Focus groups are full of fail

Seriously, I wonder why these even exist, because every time we hear about a decision more or less influenced by a focus group, we all do a collective facepalm, well frankly this most recent news deserves more than one so...

Because thanks to a focus group, they are cutting the evil option from Epic Mickey. You know, the whole point of this game was suppossed to be a massive revamp of the mouse, so he would be more like the old days where he had a goddamned personality. It's not like he was going after guys with a chainsaw, but apparently "murder by paintbrush" is too much for a goddamn biker. Who the fuck invited a biker to a focus group about a Mickey Mouse game? You remember the Goldeneye Wii trailer? Those at least were focus groups of GAMERS. Now granted, this shouldn't change much of the actual gameplay, but to talk about how you want to change the perception of what Mickey is and then bow to what someone's perception is based on when they were a kid is absolutely idiotic. Massive fail Warren Spector. Massive. Goddamn. Fail.

Speaking of massive fails, I think Microsoft is setting themselves up for a big one with Kinect, and not just because it's a piece of absolute crap. I mean it'd be one thing to expect it to appeal to the more casual crowd (which admittedly, it might hold some appeal to people who don't actually play video games, but it's hard to imagine someone like that shelling out for this when they can just get a Wii), but they are actually expecting their hardcore fan base to go out and buy it as well. You know, the same fan base that mocked the far more sensible waggle of the Wii. Not to mention on more than one occasion MS has claimed that this is not a product for their current user base, since it is mostly more hardcore gamers.

Now on top of that, while the Wii and Move can support anywhere from 2-8 gamers depending on the game, How many can Kinect support? 2. That's right, TWO. What the hell kind of party game only supports two people? Hell the minimum expectation for most multi-player games these days is 4. Now granted, not all do that, but the fact that the possibility isn't even there is ludicrous. This might honestly be the biggest flop since the Virtual Boy when all is said and done.

Moving on, with the PSN's weekly update today, they launch the Playstation Plus service. Yes, it comes with a myriad of free goodies that you get to keep as long as you have the service, with new ones every month, but nothing strikes me a must have. I mean I already own LittleBigPlanet, and I have no interest in the freebies that are currently offered. That may change, but I don't think anybody like the idea that if you stop paying, all the freebies go away. I still think they will have to add something integral to the service that gamers think they cant live without in order to really get a decent buy rate out of this.

In some hopefully awesome news, Hulu is coming to PS3 & 360. Granted, it's not the free online streaming you can get on your PC, but it's their "plus" subscription service that's $10 bucks a month. Which may sound like a rip-off when you already get tons of content for free from Hulu on your computer, but this is more of an on-demand type service where you get access to things like full current seasons as well as access to old TV shows. I almost exclusively use my netflix to watch TV shows, so this sounds like a great idea to me, and a much better option than cable.

Finally yes, I did pick up Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 today and while I agree with most of the reviews that it might indeed be the best lego game yet, it still may be too familiar to anyone who has or has had several lego titles, but far any huge lego/potter fan it's probably worth picking up.

Ok, that's all for today, I should be back Thursday with a review of The Last Airbender as well as other stuff, until then, your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Rango


The King has returned

And no, this is not news of another Lion King sequel. It's the far more welcome news that the long, long road of the fan-developed King's Quest title, The Silver Lining has actually gotten Activision's blessing and will be released this July if you're not familiar with the game's story, it's basically been in development and consistently stalled usually due to cease and desist orders. King's Auest is easily one of the best adventure series ever, it would be great if this cause an actual rebirth to the series, which wouldn;t be so far fetched with series like Sam & Max making big comebacks.

I managed to get my hands on copies of both Toy Story 3 the game and Transformers War for Cybertron earlier this week. If you are a fan of either I can reccomend them. The attention to detail and solid shooter aspects make War for Cybertron a worthy purchase indeed, though as someone who was honestly never all that into the series, it was hard for me to get into it when it is essentially Gears of War with giant robots.

Toy Story 3 the game is two very different types of beasts rolled into one. The story mode is a competent but uninteresting standard kiddy platforming game. The real enjoyment and fun lies in the awesome toybox mode. You play as Buzz, Woody or Jesse (though in this mode they all play the same, so it's just personal preference) and it does sandbox almost better than most of the GTA series, with being able to customize townspeople, bulidings, and just being able to create your own hodgepodge of a little universe. It's even got a hint of World of Warcraft with tons of quests to complete. I could see spending hundreds of hours on this mode.

