Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Shogun 2 DLC released

Total War: Shogun 2 has had some new and odd DLC released today. Both DLC are coming almost eight months after the release of the game and one of the DLC's was exclusive pre-order content. Before I delve into what the two DLC are I wanted to note that the Shogun 2 expansion Fall of the Samurai is set to release next March.

The Hattori Clan Pack
If you are a longtime Shogun 2 player, like myself, then this DLC probably pisses you off a bit as well. This DLC was available to people who pre-ordered the game from Gamestop only, if I recall correctly, and it's taken them eight months to release it to the public? On top of that they are releasing it for $5, which is a hefty sum for a single clan considering that the very hefty Rise of the Samurai DLC is only $10 and contains significantly more content. The Clan can be used in singleplayer and multiplayer. The Hattori Clan does have some unique units, mostly ninja's, but they don't state specifically how many or what they are. This DLC also comes with one historical scenario, special armour for your avatar in multiplayer and some free experience for your general. I suppose the extra eight months spent on this DLC were spent making that avatar armour and historical scenario. This pack was just released on steam today and it does have a few screenshots. For more info on check out these pages below. Once again the DLC costs $5.
Steam Page:
CA Website:

Blood Pack
This DLC is certainly unexpected, essentially it is something that I'm sure the modding community had created in the first month of the game being released. The Blood Pack adds gore and blood to the game but in a very cinematic and polished way. I'm actually more interested in this DLC than I am the Hattori Clan Pack. They seem to have some new animations in order to accommodate more brutal looking combat, but let me list what it does add for certain: decapitation and limb severing, blood effects on units/equipment/ground, blood-squirt from projectile and weapon impact, blood-spatter effect on the camera and new sounds to go with the dismemberment and squirting blood. I can see this pack turning people off but having blood actually added to my experience in games like Medieval 2 and Empire Total War, one of which had blood naturally and the other needed mods. I would love this pack if it didn't cost money and importunately it does. It costs $1.59 over on its Steam Page.

That's it for Shogun 2 today, check back later for some more gaming news. I am going to be working on a review for the WWII strategy game Unity of Command today and am hoping to have that up by tonight. Thanks for reading and I am well aware of how annoyed I sound about both of these DLC, but it's okay Creative Assembly is making a real expansion to Shogun 2 set for march, an expansion that looks to be expansive, large, unique and worth every penny. 

-Written by Sean Cargle

Prison Architect Revealed

Do you all know the company Introversion? The one's the current Humble Bundle is molded around? Well the game they previously were working on was scrapped, to everyone's dismay, and for a while they heave been teasing about something prison related, now we see what that is. Prison Architect is a prison sim in the style of old Bullfrog games with influences from Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress. There aren't many details about the game yet, it was literally just revealed, along with the first video of it, but there are two previews of it up already, one at RockPaperShotgun and one at PC Gamer. When the Introversion Humble Bundle went up they also started a treasure hunt, a treasure hunt that lead to the reveal of Prison Architect. You can read more about the treasure hunt and the Humble Bundle over at their website, but for now check out this first video. Would love to get my hands on this game myself and I hope I can sometime in the future.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Magicka: The Stars Are Left

I own Magicka on Steam, like many other people out there, but I cannot claim to have played it more than ten hours. It is a fun game, one with many levels, spells and secrets to find, but it was hard for my friend and I to get into it. Magicka has had DLC released fairly often and there newest DLC is quite exciting. The Stars Are Left is all about R'lyeh, a world from H.P. Lovecraft Cthulu universe and with that we have an adventure that is filled with mythical monsters. On top of that it also throws in two new challenge maps, two new robes/outfits, two new bosses, five new achievements, seven new enemies and to quote Arrowhead Studios, "considerably more than 2 new items and Magicks." This DLC came out today, the 29th, on Steam and it costs $6. You can of course play the DLC cooperatively or alone.


Besides the DLC there is one more item that Arrowhead released for Magicka recently released, back on November 16th. If you haven't played the game in a while you probably won't have noticed their updates, but in preperation for The Stars Are Left they released this "massive tech update" that contains some nice improvements, improvement that I'm a little surprised weren't already made. Here is the list of those updates.

Tech Update Changes

• Fairy familiar added, revives characters after death occurs in solo campaign
• Checkpoints now save progress even if game is quit
• Chapter select added to replay previously played chapters
• Several improvements to the server browser
• Physics and collision detection improved - less falling through the floor
• Frame rate stuttering - should be less noticeable for some users
• Extended particle system with particle lights
• Improved light performance
• Several minor bug fixes, game balance, and tweaks

Magicka has always been a pretty good game and these new updates plus DLC may give me a reason to head on back for a short while. If you are inclined to check out more the DLC, or the game in general, head on over to their main website or steam page. Lastly, watch The Stars Are Left DLC Trailer below. Thanks for reading. 

-Written by Sean Cargle

IndieRoyale: the Really Big Bundle

It is indeed already that time again, IndieRoyale has hit us with their third bundle, the Really Big Bundle. The last bundle, the Difficult 2nd Bundle, had some interesting games but this bundle actually has several games that I've personally played. Unlike The Humble Bundle, these bundles are not pay what you like, but they are still very cheap and merely require you to pay the average, which is currently $3.70.

Runespell: Overture 
I am fond of Runespell, to an extent, with it's card based role playing game that has some top notch environments and animations, all befitting of a small indie title. I reviewed it back in July when it came out Steam and I still hold some fond memories. It certainly isn't a perfect game by any means, it has quite a few problems with pacing, repetitive combat and the story, but to get it as part of this bundle, or even for $4 by itself seems like a steal. Check out the gameplay video I made up of the game back when I did review. If you are fond of games like Magic The Gathering then you shouldn't miss out on this. This game is available on Mac and PC, redeemable on Steam and Desura.
Main Website:

Really Big Sky 
Do you like super difficult shooters like Ikagura? Well if you take that, make it side scrolling and throw in the colorful graphics of geometry wars then you will have Really Big Sky. This game looks to be very fast paced and offers seven modes to compete in, all of which have stat tracking. I don't know mcuh about this shooter but if you are into those kind of games then it looks like it may be quite a lot of fun. It is available on PC only and it is redeemable on Steam and Desura.
Main Website:

Really Big Sky 2.3 trailer - IndieRoyale

It was not too long ago when I was writing some impressions about Eufloria, the intriguing plant based strategy game. It came out on PC quite some time ago but only recently came out on PSN. It is an enjoyable game that has some very serene art design, but the core strategy is very familiar to anyone who has ever played a game like this before, it doesn't seem to do anything new in the genre. While it isn't ground breaking everything the game does is done very well and it's pretty easy to enjoy. Getting this as part of a package that totals at around $4 is an excellent idea. This game is windows only, well the version they are selling is, and is redeemable on Steam and Desura.
Main Website:

