Monday, February 27, 2012

Nexuiz (XBLA): "Old School Arena Shooters Are Reborn & Revived!!!"

If you are a gamer who has enjoyed fast paced arena shooters in the past such as the "Quake" series (Quake III: Arena) then you'll be stoked about what 'ILLFONIC/THQ' has done for the genre. They have not only brought back the classic gameplay style of the FPS arena shooters of old, but have improved on it in many ways. In fact they have made the game their own in doing so. I was seriously stoked myself when I watched the trailer of "Nexuiz" last year after it was first revealed. It was a shot in the dark, but I knew I had to try and get this game for review. I wanted to see how good it was, and if the developers had managed to successfully revive a gaming genre that I have missed for quite some time. After getting the code for review (which I'm highly thankful for) I tested out all aspects of it, and took many notes on the details of the game as I did so. I was one of the lucky reviewers who actually got to spend some quality time playing online with others. It was hard to find matches at times, but I'm glad to say I can give you the details you need to know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360): "The Sad Truth"

There's been a lot of things really getting on my nerves about online games lately. No doubt you have seen my rants & raves via Twitter about the subject. The fact of the matter is that online gaming is rapidly declining in quality, and has been doing so for quite some time now. With each online oriented game that is released there are also lobbies of cheaters, hackers, and spammers. I realize this sounds like a lot of whining on my part, but it's 100% accurate. Getting back on track though with the topic of this article ... Modern Warfare 3, or MW3 as most gamers know it has become a cesspool for campers, and all the bad types of gamers imaginable. To further add salt to the wound "Infinity Ward" & "Activision" have released 3 new DLC maps all of which are 100% camper friendly. With the release of the first to maps there was a video by "Infinity Ward" literally saying that they were "camper friendly". I also found out today after downloading the latest DLC content drop of the "Overwatch" map, and trying it out that they have continued with their camper friendly bullcrap. I tested the map out as soon as I downloaded it, and found more camping areas in it than on any map in the entire game. Needless to say I'm very pissed about the whole ordeal. I spent an extra $50 to get the Elite CoD membership, and I can honestly say it was a bad investment. I hope you guys & gals learn from my mistake, and stay the heck away from CoD games & CoD DLC.

- Brad (OtakuDante)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Epic Quest"

Zen Studios have produced some spectacular pinball tables in the years that they've been involved in game development. This time around though they really outdid themselves with a unique pinball table experience that combines the elements of RPGs with all of the goodness of a Pinball FX2 table. The table I speak of is called "Epic Quest", and the title definitely suits the experience you'll get when you play the table. I honestly think that Zen Studios covered every single element you'd find in a classic, or even modern RPG. There's HP, MP, Spells, A Ranking/Leveling system, Upgradeable weapons/armor, and epic boss/creature battles that continue even after you have lost. The brilliant innovation that Zen Studios has applied to this table goes way beyond just RPG elements, but also includes some "Epic" replay value. It's something you won't find anywhere else in the pinball gaming world at this current time. I know you guys, and gals have been awaiting my review, so I'll go ahead and get into it ...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shank 2 Digital Comic Book For Free!!!

I received some pretty awesome news from Emily Morganti of "Klei Entertainment" yesterday. Following the release of their XBLA game they have made a free digital "Shank" comic book for download. The following is an excerpt (portion) of the email that Emily sent me to share with you guys, and gals:

Hot on the heels of last week's Shank 2 launch on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC, the game's award-winning indie developer Klei Entertainment has just released an eye-catching Shank comic book for free download:
Bridging the period between the two Shank games, the action-packed comic features sixteen pages of over-the-top original artwork from Klei's creative director Jeff Agala and artist Vangelis Christou -- it's a must-have for Shank fans and a great intro for new players!
The Shank comic can also be downloaded for iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire from Comixology:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Union of Armstrong (XBLIG): "A Unique Space Oriented Tower Defense Game"

I was recently contact by Travis Rogers of "Domain of the Infinite" about reviewing his latest indie game "Union of Armstrong". I wasn't sure what the game was about, but I was glad to do the review for him. After playing the game for a brief time it kind of grew on me. It's the type of simple game that you can sit back, and relax to as you play it. It  featured one of the most unique music soundtracks I've ever heard, and I quite enjoyed listening to it's mock radio station setup. As I did my playthrough of "Union of Armstrong" I tried my best to make it far in the game but failed since my mind wasn't focused at that time. I have plenty of things to worry about in my everyday life, so trying to become an expert at a tower defense game as involved as this one definitely proved to be a hopeless task. Regardless of that fact I quite enjoyed the playthrough, and will try my best to explain the core mechanics of the game to you guys, and gals.