I also managed to finally catch Toy Story 3 the movie and Knight & Day. I will start off by saying I do think Toy Story 3 is arguably the weakest chapter in the trilogy, considering a how amazing the first 2 were, it's almost to be expected. But it is still an extremely good moving with a heartwarming story and a great last big adventure for Woody, Buzz and the gang (though Pixar has said that while this will be the last movie, we will likely see the characters reappear in things like the always great Pixar shorts they have before every movie).

Now onto Knight & Day. I sort of feel bad for Tom Cruise. Sure, he's nutty as a fruitcake, but what famous person isn't? It doesn't stop him from making mostly enjoyable movies (Mission Impossible 3 can stand up to any Bond/Bourne film IMHO), but since the year where he was more or less outed as a hardcore Scientologist and so crazy in love with Katie Holmes that was jumping up and down on Oprah's couch, people don't really seem to want to see him in films much. I won't say Knight and Day is stellar or anything, it's not. But it's an extremely enjoyable action-comedy with two leads that work very well together and it's a shame it might not do well just because people think Tom Cruise is nuts. I also heard this might be sort of a litmus test for the in-development Mission Impossible 4 which if it was either stalled or dumped because of this would suck because JJ Abrams (that'd be the guy that resurrected Star trek) and Cruise work extremely well together.

Want to see Nintendo of America's Reggie Fills-Aime promoting Donkey Kong Country Returns on Jimmy Fallon? Of Course you do:

I have to admit, Jimmy Fallon has completely won me over between catering to the video game audience and his occasionally awesome impressions. Let's just NBC doesn't offer him the Jay Leno show anytime soon, we all see how that goes...

Finally, the Nintendo onslaught of awesomeness begins tomorrow with Sin & Punishment: Star successor. Now, I do love just about anything Treasure does, so normally this'd be a no-brainer, but I just don't have much long-term interest in shootemups like this. Which granted, since they last maybe 8 hours on average, fits, but makes them so not worth full price. I will just be happily anticipationg the not too far off release of Dragonquest IX on July 11th.

All right, that's all for now, but I should most definitely be back on Tuesday with impressions of Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 and probably a couple other things. Til then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Manhattan Project


Start saving your money now...

Because you know, it's not enough that in the next 6 months us Nintendo fans are getting Sin & Punishment 2, Dragon Quest IX, Metroid Other M, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Goldeneye, Epic Mickey, Golden Sun & Donkey Kong Country Returns. No, the avalanche of awesome games sure to break your bank isn't enough. Arguably, by the time your wallet has just recovered from that, you may be right on the verge of Nintendo's newest portable, the 3DS, as Nintendo has promised that it will be out everywhere by March of next year. And that's at the latest, there are already rumors of a December release in the US, as March would be the latest in all major world markets, and the U.S. usually gets them second, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it in stores (and gone just as quickly) before the year is out.

2 License-based games that don't suck? Well it's happened. Toy Story 3 came out last week, and Transformers: The War for Cybertron shipped today and the reviews are surprisingly solid overall. Not quite up there with the top tier titles mind you, but it seems like anyone who is a fan would not be wasting their money picking these up. I'm honestly not much of a Transformers fan to begin with, and the MP demo didn't impress me all that much, but the reviews have me thinking I should at least rent it. Toy Story is on my buy when it's on sale list at this point, as I'm saving up for the not too far off Dragon Quest IX.

Most people would agree that to a certain extent, the Xbox Gold pricing structure is ridiculous in that you have to have a separate paid account for everyone in you household who wants to access Gold features. They have decided to make it a little easier by offering a "Family Plan" where $99 will get you a year's subscription for up to 4 accounts. Certainly a bargain when your kids want their own accounts, so I see the appeal there, though honestly one account would cover the majority of needs so I don't know exactly how well this will do.

I did play the Crackdown 2 demo yesterday, and while it was entertaining for the about 30 minutes they let you play, much like the fun but flawed original it quickly loses its appeal because the gameplay just doesn't evolve much beyond what you see at the beginning. Pretty much the highlight of both games is being able to at some point leap tall buildings in a single bound, but there's just not really much beyond that.

