Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stars Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Review

As I wait impatiently for Star Wars: The Old Republic to start it's beta, I decided to find my old copy of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003) and gave it a run through again. Surprisingly, slicing through enemies with a lightsaber is still awesome. Jedi Academy is the third Jedi Knight game in the series and the last game of the series. The first game in the series had no lightsaber combat, it was just a first person shooter with a ton of Star Wars lore and references for fans of the series, it was great, but it was old (1995); some of you may know it...Star Wars: Dark Forces, it was well known and well liked among the PC gaming community. Following it came Dark Forces II which introduced Kyle Katarn, who is still in Jedi Academy, and you played him as he became a Jedi Knight. The second Jedi Knight game also focused on Kyle Katarn, but also Luke Skywalker. So, that brings us back to Jedi Academy, the third and last game of the series, that is unless someone randomly sometime makes a continuation of these games. They are Star Wars, they are loved for their lightsaber combat, popular Star Wars areas (like Tatooine and Endor), famous characters and action based combat, but still maintaining a level of depth and strategy despite the focus on action. One big difference between Jedi Academy and it's predecessors, is character and lightsaber customization. This was the first of the series to allow you to not only choose a customizable race, but it also allowed you to choose and customize your lightsaber. The whole series was created by Lucas Arts and developed by Raven Software. Some of these games are for consoles, but I'm strictly talking about the PC Versions, I have never played any of the consoles one.
Jedi Academy still has it's core FPS, but it's main focus is lightsaber combat. You fight many lightsaber battles in the game and you usually cannot kill lightsaber wielding enemies with ranged weapons, so throughout the story you get to upgrade and customize your lightsaber abilities. Right from the beginning you may customize your lightsaber and then further on you can choose from different types of, like two lightsabers or a saber staff (like darth maul). They are not cosmetic choices either, they all have their own strength and weakness, with the saber staff being the middle ground between offense and defense. I chose to go the old fashioned route, one single lightsaber. You fight lightsaber combat with seemingly simple controls, left mouse to swing, right mouse to throw it and wasd keys to move around. While the controls aren't complicated, they take a while to master due to special attacks, rolling, jumping and lightsaber duel combat. Sure, running down non lightsaber enemies isn't too hard, although you don't start the game with fantastic deflecting abilities, so can still get hit by guns, but a lightsaber duel can last four minutes or fifteen seconds. You can use your force powers to help with any situation, especially dueling. Sometimes you can catch a enemy unaware and use speed to rush them before they can get their bearings. You also have three styles: aggressive, defensive and light (fast) style. They all have their own roles and play a huge part into some of the harder lightsaber battles. You can change your style and catch your enemy off guard or they may change their style on you.
You have many force powers to choose from, four light and four dark. The four light powers are heal, shield, trick and absorb and the four dark powers are lightning, choke, drain and rage. There are still a bunch of common powers as well, like push, pull, sense, force jump and force speed. You can actively choose dark or light powers, which doesn't affect the story, but it does affect the story when you choose a dark or light side choice. Yes, even though this is action game, you still have story choices with what side to attune to. Everytime you go to choose a mission you get to see a star map, all old looking and a little sad to now a days standards, and in that star map there are a list of missions to do, more choices! So many choices everywhere in this game, but they are all good things and they help make this a real Star Wars game.

Jedi Academy - Hoth duel with Alora

The story is full of ruins, ancient cults, dark side meddling, Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn, references to Leia, Chewbacca and plenty of other fun stuff. It's fairly long, lasting about 10 hours, but it has plenty of replayability and a hefty multiplayer. The multiplayer has tons of mods these days, one of the best of which is Movie Battles II. Movie Battles is a mod that does a lot to make multiplayer duels really fantastic, by adding in movie maps and by putting the players into specific roles. Speaking of multiplayer, it has a couple modes. Some basic MP modes like free for all and team death match, also some unique modes like siege and power duel. Siege isn't too unique anymore, but back then and for a star wars game, it was. Siege mode was just an objective based mode, but even back when it first came out most people were drawn to power duels. Power duels can have however many players, but it takes turn having one and one duels go on while everyone else watched. The negative to this mode is that sometimes two people would take forever to kill each other, but most of the time they would be over pretty quickly and your time to gain some fame will come. There are a ton of other mods for multiplayer, a few for singleplayer, over at MODDB (a very popular mod community/website) if anyone cares to see what people might be playing for it these days, people do still play it.
This was a great game, but like many older games it hasn't aged to well. Thankfully, the core gamplay is still solid and enjoyable. Slicing through other jedi in epic battles is fantastic and nothing has duplicated the feeling yet. Sure this game isn't Knight of the Old Republic, but it's a entirely different type of game, a game with a lot of replayability, customization, Star Wars nostalgia and a decent story. It does help that the game is fully voiced and has great overall sound quality. It's hard to recommend this game these days, but if your dying for something Star Wars, then this may be able to fill some of that void for now, maybe. When this came out this was one of my favorite games for at least an entire year, it was also really well received by critiques and gamers.

This game is sure to give you some Great Times
Thanks for letting me get into frantic lightsaber duels of death.