Official Eufloria Teaser Trailer - IndieRoyale

Cthulu Saves the World/Breath of Death VII 
These are both games that are new old school turn based rpg's that happen to be very fun and well received. Zeboyd Games intitally released them on the Xbox 360 Indie Games section but they have since been brought to PC through Steam and Desura. Both games offer quite a bit of gameplay, six to ten hours, and some well written scenarios. Breath of Death VII was a game that came out before Cthulu Saves the World, it was also well received but didn't receive quite as much praise as Cthulu Saves the World did. Cthulu Saves the World is all about the lord of insanity, Cthulu, losing all of his powers and having to regain them on a quest to become a true hero. I love the humour associated with the game and the entire concept that the great god Cthulu is becoming a hero, in a world full of monsters. This game is available only on PC, through Steam and Desura. 
Main Website:

Cthulhu Saves the World trailer - IndieRoyale

That's it for this IndieRoyale bundle, but it pretty damn tempting if I may say so. Had I not too much to do already I would jump on this deal in a moment. Check it all out more on the IndieRoyale website. Thanks for reading and be back with some more later today.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gulf of Oman Trailer

The newest trailer for the BF3: Back to Karkand DLC shows off the remastered Gulf of Oman map. It shows off some of the new vehicles but other than that not much, besides the map itself. The Back to Karkand DLC comes out next month, free for all who bought the BF3 limited edition, digital or standard, but if you don't have that it will cost $15. If you want to check out many of the details or some views at the other three maps offered in the DLC then check out one of the previous posts we have done on Back to Karkand, the first look and some details. For now check out this video and I will be back later with some more gaming news.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Shogun 2 :Fall of the Samurai Expansion

Have you always played Shogun 2 and thought why can't I play this game like The Last Samurai movie with Tom Cruise? Well maybe you never thought that, but you can now play the game in the same time period with many weapons and unit types that fit that period. Now you can mow down walls of infantry with new agey machine guns and engage in epic battles of eastern warfare versus western technology. This new standalone expansion is suitably named Fall of the Samurai, which makes me a little depressed, but there is a lot of new content coming with it, so much that Creative Assembly has said they have never done a DLC or expansion this big.

Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai

Fall of the Samurai takes place in 19th century Japan which means more modern infantrastructure being introduced into the game. There will be railway networks, ironclad warships and improved siege battle mechanics that allow you to upgrade tower defenses. You will be able to do things like call in offshore artillery support barrages, campaign map bombardments and build coastal defenses. We have three new agents with this dlc: The Foreign Veteran, the Ishin Shishi and the Shinsengumi, none of which have descriptions yet

The last tidbit of information is all about the new multiplayer 2.0 that will be coming with the expansion. It will contain a new conquest map, the option to have multiple avatars (multiple careers), 40 new retainers, 30 new armour pieces and a new avatar skill tree. None of the information details much about the campaign, other than it will be a clash of western versus eastern cultures, but we can expect to see unit/army details emerge in the oncoming months along with some kind of release date and price. Check out the first trailer for Fall of the Samurai below. Thanks for reading and be back shortly with more news.
Fall of the Samurai Announcement on Total War Blog 

-Written by Sean Cargle

Legend of Grimrock Reaches Beta

Do you remember Legend of Grimrock from when I last wrote about it in August? It's a first person real time dungeon crawler, the kind that pays homage to old games like Might & Magic or Wizardry. It keeps the old look while still adding in some great new features and graphics. Almost Human Games is making Grimrock for PC, Mac and iOS. It was in alpha last time I wrote about it and there wasn't anyway to play it and it was slightly difficult to support it, but now with the beta they are working on getting preorders up and running while also working out some kind of distribution method for the game. They were originally planning to release the game by the end of this year but they explain on their newest post that they don't want to for the sake of quality, stating that they could release a better game if they don't push for the end of the year. The first distribution system they are going for is Steam, so here's to hoping Valve doesn't send them one of those dreaded non-explanation denials. Check out the beta video below and keep your eyes on this one, it looking to become something very special and enjoyable, especially for us old school rpg gamers. Thanks for reading and be back with more news shortly.
Main Website :

-Written by Sean Cargle

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Walking Dead: Secrets Review

As we draw near the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, episode seven, the episodes seem to be gradually improving. Presumably that means the midseason finale will be a standout episode among a fairly docile season, but Secrets show us that even with the slow plot there can still be some great action and drama. Episode seven airs tonight on AMC at 9 pm PST and 6 am EST. Despite some lukewarm reception by critics and fans The Walking Dead has already been renewed for Season 3 after shattering some records for most viewers among an adult show (18-49).  You can find more information on Season 3 here, but now onto the review.

*Spoilers Ahead*
We quickly learn in this episode why Hershel is holding all the Walkers in the barn. He has some crazy idea that they can be cured, but he ignores what Rick previously said about the CDC being destroyed and the world having gone to shit. Dale has a lengthy conversation with Hershel about the barn but all it seems to accomplish is making Hershel restate that he doesn't want them all there much longer. The two other important parts of this episode have to do with Andrea and Shane and Lori and Rick. Most importantly this episode puts a majority of the shows secrets out in the open, at least to some characters if not all of them.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Andrea and Shane show their relationship growing throughout the episode. In the beginning Shane takes Andrea's firearm training up to a new level and finds that the doesn't do well against moving targets. Later when they go out to a suburb we get to see how the situation went down in one house and those people sure took out a lot of Walkers with them. The pondering and horror of what happened to the people at the house is tapered off when they see a large number of Walkers trying to get into the house. They run into the streets, Shane easily taking down Walkers left and right, while Andrea intially has quite a bit of trouble hitting Walkers in the head but Shane makes her focus, while also making her rely on herself, and she turns into quite the marksman. This all leads to Andrea turning into a confident and cocky Andrea, no longer full of complaints and pessimism. We see that this new Andrea wants to have sex with Shane, so they do, in the car in the middle of some forest road. This new Andrea is a bit of relief compared to the old, but it still makes it hard to like her as much as people like the Andrea from the comics.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

When Glenn told Dale about the barn he also told him about Lori being pregnant. Dale comes to Lori later on and has a fantastic talk about her pregnancy, sharing some back history about his wife and how his wife always got sick at the smell of cooking meat, the same symptom that Lori showed a moment before. Dale doesn't talk about the past too often and it was nice to see how they handled him broaching the subject, it was also very nice to see Lori being upfront about everything and letting Dale in. Unfortunately Dale didn't know what to tell her, specifically about whether or not to bring a child into the world, but he did give splendid advice about letting Rick be part of the decision.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

