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It's Red Faction: Armageddon for Level Up

Dead or Alive: Dimensions Thoughts

By Tim Janson     June 23, 2011


Red Faction: Armageddon (THQ) Rated M PS3, Xbox 360
© THQ

 

Kind of a light news week but the spate of hackings continue with Sega and Bioware the latest to be hit. It’s seems apparent that the challenge of breaking in seems to be more of an attraction than any attempt to steal vital information, though. We’ve got reviews of THQ’s new third person shooter Red Faction: Armageddon and Koei’s 3DS fighter Dead or Alive Dimensions this week so read on!
 
Wii U not Going to push Sony on Playstation 4
 
Nintendo’s E3 announcement of the new Wii U system is not going to affect Sony’s plans for its next generation system, the Playstation 4. Sony's Jack Tretton said, "PlayStation 3 is really just hitting its stride. And technologically, I don't think it's possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have. What we've seen from the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3. We invested heavily in that, we rolled a very heavy rock up a steep hill, through the launch period. But now I think that all pays off, and we've got a long run way behind it. So, I wouldn't look for any discussion of a next generation PlayStation for quite some time." 
 
Sega hit by hackers
 
Sega is the latest company to suffer an attack by hackers. Its Sega Pass system was broken into and hackers made off with personal information like e-mail addresses, birth dates, and encrypted passwords. Sega Pass was taken offline on Thursday, June 16. Sega claimed at the time only a "subset" of users were affected. What that amounts to in actual numbers is 1.3 million people, Reuters reports. Spokeswoman Yoko Nagasawa said in a statement, "We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security." This comes on the heels of a smaller scale attack on Bioware that compromised the accounts of Neverworld Nights forum users,
 
Rage #1 Comic now available
 
Based on id Software’s upcoming first-person shooter RAGE, the three-issue comic book series is an original miniseries written by Arvid Nelson, the acclaimed creator of Rex Mundi, and penciled by Andrea Mutti (DMZ). The cover art was created by Glenn Fabry, best known for his work on Hellblazer and Preacher, the comic’s variant cover was created by Stephan Martiniere, the art director on RAGE. Set prior to the events in the game, the comics are an extension of the RAGE universe and provide insights into the game’s storyline.
 
This comic series, developed with the direct participation of RAGE’s creative director, Tim Willits, presents a new twist on the post-apocalyptic near future as one woman discovers that the survival of humankind doesn’t necessarily mean the survival of humanity.  The Earth has been devastated by a collision with an asteroid, with a tiny fraction of the population surviving in life-sustaining Arks buried deep below its surface. Those who survive emerge to find a wasteland controlled by a global military dictatorship called the Authority. But a rescued scientist learns that the Authority has lied to her and the other survivors about how this new world came to be.  RAGE, the highly-anticipated game under development at id Software, is slated for release on October 4th, 2011 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
 
Beyond Good and Evil HD coming to Playstation Network
 
PlayStation 3 owners will finally have a chance to experience the updated version of Beyond Good & Evil next week. After being released on Xbox Live Arcade back in early March, the PlayStation Network release of Beyond Good & Evil HD was pushed back as a result of the PlayStation Store downtime. A post on the PlayStation Blog reports the game will be made available in less than a week's time, on Tuesday, June 28. It had been scheduled to come out in May.
 
DUE OUT NEXT WEEK
 
 
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries (Capcom) Rated M 3DS
 
For the first time Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D delivers the intense Mercenaries gameplay experience on a handheld console. Featuring re-mastered stages from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, it's a race against time as players try to defeat as many enemies as possible before the countdown reaches zero. The fast-paced, combat intensive action of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is available both as a solo experience or gamers across the world can team up and enjoy two-player co-op via network play.
 
In Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D gamers will have the opportunity to tackle the game's missions with legendary Resident Evil characters from past and present and face off against some of the most terrifying enemies, such as the Executioner and Popo Karimu. Playable characters include Chris Redfield, Krauser, Hunk, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and, making her debut in a Mercenaries game, Claire Redfield.
 
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D includes the addition of an all new Skill Slot feature. With this players are able to fill three skill slots from a selection of 30 skills including improvements to weapons performance, reload speed or melee abilities and customize characters to best suit their style of play. While the gameplay will be familiar to those who have previously played Mercenaries, changes have been implemented to take advantage of the new hardware, most notably transforming the stages and characters to full 3D plus the ability for players to move and shoot and the addition of touch screen functionality to switch weapons on the fly.
 