Thanks for reading, that will probably be it from me for tonight. Check back tomorrow for more and hopefully a Deus Ex: Human Revolution review.
-Written by Sean Cargle

Maldita Castilla

Maldita Castilla new indie game that bases itself on old arcade classics like Ghost & Goblins, Shinobi and Rygar. There is a demo out for the game today and I must say that its pretty similar to how I remember Ghost & Goblins. It is a hard game with some basic elements. You attack and jump, about it, but you can get several different weapons and special items. You can also find chests that contain health, money (which just gives you score) and weapons. The demo is fairly short, but tough and the chests are random. You can find it over on Locomalito/the developers, website.
Here you go:
Would love to see a full version of this game someday as a low price indie game that should bring back some arcade related nostalgia, that is for those of who are old enough to have played stuff like that. Thanks Rock Paper Shotgun for showing me this game. Here are some screenshots, enjoy.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Rock of Ages Hands On

A game so weird that it might be after my heart. Rock of Ages is a little bit tower defense and a little bit marble madness. A demo for the game came out on Xbox Live Arcade today and it gives you three singleplayer levels to try, a skeeboulder level and a time trial level. Skeeboulder is basically just a time trial run, except it's all about points, not time. From the first minute of the game you will be aware of the eccentricities of the art and design, but it's not a bad thing. It's one of the ways Rock of Ages distinguishes itself. Before I get any further with explaining this odd game, let's get some basic details down.

Basic Info
Developer: Team Ace and Atlus
Game Type: Tower Defense/Action-Strategy
Unique Features: Gameplay is very unique, art style is amazingly odd, great cash value and lots of replayability.
Releases Dates: August 31st XBLA. September 7th PC/PSN.
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Price Tag: $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points
The game has many modes: Singelplayer campaign, SkeeBoulder, Time Trial and Multiplayer (split-screen and online). The singleplayer campaign is pretty silly, but really fun and difficult. It starts out easier, but the later level in the demo is quite difficult. The AI is excellent at smashing through your defenses. It's also interesting to see the campaign go through four ages, starting with Ancient Greek and then the following three are Medieval, Renaissance, and Rococo. The gameplay is not something I've ever played before.
The map layout reminds me of some kind of checkered puzzle, but you control a boulder, the Rock of Ages, and you must roll it through obstacles into your enemies castle. The enemy has a castle gate that you must break through and the more damage your boulder takes before you get to the gate, the less damage you will do to it. You actively control the boulder, dodging and smashing through things like towers, sharp turns, catapults, villagers, powder kegs (don't want to hit those!), cows and many other obstacles that the enemy may place in your way. Every time you use you aren't in direct control of the Rock of Ages, you are out in the tactical map. You and the enemy both use money to place obstacles in each others way. Obstacles like towers slow down the enemy boulder and also cause a little bit of damage to it, you may also place things like catapults, trebuchets and cows that actively seek to hit an enemy boulder. You get money by destroying objects, but your really want to hit neutral objects like village buildings and pots/vases. You do get money from destroying enemies objects, the ones intended to slow you down, but the neutral objects don't do as much damage to you and tend to give you more money. To change up the gameplay a bit your Rock of Ages can get upgrades, for money. In the demo they showed off a spiked ball that made it more durable and also a flame ball that blasted through everything.

Atlus USA Teaser Trailer: Rock of Ages

Trying to balance between tower defense and taking direct control of the action makes the game challenging. Rock of Ages gives you big maps with a lot of space to build and try tactics, but it takes a while to be able to make some really strong boulder deterrents. I love how you learn tactics and formation by seeing how the AI places them against you, because the AI is quite good at plowing through your defenses and putting up roadblocks to slow you down. As weird and enjoyable as the game was, I wasn't sold by the demo. It is a very unique experience, it has great graphics and it costs less than most XBLA games, but I did run into a few bugs and I am worried that gameplay may become quite repetitive. Check out the demo on XBLA for yourself or wait until it shows up on Steam on September 7th. Thanks for reading, be back with more news very soon.

Want to see more? Check out the main website.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Over 5,000 Hits This Month!!

I just wanted to dedicate this post to everyone that has been reading our blog.  We have put a lot of time and effort to make this blog your primary source for gaming news.  It is hard, very hard to compete with the bigger mainstream gaming news websites, but thanks to you we are making great progress.  Our next goal is to find a new site where we can expand and add more features to make your reading experience more enjoyable and interactive.  This will take some time and money, so it will not be a quick change over. 

I set out to make this blog a year ago for the intentions of sharing our views of video games and gaming experiences.  Also, getting into big gaming events such as E3 and also having access to early game releases so we can review them before they hit the shelves.  I can say a year later we have accomplished our goals.  During this year we were able to attend E3 2011 and meet some of top designers and figures in the gaming industry.

Gaming is a passion that all of us here at Violent Gamer Reviews share.  For most of our lives we have been dedicated gamers and are a little more obsessive with the industry than others.  It is exciting to see the progression the gaming industry has taken in the last 10-15 years and where the future of gaming will take us.  Thank you everyone for helping us get to this milestone for our website, and keep on reading!

Special Thanks To:

Sean Cargle - For his major dedication to the site since its conception.
Wesley Birch - For his contribution in editing and graphic design.
Our Readers - Without your views, we would have no inspiration!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September Game Releases

I have been working on this list all day, by cross checking dates, platforms and prices. Hope it is appreciated. Everything on here is at least in the 90th percentile of being correct, if it was less than that I didn't post it. Oddly enough many games were September games, but no release dates, so they will not show up. Some games that may release this month, but do not have release dates yet, are : Two Worlds II: Pirates of the Flying Fortress, Amy, Choplifter HD, Fireburst, Dungeon Defenders, Ignite, Renegade Ops and Nuclear Dawn.
Let's do this, but first, let's start with today, August 30th. *all of these are US release dates only.

