Saturday, August 30, 2008

Call of Duty: World at War Trailer



Awesome expected.


*****


Also check out:

Fallout 3 gameplay footage at YouTube. I've only linked to the first of five gameplay footages available.

The art and animation is Elder Scroll-ish, even the voice work is familiar. I've always found Elder Scroll: Oblivion's characters a bit stiff and awkward at times, but I like Bethesda's ability to make huge free worlds to explore. The environment looks incredible. Can't shake of the feeling that it just doesn't feel like a "new" game.

Free copy of C&C Red Alert to celebrate 13th birthday

If you go to www.redalert3.com on Sunday, you can download your very own copy of the original Red Alert, absolutely free.

Obviously, this is part of a promo for Red Alert 3 and if you pre-order RE3 from the site you can get a free copy of Red Alert 2, plus some extra RE3 goodies including desktop wallpapers (featuring Atkinson, McCarthy, Hu, et al) an series retrospective and an exclusive multiplayer map.

The free-for-all starts at 12:00 AM Pacific Time

Source: Kotaku.com


On a side note, you can also view all of C&C Red Alert game movies and cut scenes at this site.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eternal Poison (PS2)



Eternal Poison might be the one to have me firing up my PS2 again. (My PS3 is the 40GB model and thus is not backwards-compatible.) The artwork is what catches my eye; quite dark and gothic like.

The website is showing the gamebox with two discs -- one's the game disc and the other is a bonus soundtrack CD. "Five stories in one" and "capturing and collect demons" There's not much info about the gameplay or battle system but the purchase page states that it is a strategy rpg.

Friday, August 22, 2008

DS games to look out for


Master of Monster Lair
(DS)
(Gamespot hands-on article)

The game's concept is somewhat like PSP's Dungeon Maker. You design dungeons to attract monsters, so you can beat them up and loot them, that with a quirky story to go along.

It's either going to be fun and addictive, or a terribly boring chore.


Time Hollow (DS)
(Gamespot page)

Can't ever get enough of adventure games.



Tornado (DS)
(Gamespot preview)

It just sounds like insanely fun game.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coming soon: PSP-3000

PSP3000 Hardware upgrades:

- a less reflective LCD screen (see difference in the pic below taken from GameAxis post, the top unit is the present one, the bottom unit is the new psp.)

- internal microphone included


Links:

GameAxis: Next Gen PSP Unveiled - Sort Of
Gaming Bits: New Sony PSP-3000 Announced

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mercury Games Zen Series for NDS

Mercury Games

The Zen Series games for the Nintendo DS are, as the website states in the footnote on one of its pages:

About The Zen Series
The Zen series of games have been developed for the busy, modern urbanite to aid relaxation. This series of lifestyle games do not contain any violence or competitive elements. Zen games are co –published by Mercury Games and Ertain. Experience the spirit of Zen.


I just picked up the Matchstick Puzzle title for S$29 this week.










Check out the other interesting titles that are available at their website:

Aquarium by DS
Fantasy Aquarium
Paint by DS
Paint by DS - Military Vehicles

I saw the Aquarium titles at the store where I got the Matchstick but not the Paint by DS titles, which I think is interesting.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Overlord gets more "evil"

So there's gonna be an Overlord II.

That's just great news because I love the first one. I was playing it on the 360 (before it decided to die) and now I'm playing it again but now it's the version Overlord Raising Hell on the PS3 (basically Overlord + Expansion). Once again, one can play a malevolent overlord in a rather open world.


About Overlord: Raising Hell


The Overlord can swing his weapon, cast a number of support and offensive spells but he's basically weak by himself. Minion control is very important to this game. And it shows that the team that made this game had put in proper thought into the control scheme.

Playing an evil Overlord is fun, and the controls for the console versions made it easy to get into the fun of being an evil leader leading a horde. (I have not played the PC version so I have comments about that.) It's so intuitive that you can run your Overlord around and control your horde of minions at the same time.

The minions do not require micromanagement, since they smash just about anything around them or gets in their way. They'll pick up and equip stuff they can use, they will pick potions and gold and bring them to you. And they won't attack non-hostiles unless you tell them to. (Except sheep and bugs which they will kill to yield life essences for minion population growth). If they die, it's only because you have been careless.

