Rather light news week in the week following San Diego Comic Con. All in all I found it to be one of the most under whelming SDCC’s in recent years. It didn’t seem to have the pop that recent cons have had particularly in big film announcements and trailers. I think the big news this past week that crosses over into the realm of games is the smashing success of Captain America: The First Avenger. It capture the #1 spot at the box office this week which isn’t terribly surprising until you consider it beat out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which shattered opening weekend records the week prior. I think just goes to show how high the level of anticipation is for the Avengers film in 2012. And of course speaking of Captain America, be sure to check back with Level Up next week for my review of Sega’s hot new game Captain America: Super Soldier.
The game puts you into a World War II era adventure as you step into the boots of Captain America and face off against the forces of the Red Skull. Chris Evans provides the voice of Captain America and several other cast members from the film also reprise their roles in the game. If you can’t wait until next week, check out the trailer.
I’ve got reviews this week of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Dungeon Siege so don’t forget to check them out.
IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK
New trailer for Sega’s Binary Domain
Sega has revealed the Core Weapons MiniClip trailer for SEGA’s Binary Domain, the immersive and atmospheric squad-based shooter due for release February 2012. This mini trailer gives a first look at some of the core weapons at the heart of Binary Domain’s battle against the machines. Whilst there are many ways to down your foes, it’s these powerful munitions that will see you through multiple encounters. Bullets and bombs allow you the precision to blow the limbs and heads off your mechanical enemy, disabling them or even turning them against one another. Choose the right squad and the right tools for the job and bring them to bear to reveal the truth at the heart of the robot crisis.
New Spider-Man Edge of Time Trailer from Comic Con
A new trailer for Spider-Man Edge of Time debuted at Comic Con…here you go!
Double Dragon II getting 3D makeover for Xbox Live
Double Dragon II: The Revenge, the old beat-em-up from 1988, is being revived for a 3D remake on Xbox Live Arcade. Now known as Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons, the game is based on the arcade version, not the reworked NES one, and is being developed by Barunson Interactive for release this September. According to Co-Optimus, Wander of the Dragons will have entirely new art but still features the old brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, as well as many of the old enemies and weapons (those available include knives, grenades, and two-by-fours) fans will remember. A new combo system and diving knee kick move is joined by the return of the old cyclone kick, making it sound as if the game will offer a bit more nuance than a direct port would allow for. The game will have a 1,200 Microsoft Point ($15) price tag.
No Multiplayer capability for Darksiders II
Like its predecessor, the challenge of implementing multiplayer play in Darksiders II has proven to be too much thus far for developer Vigil Games. "When we put together the pitch for Darksiders 1, we wanted it to be multiplayer then," said Director Marvin Donald. "It's just too much work when you're starting a brand new studio with a new [intellectual property] and you're building your own technology. We're also evolving the series into more of [a role-playing game], which was something else we wanted to do from the beginning, but we just didn't have the resources or time or money to do it the first time around and do it justice."
Dead Island Home Invasions coming to Playstation Home!
Deep Silver announced that shortly before its release at the beginning of September, the zombie outbreak from the highly anticipated game Dead Island will also spread to PlayStation Home, offering players aged 17 and up an exclusive opportunity to further deepen their Dead Island experience through PlayStation Home’s Total Game Integration campaign. Terrifying zombies will lurk in the once peaceful Central Plaza and soon enough it will come to resemble the Royal Palms Resort on the tropical island of Banoi , with palm trees and beautiful tropical vegetation, a gorgeous beach and stunning view of the ocean, bringing the unique Banoi feeling to PlayStation Home visitors.
A Dead Island themed mini game will be available to PlayStation Home visitors in which players must prove their skills in crafting items and pit their abilities against attacks from a rampaging zombie horde. Just like the co-op mode in Dead Island this mini game can be played with up to 4 players in different play styles. In all, there are 10 mini-game challenges associated with the game users completing all 10 will be awarded with an exclusive in-game weapon “Exploding Meat”. For a bit of relief players can have their photo taken with a zombie or take a zombie survival survey where they can prove their knowledge of the undead and have the opportunity to earn 4 free PlayStation Home rewards. At the end participants will be rated with their estimated chance of survival in a real zombie apocalypse.
Certain items in the PlayStation 3 system version of the Dead Island will only be obtained through this PlayStation Home event. Each week will introduce more levels and unlockable content including a premium PlayStation Home reward “Exploding Zombie Outfit” for players that pre-order Dead Island directly from Home’s Central Plaza and the aforementioned “Exploding Meat”, a powerful weapon for use in Dead Island that can only be acquired by surviving the PlayStation Home onslaught.
No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise Demo Available on Playstation Network
Konami announced that the demo for No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise is now available to on the PlayStation Network. Scheduled for release in North America 3, fans of�'on August 16th for PlayStation the exciting hack and slash series will have the opportunity to see Travis Touchdown in rich high definition graphics as No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise makes its first appearance on a next generation console in North America
Atari’s Warlords is Back!
