Directional Pad

Directional Pad

Bioware’s Dragon Age Delayed ~6 months

Posted by inpheaux on February 3rd, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Bioware's modern yet still somehow Infinity Engine-esque game Dragon Age will apparently not be meeting its March release date. In an announcement made about an hour ago, Bioware's community coordinator had this to say:

We wanted to give the community a heads-up on a recent decision to move the launch of Dragon Age: Origins for the PC to the last half of 2009. That’s a change from the previously announced date of March 2009.

Why is this happening? Both EA and BioWare are really excited about the potential of the game on both PC and consoles and we want to ensure we deliver a blockbuster, AAA BioWare-quality title - as the game is shaping up so well already. An incredible amount of time and effort has gone into Dragon Age: Origins and this extra time will ensure we deliver the quality kind of launch you have come to expect from our games.

At BioWare, our fans and community have always been top priority, so we wanted to you to hear this news from us first.

So it's the standard deal. "blah blah. need more time. blah. making best game possible. blah blah. CORPORATE OVERLORDS."

Oh well, it might happen! Who knows!?


Still Not Dead: World of Goo & Dead Space Reviewed

Posted by inpheaux on December 18th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

It's been awhile, but we've got excuses. We're good at excuses.

What are our excuses? Have you SEEN the games that are out right now? Gears of War 2, Fallout 3, Fable 2, Dead Space, Chrono Trigger, Mother 3, Left 4 Dead, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Dragon Quest IV. I'm sure I'm missing some. Or lots. Still, that's a ton of Good Gaming.

And personally, I've been busy with this whole "graduating from college" thing, which required a bit more focus than I'm used to.

Anyway, we're back, and we've got two reviews that have been sitting here for awhile, just waiting for Mr Editor to get off his ass and . . you know . . edit them.

World of Goo (PC) - Highly Recommended

The art and design of the game immediately made me wonder if Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam, or even Tim Schafer had had a hand in it at some point. The heavy shadows and industrial set decoration at some points evoke a vaguely disturbing feeling of elementary school paranoia, but tempered with cartoony foregrounds and the boundless enthusiasm of the blobs themselves as they move about and exclaim things when they attach to structures.

Dead Space (360/PS3/PC) - Highly Recommended

Glen Schofield and his team at EA Redwood Shores deserve the best kind of acclaim for what they have done here. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, or, alternatively, cranking out a feeble clone of a popular game, they have instead created an original IP that takes everything good from all the best examples of the horror game archetype and forges them together in a cohesive, fun, and brilliantly polished whole.

Now that the backlog of material is cleared, we promise to get back to regularly writing about the wonderful ridiculous world of the gaming industry.


Mother 3 Fan Translation Finally Released

Posted by inpheaux on October 17th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Nearly three years after the game was announced, and about two and a half years since it was released in Japan, the translation patch for the sequel to Earthbound, Mother 3, has been released.

The team has the translation patch (and custom patchers for Windows/Mac/Linux) posted at their newly revamped website, along with a ton of other bonus goodies (like an incredibly detailed readme, which contains the full list of everything they had to do as part of the herculean task of translating this amazing game).

So go find yourself a rom and get playing!

Oh, and go Digg the hell out of their announcement, while you're at it.


Nintendo announces another “third pillar” – the DSi

Posted by inpheaux on October 2nd, 2008 at 2:14 am

Last week the Nikkei wire leaked out a report that Nintendo would be announcing a super-huge refresh to the DS on Thursday. Well, it's Thursday, so get ready to be underwhelmed.

The new thing is the "DSi". It's a DS Lite. But slightly smaller, and with slightly bigger screens. Also two cameras (one external, one internal). No more GBA slot, but it has an SD Card slot (SD? MicroSD? SDHC? It is a mystery.), and some unknown quantity of internal memory (512MB IS ENOUGH FOR ANYBODY).

Right now it seems like that's . . uh ... . . it.

There are a few bonus services planned to roll out for it. There'll be a wireless shop . . thing . . to buy . .. .. . things .. with magic Nintendo Electronic Fun-Bux. Exactly what these things will be is still pretty nebulous, but smart money's on it containing some sub-set of Virtual Console games. There's also going to be some manner of syncing capability between the DSi and the Wii Picture Channel that no one has ever used outside of a Nintendo press conference.

Whether or not Nintendo will be joining us over here in 2008 where we use modern wireless encryption schemes like WPA2 is yet to be seen. The Wii can do WPA/WPA2, so there's no reason I can see why they would choose to not update the WiFi capabilities of the DS at this point, but hey it's Nintendo.

