Archives for September 2009

One Company Gets It Right

While Sony seems to be bungling the PSPgo, one PSP publisher seems to see what works for gamers. NIS is heavily discounting digital versions of it’s games for one week starting tomorrow. They are priced from $5-$10.

I’ll be picking up one title for sure. Can you guess which one? Oh, and hey, I won’t be getting a PSPgo to play it.

Wheel Chair Tank

Nat and I are planning on a huge Dead Rising 2 mega-post, including screen shots, videos and previews. But this video was too good to wait. I give you the Wheel Chair Tank:

This game is going to kick so much butt.

Left 4 Dead for $15

I’ve never played Left 4 Dead. However, Valve is selling it at 50% off for $15 with the new DLC. Sign me up. Let me know how many of you guys have it so we can play.

One To Watch: Half-Minute Hero

If you’ve been a long-time reader of the site you’ll know that we tend to gravitate towards a little quirk here and there. Some of us even revel in it.

One such game that has flown under our radar as a small blip on the screen has been Half-Minute Hero published by XSEED. Essentially, it’s just like it reads: You have 30 seconds to beat an RPG.

Yes. 30 seconds, not hours. For a person who likes RPGs but cannot devote 100 hours in to a title, this is a dream come true.

hmh1 From what little background I’ve gathered you play a young hero who has 30 seconds to stop an evil baddie from taking over or destroying a land. During that time, you need to level up, acquire gear, and recruit help—in 30 seconds.

Oh, along the way, you can perform various side quests—in 30 seconds.

Released earlier this year in Japan for the PSP, Half-Minute Hero really flips the genre on its head with retro 8-and-16-bit graphics, sounds, and text. Everything in this game moves fast. However, time stops when you enter a village and various other locations. From there you’ll need to gather clues on how to defeat the boss, what items to carry, and to heal up.

Battles are an automatic affair consisting of more more than 3-5 seconds. Run out into a field and—poof—random enemy. You can run to avoid fighting (handy if you need to get somewhere), but it also drains your health.  Fighting though is rather hilarious as you bounce and bump the mobs coming at you. Kill an enemy. Level up. Rinse and repeat until you think you are high enough.

hmh2 While this is happening, your time is draining, but there is one help in praying to the Time Goddess located in various towns. There’s a catch: it’ll cost you. The more you pray to her the higher it gets. Run out of gold? No problem. She’ll take your clothes. You’ll want to use her as a last resort because you’ll need that gold for future quests.

But wait. There’s more. This is only one mode of the game. Evil Lord 30 is where you play as one of the baddies and things have not gone well for your baddie-girlie-friend. In turn you need to save people and transform to a hero in order to save her. The trick with this mode is that you summon help and transform dead monsters to your aid—all in 30 seconds. In Princess 30 mode you play the part of, yep a princess. However, this part of the game plays more like a shump. You have to run all over the map collecting various items to help defend your castle from baddies—in 30 seconds. The last mode, Knight 30, was the hardest to come by in info. It appears that this plays out like a tower defense game or king of the hill type of style. Of course, one assumes this is done in, well, you know.

This would be an excellent title on the PSN at a reasonable price, but after some digging that might not be the case. It appears that Amazon is selling it as a UMD title for $30. The game boasts over 15 hours of game play, but time will tell (geesh) if it’ll be worth it or not.

You can currently download two small demos from the PSN (Hero 30 and Evil Lord 30) and the game appears to come out October 13. Give it a try. It won’t take long.

Sources: Kotaku, Destructoid (large image gallery), IGN, and Siliconera

Sony to Its Entire PSP User-base: “Screw you.”

sony-psp-go-1 Sony’s new PSPgo—a system we’ve not talked much about here—is launching next week. It’s basically an all digital version of the PSP. You can only get games for it via a download service—the overpriced, old-game Playstation Network Store.

Here is a firm list of “screw you’s” from Sony to basically anyone who breathes air:

  1. The price of the unit: $250
  2. The price of games are the same if not more on their download service when compared to the UMD versions. (We’ll come back to that.)
  3. They’ve announced today that there is no UMD conversion service for those who already own games. Want the new system? Buy the games all over again—at the same price years later. Oh, and there’s not many games available yet.

Now, let’s deconstruct this:

  1. Why buy a UMD-less system when you can get the model they sell now for $70 cheaper—sometimes with an included game?
  2. Why buy games at a premium when you can go to a retailer and get the same titles at almost two-thirds less brand new? (cheaper if you go used)
  3. Why buy a new system when your old library will not work? The crazy thing is that it’s the exact same library that should be able to play on it.

Who is the PSPgo marketed to again?

We fantasized about a memory-based PSP a while back. It’s like Sony listened to us with one ear wearing earplugs—under water.

A death knell usually comes from a third party, never from yourself. Golf clap to Sony. Golf clap all around.

Dad was a gamer

On September 13th, 2009 my Dad passed away. He had a massive heart attack and was unable to be revived. Dad and I loved to do many things together, we spent a lot of time doing things on the weekend. We went to the arcade, saw movies, went to the comic book shop, and played games. VHS and DVD gave us the ability to watch some of our favorite movies at our own convenience. He purchased the Atari 2600 that was my first game console. I think the milestone gaming experience for my Dad and I was Contra on the NES. We could play that from start to finish without even using the “Konami Code”.