August 30th
Body Count (PS3, Xbox 360) $49.99

Gatling Gears (PC) $9.99

The Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles (PC) $29.99

Homefront- The Rock Map Pack (PC) $4.99

Madden NFL 12 (Xbox360, PS3) $59.99

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PSN) $9.99

4 Elements HD (PSN) $9.99
psn information, since the website doesn't talk about the PSN version.

The Baconing (PSN) $14.99

Serious Sam Double D (PC) $7.99

Cladun X2 (PSN/PSP) *Can't find a price anywhere

August 31st
The Baconing (Xbox360, PC, Mac) $14.99

Rock of Ages (XBLA) 800 Microsoft Points

Train Frontier Express (XBL Indie Game) 240 Microsoft Points

September 1st
Tropico 4 (PC) $39.99

Crimson Steam Pirates (iPad) $1.99 for Chapter 2

September 6th
Dead Island (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) $49.99 - $59.99

Resistance 3 (PS3) $49.99

Driver San Francisco (PC, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS) $39.99 - $59.99

Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten (PS3) $49.99

Might and Magic Heroes VI (PC) $49.99

Rise of Nightmares (Xbox 360) $49.99

Rugby World Cup (PS3, Xbox 360) $49.99

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) $49.99 - $59.99

September 7th
Skydrift (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) $14.99

Crimson Alliance (XBLA) 1200 Microsoft Points

Rock of Ages (PC, PS3) $9.99

September 9th
Men of War: Vietnam (PC) $34.99

September 13th
White Knight Chronicles II (PS3) *No idea, probably full price PS3 game

NHL 12 (PS3, Xbox 360) $59.99

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC) $39.99

Hard Reset (PC) $29.99

God of War Origins Collection (PS3) $39.99
PSN News

Sengoku (PC) *No Price Information

The Gunstringer (XBLA Kinect) *Probably 1200 Microsoft Points

September 14th
Little Big Planet 2: Move Pack: The Rise of the Cakeling DLC (PS3) *No price yet

September 19th
Kirby Mass Attack (3DS) $29.99
Kirby Wiki:

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (3DS) $34.99

September 20th
Resident Evil 4 HD (PSN, XBL) $19.99 or 1600 Microsoft Points

F1 2011 (PS3, Xbox 360) $59.99

Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter (PC) *No information on price
*The release of this game is very sketchy. Everything says September 20th, but there hasn't been any news on this game in the last month or two.

Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360) $59.99

Child of Eden (PS3) $49.99

Persona 2: Innocent Sin *Persona 2 Remake* (PSP) $39.99
Shin Megami Tensei Wiki

Supremacy MMA (PS3, Xbox 360) $49.99

Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns (DS, 3DS) $29.99
Ign Developer Interview

September 21st
Resident Evil: CODE Veronica X (PSN, XBL) $19.99 or 1600 Microsoft Points

September 22nd
Might and Magic Clash of Heroes (PC) $14.99

September 23rd
Railworks 3: Train Simulator (PC) *No Price Information

September 27th
Dungeons the Dark Lord (PC) $29.99

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) $39.99

Solatorobo: Red The Hunter (DS) $34.99

X-Men Destiny (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS) $29.99 DS, $49.99 Wii and $59.99

Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (PS3, Wii) $49.99 and $39.99
website in Japanese:
Recent News

Lords of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard (PC) $29.99 - $49.99

Rochard (PS3) $9.99

Cabela's Big Game Hunter (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360) $29.99 - $39.99

JASF: Jane's Advanced Strike Fighter (PSN, XBLA, PC) $29.99
*prices for Xbox 360 and PS3 are unconfirmed

Maximum Racing: Super Karts (Wii) $19.99
amazon page *sorry that's the best info I can find on this game

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland (PS3) $49.99
*prepare yourself for happy anime music if you visit the website, you have be warned*

Fishing Resort (Wii) $19.99
amazon page

Fifa 12 (Everything but PC) $39.99 3DS and PSP, $49.99 Wii, $59.99 360/PS3

That is it for this list and I hope I can get some actual news out later today after spending five hours on this. Thanks for reading. I know, at least for me, a lot of games on this list I had no idea that they were coming out in September, so someone must be as surprised as I am.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, August 29, 2011

Achron The Time Traveling RTS

Take a fairly typical looking real time strategy and then throw in time travel, time travel that affects gameplay in a major way. In this game you can prevent future mistakes, reinforce units in the past and plan the devastation of your enemy, but so can your enemy. How the balance works for this game, I know not, but the prospect that time travel is the major gameplay mechanic, not base building or resource gathering, is really exciting. You have a timeline that shows several minutes and it also shows resources, damage dealt, chronoengery, when you were under attack and units created. In order to manage time travel you have chronoenergy, a regenerating resource that is used to determine how far into the past you can change events, the longer into the past the more chronoenergy you have to use. The game has options like pause and slow motion in order to give the player a chance to issue specific orders in the midst of chaos. Also, there is a fast forward button that is mainly for catching up to the present once you have got into the past. All of this, in basic details, entails what makes Achron stand out against the vast amount of RTSs and indie games. It is made by Hazardous Software and it was released today, 8/29/11, on steam for $29.99, on sale from $34.99.

