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Episode CLIV: Wii U! Wii U! Here Come The Boom-Boom-Boom!

It’s a full-on Wii U coverage episode of B3, and the King invites a few friends in on the festivities!

This week King Baby Duck talks about the major screw-up he made about a program he did with Blueonic, but all turns to smiles when Issues Guy and JC Sergeant get pumped about the latest news about Nintendo’s newest system. Hear their thoughts on the launch titles, the hardware, and what they’d like to see happening on the Wii U.

The fun and insanity is right here and now on Episode 154: Wii U! Wii U! Here Come The Boom-Boom-Boom!

"MotionSports" Gets "Adrenaline" Going…For The Most Part

This fat boy just got a Kinect, and I had to get my hands on MotionSports Adrenaline. These are the types of things that I want to do in real life, but never get to because I’m a bit on the big side. I can tell you one thing: this can give your fat arse a workout!

This game is adrenaline at its best, while standing in front of your TV and doing extreme sports. MotionSports is a very physical game, and does need adequate room for the Kinect to read you properly. So if you are a fat lazy bastard like myself, you may need to take a break due to the fact your arms and legs will get tired from movement. With that said, this game is freakin’ awesome! I have always wanted to know how it feels to jump off a cliff with a wing suit, besides watching all those extreme videos of cliff divers or other things within the realm of extreme.

The setup of MotionSports is pretty easy with movements, although the bloody Kinect doesn’t pick up all the movements that you need to do at the time. I am dealing with a room that’s 12′ by 12′, and I do have a 57″ Sony HD TV. However I also have a three-seater couch on the other side of the TV, and that seems to also hinder the movements of what I do in the game. Of course, this is what I call the second stage in motion capture technology. (I remember back in the day when I played Sega Genesis, where a special golf game that has the little platform and a laser connected to it so you could play golf on the TV.) Now you have multiple options between the systems to play different sports, which I have to say is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately they have yet to perfect everything, and I’m at the point where technology shouldn’t have us fighting to make the games work properly.

The gameplay for MotionSports Adrenaline gives you the capability of playing wing suit, downhill biking, kite surfing, extreme skiing, kayaking, and rock climbing. The order I put them in is from the most liked to most dislike. Wing suit cliff diving has been one of my dreams to go and actually do, but I would have to first jump out of a plane a few hundred times and be able to pull a shoot cord by myself until I can hop in a wing suit. This game skips all that, tosses you right into the wing suit, and pushes you right off a cliff. The issues I found with wing suit diving was when a certain pose came up to do, I did it exactly how it showed on the screen, and then it yelled at me saying I didn’t do it. Sometimes I could’ve gone faster at points, but the little mix up got me to go slower.

Downhill racing is another sport I have always wanted to do, but never had the money for the high-end bikes to hold my arse up. (Recently I got a bike that is a 29-incher, and can hold my fat ass for this kind of stuff.) With this style of movement all you had to do is put your hands near one another as if you’re riding a bicycle. It pedals for you, but your movement is what makes the character go faster. Be careful of the tight turns and other obstacles they put in the way, because crashing out isn’t so much fun.

Kite surfing has you being dragged around on a wakeboard and performing a couple jumps just by wind-power alone. It’s almost set up like biking, but you have to control the kite to get you where you need to go. I have to give it to them on the ramp configurations and the grinding they have set up here. I know you’re asking how is kite surfing extreme, so all you have to do is watch it on TV or YouTube to see how extreme it is. They have kites that are rated from 200-300+ pounds so when the wind takes it, it can lift that weight with ease. When you’re at the beach seeing someone getting dragged along on a wakeboard by one of those, then you’ll know why.

Myself being a snowboarder, I’ve never really been interested in extreme skiing. From the X Games I can see that there are more possibilities with the skiing aspect. The extreme skiing here deals with a hell of a downhill setup configured with coins and jumps to complete in order to go faster down the hill on the speed demon games. This is a tough game, and does a lot to get your body moving.

For the kayaking and rock climbing, these two didn’t seem to be easy to do. Rock climbing dealt with arm movements and jumping, which would be good for someone in physical therapy if their shoulder is messed up. Kayaking, on the other hand, just seemed useless, because the movements are for sitting down, but you have to stand up to kayak. I understand that there’s stand-up paddle boarding, but not on a raging river!!!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

If you get MotionSports Adrenaline you will be able to enjoy about 75% of this game. The game itself isn’t complete, as they have the add-on for 400 XBL points, which I’m not sure is worth it right now. I’m thinking of buying it for the aspect of the add-on wing suit and the downhill racing levels. The game it self is good, but the Kinect seems to be off on some of the game. It’s a shame that the technology hasn’t gotten to where it should be. I wish I could rate it higher, but this game doesn’t have the whole setup that could’ve brought it to it’s full potential.

