RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Dec 4th 2008 at 08:54:04 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

Sorry for being so late with this, but this is the last week of the semester for me before finals, so the professors have been dumping all sorts of homework on me. Yippie. So, I need to keep it short and sweet this week.

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Prince of Persia
• SingStar ABBA
• Destroy All Humans 3: Path of Furon
Prince of Persia
• Bigfoot: Collision Course
• Family Party: 30 Great Games
King of Fighters Orochi Saga
Mushroom Men: Spore Wars
• My Fitness Coach
• Nancy Drew: The White Wolf
• Safecracker
• Ski & Shoot
• SPRay
• The Tale of Despereaux
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
NOTHING

PC
• Disney's Bolt
Grand Theft Auto IV
• Neopets Puzzle Adventure
• The Tale of Despereaux
• A Vampyre Story
• Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate
• Animal Boxing
• Dreamer: Puppy Trainer
• Emma at the Farm
• Emma in the Mountains
• Happy Cooking
Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi
• My Fun Facts Coach
• Prince of Persia: The Fallen King
• Slingo Quest
• The Tale of Despereaux
• Wordfish
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
• SingStar ABBA
• The Tale of Despereaux


Yet another slow week, but there's some good stuff. Such as Prince of Persia. This installment in the long-running series has UbiSoft trying to reinvent the game with a new cel-shaded Okamiesque art style and open world gameplay...and apparently the results are good if early reviews are to be believed.

The other big game I'm interested in this week is Mushroom Men for the Wii. Why is this shovelware sounding game so intriguing? First of all, the game's music was composed and performed by none other than Primus bassist, Les Claypool. However, what makes the game really interesting is that the entire game is synced to a metronome that runs at 120 beats per minute. The result is a very unique look and sound that I've never seen in a video game before. It really must be seen to be fully understood, so take a look at this trailer from GameVideos about the metronome system. IGN also has a great article about the system. Oh, I supposed I should probably mention what the gameplay is like. Well, it's basically your standard platformer, but with some neat MDK2/Fallout 3 like weapon creation elements. I just hope the gameplay is as brilliant as the metronome system, but even if it isn't, I know I'll like the game since it's a bold experiment in sound design. Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy this game right away. Sad If anyone gets this game or hears anything about it, leave a comment, because I'm dying to know how this game turned out.

Oh yeah, there's some new Kingdom Hearts game out this week on the good ol PS2. It's a 3D remake of the GBA game, Chain of Memories entitled Re:Chain of Memories (clever). Since I don't know anything about Kingdom Hearts other than a lot of weeabos that don't normally like Disney love this game...probably for "kawaii" artwork and stuff. Never understood the appeal of this game.

If you missed out on the consoles, GTA IV will hit Windows this week in all it's SecuROM-protected "glory" (if you can call it that). Hooray DRM!

Anyways, check back next week when I'll be burned out by final exams. Sad But then I'm done with school for a month. Cheesy



Posted on Nov 24th 2008 at 03:30:51 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

Gaming has changed. It's no longer about top-notch AAA blockbusters and quality games, it's an endless series of shovelware developed by guys in business suits and programmed by machines that follow their every command. Gaming has changed. ID tagged consumers carry ID tagged weapons, use ID tagged gear. Nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their tastes. Hannah Montana. High School Musical. Imagine. The letter Z. Everything is monitored and kept under control. Gaming has changed. The age of innovation has become the age of shovelware. All in the name of making of quick buck from unsuspecting consumers. And he who controls the gaming battlefield...controls history. Gaming has changed. When the battlefield is under total control... shovelware becomes routine.

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
NOTHING!• NPPL Championship Paintball 2009• AMF Bowling World Lanes
• Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree
• Cake Mania: In the Mix!
• Championship Foosball
• Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine
King of Fighters Orochi Saga
• Safecracker
• Skate City Heroes
• Ski & Shoot
• Winter Sports 2: The Next Challenge
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
NOTHING!

PC
• Band Manager
• Disney's Bolt
• Gothic 3 Collector's Edition
• Neopets
• Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate
• Age of Empire: Mythologies
• All Star Cheer Squad
Chrono Trigger
• Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force
• Cradle of Rome
• Emma in the Mountains
• Neopets Puzzle Adventure
• Personal Trainer: Cooking
• Syberia
NOTHING!


Looking through the ashes of the holiday season, I observe three beacons of hope for this week, even if they are all rereleases of things have have been out for at least ten years.

First among them is King of Fighters: Orochi Saga for the Wii. It's a compilation including the following games: King of Fighters '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, and '99. I don't have much experience with any of those games, but I know they're well liked by many people, so I thought I'd highlight it.

The next "good" game to come out this week is a DS remake of one of the most appreciated (and expensive to track down) games ever, Chrono Trigger. Originally released for the SNES in 1995, Chrono Trigger is yet another RPG from Square, and yet another game I've never had any desire to play. This new DS edition of the game has several all-new features including a couple of new dungeons, a new final boss with his own dungeon and ending that is unlocked after getting the original ending, two modes of play (DS and Classic), wireless play for 2-4 people, and arena mode, changes to the English script to more closely reelect the original Japanese game, no load times for the anime cutscenes (the same ones from the PS1 version included with Final Fantasy Chronicles), and improved sprites/music. But I honestly don't care. I've NEVER played Chrono Trigger, nor do I have much desire to since it looks like yet another generic JRPG grindfest. OH NO! I have sinned and tarnished the name of one of the "greatest games ever". So, RPG fans, why should I care about this game? What makes it different from other JRPGs? How does it innovate? Tell me why the hell I should play this game, and maybe I will.

However, the absolute highlight of the week is the long-awaited Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (aka: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Dub Edition Remix Gaiden: The Director's Cut: Deluxe Edition). In addition to being the newest member of the ridiculously long name club (along with Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars), it's a member of the awesome downloadable games from Capcom club. What makes this remake so great and worth getting? First off, the sprites have been upgraded, BIG TIME! Just check out this comparison of Ryu, this one of Ken, and this one of Akuma. Quite the difference if I must say so myself. These awesome sprites will be rendered in 1080p HD goodness along with plenty of new features including an optional "rebalanced" mode that changes around the balance of the characters, training mode, both widescreen and standard 4:3 aspect ratios, a remixed soundtrack created by people at OverClocked Remix (the original soundtrack is there too if you prefer to hear that, the ability to use either the new sprites or the old ones from the original, and, of course, online play with voice chat, matchmaking, stat tracking, and leaderboards. The best part is that this whole package is going to be selling for only $15 on both Xbox Live Arcade (out Wednesday) and Playstation Network (out Tuesday). In addition, PSN people will be getting a free Street Fighter Underground soundtrack with original songs by hip-hop artists like Redman, DJ Qbert, and Heiroglyphics. I don't know about you, but I am ultra pumped for this game because I haven't played Street Fighter II (or any fighter) in quite some time, and I really want to get back into the groove of things. In addition, the online modes sound awesome as well. So, anyone getting it for PS3? Wanna set up some matches? I bet I know the answer to that: no. Whatever. Hope you like not having fun. Cheesy

That's all for this week. Hopefully you all enjoyed my pretentious as hell intro.



Posted on Nov 20th 2008 at 08:03:40 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

Again, more games.