Finally, as if I wasn't excited enough already for Epic Mickey, somebody is making some pretty awesome accessories for it:

I would seriously buy these now just in anticipation, it sucks that we have to wait til fall. Now, I'm not nearly as buzzed about the upcoming Tron: Evolution game, but the same company is releasing some pretty slick-looking controllers as well:

I seriously hope these work because they are making me seriously rethink my stance on never buying 3rd party controllers.

Ok, that is all for today, but I will definitely be back later in the week to talk about Knight & Day as well as the first of a seemingly endless amount of awesome titles for the remainder of the year from Nintendo: Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. Until then, enjoy the TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Green Hornet


Post E3 thoughts Plus

This post is a little bit later than I anticipated, but I kinda kept putting it off in favor of finishing up Mario Galaxy 2 & Fallout 3 (finally, bought that way back in '08 when it came out, never seemed to get into it long enough to finish til now).

Sooo, Playstation Plus. Sony's long-feared premium service. Feared in that it would bring an end to the free service we enjoy now that routinely makes the fact that 360 owners pay for their service, while superior, harder and harder to defend. The good news is that Sony at least claims that the same level of service you get now. It is so far simply like most premium services, where you get extras such as free tidbits (i.e. themes, maybe the occasional downloadable game) and early access to demos. And at the same price as Xbox live for a year ($49.99) it doesn't seem like a bad deal, but I don't know if I see a lot of people signing up just for that stuff. And when they buy-in rate is low, that's when Sony might take bigger measures, say having certain games have online play only for people who have the plus level of service. I seriously doubt I'll buy into this, as aside from Netflix and the occasional demo I really don't use my PSN for much. They would have to offer some very good incentives to make it worth the money even if it actually adds up to less than $5 a month...

And though it hasn't always been the case, news sort of slowed to a giant crawl after Tuesday's press conferences. Where was the Arkham Asylum sequel? What about those demos behind closed doors? No last minute surprises it seems. Essentially the biggest story running around afterwords was that Kinect wouldn't work if you were sitting down. Which Microsoft outright denied, but we'll see when the thing actually launches. The good/bad news is that I suddenly have a lot more games I want to buy, and unsurprisingly they are all from Nintendo. They seem to really have the strong lineup for the remainder of this year, even without a Mario or Zelda. Pretty much the only way they could blow people's minds more is by launching the 3DS this holiday, but Nintendo isn't one to rush things, I'm betting Summer of next year for the highly-anticipated handheld.

Moving (finally) on from E3, this is a rather big movie weekend, with the much anticipated Toy Story 3 opening. I've repeatedly mentioned that while I've enjoyed much of Pixar's work, I've never found them as pitch perfect as many others do (i.e. Wall-E had an extremely bludgeoning enviromental message that went over kids heads and was just insulting to adults). The previous Toy Story movies are 2 of my favorites and while I definitely want to check out the 3rd chapter, it just hasn't hit me as a must see, so I might wait for video.

I was hopeful that Jonah Hex would at least be enjoyable trash, as I really enjoy the comic book character it's based on, but with diverging hugely from the comic (he doesn't have supernatural powers!) and getting really poor reviews, seems like something I'll just catch sometime when I'm really bored.

Ok, that's it for today, but I should be back Monday or Tuesday with thoughts on the new Transformers game, the demo for Crackdown 2 and probably some other stuff. In the meantime enjoy both the TRAILER and FREE GAME OF THE WEEK:



Nintendo wins.

Seriously. The last time Nintendo had an exciting press conference was way back in 2006 when they first introduced the Wii. Since then it's been several agonizing years of loyal Nintendo fans hanging onto small tidbits here and there while crap like the vitality sensor and Wii Music or Wii Fit took center stage. This year, Nintendo seemed to (mostly) have the message that they in fact had not forgotten about delivering one hell of a gaming experience on a consistent basis, as every game (with the exception of Just Dance 2 damn every one of you who bought that trash) was not only mostly a surprise in that we hadn't heard about it, but welcome updates to old favorites that everyone has been clamoring for. A redone Goldenye, a New Donkey Kong, a New Kirby for Wii, and Zelda & Metroid both looked fantastic, and Epic Mickey looked insanely good, with Kid Icarus apparently leading the charge on the new 3DS. The 3DS is still a big question mark, as while they talked about it quite a bit, it was impossible to see the 3D in action without being there and I imagine it might be the same till you can get your hands on a demo yet. Also no price or release date was announced, so I wouldn't be surprised if it launches next year, and I'm willing to bet it will be around $199, which would be a great deal for 3D gaming and movies on the go (that's right, movies, if you didn't catch the conference, you will be able to watch movies like Avatar in 3D on the 3DS, which is pretty frakking insane).

