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    Entries in xbox360 (212)


    Bullet Points: Bulletstorm Demo

    I've been lambasting Bulletstorm from what seems like day one. Why, you ask? Well, the graphics and effects are amazing, the action is off the charts, and the skill/style based combat rewards creative fragging.

    It all sounds good until the characters start running their mouths, and that's where it goes downhill for me. In one word summation, "dick tits". That's what the writers have sunk to. However during this incredibly fast paced, short-lived demo, the script was not on display, nor was the atrocious voice acting. It's all about killing with skill.

    + A bloody, adrenaline rush of a good time
    + 300 kickin' and beam whippin' lets you get creative with kills
    -  Hero Grayson Hunt looks like Billy Ray Cyrus
    -  Too much health, almost impossible to die
    -  Way too short 

    After playing the enthralling demo twice, (and watching my associate play through twice) I came away with a changed mind. I didn't think the action of Bulletstorm could be worth sitting through the rusty nails I was prepared to have forcefully kicked through my ears, but I may be eating some serious crow come February 22nd.


    Suit Up for the X360 Exclusive Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo

    Got an Xbox 360 and a Gold Xbox Live membership? Lucky you, because you're granted exclusive access to the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo, releasing today, January 25th!

    While The multiplayer of Crysis 2 is nothing we haven't seen before - perks, abilities, customization up the wazoo - I can't help but feel that the CryEngine 3 powered beast just may provide one of the year's more addictive gaming experiences. 

    In my eyes, hi-tech perks and armor abilities, incredible speed of play and mobility, and working the environment into putting away foes in creative ways is grounds for weeks, maybe months, of continued play. It's why I like Halo: Reach's matchmaking so much, it's why Modern Warfare and Black Ops' warzones wear on me, and it's why I'll probably play the hell out of some Crysis 2. Sure this trailer may be trying a little too hard, what with its overused, licensed music and use of voice clips to be cute and clever, but the real nitty gritty, the running and gunning, looks hard as hell, yo.


    Pucker Your Butt Hole for a Bulletstorm Demo

    Their words not mine.

    If you're a fan of juvenile shit talking, big guns, blowing off limbs, and style kill combos, tomorrow is gonna be a good day for you. Epic Games and People Can Fly's newest title, Bulletstorm, is about to get all demo on your ass for Xbox 360 and PS3. 

    I have a hard time hiding my feelings for Bulletstorm. It looks great, graphically and gameplay wise, but I can't get with the awful voice acting and script written by a 15 year old. I can only tolerate one game making butthole jokes, and that right is already taken. Spending some time actually playing the game might sway my opinion, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    Give it a run through tomorrow and let us know what you think. Methinks even if Bulletstorm is sub par, it's going to make money on the Epic Edition alone, which gets you into the Gears of War 3 beta. Now that's a fine plan to raise sales numbers.


    Get L.A. Noire on May 14th, Get a New Trailer Now

    On May 14th 2011, close to 9 years of development will finally come to fruition. L.A. Noire has a release date now, and it looks like nothing is going to stop Rockstar and Team Bondi from finally bringing their vaporware Lazarus to the teeming masses.

    The more I see and hear about L.A. Noire, the less skeptical I become. Actually, maybe skeptical isn't the right word. I still don't know whether or not it'll be my type of game, per se, or even what the gameplay will be. At first, I began to dismiss it because I worried it would be another Grand Theft Auto clone, but that's looking less like the case as more information makes itself available. The emphasis on detective work and reading facial expressions to judge a suspect's story is a fresh, interesting addition, no doubt. So the question has become, will be game be any fun?

    L.A. Noire may be steering down the path of Heavy Rain, in the genre that is almost more movie than game. I know a lot of people enjoyed Heavy Rain, but I also know an equal amount downright hated it. Was it too much of a movie for some? Perhaps. Will L.A. Noire see the same outcome? Honestly, it's hard to say. While all the trailers and screenshots have been comprised solely of mouth-watering in-game footage, none have really showed what the meat will consist of. The graphics are obviously of the highest grade, and the story seems like no slouch, but I wonder what the game will play like. 

    Gamers have already waited close to a decade, only 4 months more until the big payoff. We'll have more info as it becomes available to us.


    Marvel vs. Capcom 3 New Challengers! Taskmaster and Akuma

    Further proving that no secret is safe on the interwebz, today Capcom has revealed two of their worst kept secrets; Taskmaster and Akuma. 

    Akuma has been hinted at pretty much forever, but was officially unofficially sealed last week when he was listed as a playable character on a retailers Marvel vs. Capcom 3 listing, with game artwork and all. Taskmaster was given up when MvC3 comic book artist put some of his work on his online portfolio, which included art of Taskmaster, and Galactus as well (though he hasn't been announced -- yet). 