 
 
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (Capcom) Rated T Xbox 360, PS3
 
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, brings the ultimate vision of Street Fighter home to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, and PC in the Summer of 2011 in North America. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Super Street Fighter IV will further redefine the fighting game genre with classic 2D Street Fighter fighting action, a host of new and returning characters, beefed up online modes, and more. Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition features a roster of 39 characters such as Ryu, Chun-li, Juri, El Fuerte, and Rufus, while adding 4 new characters to the roster including classic combatants from previous Street Fighter games like Yun and Yang as well as the all-new Oni. Beyond characters, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition adds all-new balancing as well as an enhanced Replay Channel.
 
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 (Koei) Rated T Xbox360, PS3
 
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is a Hack and Slash Action game with elements of Strategy gameplay. Based on the Gundam anime series, and the sequel Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 features 50 playable and upgradeable characters and over 70 playable and upgradeable Mobile Suits. Additional features include: deeper gameplay systems than in previous games in the series, the return of story mode, hundreds of hours of gameplay and multiplayer game support up to four players.
 
New gameplay systems and aggressive enemy AI, Partner Strike, Emergency Dash and more.
View larger. The Next Generation of Futuristic Mecha Action
Set in the future, chaotic warfare has engulfed the universe. The world is ripe with strife as gigantic mecha called Mobile Suits march to war on land and in space. Featuring characters and mecha from over 30 years of Gundam anime and manga series, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 thrusts players into the galactic melee with over 50 playable and upgradeable characters and over 70 playable and upgradeable Mobile Suits combed from the Gundam universe. New additions include Mobile Suits from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Mobile Suit Gundam UC and many more.
 
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 also features a number of gameplay additions to the series, including 3 brand new featured systems, including the Partner Strike, Emergency Dash and Recovery Gauge Systems, which will bring a new level of full-out tactical action to the series. The Partner Strike System will enable the player to summon partner characters to the battlefield to assist at crucial moments, affecting your character's current melee engagement or possibly the overall battlefield conditions for your army. The Emergency Dash System will allow players to execute new cancel and evasion moves negating enemy attacks. This system will bring a new level to gameplay since powerful combos can be more easily parried. The new Recovery Gauge System enables players to recover armor during battle allowing players more flexibility in their tactics on the battlefield.
 

 
 
Sniper: Ghost Warrior (City Interactive) Rated M Xbox 360, PS3, PC
 
Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a first-person tactical shooter that places the player in the role of a US Marine sniper tasked with aiding in the liberation of a Latin American island nation from the oppression of a dictator. Gameplay focuses on realistic sniper missions, involving stealth, control of breathing and heartbeat for increased accuracy, bullet trajectory that takes weather conditions into account and multiple different sniper rifles. Features include a variety of mission types, the ability to play as a member of an assault team, 12-shooter multiplayer support and close combat weapons and explosives.
 
Bonus features available in the PS3 version include: a complete collection of DLC released to
The Latin American island nation of Isla Trueno suffers under a tyrannical ruler and as Marine sniper Sgt. Tyler Wells, you have been sent on a covert mission deep into its jungles to aid the rebellion, one head shot at a time. Outfitted in a ghillie suit that renders you virtually invisible in the dense foliage, you must stalk an enemy whose knowledge of the terrain is superior to your own. Can you deal crippling blows to the dictatorship as a top-ranked sniper? Are you tough enough to succeed in a close quarter battle as a member of a hard charging Delta Force assault team hell-bent on liberating the oppressed nation?
 
Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a first-person tactical shooter that features game mechanics based primarily on realistic covert actions of a military sniper. Combat is mission-based and centers on extended stealth gameplay that challenges players with a variety of strategic and tactical choices that affect how they approach their objectives and eliminate their targets. Sniper gameplay is designed to be realistic, with the player required to cooperate with their AI spotter for pinpointing of targets, maintain heart beat and breathing control -- especially after running -- for maximum accuracy and performance and develop expertise with four types of sniping rifles: AS50, MSG90, SR25 and SVD Dragunov. Players in sniping situations also must deal with conditions such as wind, fog and rain that will test even the most skilled of shooters. Additional features include multiplayer support, a slow-motion Bullet Cam Mode, an arsenal of explosive weaponry like Claymore mines and C4 explosives to defend your perimeter when and/if your position is discovered or to demolish enemy outposts, melee weapons like throwing knives for close, quiet kills and the additional ability to cooperate with a hard-charging assault team member bent on up-close and personal firefights.
 
