Like blood? No… I mean, do you REALLY like blood?
If you answered yes, and also have a fancy for dragons, fantasy, compelling story, in depth character evolution, complete voice acting, and a really really long story that I believe Bioware’s Edmonton office has created the perfect game for you. Read more…
Activision has announced the November 3rd release of Bizarre Creations’ new racing extravaganza game – and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Players will race up to 50 licensed cars, over courses featuring jumps, alternate routes and hairpin turns – business as usual. What’s unusual is that while this is going on, players will be picking up power-ups – nitro, shields, and offensive weapons to knock the other players into last place – or out of the race completely.
Blur looks upon first glance to be no more than a Burnout clone, but without going into too many details, it’s a project all it’s own. Placing an emphasis on the multiplayer experience through a community-based interface, a “unique story-driven social network”, this game promises to deliver better, more personable online play.
So look for this title on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in November – if you’re not paying attention, it might just blow right past you.
Looks like CAPTAIN Shepard is searching for new recruits, and if this video is any indication, he’s going to have quite the gang of space ass-kickers!
It seems from the video below that Mass Effect 2 brings into effect personalities of those involved in the battle beyond just the skills and techniques of those in Mass Effect 1. Case in point is the introduction of Grunt, a blood-hungry Krogan. He is violent, he is unpredictable and he has never been truely defeated in battle. He’s dangerous, and he’s on your side.
Enjoy the video after the break as more are expected in the future before Mass Effect 2‘s release. Read more…
SPORE: Galactic Adventures is an expansion that will kill a few hours at a time, whenever you feel like it. I think that’s an important distinction to make – the difference between your immersion in a truly epic game that you have to really pull yourself away from, and a game that is easy to break away from, but is still fun to play for hours at a time. Through it’s simple interface for play and very in-depth character(creature) creation process, it can be a pleasant diversion whether you’re more into the gaming itself, or (like me) you enjoy playing around with how bizarre a creature you can make, or how human you can evolve it. Read more…
Newegg.ca announced last week that LanFest 08 will be available to online gamers, where they will have a chance to compete for over $15,000 CAD in prizes. The online tournament is currently underway, and features numerous PC and Xbox 360 titles, such as Call of Duty: World at War, NHL 09 from EA Sports, and Guitar Hero. There are a variety of tournaments and ladder competitions available, from one-on-one to five-on-five formats.
Registration for LanFest 08 is open at www.newegg.ca to all Canadians 13 years and older.
On Friday, City Interactive, a North American publisher of PC and console video games, announced the release of SAS: Secure Tomorrow to North American retail. SAS: Secure Tomorrow is a PC-supported tactical shooter game where players become the leader of a superior SAS commando team to thwart a deadly terrorist organization, according to a press release from City Interactive.
The game will allow players access to authentic SAS gears, weapons and tactics, according to the press release.
Paradox Interactive yesterday announced that the development of Dark Horizon, the upcoming space combat game for the PC, has been completed.
Dark Horizon is a space combat adventure game that takes space in an atmospheric universe where the player fights through 22 missions of space combat. The game also features RPG elements, such as original weapon and equipment creation, several modes of combat and advanced ship customization.
Dark Horizon is set for a North American release on September 23, and a European release for September 26.
LaCie announced earlier this week the addition of USB Speakers by Neil Poulton to their product line. The speakers provide universal usability in both PC and Mac environments through bus-powered connectivity, and feature internal cable storage.
The LaCie USB speakers can plug into a PC or Mac without installing any additional drivers. The speakers can also be connected directly to a MP3 player with the purchase of an extra power adapter.
The speakers were also awarded the Janus 2007 Seal of Quality by the French Institute of Design, and were listed in Time Magazine’s Design 100 issue. LaCie was also awarded a 2008 Design Observer Star from the French Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Creation.
The LaCie USB Speakers are available worldwide for the suggested retail price of $59.99. For more information on this product, visit www.lacie.com.
KOEI, a developer and distributer of strategy and action games, announced today that the company will be bringing its successful tactical action game, Dynasty Warriors 6, to the PlayStation 2 and to Windows-based PC.
Dynasty Warriors 6 will debut on PlayStation 2 as a two-disc collection featuring the full cast of characters and scenarios of the original release, as well as platform-exclusive content including the ‘Musou’ mode stories, new weapons, five additional stages and 10 new scenarios.
Dynasty Warriors 6 for PlayStation 2 will ship to retailers starting November 18, while the version for Windows-based PCs will be available exclusively through digital download. The game is already in stories for the PlayStation 3 entertainment system and for the Xbox 360.
NZXT, a company specializing in PC gaming accessories, recently announced the release of the Avatar high performance gaming mouse. The Avatar is designed to provide gamers with enhanced game play through the introduction of various features exclusive to the device.