    Akuma is Akuma. People can argue all day whether or not he's a Ryu clone, and whether his inclusion is a waste of a roster spot. I read something a few weeks ago that stated Akuma has been in every Versus title to date, as well as being the first crossover character to appear in one of my favorite all time fighters, X-Men: Children of the Atom. Maybe he's just a sentimental choice at this point, but regardless, I don't see myself playing too much Akuma. 

    Taskmaster on the other hand, woo-wee, he's looking hotter than some fresh baked biscuits! He's got a bevy of attacks to compliment all his weapons, as well as shield deflecting functions and all that jazz! Of course, as a muscle mimic, he'd be incomplete without a way to steal his enemies moves, which is both awesome and accounted for. 

    Everything is starting to fall into place for Marvel vs. Capcom 3. People are growing more excited as release nears. Even the God of Thunder himself can't stop talking


    CES11: A Fistful of Nyko

    Written by Mark Hagan

    We know what you’re thinking, just another set of third party controllers and devices we don’t want or need. Trust me, I know where you're coming from. When it comes to choice of controllers, especially in the console world, quality has usually been in the hands of the parent company. In the past, licensing restrictions and simple competing economics forced 3rd party manufacturers like Nyko to choose cheaper materials to undercut their 'parents'. Now it seems those days are far behind.

    Nyko came out, excuse the pun, guns ‘a blazin’ at this year's CES. They introduced a new line of impressive PlayStation Move peripherals -- the assault rifle inspired Power Shot and pistol modeled Perfect Shot -- for all your digital marksmanship needs. The Power Shot can be configured to be used with or without both halves of the Move system by way of a removable grip which can house the navigation controller, and can also be turned toward the left or the right, making it a comfortable fit for southpaws as well. The wildly popular Wiimote Perfect Shot will see an upgrade with the Perfect Shot Pro, the main difference being added vibration feedback. Though no colors have been finalized for the PS3 or Wii versions, the digital camo paint job we got our hands on was pretty badass, so we're going to hope that colorway makes it onto store shelves.

    The PS3 also sees two new gamepads that we were really impressed with. Named Raven, one variant comes in the standard Dual Shock layout, the other features alternate Xbox 360-inspired analog stick placement. In both of its forms, the Raven has L2 and R2 triggers, as well as a toggle switch on its back to swap the mapping of the 1 and 2 buttons. Supremely handy for the PS3 games which require you to aim and shoot with L1 and R1 respectively, and very good news for the Dual Shock haters out there. The weight and velvety feel of the controller had all of us drooling to pick one up immediately. I was so impressed with the feel of the Raven, I would drape myself in them if it were socially acceptable.

    The 360 wasn’t neglected despite Microsoft's harsh third party licensing restrictions. Though the days of RROD seem to be behind Redmond, the infamous Intercooler accessory got a very stylish upgrade to match the new Xbox 360 Slim body. The Intercooler STS diverts the hot air jetted out of the console's side vent to the front of your system, and in theory away from your home theatre setup, or whatever you may have stacked near. The “TempSmart” technology also enables the device to automatically sense when and how hard the cooling system needs to work. Though I'm skeptical of its practicality, it does turn your 360 into a Ferrari-looking monster of sex appeal, but the question remains, what is the Intercooler STS compensating for? We’ll leave that for you to decide. The black gloss finish may make your matte black 360 Arcade look a tad out of place, if aesthetics are you’re thing.. And we know they are.

    Nyko will also be releasing some very cool controller docks for the PlayStation Move and Nintendo Wiimote. The LED notification rings had us mesmerized when we dropped in our exhausted motion controllers. These charge bases will be available in dual and quad charge configurations, assuring even Goro or Kintaro's controllers will never run out of juice.

    The 3rd party peripheral world is a scary one. It is usually a case of buyer beware and you get what you pay for scenarios. Nyko has really raised the bar the last few years and have produced well built and attractive add-ons and game pads. Look for most of these products to hit store shelves early this spring at incredibly reasonable prices. Stay tuned for more news when they release.

    Check out the gallery for more shots of Nyko's upcoming products!


    CES11: Kinect Gets Busy at Microsoft's Keynote

    Photography by Mark Hagan

    What better way to open CES weekend than with a keynote by Microsoft, led by the magnificently mad bull named Steve Ballmer. Microsoft has performed well on most notes, especially so with their gaming division (in the States, anyway). Mr. Ballmer wasted no time christening this CES 2011 with words of the Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE.