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident (Nintendo) Rated E Nintendo Wii
 
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident is an Puzzle-Action game for play on the Nintendo Wii. The first iteration of the popular Mystery Case Files series to make an appearance on the Wii, Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident brings the same addictive Hidden Object puzzle play fun PC gamers have enjoyed in other games in the series, combined now with the ease of use of the Wii Remote, multiplayer game support*, multiple play modes, multi-layered game environments and more.
 
Something is afoot at the abandoned resort on Malgrave Island and it is up to you to be the detective and solve the mystery. Point the Wii Remote and with the push of a button, explore the island's lush environments and test your wits against the puzzles and obstacles blocking your path in your search for cleverly hidden objects.
 
 
Be the detective in the adventure of a lifetime as the Mystery Case Files series comes to Wii.
Navigate the Twists and Turns of a Gripping Mystery Malgrave Island has been closed to visitors for years, but Winston Malgrave, the mysterious curator, has requested your help collecting its trademark cure -- all dust -- the key to the survival of his beloved Sara, who is gravely ill. Finding hidden objects to uncover more dust is vital to your progress, but the more you uncover the more you unravel the long-buried mysteries of the island.
 
REVIEWS
 
Red Faction: Armageddon (THQ) Rated M PS3, Xbox 360
 
Red Faction: Armageddon is the sequel to Red Faction: Guerilla, and set on Mars in the year 2170.  An extremist group of cultists led by Adam Hale, the main protagonist, has destroyed a terraformer that provides Mars its life-sustaining atmosphere sending the colonists underground where the game begins.  You play as a Mercenary Darius Mason, the descendent of the hero of the first game.  Darius is tricked by Hale into opening an ancient seal underground the releases an alien race of insectoid creatures that threatens to overrun the colonists.  The game takes you through numerous missions where you have to help protect the colonists and get them to safety, fighting off wave after wave of the beasties along the way.
 
You are armed with an impressive array of weaponry although you can only carry four weapons at any one time.  These include your typical weapons like pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, and grenade launchers, along with more exotic and deadly weapons like plasma guns, the disintegrating nano-rifle, Banshees which are powerful dual hand-cannons, and the outrageous singularity cannon that can open a black hole to suck up a swarm of enemies.  Collecting salvage throughout your travels acts as your currency, allowing you to purchase various upgrades like more health, higher ammo capacity, faster gun reloads, greater weapon accuracy, defensive maneuvers, and various other special powers.  Red Faction: Armageddon uses a type of skill wheel with more powerful unlocks available for purchase as you progress further in the game.  You are also armed with something called the Nano-forge which you wear on your left arm and is in addition to the other four weapons you can carry.  The nano-forge is a tool that reverses any and all destruction dealt to man-made objects.  Thus if you encounter a stairway or bridge that is partially destroyed making it impossible to cross, the nano-forge can complete restore it.  You’ll use the forge to make repairs to machinery you encounter as well like pumps and generators.  It can also be used as a weapon to send out a powerful impulse wave to kill the enemies.  The nano-forge is also very useful in rebuilding cover in a few key boss battles.  It can also be upgraded.  It’s best to have a mix of weapons.  I like to have two standard weapons like the assault rifle and Banshees coupled with two of the more powerful weapons as those have limited ammo.
 
This third-person shooter’s main difference from the previous game is that Armageddon is totally linear in its gameplay where as RF: Guerilla was more of an open world.  The game can be so linear that sometimes you feel like you are watching the action unfold rather than actually playing.  The play is a hell of a lot of fun though.  The environments in RF: Armageddon are almost complete destructible which you can utilize to your advantage.  Fuel tanks and other items can be shot creating massive explosions to take out the aliens.  You can use the magnet gun to attach to a building then bring the whole thing crashing down on a swarm.  The types of kills may not be as varied as Bulletstorm but you’ll delight in finding new and fun ways to destroy waves of nasty bugs.  Darius even gets to pilot exo-skeletons and mechs at certain points that allow him to rain death down on the enemies.  Most levels will have several gigantic, pulsing egg sacks that constantly give birth to new bugs so destroying these should always be your first goal.  You can mop up the rest later.  A couple of shots with the plasma rifle or grenade launcher will generally do the trick.  The game feels a bit like being in the middle of a Starship Troopers film with its wave of giant bugs.
 
