Telltale Games: The Walking Dead Season 2 Review (Xbox 360)

I’m a zombie fanatic. A complete junkie – I collect all kinds of things Zombie releated from the Afterlife with Archie comics (YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT)I have some memorabilia from The Walking Dead TV Show I have autographs from Andrew Lincoln, John Bernthal and Sara Wayne Callies – I even have a limited edition Comic Con Exclusive issue #1 reprint signed by both Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. So suffice to say – I love me some Zombies.

I absolutely adored Telltale Games: The Walking Dead Season 1 and was left breathless and saddened at how it ended. The moment Season 2 was released immediately bought the season pass and this weekend – I was once again saddened at the end. As a game – it’s pretty basic. As a story – it’s outstanding and that’s what keeps me coming back. No spoilers here folks just a quick overview.

The gameplay mechanics haven’t changed really at all with perhaps a few more QTEs peppered through out some of the more action oriented scenes. For all intents and purposes, this is really just an interactive movie/TV show broken up into 5 episodes which all take somewhere to the tune of about 2hrs per episode to complete.

This season sees us in control of Clementine shortly after the events of Season 1.  Across Season 2 – Clem meets new and old friends and the player is tasked with helping her make some extremely difficult dialog/decisions. The adults bicker like children and poor Clem has to not only be the voice of reason and maturity but the errand girl too. She and her merry band of survivors travel North to a place believed to be a place of sanctuary called “Wellington”. Rife with walkers, looters and all around bad people, the journey is not a safe or easy one.

The Walking Dead Season 2 was full of choices and some of them were absolutely gut wrenching all of which led to my final major decision for this season. A decision that actually took me a few tries to figure out before accepting what I ultimately must do. It left me wanting to know what happens next like any good series does.

I give The Walking Dead Season 2 an 8 out of 10

Nike+ Kinect Training

This just in – Xbox and Nike have released a preview video of the new Nike+ Kinect Training. Taking training at home to a new level with a personalized training experience built from the ground up with inspiration from Nike trainers and the Kinect for Xbox 360.

The Nike+ team up with Kinect expands on the already popular Nike+ program used by athletes all over the world, combining the Nike+ fuel program and the kinect experience to give you one up on your friends at your next appearance on the court, the track or just working out at the gym.

The video clip has extended gameplay footage that further demonstrates how “Nike+ Kinect Training” assesses your fitness level and gets you fit through challenges, partner workouts and a customized program.

Coming this holiday season.

Hot News From Xbox

xbox 360
There sure has been a lot of Xbox news lately so lets get caught up in one big post…

Kinect Sells 1 million units in just 10 days!!

Microsoft says they are on pace to sell 5 Million by the end of the year! For those of you that have the Kinect – Tell us your thoughts we want to know what your thoughts are – Read ours Hardware Review for Kinect.

Alan Wake heads to Games on Demand for Xbox (worldwide – except Japan)

Next week (Nov. 23) the psychological thriller from the team at Remedy Entertainment will be available exclusively on Xbox LIVE for download at the cost of 2400 Microsoft Points. The Games on Demand version is available for all Xbox Members (Silver and Gold) members and requires 6.3 GB of space. While your downloading Alan Wake grab the “The Signal” and “The Writer” add-ons for 560 Microsoft Points each. Read our Review of Alan Wake.

Crackdown 2 is getting DLC (560 Microsoft Points)

The “Deluge” adds a number of new MP experiences from Capture the Flag to the Crackdown version of Hoard mode. Offereing up two versios of the Deluge player can pick between:

  • The trial version of the Game Add-on includes the complete 16-player Capture the Orb mode, which introduces a “Crackdown” twist to capture the flag, as well as a single player, sample version of the Deluge cooperative mode.
  • The premium version consists of all “Deluge Pack” content including the complete Deluge co-op mode, new Achievements, avatar awards, as well as the 16-player Capture the Orb mode for 560 Microsoft Points.