In fact the only thing I'd say was apparently lackng in Nintendo's conference was that there really wasn't any new IP, virtually every title was tied to a long running franchise, most of which have been around since the NES era. And Nintendo has officially pretty much dug everything out of the vault by now, so next year they better have some new stuff to present.

Sony also had their conference today, and while it wasn't nearly as amazing as Nintendo's, it was pretty entertaining in its own right and miles better than Microsoft's. I'd say the biggest issue much was again, lack of big surprises, though a new Twisted Metal game certainly holds my interest. And while Move still mostly looks like a Wii rip off, it looks like one that can certainly hold its own. Aside from the crossover action game Heroes on the Move, I didn't see much that interested me personally, though. And frankly, while the hardware seem mostly reasonably priced, it goes up rather quickly if you are buying for 3 or 4 people. They are certainly facing an uphill battle trying to convince people that this would be a better option than the $200 Wii. They are also facing an uphill battle with their big focus on 3D gaming, because frankly 3D TVs aren't selling and Reggie mentioned why in the Nintendo press conference, it's literally thousands to have a 3D set up in your home. I just really think it's going to be awhile before it catches on. Hopefully their seemingly new focus on the PSP actually works, cause that system has been pretty much crap from day one.

So to sum up, Microsoft failed big time. Sony entertained but didn't really offer anything groundbreaking, and Nintendo regained a lot of lost credibility with their best show in years. I'll probably give some highlights of my most anticipated games either tomorrow or Thursday, so see you then.


God I miss J. Allard...

Because seriously, Microsoft has rarely been the belle of the ball at E3, what with usually playing it extremely safe and having jack squat that we didn't already know about, but at least Microsoft's former pirate was able to keep the crowd engaged. Not one person could do that this year, some didn't even try, including noted egotist Cliffy B, preferring to let the mostly meh games speak for themselves. Halo: Reach especially failed to look like anything evolved from previous Halo titles, the only game I could muster any excitement for was Fable III, and it's awesome to know that as of right now, it's not all that far off (Oct. 26th). And while the announcement of the ESPN partnership is huge in some aspects, but they spent far too long on it.

But let's get the meat of the conference, Microsoft's Kinect. Was it a complete disaster? Ok, not completely. There were some positive aspects, namely titles like Kinect Adventures and Kinectimals showed some actual potential (though the little girl acting like the virtual tiger was actually licking her was just stupid), but the rest was pretty much a disaster. Their Wii sports rip-off looked unplayable, the dancing game(s) just exist to make you look like a complete tool, and even the much-hyped Star Wars title looked meh at best. The conference as a whole was a giant fucking mess. To be honest, I'm not completely sure the others will be good, the last good set of conferences (or at least entertaining to watch) was right before the latest consoles launched. I watched this one live and it was an absolute exercise in slow torture most of the time, snapping the occasional decent bit from time to time. I don't really plan on watching the other press conferences, I'll just get a recap after and comment on the highlights and lowlights. A rather auspicious way to start E3 IMHO....


The obligatory pre-E3 musings.

Well here we are, hours away from the biggest gaming event of the year, and I can honestly say I can't remember a year when I've been less excited about the industry's big event. Barring any major reveals, we already know what the big three's main focuses are going to be, and not one of them sounds all that appealing. For Nintendo, it's their official DS successor, the 3DS. Portable 3D gaming on the go sounds like a fantastic sales pitch, but much like the DS when it first hit, it will probably take awhile before developers really figure out what to do with it in an actual gaming sense rather than just pure gimmickry. Sony's move has got to be as close as you can possibly get to Nintendo's own Wii remote & Nunchuck without violating copyright, even with their own version of Wii Sports. I'm just not sure of the appeal of HD waggle over non-HD. Core gamers sure as hell won't want it, and the more casual crowd will struggle to see the difference, especially since you have to buy a PS3 and the move controllers, which will probably add quite a bit to the more appealing Wii package. And finally there is Microsoft's Natal, which I've talked about previously about how much of a joke it is. I cannot imagine the appeal of this to anyone. There's just a lot of genres that require something tactile like a controller to work properly. Sure, a fighting game might work, but that's really about it.