We're also not totally certain at this point what the hell Nintendo is thinking by putting an SD card slot right on the device. I mean, I know it's ostensibly there for storing pictures. Ok, sure. But Nintendo has to know that it's going to be cracked wide open, meaning all they will have done is cut out the middle-men when it comes to flashcarts, since you'll removable storage in a standard format built-in.

The DSi is set to release in Japan in a month for about $180. We might see it stateside by December . . . or Nintendo might make us wait until 2009 because they can. Hopefully some of the lingering questions will be answered shortly.

Edit: Oh look, in the time it took me to write this, Nintendo got their official site up for the DSi. Nice big pictures of the device, looks like they added a third LED to split the WiFi and Power/Standby light. Also looks like they made the power switch back into a button.


Summer of Live Mini-Review Extravaganza

Posted by Metallian on September 30th, 2008 at 1:46 am

Hey dudes, I took a small break from my relentless achievement whoring and banged out a few reviews of some choice XBLA releases from August. Actually I wrote them a few weeks ago but then stuff like hurricanes happened, and then we were doin' stuff, and I'm pretty sure i got drunk a couple times, you know how it goes.

So hop on in to enjoy five tasty, bite-sized mini reviews of Braid, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Castle Crashers, Galaga Legions, and Geometry Wars Evolved 2.


Mother 3 Fan Translation Almost Seriously Really Close to Being Released (Maybe)

Posted by inpheaux on September 27th, 2008 at 1:14 am

After two and a half years of waiting, the guys over at the Mother 3 Fan Translation are reporting that all hacking is complete. That means that barring any super-bizarre bugs, the translation patch could be released soon.

You know, like, for reals. Finally.

They've posted a neat little video to Youtube showing that it does, in fact, really work, and looks slick as hell. Everything's translated, everything's super-polished, and it looks like it's the quality of a release a game like Mother 3 deserves.

So I guess now they just have to actually release the damn thing.


The Force Unleashed Demo Hits XBLA, PSN Soon to Follow

Posted by Metallian on August 21st, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Fulfilling my role as a nocturnal manchild, I lurked on Live marketplace until 0400 ET then downloaded the hell out of The Force Unleashed demo. Here are my completely scientific findings. Basically the thing plays like God of (Star) War(s) and feels completely different than every SW game ever, in that your only goal is to trash stuff as violently as possible.

PROS:

-Really over-the-top, in a good way. The Apprentice's powers are wackily strong to begin with so it plays like Star Wars as directed by John Woo or something. Lots of explosions and crushing deaths.

-The Lightsaber combat is very arcadey and not at all like Jedi Outcast from what I can tell, but it works well. The emphasis has really been switched to force powers, but there are several saber/force combos that are really fun and actually Make Sense.

-For the first time, they got doors right. Why would a jedi trek halfway across a military installation to find a key to a locked door? Screw that, just blow the door open with blunt Force trauma (damn, that was clever. props to me).

-Stuff shown in the old trailers is acutally doable. Push them, zap them, toss an explosive at them before they notice it. Or just pick them up and mess with them a little.

-Looks really nice and while the framerate is not rock solid, it keeps up.

-Some really clever gimmicks to take out big enemies. As long as they keep it varied and don't use the same few in the full game it's going to be heavily amusing.

-Difficulty is really good. You don't feel like a wimpy little girl with a lightsaber starting out, but if you get sloppy and let yourself get heavily outnumbered you get get in trouble quick.

-Controls are good, you can control gripped objects in every axis and toss them wherever, and pretty much every damn button on the controller is mapped to a different way to kill a guy.

LESS PRO:

-Camera is pretty lame.

-A really strong emphasis on throwing stuff at people meant there was simply TOO MUCH loose junk sitting around in the environments. Hope this was just for the demo.

-Quick Timer Events for enemy fatalities. Thanks God of War.

-No dismemberment to speak of. I can throw a guy half a kilometer into a bulkhead and into a void but I can't lop his arm off? Come on now.

-Blocking is pretty weak, and should be on a bumper instead of a trigger for something so time-sensitive, hopefully this will be upgradeable and remappable.

TOTALLY NOT PRO:

-Why could Soulcalibur IV spring for James Earl Jones, but this game that features Vader as a main character, can't? Impersonator is just Bad.