Hardware Review: Kinect

Nintendo ushered in the use of motion gaming taking the world by storm surprising everyone in the gaming industry. Who knew that users would actually be ok with simplistic controls waving their hands around and standing to play a game? Someone at Big N did and that made the other 2 big hitters take notice too. Originally known as “Project Natal” and later renamed “Kinect” was first displayed at E3 in 2009 showing off its ability to track the human form in 3D using an infrared mapping camera, voice activated and motion controls all without the need for a conventional controller.

I was immediately impressed by what I saw in Lionhead’s “Milo” tech demo and even speculated that it could be early technology test that would be used by a later iteration of the Fable franchise (I still stand by this idea). As time moved along, I remained interested in the technology behind Kinect and as luck would have it, a friend of mine began working on a game slated for release on the Xbox that would be a Kinect title. His impressions were less than favorable making me nervous. He told me that the sensor was experienced a serious lag between what the user was doing and what the screen showed and that if so much as a cat or dog walked by, Kinect would choke up or cause issues.

I hoped that this was just because of the early nature of the system and then word came that Kinect would no longer house its own processor to map and would instead use the 360 Xenon chip. Once again, I felt somewhat letdown and was really beginning to question if I would even bother.

When the system launched 2 weeks ago, I still wasn’t sure if I’d purchase Kinect. At $149 just for the Kinect and the basic new console with 4Gb of HDD is $199, it seemed a little steep especially since I’ve recently experienced an RRoD on my console signifying that I would soon be looking to replace my system YET AGAIN(this will make it #6 or is it 7? I forget). I have to admit that I was too compelled by the futuristic concept of Kinect and spoke with my wife (another gamer) about what we should do and together we decided to jump in.

With my daughter in bed, I unpacked it and plugged it into my system allowing it to perform the necessary software install which requires 190MB of space and we launched the Kinect Tuner where it calibrates itself based on noise volume in the room and the size/shape of the environment. Once that was done, which, only took about 10 minutes; I was off to the races…errr Adventures with the bundled software Kinect Adventures (review on that to follow).

I actually found the lag my friend spoke of and that I had heard about didn’t seem to be as prevalent as I was led to believe. Perhaps it was my playing environment or the technology received an update to address the issues? Whatever the case may be, I found the whole experience to be rather enjoyable. Sadly the games available at launch were less than stellar and more geared towards people who want to work out with their Kinect or play the casual title much akin to all most software available for the Wii.

We don’t even know what hardcore gamers can look forward to as of yet but I’m confident that more core games are in the works. It’s easy to see that the future with this peripheral, if utilized correctly, is quite bright. I can imagine playing something like Call of Duty with a squad of commandos following behind me and reacting to my silent hand gestures to flank the enemy or flush them out from cover. Even knowing that Kinect has facial detection technology, I imagine that Fable 4 will somehow use this for NPC interactions. Very cool technology indeed. The future is here, the only thing we can hope for is that they use this technology the right way.

Pros:

  • Controller-less menu interaction
  • Voice activated control
  • The potential for some truly innovative experiences
  • Incredible technology – Look at the environment with through a camera with Night vision (Very cool)

Cons:

  • Price point of $149 is too high ($99 would have been the sweet spot)
  • Lackluster launch lineup (nothing to appeal to hardcore gamers)

Super Street Fighter IV: The Review

you should buy this

Capcom’s offering a 1-2 punch this Spring with several top notch titles like Lost Planet 2 and the recent release of Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. Caught in the middle of the flux enters Super Street Fighter IV. One game any true street fighter fan has been pacing, waiting for since it’s originally scheduled release date earlier this year. Thirty-Five characters in total rocks the house, most of all unlocked from the start. Back in are some favorites like Cody & Guy (Final Fight compadres), Dee-Jay, T-Hawk and heck even Sakura. There are some new characters as well like Juri who is a much welcome addition to the mix.

