Despite being brilliant in any number of ways, both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus at times felt like games reaching out for a technological future that wasn't quite there yet. Is the future now? You be the judge in the above video, comparing the visuals of the original games with the PS3 update, due next month. While it's not a complete graphical overhaul (and neither game really needed one), the improvements are pretty clear: stable framerates, reduced pop-in, clearer textures. I don't know if I've even been happier to re-buy two games I already own.
Articles by Dawdle
August 14, 2011
August 13, 2011
In the video above, check out republican presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza founder Herman Cain quoting some inspiring words he attributes only to "a poet."
Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it's never easy when there's so much on the line.
That poet? Disco siren Donna Summer, singing The Power of One, the theme song for Pokemon: The Movie 2000.
As NY Magazine points out, Cain has previously attributed the lyrics to the ending theme to the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, however that's not true. This also isn't an isolated incident, as he's repeated the same quote a number of times. According to the Bennington Vale Press, Cain owns his love of the movie: "I didn't want to see it, but I did it for the children and the grandchildren. A powerful piece of cinema." For those who haven't seen it, in short the movie is about a greedy pokemon trainer who nearly ruins the planet's climate by refusing to heed the warning of experts. Powerful.
Herman Cain has previously called being gay a sin and a choice and has made the imaginary threat of Sharia law a cornerstone of his floundering campaign, so it's possible that this is actually the most reasonable thing he's ever said.
The Mystery of Herman Cain and the Donna Summer Lyrics [NYMag]
August 7, 2011
The newest issue of Game Informer has a big pile of details about Borderlands 2, and while Gearbox isn't reinventing the wheel or anything, they are planning a number of changes that should keep things interesting for players who stretched the first game to its limit. First up, there will be four new playable characters with new abilities, including Salvador, the burly fellow with the Amish beard you see to the right. Salvador is a Gunzerker, which allows him to dual wield any two guns. He is also a big fan of ringer tees and biore pore strips. The previous game's characters will pop up as NPCs, but it's not clear exactly what role they'll play.
Missions will be dynamic, meaning if you fail one, or if something goes wrong, it can shape the storyline for the rest of the game. This might imply an increased focus on story vs. shooting and looting this time around, or it could just be a matter of having certain characters or conversations change a little bit as you play the game. Still, it's a neat idea.
The weapons will be brand new (although they'll still be guns so, they probably won't be that new), there will be more vehicles and enemy types, and they've added an element called Eridium that can improve the stats of items in game, or used as a currency.
More details are said to be forthcoming at Gamescom, so I wouldn't be surprised if trailers or gameplay footage starts popping up around then.
Borderlands 2 detailed in Game Informer [Gematsu]
August 6, 2011
The Resistance series has always been really desperate for you to love its multiplayer. The last game in the series, it bragged about its 60 person multiplayer mode and unique co-op campaigns, both of which ended up being kind of broken not long after gamers got their hands on them. For Resistance 3, it looks like they've scaled back their ambitions a bit, creating something of a class-based system, minus the actual classes. Instead you can level up a bunch of different abilities and skills: passive ones like better accuracy, active ones like radar decoy, and gross ones like giant killer maggots jumping out of your corpse. Some of the abilities seem pretty standard for shooters these days, but a few could be interesting. I just wonder how much you have to commit to one or two, or if it will be possible to respec your multiplayer profile without too much trouble. Hopefully this time Insomniac will be able to build a community of players, instead of just coming off kind of clingy.
The latest issue of Xbox World 360 Magazine is blowing the lid off of Mass Effect 3's top secret multiplayer mode. Or more accurately, they're just printing what they heard from some random unnamed sources.
Well, if you believe the rumours - which we certainly do - Mass Effect 3 will have multiplayer. According to various sources, there will be a batch of 3 player co-op missions that run parallel to the main story, with each player assuming the role of a single squad mate. It seems likely that this will happen, and it'll form part of EA's Online Pass system. However developers have been known to ditch multiplayer during development in the past, if it doesn't work...
Bioware denied there was multiplayer in the game way back when it was first announced, but 9 months is a long time: plans change, people grow, John Riccitiello needs a new yacht made out of gold. The rumors are pegging the reveal at Gamescom, the German gaming trade fair, later this month, so we don't have long to wait if they're true.
My first impression is "Sure, why not?" The action is only half of the game though, and I can't imagine these little scenarios would be all that deep or impact the story. If they could somehow affect the rest of the game I'd be a little more intrigued - maybe a few squadmates leave Shepard on the Normandy to go on a sidequest, bring back intel, or do something to change the events of the singleplayer game. I'm not sure exactly how that would work for two distinct gamers playing their individual games very differently, or with characters at different levels. Ah well, I'm not wasting anymore brain on something that might not actually exist. Best case: this will be a fun new way to play a game I enjoy. Worst case: it's something I can just ignore after downloading an EA Pass for whatever other electronic trinkets they're giving away.
July 31, 2011
But probably not the one you're picturing. At Evo2K11, during the Street Fighter X Tekken panel, producer Yoshinori Ono showed a pair of videos teasing new characters for the game, with the one above pretty much confirming the presence of Tekken's Kuma, an actual bear who somehow got involved in a fighting tournament. It sounds like something out of a Disney cartoon, except with ultraviolence. Of course, having Kuma around seems like it will boost the chances that figurative bear Zangief will show up, as he got his start wrestling the animals back in Mother Russia.
