Assassin's Creed is using that facial motion stuff LA Noire used

J Wellington Rommefeller 2:36 pm
Oh really?
It's funny how we're talking about other games, when they're trying their damndest to capture our attention




EA Press Coverage E3 2011

Already I'm happy to see the beginning of this coverage because it's not a giant worship session on the Kinect. That being said, let's dive right into the games.

-Mass Effect 3-

The footage looks fantastic in both graphics and control. It has a very large cinematic feel without feeling campy or cartoony. Voice acting is very well enunciated. However, EA, I don't think three separate trailers are necessary for a third sequel of a popular game series. One is enough because if you're a fan of the first two Mass Effect games, you'll get this one just based on it being called Mass Effect 3.

The game is looking great, as I'm sure you can tell from this trailer:




-Need for Speed: The Run-

Other than bragging about an online feature that looks just what it is...online, this installment of the game is showing features of the game outside of the car racing. Showing reaction-timed action sequences while running from gun firing law enforcement, the player ended up actually beating up a police officer and then stealing his cruiser to continue the chase sequence. Perhaps Need for Speed is going for more "thinking outside the box", however let's not hope they forget the roots of being the racing franchise it always has been. My hopes are high though, I will admit.


-Star Wars: The Old Republic-

Star Wars Old Republic is looking spectacular. The key word in that sentence is looking. Only a trailer was shown, so no new gameplay footage. The trailer was quite impressive, but it would have been nice to see some more gameplay.


-SSX, FIFA, and Madden 2012-

With the amount of large scale camera work these trailers showed, it still boils down to one thing. Sports. Snowboarding or football (soccer to the Americans), or American football (bizarre to the rest of the world), they're sports games and we know EA does sports games fairly well. I have no doubt for you sports fans these'll be grand. Innovative? I doubt it. But that's ok. You have world famous athletes playing these games on video, so you're set.


-The Sims Social-

A Sim game for the networking site Facebook. I may not be into Facebook games at all, but for those who are, this may just right up your alley, depending on how immersive it allows the player to be.


-Reckoning-

A fantasy style game that seems to be taking a lot of what Dragon Age has given us: an open world with much to be involved in while experiencing a renaissance style time-line. It looks fairly interesting as involved with interesting combat. This may prove to be a game that draws in the player for countless hours.

-Overstrike-

Set in a story following a 4-person team in the near future. Using both hand-to-hand combat and futuristic weapons, it is a special forces team that employees their unique skills to overcome obstacles. However, the thing the draws me into this is the type of comedy it uses. Just in the trailer I saw witty retort and clever use of dialogue and weapons to create a very entertaining experience. I'm already hooked and want to play this to see where it goes.




-Battlefield 3-

Already gaining a huge media following, Battlefield 3 is proving to be one of the most highly anticipated games amoung FPS players. Giving incredibly huge maps, innovative team and squad based combat, absolutely baffling amounts of destructibility in the environment, and a new game engine that is proving itself already, this game could become one of the great FPS games to be remembered. I personally can not wait to get my grubby hands on this Frostbite 2 engine game.


Here's some actual gameplay footage. It's a bit long and tank based, but it certainly is gorgeous:



EA you ambitious dogs you.

Conversation of Microsoft Live Press Coverage at E3 2011

J. Wellington Rommefeller and the Colonel conversed while watching the Microsoft Press Conference. The following conversation represents their views on the news. For actual news, see the post below this one.

J Wellington Rommefeller 11:30 am
Oh my, the briefing is about to begin
That's what that nice woman said on the loud speaker

D O'Dubhslaine 11:31 am
I presently have a Klondike bar commercial
Lord almighty those look tasty

J Wellington Rommefeller 11:31 am
The stage just appeared!

D O'Dubhslaine 11:31 am
KLONDIKE
ah

J Wellington Rommefeller 11:31 am
It looks quire magical and green, as always

D O'Dubhslaine 11:31 am
here we go
AH
Modern Warfare 3
I'm excited for this

J Wellington Rommefeller 11:32 am
There had better be some soldiers running through the crowd or i will be sorely disappointed

D O'Dubhslaine 11:32 am
are those chaps underwater?

J Wellington Rommefeller 11:32 am
I didn't know fire could exist underwater

D O'Dubhslaine 11:32 am
we never had those types of devices in my day
exactly
apparently our military has defied all science
well done lads

Microsoft E3 2011 Keynote Highlights

Modern Warfare 3 has wonderful graphics and looks to not change much with gameplay, but has a darker visual tone, just like the reveal trailer.

Tomb Raider looks to have improved its visual style to appeal to newer generations. The environmental aspects of the game do a good job setting the mood. The demo is certainly intense and has players yerning for Lara's escape.  Lara's voice acting could use some work, but the game itself looks quite promising. The game launchs Fall 2012. Here's a trailer including all of Lara's weird moans.



EA Sports announces Kinect support for many of their large sports games.

Mass Effect 3 looks delightful, but the voice controls they just announced seem less like a necessary addition and more like a new feature that doesn't mean much beyond saying that the game has it. Many games like tacking on features just to say they have them, and this seems to fall in line with those. The trailers for this have been included in the EA presser.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier started off with a bang and one of the coolest trailers I've seen in a while. The voice commands were top notch, but the Kinect gestures in combat were, predictably, sloppy.