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
•Alone In The Dark: Inferno
•Disney's Bolt
•Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2
•Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
•NCAA Basketball 2009
•Need for Speed Undercover
•NPPL Championship Paintball 2009
Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2
•Shaun White Snowboarding
Tomb Raider Underworld
•Disney's Bolt
•Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2
The Last Remnant
Left 4 Dead
•Lips (Oh, how far iNiS has fallen)
•Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
•Naruto: The Broken Bond
•NCAA Basketball 2009
•Need for Speed Undercover
•NPPL Championship Paintball 2009
Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2
•Shaun White Snowboarding
Tomb Raider Underworld
•You're In The Movies
•Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun
•AMF Bowling World Lanes
Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo's hardcore game for this Fall!)
•Castlevania: Judgment (It's the crappy looking fighter, move on)
•Championship Foosball
•Cooking Mama World Kitchen
•Disney's Bolt
•Gallop and Ride (HAWT! Rated AO!)
•Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2
•Merv Griffin's Crosswords
•Need for Speed Undercover
•NPPL Championship Paintball 2009    
•Petz Crazy Monkeyz (THIS IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WII! Someone kill me now.)
•Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party (For the love of God Ubisoft, make a REAL Rayman game again!)
Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2
•Shaun White Snowboarding
•Skate City Heroes
Skate It
Sonic Unleashed
Tomb Raider Underworld
•Ultimate Band
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•Need for Speed Undercover
•Shaun White Snowboarding

PC

•Chronicles of Mystery: Scorpio Ritual
•CSI: New York
•Disney's Bolt
•Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead
•Legendary
•Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria
•Need for Speed Undercover
•Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
•The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff
Tomb Raider Underworld
•Spore Comic Book Creator 
•Spore Creepy and Cute Parts Pack
•Cradle of Rome
•Disney's Bolt
•Hello Kitty: Big City Dreams
•Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades
•Imagine: Ballet Star
•Imagine: Movie Star
•Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine
•Luminous Arc 2 (More FATlus RPG action. Go nuts fanboys.)
Metal Slug 7
•Need for Speed Undercover
•Robocalypse
•Petz Catz Clan
•Petz Monkeyz House
•Petz Rescue Endangered Paradise
•Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
•Rune Factory 2: Fantasy Harvest Moon
•Shaun White Snowboarding
Skate It
•Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff
Tomb Raider Underworld
•Tony Hawk's Motion
•Ultimate Band
Burnout Anthology
•Disney's Bolt
Dynasty Warriors 6
•NCAA Basketball 2009
•Need for Speed Undercover
•NPPL Championship Paintball 2009
•Pop Star Guitar
Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2
•Shaun White Snowboarding
Sonic Unleashed


Things are starting to slow down as we approach the holidays, in fact, next week there will be next to nothing released, but it's not next week, so we have an insane amount of games to deal with.

First among them is Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which is getting surprisingly great reviews, a 79 on MetaCritic at the moment. As you can figure out from the title, it's a new Mortal Kombat game, but featuring characters from DC Comics. For those of you not well-versed in your comic knowledge, DC includes Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. Oh, and get this, the story is apparently pretty damn good, especially for a fighting game! But all is not rosy, because the American version is censored in order to maintain a Teen rating.

Don't want a fighting game? Then maybe Tomb Raider Underworld would be a good choice. Underworld is the latest installment in the long-running series with gaming's best-known female star. This time, it looks like they're trying to follow in the footsteps of Naughty Dog's incredible PS3 exclusive from last year, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Interesting that a franchise that inspired a game is getting inspiration from that same game, but such is life. However, one that that Underworld innovates on is truly adjustable difficulty, which allows you to change all sorts of settings including enemy damage, damage you take, ammo capacity, and more. To find out more about the innovative approach Crystal Dynamics took to the game's difficulty, check out MTV Multiplayer. I've not played the game, but I hope others take a hint from Underworld and give us settings like Underworld has.

And because we need more installments in long-running franchises, Sonic Unleashed comes out this week (at least for PS2 and Wii, the 360 version has apparently been delayed to next week, and the ps3 edition isn't coming until next month). So far, only the Wii version has been reviewed, and it's been scoring decently. Everyone seems to say that the daytime speed levels are awesome ane a throwback to the glory days of Sonic, but the nighttime levels are slow and tedious. Why does it seem like for every good idea in a new Sonic game, there has to be something that totally screws up the rest of the experience? No clue. I honestly think Sega needs to take a good look at Bionic Commando Rearmed and Mega Man 9 and see what they are doing and apply those lessons to Sonic.

Yet another entry in a long-running series comes out this week. Metal Slug 7 for the DS. It's pretty much what you expect, Metal Slug, but on the DS. There's really nothing else to say about it. It's Metal Slug...in your pocket. Speaking of more of the same, Animal Crossing: City Folk comes out this week and according to reviews, it's pretty much the same thing as the GameCube edition, but now with online play.

Perhaps the most surprising game of the week has got to be Skate It for the Wii. I thought it had the potential to be as good as the PS360 version of the game, but figured it would suck. However, IGN gave it a GLOWING reivew that really piqued my interest. In case you don't know, Skate It is a toned down version of one of this generation's best games, skate., but with added Wiimote and Balance Board controls. I don't know that I want this game right now considering skate 2 is coming out in January, but I'm so happy to know it doesn't suck.

But the biggest game of the week is undoubtedly Valve's co-op zombie shooter Left 4 Dead. Based on the demo, this game is DEFINITELY one to get! I'll be getting it very soon, probably for Christmas. Who's up for some online action (on the PC)?! I really don't have much to say that hasn't already been said about the game. So go look up one of the many other previews. Smiley

Also out this week is The Last Remnant, some Square RPG I don't care about, and a track pack for Rock Band for those of you who hate downloadable content (most of you here, unfortunately).

Check back next week for a rather subdued list...and the return of RF Generation's most-read blog article EVAR!



Posted on Nov 14th 2008 at 12:25:57 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

So, uh, past tense. Here's what came out this past week:

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Call of Duty: World at War
Mirror's Edge
•Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts
Call of Duty: World at War
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Mirror's Edge
•Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Big League Sports
•Block Party
•Bratz Kidz: Slumber Party
Call of Duty: World at War
•Candace Kane's Candy Factory
•FaceBreaker K.O. Party
•Guinness World Records: The Videogame
•Hasbro Family Game Night
•Imagine: Party Babyz
•Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors
•Luxor 3
•Monkey Mischief: Party Time
•Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor
•Pet Pals Animal Doctor
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009

PC

Call of Duty: World at War
•CSI: New York
•History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions
•Petz Horsez Club
•Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
•Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
•Amazing Adventures: Forgotten Ruins
•Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno
Call of Duty: World at War
•futureU: The Prep Game for SAT
•Guinness World Records: The Videogame
•Hello Kitty Daily
Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors
•My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr
•National Geographic Panda
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
•Pony Friends: Mini Breeds Edition
•Populous
•Sally's Salon
•Six Flags Fun Park
•Star Wars Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff
•Tropix
•Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals
•Winx Club: Mission Enchantix
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009
•Eternal Poison (It's a FATlus RPG, go nuts fanboys)
•Hasbro Family Game Night
•Onimusha: The Essentials (This is NEVER coming out)
•Pop Star Guitar
•Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
•Think Fast
•WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009


One of the biggest games this week is Call of Duty: World at War, the first game in the popular series since last year's awesome Modern Warfare. This game takes the series back to its WW2 roots...and back to off-year developer Treyarch, two strikes against the game in the eyes of many fans of last year's Infinity Ward developed installment. However, don't be worried because I think the game looks great, especially since it keeps the same addictive multiplayer XP/perk system found in 4...AND BECAUSE IT HAS NAZI ZOMBIES! How can you say no to that?! Well, other than saying "I'm waiting for Left 4 Dead next week".