As there are four different types of minions (melee brown minions, red fireball-throwing minions, green poison resistant sneaky minions, blue healer type minions) , you need to switch to controlling specific groups from time to time to overcome obstacles. And sometimes you only need one minion go pick up something. Or you want the red minions to stay at a good spot for hurling fireballs down on your enemies while your brown minions close in to attack. It's all very easy to execute and in real time too.

The game pokes fun at fantasy game and story stereotypes, so nothing is taken seriously. You still have a choice to be benevolent at times, so the game isn't forcing you to play all evil all the time. It's an adventure with puzzle and tactical elements, and a little bit of RPG.


Link:

Mix reviews seen on Gamerankings.com's Overlord: Raising Hell page.

The game some people at the workplace are excited about


Spore

The sheer number of possibilities that can come from experimenting in this game is what's causing all the excitement. The screenshots, videos and the wonderful Creature Creator that was released earlier just fuels the hype among a few of us gamer types. It smells of Game of the Year for the PC / MAC.

It might just push me to get a new pc or mac sooner. I can't decide yet. But I'm reluctant to get a pc because of all the nasty stories about Vista. The thing is I probably would want a pc because of Diablo III. Decisions...decisions....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Save The World With Your Fingers

Metal Gear Solid 4: Save The World With Your Fingers
A cool video found on YouTube.





It includes an ad for Metal Gear Acid Mobile at the end.

What kind of gamer are you?

[Eurogamer] Industry analyst Sean Dromgoole has identified a range of gaming "types" as part of an attempt to explain who plays what games - and why.

....

GameVision regularly surveys 40,000 people across Europe, don't you know; he's not just making it up. So - are you a dabbling pack wolf with snacker tendencies, or a reformed hardcore scrapper who's now a loyalist lone ranger? And will you be updating your Facebook status accordingly?

Link to entire article.


Just to list a few:

- Dabblers/Marginals - people who bought two or less games in past two months and play for less than an hour a day

- Loyalist - buys not too many games but take a long time playing them (and most like actually finish them).

- Magpie - buys a lot of games but (I guess) a plays a little of each and might abandon them.

- Pack wolves - online cooperative players

- Lone Rangers - players who prefer solo gaming experiences. (eg Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy)

- Snackers - people who like pick-up-and-play games. (eg Minigames collections, BrainAge)

- Lifers - people who like sim games. (eg Sims and Animal Crossing)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gaming Memories: Populous


Populous released in 1990, was the first video game I bought for my Sega Genesis console which I bought with my first month's salary at my first job.

Back in those days, there wasn't any internet (or at least it was a rarity for one to access to it in my part of the world). And gaming mags were costly imports wrapped up tightly in plastic in bookstores where the sales people watch kids like hawks.

I guess I selected the game because it seemed rather interesting to play a god. I didn't know exactly what it was about other than what was said at the back of the box. It was a god game with an interesting looking cover. Castles on fire, the ground breaking up, little people helplessly walking upon the dangerous terrain.


The game starts you off with a Settler. The moment he finds flat land, he builds a hut. (You are the one doing the land flattening). It was kinda fun to neaten up the place: flattening hills, raising land to cover water, making rocks disappear by sinking them right into water. Soon the settler's hut becomes a house, with enough land the house becomes a rocky house, then a fort, and to end, a large castle. If you reduce the castle by removing a piece of land nearby, another settler pops out and repeats the process. The representations were minimal but effective.


Your AI opponent is doing the same thing with his settlers on the other side of the map. The objective of the game is populate the world with your own and utterly destroy the other population. (A goal that might be shocking in its implications to some today if you think about it. But of course, people didn't think much about videogames then as they do today.)

You are given a repertoire of godly powers, which are powered by manna earned from having a population of "worshippers". Your population worships you, thus supplying you with "manna". The powers include being able to set off natural disasters like earthquake, volcano and floods. Earthquake was just disruptive at best, but several activations of "Volcano" can really destroy the land your enemy's people walk on. Flood can wipe out anything on ground level.

What you do to others, the AI controlled enemy deity can also do to you. So you work at quickly flattening the land, so your worshipers can make settlements and grow in numbers. You can assign a leader who can lead a crusade or make people follow him to wherever you want. You can control your people's stance.