    After an initial introduction, the lovable mad man turned things over to Kinect hot-shot Ron Forbes, who gave us some old and some new. As this is a weekend about making news, let's not concern ourselves with the old stuff, instead focusing on what we can look forward to for Microsoft's gaming juggernaut: a lot of Kinect integration, specifically to Zune, Netflix, and Hulu Plus.

    The oft overlooked Zune feature was made to look quite slick in its pairing with Kinect, both by way of gesture and voice control. Speaking in a fluid conversational tone to his Xbox (as many Kinecters can already attest to), Mr. Forbes was able to initiate a few awesome features. The combination of gesture and voice allowed him to quickly and effortlessly receive suggestions of new movies available in the Zune application, from there allowing him to watch trailers, then jump right into the movie from the trailer. In his horrible taste, Mr. Forbes happened to be in the midst of a Twilight: Eclipse viewing, which he was able to jump right back into and resume from where he previously left off, without ever picking up a controller. More of the same was done with Zune music, albeit not as impressively as the video function. We saw a little more of the same being done with Netflix and Hulu Plus, however not as in depth as what was displayed with Zune, understandably so.

    Digital Ballmer's hand movements are as convincing as the real thing

    Moving right along, Ballmer reclaimed the stage in avatar form, in his likeness with the same lack of hair, and a mysterious lack of girth. As he spoke, his avatar's mouth kept up with his words. Its facial expression changed to mimic that of its owner. A laugh, a frown, all portrayed convincingly by Ballmer's digital image, right down the the most minute detail; a wiggle of the eyebrows. The audience was then treated to the realization of this Avatar Kinect. A party chat, which seemed to be set at a tailgate, featuring half a dozen avatars talking to each other, interacting, seemingly living and breathing. An awesome next step for the technologies. This was mentioned to be free for all Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers, with no mention made of the elephant in the room, Xbox LIVE free memberships.

    More was seen and said, but none as important as Kinect's next steps. Did you know Kinect has sold 8 million units world wide? As of this writing, I am NOT a Kinect owner, but this presentation has intensified my necessity for one. And for my sports fans, the ESPN3 app that I labor over to keep you satisfied will see new social integrations, such as mini-games and added avatar interactions. Look for the College Bowl Showdown in your ESPN3 app to get a sneak peek at what to expect. 

    All in all a strong showing from Microsoft's gaming division. No groundbreaking revelations, but genuinely interesting advancements to keep current customers locked, and entice those who may have previously doubted Xbox and Kinect.

    Is Steve Ballmer gonna have to choke a b*tch?


    Our Favorite Low Budget Games of 2010

    As the year comes to a close, it seems as if everyone and their mother is dropping their two cents on the best and worst games of 2010. To set our list aside, I want to try something different. Since you can go to just about any place on the internet to find a best of the year list, let's try this:

    Our Favorite Low Budget Games of 2010

    VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh (PC, XBLA)
    It doesn't get much more simple than this. Commodore 64 inspired graphics, three button gameplay, and a soundtrack of banging chiptune beats. Released in January of this year, VVVVVV captured gamers' hearts with its simple allure, and breaking point difficulty. The plain, outdated look on its face belie VVVVVV's complexity, which feels almost like a Metroidvania game circa the 1980s. 


    Super Meat Boy by Team Meat (PC, XBLA)
    Based on the successful Newgrounds flash game Meat Boy, Super Meat Boy picks up where its predecessor left off; by making you want to kill yourself. Fans of fast action platformers and punishing twitch-reflex difficulty immediately fell in love with Super Meat Boy. Team Meat made some enemies along the way, like PETA and lamers who wanted a fun and relaxing gaming experience, but sometimes you need to break some heads to get to the top.


    Limbo by Playdead Studios (XBLA)
    Limbo earned a healthy buzz mostly for its "art game" presentation as completely black and white. In its entirety, Limbo never strays from it's noir style; the characters are little more than blobs of shadow, though the backgrounds are detailed and beautiful. Music is left out in favor of ambiance. With plenty of tricky platform puzzles to solve, Limbo is a slightly disturbed yet hauntingly lovely slice of low budget gaming.


    Shank by Klei Entertainment (PC, PSN, XBLA)
    Shank is one super pissed off badass motherfucker looking for revenge on the dudes that ruined his life. What better means to do this than a gory side-scrolling stylized action game with slick hand drawn graphics and an epic southwestern soundtrack? While the story wasn't the best, the insanely fun fighting and on-the-fly weapon switching made stringing together combos pleasing for both your eyes and your id.