PROS:

  • Wingsuit cliff diving is so much fun!
  • Music is a very good attribute, gets you amped up
  • May want you to give sports a try in real life

CONS:

  • Kinect doesn’t read all your movements
  • Game can do a number on your body, may cause sweating
  • Rock climbing and kayaking not so much fun.

FINAL GRADE: 7.8 (out of ten)

Check out the maniacs at the real sports!

Ghosting in "Ghost Recon: Future Soldier"

The wait is finally over, and believe me my patience was wearing wicked thin (yes Bostonian accent applied). Ghost Recon: Future Solider is a game I have been waiting for  this game since seeing the first video in 2010. My official word: the wait was worth it.

Above is the original trailer that got me hooked on waiting for this game to come out, although there are a few discrepancies from the actual trailer that they neglected to put in the game itself. The first bad guy you see in the video was not in the game at all, along with the civil unrest in Moscow. Another part from the video there are the advanced soldiers (or Spetsnaz) on the Russian side that have somehow got a hold of the equipment that the Ghost Recon members have, but it is not shown in the video. Next to that there was only one level where you used a U.G.V. (Unmanned Ground Vehicle).  Also at the end of the video is the special pack they have to blow up the tanks. Sorry to say there were really no tanks that were too seriously involved in the game. The ones I really dealt with were the crappy small trucks with 50 cal machine guns, which were easily taken out by shooting the guy at the gun or grenading the vehicle. There were a couple of the Russian vehicles that resembles out Humvees that were so much fun to blow up, though.

Gameplay:

Honestly I have to say that the game storyline was a bit too average for my taste. Future Soldier starts out in South America where the group of Ghost Recon members take out a convoy that holds a nuclear bomb from none other than the U.S.S.R. With the search of the device a cell phone rings, and they find out it’s attached to the bomb. They run off trying to escape, but sadly the recon group was killed. It now turns to your groups of Ghost Recon members, where your first mission has you extracting a deserting member of the group transporting the unsavory cargo.


Yes, this is the awesome camouflage they put in the game.

Once your through that section of the game it sends you over to Africa, where you deal with the warlords and find out what their involvement is. It leads you right up to Russia itself, due to the fact there is a underground military group they run called the Bodark. Their main concept was trying to get a nuke into America and cause havoc, but not only that they are working on throwing their own Russian Government.

In the game the Russian leader takes to the street so the Russian public stands with him, which I have to say was very interesting because you got to fight from skyscraper to skyscraper to stop snipers from shooting down on him. As it goes on you have to find the original members who plotted the coup in the first place. It seemed it was not as climactic as it could of been, but all in all the story line was done pretty well. It’s still not my favorite of all time, but I do have to say that the way Future Soldier is played from the third-person over-the-shoulder view to being able to go into a first-person was a nice touch.

As the missions go on you’re able to start accessing better equipment such as the see-through camouflage. The most awesome thing, however is the gunsmith (see video below), where they have 50+ guns to customize the living hell out of. I don’t mean how you customize in Call of Duty or Battlefield. Ghost Recon was able to on up on the customization.

You’re able to change the paint scheme on the side of the gun, along with its magazine (such as high powered rounds), optics (aka scopes), Triggers (change triggers from semi auto, three-shot burst, full auto and match triggers), under barrel (grenade launchers, handles, even stun guns), gas systems (changing the gas system can help change rate of fire), side rail (lasers mostly), barrel (Length difference for maneuverability or range), muzzle (helps with recoil or other wise your suppressor attachment), and stock. Along with that another very cool setup they put into the game is Synchronized Shooting. This gives you the option to drop up to four different people at a time just by marking the enemies and waiting for your fellow members to put a line of site on them. One other very cool thing is the U.A.V. setup they have made, where this little bugger just doesnt just fly, it can also ride around the ground on its wheels and do a lot of damage to a group of guys or certain electronics with it’s EMP generator.

Multiplayer:

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has a great setup that gives you both sides of the ordeal. You have Team Ghost and Team Bodark, with each side starting out with three main members: Scout, Engineer, and Rifleman. There are three other characters that can be earned after reaching level 50 on three different setups, so more or less it’s Ghost Recon‘s way of prestiging. I have yet to do this because of playing multiple games and other fun stuff going on, but it’s an awesome setup on either side. Gunsmith I say is one big factor you have to keep in play, because if you go in with just the normal guns without the proper points to upgrade, you’ll be flat on your ass with your head spinning going “What the f**k just happened to me?!”

The game types you have for multiplayer consist of Conflict (completing objectives randomly located on the map to gain points), Decoy (three objectives for the team, where one key and two decoy traps make it harder for you to capture the devices), Saboteur (where a bomb is located in the central most part of the map, and the teams have to get the bomb to the enemy’s base to detonate the bomb), and Siege (no respawns, defenders deploy near the objectives and attackers have to take out the enemy to obtain the objective). My suggestion for playing online is to not go in gung ho on everything and try to use your sensors to locate the enemy. It’s also not a bad idea to have a taser so you can knock down your enemy and hack their feed to find the other enemies’ location. Stay alive as long as possible so that your teammates can see where the enemy is to take them out. One negative to multiplayer is playing online at night, where for some reason everytime I play late I get my ass handed to me. No, not because I’m tired, but the guys that have been playing since day one come on and beat the living hell out of everyone in one second. Sometimes it’s just not fair in that matter, but when you play on a regular time of the day it’s still got its challenges (an even keel, as it were).

