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Posts Tagged ‘EA Games’

Episode CLXI: Oh No, He’s Going To Tell Another Story!

O Bastard, My Bastard, our fearful show is here!

In this week’s episode Blueonic gripes about the bad side of celebrating Thanksgiving, while King Baby Duck thinks of ways of making the feast even better with the help of a deep-fryer. Spielberg’s latest film Lincoln is reviewed, as the duo thinks back at how much the political party system has changed since the passing of the 13th Amendment. The demo of Need For Speed: Most Wanted  is looked at, with both guys perplexed by how much of a step back the game looks compared to Hot Pursuit. Blueonic praises the new DLC content of Sniper Elite V2, and the Bastards say farewell to Twinkies.

Whether you voted “Aye” or “Nay,” here comes Episode 161: Oh No, He’s Going To Tell Another Story!

Episode CLVI: Side Effects May Include Motion Sickness

Take some Dramamine, because it’s time for another episode with the Bastards!

This week King Baby Duck and Blueonic talk about the gripes of having swarms of tourists around the Salem area, and wonder if and when they’ll start getting used to having movies being made around the area. KBD reviews the first episode of Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, and discusses its non-canon elements that make it different from the other anime seasons. The recent film End of Watch is talked about, and Blueonic goes gun crazy with the beta for Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Finally the recent HD remasters of Sonic Adventure 2, Jet Set Radio, and NiGHTS into dreams… are looked at, and Blueonic explains why that spiky blue hedgehog is making him literally feel ill.

Buckle up your seatbelt, because you don’t wanna fall off during the loop-de-loop! It’s Episode 156: Side Effects May Include Motion Sickness!

Episode CLI: Nine Out Of Ten Atheists Even Agree That Chuck Norris Is God!

If you don’t listen to this show, he will punch you with his beard fist!

This week Blueonic is excited about Grid 2, but is cautiously optimistic with the changes in Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. The Bastards are at opposite ends when it comes to the demo for Madden NFL 13, but soon come to an agreement with Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII. After all that (plus tangents) the B3 crew get their testosterone pumping when they chat about The Expendables 2.

Did he really just take out that tank just by staring it?! It’s Episode 151: Nine Out Of Ten Atheists Even Agree That Chuck Norris Is God!

Episode CXLVIII: Gaming Resistance Is Futile!!!

It’s another super-sized Podcast episode. All gaming, some tangents! Plus the Issues Guy joins in on the fun!

This week the B3 Crew and Issues Guy share their most favorite and least-favorite games of 2012 so far. Other discussions include how Call of Duty should better itself in the near-future, what Nintendo needs to do to get gamers to buy the WiiU, and predictions on what the next big game will be for the second half of the year are thrown around.

It’s long, it’s crazy, but it will fill your belly with laughter! It’s Episode 148: Gaming Resistance Is Futile!!!

"Medal of"–OH SH!T! RPG!!!

I know this came out in 2010, but I was able to get my hands on Medal of Honor recently (that, and the new one is coming out later this year). I didn’t mind this game so much, as I liked the leap from doing the World War II style to the more modern battles, especially in the Middle East. This game also gave me a new aspect of “mountain warfare.”

STORY:

Medal of Honor truly went towards a soldier-aspect, with real situations from actual soldiers being implemented into the story. The mountain warfare was one of the most impressive things they did with this game, from sniping on mountains to the scary spider holes that they had. It seemed when everything was all right, that’s when the worst would happen. They would come out in a ridiculous amounts of waves rocking RPGs, AK47s, PKMs. I was glad, however, that the other guys in my unit were carrying ammo. It was scary to see how nearly invincible they were, and you wonder why we had such a hell of a time with the war in Iraq and dealing with finding Osama Bin Laden.

The story kind of starts off in a scary aspect, when you’re with one of the elite squads of the U.S. Military, and they are in a Chinook helicopter. Suddenly it gets hit by an RPG, and you have to jump out before it crash lands. It then goes back six months previous to the start of the main mission where you’re looking for a special Person of Interest. You are then almost blown up from an I.E.D. placed on a dead body that looked like the guy they were trying to find. After that the games moves onto another four soldiers that are a part of the Delta squad for the Army.

You also play as the U.S. 75th Army Regiment that gets dropped off in what seems to be Omaha Beach in WWII, except it’s an uphill battle on a mountain side. Let’s just say it was a bad place to be dropped off, as all the Taliban came pouring out from the tops of the hill and just made it one hell of a battle. The story bounces back and fourth through the groups on the mission aspect, but if you’re a person that likes first-person shooters I’d recommend renting the game or buying it cheap price on Amazon.com.

GAMEPLAY:

When I started playing Medal of Honor I had a different feel to how the guns were set up. I have to give that to them, though, seeing that they were able to make it different from Battlefield 3 (since they used the same Frostbite 2 engine). The graphics were done very well with how they did the ground layout, along with the sun-and-sky elements to create the shadow effects. The sniper part of the game was also interesting, as it gave you a bit of the realism with how the bullet would drop depending on the angle.

However the main issue I had with the game was it didn’t give you a map HUD, which made it hard to figure out where I was going. The only good thing I saw regarding this issue was the up button on the D-pad would give you the location area of what the spotter was telling you. The gun designs were nicely done, from the M4s and SAWs to AK47/74s and the RPGs. I’m impressed with how this game was done and how realistic it was. It’s just sad that this game didn’t do very well. Fortunately EA Games is making a follow-up to this game called Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which is due to come out on October 23rd 2012.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I know that this game wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, seeing that it ended up getting its arse handed to it by Battlefield and Call of Duty. (It’s kind of like what happened to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s film UHF, which got swallowed whole by both Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.) It was more or less the bad timing, and the fact that the last Medal of Honor to come out was MOH: Airborne. I know that Hero’s came out but I can’t count that being on the portable. Medal of Honor didn’t do so well because it failed to catch up with the other modern military shooters, as people weren’t interested in another WWII game. Warfighter, though, should give the Medal of Honor series the big jump it needs, hopefully making it the frontrunner it was before.

FINAL GRADE: 9.1 (out of ten)

Game: Medal of Honor
Developer: EA
Publisher: EA
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Genre: FPS
Official Site


I dedicate this review to all the men and women that have served or are serving right now, and those who gave their lives to the cause of yours and my freedom.

The photo above is the Medal of Valor, and it’s an honor for those who can obtain it. The recipients of this medal usually made the ultimate sacrifice in order to save one or more people in battle. If you see someone who owns it, make sure you show the utmost form of respect!

EA, Maxis Revives "SimCity"

A classic game is making a comeback, and in a big way!

At the GDC yesterday EA Games announced that it is bringing back SimCity to the PC in 2013. Developed by Maxis Emeryville and powered by the GlassBox Engine SimCity will combine the classic elements of the original title with that of the recent popular Sims games. You can build the city builder in various ways that affect the character of your city, the state of your region and fellow players within the entire SimCity world. Sims in each city will also have jobs, can purchase homes, be rich or an economic drain on the place you build. Players’ decisions will have long-lasting repercussions that will extend beyond their city limits, a first in the SimCity realm. They will address real global challenges such as climate change, the search for renewable resources and natural disasters. The new SimCity promises to combine fun, addictive gameplay elements with an interface that encourages anyone to jump in and begin playing.

“We’d like to thank the millions of fans who have helped make SimCity synonymous with the city-building genre. This is a franchise that means the world to us at Maxis and we’re happy to be bringing it back home where we are reimagining it for an entirely new generation of players,” said Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President of EA’s Maxis Label. “Using our proprietary GlassBox Engine, SimCity for PC will equip players with the tools to play the most sophisticated simulation of its kind. We are dedicated to making sure the experience – no matter the platform – has the fun, flavour and playability that has been intrinsic to the franchise since its birth.”

SimCity first premiered by in 1989, and has since been played by well over 30 million players in its different incarnations. For more information on the new SimCity, visit the official website at www.simcity.com. Now if they can just bring back SimCopter

"Shank" Sequel Brings More Of The Same

In 2010 the developers over at Klei Entertainment unleashed Shank to the world, a side-scrolling stab-em-up bloodfest that was great on the eyes, but a tad lacking in the game length department. (You can read our review of it right here.) Last September it was announced that a sequel was in the works, with EA’s Andy Katkin promising that “it’s an entirely new game.” Alas, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

This time around our hero Shank must save the woman who raised him in the orphanage he once grew up in, along with members of his ex-girlfriend Carina’s resistance against the new El Presidente Magnus. Throughout the nine levels Shank (and Carina in one instance) must stab, shoot, and pummel every opponent he comes across in order to rescue the people he cares most about. As the game progresses you’ll earn more weapons and unlock more characters & costumes depending on the achievements you attain.

For the most part the gameplay is relatively the same as the first Shank title. The controls are just as they were in the first title, and the enemy mechanics are as similar as they were before. One new thing to the single player mode is the ability to pick up some of your enemies’ weapons. Unfortunately those weapons are limit to those you can smack others with; you cannot pick up guns, with the exception of a grenade launcher in the final level. Some areas have interactive weaponry such as saw blades, elevators, and car lifts, but these areas are very few and far in-between. Almost each of the nine levels has a boss battle, many of which offer a good challenge, although battling Magnus in the end is more frustrating and takes away some of the fun of the game.

One of the key differences in Shank 2 is its overall look. While it still retains the cel-shaded cartoonish appearance the graphics are much more detailed and have more of a serious aspect than the somewhat humorous one found in the first game. Bloodshed still flows wonderfully, and the character animation still has great fluidity in it. Also on par are the cutscenes, which have been animated using some great Flash techniques. Maybe one day we’ll be treated to a Shank cartoon on [adult swim], but the beat-em-up styles of our hero are still too similar to that of Brock Sampson to have that happen anytime soon.

One of the downfalls of Shank 2 is that it is noticeably shorter than the first one. I was able to beat the game in under five hours on Normal mode, about an hour and a half less than it took for me to beat the first Shank. Also absent is a great co-op Adventure mode, which made the first one’s replay value skyrocket. There is a co-op Survival mode that you can play with a friend or another gamer online. In it you must protect three sets of supplies from being destroyed by bombers. If a bomb is planted you only have a few seconds to disarm it, but ongoing enemy attacks make it harder than you’d think. You can call backup to help you out, as well as use nearby traps to eliminate the bombers more swiftly. While Survival is loads of fun, it still lacks the punch of the original co-op Adventure.

PROS:

  • Solid gameplay mechanics
  • Cel-shaded look improved greatly
  • Easy arcade-based control scheme

CONS:

  • Not much different from the first game
  • Single player campaign a bit short
  • Lacks co-op Adventure mode

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Shank 2 is an improvement over the first one, but not by much. While it plays and looks better, there really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Those who liked the first Shank game will enjoy themselves with the sequel; those who weren’t are better suited to look elsewhere for their side-scrolling beat-em-up needs. At least it’s priced right (800 MSP or $9.99).

FINAL GRADE: 7.2 (out of ten)

Adorable Alien Kills All In "Warp"

The very last game I played at PAX East 2011 was a little title called Warp, made by independent developer Trapdoor Inc. In it you controlled a little alien who must escape from the clutches of scientists wishing to study you for research regarding the world beyond our own. Only lasting five minutes at the time the visuals and gameplay mechanics had me craving more. Eleven months later the final product has arrived on Xbox Live Arcade (with the PSN and PC versions coming out March 13), but does Warp continue to bring the fun shock value I once felt on the convention floor?

Warp has you take control of Zero as he runs around the facility trying to escape. Once you start off the game you are given the ability to warp through thin walls, as well as into nearby objects and people (known as fragging). If you warp into a person you have the choice to either warp out and leave them unconscious or — the more fun approach — blow them up from the inside, and for those that have seen pictures of Zero and think it’s a humorous explosion, you’d be making one bloody mistake. For a cute character, Zero is very violent.

Using both your warp abilities and some clever stealth tactics you’ll have to guide Zero through some sticky situations involving guards with guns, turrets, and other forms of hazards. Early on in the game you discover that Zero’s powers are drained if he touches water, so some of these guards will have the upper hand thanks to water-based armor. You’ll also have to face countless amounts of labyrinth-inspired areas that will have your brain working so hard you might have an aneurysm before you can escape properly (especially near the end of the game).

Fortunately as the game progresses you will come across new abilities such as Echo and Swap. The former will have you be able to create a decoy version of yourself to distract guards, which can come in handy when it comes to creating friendly fire between them and the scientists wishing to hurt you. Swap, however, will let you switch places between nearby objects and people, and once you figure out how to swap object while being warped inside a person you’ll soon find more gory hilarity. You will also learn how to launch items at your enemy, and can even upgrade your powers using grub you find on each level.

From time to time you will also come across challenges where you’ll have to warp as fast as you can to the other side of the level or frag every scientist or guard as quickly as you can. Beating these challenges under a specific time will give you more grub for Zero to use for his upgrades, and you’ll be able to share your times with everyone else who’s played Warp, as well. Sadly there are no ghost files of other play-throughs to try to compare and battle against, a shame considering that would’ve upped the competitive aspect of the challenges a bit.

For Trapdoor’s first title Warp plays wonderfully. The control aspect is very easy to figure out, as you only use the left control stick and a couple of the main buttons to play the game. While you might mistake the Echo and Warp buttons during dire moments in the game, it happens scarcely. Aiming with the Launch technique might also take some time getting used to.

