Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Trailer: Shouldn’t There Be a SEGA In There Somewhere?

I really like the idea of transforming vehicles (even though it’s been done before in games since the Spy Hunter days), the brief gameplay shown here looks great and the first game was a ton of fun. But what’s up the the total lack of Sega in the title this time out? Hopefully it’s a misprint, or perhaps we’ll be seeing some non-Sega All-Stars in this follow up? Whatever happens, I’m hoping to see Sega be a bit prouder of itself despite a bumpy year so far. Go, Sega!

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Raven’s Cry Gameplay Trailer: More Pirates Setting Sail For Retail!

Sooooo… it looks as if pirates are the new zombies this year, huh? Between this game, Risen 2, the new One Piece game and a few other pirates appearing in games lately, it’s looking like “Yo, Ho, Ho” and “Arrrrrr” will be popping up on review sites as well as too many lame pirate jokes that even I won’t be able to stand with my pun-laded ways. That aside, Raven’s Cry does look quite good so far. Octane Games and publisher TopWare just may have a nice niche RPG hit on their hands that won’t get the hook (arrrr!) when the finally game hits PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 at some point.

The Avengers Hits Big Overseas, Making for Some New-ish Movie Math…

Personally, I really miss the days when a film made here was released here first, THEN in overseas markets. Nevertheless, it seems the strategy here is Marvel wanting to juggernaut the hype machine with a boffo box office take everywhere else so it’s a total no-brainer that the film kills at the ticket counter when if officially launches here on Friday. Of course, by that time, the bootleggers who shot and shipped DVD’s from some of those foreign markets will take away some of that gross, but not enough to put a dent in the wallets of Marvel, who’s going to be smiling for a while, it seems…

God of War: Ascension Has At Least One Multiplayer Mode. It’s Worth A Look, I Say…

For me and many other gamers, adding multiplayer modes to a game that’s best known for its solo play and cinematic storytelling is the sign of the beast, a franchise running on fumes begging for cash from a crowd focused on massing up kill counts with no regard to narrative structure or hell, enjoyment of all the hard work it takes to make a story driven game flow from start to finish. Sony Santa Monica Studios obviously realizes this as well as a few other negatives and positives about MP and is forging ahead with an intriguing multiplayer mode in Kratos’ next adventure.

From what I’m reading elsewhere, you won’t have twenty Kratos’ running around the screen at all. One aspect of the mode will feature players representing warriors selected by the gods to do battle over territory, so at least my first fear has been quelled. As for the rest, well, I’ll need to see the game up close and personal to judge more fully what’s coming. All I’ll say is I’m looking forward to the single player story FIRST and foremost over any multplayer modes, no matter how good they are. Color me cautiously optimistic…

Review: Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat

Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3)

Developer: Pipeworks

Publisher: 345 Games/Spike Games

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: C (70%)

I’m feeling a bit psychic today, so I’ll read your mind for a minute. Ready? OK, You’re NOT buying Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat because you’re a massive fighting game fan looking for the next big combo-crazy arcade classic to wear out that $150 arcade stick you got last Xmas. You’re going to buy this game because you’re a big fan of (or new to and enjoy) the popular Spike TV series and always wanted to know who’d win in a virtual fight, Richard the Lionheart or Joan of Arc. While I won’t reveal the results of that particular battle from the show to those who don’t know, I will say that you probably might have guessed this isn’t your typical fighting game at all. Despite the practice mode, mild customization elements and copious amounts of blood spilled, it’s no Mortal Kombat by a long shot. In fact, the gameplay owes more to the Bushido Blade games in that matches can realistically be over in seconds if you or your opponent get in one or two critical hits, and even a suit of armor is worthless if you try to button bash your way to an easy victory.

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Risen 2: Dark Waters PC Launch Trailer: Hi, Seas! Adventure!

I really liked the first Risen quite a lot, even though it wasn’t the best looking game out there in terms of a PC to console port. Once you got used to the challenging combat system and started exploring the rather large and deadly island, the game was quite a nice surprise (and definitely not a short RPG experience). I’d imagine the first game sold well enough on PC to get this more seafaring sequel, just released on PC and coming in late July for PS3 and Xbox 360. I definitely want to see how the console versions have turned out, as my creaky old rig is on it’s last legs as far as playing any new games.

Brain Percolations In A Few Different Directions…

Status

 

Hmmm… There’s been a lot of stuff going on around here outside my normal gaming sphere, so I’m going to be playing a bit of catch up over the next week or so in terms of previews and reviews. Oddly enough, my brain is generating art ideas lately in the midst of all this. Go figure. Anyway, off to rest for a few hours – back with some actual completed posts that make sense shortly…

Datura: SCEA and Plastic Group Want You To Get Move-ing.

While I’m really loving what I see here and want the game to do fantastically well over PSN, I really wish that SCEA would get this game plus Plastic’s great Linger In Shadows along with some other PSN-only titles (even demo versions would be fine) onto a retail disc at a nice price so that the rather large amount of PS3 owners who still can’t (or don’t yet) use PSN can get to experience what they’re missing. As I keep saying, shutting out any gaming dollars by enforcing evolution before everyone can come along for the ride just makes you less profit if you expect everyone to be aboard at the same time. Hell, the Move needs more positive support, right? I’m keeping the flame going for Sorcery, which looks amazing from what I’ve seen, but I want Sony to acknowledge that as successful as PSN is, it (and any other download content service) isn’t doing much for those gamers who may want to try some of these titles but currently don’t have a decent online connection.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Update: Art Direction, Directed Artistically…

Here’s a look at another “making of” featurette for Firaxis’ upcoming reboot of the classics tactical sci-fi RPG. I have to hand it to the team for not jumping on the retro bandwagon in terms of the visual style. As much of a fan of the original X-COM and a few of its spin-offs and sequels, the fact is going too old school would have been a bad idea unless the team was doing a portable version that implemented a rotating camera like Rifts: Promise of Power on the N-Gage (one of those games that needs to be redone for handhelds or consoles just so gamers could see that, yes, there were some great games on the much-berated device). I don’t think 2K has anything to worry about other than a few cranky fans who never even plan to buy the final version still going ape about stuff they don’t like (even if it’s well implemented and make the game more enjoyable)…

Horror Games Can (And Should) Be A LOT More Frightening, Says Frictional Games

I have my own thoughts on what makes a great horror video game (getting over the zombie craze and discovering new, more real fears and rethinking “survival” elements that rely primarily on combat, for starters), but thankfully for my insane schedule, Thomas over at Frictional Games has some of the same thoughts as I do and even better, he and the team there can actually make games (and scary ones at that!). Anyway, go check out the wonderfully informative blog post over at the dev blog and add in a few comments to the discussion here if you like.