PROS:

  • Camouflage, sneaking around enemies, slient kills
  • Sensor grenades for enemy detection
  • UAV is the best thing you can have on the field to mark enemies to keep your guys safe.
  • Multiplayer is good, but even better when you have friends to play with
  • Gunsmith!!!

CONS:

  • Storyline could’ve been better
  • Late night multiplayer always has someone out to ruin your fun
  • Muliplayer issues with servers sometime happen.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I still love Future Soldier, and I find myself still replaying the storyline with friends to help them out, even though the story is subpar to what I think Tom Clancy could’ve really put into this story (but that’s just an “oh well” on my part). Mostly everyone plays games for the multiplayer aspect anyways these days. I feel that the Gunsmith setup has been something that’s been needed in gun games for awhile, where you can get a little bit more intimate with your weapon and make it more advanced for the situations you find yourself in. I have to give it to Ubisoft for putting the time and effort into this game because it’s come out very well. The game design has created another step up for the other companies to outdo Ghost Recon so that we can play even more advanced games. Although I can’t comment on the aspect of the Kinect part of the game, but dealing with the Gunsmith aspect to use your body in the game seems like an awesome idea, and maybe the step forward to having the gaming room like the kid in that movie Gamer. All in all I love Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and it does have a lot of replay value to it. Give it a try!

FINAL GRADE: 9.4 (out of ten)

Game: Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Genre: Third-person/first-person shooter

P.S.:

Here is the awesome live-action Ghost Recon Alpha mini-movie prequel to the actual game. Here is more info on the video.

The one actor I liked the most in Ghost Recon Alpha is Mark Ivanir, who I feel is a great actor, as I loved his role in Undisputed 2 and 3. He’s been in so many good movies, along with done voice acting for multiple video games. That’s another thing I like about video games is they can bring in the actors from movies and use their skills to bring more to the game. Sadly Mark’s voice wasn’t used in the game.

P.S.S.:

One of the most interesting equipments setups you can have in multiplayer is under Scout, which has the Taser Shockwave (look under stun in the equipment/video above to see what it does). This has to be one of the scariest things ever since the concept of vollying in the times of muskets. Taser Shockwave has developed multiple tasers to be shot off all at once to take down unruly crowds or rioters. Just hope you never get into a riot where your local police department has one of these, or else you’re going to have one hell of a day.

Ubisoft’s “ZombiU” To Redefine Survival Horror

When it comes to video games involving zombies, the scenarios regarding being bitten never follow canon. It’s either your character being immune to the zombie infection, or there’s some sort of magical plant that can heal you back to perfect health. Ubisoft wants to change that in their upcoming WiiU-exclusive survival horror game ZombiU.

In ZombiU players run around a ruined London landscape. The infection has spread to 28 Days Later-levels, and there are only a few survivors. You need to search for supplies, ammo, and other things that will help you in your journey. Players also must be on the lookout for the undead, and do everything they can to kill them. Here’s the tricky part: one bite will kill you, and when it does you will lose everything that you had earned up to that point. There is good news, however: you can go find your previous self zombified, kill him or her, and take back the inventory you previously had from their lifeless bodies.

On the E3 floor I was able to go hands-on with both the single and multiplayer modes of ZombiU. In my single player experience, I found myself scrounging for supplies and weaponry. With the WiiU Gamepad I could find these supplies by lifting the controller up and scanning the perimeters with the touch screen. I could organize my weapons and see on the map where I was located, along with other points I needed to be on the lookout for. Because bullets were scarce I decided to try my luck with the cricket bat when it came to tackling the zombies. Big mistake, it turns out, as the undead swarmed around me in a blink of an eye. I survived roughly five minutes of the single player mode.

Multiplayer was a different story. One of the modes they showed off was a sort of capture-the-flag style of gameplay, where you had to conquer as many areas on the map to get enough points to win the game. Player one, either controlling the WiiU Pro Controller or a Wiimote, will have to capture the flag while fending off the zombies. Player two, with the Gamepad, can drop off zombies in a specific areas to attack the players and surround the flag areas with undead Royal Guard members to capture the posts. Playing as either side has both their advantages and disadvantages. Player one can pick up many weapons and serums to take out the zombies, but can be outnumbered very quickly by the opposing force. Meanwhile player two can send out up to ten zombies at a time to take out player one, but you can only drop them out in specific areas that are not in “the red zone.” There’s a lot of strategy to be found in this mode, and could very well be a fine sneak peek of how a good RTS game would play on the WiiU.