Using the Unreal Engine the folks at Trapdoor managed to make Warp look pretty good. The characters, areas, and gore all are nicely put together, and I like how detailed the underwater world looks. (The sharks and underwater life were a very nice touch.) Also on-key is its soundtrack, featuring a sci-fi ambiance and some humorous dialogue from the scientists. I do have a tiny gripe, though, in this department: while I have no problem whatsoever with foul language, the f-bombs dropped by the guards seemed a bit off-putting.

Warp‘s main game will run you about 6-7 hours, a fair amount of time for an 800 point title. Once the game is done, though, there is little to come back to (a similar problem to last year’s PSN-exclusive game Rochard). While you can replay through the challenges to better your times, there isn’t much else to accomplish once you’ve beaten the game.

PROS:

  • Fun challenges, puzzle elements, abilities
  • Great-looking graphics, gore factor nice ‘n’ bloody
  • Simple control scheme

CONS:

  • Labyrinth areas get more frustrating later on in the title
  • Lack of multiplayer/co-op may turn off some gamers
  • Guards didn’t need to cuss as much

FINAL THOUGHTS:

While there are a couple disappointments to be found here, Warp is a damn fine debut for Trapdoor Inc. Thanks to its great puzzle elements and solid gaming mechanics, the deceivingly cute Zero manages to help make the overall experience of blowing people into bloody chunks even more fun than usual. Simply put: the eleven months I had to wait for Warp to come out was worth it.

FINAL GRADE: 8.6 (out of 10)

"Shank" Sequel In The Works

Get ready for some more side-scrolling anarchy from EA Games…

At this week’s EA event in Las Vegas it was revealed that Shank 2 is currently in production for a 2012 release. Little is known yet about the title, though EA’s Andy Katkin revealed in the EA live blog that this sequel was going to be a little bit different from its predecessor.

Shank 2 isn’t just a reboot of Shank,” Katkin wrote, “it’s an entirely new game.”

Jamie Cheng of Klei Entertainment (the developers of Shank) also revealed that the way you play Shank 2 will also be different. “We tore our combat system apart,” Cheng said, “and created new controls to be able to use the enemies’ weapons against themselves.” The co-op mode found in the original has also been tinkered. “We took the mechanics and created a new way of playing: multiplayer co-op survival mode.”

Shank 2 will be released on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and the PC. If you want to refresh yourselves, check out our review of the original here.

E3 Lets The "Rage" Boil In Gamers’ Blood

Rage is one of this year’s most hotly anticipated titles, and after going hands-on with it at E3 there are plenty of reasons why.

Developed by id Software (the same folks that brought us Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake) and published by Bethesda Rage will have players take the role of a survivor in 2038, where a meteorite impact has caused the world to let all hell break loose. Hostels and mutants reek havoc on what’s left of Earth, and it’s up to you to restore order in your area. With your trusty dune buggy you must travel throughout the land to blow away the freaks and creatures that aim to strike fear into the hearts of the remaining survivors.

At E3 I was able to go hands-on with the Mutant Bash TV level. In it your character participates in a game show where you’ll have to kill mutants in the quickest time possible to earn cash. You enter a certain section of the TV studio, and the mutants enter through the floor, doors and Futurama-styled pipe entries. As soon as I walked onto the game show floor the mutants came charging at me, with my initial response being to shoot until everything in the room is dead. Easier said than done, for the AI in Rage is ridiculously hard. I found it took roughly twenty shots to kill the weakest of characters. However when it came to take on the final boss of the level (a Kraken-inspired freak of nature) I wound up destroying him in under a minute, which was quicker than dealing with a regular mutant.

I had a bittersweet experience with the controls. The good news is it’s easy to switch weapons and use the secondary ones, sometimes while in the toughest parts of battle. Meleeing is also far easy than in most games, coming in as second-nature to what you do in the game. However because of the speed of the AI it was almost impossible for me to aim properly at the mutants, leaving me to waste more of my ammo than actually use. Trust me when I said that easy melee maneuver will come in handy when six of those creatures are slicing at you all at once. One big side of Rage features some of the most gorgeous graphics I’ve seen in a game at E3. Everything from the scratches on your dune buggy to the facial expressions on the mutants was heavily detailed, and with the game running at sixty frames per second and no lag it is clear that not a second of the four years it has taken to create the game have not been wasted.

What I saw at E3 was just a fraction of what to expect when Rage is released, a title that will also include two multiplayer modes, weapon and buggy customization and even Burnout-styled racing. With a release date of October 4th on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC id Software is gearing up to show once again why they’re the true kings of heart-stopping first-person shooters, and with Bethesda on their side Rage is looking to blow people away with its stellar graphics and apocalyptic gameplay. Just prepare to use your melee skills to the fullest potential, and savor the bullets for when the right moments come.