The last part of the episode is all about Rick and Lori. Rick finds Lori's morning after pills, but not Lori, and runs out looking for her. By this point we viewers already know that she has thrown up the pills, showing that she is well aware of the implications of that and cannot handle it. Based on my little knowledge about the morning after pill I can guess that it probably wouldn't have worked anyways, since it supposed to be taken immediately after you have unprotected sex with someone. Rick finds Lori near the side of the road and she tells him everything, finally, but their confrontation is moving. They each show anger, remorse, pain, sadness and so many emotions that I must hand it to Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Wayne Callies, if nothing else that was some great acting. The conclusion they come to seems to be that they are going try to make the best out of it but we will see how that develops throughout the rest of the season.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

There is one last thing I should mention, something that comes up in the next episode; at the end of the episode Dale and Shane have a heated conversation where Dale tells Shane that he thinks he is an awful person and Shane basically tells him that if he is indeed an awful person then he will have no problems killing Dale. It doesn't mean a lot at the time but it leads to some further confrontations between the two later on. The next episode is the mid season finale with the show returning in February and having watched it by this point let me say it is a big one with some important moves forward in the plot. Secrets show us that "secrets get people killed" as Glenn says in the next episode and I wish I could quote the rest of that speech because it is great. Thanks for reading and tune in later for the review of episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already.

Violent Score: 8.5 (out of 10)

-Written by Sean Cargle

The Walking Dead: Chupacabra Review

After last weeks let down of an episode we get a more substantial episode to follow it up. Chupacabra brings some important comic book tie ins, at the very least, among other interesting developments. Chupacabra is episode five of season two of The Walking Dead and the most current episode was episode six, Secrets, which aired on November 20th on AMC. I am attempting to get out the reviews for the two episodes reviews I am lacking before tonight's new episode at 9 pm.

*Spoilers Ahead*
The most important part of this episode was the barn. I was upset when we first got to see the farm and there wasn't any attention paid to the barn, but through this episode we see that the writers/director obviously did that on purpose. The barn is an important part of Hershel's farm in the comics, mainly because of it's importance as a plot device that is there to move everyone on from Hershel's farm and kill off a few characters. So far this season has done an awful job moving forward the plot at a reasonable rate, so the barn should hopefully provide that push that this season needs. Why the barn? Well the barn is full of walkers and we have no idea why they are there other than Hershel's   The Barn reveal comes at the end of the episode, when Glenn finds it on the pretense of having sex with Maggie, so we don't get any information about it or get to see what happens next, but it was great to see them tie something in from the comics.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Other than Glenn discovering the Barn there are some interesting parts of this episode, specifically everything having to do with Daryl. Daryl happens to fall off a cliff/hill, due to his horse getting spooked by a snake, and gets injured by his own crossbow bolt that he lands on at some point during the tumble. We finally get to see his brother, Merle, pop up as some phantom of Daryl conscious. He pushes Daryl to climb up the very hill he fell down in order to make his way back to the camp, but not before Daryl falls back down the hill once and has to fight two walkers. The fight with the two walkers was awesome, just like all of Daryl's fights, and we get to see how even when injured he can still be super deadly. Daryl finally makes it back to the camp and they all think hes a walker from a distance, prompting dim witted Andrea to shoot at him even though everyone told her not too. On top of her being annoying she is now being cocky thanks to Shane training her to shoot. Daryl is damn near killed, twice, in this episode and I don't know how I would have felt about the show if he was killed off, mainly because he was the few characters that is easy to like and emphasize with.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

There wasn't too much else gong on this episode, more Lori being pregnant stuff, Glenn being told by Maggie that she doesn't want to have sex with him anymore, Dale being inquisitive and a really neat flashback that shows Georgia getting bombed by the military. Six episodes in so far and five of them have been spent hanging at Hershel's farm, but now there is some hope for some forward momentum thanks to the barn. Something also need to happen with Sophia, she either needs to be found dead or found alive, just for the sake of moving on to something else. Tonight's episode, episode seven, marks the halfway point of the season (well actually one episode past the halfway point), but it must propel the show forward or it may start losing it's viewers more than it already has. Despite the high poitns of this episode it still cannot match the strength of many episodes from the first season or the episode with Shane and Otis from this season, but it does take some steps in the right direction.

Violent Score: 8 (out of 10)

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

-Written by Sean Cargle

Friday, November 25, 2011

Terraria 1.1 Trailer

You may recall that I was discussing the intrigue of the new Terraria update coming out on December 1st, well now they have a mighty fine trailer for the update. RockPaperShotgun reports that there will be 222 new items, 39 new monsters, new mechanics and one new boss. There is also a Terraria forum post detailing and speculating about all of the new updates. The last update they did for Terraria was back in August and this new one looks to be pretty massive. Check out this trailer and see a bunch of the new content in action. Thanks for reading and I hope to be back with more news shortly.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, November 24, 2011

RAGE Demo Impressions

Today iD Software finally threw out a demo for their uber-hyped and highly criticized shooter RAGE. The demo only came out XBLA today but it is coming to PC and PSN during the first week of December. The demo is a whole two gigabytes and gives you a small taste of the game with two minigames, racing and one decently long mission. Unfortunately the mission and area they give you to mess around in is one of the most highly publicized missions there is. The Well is it's name and there have been several videos that show off that area/mission specifically. Even more the demo that most press seem to have gotten before the game came out was this exact demo that is coming out now, so if you've read any impressions then it is likely about this demo. Nevertheless, I appreciate iD giving us the public a RAGE demo at all, especially since the game got so many negative and positive reviews.

Quick Info
Here is a slight bit of background info on the game: RAGE originally came out back at the beginning of October for Xbox 360, PC and PS3. The game is a FPS with impressive graphical technological and is made by the creative minds that brought Doom and Quake to the world. It had some notorious graphical issues on PC, making the game fairly unplayable for most, but it has since been fixed up quite a lot. The game was criticized greatly for its simple mini games, graphical issues and poor story/characters. There was also plenty of praise thrown onto the game as well, by gamers and critics, but it certainly isn't a contender for game of the year. Back to the impressions!


The demo starts you staring out from a doorway into the town of Wellspring, one of the main towns from the game. All you are told from the start is to go find the Mayor and deliver your message with no idea of what the message was, but that matters not. You would think hey here's this big town I hope I have to go explore a bit before I find the mayor and start the main mission, nope, it's right freaking next to you. The town of Wellspring seems rather large from first glance but when you thoroughly know the layout after exploring for five minutes then you may feel a bit let down as well. I had thought Rage was supposed to be open world with open world towns, but this town feels so tiny. Within Wellspring you have a shop, a bar, a garage, a race track, the mayors office, the sheriffs office and a bunch of named people who will tell you stories or warn you about mutants.