So far ZombiU is looking to be the game to draw the hardcore gamers towards the WiiU, and for good reason. The controls act swiftly, the graphics are fantastic, and the game knows how to keep your heartbeat pounding fast & your butt at the edge of your seat. It gives you a truer scenario as to what would happen in a zombie apocalypse, and how you would fare if you were to roam the perimeters looking for survivors, food, and other necessities. While it might be a few months down the road before we know which zombie game this year will be the all-out best, ZombiU is looking to take its competitors down with just one bite.

Rabbids Bring Theme Park Madness To WiiU

Those lovable fuzzy bastards have returned, only this time they’ve taken over their own theme park. Rabbids Land will have players take control of those furry bunny freaks as you compete in mini-games of various tasks, all with its trademark humor in full force.

For the demo at E3 two players compete in a music-based roller coaster ride, this time with fireballs. The person with the Wiimote will have to throw down their controls in a drum-like motion to the proper beat of the song, with each right note causing fireballs to be shot out of the coaster’s back side. Meanwhile, the person with the WiiU controller will be controlling another Rabbid as they board behind the coaster. While doing so they have to avoid the fireballs that are being shot at them by turning the WiiU controller in a steering fashion.

So far the WiiU controls moved flawlessly, measuring my turns with relative ease. While the difficulty of avoiding these fireballs rose as the song reached its mid-point I didn’t feel any sort of frustration while I was being burnt alive by the other Rabbids. The same cannot be said about the Wiimote controls, however. Many times I hit the right note with the Nunchuk, but the system wasn’t reading this movement.

While there were a couple flaws to be found with the demo, I could not really stay mad at those goofy Rabbids after gameplay. I know that by the time Rabbids Land is released as a WiiU launch title that these kinks will be worked out in the long run. At this time there is no word as to what other mini-games people will be able to play, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more info as the months progress toward release day.

Video Game Trailer: Ghost Recon Future Soldier

May 22nd is an unassuming date. It’s also that weird day that falls between the start of your week and humpday, again, nothing to write home about. May 22nd, 2012 however, simply put, “ain’t no average Tuesday.” The fine folks at Ubisoft are releasing Tom Clancey’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldieron the PC, XBox 360 and […]

"Shoot Many Robots" Really Lives Up To Its Name

The days of hardcore side-scrolling mass anarchy shooters appears to be upon us once again, as Boston’s own Demiurge Studios has unleashed Shoot Many Robots, a game that is as insane as it will drive you to become. It’s been well over a year since I went hands-on with it at PAX East 2011, so how has it fared since then?

Up to four players online and offline face off in this game, as you take on many evil mechanisms big and small. Some shoot back, while others use various types of weapons to try and kill you and your fleshy pals. As you off these damned droids you can collect gears that can unlock new weapons, gear, and other things that will help protect you from the metallic evil that wishes to destroy you.

I know what you must be thinking: how did these robots overrun the human race? Well as there is no backstory to be found in Shoot Many Robots, it seems that is left up to the player’s imagination. Perhaps a group of inventors were looking to improve on the logging industry by building robots with chainsaws and programmed them wrong, making them think humans were trees. Maybe the robots began to think independently, and decided upon an uprising against the humans who created them. We aren’t told, so the possibilities are endless as to what happened.

In the game you are given two sets of weapons. The primary weapon gives you unlimited ammo, and can vary from uzis and shotguns to flamethrowers. Depending on what sort of level you will come across can help or hinder you depending on which of these primary weapon you choose from. Your secondary weapon, however, can vary from sticky bombs to ice rays, and can take out many robots if your aim is true. The secondary weapon is stocked up limitedly, so it’s best to use it against the tougher, heavier droids you’ll have to face off against.

In Shoot Many Robots there are two kinds of levels you will come across. The first is your run-of-the-mill side-scrolling setup that will have you maneuver through the level as you destroy as many bots as you can. Here you’ll find yourself mostly in the outdoors area of your home turf, having to jump over rundown trucks and climbing onto rooftops in order to take out as many robots as you possibly can. At times you’ll find your character trapped in a small area until you kill all the bots on-screen, but with the right strategy and a keen sense of your surroundings you can probably wipe them out in a couple minutes. Levels that take place in factories will have other hinderances such as massive gears, lava, and squishing engines that you’ll have to maneuver around in order to avoid death. Thankfully there are checkpoints, which do come in handy when you’re all out of beer and secondary weaponry.

The other kind of level you’ll deal with is Survival. Here you will have to live through at least one round in order to continue on your journey to save the world, and it’s easier said than done. The bots come at you at the near-hundreds, sometimes from behind and above, making you an easy target. Even with the three beers you are given to boost up health the task can be much harder than you can imagine. Some of the power-ups you are given can help you destroy them easier, but only for a limited time. However once you pass the first round you won’t have to worry about beating anymore, as you can survive as long as you can without having to worry about having to start over again.