Game Type (XBLIG): "MommysBestGames Issues An Update!!!"

As all of you know by now I'm a serious shmup (shoot 'em up) fan. I absolutely love a good shmup even if it is a $1 (80 msp) XBLIG title. Last year I reviewed an XBLIG shmup called "Game Type". This shmup was unique in that it was used to make a point about the current state of the XBLIG titles' hard to find location in the Xbox 360 dashboard. Aside from it's obvious message the game also featured a shmup game that was actually fun. I found out this morning, after contacting the developer (MommysBestGames) that the game had been updated with some patches about 2 weeks ago. These patches were significant in nature, and included the leaderboard patch that I had been waiting for. I will include a link to the official website info on the currently available patches so you can see them for yourselves. If you haven't already got this game it's definitely worth the asking price!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Soul Calibur V (Xbox 360): "The Love/Hate Relationship"

This is a follow up to my last article about "Soul Calibur V", and it's more of a discussion about what I'm finding out about the game as I play it. In this particular article I'll also try to discuss further pros & cons I have found about the game ...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shank 2 (XBLA): "Sequel To The Original Blood Filled Brawler"

I'm going to begin by saying that I have never actually played the first "Shank" game. I did notice during my playthrough of "Shank 2" that it looked like the continuation of another story. With that being said though I was able to understand everything that was going on without having played the previous game. What I discovered when I played "Shank 2" was a gory 2D brawler/platformer that seemed to have elements of the "Metal Slug" games, and an art style similar to the "Samurai Jack" series. It also featured an interesting, and deeply involved combo system with a wide variety of weapons. All of the characters in the game had their own unique personality that gave them a likable quality. Shank (the hero) was a lone wolf kind of guy that reminded me a lot of "Marcus Phoenix" from the "Gears of War" series. He had that same gritty voice, and attitude going on. As I played the game I really began to like Shank's style. As interesting as the characters were I found that the story to be even more entertaining. It featured a plot about organ harvesting, a dying dictator, a mad doctor, and even a female cult leader among other things. It was like a "Quentin Tarantino" grindhouse feature that was made into a video game!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cloudberry Kingdom (XBLIG): "Upcoming $1,000 Contest!!!"

I have just received an email from 'Pwnee Studios' concerning one of the biggest prizes related to an XBLIG title! The contest in question will take place once the game is released in early Spring. It seems that 'Pwnee Studios' is searching for the greatest platformer gamer of all time ("Platformer god"). In order to prove your worth, and win the $1,000 prize you will need to be the first gamer to complete "Cloudberry Kingdom" on it's hardest difficulty setting. After you do so you will need to upload the replay via an in-game feature. I will leave you guys & gals a link to this extremely exciting contest so that you can check it out for yourself. I definitely know I'm going to give it a shot, and I hope you do as well. Best of luck to anyone who enters!

The Simpsons Arcade Game (XBLA): "A Retro Arcade Beat 'em Up"

This game brought back so many memories from my childhood. As a teenager I enjoyed watching "The Simpsons" every chance that I got. My mother wasn't really approving of the shows semi-adult humor, but she allowed me to view it anyways. The television series isn't the only nostalgic memories this game brings to mind. Back in the day when I used to play the arcades at a skating venue called "Skate Country" I would spend many quarters playing this exact same arcade game. When I first got this game for review I wasn't really sure it was a direct translation of the arcade cabinet game, but after doing a thorough playthrough I realized that it was. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. I think Konami, and Backbone Entertainment did an excellent job of porting this arcade style brawler to the consoles. They included a lot of extra features that the arcade cabinet version of the game didn't have including online co-op.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cloudberry Kingdom (XBLIG) - "Pwnee Studios Upcoming Game Release"