Compare to last years SFIV, you’ll notice a certain polish to the game added. It feels smoother and not as hard to “win”. The new characters to the game all look freshly drawn compared to those in the previous game, given the older crowd an almost dated choppy look believe it or not. All and all, its still a gorgeous looking game. New locations that are so animate..you almost forget to fight because your cracking up at what someone (or animal) is doing in the background.

The controls are your basic SF type, and stay true to it’s nature. Having SSF on 360, and now this on PS3, it’s clear the game is better played on a PS3 simply because of the easy of the controller layout. If you’re a duo system owner..you know what I’m saying. I’ve never had more issues getting a fireball out then when using a 360 controller!! Anyway, Capcom decided to shake things up by allowing you to know choose between 2 Ultra Combos. A good move. Who doesn’t like options?

Let’s move on over to the improved multiplayer experience. You can still play arcade mode with the option to be challenged at anytime. The lobby has been improved thankfully, with a  quicker match up time and a way to pair yourself up to those with stronger connections. Heck, if you’re one who likes to watch, you can do that too! Soooooo many game modes, you cannot possibly get bored with an internet connection. For existence, there’s “Endless Battle” mode..Winner plays down a list of people. As you win you g to the next person..and that loser goes to the bottom of the list. It will just keep cycling..endlessly <grin>. There’s team battle modes, and then on top of that a slew of “channels” where you can watch others battles uploaded or manage your own. HOTNESS. And all this for only $40?!! For any fighter fan..it’s a gotta have. YES, even if you already have SFIV. It’s that PACKED with worthy new content. Any saved costumes and certain data you may have from SFIV is ported over and accessible for your characters. Nice move Cap’s. Keep up the good work!

Pros:

  • $40 price tag for a game that shouldn’t be considered a re-release because is sooo much better than SFIV.
  • Some Alpha fighters are finally back.
  • Save al costumes and colors are ported over for those who have SFIV saved data (same console for both titles naturally)
  • Controls seem tighter. Easier to get combos out.

Cons:

  • Where’s Alex?!!! With him this game would’ve been 100% complete.
  • Gone are the animated shorts, but instead swapped in are stills with spoken dialogue. I’m still puzzled at why this was done.
  • The fighting sticks are twice the price of the game?!!! Really?

Feed Your Console gives Super Street Fighter IV: 9 out of 10.

Halo: Reach Limited & Legendary Editions

Just release by Microsoft the release information for the upcoming Bungi title Halo: Reach. Offering up three different version to tempt your wallet. If the items below don’t grab your attention check out the video from Bungi to get you drooling.

“Halo: Reach” Standard Edition $69.99 CDN

  • Game disc and Manual

“Halo: Reach” Limited Edition $89.99 CDN
In addition to the game disc and manual, the Limited edition includes:

  • Game disc housed in recovered ONI ”black box”
  • An exclusive Elite armor set for use in multiplayer modes
  • Artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents and effects that unravel long held secrets from the “Halo” universe

“Halo: Reach” Legendary Edition $149.99 CDN
The complete “Halo: Reach” collection. In addition to the game disc, manual, and the complete contents of the Limited edition, the Legendary edition includes:

  • Noble Team statue expertly crafted by the artisans at McFarlane Toys. Individually molded, hand-painted and individually numbered, this statue is a must-have for any serious “Halo” fan
  • UNSC-themed custom packaging
  • An exclusive multiplayer Spartan armor effect

If these bundles don’t see you on the game then catch the latest Halo: Reach ViDoc, from Bungi, that discusses the Public Beta and the return and improvement of some old weapons, new maps and the relationship between single player story and multi-player maps.

Don’t forget The Beta Drops May 3rd and you need a Beta code (available in Halo 3: ODST) to get in on the action.

* Photo thanks to @JRivait (a definite must follow on twitter)

Review: Left 4 Dead 2 – The Passing

As many of you Feeders know, I’ve been itching to get more content added to this game as it’s something I play for many hours a week and the current batch of levels were getting to me. After delays and much teasing by Valve, this morning brought to us the latest DLC for the franchise titled: The Passing.