Demiurge Studios is known for their work in such games as Borderlands, Mass Effect, and a couple of the Brothers In Arms titles, and Shoot Many Robots‘s overall look is definitely reminiscent of the former. Its cartoonish is quite appealing, as it sometimes soften the blow when you’re being smothered by an army of chainsaw-wielding robots. Also on-par is Rich Vreeland’s rockin’ score, which is very reminiscent of the classic FPS title Redneck Rampage (a game that seriously needs to come back for a new generation to enjoy). Its musical cues not only sound great, but also help out in the end when it comes to prepping for a melee section of the game.

Now comes the hard part about this review: the overall gameplay aspect. Shoot Many Robots is indeed a fun game to play with friends, as the more people you have the easier it is to take on the bots. When you play by yourself, however, it can lead to more frustrating levels than you can imagine. Yes it can be fun, but at times you’ll probably be screaming at your TV at the sheer difficulty you’ll be facing (and this is on the Normal Mode).

Also a hit-or-miss is its control scheme. Jumping, switching weapons, and floor smash is easy to figure out, but when it comes to aiming that could be tricky. By having the aiming system mashed with the maneuvering system, it can sometimes be a chore to try and kill the robots. I can’t seem to figure out why Demiurge Studios didn’t have it set so the right analog stick was used for aiming, which would’ve made it less of a chore to shoot the flying robots above you.

One other thing that bothers me is the somewhat forced M-rating of the game. Shoot Many Robots could’ve easily been playable by people at least ten years-old and up, but it is not to be due of the wording of some of the weapons’ descriptions. It’s sadly not even funny, which is what I think Demiurge was trying to go for. Trust me when I say there’s a difference between earning an M-rating for art’s sake (Mass Effect, The Dishwasher), grabbing one for pushing the envelope brilliantly (Bulletstorm, House of the Dead: Overkill), and slapping one on for the sake of trying (and failing) to be “edgy.” Shoot Many Robots falls into the latter category, which is a shame because it closes off such a large demographic that would love playing a game like this.

Players can expect up to 17 hours of gameplay in the story mode, and with many stars to earn in order to unlock areas you can expect many more tagged on in order to complete the main game. You can also revisit old levels with friends so you can earn more gears to unlock the rest of the weapons you can use on the robots, making many reasons to go through and beat the game again.

PROS:

  • Tons of bots to kill
  • Great weapon upgrades, costumes
  • Four-player co-op takes some of the heat off of the robots

CONS:

  • Can be frustrating playing by yourself
  • Aiming is tough when trying to evade enemies
  • Unnecessary bad language more amateurish than clever

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Shoot Many Robots gives proper nod to such classics as Metal Slug and Contra, both in gameplay and difficulty. While playing solo may infuriate you as you die once again by the the clenches of the androids, with friends the game can be a blast. It’s just a shame that the unneeded vulgarity in the game closes off a good chunk of gamers that would love to play it. Still Shoot Many Robots is a fun, gun-crazy title from Demiurge Studios that will impress many who find it on their resume.

FINAL GRADE: 7.6 (out of 10)

Teg’s PAX East Grief-a-thon: Day Two – I Can Dance If I Want To!

I get home on day one of PAX East knowing that it will not be easy to get up and do the walk around never sit down thing again today. Well the morning came and I had to roll off the side of the bed and try to stop myself from hitting the floor. I guess that was enough to start out on day two of the convention.

This time I did not do a solo run through the building like yesterday. I ran around and tagged in on some interviews, and also set up a few on the spot voice interviews myself. The first order of today was an interview with Twisted Pixel about all the games that they are producing.  They were talking about a contest to eat creatures in The Maw to win a Kinect, porting Ms. ‘Splosion Man, and a CD that Matt “Chainsaw” Chaney is making.

Next we took a stroll over to Hello Games’ Joe Danger: The Movie.  Do not let the title fool you, this is a game about a retired stunt man who finally hits it big. You get to do all types of random driving with action and fighting of different bosses. I do not want to say that this is a racing game more than an arcade type action game that you can play with your friends.  It is an interesting look if you want something light to play in a party.

I decided to walk over and do an interview with the Nexuiz and let them give a walkthrough of what the game is about so that everyone can get more of a first hand feel for it. I can not stress again to support your indie companies, and this game is worth taking a look at. Yes this is more shameless plugging for my former classmate and friend, so please show some support and try the Steam beta if you want by signing on to Alienware.

Yes, this was me taking everyone to revisit booths that I have been to before because I needed to show the group the MMORTS that was Novus Aeterno. When I talked to them on day one I was looking at gameplay, so today was more of a story day. I learned that the kid who created this started of as a 16 year-old who lived in South Africa, and has his life threatened by a group of locals. Because of this, the kid left for Greece to start a new life, and while there got into the local gaming competition for RTS games. He was doing so well that he soon was tired and started creation of his own persistent RTS that he turned into and MMORTS. This kid is now 21, running Taitale Studios and is close to releasing his game. Who is this amazing kid you may ask? His name is Nick Talmers and if that story did not make you see how passionate that he is to go through everything he did to finally come to making this game then I do not know what will. We had an interview with him, and I got to ask him about what he was making and why you should try this game. Trust me, it is interesting so head over to their official website.