Well surely the games that are confirmed are something to be excited about right? Well I see a few interesting possibilities (Mafia II, Dead Rising II, Lost in Shadow), but few titles to really, really get excited about, especially that are coming out this year. As I see it now, assuming releases hold firm, I see very few purchases for myself for the rest of the year-Epic Mickey, Fable III, and Birth By Sleep are the only games that I'm really pumped about. I'm hoping there will be some surprises (seeing footage of a new Zelda title & an Arkham Asylum sequel is almost a lock) but those will be far off titles that we may yet again be seeing in a more complete form next year. The event itself may be back to the glitz and glamour of past years, but what's on display doesn't seem to really be on par with the majesty of the event. Hopefully I'm proven wrong, with lots of great surprises over the next couple of days. I'll most likely be doing a daily posting of events through Wednesday or Thursday, starting with thoughts on Microsoft's press conference (and EA's/Ubisoft's if they have anything worth talking about), so we'll see.


Scott Pilgrim vs. The curse of movie tie-ins

I've brought this up before, but as a rule, video games tied to movies suck. The Watchmen games pretty much suck, The Kick Ass game sucks, the Avatar game sucks. I have hope the Toy Story 3 game won't suck but I won't be too surprised if it does. One game that looks like it's chances of suck are relatively low is the upcoming Scott Pilgrim downloadable title coming to PSN this August. It stays pretty true to the look of the comic (which admittedly I don't know enough about to fill in a Cliff Notes version, but I plan to get up to speed because it sounds to awesome for me to miss out on), which itself is a giant love letter to geek culture. I'm more excited about this than some AAA titles coming out because frankly this looks more fun. I mean really, somewhere along the line between games getting real and artsy and deep, a lot of people have forgotten to make them fun. I'm not saying it's a lost art, a solid number of games still have that, but it's hard to say stuff like God of War III or Modern Warfare or Final Fantasy XIII is just fun. They are being too serious to be fun. Scott Pilgrim will hopefully just be fun.

New Mortal Kombat movie? That seems to be the buzz. Judging by this trailer, it looks like it might actually have some promise, but it sucks that Cage is dead at the beginning, he was the best part of the original...

Well it took about 3 weeks, but I finally got some quality time in with Red Dead Redemption. I hesitated just right out buying it, because while I normally enjoy Rockstar's work, I get tired of the game about 20 hours in. I feel like I get my money's worth mind you, but Rockstar games tend to be ginormous in scope, so I get nowhere near done with them. And while sometimes I get lucky in renting the newest games (i.e. Red Steel 2 or Alpha Protocol), since I do nearly all my renting through Gamefly, I'm at the mercy of their seemingly random availability, which can be a cruel bitch. I even scoured Blockbuster off and on for weeks, finally getting lucky on Monday. Granted, this seems to have the same scope, but it's very cool, and with no annoying cousins constantly bugging you on your cell phone, you actually have the freedom to do what you want when you want rather than be at the beck and call of some random asshole because you don't want to hurt your relationship with them. So I do plan on owning it , but I'd really like to put away Super Mario Galaxy 2 and hopefully Fallout 3 (which I think I'm finally nearing the end of) before I actually pick it up.

Finally, I love Torchwood. Granted, it kind of stumbled through season one, but season two was a pretty massive improvement and Children of Earth was absolutely brilliant, so I had hopes for awhile that it would be coming back. For awhile it seemed destined to land on Fox, which would be a horrible idea given their history with sci-fi shows, then that deal fell through and we hadn't heard anything for awhile. But now it's confirmed that it will be back, just not til next summer (boo!). It does sound like it will have a much grander scope, so that's a plus, and hopefully being broadcast on Starz will expose it to a wider audience.

All right, that's all for today, but I leave you with arguably the most epic FREE GAME OF THE WEEK yet: Zelda II: FPS


Nintendo finally competing graphically with Sony & Microsoft?