All future "Tom Clancy's" titles will leverage Kinect.

Xbox Live updates abound. More content and more providers. Youtube on Xbox live! Bing on Xbox made me roll my eyes first, but it seems far more useful than I thought. You can search, with voice, for anything on the Xbox marketplace or the internet. Xbox Live also now has live television as well (though no announcement on exactly what channels).

UFC Live on Xbox looks exciting. Some sort of "predicting the fight" functionality for points seems like a compelling argument for watching UFC on Xbox.

Gears of War 3 looks like the previois titles. This is fine though, most fans just want more of the same. The Silverback suits look like a jolly good time.

Ryse looks like a Kinect demo technical demo and less like a game.

Halo Anniversary edition looks like it has updated graphics. It doesn't look updated enough to warrant another buy, but for Halo fans, certainly a buy will be mandatory.

Forza 4 looks just a beautiful as it has in previous game trailers.

Fable: The Journey seems to be less about "the chosen one" heroes and more about being made into a hero. The Kinect controls look like most Kinect controls do--entertaining, but ultimately pointless. To be released in 2012. Here's the trailer courtesy of IGN:



Microsoft seems to have landed an exclusive deal with Minecraft and it will be making its console debut on 360 with Kinect controls.

Disneyland on Kinect looks like it would be great fun for children. It will probably not have much staying power, but it seems entertaining enough.

Kinect Star Wars looks about as sloppy as you'd expect. It's almost embarassing to watch.

Tim Schafer talking about his Sesame Street game is as entertaining as the game looks. It is most assuredly for children and their parents, but it looks far from being shovelware.

Kinect Fun Labs is a lab space for Kinect applications that have been developed by programmers on the net. From being able to make your avatar with Kinect, to drawing in 3 dimensions, to scanning in objects, Kinect Fun Labs seems to be a fun way to utilize the hardware if you've already gotten bored with it. It's live today on Xbox Live.

Kinect Sports Season 2 seems to have added a few more games as well. The golf demo looks fun and adds voice commands for switching clubs. I hope I don't have to scream quite as loud as they did for football. Their demos all look scripted, but fun. The game's visual style and backgrounds are far better than Wii Sports.

Halo 4. There was a trailer. It was grand. Due out next year. Here's that trailer from Machinima:

E3 Rumors

I'm going to corral a few E3 rumors in this post. I think it's always fun to check the rumors against the actual news, and we can do that this week! Without further ado, here's your E3 rumor-roll:

Halo 4

There's an image floating around the web this morning of the supposed Microsoft E3 newspage that was put up early, then swiftly taken down. Contained in the image is the confirmation of Halo 4. The screencap has been making the rounds, but here it is courtesy of thenextweb:




It certainly looks compelling, but I'll wait until the rumors are confirmed in an hour or so.

PSVita?

Sony's new handheld, codename NGP, has also been making waves as of late, with many people claiming its release name to be Vita. This rumor has a mountain of evidence from Sony's website having the name in the source code to leaked images, to a patent and trademark filing today with the following image on the OAMI site:

Sounds well solid and I'm sure we will see more tonight at Sony's press conference.

Project Cafe

Many rumors have been going around about Nintendo's very-well-nearly-confirmed console, codename Project Cafe, from leaked controller specifications to it's supposed name. One source says its name will be Beem, based off of the registering of NintendoBeem.com by the same people who've registered NintendoWii.com and Nintendo3DS.com. Most people are crying foul at this because that name was used in a mock-up contest earlier this year and the creator snapped up many domain names relating to Nintendo Beem.

Another, more radical, but also more credible, name comes from Game Informer. They've said their most recent name confirmation Nintendo console is...Nintendo. Yes, like bands have self-titled albums, Nintendo may have a self-titled console. It's certainly a bold move, but after many people took a liking to the "Playstation" text at the bottom of the first NGP model for its actual name, it's not an inconcievable choice. We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to know for sure what the new console's name is, but I personally hope Nintendo chooses another name. I've had enough trouble talking about movies like Fast and Furious vs. The Fast and the Furious to be fed up with new names being old names. If Ford produces a 2013 Model-T, they'll have my frustration fueled fisticuffs with which to deal.

E3 News Coverage!

Our coverage of E3 begins today. Since we're not actually in the City of Angels, livestreams will have to suffice. Here are the two streaming sites I will be switching between:

G4 (Their coverage of E3 every year is almost second to none. You can also watch their channel for updates)
Gamespot (You can cycle through which company's press conference to watch at the top)

For recaps of news in the press conferences, showroom floor, and thoughts on announcements, check back here throughout the week as the Colonel and I bring you the most exciting news in E3.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Uncharted 3 Co-op Gameplay Footage

I'm as excited for Uncharted 3 as I was for Uncharted 2, and I was irrationally excited for that. This game was one of the most anticipated games of the year before this co-op trailer and now the buzz is even higher. In much the same way as Uncharted 2 improved on the original with a wonderful multiplayer aspect, Uncharted 3 takes Uncharted 2's formula and adds on what looks to be a very well executed co-op component. I imagine there will be no local co-op as Naughty Dog tends to think the resolution for each mini-screen would be too low to see anything, but multiplayer co-operative experience is still an incredibly exciting addition.

Without further ado, I present to you the reason for my unreasonably large grin:

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