Next we walked over to the tablet/phone game Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast . This is an interesting augmented reality game where you use your GPS to go to a location and fight ghosts. This is an interesting idea and a great start for an ARG, I hope this studio takes it a step further with Google glasses so you are not limited to the screen on your tablet/phone.

We then went over to Mark of the Ninja from Klei Entertainment to stealth kill some stuff. I was not doing an interview here so I took some time to get acquainted with this game and do some killing. This is a nice little 2D stealth game about killing dudes and rescuing captured ninjas. This is one of the few games that does quicktime events right, as they feel like a seamless part of the attacking system and not just buttons to press to move the game forward. They are not huge combinations to press, just a button and a direction that determines if you kill someone silently or loudly. You can use the shadows and cover so you are not spotted and shot at by the enemy. Check out the review and interview for more information later this week.

In-between some of these events we swung by Ghost Recon Online and made a date for an interview with them. Well this would be our next stop to see how this game is, but let me quickly say that as of now Blueonic owes me a shirt as I capped the last point for our team and got us a shirt. So Ghost Recon Online is a first-person shooter that will have a free-to-play model. Like most companies now, they realized that people want weapon unlocks that cater to a play style and not pay-to-win. This is great as this game has the graphics to stand up to the Call of Duty and Battlefield games and is also free. You will earn unlocks for your weapons the more you use specific ones, so specializing in what you want to play is rewarded. This game seems to hold true to the Ghost Recon model as combat is small groups of people in tactical fighting.

Our next look was a few games that Square Enix could show us from their hotel room setup. Most of the big games like Sleeping Dogs had long waits even for media so we will be trying to get a look at them today. We did get to see Quantum Conundrum first, a nice little puzzle platform game. From the demo we got to see a game where you can manipulate four different types of dimensions with special properties that helped you through an area. You could do things like going to a Fluffy dimension where things are lighter, a dimension where things are heavier, one where time moves slower, and one that reverses the direction of gravity. In the game you are a kid who is stuck in a crazy professor’s home and looking for a way out. You will get to see his creations and go through challenges that he has set up. There will be a time mode so you can compete against friends also. If you need a fix after beating Portal, this might be where you want to look.

The other game that we got to see at Square was Heroes of Ruin. This game was a nice RPG made for the 3DS where you can run through randomly-created dungeons and levels with friends leveling up and collecting loot. It has the typical Diablo-style format with four classes to choose from and the ability for you to customize your skill tree to make yourself unique to the group that you are playing with. Heroes of Ruin also takes the Borderlands style of play that allows people to join your game and the creatures scale up to provide you with more of a challenge. The 3D in this game was really worked on and shines in this game, one of the best 3D games that I have seen to date. It’s great if you want an RPG experience while you and a few friends are on the run and want to take a break. Quests will give you experience and the game adjusts to your group so there is no need to worry about falling behind your friends if you can not play as much as them.

Ok, so this is the part that the title of this article was created for.  t the end of the night we made the decision to head over to the Curse party and see what was going on.  My main draw was that it had the title of Planetside 2 on it, but I did not end up seeing anything about this game other then the T-shirt I was given in my Curse bag. I am not going to complain because free stuff is always amazing. I did get to have a quick word with Pico from Curse’s weekly roundup and she could not have been more amazing and friendly. This was an open bar party, but the bar soon had a line that made it not worth the wait for the drinks.  When the music started, I decided to throw away any pride that I had and just have fun. I know there are going to be some pictures that will make me shake my head now, but when it comes down to it I have a great time dancing. Duck and I did start a game themed dancing circle as he ran in dancing, I joined and did the Hadouken move as he fake falled. This started a slew of video game related dancing that ended in pure madness.

When all was done I slowly walked my way back to my car to rest and start off with the final day. I know walking would really hurt on day three.

I Left "San Francisco" In My Coma

Why couldn’t I have played Driver: San Francisco sooner?! This stuff is what I’m talking about!!! (WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOI–OH WHO CARES?!)

This is my diamond in the rough from 2011, and yes I know it’s two and-a-half months into 2012. This, of course, was a game I was able to get through Gamefly and play that way. (I still have a bone to pick with Gamefly and Netflix, by the way!)