Achron Gameplay Trailer

The game is singleplayer and multiplayer, over large scale maps. It also has the common RTS elements, like base building, resources and technology upgrades. I've watched several gameplay videos, single player and multiplayer, and the game seems to contain a deep complexity that tends to draw hardcore players. The managing between time travel and normal RTS mechanics seem to be pretty extensive and difficult. I must say that Achron looks really difficult to get into and learn, but I demand a demo, there isn't one, before I can make any decisions about that. Pretty tired of indie games not having demos and that normally means they don't get much attention from me, until I can try them, but Achron looks very unique and complicated. The price tag is rather high for indie game though. Let's hope for a demo and an awesome demo at that to get me hooked. Thanks for reading, will get back to you all on this game when I can. To get some info on the games species and more information on time travel, chronoporting and paradoxes, head on over to;
main website:
If you want to get really confused by this game, check out this 1vs1 mp match by Shadowfury 333.I think it may hurt more than it helps.
HD Achron- 1v1 Shadowfury333 vs KingJohnVI

-Written by Sean Cargle

Super Monday Night Combat Announced

Super Monday Night Combat, SMNC, is the follow up to Monday Night Combat, the multiplayer tower defense FPS for xbox 360 and PC that came out, with a solid following, back in January, 2011. It was, and still is, being developed by Uber Entertainment. I've played Monday Night Combat quite a bit and it's a fun game, but like other multiplayer FPS games, it was prone to be teamed with poor teammates on a regular basis or being teamed against hardcore players that are very not fun to play against. Nevertheless, the first game received pretty good reviews, 82 on Metascore (not that metascore is a good indication of a game's worth) and now at PAX 2011, they have announced a sequel called Super Monday Night Combat. So far they only have a trailer and some information, but it looks to be adding new classes and it is going the free to play route. Feel free to watch the first SMNC trailer below and if you want more information on the first game, MNC, head on over here.

Super Monday Night Combat PAX Announcement

Now for the extra tid bit of information about SMNC. Like previously mentioned, it is now going to be free to play with a small amount of emphasis on premium services; they claim that most everything will be able to be earned, not just purchased. The artistic style for the game will be very similar, except they are trying to do some nature oriented environments instead of inside arenas. They are also trying to make the game a little more realistic looking, which remains to be seen since it still looks fairly cartoony. They are revampaing all the playable characters, what they call Pros, to make you rely more on team mates then powerful weapons and upgrades. The engine they are using is an updated version of Monday Night Combat's engine and it was originally designed to be an update for MNC, but they pushed it into SMNC instead. Bad news for Xbox 360 fans of MNC; SMNC will only be available on PC, on steam, when it is released sometime in the winter of 2011/2012. There will be a beta starting sometime after PAX 2011, which would be anytime now and more information about that will be on the forums. For a full list of all the announcement information head on over to the forums for the post by Uber Entertainments Creative Director, John Comes.

The first game was a lot of fun, especially with friends, so I'm pretty interested to hear more about this new one, but honestly every time a game goes from paid to free to play I get a little nervous. So, here's to hoping SMNC turns out excellent and even better than the original. Will bring more news on this when I can find it. Thanks for reading. Extended trailer below.

Super MNC Art and Gameplay Teaser

-Written by Sean Cargle

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Minecraft 1.8 Update

I haven't seen much for the new 1.8 Minecraft update, but they have been showing it off at PAX. So far the updates looks to contain NPC's, new Bow, different weapon system, randomly generated towns, new enemies, new health system (with food and hunger), larger biomes, a improved world creator mode (more stuff to use and more freedom) and some kind of skill point system. The skill point system is the only thing I've seen in any of the new footage that no one seems to know anything about, even in a playthrough with Notch over at kotaku, he doesn't explain what the skill points are.

This update is going to be huge, huge to the point where they may split it into two updates. Thew new weapon system is different ways of fighting, Notch was trying to make the games combat feel more substantial. The health system now has you regenerating health, instead of eating food just to get health instantly, you now have to eat food in order to keep your hunger sated and the less hungry you are the faster you will regenerate health. The new enemies are the Endermen and the Silverfish, but the Silverfish isn't confirmed and only speculated. We have a decent video of the Endermen, from the youtube, and they look delightfully creepy and powerful, but they do drop diamonds! and they can teleport to you instantly..looks fun. Take a gander at that short video.

Leaked Minecraft 1.8 Endermen Gameplay

The update looks to be as big and game changing as Notch promised, I can't wait to see it. Unfortunately, there isn't a release date for this update (or updates) and it was merely said that they would show off 1.8 at PAX and then afterwards do some bug testing before releasing it. Presumably, that means it will be coming out sometime in the next month. I used to play Minecraft all the live long day, but it's been a long time since I've taken a interest in it and I'm hoping that this update will rope me back in. The promise of NPC's, villages and expericne alone is pretty exciting, but throw in everything else and it looks to be fantastic. Thanks for reading and here is the main 1.8 footage, from PAX, that shows off several of the updates features. Tomorrow is Monday, so expect much more news then.

