Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC

Left 4 Dead 2 has been kind of a sore spot and the topic of much debate for many gamers this year. The original game sold in abundance but it left some gamers feeling like something was missing… And they were right, out of the 4 campaigns the game had; only 2 of them were available in the 4 on 4 versus mode. No one really bitched thought because valve promised they were working hard on releasing the rest of the levels. When they hit Xbox Live and Steam, L4D was back in everyone’s system trays – Then came word that there would be another smaller campaign coming to Steam and Live users but the people on the PC were getting their update for free while Xbox users were required to pay for it. When the announcement hit that there would be a fully priced sequel, plenty griped that they were feeling ripped off and that it should be offered as nothing more than a downloadable update at DLC pricing. I can’t say who is right or wrong in this matter as I can see both sides of the coin, I can say that what was broken with the original has been, by and large, fixed with the sequel.

This is a damn fine sequel in my opinion. They’ve kept the core of the game that was so much fun and added/expanded upon it with a variety of new things. For starters, we have a whole new set of survivors (thought I do miss Zoe) in a completely new setting. New Orleans – The land of beads, booze and boobs. From the main streets of downtown New Orleans to the back swamps right to a carnival, each level will keep you guessing as you traverse them trying to stay alive. These levels really turn up the heat on you – Especially Hard Rain.

With the new survivors come new ammunition, melee and ranged weapons in the form of Baseball bats, frying pans and Police batons just to name a few but also an AK-47 and incendiary/exploding ammo. These additions are welcome news to survivors because the zombies have some new special infected members as well – The Charger, Spitter and Jockey all make it harder to finish alive. On a side note, seems we also got a new form of zombie that only appears when playing online – I like to call it “The Lag Monster”.

Further to all this new stuff, we get a new mode called Scavenge which is RIDICULOUSLY fun. The basic premise has the player in the role of the survivors as they try and gather up as many gas canisters and fill up a tank. As the Zombies, you’re tasked with preventing them from making it out alive.

One thing to note that has been a monumental pain in the ass – THE LAG MONSTER. We’re all running into the Lag Monster. Some know what it is and some don’t understand it, we all hate it though. About half the games I’ve played have ended due to the Lag Monster. I really hope that Valve can correct this because it’s horribly annoying and will no doubt drive gamers away.

As a big fan of the original, I love this game – I really can’t say much more than that. If you loved the 1st one, and you don’t have this game yet, you’re really missing out. My only wish is the graphics were a little more up to date and we could do more than 4 on 4 versus. Did I mention the Lag Monster has to go?

Pros:

  • New weapons and ammo
  • New Modes
  • New Zombies
  • Level Design

Cons:

  • Time to pony up on the servers – The Lag Monster has to go!
  • Graphics are showing their age

Feed Your console gives Left 4 Dead 2 a 8.5 out of 10

Developer/Publisher: Valve Corporation
Distribution: EA (Xbox), Steam (PC)

* Images thanks to EA

Free Uncharted 2 Map

Seems that Naughty Dog doesn’t want you American folk celebrating Thanksgiving today to work off that extra large weight or pumpkin pie this weekend. Official word has hit that the 1st bit of DLC is coming to a PS3 near you in the form of a new multiplayer map called “The Fort” and the best part about it? IT’S FREE!!!!

The Fort is based on a level from the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and it comes with online Leaderboards. Plus – When you log on this weekend, we’re going to see that some of our favorite characters have induldged a little too much this Thanksgiving and it’s a double cash bonus weekend.

Looks like Left 4 Dead 2 is going to get a rest. I’ll be doin it up Uncharted style.

DLC: Clothing from the Vault

Josh, our resident Fallout nut, is going to LOVE this… Today Bethesda announced the upcoming release of Clothing from the Vault for your Avatar (pictured above). Available on November 26th you’ll be able to dress in your favourite Fallout outfit from the vault suit, to Bethesda Studio ware and a full Vault boy outfit with avatar mask.

  • Vault 101 Suit – 240 MS Points
  • Bethesda Game Studios Shirt — 80 MS Points
  • Fallout 3 Ringer Shirt – 80 MS Points
  • Vault Boy Shirt — 80 MS Points
  • Vault Boy Suit — 240 MS Points (Male Avatar only)
  • Vault Boy Head — 80 MS Points

* Image thanks to Bethesda

The Feed Bag: ODST Contest

We are giving away an unopened copy of Halo 3: ODST (Read our review), a limited edition Halo 3: ODST launch party T-shirt and a DLC code for the famous Sargent Major Johnson.

