Let The E3 Leaks Begin

This Tuesday all eyes in the Video Gaming world turn to Los Angeles for the E3 Expo. This years the leaks have started just a days ahead of the big show, typical right.

First up the PSP Go… Sony’s new hand held system with a slide away controls, rumours of Bluetooth and SD memory slot. Expect more at E3 from Sony, check some additional photo’s from Eurogamer.

Is this the end of UDM?

Next up is the new Square Enix title, NIER. Play as a man on a mission to save his Daughter from the Black Scrawl Virus. Slide on over to the NIER site and check out the Trailer and screen shots.

Also rumours of a re-released version of Final Fantasy VII (My favourite of all the FF series – and potentially the most popular of all the series) will be headed to the PS3 and the PSP. WOOT!

Mass Effect Galaxy on your iphone. Bioware released new details just a few days before E3… Providing filler in the time between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 this title will introduce you to two new characters to that will also be in ME2.

Take on the roll of Jacob Taylor, another Eden Prime survivor, and lead the charge and protect the galaxy.

What are you looking forward to from E3: – What are you predictions for the show? Or maybe you have more leak information you want to share? Leave us a comment with the details.

Impressions: EA Sports Active

The fine folks over at EA have set me up with a copy of EA Active and after spending a few days with it, it’s now time to start my 30 Day challenge and do my review for those of you still on the fence.

For $64.99 CDN, you get the game, a resistance band, and leg strap for the Wii-Chuck. The game, and I say “game” very hesitantly, because this title makes no mistake about it – It’s an exercise tool. I’m an extremely critical person of the Wii Fit for a variety of reasons. Mainly how often you have to stop what your doing in order to find the next exercise which in my opinion is a huge pain in the… and how the it doesn’t actually set out any predetermined routines. Active has addressed all of my gripes in droves.

There’s a wide variety of exercises and difficulties to choose from and perform which helps to keep your body and workouts fun and challenging as you continue on your quest. Not only do they give you predetermined exercise routines, they allow you to make your own and you just don’t feel like you’ve been taken out of the groove by having to press the A button 3+ times as you move onto the next exercise. Then to round all those irritations I felt from Wii Fit, there’s another option that gives you the ability to keep a daily journal of foods eaten and other activities then it generates some nice little charts to very nicely update you on your progress.

The game will tell you if they’re happy with your form or if you need to pick it up some. This is exactly what everyone needs from a real personal trainer and this is what EA gives you. Nicely done!

With all this praise Active isn’t without a few problems. The 2 most important issues I felt that users would want is the ability to use the Wii-Board to weigh themselves accurately and the inability to properly document calories burned when using a heftier resistance band. The resistance band is relatively weak for many so I do suggest that users invest an additional $20+ on something that’s a little more challenging.

Something I’m looking forward to is the upcoming 30 Day challenge and participating in the forums with other users to keep track of their progress and continue to challenge and support them.

While EA Sports Active isn’t perfect, it is a damn fine tool for those of you who want to loose a few pounds and from what I’ve seen and done, it’s the best option out there as far as the gaming exercise genre goes.

Watch for my full review at the end of my 30 day challenge and keep coming back to follow my progress as I’ll be making sure to keep you up to date.

Six More Greatest Hits Coming to Canada

Fresh news from Sony Canada…

Starting June 16, Sony will be adding six new titles to their greatest hits collection.

A number of big hitters here too:

  • Army of Two (Electronic Arts)
  • Battlefield: Bad Company (Electronic Arts)
  • Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)
  • Gran Turismo® 5 Prologue (Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Konami)
  • Ratchet & Clank® Future: Tools of Destruction (Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • I’d recomend picking up any of these titles, at $29.99 CDN MSRP, you can’t go wrong.

    Fight Night Round 4 Demo Available

    Let’s get ready to ruuuuumbllllllleee!!!

    For those of you who have been eagerly and impatiently awaiting the arrival of Fight Night Round 4, can now get your fix while you wait for June 30th when the final build expects to release. The demo has hit Xbox Live, with the PSN demo coming June 4th. In the Demo, you get to take control of either Manny Pacquiao or Ricky Hatton. I’m a big fan of the Fight Night series and hope that the time they took away from the spotligh tcan address some of the issues of Round 3.