Minecraft 1.8 Adventure Update Gameplay From PAX 2011

-Written by Sean Cargle

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Counter Strike: Global Offensive Details

Counter-Srike has always been one of those games that you can never get sick of. There are no fancy kill streak rewards, no prestige ranks, and no fancy red dot scopes. Just a man, a gun and some hostages to save. Part of Count-Strike's lore comes from its simplicity and the cut-throat competition between online players. Never in my gaming life have I been completely satisfied playing 2 maps over and over again like I have with Dust 2 and Office.

Now, Valve has announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, set to release in early 2012. There is something I must make perfectly clear though. This is not Counter-Strike 2. It is more of an update and a facelift to the already successful franchise. You can still expect the same unforgiving and competitive gameplay of the original. Rather than making drastic changes, Valve is making smaller updates and more user friendly additions. Some of the new additions include: Matchmaking, cross-platform integration, new maps and a ranking system. The game is also set to release on Xbox360, PS3 and PC. PC users will be able to participate in a beta coming up in October.


High-Level Operation In Star Wars: The Old Republic

During Gamescom, SWTOR showcased one of the high-level operation runs which players can participate for end game content. Named the 'Eternity Vault' players must embark on a quest to secure the ancient evils that are threatening to escape and cause major harm to the galaxy. In the following video, a group of Imperial forces are dispatched to investigate the prison and to neutralize the dangers within. You will also get to see what roles each class in action. Similar to other MMOs, each class has a different role in the group such as healing, damage or tanking. During the beginning of this video you will also see how the player driven dialogue is used during gameplay. Enjoy!

*Thought I would add this video showing off Crafting/Crew Skills. I hadn't ever seen it before and it looks to be fairly old, but the information presented in it is interesting.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Metro: Last Light Playthrough

Metro: Last Light, made by THQ and 4A Games, is a linear story driven FPS that is the sequel to Metro 2033, which came out in 2010. We reported on the E3 demonstration that we were shown back in June and now the exact E3 demo is now released to youtube, oddly enough the second E3 demo that was released today. It shows off the great lighting and action sequences that we were shown, but it show's how linear the gameplay is. It's so easy to relate this game to Call of Duty, but maybe if Call of Duty mixed with the world of Fallout, monsters and all. The graphics are very impressive and the stealth system seems functional, but they have yet to show anything beyond this segment of gameplay. It remains to be seen if the production value, design and story will push this game to be great. Metro 2033 was an interesting game, just like this one, with some great looking environments, but it had plenty of flaws and it got fairly repetitive. I hope that future news will make this game become a contender to the next Call of Duty or Gears of War. For now, enjoy the E3 gameplay video, it's impressive. Thanks for reading. This weekend may have a lull in news, since I work and not much new is announced or shown, but I will try.

Metro: Last Light Demo Playthrough

-Written by Sean Cargle

Rage Subwaytown Video

I've posted a lot of Rage videos over the last couple months and I apologize for none of them. This game looks pretty great and this video doesn't do that theory any harm. I mean, spider sentry bots, splendid. This is a short video, about five minutes in length, but it shows off Subwaytown a little bit, one of the city hubs, and then it shows off a chunk of a quest. I don't care a lot for how the combat looks, maybe because I'm not a huge fan of quake, but the world and environment looks spot on. If you want to check out some older rage videos, check out my other video post that also gives the basic information for the game. Thanks for reading and be back with more news later.

Rage's Subwaytown

-Written by Sean Cargle

XCOM 20 Minute Demonstration

The E3 2011 demonstration of XCOM has been released to the world. It shows off twenty minutes of gameplay, with commentary from a developer. XCOM is based after the old beloved X-Com games, like Terror From the Deep and UFO: Enemy Unknown. There has been many attempts to remake a game similar to the original X-Com's, but most have stopped too short or merely cloned the games. They are still classic games and widely loved, but they are aged and not very appealing to newer generations of gaming. The new game is being developed by 2k Marin and they are taking a vastly different approach to the series. it is also being made for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. I had never seen the game much in action, but I had heard about it quite a bit andI didn't like the how it was shaping up. The original X-Com games were tactical turn based strategy games. You had a world map, you built a base ,you hunted down aliens by land & air and you commanded a large array of soldiers. The new XCOM is a first person shooter, it is just based in America, you don't actually build a base, but you do have a living breath base full of people and upgrades. Also isn't turn based, nor very strategic, but it does have tactical elements. ALSO, it doesn't have a grand scale, it doesn't have the ufo combat, it doesn't involve commanding large squads of soldiers, it has partially destructible environments (instead of entirely destructible environments like the original) and it doesn't have permadeath for your soldiers. Yeah I know that's a lot of doesn't and it sure sounds like I hate the new XCOM, but the only thing I really hate about it is that it has the name XCOM, if it didn't have that name it would be far easier to like.
The new XCOM is a FPS with squad tactical management, similar to the newer Rainbow Six Games or the Mass Effect series. You play a active role and lead two other agents into battle against alien forces. You can choose various upgrades, weapons and abilities to equip your soldiers with and your tactical options in battle are based upon what you choose for your agents. You have a home base that has a lot to explore, a lot of people to talk to and a lot of upgrading/researching options, but you don't seem to actually build anything in it. Each time you choose a mission you get a map of America that shows where the aliens have been invading. It is nice that you get multiple missions options and some are optional. Doing optional missions doesn't seem to have any negative impact, thankfully, they just give you access to more research options and opportunities. If you like how Mass Effect handles its tactical options with squad mates, then you will most likely enjoy how they are doing squad command in XCOM, it's very similar. You start out the game with simple human weapons, like machine guns and rifles, but overtime you can reverse engineer alien weapons and use their own weapons against them. From what they've shown, the aliens seem to mostly take humanoid forms to fight, but there are large mechanical aliens. The gameplay looks pretty enjoyable, but it could become boring since most of the mechanics look pretty standard to any gamer familiar with FPS games.
XCOM may turn out to be a fun game, especailly with all of the opportunities to steal alien technology during combat and all of the missions options, but the fact that they are trying to use the XCOM name is becoming more a detriment than a popularity boost. Take a look at the video from E3 2011, below, to see what I mean. People generally seem to hate this game, but if you can look past the XCOM part then you might be able to see all the promising elements that might make this into a really fun and addicting FPS. Thanks for reading and enjoy the 20 minute video, it goes through an entire mission plus a little bit of the home base stuff. *for some reason this video is explicit, so you have to have a youtube/google account*

XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough

-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, August 25, 2011

World of Planes Debut

World of Planes was announced back in April 2011. It is a free to play World War II plane MMO, "vaguely" similar to World of War Planes, another free to play WWII plane MMO. World of War Planes was announced after World of Planes was announced and it is being made by the guys who made World of Tanks. You would think World of Planes = World of Tanks, but nope guess they dropped the ball on that one, they had to do World of War Planes. Anyways, I'm here to talk about World of Planes and their first gameplay footage that they just released. World of Planes is going to be for PC/Mac and it is developed by Gaijin Entertainment. Unlike the other plane MMO I was just talking about, World of Planes is going to have combat on land and sea, involving large naval fights. Also unlike World of Warplanes, World of Planes is going to have cooperative missions as well as player versus player battles. This game intrigues me, because it reminds me of air battles from BF1942, I loved bombing tanks and dogfighting with enemy planes in that game. I'm afraid there isn't much information other than this yet, but there is the gameplay video and it is a very pretty gameplay video. Check it out and I hope to bring some more news on this game when I can. Thanks for reading. Last note, you may sign up for the beta on the their main website, if you wish to try.
Main Website:

World of Planes - Debut Trailer

-Written by Sean Cargle

Legend of Grimrock

What is Legend of Grimrock? It is a dungeon crawler game with a some slightly up to date graphics, puzzles, rpg elements and adventure. There hasn't been a good looking dungeon crawler in quite a long time, I do remember Wizardy on the PS3, but it just wasn't that fun. They are attempting a late 2011 release, for PC, Mac and iOS. It is created by four developers who have over thirty years in experience, combined, making commercial games. They call their little company Almost Human. Some of the games they have worked on are Max Payne 2, Alan Wake and Shattered Horizon, which doesn't really say too much in their favor, but at least they have worked on some large retail games and I am a fan of Alan Wake.
The graphical style of this game reminds me a bit of Amnesia, with the same kind of lighting and object movement. Unlike most dungeon crawlers, this game is going to be real time, not turn based. They believe that making a dungeon crawler real time will make the game feel more atmospheric. Also, they like the idea of having puzzles having time constraints. There will be a character generator and a preset roster of characters. Sounds like pretty typical characters for a dungeon crawler, but it looks a lot like some of the great old dungeon crawlers. Sure it doesn't look like much to people who don't have nostalgic memories of finding secret doors in a vast dungeon of monsters, but to those of us who remember the old greats, like might and magic, this could be something really enjoyable. It looks to be a interesting mix of old and new elements. I brought all of this up because they just released the first gameplay video of this game, so check it out.
Official Website:
Gameplay Video of Legend of Grimrock

-Written by Sean Cargle

Project Zomboid Update Inbound

It's been many long weeks, months really, since the last update of Project Zomboid, precisely since my last post on this game, on June 20th, when the alpha tech demo was released. All the time and no update, but the team at Project Zomboid, the Indie Stone, has been hard at work fighting various complications and finally have resolved to release their big update. If you want any background on the game head on over to my original post and see what the game is about. Suprisingly, they have deal with even more hardships and difficulties since my original post and if you don't remember, or haven't read it, Project Zomboid was stolen and uploaded onto torrents. Not only was it stolen, but it had all their code in it and was update-able; every time someone updated the pirated version it used the Indie Stone's update server and cost them money, so all the pirates out there, who thought big deal, were damaging this small indie company quite badly. Anyways, they are releasing the Project Zomboid update this Sunday, August 28th. This information is really only important for people who own the game/beta, but quite a lot of purchased the game back when the demo came out, especially since so many people were taken with it's unique approach to a zombie game. For people who have never played it, the demo is still available and still free, so head on over and check that out.

Main Website:

Now for the changelog and list of new features. Behold.