Atari announced that Warlords, a remake of the classic Atari 2600 title, will be making its debut on Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network in Summer 2011. Warlords is a one-to-four player, arcade action game in which players will defend their castles from mischievous minions and ferocious fireballs spun from the mouth of a maniacal dragon. In this whimsical reinvention of the beloved classic, players will face the ultimate battle of speed, strategy and survival.
In addition, the game will increasingly challenge players to multitask as they strive to shield the castle walls and simultaneously rally troops to capture control points, collect power-ups and destroy the other warring factions.
“Warlords infuses the arcade action genre with a bold and vibrant visual style coupled with robust strategy gameplay,” says Jim Wilson, President and CEO of Atari, Inc. “It exemplifies our design goals and company strategy as we reintroduce these classic brands to a new generation of gamers.”
·Protect the stronghold! Defend your castle walls from the destruction of fast-flying fireballs with your mighty shield. Move the shield around the perimeter of your castle with precision and speed to deflect the fireballs or grab onto and charge fireballs to release even more devastating attacks back at your opponents.
·Multiple local/online game modes sweeten the quest for power and allow for cooperative and competitive battles with up to 4 players. Select the faction of your choice and engage in a number of competitive variations, including co-op siege mode, 2v2 or classic free-for-all battles.
·Rally your Troops and pit them against your foes. Your loyal posse brings a layer of depth and replayability to every battle, and can be sent off to capture control points, gather power-ups to immobilize your enemies or bolster your defenses. Manage your troops wisely to gain the battlefield advantage!
DUE OUT NEXT WEEK
Bleach: Soul Resurreccion (NIS America) PS3
At last the popular manga/anime series makes its way to the PlayStation®3 platform! There are numerous anime-based video games, but many fall short in gameplay. Bleach: Soul Resurrección; however, faithfully represents the anime series with its beautiful cel-shaded graphics and combines it with amazing gameplay. The game style is simple enough for action game beginners, yet has enough features to satisfy hardcore players. The game follows the battle against the evil Arrancars, but there are times when you will be able to play as the enemy. This is especially exciting if you follow the manga closely, since you can be characters in the manga that are normally forgotten after being defeated.
Bleach: Soul Resurrección gives players the sensation of single-handedly destroying an army of monsters and evil spirits with lightning-fast swordfighting action. Gamers can re-live the experiences of various characters from the anime by closely following the original story. The environments are faithfully reproduced with beautiful cel-shaded 3D models that will satisfy even the most devoted fans. Bleach: Soul Resurrección will give gamers an unparalleled anime action game experience.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (Disney) PS3, Wii, DS
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Activision) Rated T PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS
Transformers: Dark of the Moon was my favorite of the three Transformers films…the videogame? Meh…not so much. The game acts as a prequel of sorts, setting up the events in the film. So OK, that’s a nice concept than merely mimicking the film’s action. But much of what made Transformers: War for Cybertron so good are lost in this game.
The game is played over seven chapter, four of which you play as Autobots including the final chapter and three of which are played as Decepticons. But the entire campaign is ridiculously short and can be finished off in 4 – 6 hours. Gameplay is so straight-line linear that there’s little way of extending the play by exploring areas of the levels. There are only 8 playable characters in the game, and one of them is NOT Shockwave, which is a huge disappointment although he is playable in multi-player. You start out as Bumblebee…and boy, am I sick of Bumblebee! I love Transformers but hate seeing Bumblebee being so prominent in the films, toys, and games. Anyhow, commentary aside, Bumblebee is down in South America where he has to upload a virus into Soundwave’s network so the Autobots can track all of the Decepticons on Earth. He also has to destroy several communications towers before the level ends with a huge battle as Optimus Prime joins the fray in a battle against waves of non-descript Decepticon enemies. This pretty much tells the tale of the rest of the game as you venture through uninspired levels battling uninspired enemies.
Your usual vehicle and robot modes get an addition this time in the form of the Stealth Force mode. This is a vehicle mode alternative with a bit more maneuverability and more powerful weapons and armor. Now having more weapons and being able to take more damage would seem to be contrary to something called “Stealth Force” but what do I know…I’m just the player. The three modes highlight one of the biggest problems of Dark of the Moon. Different buttons do different things in different modes. In stealth mode, L1 locks on your target while in robot mode, L2 is used to aim and L1 is uses your special ability. As a result you end up with a lot of mis-pressing of buttons. About the only reason to ever switch to true vehicle mode is when you need to move fast. Whether in vehicle or stealth force mode the gameplay physics are just weird.