This guy is not as exciting as he looks

I kept hearing about races from random people around Wellsprin and so I decided to go find the race track before I did anything else, which was far too easy to find..damn tiny city. Racing is the biggest mini game that the demo lets you try and it's pretty fun, but the race tracks you fight/race on feel pretty static, despite how good they look graphically. You earn racing points for winning races and you use those to upgrade your vehicle, the vehicle you presumably use outside in the open world as well. The demo lets you do plain racing, time trial and combat races. You could probably spend a good thirty minutes on racing in the demo, if you felt so drawn to it, but I wasn't too excited about it after doing each race once. I wanted to like it more but it just felt like a pretty solid minigame.


The other two minigames, besides racing, in Wellspring were interesting but very simple. One was a dice game set on a futuristic holographic playing board. You were the sheriff and you had to roll four crosshairs to defeat the four mutants, each turn you miss they move on step closer and by turn three you lose. If you managed to roll four crosshairs, out of the four dice, on the first trun you get a big bonus. You can definitely make a lot of money through this minigame but it is entirely grounded in luck. The other was a card game that slightly reminded me of a Magic The Gathering for a second but then it got super simple. You have cards, that you can collect throughout the game, that have strength, health and abilities. You can put four cards down on the board at once and first person to defeat all of the other persons card wins, it almost entirely comes down to the strength/life of each card, but thankfully it does have a little bit of strategy and skill involved, just not as much as I would have hoped. These two minigames don't suck, but they aren't addictive or exciting either, merely okay.

This is where the card minigame is in the demo

The main mission in the demo has you going down into the Well to take out the raiders who are trying to put poisonous toxins in the towns water supply. It was interesting to see the crafting system and create some neat tools of death, like sentry turrets and rc explosive cars, but my biggest problem was ammo. I made the mistake of playing the game on hard and got incapacitated several times during the Well level. When you go down you do this self defibrillator minigame where you basically restart your heart and the better you do the more health you start with. It was a fine minigame but it felt like you could continuously die with few or little repercussions, the only time I truly died was when I was on a lift and it clipped the platform above, which instantly killed me.


In the well you get to use the crossbow, the shotgun, the assault rifle and pistol. The pistol was my favorite since it had so many different types of ammo to try, while the shotgun only had two, the assault rifle one and the crossbow had two. Each gun does actually have four different ammo types just not in the demo. The combat in the game felt very doom like to me, enemies took a lot of hits before they went down but some special weapons instant killed mutants. The lack of melee also made it feel a bit odd to me, if an enemy got close up to you you had to frantically reload, run, or throw a special weapon. I really kept wanting to have some kind of button to at least push mutants away from me if I got surrounded by them in melee, but it just wasn't there. All of the weapons have decent controls, especially for a joystick controller, and were enjoyable enough to use, but they didn't give you anything overly exciting, they were all pretty basic weapons except for maybe the crossbow. The one exciting part of the mission involved fighting a bunch of mutants with several friendly NPC's, but it didn't last too long and then you went off on your lonesome once again.

It's hard to say that I didn't like the RAGE demo, but it just felt inferior to my already watered down expectations. I especially expected more out of a demo that came out long after the game released, at least more areas or different areas than what has been shown off a hundred times before. If you want to check out the demo it is already available on XBLA but it will be arriving on PC and PSN shortly. I would recommend just watching the video below, since it covers the majority of the main mission from the demo. If you want to check out reviews then just check out the web, reviews for RAGE are plentiful and varied. The game is currently on sale on Steam, but it's still $40, down from $60. Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rayman Origins Demo Impressions

I had been seeing the new Rayman platformer on the PSN and XBLA marketplaces for a while,but I finally got around to downloading and playing through all of the demo. If you don't know Rayman at all, like me, then let me use the information about the series that I've gathered from the great and might internet.

Brief Series Overview
The Rayman series has always been focused on being a platformer, but there are quite a few spin offs out there since the brand has been thrown all over to place to many different publishers and developers. You may know the original platforming Rayman games from the PS2, Dreamcast, Gamecube or Nintendo 64, but there are also a major series spin off called Rayman Raving Rabbits which consisted of party type games, the genre that has dominated the Wii over the last couple years. The platformer Raymans have always been simple looking but generally had a lot to find, collect and enjoy. I never got into the series myself but it's done fairly well for itself over the last sixteen years. Now onto the impressions of Rayman Origins, the newest of series which came out on November 15th in the US.

The demo for Rayman Origins was fairly short, unsurprisingly for a four hundred megabyte download, but it did a decent job of giving you several perspectives of the game. The first level was straight up platforming and with the Xbox 360 controller it all controlled very smoothly and responsively. Wanted to go jump off a wall, land on a moving lily pad and the hit that creepy farmer, no problem. It's one of those games that the controls work so well that you kind of feel like your just super good at the game, when in reality you probably aren't, at least not after playing it for fifteen minutes. The first level lets you pick from five different characters at the beginning, each of which have one unique aspect to him, for instance the guy I picked was able to glide for a short while. One of the characters you had to unlock by finding enough currency (these fly things that you capture or save, I'm not sure, but either way they sure are happy that your stealing them), or by finding these large semi secret gold coins that are thrown about in each level.

The second demo level was a bit more interesting as it took the platforming and did a Little Big Planet 2 twist by turning the game into a side scrolling plane shooter. The controls for that worked quite well and it wasn't that difficult, but the boss at the end did unintentionally kill me a couple times, unintentionally because it was more of me killing myself by being an overzealous impatient bastard. I should mention that you cannot really lose in this game and there is a odd death system. When you die you merely go back to the last area transition and some levels don't have a single area transition, so it goes back to the beginning, but others have plenty and feel balanced.

Yeah this video is a bit old but still shows off some great gameplay

The  last level in the demo had no area transitions and that was a tid bit annoying, mainly because I'm an idiot and I didn't read the screen when it told me to press this new-founded sprint button and escape the giant sea worms of death. This last level was all about being underwater, apparently Rayman and his buds don't need to breath, and being chased by sea monsters. It was rather short though because as soon as I escaped the sea monsters some kind of boss sea monster broke through the ceiling and the demo ended. It was an enjoyable chase, despite the fact that I kept forgetting about sprint and kept getting stuck under falling objects.

