Review: Your Shape

Your Shape

Jenny McCarthy makes her way on to the Nintendo Wii with Your Shape, another fitness game for the ever growing fitness genre on the Wii. The box features the game and a USB Ubisoft branded webcam. That’s right there is no Wii mote needed or any other extra peripheral. Simply plug-in the camera into one of the USB slots located on the back of the Nintendo Wii, pop in the game and you’re ready to start.

First and foremost I need talk about the USB camera. It’s white, small and features a stand that will expand to provide a very stable environment which allows me to place it on top of my LCD television and it looks very stylish.  Living in an apartment the lighting is not the greatest during cold Canadian winters, so my shape on the screen was dark. The game still seemed to track my moment but with the camera being such an integral part of the game maybe a higher end camera would have been in order or should I invest in better lighting?

The game starts by having Jenny McCarthy your own personal trainer take you through setting up for profile where it asks basic information such height and weight. Don’t worry ladies you can password protect your profile to keep everyone from knowing your weight. Everyone in the house could also have their own profile. Once this has been completed you’ll be asked to pose in a few positions so the game can input a digital representation of your body on screen for you to track your progress.  Once this is done you’ll be asked to complete a fitness evaluation that will give you a grade and that will tell you how fit you are. Based on this evaluation the game will create a workout schedule for you.

My grade was a “B” and I was told by our host Jenny that I needed to workout 5 days a week in order to get fitter.  I selected to do my workouts in quick 20 minute intervals so I could do this before I went to work.  The game works by Jenny doing an exercise on screen and you are suppose to mimic the same moves properly and correctly and if you do not, she will tell you that you are not doing it correctly and tell you to go watch a tutorial video. I didn’t like this, I would have had her tell me in my work out how do the exercise rather than taking me out of the experience. Half of the time I had no clue what these exercises were yet a lone how to do them.  As I explained earlier there are issues with the camera picking up my movements. Because of this I got told I needed to improve constantly. When the camera picks up your movements correctly and you’re working out, I had some fun, my legs were sore and I felt some burn. The sound track in Your Shape is really up beat and motivational for workouts and it really does help you get through the final sets when you’re tired. There are a ton of exercises available in the game including Yoga, Running, walking  and there are special challenges available for gender specific work outs like active mom, bikini ready and new year’s resolution.

All in all this was a decent attempt at another fitness game on the Nintendo Wii console. The deficiencies  with the USB camera not being that good, not being available to select your whole body to workout at once, and the fact the game takes me out of my workout to teach me exercises which it shouldn’t and most importantly this really isn’t designed for a male to use. With that said stick with the Wii Fit Series.

Pros:

  • You can add your own workout equipment to the game
  • Personal Trainer whenever you want
  • Upbeat sound track

Cons:

  • USB Camera
  • Game relies too much on having the optimal setup, not every family has that
  • Bad Tutorials
  • Not Designed for Males

Feed Your Console gives Your Shape: 6.5 out of 10

Developer: Ubisoft

Boxing Day 2009 Game Deals

As promised Red Flag Deals has the Boxing Day flyers early and they are ready to start starting them. Lets not delay…

First up is the Future Shop flyer (originally scheduled for release – 12:01AM Dec 23). Gaming deals include an Xbox 360 20GB arcade for $179 and these other system deals:

FS_BDFlyer

Game deals include:

  • Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360) – $19.99
  • Fable II (Xbox 360)- $19.99
  • Halo 3 (Xbox 360)- @19.99
  • Dragon Age Origins (Xbox 360)- $39.99
  • Assassins Creed (Xbox 360/PS3)- $14.99
  • Street Fighter IV (Ps3) – $19.99
  • Prince Of Persia (Xbox 360/PS3) – $14.99
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3) – $19.99

Best Buy is also up (again scheduled for release 12:01AM Dec 23). Gaming Deals as follows:

Systems:

  • PS3 (w/ Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in time and Little Big Planet: GOTY) – $299.99
  • Wii (w/ sport, nanchuck and remote) – $179.99
  • Xbox 360 (Elite Holiday bundle w/ Lego Batman and Pure) – $239.99

$39.99 each:

  • Assassins Creed II (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Dragon Age Origins (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Batman Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • UFC Undisputed (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Need For Speed: Shift (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Brutal Legend (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Wii Sports Resort (wii)