Next up is Mirror's Edge, the ambitious first person running game from BattleField developers, EA DICE. In case you've been living under a rock, Mirror's Edge is a first person game inspired by Parkour, or free running, in which you play as Faith, a messenger who is being pursued by the man. Based on the demo on PS3, I must say it's one of the best games I've played this year, and definitely the most original big-budget disc-based game of the year. Don't let IGN's BS reviews fool you, Mirror's Edge is a game worth getting.

Of course the biggest game of the week is World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Litch King, the latest expansion to the wildly popular MMORPG. I really don't know much about WoW except it steals your life and turns you into a fatass basement-dwelling neckbeard nerd. Needless to say, I've never played it, but I've seen what happens to friends that get into it, and it scares me off from playing...plus the game looks boring as heck.

Also out this week is Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (the awesome N64 platformer is back...with little platforming and lots of vehicle building), Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (360 this time, in case you missed it on the PC), Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff (The classic is back...with no NFL license), Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (moar Pokemans, hopefully moar mudkipz), and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (people like the Tales series from what I know...)

So, next week, I WILL DELIVER ON TIME! I promise!



Posted on Nov 6th 2008 at 08:49:37 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

Wow, I am like ultra late with this, I apologize.

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
•History Channel Civil War: Secret Mission
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm
Resistance 2 (Also available as a collector's edition)
Tom Clancy's End War
Valkyria Chronicles
Gears of War 2 (Also available as a collector's edition)
•History Channel Civil War: Secret Mission
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
•Legendary
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Namco Museum Virtual Arcade
•Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice
Tom Clancy's End War
•Bratz Kidz: Slumber Party
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
•Monster Lab
•Movie Games (What?)
•North American Hunting Extravaganza
•Petz Sports (Sports totally should have ended with a z)
•Pop Star Guitar
•Rubik's World
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
Tom Clancy's End War

PC
•CSI: New York
•Guitar Hero III/Aerosmith Bundle
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
•Operation Mania
•Petz Sports
•Princess Pack
•Realms of Arkania Trilogy
•Space Trader
•Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Snow Princess
•Dragonball: Origins
•Exit DS
•futureU: The Prep Game for SAT
•Goosebumps HorrorLand
•Guitar Rock Tour
•Hello Kitty Daily
•Imagine: Interior Designer
•Imagine: Wedding Designer
Korg DS-10
•James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
•Monster Lab
•My Baby Boy
•My Baby Girl
•Petz Dogz Pack
•Pony Friends: Mini Breeds Edition
•Princess on Ice
•Real Soccer 2009
•Theresia (Holy shit, an M rated game on the DS!)
Tom Clancy's End War
•Winx Club: Mission Enchantix (That's one x away from XXX)
•Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals
•Call of Duty: World at War Final Fronts
•Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World
•History Channel Civil War:Secret Mission
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
•Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
•Monster Lab
•NHL 09
•Onimusha: The Essentials (I highly doubt it)
•Pop Star Guitar
•Secret Service: Ultimate Sacrifice
•Think Fast


If you haven't joined the new age of gaming and don't like downloading games, you may want to check out Namco Museum Virtual Arcade since it includes many games available on the Xbox Live Arcade service on one disc including Galaga Legions, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Mr. Driller Online, Pac-Man, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Xevious, and New Rally-X. Achievement whores will be happy to know that all the XBLA games on the disc retain their achievement points, so you can further boost your e-penis. In addition to all those (mostly) excellent XBLA games, there's the usual cross-section of classic Namco games that you've come to expect from the Namco Museum series.

This week also sees the release of the latest James Bond game, Quantum of Solace. This looks pretty good because it is based on one of the best FPS engines out there, the Call of Duty 4 engine. Reviews, however, have been a mixed bag so far, so be cautious.

Next up is the the game of the year based on just the title, Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ for the DS. It's sort of a shmup with fairy tales and zombies. Surprisingly, it's getting good reviews on the interwebs. Plus, it's only $20, so what do you have to lose? NOTHING! That's the answer!

The most unique (and sure to be rare) release of the week is the Korg DS-10 synthesizer for the DS. In case you don't know what this is, it's a full-featured Korg synthesizer for only $35. Want to learn more?  Watch it in action on the June 20th episode of the 1UP Show. Want to buy the game? Chances are you'll have to order it online because almost no retailers are carrying it, including GameStop.

Also out this week are two big name exclusive shooters: Gears of War 2 for the Xbox 360 and Resistance 2 for the PS3. I'm not a Gears fan, so I'll spare you my thoughts on that game (actually, horde mode in that game looks hella fun), but I did try out the "beta" (aka demo) of Resistance 2 and had quite a fun time in both competitive and co-op modes. Haven't played the single player mode, but judging by how multiplayer is and how the first game was (and my Insomniac Games fanboyism), it should be awesome.

Rounding out the week is Valkyria Chronicles (Sega's incredible PS3 exclusive RPG/Third Person Shooter combo), Naruto Ultimate Ninja: Storm (BELIEVE IT!), and Tom Clancy's End War (an RTS that you can control entirely using your voice, which is actually pretty fun based on the demo).

Again, I am sooooooooooo sorry for how late this is and how it doesn't live up to my usual standards. Things got in the way Sunday and Monday, and then the election was last night. Hopefully you all forgive me enough to check back next time.



Posted on Oct 27th 2008 at 12:43:18 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2



LITTLEBIGPLANET!!!


That's the only thing of any importance coming out this week. So, I'll see you all next time, provided I'm not playing LittleBigPlanet.



Continue reading RFG Release List: Week of October 26, 2008



Posted on Oct 22nd 2008 at 03:11:45 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

It's a literal gamesplosion this week!

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Bioshock
•Disney Sing It
Eternal Sonata
Far Cry 2
•The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
•Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
Rock Band 2 (Game only and as an instrument bundle)
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Dance Dance Revolution: Universe 3 (Game only and bundle. God I'm sucker for DDR)
•Disney Sing It
Fable 2 (Also available as a limited edition)
Far Cry 2
•The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
•Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
Rock Band 2 (Game only and as an instrument bundle)
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade
•Backyard Football 2009
•Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp
•Build a Bear Workshop: Fur Seasons
•Carnival Games: Mini-Golf
•Celebrity Sports Showdown
•Circus Games
•Dancing with the Stars: We Dance
•Disney Sing It
•High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE
•Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009
•The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
•Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
•Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2
•Penny Racers Party: Turbo Q Speedway
•Petz Rescue Wildlife Vet
•Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom
•Think Fast
•Wii Music (God this game looks AWFUL. Do not buy this because it says Wii ____.)
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Midnight Club: LA Remix
•Petz Saddle Club
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Star Ocean: First Departure