The final battle aptly called "Armageddon" causes all the houses and castles to vanish and causes all the people to gather around their leaders, and then two peoples will march towards each other and fight to the death. It was always about population. So, if you had overwhelming numbers, you will always win.

Although the strategy was pretty much the same for every map, it was a lot of fun to play back then.

Populous had a few sequels later on which didn't seem to do very well. But the game probably inspired such games as Settlers and Age of Empires. Civilization plays close to Populous at the start, but is a much more sophisticated game minus the god-powers. Such games in this genre have become more complex and now requires players to employ various strategies and tactics to win.


Link:
Populous page at MobyGames

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mass Effect for the DS?

[Eurogamer.com] Bioware is also considering putting Dragon Age and Jade Empire on the DS.

That sounds great of course. However, I am expecting a downgrade in the looks-department. No doubt DS versions of these games will probably suffer more than just a 'looks' downgrade. Most gamers are highly doubtful the DS card can take that much data from these rpg epics.

Developers might do well to rethink the way the game is played as well as its presentation, otherwise they'll all turn out to be more plastic for the junk pile.

Legendary

Looks cool.

FPS with mythical monsters. Comes out September 30th, so it says now.

Games that click

What I like:

1. Customizable characters
2. Real time action
3. Variety in levels and encounters.
4. Roleplaying game
5. Bosses you don't have to grind to beat.
6. Save-anywhere function.
7. Loot

Finest examples: Diablo and Elder Scrolls.


What I dislike:

1. Sneaking
2. Platform jumps
3. Combo Button Mashers
4. Random encounters
5. Linear level design
6. "Beat this boss to advance"

Examples: Super Mario Bros. and the early FF games.


Update: Response article at Culture Kills

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Woman pays a whopping S$2600 for PSP

This is what happens when you shop for gadgets without doing your research first.

A lady was trying to buy a PSP for daughter. She walked into a store at Lucky Plaza and took to interest a black PSP. The storekeep told her that he had to install some software on it in order for the PSP to be able to run games. (In reality, he had installed a hacked firmware, which is what is used to play homebrews and other "ahem" wares. The bill came to about $3500 which shocked her, then she was told that she had to pay since the stuff had already been installed. She manage to haggle the price down to S$2600.

So, she went home and realised that she had paid far too much. She returned to the store the next day, but the store refused to give in but they finally agreed to cut off $1600 from the bill. So she still paid $1000 for the PSP. In most places, the PSP costs anywhere between S$280-$340, so in essence she is still paying too much.

Original report with all the details can be found here.


Prime example of customer naiveness, if not foolishness imho. As a friend puts it, she could have bought a 360, a PS3 and Wii with S$2600.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Siren: New Translation Blood Curse

Another horror-survival adventure added to my collection. (Not that I have that big a collection since I've only just began to get into this genre.)

Video from GameTrailers.com
.

And video from E3 found on YouTube.

Frustration


Ninja Gaiden Sigma (PS3) - I guess the first time I cleared the first 'boss' really was beginner's luck because it seems that I can't repeat the task. In fact, I really suck at this game now. Even those low level brown ninjas bother me. I do not have "thumb stamina" and can't seem to be jamming the buttons fast enough, and after a while it does hurt. I think I will resist from buying such games in the future.

Tracking about on the net, I found similar experiences by other people. Although, they can called different things like text messaging injury, blackberry thumb or for we gamers, videogame thumb. It's basically all under the term "repetitive stress injury".

The signs of aging. Sigh...



Patapon (PSP) - I'm not going to try a level for more than three times in a row. The Patapons are so darn cute though.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Square Enix launches new series of games.

New games from Square Enix. (Kotaku.com)

The company announced today that it was launching the "Pure Dreams" brand in Japan. "Pure Dreams" will focus on character branded games and the brand's first two titles are a good indication of things to come: Snoopy DS: Let's Go Meet Snoopy and His Friends and Pingu Waku Waku Carnival, both for the Nintendo DS. The games will be out this fall in Japan.


There hasn't been a snoopy game since the Game&Watch era, iirc.

Diablo not "dark" enough



Diablo III looks too bright and colorful, cries some fans.

Some gamers are just this sort, they will never be happy. We will soon be hearing how the first Diablo is the best or that the second one is better than this new one.