Review: Street Fighter IV

Platforms: xbox 360 (Reviewed), ps3

Finally, divine intervention has set in and the next installment of the Street Fighter franchise is here!! I have to admit, I have been watching this game in development for close to 2 years now, and I had very high expectations. Let me say this, this game is on FIRE! Hot. Hot. Hot. Capcom must have made a deal with the devil or something because there last few games of late and forthcoming seem just flawless and literally too good to be true (ex. Resident Evil 5, Dark Void, etc.).

Visually stunning. The intro runs maybe close to 5 minutes long and you don’t even notice because you’re just hypnotized and in disbelief that humans actually created this masterpiece (the alt’ being cylons of course)! Gameplay graphics stay true to the watercolor styling at some points we’ve seen in the promos, and at others times the characters can seem “blocky/polygonal” (think ol’ school Virtua Fighter) during character intros right before a match begins. Most of the characters when playing in Arcade mode have an additional animated mini movie clip before the match even starts. This mini clip sets up why your chosen fighter decided to enter the tournament. This was a pleasant surprise and fans of the SF anime movies will eat it up. It seems as if there will be a some other SF anime movie coming out soon separate than the one included in the collectors edition (for example, you’ll notice Abel’s movie clip is not taken from the dvd in the collector’s edition). All in all, when you look at the character designs, the new backgrounds, even the drawn in animated facial expressions as fighters get knocked around, I can’t fault this game at all on anything graphically.

It’s a fighting game. I personally don’t care too much if fighting games have plots or not, but I guess when playing through the Arcade mode it has to have “something” per character. As mentioned above, it appears each warrior was given a mini-clip of background story bringing them back to fight once more. I like it. Short, to the point, and I was able to turn off the subtitles (I loathe subtitles in games). It’s good enough, we’ll leave it at that.

Spot on controls. Somehow I found it difficult to perform certain basic moves like Ken’s fireball when they released the HD ReMix, but here with SFIV it seems the controls are a bit more forgiving. Hurricane kicks, no problem. Abel’s Ultra Super, piece of cake. In short, yes even if you were never able to pull off some of the special moves in other iterations of the SF series..you probably be able to here.

On the Average setting (in Arcade Mode), it’s pretty tough to beat some characters. I found the most frustrating to beat, C.Viper and Sagat. There were times I couldn’t even get one hit off these guys and I’m an experienced SF player. With that said, I’m going to go off on a limb here and say most likely I will never choose the Hard setting..for I have already flung my controller across the room just on the Average setting alone. So long the days of Chun Li being the cheese queen, the throne is now bestowed by Ms. Crimson Viper. Take your bow Ms. Viper, take_your_bow…

Sound wise, incredible…sometimes too loud, but depends on your surround system possibly [grin].

So far, this may be the only fault I find with this otherwise stellar game. In every attempt where I purposely try to find others to play with, I can’t. I’m constantly rejected due to a party being full or for some random reason where the reason given is rather vague. However, if I turn on the network mode..then try to play the regular Arcade mode, I’m constantly interrupted with requests!! Where were these people just a few minutes ago?!! I don’t particularly remember being able to reject a match during Arcade Network mode either. Weird, as it seems unbalanced in that sense to me.

Pros

  • Flawless gameplay and graphics.
  • Stays true to the Street Fighter legacy.
  • Love the new characters, it all fits.

Cons

  • Level of difficulty can be inconsistent at times which can lead utter frustration.
  • Online random match ups are hard to come by (in my opinion).

Feed Your Console gives Street Fighter IV: 9/10

Developer: Capcom
Genre: 2D, 3D Fighting
ESRB:Teen

Get Your Balls Moving With Obulis


A newly released PC version of IonFX’s award-winning mobile game, Obulis. An addicting puzzle type game perfect for the casual gamer. Obulis really kicks things up by complementing highly compelling gameplay with outstanding graphics, music and state of the art physics effects.