PC

Bully: Scholarship Edition
•Combat Wings: Battle of Britain
Dead Space
•Deer Hunter Tournament
•Europa Universalis III Collection
Far Cry 2
•Heist
•Littlest Pet Shop    
•NBA 2K9
•NHL 09
•Petz Horsez Club 
•Poker for Dummies
•Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game
•Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•Shaun White Snowboarding
•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade
•Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp
•Back at the Barnyard: Slop Bucket Games
•Backyard Football 2009
•Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
•Dancing with the Stars: We Dance
•Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell
•Ener-G: Dance Squad
•Ener-G: Gym Rockets
•Ener-G: Horse Rider
•High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE
•The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
•Lovely Lisa
•Master of the Monster Lair
•MechanicMaster
•My Baby Girl
•Pass the Pigs
•Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game
•Smart Girls Party Games
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
•SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom
•Tornado
•Touchmaster II
•Transformers Animated
•What's Cooking? Jamie Oliver
•Backyard Football 2009
Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp
•Cake Mania Baker’s Challenge
•Disney Sing It
•The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
•Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
•Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows


First up: Rock Band 2! This time it's the game only for the PS3 and the bundle edition for the PS3 and 360. Sorry, but PS2 and Wii owners have to wait until next month to rock out with plastic instruments...again. Or until Guitar Hero World Tour next week. But why get that when Harmonix is so much better than Activision? Plus Rock Band 2 has one of my favorite songs of all-time, Teen Age Riot by Sonic Youth.

Next, Fable 2, the latest promise-a-thon from Peter Molyneux...and from the looks of things, it lives up to at least some of the promises he made. I have no experience with this series, so I can't say too much about it.

Far Cry 2 is also out this week. I've always wanted to play the first game, but have never got around to it. It looks pretty awesome and got some great reviews. Any insights here?

This week two former 360 exclusives make the move to PS3.First up is the critically acclaimed Bioshock. I've never played much Bioshock until the PS3 demo a few weeks ago, and it totally blew me away. I won't get this game right away, however, because I want to wait until it reaches the price level that the 360 version is at, which will probably be a month or two after Christmas. The other one is Eternal Sonata, which is actually not half bad for a JRPG (at least based on the demo).

Also coming out this week: Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP (yet another Square remake), Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for the DS (even more Castlevania goodness), Midnight Club: Los Angeles on PS3/360/PSP (That OTHER game Rockstar makes!), Spider-Man: Web of Shadows on PS3/360/Wii/PSP/DS/PC/PS2 (The reviews are surprisingly good so far, and the game looks pretty intriguing), DDR Universe 3 for Xbox 360 (probably another shitty 360 installment), and Dead Space on the PC (DO NOT MISS THIS GAME!!!).

Phew. Exhausting list. Check back next week for the next installment of the Holiday 08 release list season.



Posted on Oct 19th 2008 at 04:29:00 PM by (Sirgin)
Posted under Review, Modern Gaming, PS2, Sony, Insomniac, Platform, Ratchet, Clank

Just like fellow Playstation platform developer Naughty Dog did with Crash Bandicoot, Insomniac Games decided to sell their PSone franchise Spyro and start with a fresh game on the PS2. Furthermore, Ratchet & Clank (2002), too, features a main character and a side companion that stay together during most of the games. Coincidence? Not really, because both studios used to be located in the same building on a Universal Studios backlot and continue to have a close relationship.

In Ratchet & Clank, you play as Ratchet, a creature that doesn't really fall under a specific animal-category, but can be best described as a sort of cross between a lynx and a human. Ratchet lives on the planet Veldin, where he spends most of his time working on his spaceship, dreaming of leaving Veldin in search of galactic adventures. One day, a little robot named Clank crashes near Ratchet's home. Clank comes form a robot factory on the planet Quartu, where he discovered an infobot that revealed that Chairman Drek, leader of the Blarg race has decided to start building a new planet for his race, made up from pieces of other planets. When Ratchet finds Clank, Clank shows him the infobot and says he fears that Drek is going to destroy the universe. After some compromises, the odd duo sets of to rescue the galaxy from Drek's madness.

The rest of the story is brought to the player in a similar fashion: after reaching a certain point in each level, a new infobot plays another cutscene and gives the coordinates for a next planet. The game makes handful use of this concept to make each planet/level completely different in terms of environment, backgrounds and "feel", thus making the game varied from start to finish. Along the way you'll find yourself on space stations, polluted planets, tropical planets, urban-themed planets and more. As you can expect, the story is very light-hearted and the well written cutscenes are often hilarious, making the game enjoyable for both young and old.

When arriving at a new planet there's usually several directions you can go in, each leading to a different objective. Pressing start will reveal a map of the planet you're on, along with the objectives you've found so far. You can also watch the corresponding infobot again in case you missed out on anything.
To keep frustrations on a low, backtracking is kept to a minimum with the ability to teleport back to your ship after reaching the end of a certain path. There's also plenty of invisible checkpoints on each planet so gamers won't have to replay most of a level because they died right before the end.

Compared to other platform games, Ratchet & Clank's focus mainly lies on the many different weapons and gadgets in the game than on jumping about from platform to platform. At the start of the game, Ratchet is equiped with his Omniwrench 3000, your main melee weapon that you can smash or throw at enemies or boxes. Still on Veldin, Ratchet receives the free Bomb Glove, a glove that, you've guessed it, throws out bombs at unsuspecting enemies. The more progress you make, the bigger your weapons assortment will become. Some weapons have to be bought at the Gadgetron vendor, which can be found at each planet, others are prizes for completing objectives. Besides the first two, you'll be able to have fun with the Blaster, Pyrociter, Devastator or the more exotic Glove of Doom, Suck Cannon and Morph-o-Ray.
All weapons are fun to use, although you'll find yourself using two/three of them most of the time. To change weapons, you can display a quick-select menu on screen by pressing the triangle button. Sadly enough, the game doesn't pause when you're changing weapons, something that was only added in Ratchet & Clank 2 (= Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando in North America) Not all weapons can fit in the quick-select menu at once, but you can select which ones you want it to contain in the main menu. The Gadgetron vendors also serve as ammunition shops for the weapons you've aquired.

Despite being more combat-orientated than most games in the genre, there's still a fair bit of platforming and puzzle-solving to be done. For these puzzles you'll need to use certain Gadgets, similar in use to the weapons. Gadgets are devided into 4 subcategories: hand items include things like a Trespasser (to open sealed doors in a mini game), Hydrodisplacer (a device that can store highly compressed water) and Swingshot (a hook shot that latches on special floating balls, which you can swing from).
Then there's backpacks: modifications for Clank that let you glide through the air or swim faster under water. Third are head items for Ratchet like an O2-mask or Pilot Helmet. Lastly there's foot items which include the awesome Grindboots. With these boots you can grind on rails which is something you'll have to do on several ocassions.

The gameplay itself is a lot of fun. After defeating an enemy with your weapon of choice, he'll burst out into Bolts, the game's main currency. You can also collect Bolts by smashing crates that are placed on all levels. For those who can't get enough of the game there's also a select number of Golden Bolts to be found on each planet, usually in hidden areas. These are then tradable for rare goodies.
To keep the game exciting at all times, there's also mini games in which you'll have to fly in your spaceship in a 3D-style shooter or stages that you play with Clank. Those are particulary fun because you'll get to control tiny robots than will follow Clank's instructions such as "Follow", "Wait" or "Attack".
The controls are good and even the camera adjustment has been done right (a rare thing in 3D Platform games) with a camera that stays where the player wants it. I do have to admit that I missed the possibility to strafe as seen in the game's sequels but then again, this never bothered me when I first played the game in 2002.

At the time of its release, Ratchet & Clank gained much praise for its fantastic graphics. Although not as good as later games for the PS2, Ratchet & Clank's graphics are still very much enjoyable. The levels are big, there's no load times (except when moving from one planet to another) and textures are detailed and colorful. There's very little glitches and the frame rate is constant at all times. Animations are very well done, especially in cutscenes. Speaking of the cutscenes, despite them being funny, some of the jokes between Ratchet and Clank are a bit lame compared to those in Jak and Daxter.
The game's sound is on par with its graphics with a funky up-tempo beat on each planet, good voice acting and solid sound effects. Nothing felt out of place to me, usually a good sign that the audio is good.

With its light-hearted story and humor, wide range of weapons and gadgets and beautiful graphics and sound, I think Ratchet & Clank is what you could call a "perfect" game that'll interest a broad range of gamers, not just platform fans. Recommended to all. 9.0/10



Posted on Oct 13th 2008 at 09:54:57 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

There's so many games coming out this week that I had to switch to three (?!) rows instead of the usual two! Granted most of the games this week are shovelware crap, but there's some damned awesome releases!

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
•Blitz: The League II
Dead Space
•FIFA Soccer 2009
•Golden Axe: Beast Rider
•Rock Revolution
Saints Row 2 (Also available as a collector's edition)
SOCOM: Confrontation (Also available as a bundle with the official Sony PS3 Bluetooth headset or as a download on the Playstation Store)
•Blitz, The League II
Dead Space
•FIFA Soccer 2009
•Golden Axe: Beast Rider
•Rock Revolution
Saints Row 2 (Also available as a collector's edition)
•Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno
•Boogie Superstar
•Bratz: Girls Really Rock
•Dokapon Kingdom    
•Littlest Pet Shop
•Safecracker
Sam and Max: Season One
•Tak: Guardians of Gross
•Ten Pin Alley 2
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•B-Boy
•Cake Mania Baker’s Challenge
•FIFA Soccer 2009
•Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs
•Bratz: Girls Really Rock
•Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer
•FIFA Soccer 2009
Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2
•Littlest Pet Shop: Garden
•Littlest Pet Shop: Jungle
•Littlest Pet Shop: Winter
•Lovely Lisa
•My Japanese Coach
•Naruto: Path of Ninja 2
•Smart Girls Party Games 
•Prey the Stars
•Rock Revolution
•Tak: Mojo Mistake
•Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno
•Bratz: Girls Really Rock
•Cake Mania Baker’s Challenge
•Dokapon Kingdom
•FIFA Soccer 2009
•Tak: Guardians of Gross
PC

•Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make the Grade
•Avatar Last Air Bender: Path Zuko
•Brain Training for Dummies
•Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer
•Combat Wings: Battle of Britain
•Dark Horizon
•Enchanted Fairy Friends: Secret Fairy
•Etch A Sketch (AGAIN?!)


•FIFA Soccer 2009
•Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Game Only)
•Hot Dish
•Let's Ride: Riding Star
•Littlest Pet Shop
•Paws and Claws: Australian Adventure
•Poker for Dummies
•Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band The Game


•SAS: Secure Tomorrow
•Saints Row 2
•Shaun White Snowboarding
•Sniper: Art of Victory
•SpongeBob Squarepants: Game of Life
•Space Trader
World of Goo


The biggest game of this week is EA's sci-fi scarefest, Dead Space. If this game is not on your radar, it should be. Why? It's supposed to be an effing scary game and the reviews have been excellent so far (high 8s/low 9s). Yes, it is yet another shooter, but it does some very innovative stuff, such as strategic dismemberment. You can't just shoot a baddie in the head and move on because that would waste your ammo and anger them. What you need to do is totally tear them apart. While you are tearing them apart, they will change their approach to killing you. For example, if you take the legs out, they'll crawl towards you with their arms and try to take you out that way. In addition, there's some other cool powers like telekinesis and stasis. Based on all the footage I've seen so far, EA could have a possible game of the year contender with Dead Space.

Also out this week is indie darling child, World of Goo, on both PC (direct from 2D Boy via PayPal, on Steam, Direct2Drive, Beanstalk, Greenhouse, and in regular stores for all you disc fans) and WiiWare. Based on Tower of Goo (download it for free here, this physics-based puzzle game requires you to build structures using different types of goo in order to get balls to the exit. Sounds simple, but judging by the time I've played Tower of Goo, the end result should be a damned addictive game.

If you're a Wii owner looking for a hilarious adventure game should check out Sam and Max: Season One from Telltale Games. As you could probably infer from the title, it's a compilation of the all six episodes from the first season of the game put onto one disc on the Wii. Each episode will give you about two or three hours of gameplay, so you're looking at about 12-18 hours total to complete them all. Totally recommended if you're a Wii owner who liked Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive people and haven't played the PC version of Sam and Max: Season One.

Also out this week is SOCOM Confrontation for the PS3 (the latest installment in the popular online shooter), Saints Row 2 (the next installment in the GTAalike franchise), and Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2 (the sequel to the cult-classic 1984 arcade/NES game).

Oh yeah, Rock Revolution comes out this week too. If you buy it, I will punch you in the face.

Next week, prepare for armageddon.



Posted on Oct 7th 2008 at 11:27:17 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

This would be the sorry for me being slow, at least it's still the calm before the storm edition. Oh well, here's this week's BALLIN release list:


Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Fracture
•NBA 09: The Inside
•NBA 2K9
•NBA Live 2009
•Crash: Mind Over Mutant
•Guilty Gear 2: Overture
Fracture
•NBA 09: The Inside
•NBA 2K9
•NBA Live 2009
•Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune
•Crash: Mind Over Mutant
•Game Party II 
•Line Rider 2 Unbound
•NBA Live 2009 All Play
•Ten Pin Alley 2
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•My Spanish Coach
•NBA 09: The Inside
•NBA Live 2009

PC

•Baseball Mogul 2009
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (Also available in a limited edition)
•Can You See What I See
•Dark Horizon
•Etch A Sketch
•Exodus from the Earth
•The Guild 2: Venice 
•Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy
•SAS: Secure Tomorrow
•Sniper: Art of Victory
•Baseball Mogul 2009
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (Also available in a limited edition)
•Can You See What I See
•Dark Horizon
•Etch A Sketch
•Exodus from the Earth
•The Guild 2: Venice 
•Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy
•SAS: Secure Tomorrow
•Sniper: Art of Victory
•Crash: Mind Over Mutant 
•NBA 09: The Inside
•NBA 2K9
•NBA Live 2009
•Onimusha: The Essentials


Anyways, the highlight this week is Fracture. In case you don't know, Fracture is a third person shooter like so many others. What sets this one apart from the rest is the ability to manipulate the terrain around you. Neat idea on paper, but the actual games falls victim to the disease affecting so many other games today: more of the same. The actual shooting portion of the game is just not that great. It feels like every other third person from the past two or three years. But that's not my biggest issue with the game. I truly have a problem with how it seems very linear and hand-holding in what you need to do. LucasArts really should have taken this game and made it more into a free roaming style experience with some clever puzzle solving aspects rather than a generic third person shooter that rips borrows something from every big name game over the past couple of years.

It may sound like I didn't like Fracture, but that's not the case at all. The game is pretty fun, but nowhere near $60 fun. Wait for this one to hit $20 or $30 before buying. Or if you're unsure, try out the demo on Playstation Network or Xbox Live.

Also out this week is the latest game based on the Bleach anime series. The only reason I mention it is because one of my favorite developers, Treasure, made it. I didn't highlight in the release list because I hate Bleach and it's wannabe Chuckie main character.

Another big release this week, and a possibly game of the year contender will be released this week: Etch-A-Sketch for the PC. In case you have not been following the massive hype surrounding this game, Etch-A-Sketch is the new prequel to the classic MS Paint which appears to feature a special guest appearance from a silver Pac-Man. Wonder why they decided to bring out a prequel over 20 years after the original, but maybe they can ride the cash wave of casual games. For me, I'll be sticking with Paint.

Finally this week, notice Ten Pin Alley 2 in the Wii's release list? This is the perfect example of how bad the shovelware situation on the Wii has become. Did you ever hear of the first game? It was a mediocre bowling game released in the US in 1996 for the PC and PS1. Yeah. We're digging up mediocre 12 year old franchise and shoehorning in Wiimote controls in hopes of a little money. Nice going Jack of All Games, whoever you are.

Come back next week when the REAL wallet raping begins. Now if you'll excuse me, I just got a LittleBigPlanet beta key in my email. Cheesy



Posted on Sep 30th 2008 at 03:15:08 PM by (Sirgin)
Posted under Review, Modern Gaming, PS2, Sony, Square, Disney, RPG, Kingdom Hearts

What would happen if we put many of Disney's famous characters, some random evil guys, a couple of Final Fantasy's greatest heroes and some new spike-haired kids all in one game? That must've been the question Squaresoft and Disney were asking themselves when they were creating the concept of Kingdom Hearts. What made them came up with such a crazy question? I have no idea. Does it make for an enjoyable RPG? It sure does.

No matter which way you look at it, Kingdom Hearts (2002) is a pretty unique game. It shares some common points with the Final Fantasy series, but it's profoundly different otherwise.
At the start of the game we meet Sora, Riku and Kairi. These three friends are simply enjoying the little tropical world they live in and spend their days playing, talking or staring at the ocean. One day changes everything when the Heartless, a purple army of toy-like bad guys, attack the island. Both Kari and Riku disappear and Sora decides to go and look for his friends, with the help of his magical Keyblade.

Before the main story takes off, you're placed in a church-like darkness, with only glass windows displaying sleeping princesses to walk on. This area serves as a tutorial for basic combat action as well as facing you with a choice that'll decide your "destiny". Destiny may be a big word, but it comes down to you having to choose a strength and weakness with "attack", "defense" and "magic" as your options. This will later influence the way your character (Sora) levels up, what abilities he'll get first and even how fast he'll level.

Soon after embarking on his quest, Sora will meet up with Donald and Goofy, who will accompany you throughout the rest of the game. You stumbled upon the hilarious duo because they are on a quest of themselves: to find King Mickey, who has given them instructions to assist the Keyblade wearer, which just happens to be Sora.
Although the plot may seem quite heavy, it is treated pretty lightly during most of the game, mainly because you'll be working to get all the sub-plots in the different Disney worlds settled out. There's more to say about the main plot but revealing any more story feels like spoiling to me, so I won't. I'll just say that even though the story has its depth, it's clear to see that Square wanted to make this a lighter digestible plot than the average Final Fantasy; a decision that's also reflected in Kingdom Heart's gameplay - but more about that in a minute.

You'll meet many famous Disney characters on your quest to find Riku and Kairi, all living in their specific world based upon their movie counterparts. Funny is how these Disney characters (except Donald and Goofy) don't know anything about the major story, but are preoccupied with their own little problems. Along the way you'll find yourself playing alongside characters like Alladin and Jack Skellington in worlds such as Wonderland, Agrabah, the Hundred Acre Wood, Halloween Town, etc... Next to that there are some new worlds designed specifically for this game such as Traverse Town and Hollow Bastion.

Now for one of the most irritating aspects of the game: travelling between all these worlds. Rather than just having your party "teleport" to a world, you'll have to play a minigame each time you'll travel to a new world. Your ship, called a Gummi ship, travels along a determined path until you reach the next world. While flying around you'll have to shoot (often unidentifiable) enemies. This is clearly a Star Fox rip-off, and a bad one at that. By defeating enemies you'll receive "Gummi blocks" which you can use to upgrade your ship. Instead of making this easy, Square decided to put in an awkward ship editor in the game that allows you to make your ship stronger by adding parts or even create a new one. This sounds better than it actually is because there isn't any point in doing so. The Gummi levels are so easy, you'll just want to get them over with quickly to advance to the next world; so what's the point of upgrading the basic ship? The whole feature could have been left out of the game for me, but I guess Square found it necessary to let players "experience" how the party travels between worlds.

Luckily, the game is a whole lot better when inside one of the worlds. Unlike the (until then) Final Fantasy series, Kingdom hearts is an Action RPG. This means all combat happens directly in the main environments, without "going" into a turn-based combat area. Your main weapon is Sora's Keyblade, with which you can use to hit the enemies one time or in combo's (depending on the abilities you have). You can also cast traditional FF-style magic such as fire, blizzard, thunder, slow, etc... These can be selected in the "Command menu" in the lower left corner of the screen with either the D-pad or the right analog stick. You can also assign up to three magics to the cross, triangle and square buttons that allow for easy-casting in combination with L1. Lastly, you can summon Disney characters that'll temporarily help Sora out, giving Donald and Goofy a break. The camera can be moved only to the left and right by holding down either L2 or R2, which feels quite restricted. In fact, it's the main thing that bothered me while playing Kingdom Hearts; I find the camera much too close to Sora's back to give a overall perspective of your environment. Oftentimes you won't even see the enemies you're fighting, with the camera struggling to get them into view. If it wasn't for the lock-on function (activated with R1), Kingdom Hearts would be almost unplayable.

Combat happens frequently, with enemies spawning almost everywhere on the map. Sadly enough the limited tactical options will make fighting the hordes of Heartless a rather boring venture, and feels like "something you have to do" instead of being a source of fun. It isn't so irritating that it'll make you stop playing, but it could've been done a lot better. As I said earlier, Donald and Goofy will accompany you on your quest, so they're also with you during combat; helping out by attacking enemies, using magic or throwing a potion your way when your health is low. You can also opt to temporarily exchange one of the two by an optional character, depending on the world you're in. On a positive note I can say that the boss fights are much more fun than the random battles and can be quite challenging, too. (if you haven't leveled up your characters too much, that is)

Besides the fighting, there's the traditional RPG action to be done such as talking to characters, buying items and weapons in stores and saving your game at save points. There's also a bit of platforming included, which is a nice distraction from the combat but suffers from the same camera problems as well as the not-so-fluid jumping animation. Kingdom Hearts clearly is an RPG with some platform elements rather than a platform game with RPG elements.

In the main menu there are the traditional "item", "equipment", "status" and "abilities" menus as well as a "customize" and "journal" menu. In the customize menu you can set the quick-access magics for Sora and determine Donald and Goofy's combat behavior by selecting if they have to do certain things "constantly", "frequently" or "occasionally". The journal menu serves as a log in which a summary of the story is kept, next to character and world descriptions.

Graphically, Kingdom Hearts is a feast for the eyes, especially if you're a Disney fan. Both the worlds and characters accurately resemble their traditional animation counterparts, something Square can be proud of. You can also enjoy the colorful scenery in first-person view when pressing the select button. Once again, the restricted camera is the only thing that keeps this game from being a sightseers' dream.

Vocally, Square has done their best with much of the dialog being voiced over by an excellent cast of voice actors. Most of the actual Disney voice actors have lent their voices to their respective characters and Haley Joel "I see dead people" Osment gave his voice to Sora. Sound effects are average but just like in most of Square's RPG's, music is excellent. Each world is accompanied by its own theme (often a variation or adaptation of the famous Disney themes) that either sets a happy tone (in the Disney worlds) or a more serious tone (in the non-Disney worlds).

Despite its flaws, Kingdom Hearts is a unique game that successfully merges the worlds of Disney and Square into a unique experience. Whether you're an RPG fan, Square fan, Disney fan or action fan; there's a little for everybody in Kingdom Hearts. 8.4/10



Posted on Sep 30th 2008 at 05:22:40 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

So, I had this written earlier today and wanted to make a few corrections, but then I closed the web browser on accident. Looks like I'mma have to do the commentary section from memory. Cheesy

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Silent Hill Homecoming•Mobile Ops: The One Year War    
Silent Hill Homecoming
•Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
•We Cheer
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•Cake Mania
•Pipe Mania
•Valhalla Knights 2

PC

•Baseball Mogul 2009
•Dark Horizon
•Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft 
•Mount & Blade
•Pipe Mania
•SAS: Secure Tomorrow
•Sniper: Art of Victory
•Animal Paradise
•Margot's Word Brain
•Pipe Mania 
•Pop Cutie: Street Fashion Simulation
•Princess Debut
Sonic Chronicles: Dark Brotherhood
•Unsolved Crimes
•Mortal Kombat Kollection
•Onimusha: The Essentials 
•Pipe Mania 


Looks like the game companies decided to give us a break before completely slaughtering our wallets in October.

First featured game this week is Silent Hill Homecoming for the PS360, the newest installment in the popular survival horror franchise. I must confess that I've never played a Silent Hill game in my life, but I do know that Pyramid Head is badass. Since I've never played Silent Hill, I pose this question to my readers. Is it worth getting into the series? If so, where should I start?

Next up is Sonic Chronicles for the DS. Expecting a fast platformer like Sonic Rush? You're definitely not getting that. Sega decided to take Sonic in a totally different direction with this new game, and hand off development to Bioware, creators of Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Yup, this is an RPG in the Sonic universe. Quite an interesting concept if I must say so. And get this: it's getting strong reviews. Let that sink in. A new game starring Sonic that's actually GOOD. For reals.

Also this week: 360 owners can MUST download Mega Man 9 for 800 Space Bucks (that's $10 for us Earthlings).

Check back next week for a return to game companies raping your wallet.



Posted on Sep 23rd 2008 at 12:41:26 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

Yet another crowded week. It's especially bad for Wii and PS3 owners...

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
•Baja: Edge of Control
Buzz Quiz TV
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (Also avaliable as a limited edition)
•Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009
LEGO Batman
•Baja: Edge of Control
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (Also avaliable as a limited edition)
•Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009
LEGO Batman
•Warriors Orochi 2
•Brothers in Arms: Double Time
•Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009
de Blob
LEGO Batman
•Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked
•Pitfall: The Big Adventure
•Rebel Raiders
Samba De Amigo
•Sim City Creator
•Twin Strike: Operation Thunder
Wario Land: Shake It
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
Buzz Master Quiz
LEGO Batman
•Pipe Mania

PC

•Battlelord: King’s Bounty
•Command & Conquer 3 Deluxe Edition
•Everlight
•Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition
•Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge
LEGO Batman
•Mount & Blade
•Nostradamus
•The Settlers VI Gold
•Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization 
•Barbie Fashion Show: •Eye for Style
•Brain Quest Grades 3 & 4
•Brain Quest Grades 5 & 6
•Di-Gata Defenders
•Dinosaur King
Disgaea DS
•Drop Cast
•Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge
Kirby: Super Star Ultra
LEGO Batman
•Margot's Word Brain
•My Japanese Coach
•My SAT Coach: Princeton Review
•My Little Pony Pinkie Pie's Party
•Nancy Drew: Hidden Staircase
•Pipe Mania
•Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
•Shaun the Sheep
•Sim City Creator
•Time Hollow
•Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009
•Dragon Ball Z Trilogy
LEGO Batman (Also available in a bundle with a PS2 system for all 2 people that don't own one yet)
•Onimusha: The Essentials
•Pipe Mania
SingStar Pop Vol 2
•Warrior's Orochi 2


Because I'm kinda busy, I will keep my rundown fairly short.

So, this week you have a Wiimake of Samba De Amigo (which apparently isn't that great), a Wii adaptation of student project that gathered a lot of attention at the Independent Games Festival, yet another WW2 FPS (but a good looking one), a new Lego game (which usually turn out good), a new Buzz! game (pretty good trivia/party game), Wario Land: Shake It (Nintendo hasn't hyped this game at all. Why?), Kirby Super Star Ultra (Same. Why no love Nintendo?), Disgaea DS (ugly art, but supposedly good game if you like that kind of thing), and of course Mega Man 9! If you own a 360, PS3, or Wii, I expect you to buy MM9. If you don't I seriously doubt your classic gamer cred.

Also out this week on the PSN is Wipeout HD, a steal at just $20.

Sorry for the abridged look at this week's games. Hopefully school doesn't totally screw me over again next week.



Posted on Sep 22nd 2008 at 02:56:29 PM by (Sirgin)
Posted under Review, Modern Gaming, PS2, Sony, Square, Enix, Level 5, RPG, Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King (in the US: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King) is Level-5's third RPG for the Playstation 2, and also the third game ever by the developer. After the good Dark Cloud (2000) and the great Dark Chronicle (2002), Level-5 decided to take on the massive task of making the next instalment of the long lasting Dragon Quest franchise. Not only that, Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King (from now on called Dragon Quest 8 ) would become the first game of the series for the Playstation 2, as well as being the first Dragon Quest game with 3D graphics. Not an easy task, but Level-5 fulfilled all expectations.

The game starts when the evil mage Dhoulmagus tries to steal a legendary sceptre, locked away in a local castle. To reach his goal, Dhoulmagus cursed the castle and petrified everyone inside into plant-like beings except for three individuals. The King, Throde, gets transformed into a Yoda-like toad, while his daughter, princess Medea, gets turned into a horse. The last survivor of the curse is you, the hero of this tale, and the only one not affected by the curse in any way.

Despite the shallowness and classic feel of the story, there are some interesting plot twists that'll keep you entertained until the end. Along the way you'll meet three more characters that'll join you on your adventure: Yangus, Jessica and Angelo. Yangus is rough fellow that got his life saved by the hero and calls him "guv" out of respect. Another recurring line of Yangus is "Cor' Blimey!" whenever King Throde appears out of nowhere. Jessica is a hard headed aristocratic girl that wants to avenge the death of her brother, Alister, who got killed by Dhoulmagus some time before his attack on the castle. Angelo is a Templar Knight, devoted to Abbot Francisco, but lacking the will to follow the Templars' strict moral code.