You don’t get the feeling like you are driving on a road as much as you feel like you are gliding on air. Your vehicle sort of slides more than it actually turns making it feel like ancient videogame control. The controls of flying transformers are little better. Controlling Starscream feels more like piloting a glider than it does a jet. Developer High Moon Studios does do a good job of making each of your playable characters different in terms of their attacks, abilities, and personalities. Iron Hide is just a fun-loving brute who has to be chastised by Optimus when he does too much collateral damage. Prime and Megatron have overwhelming firepower and its cool to play them all. But the game has the feel of one that was rushed to market to coincide with the films. When you are shooting enemies from a distance there’s little in the way of effects. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re hitting them until they fade away in a cloud of ash. On top of that the environments are only sparsely interactive. You can destroy a wall that you’re supposed to destroy to progress in a level or shoot a fuel tank for a nice explosion, but most of the other scenery will show no effects from your weapons.
Multi-player online play doesn’t offer much more in terms of replay value. There are three games: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Conquest, in which teams earn points for controlling nodes. You play as one of four different classes: Scout, Commander, Hunter and Warrior, each with their own unique weapons and abilities. Players can level up their character by earning experience points in every match and unlock new character skills and abilities. Multi-player is fun but like the campaign it lacks depth and won’t hold your interest for long. If additional transformers and modes are made available down the line through DLC it might breathe a little more life into this game. Grade C+.
Dungeon Siege III (Square Enix) Rated T Playstation 3
Dungeon Siege III is the first in the fantasy RPG series to be published by Square Enix. In the third-person action RPG you take on the role of one of four pre-defined characters who are trying to revive the force of Legionnaires and defeat the forces of Jeyne Kassynder for control of the world of Ehb. Whichever character you choose to start with, you’ll eventually meet the other three characters who will join and you and are controlled by the AI. The bummer is that you can only choose one of these to accompany you although that one can be exchanged at the menu. Still, would be cool to be able to have a full part of four at your disposal.
Your four characters are Lucas Montbarron, a warrior; Anjali a member of an elemental race called an archon, who can fight in an elemental fire form. Reinhart, the mage; and Katarina and a Lescanzi witch who utilizes a long-range rifle or a pair of shotguns at close range. Each of the four characters has several offensive and defensive abilities that can be enhanced as you gain experience and spend points to improve them. Each player has two different fighting stances giving them access to different weapons/abilities. For example, Lucas will fight with a single-handed weapon and shield in one stance, and a two-handed weapon in the other stance. These also come with their unique combos which are achieved by simple mashing of the attack button.
Dungeon Siege III reminds me of Diablo a bit in that there hundreds if not thousands of items you can find throughout to equip your characters with…from weapons and armor to their boots, gauntlets, rings, amulets, etc…These have ratings of how they will effect your attacks, armor, will, agility, etc…so you’ll be constantly exchanging out the items as you acquire more powerful versions. The story falls into the trench of being overly simplistic but then most RPG games tend to have the same issue. DS III does use a Mass Effect style conversation interface that has you choose different answers and lines of conversation which can have an effect on how the game plays out.
The game is rather slow to build as you traverse the lands of Ehb. There tends to be a lot of backtracking involved but on the other hand it’s not entirely a linear gaming experience. The main quests lead you through the major plot elements and into meeting the other characters, but there are also a wide range of side quests that you can do in any order or not at all. These include things like tracking down the mercenary who killed a town’s constable, retrieving important items for NPCs, or clearing the local fishing pond of dangerous monsters. I wandered about a bit aimlessly until I figured out how to use the quest guide to figure out where to go. Unfortunately you only get a mini-map to show the nearby area which changes as you move instead of a full map you can access.
Inventory management is a genuine pain in the ass. You can carry any item you want but you can only equip those items that are usable by your class. Problem is when you’re at a shop buying something you don’t know initially what you can or can’t use. Now thankfully once you’ve met up with other members of the main characters, any item that is not equipped can be used by another character. But the game does a poor job of explaining this inventory-sharing system. I bought and sold (at far less than I paid!) several items I could not use until I figured this little tidbit out. The combat system is much better than the inventory system. Combat is fluid and precise and the AI does a great job of controlling the other players. My Lucas waded into battle but was the benefit of healing spells when my health got low without my having to do anything at all. Nice to have an AI that is actually intelligent.
The camera is probably my biggest complaint in the game. You can only move it to look upwards so far so your view is constantly looking at a downward angle. This results in hordes of enemies charging you that you hear before you can actually see them. But from a visual standpoint the game does excel with some gorgeous character models that accurately reflect the new weapons, armor, and clothing that you equip them with along the way. Dungeon Siege III can be played in a two-player co-op mode or with a full party of four in multi-player mode.
Dungeon Siege III has a rather uninspired plot and definitely has some annoyances with controls but overall presents a worthwhile RPG experience. Grade B-
COMMENTS AND RESPONSES
Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
ADD A COMMENT
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.
Mania is the premiere online destination for fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and anime entertainment. It is the largest community offering profiles, video, science fiction movies, sci fi TV, art, sci fi comics, photos, cheats, blogs, science fiction books, forums and feedback. Mania offers insider entertainment industry info and original content for science fiction, fantasy, and horror entertainment genres including: video games, comics, gadgets, movies, television, toys, music, books, DVDs and more.