I've been recieving a lot of compliments from XBLIG developers lately, and it definitely means a lot to me. It means that I'm actually doing something right in my quest to get games on the Xbox LIVE marketplace noticed. Recently I received an email from 'TJ Lutz' of 'Pwnee Studios (A 4 Man Team)' about their upcoming XBLIG title that promises new technological advances in the 2D platformer genre. They told me in the email that "Cloudberry Kingdom" will feature 6 different difficulty settings (casual - hardcore/nearly impossible) that adjust to the player's skill levels. This in itself seems like an impressive feat to me. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing, and hopefully reviewing the game. I will leave you guys & gals the youtube trailer so that you can see what I'm talking about for yourselves ...

Twitter: @PwneeStudios


Monday, February 6, 2012

Katana Land (XBLIG): "A Mission Based 2D Ninja Platformer"

I have had the chance to play a handful platforming games based around the ninja mythology since starting my XBLIG reviewing career. Most of the games released though were from "WINGLAY Entertainment". I was glad to see another developer step up, and introduce a ninja platformer that was different. Kablammo Games, the developer behind "Katana Land" definitely brought something new to the table in that respect. Their game had it's own unique comic book style of art, and the in-game details reflected their interesting style. Aside from the impressive comic book style graphics that were shown, the game also featured an amazing oriental soundtrack that complimented the game quite well. The gameplay itself was well presented, and featured objective based missions and boss battles. While the game wasn't extremely lengthy it offered some things that enhanced it's replay value. Overall the game was executed well, and was presented in a user friendly manner.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brand (XBLIG): "A Game With A Mythology All It's Own"

There are many mythologies in the world of gaming. You'll find epic games that revolve around various science fiction universes, and games that are based on fantasy realms. As a gamer I've seen many of these mythologies come, and go throughout the years. Some of them have even lasted through many different genres of consoles. It's always nice to see new realities/mythologies being born from the imaginations of gaming developers. Being able to experience these mythology based games provides an escape from everyday life for many video game enthusiasts such as myself. I often feel as if I'm a part of the world's, and mythologies that game developers create and enjoy the artistic trip that ensues. Recently I got the opportunity to play, and review an indie game that had it's own "Brand" of mythology. Nine Dots Studio, the developer behind the indie game "Brand" has brought their own mythology of sorts to the XBLIG library in an entirely new way. The game revolves around a quest to make a sword that's worthy for a king by completing side quests that involve ancient creatures called Troglodytes.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Soul Calibur V - "The Lowdown On The Beatdown"

I'm a gamer who takes things seriously when it comes to fighting games. I have actually spent most of my gaming career playing fighting games. I've enjoyed everything from 2D fighters to the latest 3D oriented fighting games. To cut straight to the point though, I have noticed a bad trend going on with next-gen fighting games and "Soul Calibur V" is sadly no exception to that. The following article is going to be about my experience with the latest installment of the Soul Calibur series, Soul Calibur V. I have a lot of things I feel I need to address about the game, and some things gamers need to be aware of if they are thinking about buying this game ...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Magic Racing GP 2 (XBLIG): " A Highly Customizable & Realistic Indie Racing Game"

I absolutely love games that have a lot of customization options. Such details allow the gamer to make the experience of a video game more personal. In "Magic Studio's" latest release of "Magic Racing GP 2" they not only give the gamer a lot of customization options but deliver them in a fashion that makes the overall game experience more realistic than most mainstream racing games available today. In fact the developer's attention to details in the game are so impressive that I tweeted them a message complimenting them on a job well done. In the following review I hope to cover as many details as possible with out overdoing it. Sometimes a reviewer such as myself can lose his audiences' attention with too many details, and I don't want to do that. The fact of the matter is I could go on for many paragraphs about the details of the game since it has so much to offer, but I'll try to narrow it down without leaving out significant info on the game.