    Click here for more info

    THQ – Wants You to be the Biggest Loser


    In what seems to be one of the fastest growing gaming genres around, THQ announced this morning that they’ve teamed up with the trainers from the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser”, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels to bring you a personalized nutrition and workout program for the Nintendo Wii and DS.

    The game pits users in 4, 8 and 12 week programs against previous contestants of the TV show in a series of structured routines to find out just who is the biggest loser. “The Biggest Loser” drops into retail stores this fall.

    Click here for the full press release

    AGOURA HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May. 28, 2009– THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) today announced that The Biggest Loser interactive health and fitness video game is currently in development exclusively for Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ and is scheduled for release this fall. The Biggest Loser video game is based on the highly rated NBC television show and will feature the expertise of trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels who will provide comprehensive workouts and nutrition goals to help players transform their lives through diet and exercise. The video game will also include Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser TV show. The Biggest Loser video game is being developed and released through a license agreement with NBC Universal Television, DVD, Music and Consumer Products Group and Reveille LLC.

    THQ: Homefront to be Unveiled at E3

    THQ’s Homefront to be unveiled at E3 2009

    A First Person Shooter from internal developer Kaos Studios. Set ten years after the economic collapse of the United States and follows the American Civilian Resistance as they fight to reclaim their homeland from an oppressive North Korean occupation [Scary considering the current news from North Korea at the moment].

    The story line is written by John Milius, you may know him from a couple small war moves as Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn, so look out for this title to impress.

    Homefront is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. Homefront will be unveiled at E3 2009 in THQ’s booth – number 5300 in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    About Homefront
    The year is 2027. The world has suffered a decade-long energy crisis, and economies have crumbled. Reduced to a mere shadow of the super power it once was, the United States became the target of a North Korean takeover. American malls, suburbs and city streets are now battlegrounds as the civilian resistance fights for freedom. Featuring a compelling single player story crafted by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn), Homefront immerses gamers in an interactive and cinematic FPS experience where they will assume an infantry role or take command of a wide variety of aerial and ground vehicles. In addition to the single-player experience, Homefront will deliver a robust multiplayer experience. In a land stripped of freedom, the brave will fight for their home.

    Appetizers – May 26, 2009

    Welcome to a new segment called Appetizers. We know that all you Feeders out there are looking for the latest and coolest information and this is where you’re going to get it. In a day such as today where all kinds of news and information drops, we’ll provide you with a brief synopsis of what’s gone down.

    Just a few short days away from gaming news Christmas, today was a busy day for the folks over at Take 2 Interactive and it looks like Kojima is finally nearing the official announcement of his much discussed “next project”

    New GTA 4 DLC Coming
    Today Take 2 announced 2nd DLC installment for GTA 4 in the form of “The Ballad of Gay Tony”. ” In “The Ballad of Gay Tony” players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price. The Ballad of Gay Tony” comes to Xbox Live and will also be available on Disc for the Xbox 360 this fall.

    Click here for the Press Release

    BioShock 2 gets an Official Release Date
    Fans of Bioshock no longer need to speculate on the release of the highly anticipated Bioshock 2 – The Cult of Rapture. The official Bioshock 2 website states that the game drops October 30th internationally and November 3rd here in North America on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. I never played Bioshock but I will. This summer…I swear.

    Click here to visit the official Bioshock 2 site

    Red Dead Redemption and Mafia 2 Delayed

    Take 2 further made headlines today as they announced that Red Dead Redemption and Mafia 2 would slip to the companies 1st half of the companies fiscal year which puts the release somewhere between November 2009 – April 2010. In a phone statement to investors, Take-Two CEO Ben Feder said “We have a pretty firm policy at Take-Two about [not releasing a game] before its time. If the development cycle requires more time,we’re highly dedicated to quality. We’ll give it the time it needs. … We simply just wanted to make sure that [we] had the right level of gravitas behind the games. We know that Christmas is a competitive season, but most of what’s driving all of this is making sure the game is developed in the right quality and in the right way.