The goal of Obulis is move all of the coloured spheres into their like-coloured pots using only the the forces of gravity and physical interaction. Manipulating the playfield by cutting the chains and ropes holding the Obulis Spheres.

Featuring:

  • Over 150 Levels of gamepaly
  • Over a dozen interesting themes
  • Breathtaking Graphics and Music
  • Spectacular Physics and Special Effects


Stay tuned for our review of Obulis
Genre: Casual, Indie
Platform: Steam Network – PC
Developer: IonFX
Publisher:Meridian4
Release Date: 19 Mar 2009
Languages: English

SECA Announces 10 New Greatest Hits for PSP


Sony Entertainment announced today that a new selection of greatest hits titles will be available starting on April 5 for $19.99. The titles include titles like; Patapon™, for the casual player, and God of War®: Chains of Olympus, for the hardcore gamer. This variety of content sets the stage for what will be an impressive year for PSP software. Add this to the PSP lineup of more than 100 titles expected to launch in 2009 – including LittleBigPlanet™ and MotorStorm® – PSP fans have a lot to look forward to.

Here is the new PSP Greatest Hits Lineup:

  • Fight Night Round 3 (EA)
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus (SCEA)
  • Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (EA)
  • Mortal Kombat®: Unchained™ (Midway)
  • Patapon (SCEA)
  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Tactical Strike (SCEA)
  • Sonic Rivals 2 (Sega)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger (THQ)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter® 2 (Ubisoft®)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Vegas (Ubisoft®)

This is a fantastic line up of titles and I know I’ll be adding a number of these to my PSP wish list.

Larva Mortus now on Steam

Larva Mortus, the latest game release from Montreal publisher Meridian 4, is an action horror game that has you hunting the supernatural in an ominous and dark atmosphere full of the undead, and demonic nightmares.

In the top down shooter assume the role of “The Agent” as you travel through many action packed monster hunting missions. Larva Mortus offers fast and entertaining monster-hunting game play. A horrific atmosphere goes hand in hand with furious action packed splatter fest.

  • 30 frightening supernatural monsters to destroy. Vampires, werewolves, the undead, and more!
  • A dark and horrifying atmosphere with mysterious storyline quests!
  • A solid arsenal – varying from classic six shooters and shotguns to the fancy “Dynamo Gun”
  • Randomly generated missions for high replay value
  • Main character development through a set of RPG-like features
  • Many environments – from spooky manors and catacombs to dark forests and lonely deserts
  • An awesome dark orchestral music score


Stay tuned for our review of Larva Mortus

Genre: Action/Horror
Platform: Steam Network – PC
Studio: Rake In Grass
Publisher:Meridian4
Release Date: 19 Mar 2009

The Behemoth’s New “Game #3” Trailer


A super early version of our next game. No title has been determined at this time, or price point, or which console it will be on.
Thanks!
-Team Behemoth-

The Behemoth, developers of Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid, just released the video trailer for Game #3, a yet to be titled platformer that is actually still waiting on a platform(?). This early game footage shows what appears to be several different game types of game play options; a two person foot (wing?) race, a soccer type game and a co-operative beat the clock vertical maze.

As more details are made available on this title we will keep you updated.

See more videos from The Behemoth and follow them on Twitter.

Alpha Protocol Video Trailer

Alpha Protocol looks amazing, the Team behind this game at Obsidian Entertainment has really put a lot of work into this title.

Play as Michael Thorton, a government agent chosen to find and bring to justice the group responsible for an attack on a commercial airliner, by a high-tech U.S. defense missile, while flying over Eastern Europe. The modern-day conspiracy role playing game will allow for full character development from physical combat techniques, to weapon specialization, and the use of gadgets and spy toys. Alpha Protocol will also utilize an intelligent AI progression that will change agent Thornton’s interactions with other characters based on your progression and your in game choices.

Alpha Protocol will be on shelves this October!