On a portable console, no less. I find the rumor itself highly suspect, probably the kind of screwy math that had Atari claiming their horrid Jaguar system was 64 bits. Or at the very least, if it does possess that kind of power, it may all go into providing the glasses-free 3D gaming without much of a visual upgrade. And the big question is what would that do to the battery power? The extremely lengthy battery life is one of the top reasons to own the console, if it's drastically reduced to say, PSP levels, that would be a major flaw in the design IMHO. With only  a week left til E3, we will find out the answer relatively soon.

And it's alost like someone heard me complaining about the lack of interesting stuff at E3, because, not one, but 2 upcoming Kingdom Hearts games should be at the show. One is almost guaranteed to be an near final version of the PSP game Birth By Sleep, the other better not be the just leaked remake of a series of cell phone games. It's been more than long enough between the Kingdom Hearts proper titles and we're several years into the current generation of home consoles. BRING US KINGDOM HEARTS III.

Yes, I did play the Lego Harry Potter demo this morning. It was fun, so if you are a Lego/Harry Potter fan you will probably have fun with it. But it really isn't all that different from any Lego game you've previously played (complete with idiotic A.I. parnters). I seriously feel like the Lego games are starting to become a little long in the tooth, and aren't too far from becoming in the same league as WWII games, where everyone will just be sick of them.

Dreamcast classics coming to XBLA and PSN? Well. sort of. Sure, some people fondly remember Crazy Taxi & Sonic Adventure. But those people are horribly, horribly mistaken. Sonic Adventure  was a completely terrible game that much like Dragon's Lair, we were too amazed by the presentation at the time to realize. Crazy Taxi is fun for about an hour, tops. It is fun in an arcade setting, where you'd play it once in a while, but available to play all the time on a console, the shortcomings and limited appeal crop up quickly.

Dragon Age Anime? I'm not horribly thrilled. So far, game based movies in general have been pretty much garbage, and the attempts at anime (Dante's Inferno, Halo Legends) haven't fared much better. Plus, anyone want to give odds on it skirting so close to Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson might be looking to sue?

All right, that's it for today, but I did finally get my hands on a rental copy of Red Dead Redemption, so I'll hopefully get some time in with that and give impressions, as well as thoughts on a few other things. Til then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Beastly


Yeah, I'm NEVER buying Natal

I've mostly stayed quiet on this whole Microsoft and Sony trying to capitalize on the Wii's success stupidity because I hadn't seen much of it. Now granted, any motion-controller has the capacity to make you like like a complete idiot, but Natal takes it to a whole new level, and frankly it's not just looking like an idiot. Any precision gaming of any kind just doesn't seem possible period on this thing. I you can't drive with just imagining the steering wheel, brakes and gearshift there, you cannot swing a sword or bat or shoot anything properly with nothing to hold. Granted, all Sony is really doing is offering an HD version of what you can already get on the Wii(even with its own version of Wii Sports), but a unapologetic rip-off seems better than this controller clearly designed with complete Spaz's in mind. I'm not saying I'll never give it a shot, but I cannot imagine any game that will make me want to buy this, and it's hard for me to imagine it appealing to anyone other than little kids and frankly the parents aren't going to pay more when they can get a wii for less and motion control is all the same to them. I'd argue it's a similar uphill battle for the Move, but since HD is actually starting to take off, they may actually be able to steal a good portion of the Wii's market since they will offer much nicer-looking motion control games. Of course there is this history of virtually any add-on not doing all that well to worry about at all. I mean how many people own a Playstation eye or an Xbox live Camera? Granted, more is being put into these, but history really isn't on Sony & Microsoft's side. The reason Nintendo's has worked is because it's core to the system, it's how it works. Even the motion plus, which probably would not sell all that well on it's own no matter how many games supported it, is working because it's essentially a pack-in as well. Neither Natal or Move is necessary to the core experience of their respective systems and so the chance for them being the novelty they keep claiming the Wii is (and yet are trying to follow) is much higher.

Ok, back to the weekend, I doubt I'll post tomorrow as I'm fairly sure I have at least a 12-hour day, but as I said last time Monday or Tuesday is almost a definite so see you then.


Talkin about a revolution....

I absolutely loved Deus Ex 2, and this trailer has me very pumped for the next installment. It just sucks that we have to wait til next year to experience it.