The Rayman Origins demo was quite a bit of fun and when I say that let me put that in perspective. I played the two gigabyte RAGE demo after I played Rayman and I enjoyed playing Rayman a good deal more than I did RAGE. By the way, the graphics which I have neglected to even mention are quite good. They are colorful and have a cartoony look that makes me think of Looney Tunes mixed with some crazy shit from H.P. Lovecraft. I recommend checking out this demo if you are into platformers at all, of course you would have to pry yourself away from Steam Sales, MW3, Uncharted 3, BF3 and Skyrim. You know, the fact that there are three third sequels right there makes me squirm a little bit, doesn't seem right, especially since they are all top contenders for Game of The Year. One last thing, Rayman Origins, the real game not the demo, sports four player coop and sixty plus levels, good times to be had there. Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I will attempt to write my delightful RAGE impressions before then, but no promises. Thanks for reading.
Official Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Dungeon Defenders Thanksgiving Releases

Thanksgiving comes tomorrow and with it Trendy Entertainment has released a huge patch, two paid DLCs and a free Thanksgiving DLC for Dungeon Defenders. All of which only seems to be on PC at the moment, but they have submitted it to the console versions and it just takes more time than putting it straight onto Steam. If you are interested in seeing what the patch entails then I refer you to this hefty list of patch notes from the DD forums.  I should mention that Dungeon Defenders is 50% off during the Thanksgiving Steam Sale. Let's see what they have in store with the DLC's.

Hero Pack
The first DLC is probably the most exciting one for people because it brings in four new classes: The Initiate, The Countess, The Ranger and The Adept. All of the classes are basically gender opposite versions of the original four classes but with new abilities, but they do all have the same towers/defenses/auras/traps. The Hero Pack will probably get jumped on by anyone who has several maxed out characters but the rest of us will likely just be content with the original four classes, at least until there are new classes that are 100% new. This Pack costs $5 normally but it is on sale for $4 during the Steam Thanksgiving Sale. Check out this short trailer to see what the new classes look and what their new abilities are (I know it says nine minutes but it is really only a minute and a half).

The Warping Core Challenge Pack
This pack will come out sometime, it's already in the game, but it's not yet on the DLC list on the store page. If you are familiar with the game then you will know the Warping Core Challenge Map, well this DLC adds four new warping core challenges. These new maps will also have unique loot associated with them. No screenshots or videos but it will cost $2 whenever it shows up on Stea. 

The Great Turkey Hunt
This is the Thanksgiving specific free DLC that adds a new level(s), new costumes, new and redesigned enemies, plus a great turkey boss. This DLC will be free until December 2nd, so grab it now even if you don't plan to play it yet. I'm not sure how many new maps there based on the trailer, maybe two, but there is certainly at least one Thanksgiving centric level, one that looks to take away the use of towers and defenses. The new costumes look pretty well done and I love the Spaniard Monk costume in specific. Watch this trailer and see all that this DLC holds. 

I can only hope that Trendy Entertainment will keep these sizable updates coming with the Holidays, who knows what Christmas will hold. You can check all of these out on the steam page, there are six DLC's in total now, and install them from there. Thanks for reading and be back with more news shortly. 
DD Steam Page:

-Written by Sean Cargle 

Steam Autumn Sale!

There are some excellent deals on Steam today, as we start the beginning of their Autumn Sale. Picked up Orcs Must Die for $4 myself. They have the new Men of War Vietnam for 75% off. They also have various sales from publishers until November 27th. Todays deals end in 23 hours and then we will have a whole new set to stare at. Check them out.
Steam Page:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SWTOR Beta Impressions

The NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has finally been lifted, as seen here, so I can finally talk about the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Beta. I've played two weekend beta tests so far, the first of which I made it to level twenty or so as a Jedi Knight, advanced class of Sentinel, and to level five with a Sith Bounty Hunter. The second time I played I had less time and focused specifically on a Sith Inquisitor. Each class has it's own prologue area that takes up till level nine or ten and brings you to the point where you get your first companion. Every class does not have it's own individual areas, it seems divided based on classes, but it seems as if two classes have reign of each prologue area. With my Jedi Knight the only other classes I ever saw in the prologue area, other than some super high level people flaunting off their prowess to all of us newbies, were Jedi Consulars. There are eight classes in total, which you can check in detail here. There are also advanced classes for each class and you can check those out right here.

I wish the game had looked this good, but it almost did

My impressions right off the bat were about the graphics, they are a bit depressing and seemingly old, but it is very easy to get used to them and appreciate them despite their old graphical look. Once I got to some of the space and big city areas I noticed how the environments, even with this faded look, can be a little bit impressive. One thing the engine show off is it impressively far field of view and the large amount of characters that can be on the screen without any kind of slow down. According to the screenshot above they are putting on a lot of polish, graphics wise, before the release. The game was very easy to run and the servers, even on maxed out beta servers, seem to hold up very well and provide a lag free experience. Every area I made it to was damn near filled with players, both weekends I played, but it didn't detract much from the experience.

The dreaded grind quests they give you in each area are fairly easy and are intended to give reason to killing enemies on the way to a particular goal or area. On top of it just being extra income for the most part, they don't require you to kill so many enemies that you can't possibly do them with other players everywhere and never did I run into people camping enemy spawns. Bioware did a good job populating the areas with a plentiful amount of enemies, often several times more than what you might need for a quest. When I got to some of the higher level areas that changed a bit, but that was only in regards to bonus quests, quests that pop up in an area that give you money/experience for killing x number of enemies. They are quests that are very optional and often require far more kills than the grind quests, but they are nice when you have to plow through a bunch of enemies anyways. I should make it clear that these quests don't feel nearly as solid as real quests, they provide no dialogue, no background, no purpose, just extra income/experience for having to kill enemies in an area in order to travel through it.

I managed to play through one of the PVP Warzones in the game called Voidstar. Each team took a turn attacking while the other defended areas of the ships against the invaders. The first time we defended and immediately had to protect sets of blast doors. It was simple idea, two blast doors and all you had to do was plant explosives on them. You could defuse the explosives but you had less than a minute to get over there and defuse them. Once one door was down it moved to the next area, another area with two blast doors that led to another area. The last area also had two blast doors but if you destroyed those you had to head into a control room of sorts and do different tasks to win. When we defended it went fairly well, we barely communicated and generally stuck together. When we attacked we had the most success working in small groups, distracting the enemy team while one or two people went and planted the bombs. The Warzone was pretty fun, but it wasn't horribly special compared to most other pvp in mmo's.