    Konami and Kojima 1 Teaser Site Reveals More

    For about 2 weeks now a small mystery has been all the talk on the net. A Konami teaser site has been teasing us all with images of what looked to be a new Metal Gear game with a countdown clock that continually gets reset and reveals little to us viewers.

    Last night another countdown reset and started again but with a minor addition – Now we’re treated to an image of a young Snake/Big Boss (? – Who can keep track?) looking very serious in his beret – Further to that point, the latest issue of Famitsu has an interview with Kojima who gives very little information but does confirm it will take place in the Metal Gear Universe.

    Click here to check out the teaser site

    Review: GTA Chinatown Wars

    Platform: Nintendo DS

    The DS has far too few rated M titles. GTA: Chinatown Wars is heaven sent. Extremely addictive playing style that any fan of the series, and non fans will, could and should love. You play the nephew of the current Chinese mafia boss in you’re particular part of town. Something to do with turf wars, etc. I think. I didn’t pay much attention to the detail in plot more so than just wanting to play and wreak havoc in Liberty City. I believe there’s some familial heirloom that was stolen and needs to be recovered for the family name and underground biz to go on proper.

    I’ve played this for a few weeks now and can’t get enough. The graphics and animation are smooth and above avg for a DS game. In fact you’ll find yourself having to remind yourself that in fact this heavy hitter is in fact operating on DS hardware, its that impressive with little to no load times. Sound and audio are crisp and hilarious at times (citizens and their obscenities to your actions..gotta love it). Gameplay is very addictive and the missions more like mini games within the man storyline. You still have the option to take fairs in taxis and all the other side jobs you’d expect from a GTA title. Rockstar did not skimp on any of the details. Some cool things to note for example: if you carjack a vehicle..you’re in no problem…if you simply steal a parked car from a lot or anywhere you’ll need to 1st “start” it a number of different ways (its all random which the game will choose – crossing wires, code breaker, etc. in which you’ll use the stylus and touchscreen); also, now being able to find weapons in dumpsters, priceless!

    In short, great title. Rockstar surprised me with this one. If you are a DS owner and have been waiting for a something a tad more mature yet not too heavy, this is for you! I’ve even seen it on sale some weeks for only 20 bucks, a steal! GTA fans, its a must have, trust me. Worth buying a DS or DSi for…you betcha!

    Pros

    * Everything
    * Wifi gaming option that open up many new possibilities

    Cons

    * Driving controls takes some getting use to, but waaaay better than previous console editions
    * That it’s not the ‘cop gone bad’ scenario game GTA fans are all waiting for

    Feed Your Console gives GTA: Chinatown Wars: 9 out of 10

    Developer: Rockstar

    Review: Rhythm Heaven

    Rhythm Heaven (DS – Reviewed)

    Editors Note: Not being rhythmically inclined I enlisted the help of my significant other (HulaGirl) to assist in this review.

    Rhythm Heaven is the latest in interactive portable music gaming, offering numerous mini games and remixes for your audio pleasure. Gameplay is simple to learn yet hard to master; a tap here, a flick there and your off… Yeah right! Offering catchy, upbeat tunes and addictive game play, players will find themselves on cloud nine.

    As I began playing I quickly leaned timing and musical aptitude would be key to success. I also found out I’d be competing for time with this title. Within 5 minutes of turning on the DS, I heard – “Ohhh! What’s that?!” from HulaGirl, the casual gamer in the family, and off she went – tap, tap, tap, flick – she was immediately addicted to playing these catchy and interactive games, so I coerced her into providing me feedback in to this review. Truthfully, I wondered for a few moments if I would be investing in a second DS for the household. Fortunately I was able to wrestle the system and the game back quickly, but it looks like I’ll be investing in a personal copy of Rhythm Heaven for the household.

    While cartoon like in appearance you’ll find the mini-game characters simply drawn yet cute and expressive. From the Ninja dog to the dancing frogs and clapping monkeys, you’ll find that the character actions and reactions are timed to the tap, hold and flick interactions with the touch screen. On stage characters are not out to hide their displeasure and will often show your their true feelings based on your (poor) tapping performance.

