Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Preview

Last PAX - PAX Prime if you will - I posted about the imminent release of Duke Nukem Forever. You may not have believed then but surely you must believe it now - it comes out May 3rd... OF THIS YEAR! At PAX Prime everyone there had the opportunity to play the demo of Duke Nukem Forever and all attendees of PAX East 2011 had that same opportunity. At some point I made a joke to myself that my next post on this blog was going to be a post about playing Duke Nukem (because I obviously have not been concentrated on this blog at all) so here it is.

After waiting on line for almost two hours I finally wrapped my hand around the controller.

I selected the medium difficulty because I didn't want to appear to be a chicken to all of those watching me play. I inverted the Y-axis and began to play.

The demo starts where I imagine the beginning of the game is: with rock music and no explanation of what's going on. You run around a football stadium trying to kill a giant alien. The gun you pick up is a missile launcher of sorts (I don't remember the name) and you are given 69 rounds (giggle). It takes little effort to take down this big sonofabitch, ammo being dropped as needed, and eventually you kick a field goal with what looks like the aliens giant tonsil. The screen pulls back and you are Duke playing Duke. How meta.

If you do not already know the dialogue I'm not going to spoil it for you here but let's just say it is very... Duke.

The next part of the demo seems to fast forward in the game a little bit as you are now driving Duke's truck. The controls of that, to me, felt a little wonky but eventually (after two deaths by giant rock) I persevered. The truck runs out of gas you shoot a few pig cops and then are assaulted by a spaceship. Conveniently there is an RPG under the shelter that you take and after a few salvos of missiles the ship disintegrates. Not going to lie, it would have been cooler had it crashed into the ground.

I then took a trip into a cave that I didn't have time to figure out how to get out of. My demo time was up.

The demo seemed like an old build and was a tad bit laggy at times but I'll wait until the final product to reserve judgement.

It may sound like I didn't totally love it but I assure you I did. It was Duke Nukem - prettified. I think it will be worth the wait but I also think that I won't do anything new for shooters.

I also neglected to mention that my wife was standing next to me as I played and grimaced when I shrunk a pig cop and stepped on it. That made my day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Duke Nukem Forever

If you are like me you could not count yourself lucky enough to attend PAX Prime this year. While PAX is not ordinarily known for its megaton news announcements, PAX attendees this year got one of the biggest megatons out there - Duke Nukem Forever still exists.

... and it was playable.

Feel like kickin' ass and chewin' gum? The fine folks at Gearbox are going to make that a possibility They've purchased the IP and it is coming in 2011. Who knows, we might even see a demo.

I grew up on Duke Nukem 3D but I never was that excited about the prospect of a new Duke game. Perhaps it was because in my gut I knew that it might never come out or perhaps it was because I had already seen what happens to sequels of games that I played when I was younger (Quake, Wolfenstein, DOOM). Return to Castle Wolfenstein may have been the exception but nothing from these series was ever stellar after their original incarnations.

Maybe even Duke Nukem Forever won't be that great but at the very least I know it will be great for some mindless fun. I am excited to play with the shrink gun again and put some remote laser mines all over the wall.

Come here piggy, I have the bottom of a boot I would like to show you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Trailer (Yes, A Sequel Already)

We can be excited for more DeathSpank or we can hang our heads because it looks like more of the same. I do not even believe that you can transfer over your character stats from the first game.

I'll play the demo... but that might be the only thing I do.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Best of Gamescom 2010... thus far (Mass Effect 2, Ratchet and Clank, Disney Epic Mickey)

I'll start out with my favorite thing to come out of Gamescom so far, the Epic Mickey opening cinematic:

Amazing no? I feel like though I am eagerly anticipating this game it will still surprise me.

Alan Wake also had something to say at Gamescom or rather, Remedy had something to say about his episodic adventures. They said that releasing the game on Xbox Live episodically would be an 'interesting experiment' and that there technically was nothing preventing that from happening. We saw this with Fable II, a game not very episodic in nature; it would only make sense to see something like this down the road. The Writer - the second downloadable episode - was also said to have been close down the road. Hopefully it does not overlap with the release of Halo: Reach, or something silly like that.

The rest of the interesting news comes from the PS3 side of the tracks and the most interesting piece is that Mass Effect 2 is coming to the PS3. I am all for this announcement but I wonder, how many people will pick this game up a year after it was released on the Xbox? Will it have exclusive content? I'd pick it up again if that was the case.

There are also two new games coming from Insomniac - Ratchet and Clank, this time with 4-player coop and Resistance 3. Having not spent a lot of time with these franchises this news doesn't excite me like it does for some but I am still looking forward to both.

Then again we might be able to put a lot of stock into these NEW PSP Phone rumors and get excited about something else altogether.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Review

In a world faced with realistic graphics and story-laden plots perhaps it is a bit refreshing to play something like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (whew), a game that debunks the idea that all movie games must suck - or does it - yes it does. Scott Pilgrim KO's the conception that licensed games must be lackluster; perhaps the downloadable route is something more developers should do.

The game keeps the story to the basic framework that the graphic novels set forth but provided that you have read the books you will be surprised what the developers at Ubisoft got right - and how much they managed to stuff in.

The Overworld
The gameplay is a old-school (punishingly so, at times) Streets of Rage, Double Dragon style game and you would be remiss to not feel some sense of nostalgia pulling at your heartstrings on your journey through the Toronto-styled overworld.

The sprites are wonderfully animated and I often found myself wondering if I would have really been about to see a game that looked this good in the early nineties (the style that they were going for). The "cutscenes" are cutesy pictures of the outcomes of each level and every time I watched one I could not help but smile or laugh depending on what I was looking at.

The soundtrack is perhaps the best part of the game - you know, other than having a game to play it to - provided by Anamanaguchi. Particular favorites were world 1's song and world 3's.

The game has 4-player couch co-op where you can play as a part of Sex Bob-Omb (as a taunt). You get a rating, comparatively to the people that you were playing with, at the end of each level. There is no online co-op and though I am sure that it was an issue of time, I see this game as more fun played on the couch with 3 other friends.

The only other qualm I had with the game is when the enemies get stuck on the sides of the screen - you can not see them and you can not progress - and you have to either restart the level or systematically punch and kick at the sides of the screen until you kill the seemingly invisible guy.

Scott Pilgrim: The Game had a lot to offer: two secret characters to unlock, paths on the overworld that do not unlock during the natural progression through the game, and easter eggs galore (personal favorite was the goku sprite).

If you are a fan of Scott Pilgrim you are a fan of this game. If you are a fan of old-school beat-em-ups you are a fan of this game. Get out there on the streets of Toronto and beat up some evil exes - or something.

4.5 out of 5
Review based on retail Playstation Network version provided by Ubisoft.