My review of Bioshock for the Xbox 360!
After I finished playing Bioshock, I knew immediately that I'd played an amazing game. That feeling after finishing a game where the game just sticks with you, I felt that with Bioshock. It was an incredibly emotional game. The mystery of the world of Rapture sticks with you long after the game ends. And yet, frankly, at first I had a hard time summing what it was that made Bioshock so amazing. It really left me at a loss for words, and I had to postpone writing this review for several days so I could actually figure out what made the game so amazing.
For starters the atmosphere in Bioshock is amazing. And by atmosphere I mean more than visuals. Sure, the visuals are amazing (a bit on that in a minute), but the whole game's presentation is just immersive and amazing. I don't think I've ever felt so totally involved in a game before. The world of Rapture is just so intriguing and well conceived that, despite it's obvious sci-fi setting, it seems almost plausible. The world is well developed; it's as if the developers actually mapped out every square inch of Rapture. The problem with all of this is that, while the city of Rapture is presented as being this huge underwater world, you really feel confined to the small corridors and buildings the game lets you into. A breathtaking opening cinematic makes Rapture feel huge, but you'll quickly feel disappointed once you find out you're constrained to the path the developers put you on. With all the attention to detail in the world, it's a shame that they confined you so much.
In coordination with Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has already dropped the price of their Wii console.
According this recent Best Buy circular, the Wii has taken a $50 price cut. Was this done simply because all the other console manufactures have dropped their prices? I'd say that's a big Yes! That's not to say that it wasn't a smart move on Nintendo's part, because I'd have to say it's one of the best moves they could make. The appeal of the Wii when this generation started was the price point; it was affordable enough to buy for a kid for Christmas. In other words, it wasn't a $600 or even $400 system. So when the generation launched, $250 seemed like more than fair. Now that Microsoft has slashed their prices, and Sony has done even heavier slashing on their prices, Nintendo has to either keep up or get out. Certainly a price cut makes the most sense, because their price point is the driving factor behind their success.
I hate to wander too far off track, but I have to wonder something while we're on the subject of price cuts (I would normally refrain, but it involves price cuts and the Wii, so I'll go for it). Now that the Wii has taken a price slash, why the hell are we still paying full retail price for two-year old games? Super Paper Mario is now two years old, as is Twilight Princess, and both games are still retailing at $50! How does it happen that a system takes a price slash before it's own launch titles?
Anyways, with that off my chest, I'll bid you adieu. And if you don't have a Wii, it might be more worth it at the $200 price point.
Persona 3 is set to hit the PSP!
Okay, so yesterday I did a write-up on the upcoming release (or should I say re-release) of Revelations: Persona, now for the PSP. Now I've stumbled across a little bit of news that, while old, may still excite. Apparently, Atlus is bringing Persona 3 to the PSP. There's not much in the way of details available at this time, although an apparent Japanese release date of November 1 does seem to be floating around. A Famitsu scan also suggests that there may be a new, female character thrown into the mix. Furthermore, it seems that you'll now be able to manually control your entire party.
So we've got Revelations: Persona: check. We've got Persona 3: check. Now where the bloody hell is Persona 2? It seems that somewhere in the mist, the second installment in the Persona series has been forgotten. It's a sad, sad shame, but here's to hoping that someday we can play all four games in the Persona series on our loved portable.
By: jalexbrown Sep 18, 2009 | 3 Comments
According to a report from Blizzard, the mega-popular MMO is littered with glitches galore.
According to wow.com (and also discussed to some length at the Game Developers Conference), Blizzard is reporting that World of Warcraft is plagued with almost 180,000 glitches that they're tracking. What that means in layman's terms is that there's almost 180,000 problems with the game that are either fixed, being fixed, or not yet in the process of being fixed. Unfortunately Blizzard didn't give a breakdown of where these glitches stand, but given the immense number of patches that have been released - and certainly the almost certain prospect that a ton more will be on the way - I'd say a good number of the glitches are in some stage of being fixed or being worked on. However, each new expansion pack is bound to breed a whole slew of new glitches in the process of fixing the old.
Is it surprising that World of Warcraft is plagued with that many bugs, or is it more surprising that Blizzard would come right out with such a staggering number?
Capcom wants to hear your ideas for future cross-over fighting games.
Gamers are a vocal group of individuals. They all have their opinions, and there's not a single one that's afraid to say what's awesome and what...well...isn't so awesome. Capcom has decided to get ideas from the place where ideas brew up best: from the gamers, of course.
If you hope on over to Capcom Unity, then you can give them your ideas for the next cross-over spectacular. The company is encouraging all ideas, from the amazingly serious to the absolutely comical. You get some cool Capcom swag if you happen to be their favorite.
I don't know if they're actually going to end up using any of these ideas or not, but either way it should at the very least be a humorous thing to read.
Yep, the big game's sequel was given a release date earlier today.