    Fun and campy tunes provide the needed back beats for the various mini-games. These easy to follow tempos form the bases of your tapping, holding and flicking interactions. Timing your actions is the key to finding the the right notes and actions during gameplay, often times playing without looking will result in greater success for players as the visuals can offer distractions and you will lose the cadence.

    Pros:

    * Cute interactive characters and gameplay
    * Fun catchy tunes
    * Lots of Mini-game variations

    Cons:

    * Hard for the Rhythmically challenged

    Our favourite Mini-games:

    HulaGirl: Glee Club, Moai Doo-wop, DJ School
    MVERN78: Ninja Dog, Crop Stomp, Karate Man

    Feed Your Console gives Rhythm Heaven: 8.5 out of 10

    Developer: Nintendo
    Publisher: Nintendo

    Special thanks to Nintendo Canada for supplying us with the review copy.

    Review: MadWorld

    Platform: Wii (reviewed)
    Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger before he was the Governator? Back when he was the Running Man… How about a time before Mickey Rouke was putting it down in the Wrestling ring, as ex-con in Sin City known as Mavr? Mix in a healthy dose of Bruce Campbell’s chainsaw toting character ‘Ash’ from the Evil Dead series. Then imaging your in the the A-Ha’s “Take on Me” video. Mash all of these things together and you’ll find Sega’s MadWorld.

    A black and white world with the occasional yellow and red accents… No wait make that LOTS of RED BLOODY accents. Take on the role of Jack, a new contender for the title of DeathWatch Champion, however Jack has another secret and an ulterior motives for joining the game. Comic fans will love the visuals and the in game dialogue cells, that feature Jack’s discussions with his Agent and other in game charterers to provide storyline information and guidance.

    Make your way through the various game areas and complete the gruesome Bloodbath challenges (my favourite has to be the first you come across, The Turbinator – toss as many baddies as you can into the giant airplane turbine, get bonus points for multiple targets being pureed). Simple controls make this a game anyone can pickup (it is a Wii game after all). Move, jump and lock-on to enemies with your Nanchuck remote and control the attacks with Wii-mote – Punch, grab and CHAINSAW.

    In the beginning your average street enemy is not that smart – they even line up for you from time to time and wait their turn as you kick their buddies ass – but after you move out of Varrigan City (the first set of levels) they smarten up and start dodging your punches and counter attacking. Boss fights give you the chance to block and counter their special attacks, via a series of hand shaking gestures, and a special hand movement (depending on the boss) to do some major damage.

    DeathWatch commentators follow along with your progress providing a often times laugh out loud background track filled with colourful anecdotes and stories from their own long over fighting carers. Language and gory details about evisceration and disembowelment are abundant and to detailed to repeat here…

    Scoring is based on your ability to inflict cumulative suffering on your enemies, ring them with a tire to pin their arms to their side, then shove a street post into the head only to finish them off will the Rose bush (a spiked wall) that finds you repeatedly pounding their body against it – only to leave them hanging. Ram an exploding bottle or fireworks down an enemies throat or pick them up and deposit them in a burning barrel… the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and the tools at hand (maybe it was your hand that was ripping out their still beating heart). Fights can get to be a little repetitive over time resulting in the same sequence of attacks to maximize points from each enemy you tackle; tire, sign, rosebush… tire, sign, rosebush… so remember to use your imagination and the tools at hand.

    Two player mode finds you interacting with a partner in the Bloodbath challenges taking on two type of enemies and fighting to see who scores higher – beware killing the wrong kind of enemies can score points for your partner. This mode would have been better placed as a one v. one split screen where players are facing off against each other for bragging rights and supremacy over your friends. Even two player co-op would have worked for this game – offering more enemies and double the blood.

    Pros:

    * Gruesome storyline with more gore then a Tarantino film
    * Amusing commentators in single player mode
    * Great use of the Film noir cinematic

    Cons:

    * Multiplayer limited to only in level Challenges – no vs. or co-op modes
    * Multiplayer commentating gets old fast and is highly repetitive
    * Game play can became repetitive as environmental weapons and tools are no needed to progress

    Feed Your Console gives MadWorld: 8 out of 10

    Publisher: Sega
    Developer: Platinum Games