Written by John Rios
Admittely, I'm a Transformers geek of Unicronian proportions. I have a collection of Transformers from the 80’s to the present day - both sealed and opened, an Autobots tattoo, and even had figures of Optimus Prime and Arcee in tux and dress atop my wedding cake when I tied the knot. So as you can imagine, being tasked to review this game without bias is a huge undertaking, but here we go..
Written by John Rios
Are you yet unfamiliar with what to expect in Borderlands 2? Well allow Sir Hammerlock to be your tour guide, taking you through much of the Borderlands with the most extensive, all encompassing trailer to date.
Touched upon are the character classes, skills, utility, and of course the bazillion different weapon and grenade combinations. Looks like much to appreciate and little to hate, with a bazillion things to do, see, kill, create, and loot; everything I look for in a mate. At first I was like "." Now I'm all like "!" Borderlands 2 is looking like a pretty motha and I'm feeling MILFish, feel me?
I've played about 30 minutes total of the first Torchlight game. It wasn't bad. Before that, I spent months playing Diablo and Diablo II. Good times. Through Diablo III's development cycle, I felt a little underwhelmed and worried about the type of end product we would get. After entry to the Diablo III beta, I was quite reassuredly disappointed. It wasn't bad, but it should have been amazing. It's like Half-Life 3 being a rip-off of Halo 3. Yeah, like that. So I didn't buy Diablo III, and not once since it's been in circulation have I regret that decision.
So Torchlight wasn't bad, and Torchlight 2 looks to continue that tradition by looking pretty rad. Yes, it is essentially Diablo, but look at that madness on screen? Coupled with the series' original style and art, this here is looking a fresher than the old "stay a while and listen" bit. So what of it readers, are you torching Torchlight 2, casting Diablo to hell's depths, or playing both?
Uninspired name aside, Archos latest piece of hardware looks like it may be on to something
The Archos brand has been synonymous with hit or miss since the company has been pumping out personal media players for as long as I can remember. Today they've announced the GamePad, a 7-inch Android powered tablet with controls built right into the hardware. Two analog nubs join a directional pad and four face buttons to give a gamer just about every input they need, shoulder buttons possibly included. This could be a very big hit.
The GamePad is Google certified, running Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean", the latest and greatest in Google's mobile operating system. Archos has developed automatic game recognition and mapping tools, which will allow most advanced Android games to have their controls automatically mapped to the physical input with no fuss. Don't expect PeeMaster 2000 to work with the sleek dual analogs, however Shadowgun should map without issue. With full access to Google Play, you can pick from thousands of titles, any of which will function with their original touch controls should your obscure tastes be too hipster for the device.
Under the hood, GamePad is toting a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor combined with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU, which means not quite cutting edge but way more than enough to run today's top spec Android games. No word on storage and display specifics yet, but Archos has confirmed that the GamePad will retail for under 150 euros, which is a shade under $200. I expect there to be size options which scale up with price, but more on that as the information becomes available.
As a gaming tablet, this bad boy has a lot going for it. Once you take into account the fact it's fully Google certified - Gmail, Google Play, Maps, Drive - this becomes a tablet that is very hard to turn down, especially at the curiously low sub-$200 sweet spot. Hopefully that doesn't mean skimping on the display and the build quality, something which Archos owners have bemoaned in the past. I'm intrigued, Archos. Please don't disappoint me.
Anthropomorphism is a topic of complete polarization for me. On one hand, I was raised on the likes of Thundercats, Ducktales, TMNT and the like, enjoying every second of it even to this day. On the other, things like My Little Pony and the bronies it has spawned completely incenses me to the point of maniacal rage. Dust: An Elysian Tail is wearing anthropomorphism proudly, as evidenced by the titles play on words. Part of me thought to completely avoid this, what could have been a total ooze-fest of cutesy drivel targeted toward the young, dumb, and full of.. Fur. My other half can't say no to a hack-and-slash inspired Metroidvania action RPG. So I dove in, and well, surprise surprise.
Halo 4 is going to be pretty good, innit? It's already all but secured my $100 buy-in for the Limited Edition, which will give me access to all these beautiful Specializations, and give you access to the green eyes of jealously as I thoroughly trounce you. The Specializations are Spartan sub-classes of sorts, allowing the player an extra 10 levels per Spec, which will unlock additional pieces of armor, weapon skins, and perks for use in Halo 4's competitive multiplayer modes, known as War Games, as well as the episodic cooperative mode, Spartan Ops.
Check out the visual rundown of the eight total Specializations below. Of these, only Pioneer and Wetworks will be available at launch - unless you pre-order the Limited Edition, which will unlock all Specs right from the start. Sorry regular edition folk, your no-frills asses will have to wait for 343 Industries to release the 6 Specs that you miss at launch on their own accord. Suckaz.
Which Specialization will you choose? Halo 4 releases on November 4. Pre-order before it's too late, and trust me, it will be too late very soon.
I haven't been genuinely frightened of a movie since sometime in the 1980s. I'm not sure if that's because I was an impressionable child, or because the movies were just plain scarier. You ever seen ET? That was a damn horrorfest, and one I hope never to see again. So here's Routine, a first-person horror exploration game set on the desolation of Earth's moon circa 198X. This is already hitting all the right notes.
In what I'd call 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Amnesia: The Dark Descent meets Panos Cosmatos, Routine looks all kinds of awesome with a dash of spook. Horror games have been mostly dead the past decade, so to see this attempt to carry the torch from Amnesia sits well with me, like a stomach full of steak and whiskey. Routine is the first offering from Lunar Software, a 3-person studio based in the UK, and is due in 2013 for both Mac and PC. I sorely miss the days of floppy disks, cross-processed colors, and retro-future technology, so I'm eagerly counting the days until I have them all back in my life.
Sometime 'round 2008 I invested a few bucks in a rinky dink game called Dark Sector, which looked right up my alley. I thought it would be a nice albeit typical trounce around the third-person shooter genre. I was not prepared for how awesome the game truly was, in just about every aspect. A gritty narrative worthy of a Baldacci novel, coupled with smooth action unique to the genre, and graphics that were ahead of the curve made for an enthralling and unexpected experience. Damn near four years later and Dark Sector developer Digital Extremes have since kept themselves busy by creating well received titles such as Homefront and The Darkness II, with nary a peep from their surprise hit. Peep. Dark Sector is back, however in a relatively changed manner.
Warframe is a free-to-play PvE shooter not unlike its progenitor, aside from the F2P and unending Horde mode bits. Digital Extremes haven't revealed much just yet, but here's a kicking trailer which puts on display some of the Tennos' abilities. By the way, Dark Sector's protagonist was named Hayden Tenno, just saying. The Tennos can perform magnificent moves such as teleporting, vanishing, and other things you'd expect of a space ninja. It looks like players will also have the ability to enhance normal actions like running and jumping, all nicely intertwined with gun and swordplay, of course. And the trailer ends with a slowing burst that levitates enemies within a perimeter to be diced to a fine mist, akin to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Yesssss.
That's really all I got for you right now. We can no doubt expect lots of customizing and micro-transactions to create a more interesting and powerful Tenno. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that DigiEx uses this as a springboard to launch addtional content in this universe. PvP? A full and proper story to fill the gaps between the two games? The return of the glaive?! More info to come as it becomes available. In the meantime, sign up for the Warframe beta to get in on the action.