    Minecraft by Markus "Notch" Persson (PC)
    What would this list be without Minecraft, arguably the low budget title of 2010. Technically, Minecraft was released in 2009, but it only really began to blow up this year. Starting as a one man job, Minecraft is a game where you can pretty much build anything you want, from the simplest log cabin, to a god damned working CPU. After an incredible increase in popularity this year, Notch hired some more people and created a development company funded strictly by Minecraft sales. As of December 29, 2010, Minecraft has over 2,750,000 registered users, and over 900,000 purchases. Not too bad for a one man project.


    Our Most Disappointing Blockbuster Games of 2010

    There were tons of gaming disappointments in 2010, some more unforeseen than others. It's easy for a small studio with limited funding to make a bad game, but when a big budget gaming blockbuster goes wrong, it's that much funnier. So without further ado, let's take a look.

    Our Most Disappointing Blockbuster Games of 2010

    Red Dead Redemption by Rockstar San Diego (PS3, X360)
    By no stretch of the imagination is Red Dead Redemption a bad game, in fact, most outlets have it pegged as the game of the year. I however, am growing increasingly critical of Rockstar's games, which is why I found RDR to be a huge disappointment. As a fan of westerns, be it movies or games, I was incredibly excited to hear of an open world western done by Rockstar. There was so much potential, so much that could be done to create a new experience. Beautiful graphics and involving story aside, in the end, Red Dead Redemption ended up feeling too much like a reskin of the Grand Theft Auto series, which felt like a crushing blow and a waste of potential to do something fresh.


    Fallout: New Vegas by Obsidian Entertainment (PC, PS3, X360)
    In late 2008, a game by the name of Fallout 3 snuck up on me and held me prisoner from the real world for an unhealthily long period if time. The follow up to one of my favorite games of recent memory had to be good, now that the developers had some time to work out the kinks of the original, as well as listen to and implement community suggested changes. Nuts to that! Development was handed over to Obsidian Entertainment from Bethesda Game Studios, and Obsidian didn't really feel like making any tweaks. The moved the story to Vegas and called it a day! Fallout 3 while awesome, wasn't perfect. There was plenty of room for improvement to make the experience even better, but why put in extra work when you can move copies on the strength of the series' name?


    Fable III by Lionhead Studios (X360)
    The simplistic yet involving Fable series has always been a joy to play, even if it did seem like the game was built to be played by a 12 year old. 2008's Fable II had an interesting story to go along with a dreadfully easy, but enjoyable combat system that delivered an entertaining experience from start to finish. Fable III claimed it would allow you great moral decisions, as the purpose of the third and final entry in the series, is to start a revolution as you see fit. Unfortunately, most of the game's decisions were binary, and rigid, leaving little room for experimentation. You're forced to make promises to allies to earn their trust, and in a turn for the anti-climactic, only at the end of the game are you allowed to renege on your word. 


    Epic Mickey by Disney Interactive Studios (Wii)
    The name Warren Spector is held in high regard to just about everyone in the gaming industry. Deus Ex, Thief, System Shock, and now Disney's Epic Mickey. One of these things is not like the other! Working with Disney, the talented Mr. Spector became all about the mouse, seemingly living, breathing, and pooping Disney. Unfortunately, his Epic Mickey turned out to be a convoluted mess, where teases of a dark, steampunk tale where Mickey would be responsible for the fate of other characters was way overblown. The morality system seemed like no more than a throw in, with no real weight on the outcome of the game. The controls were spotty, with Wiimote support seemingly added last minute just for the sake of motion controls. Level design, story, graphics, it all left much to be desired.


    NBA Elite by EA Sports (PS3, X360)
    The NBA Live series has been releasing yearly installments since 1992, and since 1995 under the Live moniker. In 2000, 2K Sports threw their hat into the basketball game market, and had been steadily outperforming the Live series since. With Michael Jordan appearing in their latest title, along with other classic ballers of yesteryear, it seemed like the Live series would have to do something drastic to outdo NBA 2K11. So they decided to change their name to NBA Elite, because people like new and improved names, right? Countless bugs, missteps, and general fuck ups later, the game was outright canceled, and the world would be without a yearly EA NBA sim for the first time in almost 20 years. 


    Dragon Age 2: Fast and Slow

    This developer diary for Dragon Age 2 tries to make some dude look ominous by way of dramatic lighting. Nice try. However, it also details the different ways you can tackle battle; as a fast paced action RPG, as a slow and strategic point-and-click affair, or as a combination of the two.

    A few things here. First, I'm most definitely playing as rogue Hawke. Second, the combat system looks like loads of fun, and my type of ordeal. Rush in and deal/recieve incredible damage in typical rogue fashion, then back out and strategize moments before dying prematurely. Hopefully there will be a way to pass the threat onto the much more deserving mage. Better you than me, squishy.