After the break, see the other teaser video, which is in all likelihood Street Fighter's female ninja Ibuki.
July 24, 2011
For the third game in the Mass Effect series, Bioware's promised that the female version of Commander Shepard will get a boosted profile in promotional materials and a place on the Collector's Edition box art. You know what that means? Makeover! Throwing out the default FemShep that's been around for two games, Bioware wants you to "like" one of six potential new Shepards on the Mass Effect Facebook page. The one that gathers the most votes will be put into the game. You'll still be able to change her looks as much as you like, including importing your old Shepard, but the winner will end up in trailers and official artwork for the game.
To see all the choices up close, click on the Facebook link below. They all look like what someone could come up with spending 5 minutes in the character creator. You've got butch, blonde, vamp, butch with red hair, vaguely Asian, and one that looks like Victoria Beckham for some reason. That's all the different kinds of females there are in real life, right? I'm not an expert.
In the back of my mind it seems a little distasteful to put FemShep up for a vote, as it reinforces the stereotype that all women are just in competition with each other. I guess that doesn't exactly fit, since this is technically just one woman with an infinite number of different appearances. Instead, when the voters (almost inevitably) pick the blonde one, EA can get away with not taking a risk by claiming it's just what the audience wants. Three cheers for democracy!
July 23, 2011
Hey look, they gave the Penguin a cockney accent! 'ello gov'na! Even odder, according to Wikipedia, that's Nolan North, Nathan Drake himself, providing the voice. If that's true he's really working hard to avoid that typecast.
Anyway, we knew Penguin was going to be in Arkham City, but the clip above gives a glimpse of what we have in store from the homicidal bird enthusiast. He's looking a bit more Danny DeVito than Burgess Meredith, although just kind of shabby instead of genuinely deformed. The trailer also sees another villain popping up at the end, Solomon Grundy. implying that this game should make long time DC comic fans just as giddy as the last one did, if you can get past the Eminemification of Tim Drake.
Batman: Arkham City is out October 18th for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
July 16, 2011
Is everyone ready to get super-excited for this year's XBLA Summer of Arcade? The annual promotion has given us classics such as Braid and Limbo in the past: there's no telling if any of the games this year will hit the same heights (anyone want to place their bets?), but it looks like a good crop this year. Above is Bastion, which kicks off the event this week. An action RPG set after the world is ravaged by the Calamity, the game looks good and promises a unique narration component. Sounds good! Bastion will be out July 20th for 1200 Microsoft points, or $15 real dollars. Remember, if you get all 5 games this year, you can get Crimson Alliance for free.
July 10, 2011
- VorpalBunny reviewed Choice of Intrigue and Little Cave Hero, while Wootini handled Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D.
- You want to play some Last Story or Xenoblade in North America? Nintendo don't care.
- Wootini peeked at three more upcoming Capcom games, Dragon's Dogma and a pair of Resident Evils, Operation Raccoon City and Revelations for the 3DS.
- Upon finding out that she was a gay gamer, VorpalBunny interviewed Ms. Pandora Boxx.
- A group of Toronto gay gamers marched in that city's pride parade.
- Wootini made a brief appearance on the BBC.
- This week's Audio File Friday focused on Ephixa.
- New writer SonicDream said hi.
- He also wanted to know where you stand on the Wii U.
- Narnia started feeling the summer heat in this week's Animal Crossing Diary.
You guys, only four more days of the Uncharted 3 Beta! If you've wanted to check it out, you'd better hurry up, because July 14th will be the last taste of the game you'll get until it's out this fall. For this final lap, Naughty Dog has added a slice of the game's co-op campaign to the beta, as well as a new Yemin map. I wonder if you get to overthrow a dictator? If you've already downloaded the file, just boot it up again and you should be prompted to update the game, which will make the co-op adventure available in the matchmaking menu.
With the beta ending soon, time's also running out for you to grab the bonuses, such as a special avatar reward for Playstation Home and the Treasure Hunter's Starter Pack, which sounds amazing even if I don't have any idea what will be in it. Probably hats! If you make it up to level 25 you'll also score in-game cash when the retail game releases, to give you an even greater advantage over losers who were too busy to bother spending time grinding in the beta. I'm sure everyone will be really impressed, and definitely want to be your friend when they find out how much imaginary money you have.
Developer Rocketcat has gotten a lot of mileage out of hooks the past few years, releasing Hook Champ, Hook Worlds, and Super Quick Hook in the App Store to (reasonably) great acclaim. That's a whole lot of swinging for one little company, so you can't blame them for changing things up a bit. Enter Mage Gauntlet, an action RPG that ditches the whole hooking thing but keeps the 16-bit-inspired look. You play a young woman with a magical gauntlet, trying to earn a place as a wizard's apprentice by taking on a series of quests. Take a peek at the video above to get an idea of what to expect - fans of SNES-era Square games might be intrigued, although the game promises "more action, less grinding."
The game's due out for iPhone in August, and while the regular price will be $2.99, early adopters can knock a buck off, as well as snag some extra goodies like hats (!) and an in-game pet.
[via Touch Arcade]
And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!
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