As we all know, The Passing was to feature 3 of the 4 dead survivors from the original game and they sort of “pass the torch” to the new folks. I won’t give away who the dead survivor is; you’ll all find out soon enough.

Along with the 3 new levels, comes some new weapons, a new game type, a new uncommon infected survivor who drops items, new game director and a crap load of zombies.

The levels are fun and rather confusing when you 1st get in there. They all feature some of the wide open terrains as well as the confined quarters which can make any hallway into an early coffin. I mentioned the new game director too. The game director changes up the level to a small degree by closing or opening some locations forcing you to take alternate routes. Director also changes the amount of zombies in the level as well as the level of Special infected that are controlled by the AI – Yes there are now computer controlled special infected in VS modes. It really does even out the playing field alot.

They’ve also created a new mode called “Mutations” which is an augmented game type that changes week by week. This weeks Mutation is a Realism VS Mode which is insanely fun to play. Next week they’ll be posting a new variation called Bleed Out…I’m not too sure what that’s all about but I have a pretty good idea.

560 MS points gets you the DLC on Xbox and the PC users once again get it all for free which sucks but it it what it is. I’m pretty excited for my usual gang to get online so I can whoop some ass tonight – Feel like playing a game with me? Drop me a line cause I’m always up for meeting new L4D gamers (in case you weren’t sure – Kaneda Gallon is my Gamertag).

All in all I would say that if you’re a fan of the series then you must own this DLC. See you all in the Big Easy cause that’s where I’ll be the rest of the day.

Feed your Console gives Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing 9 out of 10

***Update***
For those of you stuck at work, why not check out the promotional video recently posted to get you in the mood. It’s quite funny though, maybe a lil spoilerific as it shows you 1 of the original survivors who isn’t dead.


Fable 3: Behold Albion’s New Hero

Today Lionshead studios release a screenshot of the new hero set to invade our Xbox in the near future. Could we be on our way to the high seas perhaps? An update posted to their Facebook fan page also revealed a few other small tidbits.

“In the last couple of weeks our Fable III game has changed immensely; graphics have been upgraded, new features have been fine-tuned and lots of new voices, clothes and weapons – and more – went in. One of our testers took a screenshots last week that is well worth sharing! Hope you all like it…”

I enjoyed Fable 1 just fine but it was far from the best RPG ever created, I really liked Fable 2 but still felt it was missing something…I literally had no idea I was on the final boss until it was over, so I’m really hopeful that the 3rd installment addresses some of my problems and they can take Fable from being a good RPG to an incredible one.

Left 4 Dead DLC this Week!

In what could be considered an “it’s about effin time”. Late last week the guys at Valve posted on their blog.

“when is “The Passing” coming out? Well… if it was coming out next week we would say right here – Left 4 Dead 2’s The Passing is coming out next week and we will be updating the blog next week with more news on the release. There you go.”

I for one along with many of my friends who play every weekend with/against each other are frothing at the mouth for this highly anticipated update. Looks like this guy is gonna need to go and rebuy a copy of L4D so I can play the new chapter in that game too.

Alan Wake: Narrated trailer

Sam Lake, of Remedy Entertainment, takes players on a narrated journey through the upcoming thriller in this new trailer for Alan Wake titled Building the Thriller. Featuring never-before-seen footage and containing previews of the unfolding mystery taking place in Bright Falls.

Tonight tehflakes and I are heading to a special invite only event for Alan Wake where we participated in a developer briefing and demo with Oskari Häkkinen, Head of Franchise Development. Stay tuned for an interview recorded at the event.

While your waiting for more news get in on the official Alan Wake gear, in a special collaboration with CafePress, fans are now able to design and sell “Alan Wake” inspired products. Unique fan-created items will be available for purchase starting today with the full online store grand opening planned for April 16, 2010. From T-shirts and hoodies to water bottles, customize and outfit yourself with gear from “Alan Wake” at http://shop.cafepress.com/alan-wake to bring the game to life.