IN SUMMARY, the demo was not without flaws, but very impressive and has actually excited me enough to want to buy this. I can't remember the last time that happened. As long as the full version keeps it up, it should be a hoot. It feels like this is a game that the developer wanted to make and is proud of. Which doesn't happen enough anymore.

If you've got XBL Gold, go get it now. PSN comes later today, and it will eventually show up on XBL silver if you're one of Those Guys.


Inevitable GTA IV PC Release Dated – 18 NOV 2008

Posted by inpheaux on August 6th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

In an announcement no one saw coming, Take 2 and Rockstar announced today that Grand Theft Auto IV will be gracing PCs this fall, on November 18th.

No comments on if - similar to the GTA:SA PC release - we'll see some of the more annoying aspects of the game fixed up, but hey, at least we know you won't have to worry about your Rock Band controller freezing the game on boot. At the very least, if the game is anywhere near as moddable as its previous-generation predecessors, someone should be able to release a "make the cars all stop handling like ass" patch and a "make your cahzin stop bugging you every 15 minutes" patch.

Not quite the October some people were predicting, but well, here they are, right about on schedule with a PC release about 6-7 months after consoles.


Stuff you don’t care about: August Edition

Posted by inpheaux on August 1st, 2008 at 2:29 am

I finally got off my ass and upgraded us to WordPress 2.6. Go me. It looks and works exactly the same for you, but it's ridiculously different for us.

As soon as the nice people over at Punbb release 1.3 we'll be upgrading to that too . . after I spend a few days bashing my head against a wall to force our lovely cross-posting plugin to work again.


E3 2008 – Nintendo Press Conference

Posted by inpheaux on July 15th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Nintendo's offering was pretty disappointing. Let's get this out of the way:

Animal Crossing - City Folk

  • Platform - Wii
  • Release - Later this year
  • Looks and plays like previous installments
  • Send text messages to friends or the message board with the usual mail system.
  • Makes use of the new Wii Speak peripheral, which isn't a headset but a room microphone.

Wii Sports Resort

  • Full sequel to Wii Sports, includes the Wii MotionPlus.
  • MotionPlus is a new Wiimote plug-in (with pass-through for the nunchuck) which brings even more precise motion control to the Wii, specifically advanced positional and rotational data.
  • Beach-resort themed, features tons of new minigames. Three were shown off:
  • Disc Dog - Frisbee mini-game. With a dog. Sorta like darts.
  • Jetski - Hold the Wiimote & nunchuck like handlebars, twist rapidly to accelerate like real throttle controls
  • Swordfighting - Like boxing, but with SWORDS. Controls look really tight.
  • Launches next spring

Wii Music

  • Makes you look like a complete spaz in BRAND NEW WAYS.
  • Far more laid-back than Guitar Hero or Rockband, you just sorta do whatever you want vaguely in time and something resembling music happens.
  • It has a cowbell. COWBELL HERO LIVES.
  • Unfortunately, it looks like it would only be enjoyable if you're really young or really drunk.
  • Launches later this year

Miscellaneous Wii Games

  • Shawn White Snowboarding - It is what it says, relies on the Balance Board for primary input. Fall/Winter 2008.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Looks great for a Wii game, will probably give us the proper Wiimote Lightsaber control we've always wanted, even moreso than The Force Unleashed. Winter 2008.
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party - Yet another Rabbids party game, now with Balance Board input. You have one of those, right?
  • Call of Duty: World at War - Coop war stuff, P1 uses the zapper, P2 helps out with the Wiimote

Miscellaneous DS Games

  • Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades - Yes, we're getting a sequel this early. No we don't know much about it, but it'll be compatible with the current version and you'll be able to trade songs back and forth.
  • Spore Creatures - Stripped-down Spore is still coming, it's got a reworked creature creator and an analog to the early portion of the full game. The ability to trade critters with your friends is still in, just with the usual hoops you'll have to jump through for a DS game.
  • Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia - Sequel to 2006's Pokemon Ranger. Like most Pokemon games, it's like those which precede it directly, with some minor upgrades and more things to enslave. Out on 10 NOV 2008.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown - We have no idea what this will be. Top-down old-school GTA? Third-person new-school GTA? It is a mystery. Later this year.
  • Cooking Navi - IT'S A COOKBOOK. A COOKBOOOOOOOOOOOK.

No Megaton, Nintendo? Nothing from Square Enix's remake-machine? No real new hardware? No Mother 3? No retooled less-lame online system? For shame.




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