Unfortunately I still haven't seen Prince of Persia. Twice now plans to see it have failed, I think its a sign that I should wait for video.

E3 is only 9 days away? That's awesome, because right now there are basically 2 games coming out for the rest of the year I'm really truly looking forward to-Epic Mickey & Fable III (assuming it actually comes out this year). That's it. I have a passing interest in Fallout: New Vegas, but considering I'm finally plugging through Fallout 3 at a slow but steady pace, I'll probably need a break. DC Online Universe looks somewhat promising, but there has yet to be a solid console MMO so I'm not holding my breath. I have virtually no interest in Natal or Move (though that may change depending on what they have at the show) and I'm pretty sure the 3DS will be like the DS in that it might take a year or two before it really starts having a solid library of titles that effectively use the 3D technology. So hopefully, E3 will give me a few more reasons to plunk down my hard earned cash on some games.

Lord of the Rings Online is a well received popular MMO, so it would never be free to play right? Apparently not., because this fall it will go free to play. Sounds like just the ticket to pull me back into the MMO well, though I would need a much better computer than the crappy laptop I've got now before I would even consider it.

So these are supposed concept art for the upcoming Captain America and Mighty Thor movies, giving us a rough idea of what the characters will look like. I'm hardly a hardcore fan of either, but I think they both look fine. The infamous wingtips on cap's old school costume would look silly live action. Though I think Thor is missing something without his trademark helmet, so hopefully that will be part of the final costume.

Finally, I got Alpha Protocol in the mail from gamefly today. I figured given all I heard about the game, I still might digg it. I've certainly been able to overlook damning flaws before (I really enjoyed Advent Rising, for instance, even though it was massively flawed). But honestly I couldn't even get past the training. You heard me. I DIDN'T MAKE IT PAST THE TUTORIAL LEVEL. Why? mainly due to the headache-inducing hacking game. I even looked up help videos on youtube and I couldn't figure it out. But there were plenty of other problems. The enemy A.I. problems show up immediately (essentially they are all morons), and essentially the real issue is that there are insanely strict time limits on everything. Even from the very beginning of the game, you only have seconds to make dialogue decisions (often before the person has finished speaking), disable alarms and hack computers. And frankly both the alarm and hacking minigames are a giant exercise in massive annoyance. And while I readily admit to not being a great gamer, my over 20 years of experience in the medium should pretty much mean I'll have little if any trouble getting past the tutorial level of virtually any game. Alpha Protocol is broken and not fun, plain and simple.

Ok, I should be back Monday or tuesday with  impressions of the Harry Potter Lego demo and probably at least a couple other things. Til then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Chubby Ninja


Now everyone can run around with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on their back...

Why couldn't they have backpacks like this when I was a kid? Well, I may get one anyways when 80stees actually start selling them, it would awesome to wear to a convention.

47 stars in on Super Mario Galaxy 2. Am I still loving it? Absolutely. However, I am at the point where even with getting more than a few optional stars, I need even more to advance, which will lead to quite a bit of annoying backtracking and possibly trying to get stars from sources I loathe, such as the prankster comet stars. It would be nice if I wasn't forced to go after stars that I feel are frustrating and not worth the effort.

Being that the God of War Collection was a ginormous success, it would be a no-brainer that Sony is looking into releasing other HD collections. What is surprising is that the most likely up for a conversion to HD are a couple of their less successful titles, Ico & Shadow of the Colussus. Granted, these are gorgeous, amazing games that are worthy of an HD upgrade (especially, Colussus, which really pretty much needs it), so I don't think there's anything bad about it, but I'm surprised they didn't go with something more high profile.

Finally, is Sony finally doing something right with the PSP/PSPgo? Well sort of. They are dropping prices on a lot of games, and throwing in 3 free ones with the PSPgo. Now this is a great initial deal, but then you are a slave to Sony's overall ridiculous pricing structure with no other options. And I'm saying as an owner that the library just sucks. You can get the occasional solid rpg port, which is nice, but the only reason at this point I haven't just dumped it is because of Birth By Sleep. Maybe E3 will provide a couple of additional reasons, but I'm not keeping my hopes up.

Hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend, I'll most likely post again on Friday with thoughts on Prince of Persia and whatever else goes on in the next couple of days.