So far everything I've talked about doesn't make this game seem even the slightest bit unique, but it gets unique when it comes to crew/companions, group instances and conversations. Once you get past the prologue area you get your first crew member, whom you can have assist you in combat or they can go off on missions. You can have them learn different types of skills, each of which have to do with gathering resources. You base what three skills you want on what you want to craft. For instance I had my companion do archaeology, artifice and biolanaylsis. Bioanaylsis didn't help that much or fit in, but archaeology and artifice went hand in hand when making Sith and Jedi related artifacts. There are quite a few skills you can choose for a crew member and you can have several crew members later on, so you could have access to quite a few crafting skills. You can check out the large amount of crew skills here and all that info on that. With my shoddy set up I was able to find lightsaber crystals and modify other elements of my lightsabers.

The conversation system is probably my favorite thing about this MMO, one of the few things that feels fresh to the genre. Conversations feel ripped out of any of the Bioware single player games out there, which is never a bad thing, and when they get meshed into a MMO there are some interesting aspects of it. Of course you have the normal picking light side/dark side options, but when it comes to group it can be quite fun. When you are dong a group mission there are almost always choices to be made and when you are making choices in a conversation or action each individual member of the group gets to pick what they want, but it is all decided on rolls. Each time you pick a decision or conversation option a hundred sided diced is rolled and whoever has teh highest number gets their choice shown. This creates some fantastic situations when it comes to light side/dark side options, especially if one player picks dark side and the rest pick light. If the one person who picked dark side won then everyone would have to live with that decision but I'm uncertain of whether they would all receive dark side points or just the person who picked that. The one group flashpoint I did had some interesting dark side/light side options that we could pick and one person did pick the dark side option against the rest of us, but they lost and we got to go on. The conversation system for groups making all the group stuff a lot more enjoyable than basic MMO grouping.

One of the newest Flashpoints to be shown

I've said quite a bit about SW:TOR but it feels as if I've said very little. Most importantly I should note how huge the game is, especially with all the different areas for levels 1-10. The story is a bit more fun on the Sith side, at least with the Jedi/Sith lightsaber wielding classes, but all of the voice acting is very well done. This is one of the few MMO's that I generally don't want to skip over the conversations and get straight to the objective. They do a good job throwing light side/dark side options at you all the time, but I'm very interested in how they plan to balance that. If a player tries to maintain a neutral stand point it seems as if they would miss out on much of the best equipment and I'm not sure how much access you would have to dark side equipment as a Jedi. I had seen a few bugs last time I played but they were very minimal and didn't cause any hardship. I definitely like the game quite a lot and I am willing to bet many others who generally enjoy MMORPG's will be able to get into the game easily. This isn't anything innovative but I don't think anyone is expecting that of SWTOR, at least I hope not, it's all built off MMO fundamentals and previous Bioware games. I may get to play it again this weekend but probably not until early access starts in December. Thanks for reading and I hope some of you get to play it on this last beta weekend starting on Friday.

-Written by Sean Cargle

The Humble Introversion Bundle

It is now time for another Humble Bundle to grace the gaming world. This Bundle contains some of my favorite games from over the last couple years, all of which are made by Introversion and each of which I can write at least something about it. Right now the Bundle is at an average of $2.90, which you have to pay if you want the Aquaria and Crayon Physics Deluxe. The Bundle still gives you the option on how much you want to pay and how much of it will go to charity and the developers. Let's get to the list to see them all.

How I love you Defcon, nothing has ever brought the same feeling of total destruction that Defcon brought. It is a seemingly simple game with a low tech interface that has you fighting in a nuclear war against another country. Sounds pretty grim and unpleasant right? Well it's not. People play it online only, for the most part, and games tend to last quite a while, as every nation plans how to position its nukes, defenses, airfields, submarines, carriers, cruisers and destroyers. Once the nukes started flying you really had to hold back and hope that you can fight off their nukes, or if there was too many nukes on the way you could go all out and launch everything in a panicked frenzy. Defcon is a very interesting game and one that worth the $2.85 price along.

Darwinia and Multiwinia 
Darwinia is one of the first games I remember downloading on Steam, back when Steam was new and had few games. Darwinia is a strategy game with pixel based graphics that is quite a bit of fun, but it does get very difficult and tough to multi task later on in the game. The game was originally only singleplayer and Multiwinia, a more recent release, has brought multiplayer to the game while keeping the same feel of the original game. Multiwinia also added new units and made the game a lot easier to manage.

Uplink is a text based all about hacking. It has simple graphics/interface, but it is not the easiest game to get into. I played it a bit back when it came out and I just couldn't get into it. Some people certainly enjoy it quite a bit, especially for how cleverly it handles the story about getting into the hacking world. Check out this video to get a good idea about how it looks. 

The last two games are Aquaria and Crayon Physics Deluxe, both of which you can only get if you pay the average price of $2.85. Everything else you can get no matter what you pay. There are also two bonus demoes from Introversion that are included in this bundle, seemingly you get then no matter what you pay. One demo is for Subversion City Generator, a tech demo of sorts that generates a city. The other is for the Voxel Tech demo, which merely gives you a building and lets see how physics would work if you messed with it. They are both interesting add ons and should provide a bit of fun.

All of this is part of the Humble Introversion Bundle and you can get it all over at their website. The Bundle still has fourteen days to go but the average has already gone up a dollar since I've been writing this. Many of these games are available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Thanks for reading and for some great deals at a low price go check out the Humble Bundle. 
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Guide To Holiday Shopping

In my opinion, this has been one of the biggest years in gaming. With Black Friday coming up, this guide should give you a better idea of what games you should spend your money on. We will also give you our top picks for this holiday season. We have the base prices listed for each game but you may expect a very large number of these games to go on sale between Thanksgiving and New Years; I should note that many of these games are already on sale on places like Amazon and Steam.

Gears Of War 3 (Xbox 360) $60

This is the final chapter in the Gears series. Being one of the top selling games this year, Gears of War 3 gives you a fast action third person shooter to wrap up the epic storyline and bro-tastic one liners. The multiplayer is much more polished this time around and will give you hours of game time after you complete the campaign.

Uncharted 3 (PS3) $60

The Uncharted series has quickly become one of the most popular games to hit the PS3. Being the love child of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), Uncharted brings classic action/adventure story with a movie like production value. With the best single player story of the series and a very strong multiplayer experience, Uncharted 3 is a major contender for game of the year. Check out our full review!

Batman: Arkham City (Xbox360, PS3, PC) $50-$60

Following up from Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City takes the Dark Knight to the streets of Gotham in a huge prison city filled with some of Batman's most infamous villains. Though the game itself is not very long, the story is rich with the Batman lore fans love.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3, Xbox360, PC) $60

After 5 years of development the next chapter of the Elder Scrolls series is here. With an epic high fantasy story and gorgeous graphics, Skyrim delivers the full package for hardcore gamers. There are hours and hours to sink into this game and you wont even be scratching the surface of the expansive world Skyrim offers. If you want to take on your own epic journey filled with magic and dragons, Skyrim should be at the top of your list! Check out our early impressions.