Platform: Xbox 360®, PLAYSTATION®3, Windows-based PC
Published by: SEGA
Developer(s): Obsidian Entertainment
ESRB: RP (Rating Pending)

Killzone 2 ads pulled from bus shelters

The Toronto Star is reporting that Sony will pull down their KillZone 2 bus shelter displays at approximately 300 bus shelters around the city. These ads for the new first person shooter are coming down after Sony started to receive complaints about its violent images and depictions of war.

Davis Mirza emailed Sony Canada after seeing these ads located near the Scarborough school he teaches at. The grade 4/5 teacher told the Toronto Star “My kids, who come from a lot of different countries, who have to experience violence, who basically come here to seek shelter and safety, that’s the stuff they don’t need to see,”.

Kyle Moffatt, public relations specialist for Sony Computer Entertainment Canada, notified the Star that the first ads to be pulled were from the bus shelter located right near the school Mirza works for. This happened Tuesday shortly after Sony had received Mirza’s complaint.

More ads were removed after the local councilor from Regent Park had made similar comments to Sony. This resulted in the decision from Sony to end the entire Killzone 2 bus shelter campaign just a bit early. “They were coming down at the end of the week; we just asked them to speed up the process,” Moffat told the Star. Sony PlayStation will establish an off-limits radius around schools for advertising in an effort to prevent this issue from reoccurring.

Kudos to Sony for taking these steps and being sensitive to community concerns.

ZeniMax Studios Announces a Second Phase of Hiring

Some exciting news in a time that has been full of layoffs and studio closures. ZeniMax Media Inc owners of ZeniMax Online and Bethesda Softworks, makers of the best-selling, award-winning Elder Scrolls series and Fallout 3.

ZeniMax is looking to fill these positions in these areas:

Art
Programming
Design
QA
Administrative

From the official ZeniMax Online announcement: “We recently filled two critical new director-level positions,” says Matt Firor, president of ZeniMax Online Studios. “Steve Escalante and Rich Barham bring experience to marketing and customer service – two critical operations for our company. Their addition to the management team of industry vets exemplifies the quality hires we are striving to identify.”

“In an economy that has raised stability questions for people around the globe, it is a comfort to join the ZeniMax family with the support and financial backing they provide,” says Rich Barham. “The spirit, experience and passion of the team are compelling.”

About ZeniMax Online Studios
ZeniMax Online Studios, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a premier developer and worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software currently working on an unannounced MMOG title from its headquarters in Hunt Valley, MD. ZeniMax is a registered trademark or trademark of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or in other countries. For more information on ZeniMax Online Studios, visit http://www.zenimaxonline.com/.

Review: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Available on PS3 and Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Resident Evil is without a doubt one of the most storied franchises ever to grace the TV. It single-handedly re-launched the “Survival Horror” genre (Alone in the Dark series was the previous game du jour) with its moody atmosphere and feelings of uneasiness when opening the iconic doors not knowing what to expect around the next corner. From the first time I booted the original Resident Evil game and watched the cheesy Full Motion Video intro I was hooked and instantly drawn in.

In the last 13 years, Resident Evil has spanned across 19 games for various gaming platforms, 3 Live-action movies, and 2 CG animated films, comic books and even paperback novels. With that much media related to the Resident Evil brand it’s easy to see this is a winning series. Without divulging too much information to save you from any spoilers, I can say that Capcom might want to look at a bit of a shakeup. Even though there’s a lot of good to say about the game, there’s equally a lot of bad.

In 2005 the powers that be changed up the series to a great deal of critical acclaim. I for one wasn’t so optimistic and actually didn’t particularly like the game. It felt too much like a baby sitting mission having to contend with the president kidnapped daughter and I wasn’t too keen on the idea of a “parasite” infecting people with a level of mind control.