1) Craftable doors. Smashed doors have a chance of dropping hinges and door knobs.
2) Open doors now block vision/collide at their new angle.
3) Professions and traits - initial character customization.
4) Cooking food. Fully functional ovens.
5) Food now goes bad. Refrigerators slow down the process. Eat consumables first!
6) Chance of illness if eating spoilt or uncooked food.
7) Bored and depressed moodles. Read books or magazines or go for a stroll outside to relieve boredom (more later). Eating cooked meals also reduces boredom / depression.
8) Curtains. Block view into building without needing barricades. Sheets can be used to make makeshift curtains.
9) Various bug/crash fixes. Notably no more fire crashes.
10) Burglar alarm on a couple of random buildings on the map.
11) Barricading and crafting etc now takes time to complete. Alterable by different traits.
12) A few more foods and cooking apparatus / crafting recipes.

That may look small for a big update, but let me assure, many of those updates are quite significant, particularly #3 Professions and traits. There has been many other possible additions mentioned, but it doesn't look like they are going to get into this patch. They have a lot planned, like friendly npcs, a larger map, a longer story segment, more weapons, more craft-able items, but they promise that the update following the update on sunday will not take nearly as long as this one took. I hope all of their troubles are over, some day I may join the many who have invested in Project Zomboid. Thanks for reading and for additional information, I refer you to the main website or the forums. Will report back with more news on this enjoyable and promising zombie survival game when more news shows itself.

Official update post:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC Impressions

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an unique game to grace the gaming world at this point and time, though there have been games similar to it before, none have come lately nor this well made. Made by Eidos Montreal, published by Square Enix, and the prequel to Deus Ex, the futuristic rpg/shooter that had a large following back in 2000; Human Revolution follows closely on what the original Deus Ex's tried to do, presenting you with variations in levels- some wide open and others linear- always providing numerous options to get through the level. It still presents a similar world to the original Deus Ex, but it takes place in Detroit instead of New York. The numerous options could be anything from using the sewers to get around an enemy position, finding a ventilation system that can be traversed around the enemies, planting mines and creating noise to decimate the enemy, or simply walking up and mowing them all down. There are so many more options than that to most situations, even plainly simple ones. The game, from the beginning, is about choice; your first choice is whether to kill your enemies or leave them unconscious, but alive. The original Deus Exs created a large following of gamers because of the choices it offered them and surprisingly, there hasn't been many other games like it in the last eleven years. The new Deus Ex, Human Revolution, is for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3; it came out on August 23rd. Human Revolution caters to the PC crowd a little more than the consoles, but from everything I hear, the console versions are not just ports or vice versa.
I've managed to put down about ten hours into this game thus far, and at first I noticed that everything ran so smoothly, so I cranked up anti-aliasing, draw distance, and a few other options and noticed that it had dropped down 20 fps, instead of 50. This game has so many graphical options and even on lower settings it still looks decent, but at times you can tell it was not developed on the newest of graphical engines. Despite any graphic hiccups or disappointments, the world is still a pleasure to roam and explore.
*Slight Spoilers*
The introduction shows off Sarif Industries, an augmentation manufacturing company that is at the top of the industry. It comes under attack in the first five minutes of the game and you are forced to repel the attackers. You play as Adam Jensen, an ex-swat officer who is now the head of security for Sarif Industries. This is the prologue section of the game and visually it is quite gorgeous. You traverse through labs and offices that are burning, with sprinkle particle systems going off all over the place, broken equipment thrown about, and bullet holes in walls; all of which make the prologue feel like a real assault on your headquarters, not just some level. It introduces you to the impressive cover system, which allows you to stay in cover and move from object to object fairly fluidly. After this section you have one linear warehouse level to tackle, but despite it being linear, you still have many choices to how you tackle every situation. Passing through the warehouse, you finally get introduced to the world, giving you an open sprawling town to explore. It's large, but it's not as if they gave you an open area from Borderlands or Fallout, it's not completely open, but still contains many explore-able buildings and several side quests. In a game that started off feeling a little closed off, this was a nice change of pace. Take a gander at the prologue section of the game below.

Deus Ex Human Revolution Intro Gameplay

Augments are one of the main elements of the game. You can easily argue that augments are what makes Deus Ex a rpg/fps, but others may just see it as a fps with skill management. You get experience through quests, exploring, killing/stunning people in specific ways, and by hacking. Augments are basically just a skill set that you can upgrade throughout the game, a skill set that allows you to hack better, sneak better, kill quicker, jump farther, run faster, move heavy objects easier, shoot more accurately, among many other improvements. The rpg aspect of this game gives you a familiar inventory to manage everything, in which you can upgrade weapons with various improvements, however, in order to hoard everything you find, you will have to upgrade your augments. It takes a long time to upgrade most augments, since most of the augments require you to use to two praxis (skill) points and though you can occasionally buy praxis points, you typically have to earn them one at a time through leveling.
Augments are so very important to every situation. In the beginning, it's impossible to try to have a decent spread of options, but there are always options for whatever path you had been going for. For instance, there's a lock on the gate you have to hack, but your hacking isn't good enough, so you search around for a while and find that there's a building that you can jump from, but you need an improved jump for that, so if you can't do either of those you can enter the sewers (which are dangerous) and find a sewer entrance that will take you to the other side of the locked fence. It doesn't sound too significant or impressive, but when every single situation in the game has various options, then the significance of augments becomes clear. There are also augments that allow you to read peoples emotions, which in turn let's you play on their feelings to convince them to help you, or whatever it is you're trying to get them to do. Unlike many games these days, the conversational system does not clearly show what is right and wrong, it is more varied and tactical.
I didn't expect to be so taken with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, even though I was a fan of the first two games, but it has grown on me ever since the prologue of the game. It is polished, exciting and pleasingly open. There are so many options, from game customization, to options of tactics and choice. The game feels close to what I remember the original Deus Ex being like, but obviously with newer mechanics and graphics. Not only does the game give you many choices, but it rewards you accordingly for the more difficult options. Human Revolution does have it's problems though, AI for one is sometimes quite dumb. Enemy AI will stick together when hearing sound, will be alert when alarmed, but sometimes they fail to look in the right direction of a sound, or refuse to go beyond certain doorways and entrances. The FPS portion of the game complements all of the rpg aspects quite well. You have ironsights, a cover system, and many different weapons to choose from, even in the beginning of the game. So far Human Revolution has been a pleasure to play, but I will get back to you all with a full review once I leisurely plow through the other 10+ hours of the game; I'm an explorer, so it will take time. Thanks for reading, be back with more news later today.
-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Demo Impressions