Dad introduced me to videogames, and he was a gamer until the day he died, literally. I drove down to Austin on the day of his death and found him still logged in to Lord of the Rings Online. I was never into those kinds of games, but I liked that we had other shared experiences. I liked to do for him what so few family members seem willing to do for me, I would buy games for birthdays and holidays.

While videogames were hardly our own shared experience, it’s the one I’d want to share with the most likely readers of these words. I enjoy reading and movies as well, but games were always different. Games were an activity that allowed me to be part of the experience, and that is why I have always enjoyed them.

Dad was a good man, he taught me many things. He was a hard worker who believed in always striving for the best. He worked hard, but he played hard to. That is a philosophy that has served me very well throughout my life.

Thanks, Dad. For everything.

Day 7 Is Coming

I’ve actually gotten a couple of emails mentioning that I missed Day 7 in my salute to Dreamcast games. Actually, I haven’t. It’s mostly done but needs a little cleaning. I was in a roofing accident last week and that knocked me out of commission for a few days, needed the get cleaning service from http://maidzonemobile.com/ to help a little . Nothing too serious, but I’ve enjoyed cleaning the grit from shingles out of my head.

In my weekend gaming hands

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon came via Gamefly’s sale and I just received word that Batman: Arkham Asylum is on its way. Unfortunately I will be out of town this weekend, so it will be strictly handheld gaming for me this weekend. What are you going to be playing?

[2 Minute Review] The Beatles: Rock Band

Do you want to know a secret?

 

We all live in a yellow submarine

DO: The Beatles meet Rock Band. Simple.

TYPE: While my plastic guitar gently weeps

PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, and Wii

PRICE: $60

MEAT: If you’ve played Rock Band almost nothing has changed except the difficulty has been lowered a notch for almost all the songs. The technicality of the songs was much simpler then, but, of course, the songs are accessibe by almost anyone. It’s awesome to the see the evolution of their music as you play each venue they play or as you sit with them in the studio. The dreamscapes (what goes on in the background in the latter half of the game because the group didn’t tour) are so amazing that they can be distracting at first.

beatle_rock_band1252344947

PERKS: style and presentation are top-notch; enough for hardcore Beatles fans; engaging and interesting enough for people familiar with the group; catchy tunes, interesting rewards; a music game that’s accessible for mom and dad; fun with a little help from your friends; 45 songs is just enough for one group; vocal harmonization; got my wife to play late into the evening three days straight

SCREAMS: to have Hey Jude and Let It Be; you’re not really playing a specific character; to have a little more depth; 45 songs is not enough for one game; $60 may be too much for some. The Beatles are the taxmen;

VERDICT: He buys her diamond rings you know. She said so. Im in love with her and I feel fine. I was not a Beatle fan, but the prospect of playing a Rock Band game where I knew at least ten of the songs intrigued me. After one week, I’ve become a fan. I guess the game worked. The title oozes style and substance. A non-fan may not see the substance, but I found the pictures, trivia, group dynamics, and all the history to be very interesting. I think what the game does very well is show how the group was innovative with almost everything they did up until the end. The evolution in their style of music, clothes, and even hair were indicative of the times. I was born in the late 70’s and I guess the biggest compliment I can give this game is that I understand the era in which they played a little better and it’s getting better all the time.

Should I?

marvel-civil-war1

I’m thinking of picking up Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 today. I was just planning on trading in some old games that I don’t play anymore to get it. Now, I already have plenty of games to play (can you ever have too many? I say yes, but that will be for another post) and yet I feel like I should pick this game up.

1) I loved the first game in the series (No, I will not marry it Tony.) and I even bought the superhero/villian DLC for it.

2) The graphics look amazing, especially when compared with the first game.

Thor shows Deadpool and Storm how its done.

Thor shows Deadpool and Storm how it's done.

No comparsion

Not even close.

Oh and I need to add that Deadpool looked awesome in this video clip. The animation is fluid and looks really good.

3) FUSION! HAAAaaa…wait wrong universe.

The fusions seem like they are crazy powerful. However, I’ve heard there are some fusion moves that are very simple. The best description of those that I’ve read comes from ign.com, “Meanwhile, a guided fusion puts you in the driver’s seat as you run around clearing clocks — like when Wolverine and Captain America run around side by side mowing bad guys down. With the exception of the jogging attacks like that Cap/Wolvie one, Fusions are pretty cool.”

Now, most aren’t simple like that but they do add a more co-operative feel to the game. Having four people playing together and everyone combining differently to do powerful attacks seems like it would keep things fun.

I’ve read the game is only about 10.5 hrs to complete, but I don’t even remember how many times I’ve played through the first one. I don’t think the game length with be a problem. There is also the new conversations where you chose your response from either aggressive, diplomatic, or defensive. They all happen with an emotionless face of your character as the backdrop. That doesn’t deter me from getting the game, but if it happens every time there is dialogue then it might old real quick.

I’m actually leaning towards getting this(if you couldn’t tell). I would just like to see what the rest of you think about it. Leave a comment.