Gameplay:

One word: AWESOME!!! Driver starts out with introducing the main characters: Detective John Tanner and his partner Detective Tobias Jones. The main villain is Jericho, who has a big rivalry against Tanner. Jericho escapes in this big armored vehicle, and it gets to a point where you think you have him trapped. Somehow he gets behind you, slamming you into traffic and leaving you in a coma. It then places you back in the city, making you think everything is normal. However you can do things with cars you would never be able to do in real life such as the nitro and ramming options they give you. The thing about the coma aspect of the game is that it has to be one of the coolest setups in gaming history! You find out that you’re able to pop up to a bird’s eye view of the city, zoom in anywhere, and proceed to transfer into any car you want. (Watch video below, as it will blow your mind!)

The badassery of this game is just amazing! They have over a hundred licensed cars in San Francisco, each one having their own feel toward the driving. They have Ford (bleh!), Chevy (Meh), Lamborghini (sweet!), McLaren (hell ya), and — of course — my favorite Dodge vehicles. The car that you’re driving around in with the main character is a Dodge Challenger. This vehicle is super sweet, and is great in the handling department, especially when performing burnouts, donuts (not the food),  180s, jumps, drifting, and all the things you would love to do in real life with a car. Next to that, if you wreck the car you’re in you can simply pop into another vehicle that is nearby and drive off like it’s nothing.

Driver‘s story has an interesting setup because when you are playing the game in “coma mode”, you have to play the missions that deal with the actual story. It might not seem like the side races or helping police capture bad guys goes toward the stories, but it does. It’s amazing when your doing the out-of-body experience and hopping into other vehicles because the person you pop into might have someone else in the car, leading towards awkward conversations. Fortunately this is another tactic in the story that helps you find out more information.

The story keeps going on, and you come to find out the Jericho is able to control cars and toss them around the road at you. Let’s just say the story gets even more interesting once the plot finally thickens. From the point you start out at they had stolen platinum, and they were trying to get another special thing to create a bomb that would take out downtown San Francisco. In this case I would rather have you get the game and find out what happens. It really gets my criminal justice fluids going.

Final Verdict:

Driver: San Francisco is juicy! It’s got sweet vehicles, along with the capabilities of being able to jump and take over other cars. You don’t even have to think about it; just press a button, switch to another car on the other side of the road, drive it off, slam into another vehicle, and finally pop back into the main vehicle. I like the overall feel of the game, which kind of resembles old-school Starsky and Hutch, where you have the old muscle cars burning out and doing ridiculous jumps. (I’d really like to see Grand Theft Auto try to beat that.)

PROS:

  • Amazing graphics and soundtrack
  • Controls are easy to figure out
  • Story is so good, it deserves to be turned into a movie!

CONS:

  • Can’t put transferred cars in your garage
  • No General Lee (that would’ve been too perfect!)

FINAL GRADE: 9.5 (out of ten)

Driver: San Francisco
Developer: Ubisoft Reflections
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Genre: Racing
Official Website

As for the multiplayer aspect, I could not play it due to the fact I didn’t want to pay for the Uplay setup in order to get online, seeing that I didn’t own the game. I will return to talk about that once I buy it, as this game is that freaking awesome!!!

OFF-TOPIC P.S.: Gamefly, please be better at setting up your game list. When we put up our order of games, it doesn’t send them in that order. As for Netflix — and I think people will agree on this is — why can’t you push the movies that were already seen out of the suggested lists of movies you put up? I swear I put the ratings on the movies, but somehow they keep popping up.

Rock Out With Your Smith Out!

MY FINGERS ARE ON FIRE!!!!!

After watching this video I have to say that’s pretty damn true about learning how to play guitar. (Sadly you can’t kick down the walls to other people playing, but that is damn cool!) It might take me a bit to get used to Rocksmith due to the fact that the fingertips on my left hand are burning from playing the game. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to sit down and pluck away like this on a guitar.

This is the setup that I have been waiting for. When the first Guitar Hero game came out, I thought it was the worse invention ever. The time that kids spent playing that game could have actually been put towards learning how to play real guitar. Back in 2010 I saw a glimmer of hope at PAX East where a company was selling a electronic device you could hook up to your guitar, but you could only play those chords in order to get it to work with the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games. Power Gig also featured an awesome idea with the actual guitar as a controller. However I did not get the game due to the lack of money at the time and I heard there were a bit of issues with the game.

Now the idea I had back in 2010 was to get something to go from the quarter-inch to USB, but no one had made it and I was going to go to my electronics route to see if I could do it. Again, time restraints and money held me back. I’ve learned, thought, if you’re patient and wait for things to come to you, they will eventually show up. Ubisoft did just that with their quarter-inch plug to USB. You can take any and all guitars with the electric capabilities and your freakin’ golden!

I was lucky that I had my father’s Gibson Epiphone lying around collecting dust. All I had to do was plug in the guitar, and they helped me tune it through their special tuner screen. Then BAM! I started with finding out how to pluck some strings and hitting the notes when they are on the screen. Right off the bat they started me with the Rolling Stones classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” I played that for a little while, then it was off to play The Black Keys’ track “Next Girl,” which is an awesome song. It’s really interesting how to get your self situated in the game, like when you feel like you’re going to mess up each time. Once you get the flow going, and you start playing the songs more and more, Rocksmith actually registers. If you get better it tosses in a couple more notes than your previous playthrough, or if it see you doing bad it backs down on some of the notes.