This lively bunch sets out to find Dhoulmagus, and while doing so encounter countless other characters that need assitance of some sort to advance the main plot. The game offers alot of content and a whole world to discover. Rushing through the story without doing any sidequests will almost take up 50 hours. You can almost double that number when playing at a normal pace and getting involved in most of the sidequests.

Gameplay-wise, Dragon Quest 8 is an as classic RPG as it gets. Combat is turn-based and gets triggered by random encouters. Because there are only 4 playable characters, switching characters isn't an option, meaning all characters will level up at the same speed. When faced against a number of monsters, you'll have to assign tasks to all 4 of your characters first and then watch them get executed together with enemy attacks. Besides melee and ranged attacks, characters can cast offensive or healing spells, aswell as use weapon-specific abilities. Lastly, players can opt to raise the tension of a character to build up energy that can be released in a single, devastating blow; especially useful when doing a boss fight.

Characters differ concerning the spells they can cast, aswell as the attributes they can raise. When a characters levels up, you can assign points to any of 5 attributes of that character. 4 of those attributes are to increase damage done with specific weapons, 1 attribute is different for each character. Some tactics lie in the fact that not all characters can use all types of weapons. For example, Angelo is the only one that can wield bows. The maximum amount of points that can be assigned to an attribute is 100, which can be obtained at around level 40. This gives players some time to experiment with different weapon types first before having to stick to one type to get it as strong as possible. The different weapon types are swords, boomerangs, axes, clubs, knives, scythes, whips, staves, bows and fisticuffs (no weapon equiped).

Besides weapons, characters can also equip a piece of body armor, a helmet, a shield and an accessory. These aren't as many categories as in some other RPGs, but you'll still spend a great deal of time finding, buying or making better weapons and armour. That last option is available once aquiring an Alchemy Pot. You can throw in multiple items and see what new item pops out. This mini-game is similar to the "invention" system in Dark Chronicle or the weapon system in Rogue Galaxy. It's quite important to try out as much combinations as you can, because it's the best way to get a hold of some strong weapons/armour/items before being able to purchase them. That's needed, because the game can be pretty challenging, especially early on when it doesn't take much hits to get your party wiped out. After the game's ending you can load your saved game again to just before defeating the final boss and enter a complete new dungeon after which some of the hardest boss battles can be found. Sometimes you'll have to go through large stretches of land without really knowing what to look for. Although this might set off the less experienced RPGer, old-school gamers will love the classic approach to this RPG.

If I could say only one thing about Dragon Quest 8, it would be that it's a very polished, rich and complete games. Alot of thought went into the menu, which looks particulary nice. All your items can easily be sorted with an auto-sort option in the menu, where they are displayed with beautiful icons. Also nice is that, when pressing select, you get a "battle records" menu in which you can watch a full list of of monsters, collected items and Alchemy Pot recepies.

Coupled to the great gameplay are stunning visuals and sound. Graphics are some of the best on the PS2 and the best ever in the Dragon Quest series. The cel-shading suits the game perfectly, with characters and monsters looking like they've just escaped from an anime, yet staying faithful to the Dragon Quest franchise. Akira Toriyama did the character design of this game and is the man responsible for the Dragon Ball Z series.

Sound is just as nice with convincing voice acting (despite the sometimes over-the-top voice of King Throde), great sound effects and fantastic music. The songs are all classic orchestral tracks that really set the mood for the many areas that the game is rich. From the regal intro tune to the upbeat battle song or the creepy dungeon track; they all maintain the same high level and are never out of place.

I'll wrap it up by saying that Dragon Quest 8 is one of the best games in the series aswell as one of the best RPGs on the PS2. If you're looking for a good RPG, a game that will last a long time or just a good game in general, this is a must-buy. 9.3/10



Posted on Sep 15th 2008 at 12:19:39 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Playsation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, DS, PS2

I've been hyping it up for a long time now, but this is going to be the trend for the next few months. A fuckton of games. Enjoy!

Playstation 3Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
•Armored Core: For Answer
Pure
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
•Armored Core: For Answer
•Battle Fantasia
Pure
Rock Band 2 (360 Exclusive. GAME ONLY! The bundle comes out next month.)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 2 (Simply because it has LCD Soundsystem Sad )
•Igor
•Kidz Sports: Crazy Golf
•Littlest Pet Shop
•Rebel Raiders
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
•TNA Impact!
•Zoo Hospital
PSPNintendo DSPlaystation 2
•B-Boy
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
•Yggdra Union

PC

•Cooking Academy
Crysis: Warhead
•Discovery
•Everlight
•Hell's Kitchen 
Line Rider 2 Unbound
•The Price is Right
Pure
•The Settlers VI: Gold Edition
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky 
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
•Animal Paradise
•Di-Gata Defenders
Dragon Quest IV
•Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition
•Happy Cooking
•Igor
•Imagine: Fashion Designer New York
Line Rider 2 Unbound
•My Secret World by Imagine
•Red Bull BC One
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
•Unsolved Crimes
Dance Dance Revolution: X (Game only and Bundle. However, the game has a craptacular song list, par for the course with DDR these days. Hey Konami, just release a game with the arcade soundtrack for once. You'll make so many people happy.)
Namco Classic Fighter Collection (Includes Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, and Soul Calibur II)
•Naruto Ultimate Collection
•Pac-Man Power Pack
•Speed Racer
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed


So, yeah, this week has quite a few good games coming out. Where do we start?

How about the biggest game of the week, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed? I've played the demo on PS3 and it's pretty damned good. Not $60 good, but a good pickup at $30 or $20. However, if you're a Star Wars fan, you might want to get it right away because it seems like the first great Star Wars game since Battlefront II. In case you don't already know, Force Unleashed is kind of like a God of War or Devil May Cry game set in the Star Wars world. But what makes this game so awesome is that you can play around with the force. For example, grab a Stormtrooper and throw him into other enemies or grab a TIE Fighter and throw it at enemies. There's so much you can do in this game due to the fact that it is running THREE physics engines on the PS3/360 versions. But don't you Wii owners feel left out, you'll get the opportunity of using waggle to throw things. I haven't researched the other versions as much, but I bet they'll be good.

Rock Band 2 comes out this week ONLY FOR XBOX 360. Harmonix has load of cash from Microsoft a contract with Microsoft to have Rock Band 2 on the 360 one month before the other systems. The thing is that the only way you can get the game at the minute is without any of the instruments. The bundle will arrive next month along with the release of Rock Band 2 on the other systems. So, I'll save talking about it until then. However I will say that if you buy RB2 and you already have the first one, you can transfer over all the songs from the frist game for only $5...and any songs you purchased on the first game will work with the new game free of charge. Nice job Harmonix!

Square Enix whores will be happy to know that yet another handheld port of one of their old games is coming out this week. That game is Dragon Quest IV for the DS. Since I don't like Square Enix besides the fact that they published Space Invaders Extreme and Einhander, I won't comment on how good this game is because I obviously hate it. Smiley

Also out this week is Pure, Disney's surprisingly fun arcadey ATV racer; Crysis Warhead, the sequel to the biggest PC game no one bought because they're all cheapskates that would rather pirate games instead of putting food on the developer's tables; S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, a neat looking FPS; Warhammer Online, yet another MMO; and Line Rider 2, a new version of the popular web game.

In case you did not notice there, I started listing PC games. You're very welcome. Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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