Dark Souls (PS3, Xbox360) $60

This is one of the most difficult games I have ever played in my life. With a rich dark fantasy setting, Dark Souls gives you ruthless third person action gameplay mixed with some of the most memorable boss fights in any game. This game is long, tough and addicting. Prepare to die... a lot. We also have some impressions of Dark Souls, from some early experiences.

Battlefield 3 (Xbox360, PS3, PC) $60

One of the big contenders this year in the war of first person shooters. Battlefield 3 comes out swinging with large scale battles, intense shoot outs and some of the best graphics ever seen in the FPS genre. Though the single player is not the highlight of this game, Battlefield's multiplayer and new graphics engine are unforgettable.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, Xbox360, PC) $60

The other contender in the war of FPS, MW3 brings more of the fast pace team deathmatch multiplayer as its predecessors. Continuing on the same storyline from previous Modern Warfare games, MW3 brings the fight to New York, Paris and London. Fans of the franchise can expect more of the same great multiplayer gameplay with some added features and polished graphics.

NBA 2K12 (Xbox360, PS3, PC) $60

The NBA 2K series has always been raising the bar in the basketball gaming genre. This year is no different. NBA 2k12 has added many new features while improving the game overall. Players act and move like you would see on a Thursday night game, franchise mode is now online where you can compete with friends over a season, and the graphics are polished.

WWE 12 (PS3, Xbox360, Wii) $60

Ditching the previous "Raw Vs Smackdown" title, WWE 12 got an overhaul from the ground up and is also one of the best wrestling games of all time. You can customize almost anything and the story lines are a lot better this time around.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) $50

Being one of the Wii's last big game release, Skyward Sword has been dubbed the best Zelda game EVER! Now this is a bold statement and to each their own but if critics are giving such a bold statment, this game is worth checking out. Skyward Sword goes back to early Hyrule focusing on Zelda and Link's early adolescence. With the fifty plus hours of promised gameplay and all the fantastic reviews out there this is a must own for fans of the Zelda series and Wii owners.

Rayman Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, PSVita) $60

Rayman takes you back to the classic 2D platform and makes you remember why you loved those games so much. Set in a very quirky, unique environment, Rayman Orgins gives you high class entertainment and fun without slapping a "Mature" rating on the cover and putting you in a war torn world. If you want a high quality platformer look no further.

Super Mario Land 3D (Nintendo 3DS) 

It's no secret that the Nintendo 3DS has had a rough start since hitting the shelves. While the 3DS initially was criticized for it's lack of games they have have finally released its best game yet for the portable console. Super Mario 3D takes you an a classic and enriched adventure in the Mario universe. With influences from Mario Galaxy and Mario 64, this game blends the two together and delivers a memorable 3D experience. Game developers at Nintendo brought out the best in the 3DS to show its gaming capabilities and what can come out of using the technology. Dust off your 3DS and get ready to stomp more Goombas!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3, Xbox360, PC) $50

With technology taking over our daily lives, Deus Ex puts us in the near future where human augmentation and cybernetics has become part of normal life and also a huge political debate. Lying somewhere between Blade Runner and Robocop, Deus Ex mixes an espionage storyline with stealth and action gameplay. It separates itself from the busy FPS world by creating an experience that focuses on choices, story and unique rpg orientated gameplay.  Check out our review!

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PS3) $50

Playstation released 3 Metal Gear Solid games into 1 HD collection. For the first time you can get Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker all on one disc. These are three epic games that have been altered to give you an HD experience like no other. Revisit these classics this holiday season!

Portal 2 (PS3, Xbox360, PC) $30

The original Portal took the gaming community by storm. With its brain teasing puzzles to its many references to cakes and companion cubes, it became an instant classic. This year Valve has taken Portal to a whole new level. With even more puzzles and some of the best voice acting in modern gaming, Portal 2 is a must have.  Check out our review!

The ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3) $40

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus were both PS2 games that were very innovative and graphically impressive. Shadow of the Colossus is a beloved PS2 game and stated as one of the best games out there with it's eerily empty and beautiful world, strange storyline, massive enemies and it's music. It also created one of the strongest silent lead characters of all time, plus what other game out there makes people feel as guilty and sad about killing the games enemies. This HD collection pack came out not too long ago and is wonderful for any fans of the series.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC, Xbox 360) $40-$60

The Witcher 2 may have come out last spring but it recently just came out with it's huge 2.0, free, update that added in an arena, new tutorial and a new mode called Dark Mode. This phenomenal sequel is a rpg for mature gamers, one that gives you fairly opens areas with many options and a lot of different choices to make throughout the storyline. What makes it unique is its dark and brutal world where friends will and can die by your choices. The Witcher 2 is cheaper than ever and a fantastic rpg that no one should miss out on it, even if just to support it's no drm gamer focused developers, CD Projekt Red. Check out our review!

Stocking Stuffers (Downloadable / Indie Games)

Orcs Must Die! (Xbox360, PC) $15

OMD brings a unique twist on the typical turret defense genre. the title pretty much says it all, kill orcs by any means necessary. Throughout the game you are given upgrades to battle your way through hordes of orcs. There are 24 unique fortresses with DLC available for more traps, levels and magic. Check out our Review!

Bastion (Xbox360, PC) $15

Bastion is a very bright and colorful RPG released during XBLA Summer of Arcade. It is reminiscent Zelda mixed with its own unique story and gameplay. It also has the greatest narrator voice following your every movement which makes it even that much more enjoyable. Check out our review

Dungeon Defenders (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) $15

Dungeon Defenders is a multiplayer orientated tower defense role playing game hybrid. It provides a vast amount of content with it's four classes, seventy levels to achieve and seemingly endless amounts of loot to collect. You can have many characters and participate in quite a few story levels, plus there are also a large amount of bonus missions to change up the experience. The developers are dedicated to the community and are always holding special events. They just released modding tools and a capture the flag mode as well. Check out review here.

Crimson Alliance (Xbox 360) $15

We here like Space Pirates and Zombie, just look at the name what implications does the name have about the content of the game that is not interesting? SPAZ is all about exploring a randomly generated universe jam packed with missions, enemies, factions, asteroids, stars and so much more. This is a huge game, if you choose the max universe size, and it opens up the universe to you right from the start. It has an old arcade feel that adds on some depth with all of it's customization and strategy options as you fly your homebase through the universe fighting anyone who you wish to fight. The game is so big that we never got around to reviewing it, at least not yet, but here are some detailed impressions we did a while back. Looking for something different, something with substantial longevity? Check out SPAZ on Steam.