Well that's a mouthful of a title, just finished playing the Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Demo for PC and recorded some footage of it. Space Marine is developed by Relic (love those guys) and published by THQ. It was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, especially jump packs, but I was disappointed that they didn't show off multiplayer at all, neither did they showcase Chaos forces. The demo is available today, August 23rd, for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. It takes you through two missions, the first of which is the second mission in the game and a portion of the demo we played at E3. The second mission is short and only purposes to show off the jump pack gameplay. If you want to see some info on the game and multiplayer, check out my previous preview.
The demo only involved fighting Orks, and while that was good fun, it would have been interesting to see if fighting Chaos Space Marines felt significantly different than fighting hordes of Orks. You only get to use the standard bolter (pretty much the basic combat rifle), a sticky grenade launcher, a sniper rifle and of course a chainsword/pistol combo. All the weapons were fairly basic, the E3 demo showed a larger variety, but they seem adaptable to most situations and if they fail, you can always fall back on running everything through with your chainsword. Melee is one of the main aspects of gameplay, it is how you heal and how you get through overwhelming numbers. I'm thrilled that the only way you can heal is through executions and executions are special melee attacks that you do on any stunned enemy, they are brutal, gory and well done. I've said this in previous previews, but executed enemies feels great and it's one of the most important gameplay mechanics to get adept at, since it keeps you alive. Ranged weapons don't feel underpowered and they can be used for most situations. I'm happy to say that melee combat doesn't feel all powerful, ranged weapons definitely have their uses (especially the sniper rifle). Just with the basic weapons and options from the demo, the gameplay feels pretty balanced and challenging, of course there will be difficulties to choose in the real game.
The first level was fun and long, but it didn't show off anything new, that's where jump packs come in. They hadn't been shown before, as far as I'm aware, and they effectively make combat feel agile, quick, and decisive. With normal combat it felt sluggish and solid, but appropriately so for some space marines hunkered down in armor and weapons. With jump packs you can be all over the place, landing and striking with precision. When you jump pack you get a short air launch, in which you have a targeting reticle on the ground that shows you were you may strike. When you land you splatter any lesser enemies immediately and stronger enemies are stunned, leaving them open to execution attacks. Jump packs are just as enjoyable as the normal, non- jump pack gameplay and while it does make you a lot more deadly, you only get to use jump packs for short sections of the game.

Space Marine Demo VG Video

The demo was fun and decently long, about 30 minutes, but it may not convince anyone to get the game who is already familiar with the gameplay. The game still holds a lot of promise, it is well done, detailed, and enjoyable, but multiplayer and cooperative modes are going to be a huge factor for most people. The single player campaign will be fun, especially with the great voice acting and music, but it needs multiplayer to push people over the line. Thanks for reading and expect to see a Deus Ex: Human Revolution impressions article sometime today, once I get a little farther in it.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Aliens: Colonial Marines First Gameplay

Today, a trailer popped up for Aliens: Colonial Marines, the first trailer that shows any gameplay what so ever. I must say, I like what they are going for and I hope they can create a respectable Aliens game. The last Aliens Versus Predator game fell short of expectations and while it offered a unique experience, it didn't offer one that was wholly enjoyable or similar to what fans of the series were asking for. This new one, Colonial Marines, is made by GearboxSoftware, a company that hasn't done any game that is even slightly relate-able to Aliens, but they did make games like Borderlands, The Brothers in Arms Series and a bunch of silly Half Life expansions (like Counterstrike and Opposing Force). Colonial Marines is being made for Ps3, Xbox360 and PC, with a hopeful release date of Spring 2012.
Unfortunately, they offer damn near no information on the game. We do know that the main campaign will be focused on Marines, but there isn't anything stating whether or not you could play as Aliens as well. It seems to be focused on customization for your marine; you have loadouts, you have experience that earns you perks and you have weapon customization. One awesome feature is cooperative mode, but it isn't some half assed coop mode, it's fully involved. At any point during the single player campaign you can call in your friends to assist you and the entire campaign can be played cooperatively with four players. They are also try to make it a seamless drop in/drop out cooperative mode, meaning that at any point players can enter and exit the hosts game. Other than that information, there isn't any available to the likes of me, sorry, but there is this exciting new trailer. Thanks for reading and hope someone else is a little excited about the prospects of Colonial Marines.
Main Website:

Aliens: Colonial Marines Debut Trailer

-Written by Sean Cargle