Bioshock was a great game when it launched on the Xbox 360 and PC, and it was still great when it was released as a port on the PlayStation 3, but almost from the minute it came out fans were speculating a sequel. Of course, 2K was glad to give in to the requests and announced that there would, in fact, be a sequel to the atmospheric shooter. Well, today there's more information in the form of a solid release date.
According to a press release, 2K is committing on the release date of February 9, 2010. This time around, the game is launching simultaneously on the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3. As many fans are already aware, this time around you get to step into the boots of the iconic Bioshock nemesis, a Big Daddy. The press release earlier this morning also confirmed that the sequel would contain a multiplayer component, which is something which split the fans of the first one; some thought it was needed, while others thought that the atmospheric touches would be lost in multiplayer. While we can only assume that the multiplayer will be confined to online experiences, it hasn't been mentioned rather or not the multiplayer will be available via split-screen. What we do know about the multiplayer component is that it will be a unique module as opposed to throwing two characters into the story designed for one. Yes, that's right; there will be two stories in Bioshock 2, and the only way to experience both stories will be to play the game both solo and multiplayer.
February 9, 2010; mark it on your calendars.
This weekend on Steam you can play a full version of Unreal Tournament 3 for absolutely nothing!
Free is always a good thing, right? Free is even better when what you're getting for free is a full weekend with Epic's great arena shooter, Unreal Tournament 3. That's right; this weekend on Steam you'll be able to play Unreal Tournament 3 until you can't take it, and you won't have to pay a red penny to do so. If that's not awesome then I have no idea what is.
And if that wasn't enough to blow your damned socks off, the prices on all of the Unreal games are being discounted. Unreal Tournament 3 is now being sold for a measly eight bucks; the original Unreal Game of the Year edition has been knocked down to just $1.99! And if you want more, you can get an entire Unreal package for $16.99!
Steam has officially given you no reason not to own the Unreal games.
By: jalexbrown Sep 18, 2009 | 1 Comments
Apparently the Japanese market isn't interested in the exclusives that Microsoft can offer.
According to a Japanese blog that I've stumbled across (see link at the bottom; warning: it's in Japanese, but there are pictures to confirm game titles), the top five best selling Xbox 360 games in Japan aren't exclusive titles. The blog cites the top five games as being:
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope
- Blue Dragon
- Tales of Vespria
- Last Remnant
- Resident Evil 5
If we approach this list in order, we start with Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The game was originally announced as an Xbox 360 exclusive, but the game has since been announced as a timed-exclusive, with a PS3 release in February of 2010. Given the delay of information, it's possible that the Japanese audience did pick up 360 units to play Star Ocean: The Last Hope. However, anyone in Japan who is just now getting into the next-gen consoles can safely pick up a PS3 and know they're not going to miss out on Star Ocean's goodness.
Blue Dragon is technically a 360 exclusive; there's no two ways about it. But perhaps we shouldn't ignore the DS release of Blue Dragon, Blue Dragon Plus. This is the only game on the list that isn't out or planned on being released in its exact form on the Playstation 3.
Tales of Vespria has been released for both the 360 and PS3, so there's really no need to comment on that.
Last Remnant was released on the 360, but it also came out on the PC. While I can't say for sure how big the PC gaming market is in Japan, it's still interesting to know that the Japanese gamers don't have to buy a 360 to enjoy this game, either.
Resident Evil 5 was released simultaneously for the 360 and PS3, so that's all the information we need about that.
What does this say to me? Well, it says that Microsoft hasn't done a good job controlling the Japanese market. Even in spite of the hype that a small segment of American gamers felt over the release of Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360, the Japanese will still get it as a PS3-exclusive. If Microsoft can't get some exclusives out in Japan that the market cares about, they're not going to be able to hold a candle to the PS3's dominance in Japan, plain and simple. Would that even surprise anyone, though, really? Not I, for sure! I never expected to see Microsoft become a force to be reckoned with in the Japanese market, so based on my initial expectations I have to applaud them for their efforts. But for all the Sony-exclusives that they've been stealing in America, they don't seem to be doing much better at holding onto their exclusives in Japan.
According to a job listing on the Electronic Arts site, Dead Space 2 seems to be in pre-production.
Every once in a great while, digging around the internet brings up something which isn't necessarily well-known information. In this case, a job listing on the Electronic Arts site confirms the development of a follow up to last year's hit, Dead Space. The job listing - which is a job listing for a Lead Combat Designer - says in no unconditional terms that Dead Space 2 is coming.
(Quote taken directly from the job listing on the Electronic Arts site)
"About this Project
This M-rated action/shooter sequel will set new standards for an action-packed story-driven console experience. Our team values are as follows: Gameplay comes first, controller feel is everything, culture of creativity, be highly iterative, playtest early and often, learn from failure, work fast and smart, and surround ourselves with the best talent in the world.