So you already have Halo 3: ODST? Enter to win for a friend – have someone to play Halo 3: ODST with or maybe give it as a gift for your friend or relative – enter now.

HOW TO ENTER:

1 – Tweet this and follow us (@feedyourconsole) “ODST Reporting for Duty Sir! Now where’s my stuff @feedyourconsole #FeedBag – RT to enter”
  – Canada only, QC excluded

2 – Subscribe to our email newsletter, top right side of the page under “Hungry for more?”
  – We don’t spam, sell, rent or trade your address and we use a CAPTCHA and a confirmation email to validate your email, valid subscribers after today’s date will be eligible.

3 – Send us an email with the subject “ODST Reporting for Duty Sir!” to enter (hint click the link)

* only 1 entry per method above allowed (3 entries total per individual)

RULES:
1 – Valid only in Canada, Quebec excluded
2 – No Purchase necessary, approximate retail value $90 Canadian
3 – Winners will be chosen at random, up to three entries per individual – One entry per method described in our “How to Enter”.
4 – Contest runs from Posting Date until 11/31/2009, prize will be delivered within 3-4 weeks of contest closing.
5 – Chances to win will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
6 – Winner will need to supply proper shipping address and phone number to receive the prize. Failure to respond to winning notification in a reasonable time (3 days) may result in forfeiting the prize resulting in an alternative winner.

Review: Romance of the Three Kingdoms Touch

Romance of the Three Kingdoms Touch on iPhone is a new game by Koei that falls in line similarly with the other Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. It is a turn based strategy game that is simple in graphics and other visuals but heavy on strategy and statistics/attributes. Fans of the Romance Series will find familiar faces along the way and of course the same popular enemies. Read bios and individual character stats simplified for the lighter mobile platform while enjoying the intrigue and alliance balancing of ancient China.

The goal, of course, is to become the most powerful ruler in China and overtake your opponents in a very in-depth game of chess. You must build your food, army and abilities while fending off floods, earthquakes, plagues and of course enemy attacks (though your computer enemies tend to be pretty friendly until they are attacked). Attack to soon and you will be defeated and attack to late and your opponent may be to powerful.

The music and sound effects were simplistic but sounded well designed to play on the iPhone, along with a simplified user interface this game seems well thought out and designed with the limitations of mobile gaming on the iPhone kept in mind.

The pros: This is the perfect game for those times when you are waiting at the Dr or for a meeting to begin. It is captivating and keeps your attention. I really enjoy playing this game though I have to admit I have a lot to learn as it really is a science and one false move early in the game can really cause you headaches later in the game.

The cons: The cons I could find in the game are fairly small and trivial but I thought I would mention them to be fair. First the tutorial can be a bit campy and long winded. A lot of joking back and forth between two brothers, one who is explaining the game and one who thinks he knows everything. Second, once you begin playing you find out quickly that there is a lot to keep up with to be successful so it can be a bit daunting at first. Lastly the touchscreen can be a bit jumpy and I noticed that my big fingers selecting things I had not intended to (this may be more of an iPhone issue than something Koei did).

This is definitely a recommend title for your collection of iPhone games, especially if turn based strategy is your thing. You will find lots of replay value and a different scenario waiting for you each and every time.

Feed Your Console gives Romance of the Three Kingdoms Touch: 8 out of 10.

* Review code for iPhone supplied by Koei

Review: Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs

Take your Forkamajigger and stick it in the overstuffed Ravioli over there… or maybe you need to melt that Ice cream sandwich wall with your Hot Enougher… Or better yet – see those Gummy Bears over there? Show them who’s boss with your Chopper-er. Really confused yet? Yeah, I was a bit confused when I first heard the names of all these weapons too.

This adaptation of the movie is one of the few that actually works and works well. Flint and Steve the Monkey (playable in multi-player) are racing to stop the out-of-control FLDSMDFR (Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator) that threatens to destroy Swallow Falls. Use the Bugacious Pow, the Upsucker Plus, along with the other outrageously named weapons to melt, dice and bash your way through a mountain of food.

Controls are easy enough to manipulate and pick up, game play has definitely been simplified for all age ranges. Relying heavily on the triggers and bumpers to manage the gadgets and only a single button for jumping – the most casual of gamers should be able to pick this up and enjoy.

Visually this game is very cartoon-ish, and a bit of a throw back to the last generation. With the CGI in the movie, I would have liked to see that translate a little more to the game. However, cut scenes are well thought out and the voice acting is right on par with the movie. The issue I have here is that with every gadget change, Flint reminds you what it’s called… How many times do I need to know I selected the Upsucker plus?

The comedic value of the game comes from the names of Flint’s inventions, the locations you’ll visit and the food you end up battling during the course of your adventures… Spaghetti Tornadoes, Roasted Chickens, Angry Gummy Bears and Seed Spitting Fruit to name a few.

The story line puts you in a number of different situations where you’re assisting the residence of Swallow Falls – from rescuing Cal from giant pools of chili and ice cream snowman, to canning sardines for for Officer Devereaux and climbing the jelly mountain to assist Sam the reporter.

Just thinking about this game makes me hungry… Ice cream snowman… drool…

Pros:

  • Funny and easy to play
  • Two player support with Steve the monkey
  • A movie tie in that doesn’t suck

Cons:

  • Repetitive sound effects for gadget changes
  • Graphics are a bit last Gen.

Feed Your Console gives Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs: 7 out of 10

Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai
Publisher: Ubisoft

Sony Offers up Social Networking

Today Sony has stepped up their online efforts and released an update that integrates the popular social networking site Facebook in their 1st phase of new features to further enhance and the online experience of Playstation users. Looks like I’ll be going home tonight to mess around. Full report forthcoming.

Todays Big Releases

AHHHH!!! What a time for my Xbox to crap the bed. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Left 4 Dead 2 hit shelves today. You can expect a full review just as soon as I get a new system (seriously – this is just killing me…).

Further to that, here are todays Big releases:

  • Left 4 Dead 2 – PC, Xbox 360
  • LittleBigPlanet PSP Edition – PSP
  • Assassins Creed 2 – Xbox, PS3 (PC shipping Q1 2010)
  • Assassins Creed 2: Discovery – Nintendo DS
  • Assassins Creed: Bloodlines – PSP
  • New Super Mario bros – Nintendo Wii
  • EA Sports Active: More Workouts – Nintendo Wii
  • Tony Hawk: Ride
  • Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles – Nintendo Wii
  • Scene-it?: Bright Lights Big Screen – Xbox 360

PlayStation Holiday Event

EDITORS NOTE: As we were getting ready to move to our new host I found this post in drafts that should have gone live Oct 8th – two days after the event. So here it is now – better late them never – sorry for the delay.

Sony did it up this year providing a very cool space for their Holiday event downtown Toronto.

Showcasing the hottest of titles, many PS Exclusives, for the upcoming season including*;

  • Army of Two: 40th day (EA)
  • Lego Rock Band (WB/MTV)
  • Tekken 6, and Katamari Forever (Namco Bandai)
  • Assassins Creed 2 and Avatar (Ubisoft)
  • Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time (Insomniac Games)
  • Tony Hawk and DJ Hero (Activision)
  • ModNation Racers (United Front Games)
  • Heavy Rain and MAG (SCE)

Of all the games being shown I was most impressed with ModNation Racers – Surprised? Yeah me too… Total customization of tracks, features so easy to navigate even a 6 year old could do it, and the ability to share user created content – thus creating a never ending supply of gaming. I expect this feature to have more success than LBP’s level generator. Leader boards for all – not just fastest racers, but most levels created, most cars created… It’s designed to reward all levels of gamers – not just those that are the fastest.Lego Rock Band and Katamari Forever are both newer versions of older games – I’ll say this “they are both still very fun”. Lego Rock Band more for the cut scenes setting up your next show, hilarious and full of your expected Lego shenanigans. While Katamari Forever takes you back in to the world of the Price of the universe to roll up and collect the stars lost once again by the King.Assassins Creed 2 – Out Nov 17th – Looks absolutely amazing I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Avatar looked visually great, but I didn’t get a good chance to sit with it hands on, but some of those that did sounds like they were just not sold on the title… hummm.So many titles to talk about and I’m sure you’ll be hearing about them in next month or two as they are released. All in all a fantastic event and one that got my Holiday wish list filled to the brink.* Not a complete list