Resident Evil 5 looked to build on the critical successes of Resident Evil 4 and takes the series to a new locale in Africa. You take on the role of series Alum Chris Redfield and embark on the journey with his partner and newcomer Sheva Alomar, an AI or second player controlled character who’s both deadly with a gun and a damn fine looking woman. Her AI is well programmed a she always seemed to provide the right amount of cover fire, and healing when required. I never had to get angry with the game because of her or myself dying due to poor AI. Usually it was due to my own carelessness and not Sheva’s.

The game play is your basic Resident Evil fare. Aim, shoot, run, kill, survive with some minor puzzles tossed in. One of the new additions to the game is the timed action sequences. They don’t really add much to the game other than a small level of frustration when you don’t expect it and have to do it over again.

Another puzzling decision to the game was have the enemies melt away after you’ve killed them revealing either money, treasures or ammo. The treasures can be sold for money and the money can be used in a store to buy new items likes weapons, armor or even health spray. Seems like someone at Capcom was a fan of Metal Gear Solid 4s Drebin? Ammo isn’t in complete abundance, but there’s enough around to keep you relatively well armed right to the end
The graphics are spectacular. From the dusty dry towns to the wetlands and everything in between is painstakingly realistic. This truly was a labor of love on the parts of the games artists. The music and sound is what you would come to expect from the Resident Evile series. It’s moody and adds a level of intensity to the game

While I can say that I really enjoyed this game, something was missing for me. After much consideration, my best explanation is that Resident Evil 5, while it is a very good game, just didn’t feel like Resident Evil to me. The game is too bright during the day, the bad guys aren’t creepy and I just wasn’t scared once during this game. What hooked me into the series were the mass zombie hordes coming after me, the lack of ammo, the claustrophobia of the locales and the overall feeling that something was lurking around the next corner waiting to dismember me.

This is a great game, I’m just having a lot of trouble thinking about it as a Resident Evil game.

Next time: Scare us. It’s what brings us back time and time again to this series.

Pros

– Graphics and Sound
– Story – Multiplayer
– Sheva’s AI

Cons

– Strange gameplay decisions (Enemies melt into items, can’t walk with a weapons drawn at the ready state)
– Just doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game
– No real scary moments

Feed Your Console gives Resident Evil 5: 7.5 out of 10

Review: 3 on 3 NHL Arcade

3 on 3 Hockey Arcade
3 on 3 NHL Arcade
Available on PSN $9.99 or Xbox Live! 800MS points (Xbox 360 version reviewed)

As a big NHL fan (Go Sens!), I was a little more than mildly interested in this game when it was announced and immediately tried the demo and purchased it after just 3 quick games. The game features over the top arcade NHL type action with huge hits, fast game play, power-ups and 40 of the league’s top players.

The game starts off with you picking 2 forwards, 1 defenseman and a goalie then thrusts you into the action right from the drop of the puck. The controls are simple enough for a casual gamer using just the old school button pressing controls to the more controlled scheme those familiar with real NHL series using the analog stick. You gain access to a variety of power-ups by performing bone crushing hits and they range from rocket skates to a giant sized goalie.

Bored of playing the computer? Just jump online and get some users from around the world in on the action and play in some ranked matches.

The game might be too simple for some who are used to the dizzying array of options presented in the NHL series but it provides a cure to a rainy spring day itch. With any luck, there will be a sequel allowing online 3 on 3 leagues with more venues and even more crazy power-ups. Maybe this could be included for free with NHL 2010 and available online to the non NHL purchasers for a nominal fee? What do you think EA?

As my first real casual game purchase, I’m not disappointed. I’ve had a lot of fun trash talking my friends on Live! and beating them down while doing it. If a quickie game of outlandish hockey is something you might enjoy, this is a good one for you.

Pros:

– Fast gameplay
– Crazy power-ups
– Accessible controls tailor to everyone’s tastes

Cons:

– No online leagues
– Needs more power-ups and venues

Feed Your Console gives 3 on 3 NHL Arcade: 9 out of 10