I did want to record how I was playing, but I don’t have the proper recording capabilities; next to that probably the things that would be coming out of my mouth would’ve been absolutely hilarious. It’s probably not a good thing to show how crappy I was doing. I’m not going to lie: I have been playing with the single cord setup. In the game you can select what you want to play, whether it’s single chord or multiple chords. I was able to get this game to my nephew, who is a maniac on the guitar. He was playing damn good, and I’m happy that he’s got this game because this will improve his guitar skills.


If you don’t have your own guitar, you can buy the Gibson Epiphone Junior Edition

The real problem I was having with Rocksmith was when I was researching other reviews before I bought the game, I found  a lot of the reviews were leaning toward the negative side. The big thing that got me was that the person had bought the game thinking his younger kids were going to pick it up and love the game. However, kids are kids: they are going to pick up the game, play it for all of five minutes, and toss it aside. Be warned: you have to watch out for reviews sometimes because people will go all out to say a game sucks because their kids don’t like it, or because they suck at the game themselves. (Next to that, if you get any rental setup of games — or even the game demos on the system you play — give it a try until you buy. You’ll be much happier and you won’t have a pile of games you don’t want.)

Tuner set up for the guitar

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Rocksmith is definitely a leap in the right direction for interactive gaming. It’s a challenge to play, which is awesome because it teaches you how to actually play a guitar. Your hand-eye coordination starts taking into effect, but I’m not sure into the memory aspect of playing the song. I feel that when you play a song you have to be interested in the music in order to care about it. I’m not saying that all the songs they have on the playlist and download aspect, but it’s fun to learn different songs. When you get to that point, you’ll be able to add your own style when you start to play on your own. This game is based on rehearsing, then going out onto a stage and playing in front of an audience. It’s definitely an interesting twist and different from Rock Band, where they just kind of toss you out on stage so you get humiliated and don’t want to play the game anymore. This one helps you learn the song before you go on the stage. Next to that it gives you the capabilities of going over the tougher parts of the music via slow succession. A game like Rocksmith has been something I’ve been waiting for a long-ass time. It’s the most realistic piece of musical gaming you can buy today.

The playlist selection is awesome!

I hope that Ubisoft will be coming out with even more music-based titles, or at least have an add-on with the bass aspect. I have to add a special request, due to the fact that I have a specific instrument: I want them to do some of the songs from Mumford & Sons so I can learn how to play the banjo parts of their tracks. Yes, I own a freakin’ banjo, as well as an auto harp. (Don’t judge me!) I think with what they have done with Rocksmith has brought a totally different aspect of the music games. So Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Power Gig: Eat your hearts out!

PROS:

  • You can use any electric guitar you please!
  • It shows you the words to the song to sing along
  • Great surround sound
  • Awesome playlist and downloads
  • Multiple pedals to change the sound
  • AMP section play on your own
  • Good rehearsal modes

CONS:

  • My fingers hurt!!!
  • Getting used to where the number frets and strings are
  • Menu is a bit tough to navigate
  • Doesn’t have Slash album, but does have Velvet Revolver
  • No, you can’t use a banjo or 12-stringed guitars!

FINAL GRADE: 9.7 (out of 10)

Game: Rocksmith
Company: Ubisoft
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

PS: Here is the playlist for the most part (Provided by Rocksmith):

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun Best Coast – When I’m With You
The Black Keys – I Got Mine The Black Keys – Next Girl
Blur- Song 2 The Boxer Rebellion – Step Out Of The Car
David Bowie – Rebel Rebel Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
The Cribs – We Share The Same Skies The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
Interpol – Slow Hands Jenny O. – Well OK Honey
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama Nirvana – In Bloom
Nirvana – Breed PixiesWhere Is My Mind?
Radiohead – High and Dry Red Fang – Number Thirteen
The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones – The Spider and the Fly
The Rolling Stones – Play With Fire Silversun Pickups – Panic Switch
Spoon – Me and The Bean Stone Temple Pilots – Vasoline
Taddy Porter – Mean Bitch Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union
White Denim – Burnished The White Stripes – Icky Thump
Yellow Moon Band – Chimney Dan Auerbach – I Want Some More
Eric Clapton – Run Back To Your Side Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
Incubus – I Miss You Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way Little Barrie – Surf Hell
Muse – Unnatural Selection Muse – Plug In Baby
Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow Rapscallions – California Brain
Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook Stone Temple Pilots – Between The Lines
The Dead Weather – I Can’t Hear You The Horrors – Do You Remember
Soundgarden – Outshined The Strokes – Under Cover Of Darkness
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Good Enough Velvet Revolver – Slither
Jarvis Cocker – Angela

Here are more videos on Rocksmith to check it out: