Fallout: Vegas Style?

As a huge fan of the Fallout series, I can’t express to you my excitement over this news. It appears as though the folks that brought us one of the most rewarding gaming experiences in a long while are taking us on a trip to Vegas in 2010 on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Today at a press event in the UK, Bethesda announced that Fallout: New Vegas was in development for the PC, 360 and PS3 with a 2010 release date. It’s being developed by Obsidian Entertainment not as a sequel but an addition to the Fallout Universe. No other details were given.

Personally I think that Vegas is a fantastic locale for the Fallout series to visit. I’d also like to see New York and perhaps, they could take the series to another country for a spell?

Lookout Freddie Mercury, Here I Come!

Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced that SingStar Queen for the PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation 2 will be made available on a standalone disc with the release date of August 18, 2009 (Just in time for my birthday! – hint hint – OK I’m kidding, but it really is near my birthday). Also coming at release time will be a patch that provides new voice activated controls, support for over 30 trophies, new support for quick song purchases and an enhanced redesign of both the SingStore and My SingStar Online.

SingStar Queen features 25 tracks including (I am about to date myself):

  • The song from The Highlander (’86) “Who Wants to Live Forever” and “A Kind of Magic“,
  • A Wayne’s World (’92) favorite “Bohemian Rhapsody“,
  • and a song every Sports team wants to play at the end of their season “We are the Champions

Queen fans are in for a treat with this track list. Time to face reality – I am not Freddie Mercury I just want to sing like him.

God of War III, Collector Edition Survey

Kratos is coming and God of War III is getting the Collector Edition treatment… The best part is that Sony is looking for your input. Just take a short survey and help them build a God-like collector package.

Let SCEA know that the soundtrack and that both the God of War and God of War II games on Blu-ray disc are your must have items, or maybe you want to display Kratos as a Statue, Figurine or Bust on your fire place, entertainment unit or as your centerpiece at dinner. This is your chance to give feedback – don’t miss out.

As a reward for taking this short survey you will receive a link to download an exclusive God of War III Desktop wallpaper.

This is the second title being published by SCEA to get this direct Collector Edition Feedback – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Collectors Edition, published by Naughty Dog underwent this same process last month. Hundreds or Uncharted fans responded to their request for feedback.

Is this a new trend from Sony? Will it continue and what title will be next?

Photo Credit: PlayStation blog

Codemasters Sets Damnation Release Date

The group over at Codemasters announced today on Twitter the official release date of their upcoming Multi-player First Person Shooter:

@Codies Damnation release date confirmed today as May 22nd! Check out the new video at http://www.damnationthegame.co.uk

Codemasters is taking the your traditional First Person Shooter – Vertical. Climb, Jump and swing from one ledge to another. Promising intelligent enemies that give chase, engage in frantic gun fights and attacks from all directions players will be tested and rewarded based on their problem solving skills, reflexes and skills with a gin.

Join the Peacemakers as they quest to rid the PSI in a solo quest or take your game online for the ever popular variations of; Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill.

Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Blue Omega Entertainment
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

inFamous Jumps Original Release

On April 13th, Sony announced that the new franchise from Sucker Punch, inFamous, would actually not be releasing in June as previously stated but instead, will be coming home May 26th. Click here for the official statement. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new title, infamous is a third person sandbox adventure that takes elements from the game City of Heroes and GTA and forces you to make decisions as to whether or not you’ll become inFamous as a Hero or a villain.

InFamous comes to you from the guys at Sucker Punch Productions, the people who brought you Sly Cooper (a title that myself and my wife very much enjoyed). The graphics for this game look stellar, and I have no doubt that this is going to be one of the best new properties to come out this year. I, for one, am very excited to get my hands on it. You can expect a full review as shortly after the game hits shelves. In the mean time, there are plenty of pre-order options out there if you can’t wait for May 26th that will help you get your hands on an advance demo of the game.

This is very good news for us and Sony to get a game out in what has generally been a slow period for AAA titles. Here’s a trailer for the game. If this adrenaline charged video doesn’t get your heart pumping you should see a doctor or maybe even a coroner. Enjoy.

Review: Dead Space

Platforms: xbox 360 (Reviewed), ps3

Every now and then there comes a game that’s sum is more than the total of it’s individual parts. Dead Space is one of those gems. I had a sense there was something special about this title when EA decided to release animated short films several months prior on XBL and PSN (which are still available and free). These shorts were creepy and you didn’t quite know what the heck was going on until maybe the 2nd or 3rd issue. Speaking of issues, these stories I was delightfully surprised to see also released as an actual mini series in my local comic book shop! Again, at this point I knew EA knew they had something special here and were pulling out all the stops. Next up, the DVD companion movie that was released right as the game dropped. Mind you I don’t know why they didn’t center around someone other than the obnoxious female lead. Regardless, it was still the perfect set up to a rather interesting and in-depth storyline.

Halloween ’08, enter Dead Space finally. Without giving out any spoilers here, you’re a lone science engineer, Isaac, sent to this space colony to see why communications were lost, access the damage, and possibly fix it, etc. Little do you know that the communications lost were due to some space marker found that turned people stone cold crazy, then mutated them into these creatures that are so terrifyingly real looking, it’s hard to play this game without the lights on. Seriously.

Graphically, I love how EA took their time on this one. It shows, right down to not having any map screen or inventory screen, but rather everything is instead on-screen in real time! Things like your ammo count you can see over Issac’s shoulder in the actual guns ammo count monitor, etc. Brilliant!

Sound quality is incredible. Think the entire Aliens series, where you hearing the dripping of water, creaks, screams, you name it. If you have a set up where you can enjoy 5.1 splendor, then you’re in for a treat. The soundtrack picks up when you encounter creatures and i found it almost freaking me out more than the actually battle did with whomever I was trying to dismember at the moment. The combination of both at times was too much and I had to stop playing to catch my breath. Yes, it’s that intense and I don’t scare easily! Again, brilliant.

The controls are decent. I found myself at times overwhelmed by mutated creatures though and just running for dear life. Maybe that’s the right thing to do in those situations. Just the same, you have limited ammo and findings are scarce if you don’t remember to check every locker, kick/crush every box, etc. A good balance of the rarity of ammo found made it even more terrifying as you have to plan carefully what to use and when. It could literally be a life or death decision. Let me not forget the fact that EA threw in some 0 gravity levels that completely nail down the physics of weightless adventure to a T. Love it.

I’m still enjoying this game as I can only play it in short chunks due to it’s scare the bejesus-out-of-me nature. I’ve played it enough though to review and say, if you’re into space horror, or horror in general it’s a gotta have. Especially since these days you can pick up a copy well below it’s original price in some shops.

Bring on the sequel EA. Please (hint).

Pros

– Graphics, sound, and plot are all top notch.
– Space horror at it’s best.- Enough prequel fodder to make you believe it’s real.
– Downloads a’plenty for extra weapons, skins, etc.
– It WILL scare the bejesus out of you.
– Announcement from EA of a prequel of sorts on the Wii out fall ’09

Cons:

– It will scare the bejesus out of you!- Not enough ammo about. Get trapped and it’s game over man.
– The weapons management and upgrade system can get confusing at times (it’s still better than most).

Feed Your Console gives Dead Space: 8.5 out of 10

Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: EA Redwood Shores

Review: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X

Platforms: xbox 360, ps3 (Reviewed)

H.A.W.X is a decent game, let’s start there. The plot’s simple, you’re an ex-pilot who served in a few wars then retired only to be offered a gig with some private organization. The organization is paid for air support and protection by various counties for various reasons. Not rocket science, but believable.

I played this on the ps3 and it was gorgeous. I think this is the first actual flight sim game I didn’t chuck after the first mission. Solely in part to the fact that the demo allowed the ‘assistance OFF’ mode which is far better to play this game with if you ask me…so I knew that ability was coming in later missions (in the full version of the game you cannot play this way until the 4th or 5th mission). I’ve read on some sites how people complained that you don’t see the jets actually take off, etc. Really, does that matter? The game otherwise makes sense. I like how it cuts to the chase and starts you out flying toward your next mission after a debriefing (debriefings are skipable). The ability to play online co-op is there also, something I haven’t seen before in a flight game..and it’s actually done really well. Impressive.

Controls can be tricky, but let’s keep in mind we’re flying multi-million dollar aeriel war machines here. With assistance OFF mode I DON’T recommend choosing the ‘Expert’ control type which gives you absolute control over the crafts’ movement. Trust me, you will throw your controller across yonder. It borders on impossible to fly in any which direction much less lock on a target.

Sound wise, no complaints other than at times it gets difficult to hear what your wingmen/mission-control’s saying to you during a mission due to rockets firings, target locking sounds and your jet’s thrusts thrusting. Yup, even on the loudest voice setting. Minor though.

Pros:

– Realistic flight patterns and maneuverability.
– Massive amount of fighters at the palm of your hands and use in online co-op modes.
– Locking on to 4 targets at once and hitting the missile launch button. Satisfying.
– Believable plot.
– Re-playability factor is up there. Free flight mode available.

Cons:

– Can get repetitive after a while on solo campaign mode.
– Expert control type instantly turns the game into a must trade-in ASAP.
– Difficult to hear NPC characters talking due to outer sound effects.
– To ps3 owners, it takes 15-20 mins for some game-data loading to take place the first time you play this disc…I’m still baffled at why. Be warned.

Feed Your Console gives H.A.W.X: 7 out of 10

Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Romania
Release Date: March 3, 2009

What is Ubisoft planning?

I’m sure you have all seen the teaser for Assassins Creed 2, but did you catch the date in the message (see mirror image below).

Looks like Ubisoft will be keeping us in the dark for another week – big things appear to be planned for 04/16/09?


I have also heard that if you have a web cam and visit the site – special interactions and information will be reveled – unfortunately I do not have a web cam handy, care to share what you see?

Nintendo’s Most Wanted | April 2009


Returning favourites and first party Nintendo properties continue to dominate the most wanted titles lists for both the Wii and DS April Most wanted report.

Wii™

The Wii has been on fire recording 44.9 million units sold as of December 2008. Many new and surprising titles are running up the list, like the luke warm Wii Music being the #1 place holder for the the Wii… Who saw that coming – I sure didn’t. Here are your Wii Most wanted for April:

  1. Wii Music™
  2. Animal Crossing™: City Folk
  3. Mario Kart Wii™
  4. Wii Fit™
  5. Super Smash Bros.™ Brawl
  6. Super Mario Galaxy™
  7. New Play Control! Pikmin™
  8. New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis™
  9. Mario™ Super Sluggers
  10. Big Brain Academy™: Wii Degree
  11. The Legend of Zelda™: Twilight Princess
  12. Wario Land™: Shake It!

NINTENDO DS™

Training games and Pokemon are dominating the DS list – taking six of the top 13 spots. Plenty of recient release are peppered in and long time list member Brain Age 2 continues to hold on at number 10.

  1. Fire Emblem™: Shadow Dragon
  2. Personal Trainer™: Cooking
  3. Personal Trainer™: Math
  4. Pokémon™ Ranger: Shadows of Almia
  5. Mystery Case Files™: MillionHeir™
  6. Kirby Super Star™ Ultra
  7. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon™: Explorers of Darkness
  8. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon™: Explorers of Time
  9. The Legend of Zelda™: Phantom Hourglass
  10. Brain Age™ 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!
  11. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
  12. Mario Party™ DS
  13. Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day!

IMHO: Episode 2 – To Wii or Not to Wii…

Welcome to the 2nd IMHO segment where we discuss certain aspects of the gaming industry or express our point of views on the subject. Today’s segment is going to be a little different. I’m going to pose an opinion and my counterpart Matt is going to provide us with his rebuttal. We still want your feedback though so please don’t be shy.

It seems that everywhere you turn; people are talking about the Nintendo Wii. People have been clamouring for this new “Buzz Word” since its release November 2006 but have had one hell of a time getting their hands on it. There’s something about little console that could has everyone jonesing for the latest technology, and, why not? It’s sleek, sexy, and cool. There’s a new level of interaction with games that have never really been there before. On top of that, it’s an extremely accessible system to everyone young and old alike. Nintendo also appears to be winning the current generation race. The numbers don’t lie. According to the NDP group, Nintendo has shipped 44.9 million units as of December 2008 compared to 28 Million Xbox 360s and 21.3 PS3s.

Josh’s take on the Wii:

I wasn’t sure what to think about Nintendo’s little white system when I picked it up and thought that maybe after spending some time with it, I’d surely understand. When I got it home, I played with it for hours. At first, I thought “Ok. This is pretty awesome”. Since then, I’ve grown so cold to my Wii. I have all three consoles and the one that I use the least is my Wii. The last game I picked up for it was House of the Dead: Overkill. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it (Read review here), but, that was the first game I picked up for the Nintendo. The library for the Nintendo Wii is a paltry 7 games compared to the 42 titles for the 360 and 18 for my PS3.

Here’s why I’m thinking that gamers should consider dropping their system:

  1. Too much crap – There are far too many garbage titles being released. Whatever happened to the strict quality control that Nintendo has on titles. Sure, that’s intact with their 1st party titles in the Mario, Metroid or Zelda brand but shouldn’t Nintendo at least be monitoring more strictly what they allow on their system?
  2. Wii is game console – I get the Wii Fit recipe. Exercising = no fun. Make exercising a game = fun. It’s not fun though. Wii Fit is the most uninspiring and annoying thing out there. The concept is decent but far from good for a variety of reasons I won’t get into right now. EA hopes to change my ideas with their upcoming release EA Sports Active. That reminds me… Just at a quick glance on the EB Games website, I counted at least 6 different fitness style games. This is a fad that has to go.
  3. Online play sucks – I’m sorry, I know that some of you like the way the system interacts with other users but let’s be honest here. Online play for the Wii SUCKS!!! There’s no two ways about it. Clearly, they were too busy making fun Mii characters of the project development team to even remotely think that the Nintendo should provide a good online/multiplayer environment. Xbox has this pegged and Sony is close, Nintendo is still stuck in 1999.
  4. Nothing to get overly excited about – At GDC, Nintendo announced a new Zelda title. Yawn. There’s just not enough out there to keep me coming back. Maybe at E3, they’ll change my outlook but I’m not convinced they can announce anything to get me to say “Damn! I’m definitely going to get that on day one!” All the games that could be looked at as killer apps, are going to look and sound so much better on other consoles. This year looks like a total dud and next probably won’t be much different.
  5. The graphics are Last Gen – I know that graphic don’t make the game necessarily but they sure are nice to look at and the only thing on this system I’ve seen that I could even remotely consider to be “Stunning” or “Amazing” came with Mario Galaxy. I don’t understand why so many games look worse than the average GameCube game. I know the system isn’t as powerful as the PS3 or the 360, nor was it supposed to be but even the GameCube had some beautifully done games. Look at the Resident Evil series. That series was easily some of the best looking in the last crop of consoles.

While the system isn’t as constrained in supply chains anymore, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to save $50 or $75 on a used one? Hit up your local paper or online classified ads and sell it for less than retail, take the money and do something else with it… Maybe you’ll get enough to buy yourself that gym membership you’ve always wanted but were too afraid to get for fear of never using it. After all, you know that your Wii Balance board is just collecting dust anyway.

I’m seriously considering getting rid of my Wii… I can’t think of any reason to stick it out with Nintendo anymore. I hoped that things were going to be different this time around. Everyone who bought the N64 was hosed and the GameCube was less than spectacular.

Matt responds:

Don’t get me confused with the Nintendo Fanboy’s out there I’m a console Fanboy, I love all of them. When I picked up my Wii I couldn’t wait to get it home, plug it in and hit the gaming. Picking up a couple games right away I found a system that would hold a place at many future house parties and family functions. A console designed with the idea of a group of gamers (and non-gamers alike). I don’t boast the largest title set for the Wii but I have been fortunate to find the value in both the games I have selected and the console itself.

Here’s why I’m thinking that gamers should consider keeping their system:

  1. Great line up coming – With the recent releases of House of the Dead: Overkill and Madworld pushing their way on to the Wii and the incredible sales of Wii sports, and Wii Fit this console is hitting it’s stride. Upcoming title like the remade Pikmin 2 and Punch-out are going to be fan favorites from your old N64 days.
  2. Wide appeal – Turning the Wii on in any social situation is fun. Anyone can pickup and play the Wii, and almost any title. Controls that are easy to use – point and click, a casual gaming library that is extremely deep and an intuitive user interface that lets anyone from 5 to 99 easily master the system and navigate through the menus. Hardcore games were feeling left out but publisher are stepping up to lead provide some good old M rated titles for the Nintendo’s line up; Dead Rising, Madwold, Call of Duty and Splatterhouse 2.
  3. More then just gaming – Josh talks a lot about how the Wii is a gaming console and a “light exercise” system… and I agree, but I look at it like its a good thing – 6 fitness titles get you up and active, try that on your 360 or PS3. I’ll admit I immediately saw weight loss results after getting my Wii, even before the Wii Fit was release. Is that a bad thing – I think not!
  4. Downloadable library – Nintendo’s impressive back library of games is making its way into the Wii virtual console with all your favourite titles being re
    leased again for your gaming pleasure. The best part is that these titles are no longer limited to just Nintendo titles but all your favourite consoles are making there title live once again featuring the likes of: NES™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx16, and my personal favourite the Commodore 64. (Pitstop II anyone?)
  5. Nintendo’s focus – Having seen several of Nintendo Canada’s staff speak at events the Sr. members convey a sense of decency, honesty and interest in building gaming systems for the entire family. Looking to include everyone and not leave anyone behind – so far they seem to be doing a good job on these fronts.

Where do you stand? Is it time to Sell your Wii and move on like a bad dream you finally woke up from. Or are you in for the long run? We want to hear your feedback.