The potential for a great game is here if there would have been a little more to do, and a little more diversity to the levels and aliens.  There are only a few different alien types although they are colored differently throughout the game to distinguish more powerful versions but they still look the same in appearance.  A lot of the levels are also indistinguishable from the next since you spend most of the game in underground caverns.  It’s never boring but it can be repetitive.  Red Faction: Armageddon is also a lightweight in terms of online play.  Infestation mode is essentially a survival contest where up to four players have to secure an area against wave after wave of alien attacks.  There is also Ruin Mode which is a code that comes packed with a new game or can be purchased online.  Here a single player causes as much destruction as he can in a set amount of time and then competes via a leaderboard with other online players.
 
Red Faction: Armageddon isn’t a technical powerhouse in terms of its graphics or sound.  It’s all capable but doesn’t break any new ground.  This is truly a game about mass-destruction and on that level, it succeeds.  Grade B
 

 
 
 
Dead or Alive: Dimensions (Koei) Rated T 3DS
 
There’s not much argument that the release slate of new games for the 3DS has been less that satisfying.  Dead or Alive Dimensions changes all that with a remarkably robust fighting game that features smooth gameplay mechanics, engaging cut-scenes, an numerous modes to make any fighting game enthusiast happy.  This is the 15th game in the long-running series.  DOA:D hits you right off the bat with stunningly beautiful and intense cinematic cut-scenes.  I know these are just frosting on the cake and cinematics don’t make a great game necessarily but developer Team Ninja has done an outstanding job of drawing you into the game with the gorgeously rendered cut-scenes.
 
The game offers numerous modes but you’ll likely want to start with two: Training and Chronicle.  In training you can choose the reaction level of your opponent from basically just standing there like a house by the side of the road or actually attacking back.  It’s a great way to get the basics down.  Chronicle is your story mode and also serves as a tutorial as you follow along to the moves you’re instructed to make onscreen.  The story is relatively superficial and has you playing as several of the game’s main characters through different objectives.  Basically the story is told through the cut-scenes which all then lead into the fights.  From a narrative standpoint there’s not much sense since you do hop from character to character but it does provide you with more in-game experience and challenges than you’ll get in the training mode.
 
In all there are 25 playable characters in the game, several of which need to be unlocked through accomplishing various objectives in Chronicle and Arcade modes.  12 of the fighters are females and with Tecmo’s penchant for presenting male players a high dosage of titillation in this series, you’ll be happy to know you’ll be able to follow the bouncing, impossibly proportioned boobs in the 3DS’ glorious 3D mode.  Make sure you don’t get an eye poked out.  The environments are rich and interactive…you may be tossed off a balcony and sent crashing to the floor or be knocked into electrified posts.
 
DOA:D’s system of reversals and counter-attacks has been translated brilliantly to the small screen.  You have a three-button attack system of kicks, punches, and throws and stringing these together can result in some incredible combos.  If you’re not a button-masher, take heart…DOA:D is designed with you in mind.  While the top portion of the screen shows your fight, the bottom portion has your complete list of moves and combos.  A mere touch of the stylus on a move can produce a devastating combo.  There are also quick buttons for basic attacks, blocks, and throws.  If you get knocked to the ground the move set quickly changes to show you those attacks you can counter with when knocked down.  It also will change to show you available counters when grabbed or when your opponent begins a combo of his own.  If you’re quick enough you’ll be able to pull off a reversal that will have his head spinning.
 
Arcade mode lets you battle through several progressively difficult courses which can ear unlockables like trophies, new costumes, new courses, and new fighters.  With a 1000 trophies to unlock there’s a lot to keep the completist busy.  DOA:D lets you use the 3DS’ street-pass to receive challenges from other fighters that come in the form being sent another player’s favorite character to battle based on their play style.  Online is unfortunately the one disappointing aspect.  You can battle online against your friends, players in your region or from around the world.  I’ve yet though to find a local player.  The online matches can be best of 3 or 5 wins but once you’re done you’re kicked back to the lobby…you can’t rematch the guy who just beat you unless you’re lucky to be paired with him again.  There’s no challenges, no standings, no leagues so while online play is fun its shallow compared to the rest of the game.  Matches mostly went smooth although there was occasional lag but I never got booted or had a game freeze.
 
Dead or Alive: Dimensions is a gorgeous game that offers a ton of content and replay value.  But the lack of a robust online mode keeps this from the top of the class score.  Grade B+
 

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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VTGamehendge 6/23/2011 2:45:41 PM

Red Faction 2 on the PS2 is still one of my all-time favorites.

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