The previous installment in the Dead Space franchise received numerous awards for gameplay, visuals, and sound design, and the same core team is in place to create an even better follow up.
The game is in the later stages of pre-production, ready for production in the next few months, with many of the navigational and combat mechanics in place. We have complete autonomy and creative control over our own decisions. The Games Label at EA is 100% committed to this IP, and has already worked on IP extensions such as comic, animated features, and action figures. We’re looking for a few more talented individuals to join, and take the game to new heights."
I think that's all the confirmation we need that a follow-up is brewing. Unfortunately the job listing doesn't have a date attached to it, so I have no way of verifying when this job listing was posted. In any case, if Electronic Arts is looking for someone to work on a sequel to Dead Space, then it's a sure-fire bet that we'll eventually get our grubby little hands on it.
In the meantime, we have Dead Space: Extraction to be excited about.
An editorial discussing my opinions about why the game industry needs to stop making so many games based on movies.
Okay. I hate to say it, but I will. I'm a fiend for a creative product. Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me a bad consumer, whatever. If I have to wear these titles - and many others - because I dislike games based on movies, then so be it.
In the tough economic climate facing the US today, game publishers are more and more likely to push developers to use their pre-owned properties; it just so happens that a good chunk of these pre-owned properties are movie licenses. I understand that there are a few games - and I'm using that term loosely, because it's actually a very select few - that are based on movie properties that make total sense; perhaps a few of these movies were begging to be made into a good game. Take, for instance, The Godfather. I love the game to death, and I happen to be a huge fan of the movie trilogy. I happen to think that The Godfather was begging for a good sandbox experience, and the developers did a great job creating just that. It's a great fun game that understood its own concept, executed it well, and managed to stick to the source material without becoming to constrained by it. On the other end of the spectrum, developers today make a lot of games based on movies that just don't seem to stick too well with me. As an example of that, let's use...any game based on a movie made by Pixar. I'm sorry, but did Up really need a video game? The truth is the publisher used that license to leach a moderate amount of success off of the movie. It's not like you watch Up and think You know...this really should be made into a video game.
Blandness breeds blandness, and if the game industry doesn't decide to take chances and push away some of this mediocrity, we're going to have consoles with software lineups bloated with movie tie-ins and shovelware (whoops...sorry Wii...low blow). My advice to the game developers is to take some chances, try to create some new properties, and I'm sure there are enough open-minded games out there who are willing to give it a shot.
Besides...if I'm wrong you can always go back to making Pixar tie-ins.
Atlus is dropping Persona onto the PSP in America on Sept. 22
So if you're an RPG gamer, you might know a little something about the Shin Megami Tensei games. Made by Atlus, these games are rare and obscure - almost mythological - on the Western side of the world due to their low print numbers and tremendous price inflation. It's not exactly new for Atlus to reprint their out-of-print games (this has been done in the last year with both Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, both for the Playstation 2). However, the original Revelations: Persona is far and above the most looked-for game in the Shin Megami Tensei lineup, and it's second only to Tactics Ogre in the entire Atlus collection. It wouldn't be at all uncommon for a complete copy of the original PSX hit to sell for over $100, sometimes going as high as $150. So imagine the shock when Atlus announced that they would be porting their second-hand hit to the PSP, placing the game back on store shelves and selling it at a $40 price tag. Further more, Atlus is also going to be putting the game up on the Playstation Network for $40. Now the game that was once considered impossible to find is going to be in regular print and available at any local Gamestop/EB Games.
The PSP version is going to contain a completely relocalized script, a new (or redesigned) user interface, new musical tracks in the soundtrack, balance adjustments, all-new animation sequences by the animator of Devil May Cry 3, and new voice overs. In addition to all that, the retail version (as opposed to the PSN version) will contain the entire game's two-disk soundtrack. In traditional Atlus fashion, however, the soundtrack will only be included for a limited time.
The game is launching on both in retail and on the PSN simultaneously on September 22.
A quick review of Shadow Complex for the XBox 360 Arcade
This game reminds me so much of Super Metroid (SNES), it's unreal. Get it? Cause it's made with the Unreal engine... eh... tough crowd.
Anyway, for 1200 MS points (that's 15 bucks, American) you will get about 5-8 hours of story mode game play the first time through. More towards 8 if you strive for 100% completion. You will almost certainly want to play through a second time (either to see what you missed or to try to beat it with under 13% of the items for an achievement).
There are a ton of hidden rooms and power ups that will keep you searching every nook and cranny for hours. If you do happen to grab every power up, you will feel like an invincible badass (because you will be, practically). Truly, every powerup is extremely satisfying and they come at a rapid pace.
There are also several challenge maps (again with an achievement for beating them all) that allow you to pit your best times up against your friends (or the XBL community at large).
If you have an Xbox 360 and a gold membership and a spare 1200 points, there is no better way to spend those points right now. (Especially if you loved Super Metroid or Castlevania).
Don't be a Jimmy!
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