$29.99 Each:

  • Call of Duty 4 (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Tekken 6 (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Avatar (Xbox 360/PS3/Wii)
  • Sims 3 (PC)
  • Need For Speed: Nitro (Wii)

$19.99

  • Gears of war 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
  • Fable 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Fight Night Round 4 (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • NHL 2K10 (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Hawx (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
  • Spore (PC)

$14.99 each:

  • Afro Samurai (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • MadWorld (Wii)

Last up is the EBGames Flyer (in French but we can all read the prices easy enough):

December 26 Only

  • Wii Music – $29.99
  • Terminator Salvation (Xbox 360) – $9.99
  • Castlevania Judgment (Wii) – $9.99
  • Haze (PS3) – $9.99

Dec 26 > Dec 31

  • Afro Samurai (xbox 360) – $9.99
  • Brutal Legend (PS3) – $44.99
  • Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) – $44.99
  • Dead Space Extraction (Wii) – $34.99
  • Gears of War 2 (xbox 360) – $19.99
  • Guitar Hero 5 (Xbox 360) – $54.99
  • MadWorld (Wii) – $19.99
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) – $29.99
  • Sing It High School Musical 3 (Wii) – $14.99
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up (wii) – $9.99
  • Tekken 6 (PS3) – $39.99
  • World of Warcraft Battle Chest – $29.99
  • Wii Play with Wii Remote (Wii) – $49.99

2009 Annual Awards

Every year, the guys here at Feed Your Console log hours of game-time, writing time and research because we love it. This year in particular was tough on some of us to stay focused because it seemed that every week another new game was hitting shelves that at least one of us was frothing at the mouth to play. Last night we got together in a trusty Xbox Live party to discuss our annual awards list. After much yelling, crying, name calling and choke holds; we made our decisions. While not everyone was overjoyed with the decisions, we all can agree that these were hard decisions to make. Without further ado, I present to you our Annual Awards List

Game of The Year:

Uncharted 2 (PS3) – Honestly, if you’ve never played it – You just don’t know what you’re missing. This is what sells consoles.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): Assassins Creed 2, Borderlands, Modern Warfare 2 and Batman Arkham Asylum

Console MVP:

PS3 – How can this not go to Sony? The PS3 was an unstoppable force this year Kill Zone 2, Uncharted 2, the sexy Slim PS3 and the console sweet spot for pricing. Sony has alot to be happy about with 2009 in the books – Here’s looking ahead to 2010. Keep it up Sony

Best Shooter:

Modern Warfare 2 – Was hands down the best shooter to come out in 09. Great graphics, sound, story and online modes is keeping people coming back for more – Just look at anyone’s friends list and you’ll see how many people are still playing this game.
Honorable Mention: Kill Zone 2

Best Sports Game:

NHL 10 – This was a tough decision but ultimately, NHL won out with it’s great online modes and new defensive gameplay. If UFC had made the online modes easier to navigate – this could have been a different story.
Honorable Mention: UFC 2009: Undisputed

Best Fighting Game:

Street Fighter 4 – instant classic made new.

Best Casual Game:

1 vs. 100 – I’m not a fan of casual games – I hate them but something about this game has me tuning in on a fairly consistent basis. It’s a great deal of fun for everyone.

Best Downloadable Game – Xbox:

Shadow Complex – The reviews say it all and it was was hard argue with Slayer. He was passionately arguing for this title and singing the praises.

Best Downloadable Game – PS3:

Fat Princess – Flakes was jacked for this game. He may have even sold me on it.

Best RPG:

Demon’s Souls – This was another tough decision since I’ve yet to play it (Please Santa!!) but it’s high on my list of priorities and the other guys just loved it.
Honorable Mentions: Dragon Age: Origins, Borderlands

Best Handheld Game:

Scribblenauts – Innovative and fun, this game just screams play me!

Best Action Adventure:

Uncharted 2 – hard decision but I think that Uncharted kept us in longer with the online play, which, is something that AC2 was missing.
Honorable Mention: Assassins Creed 2

Best Graphics:

Batman: Arkham Asylum – This was a topic of heavy debate and even some tears were shed, but, the art direction is beautifully done game on all fronts. Dark and gritty and beautiful (Helloooooooooo Harley).
Honorable Mention: Uncharted 2, Assassins Creed 2

Best PC Game:

Left 4 Dead 2 – Addictive online modes and the mod community – Need I say more?

Best Sound Production:

Uncharted 2 -Ambient sounds, impeccable voice acting, like the commercial says “It’s just like a movie”

Best Original Score:

Halo 3: ODST – The Music in this game is simply amazing. It paces the action and you just find can’t help but find yourself humming along while killing the covenant.

Best Exclusive Titles on Each System:

Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox, PC) Uncharted 2 (PS3) New Super Mario Bros (Wii)

Best DLC:

Fallout 3: Broken Steel – Broken Steel took the end of the game and thrust us back into the wastelands to assist in an all out war that advanced the story in a big way. This was an easy win
Honorable Mention: GTA4 – The Ballad of Gay Tony

Worst Game:

WET – Don’t get me wrong WET was a decent game with some decent ideas that were in some cases rushed or poorly executed. Here’s hoping that the little game that could have been a AAA title gets a sequel that takes it to that level. While I don’t personally agree with this the group consensus was to give WET the title Worst Game of the year.

Worst Graphics:

Eat Lead – Nuff said.

Worst DLC:

Mass Effect – Pinnacle Station – Felt like it came out with little fanfare and was merely pushed out to get the game’s name back into the spotlight while gearing up to pepper us with new Mass Effect 2 info

Biggest Surprise:

DJ Hero – Not my pick cause I just can’t see myself playing this nor do I want/need another peripheral in my theater but I said that about RockBand/Guitar Hero. The boys all think I’d love it.
Honorable Mention: Borderlands

Biggest Letdown:

Left 4 Dead DLC – Xbox users being charged for it where the PC players got it for free coupled with the broken promise that Valve made regarding support for this title.
Honorable Mention: Forza 3

EA SPORTS MMA First Video

EA SPORTS MMA logo

Are you a fan of Mixed Martial Arts? Then do I have some good news for you… EA is coming out fighting with this latest release in their MMA Series.

Check this in game video of Brett Rogers facing off against the champ Fedor Emelianenko.

Watch the Motion Capture session on YouTube for fighter Cung Le MoCap. For the record I would not want to be the guy holding that kicking bag.  The Full list of fighters announced at this time is available here.

Could this be the contender to take down THQ’s UFC Undisputed?

November NPD’s

It’s my favorite time of the month, NPD time. As expected Modern Warfare 2 sold a ton of copies, PS3 and 360 combined over 6 million units. I was very surprised to see Dragon Age Origins crack the top ten, congrats Bioware

PlayStation 2 203.1K
PlayStation 3 710.4K
PSP 293.9K
Xbox 360 819.5K
Wii 1.26M
Nintendo DS 1.70M

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 (360) 4.20M units sold
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 (PS3) 1.87M units sold
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII 1.39M units sold
ASSASSIN’S CREED II (360) 794.7K units sold
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 (360) 744.0K units sold
WII SPORTS RESORT 720.2K units sold
WII FIT PLUS 679.0K units sold
ASSASSIN’S CREED II (PS3) 448.4K units sold
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS (360) 362.1K units sold
MARIO KART W/ WHEEL 315.0K units sold

Left 4 Dead meets Left 4 Dead 2

Slated for an “Early 2010″ release, the 1st piece of DLC called ‘The Passing” is set to bridge the gap between L4D and L4D2 on PCs and Xbox 360s. While you won’t be able to play as the original survivors (yet?) the new protagonists will meet them in what is being called “The most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story”. Further to that, the new campaign will also introduce us to a new uncommon common zombie, melee weapons, a gun (or 2?) and new playable areas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge modes.

Sadly, no pricing information was available but I sure hope that PC users don’t get a free ride again like the last time.

Zenimax Acquires Rights to Publish Rage from id Software

Just got an email from the fine folks over at Bethesda. Seems that they’re acquired the rights to publish an in development game from id Software called Rage. Seems that this has been taken from EA.  The graphics look effin’ sweet based on the teaser trailer and it seems to have a bit of a fallout 3/Borderlands feel to it. I’m not too familiar with this title but will look into it further.

Read on for the full Press Release.
Click here for the teaser site

December 15, 2009 (Rockville, MD) – ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of id Software, announced today that it has picked up the publishing rights for RAGE™, the video game under development at id Software.
 
RAGE will be published by Bethesda Softworks, another ZeniMax subsidiary. As a result, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) will not be involved in the sales and marketing of RAGE. The ongoing development of RAGE is unaffected by this development.
 
About ZeniMax Media Inc.
ZeniMax Media is a preeminent media organization which has brought together a team of world class game developers, artists and designers, programmers, producers, and leading executives and talent from traditional media.  ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, the PC, and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Vir2L Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., and ZeniMax Online Studios. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.
 
About Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a premier developer and worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles from two of the world’s top development studios – Bethesda Game Studios and id Software – are featured under the Bethesda Softworks label and include such blockbuster franchises as DOOM®, QUAKE®, The Elder Scrolls®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein™  and RAGE™.  For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com
About id Software
Founded in 1991, id Software has provided technical, design and artistic leadership as an independent game developer and technology innovator.  id Software’s iconic brands such as Wolfenstein, DOOM, QUAKE and Enemy Territory have become staples of popular culture for generations of gamers.  More information on id Software can be found at www.idsoftware.com. id Software, Wolfenstein, DOOM, QUAKE, RAGE and Enemy Territory and related logos are registered trademarks owned by ZeniMax Media Inc.
 
Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, ZeniMax, The Elder Scrolls and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.  Fallout is a trademark or registered trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC. in the U.S. and/or other countries.   id, DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, RAGE and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by ZeniMax Media Inc.    All Rights Reserved.

Review: Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin's Creed 2

Fans of Assassin’s Creed have been patiently waiting for over two years to join Desmond and return to the Animus.  Picking up right where Assassin’s Creed left us, trapped in a room by the Knight Templar scientist your quickly brought in to new series of intrigues and deception. In walks Lucy, not seen since mid adventure in Assassin’s Creed, and your adventures begins.

Desmond is introduced to the Animus 2.0 and a new team of research assistants… There is where we meet Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young Italian nobleman, the latest of Desmond’s ancestors. A man trying to do the right thing, but unwittingly is forced into the life of the assassin to avenge the wrongs done to his family. It assist in this Ezio looks to his uncle for direction, a man that ultimately puts Ezio on the path of the Assassin. Ezio’s Mother and Sister will also be around for you to interact with, living at the family estate and offering assistance when you take the time to visit.

Making several key upgrades to the game play have taken care of the repetitive investigations and beat up missions that plagued AC. No longer do you need to complete these side quests in order to advance your missions. Also the addition of Assassin history side quests brings a nice challenge to players and a fantastic reward – I highly recommend you do all of these quests as soon as they are made available to you the reward is worth it! With a great storyline your going to find that this is a game your not going to want to turn off.

Also introduced into AC2 you will find a number of economic features including the ability to purchase new weapons, armour and upgrades for Ezio from local blacksmiths. You will also find Doctors (health no longer regenerates), Painting shops (with Treasure Maps) and Tailors (for a quick outfit change). Taking the time to upgrade the town at your family villa will have long time rewards and added benefits later in the game – take the time to do this. The ideas of pickpocketing the local populous and looting your targets have been improved and NPCs will actually make a fuss when you pull a few coins from their purse, raising your notoriety and increasing the interests from the local guards. Lowering your notoriety can also bee accomplished in several different manors, understanding these and taking advantage of them will help you blend back into the crowd.

Assassin's Creed 2

Armed with new weapons (swords, knives, daggers and some little tricks to surprise your targets and the guards chasing you) your going to have to make use of all the available tools you have at your disposal. Where the game has some issues resolves in the speed running across building tops, Ezio has the same random jumping problem that Altair was prone to – dropping from building tops at random or unexpected intervals. Major improvements however resolve to the fact that Ezio can; swim, jump to higher ledges and has a number of secret tricks up his sleeves for the unsuspecting if your willing to spend the dough to learn them.

The graphics have also been vastly improved over the first game, adding in new Animus level transitions, taller buildings and better environmental effects your going to feel like your truly running all over 14th century Italy. Cut scenes and animated sequences are well scripted and the voice acting is fantastic.

Assassin's Creed 2

Don’t worry Altair fans – your noting going to be complete without him in this story line, Desmond and Lucy will talk often of him and you might actually catch a glimpse of him during your game play.

Pros:

  • Fantastic storyline, voice acting and visual upgrades
  • Economic elements are worth every penny
  • Weapon and armour variety
  • Upgradeable skills
  • Assassin history side missions are fantastic
  • Special combat skills can be purchased

Cons:

  • Free Running issues are still a bit unruly

Feed Your Console gives Assassin’s Creed II: 9.5 out of 10

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Review: James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game (no spoilers revealed)

James Cameron's Avatar Cover

Movie tie-in games of late have been on par IMHO this year. From Origins: Wolverine, Up, to even the not-that-bad TF: Revenge of the Fallen. Ubisoft’s Avatar was no exception. In fact I think out of the lot of them and may others its the first tie in that warrants it’s $60 price tag. At it’s core Avatar is a 3rd person shooter on juice!

I have to say this, on first glance the game is simply breathtaking visually. At first boot up you get to choose your RDA’s likeness (RDA aka space marine). Every ethnic group is represented and you get a choice of male of female with at least two variations for each. Nice touch as the characters really do look good. With each choice you get so see what your Avatar will look like.

James Cameron's Avatar

You start off landing on Pandora, sent there because you have the 1 in a billion perfect match DNA to test the Avatar program and further infiltrate the Na’vi village. Again, from the minute the game actually starts an you get to free roam, you’ll instantly feel the controls are tight! You’ll be tempted to look around – you can, but at some point your crew will remind you over com of your objective. Not bad, and I didn’t find it too annoying. Just take the time every now and then to simply look up and around. Someone really did well making Pandora look incredible. Everything from the foliage, to the wildlife, which there is plenty of moves and acts as it should. In short, great physics engine was used here. The colors, oh the colors..eye orgies rule! Play in HD.

Sound in surround immerses you entirely, leaving you feeling like you really ARE a part of Pandora’s world. Again, this is a shooter so you want such things like gunfire and destruction to sound..well..real. It does!! The best part, your weapons as you acquire news ones (which you do fairly quickly) all have unique playability. A flamethrower, nail gun..you almost wish this was James Cameron’s Aliens and you were in a space ship way yonder with this arsenal. Maybe some day..just maybe..Oh, my point was when you use these bad boys each sound like the real thing and feel so too as some weapons when used rattle your controller. You can quick equip up to 4 weapons.

James Cameron's Avatar

Gameplay. Though free roaming you are given different mini tasks it felt like to get you pumped to play more and most of all go see the movie. It’s linear BUT, not s much so where you can’t get to the next tasks starting point in a number of ways. Some missions have you switching into your Avatar. Some even have yo choosing which side you’ll fight on, the humans or the Na’vi. This part of the game caught me by surprised and it actually made me sit and thing for a few minutes at that point in the game who’s side I was on. Not bad. I won’t reveal my choice as gameplay changes depending on it aka spoiler. Let’s just say, it was a good twist.

To give up anymore info may spoil it for you at this point, especially with the movie’s release just around the corner. I’ll say this with just my first sit down, I played this game for a good 5 hours before I even realized it. Good stuff and worth every penny IMHO. Yes I would recommend it, so feed your appetite for a good action 3rd person shooter in a very NEW world and feed your console with something HOT. This game was reviewed based on the PS3 version.

Pros:

  • Good immersive flow instantly makes you feel like you didn’t just waste 60 beans.
  • Generous XP upgrade system.
  • The Nail Gun & Air Support raid options.
  • Ammo stations a-plenty
  • Play as both Human and Avatar and actually enjoying it!

Cons:

  • Subtitles that don’t give me the option to turn them off.
  • Targeting when in battle could’ve been improved, however in it’s defence it does lead to a more heart pounding experience each time.

Feed Your Console gives James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game an 8.5 out of 10

Ubisoft Toronto Can haz a Home

Today Derek Lebrero, Ubisoft Toronto’s Employee #1, announced the New home of the Toronto Studio.

Ubisoft will be making Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-Junction (I didn’t name it that the City did) officially their new Toronto home. Welcome to the city – can’t wait to visit.

Ubisoft Toronto

More photos of the location