Adam's Top Picks

Battlefield 3 - Out of all the big first person shooters that came out this year, Battlefield 3 came out on top in my opinion.  I have always been a fan of the large scale battles and teamwork rather than the "lone wolf" small battles MW3 has.  If you have a powerful machine I would recommend getting it for PC.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution -  Deus Ex was one of those games I wasn't sure about when it was coming out for release.  After picking it up and playing, I was pleasantly surprised just how good the game really is.  Following a really good story in the not so distant future, Deus Ex lets you play the game the way you want to.  You can run in guns blazing, or use stealth to your advantage, either way the game gives you the tools to do it.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - It's almost impossible to leave this game off the list.  Skyrim is an experience all in its own, with a huge living world to explore and an epic story line, it's easy to sink your free time into this game.  I would recommend getting this game for the PC for the mods.

Orcs Must Die! - This was one of my favorite indie games of the year.  OMD is an easy game to get into and a lot of fun.  You are given traps and magic to use to defend your fortress against waves of orcs.  Each level you play gets progressively more challenging and your given more traps to use.  There are leaderboards to compete with your friends and DLC already available.

Bastion - I had a lot of fun with this game.  Its classic RPG style gameplay and watercolor graphics make the game refreshing and enjoyable. If you are a fan of classic Zelda and Final Fantasy I would recommend this be one of your stocking stuffers this holiday season.

Sean's Top Picks

Battlefield 3 -Battlefield 3 has been my favorite multiplayer game of the year, especially after I was let down by Red Orchestra 2. It doesn't deliver a new experience but it takes much of what made BF2 and BFBC2 fantastic, creating a thoroughly long lasting and enjoyable experience.

Dark Souls -Nothing, besides Skyrim, has drawn me in the same way Dark Souls has. Everyone is always bantering about what is better but they are both excellent in their own ways. Dark Soul's brutal world is always in the back of my mind making me want to explore ever painful inch of it. Fifty hours in and I still haven't beat the game, seemingly close though. There are so many ways to play the game, so many choices and so many ways that the game doesn't even pretend to hold your hand. Demon Souls never drew me in the same way Dark Souls does and even when Skyrim came out I found it hard to break away from Dark Souls.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -Forty hours of gameplay in a week and half has to mean something right? To me it means that the experience of Skyrim is so enjoyable that I constantly lose track of time and forego being productive in the real world. I was a huge fan of Oblivion, but mainly because of it's mods, and Skyrim delivers a much more whole and enjoyable experience than vanilla Oblivion ever came close to. The world this time around feels so much more full of life, danger and excitement. I cannot wait to get back to it and between Dark Souls, BF3 and Skyrim I cannot find enough time.

Second choices: Uncharted 3, Bastion, Skyward Sword. 

Alana's Top Picks

Sims 3 Pets/ Sims Medieval - Yeah, the Sims is for girls and casuals, I got that. Seriously though, if you guys just stop with your elitist BS and relaxed once and awhile, you will see that The Sims isn't so bad. The Sims and its newest expansion Sims Pets offers you SO much for your money. It's like a million games in one. You have tons of skills you can master, jobs and careers you can advance in, you can have children, ride horses and take care of kittens, you can set people on fire, EVEN GET HIT BY ASTEROIDS, and almost everything is customizable. Sims Medieval offers tons of quests and objectives that will keep you busy for hours. While it is not really anything like The Sims, it is entertaining if you're into a questing sort of game that isn't super serious.

Portal 2 - If you don't already own Portal 2 there is something seriously wrong with you. Getting past the fact that it was one of the biggest games of the year, Portal 2 is such an important (AND FUN) game with an awesome multiplayer campaign that is unparalleled.  PLUS, hours screaming at stupid friends that can't figure out simple portal puzzles - how can you not want this. Single player is just fucking amazing. Period.  Amazing graphics, lovable characters, and PUZZLES! BUY ME!!

Minecraft - Finally officially out, Minecraft has a bunch of added shit that makes it even more awesome than before. New items, monsters, enchantments, habitats, and there is even a new Creative Mode. Creative mode is my favorite because it gives you an unlimited amount of every item to build and create pretty much anything you want. This is a wonderful game for those who like to waste time and can appreciate the beauty in a game with no fancy fucking graphics.

ALSO : (obviously.) Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Mortal Kombat 

For some great Black Friday deals in gaming check out Cheap Ass Gamer, they have rounded up a great list. 

Infinity Blade 2 Releases December 1st

I've never talked much about the original Infinity Blade, besides my short review on the iPhone Review Round-up I did a while back, and that is a shame. Infinity Blade is by far the best serious game on the iPhone/iPad, making excellent use of the technology in order to create an innovative experience that is thrilling, challenging, persistent. All of that was accompanied by strong roleplaying elements and a massive shop that provided you with a large array of weapons to find, buy and level up. The game recently came out on the iPad 2, which looks even better than the iPhone, and now Epic Games is setting Infinity Blade 2 to release on December 1st. It will be available on iPad as well as iPhone, all the way back to 3GS, and will cost something around $7. They even have a novella to accompany Infinity Blade 2, called Infinity Blade: Awakening,  and it is on the app store for $3. Check out this gameplay demo to see how the game looks and will play out.

In the first Infinity Blade the whole point of the game was to defeat the god king but now he is gone. I am very interested to see what the new purpose they will you, the hero, go through and how it will keep up with the same persistence that the first game had. In the first game if you died, and you often died before beating the god king, you would come back as a descendant of the hero who had previously died. Now that the god king is dead I really want to see if they try to do something new with this mechanic for death or if they will merely duplicate it. The whole item system will hopefully be a bit different, especially since you had to rely on items to level up in order for your character to level up, which is fine, but it wasn't done in the most user-friendly manner in Infinity Blade 1. I cannot recall how many times I had several leveled up items that I could no longer gain experience from for a long period of time with too little money to purchase new items. It also made it so you would often use lesser weapons or equipment just for the sole purpose gaining experience. I didn't hate this mechanic but I really want to see it improved.

So far I am just speculating but there are some new features that I can highlight. In the first Infinity Blade you could only do sword and shield but now they will have dual wielding and two handed weapons. You can now influence weapons and armors with some kind of objects that you collect throughout the game, objects that make it you can craft new powers into equipment. The hero is now fighting the Deathless Tyrants and a whole slew of new enemies called Titans. There isn't much more to say about Infinity Blade 2 but I cannot wait to get my hands on it on December 1st, hopefully it will just as fantastic as the first game. Check out this commentary video below that shows off a bit more about the games' story. Thanks for reading. 
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-Written by Sean Cargle