The Avatar features a 2600 DPI Optical Sensor, which gives the mouse maximum sensitivity and responsiveness to yield greater gaming accuracy. The Avatar also features 7 programmable keys that allow gamers to customize their configuration specifically for First-Person Shooters, Real-Time Strategy, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Player games all within the macro and profile settings.
Finally, the Avatar has an ergonomic, ambidextrous design that gives full use to both right and left handed gamers. The Avatar can be easily installed into PCs through any available USB port.
The Avatar is retailing for $59.99, and more information can be found at www.nzxt.com/products/avatar.
It’s official: loving technology is cool. The image of the nerd in mama’s basement has been banished and replaced by the multitude of gadget lovers that roam the streets brandishing iPhones and Blackberrys. Companies are realizing the sales potential of cool looking devices in a world where image is everything.
Planon, a small Canadian company, employs a similar logic in their unique product line of portable scanners. It seems improbable that the words “portable” and “scanner” belong in the same sentence, but Planon pulls it off with the DocuPen RC800. The diminutive scanner makes quite an initial first impression. It’s a device that would feel right at home in 007’s back-pocket.
On paper, the DocuPen’s specifications sound pretty good. Roughly the size of a pen, the device is capable of full 24bit scanning in a matter of seconds. It’s activated through a rolling motion as you slide it over a document or image, and produces scans of up to 400 dpi. It can store about 100 scans on its 8mb internal memory, but can be upgraded with a microSD card.
In practice, it’s a slightly different story. While the pen is visually impressive, the build quality is very poor. I’ve used sturdier electric toothbrushes. It really is a shame that Planon chose to use cheap materials on what really is a cool looking and ridiculously overpriced product.
The pen operates through two side-by-side buttons: one to turn the unit on, the other to toggle between scan modes. It includes scanning modes for black and white documents, colour documents, and a dedicated photo setting. All of my test scans were done in the pen’s highest-resolution setting. I scanned a simple 8.5×11 text document and found the resultant images surprisingly legible. There were some harsh edges and blurred characters, but document scanning was impressive overall.
After switching to the photo mode, I ran the pen over a 4×6 print. Because the pen’s default size is 8.5×11, the resultant images included the surrounding scan area and needed cropping. Planon’s built in software should have included a function to do this automatically, but I was forced to do it myself in Photoshop. The quality of the photo scan was satisfactory, but mediocre when compared to a scan from a full-sized flatbed scanner.
The included software is extremely barebones, with nothing more than a thumbnail preview and download button. As simple as this sounds, Planon still managed to get this wrong. In order to transfer and save my scans, I was forced to use the save option in Mac OS X’s Preview application. As fast as the unit may be at scanning documents, the time it take transfer the files is painfully slow. The DocuPen is badly crippled by poor software implementation.
Charging the DocuPen’s built in li-ion battery requires a USB connection via Planon’s proprietary USB cable. Unfortunately, the unit features no battery status meter. I couldn’t tell whether I had a full battery charge or whether the pen was on its last leg.
As cool as this thing is, I’m struggling to see its day-to-day application. Those who frequently scan documents would appreciate the convenience of a portable scanner, but the clunkiness of the unit would certainly prove infuriating in everyday use. The MSRP of $299 USD is simply unreasonable, a ludicrous amount for a device worth half that amount.
The DocuPen is then a classic example of form over function, a cool-looking one trick pony meant to impress the guys at the office rather than become a permanent fixture in one’s technological arsenal.
- Scans documents and photos effectively on the go
- Awesome design and diminutive design
- Mac and PC Compatible
- Ridiculously overpriced at $299 USD
- Scan quality is mediocre at best
- Build quality and materials are sub par
- Terrible software
- Proprietary USB connection
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a 10-year-old girl and an amateur figure skater? To do single or even double axels in front of a crowd of dozens of people at your local arena? How great it would be to compete at the regional level. Well wonder no more thanks to THQ’s newest addition to the American Girl series, American Girl: Mia Goes for Great, which lets you fulfil all of your craziest 10-year-old-girl-figure-skating inspired fantasies.
Before I continue, I ask that anyone reading this that actually has 10-year-old-girl-figure-skating inspired fantasies stop immediately and seek professional help. It’s weird and not socially acceptable. That having been said, my introduction was clearly sarcasm and an attempt to point out the fact that it is a poor concept for a video game that no one in their right mind would want to play.
And I know what you’re thinking, I get it all the time, the game is not targeted towards me and hence my opinion is biased and as a result I fail to grasp all the subtle genius which this game provides. You couldn’t be more wrong.
While it’s true that I am not the game’s target demographic, that I probably double if not triple the game’s intended audience, such children’s games aren’t really marketed at children at all. Ultimately, these video games are targeted towards the parents whose final stamp of approval is on every single piece of detritus that makes it into a child’s hand. And I would not want this game in the hands of my child. Maybe not the best argument considering I don’t have children, but hear me out anyways.
Mia St. Clair is a 10-year-old girl from a lower-middle class family growing up in up-state New York and aspires to be a figure skater. Mia has three brothers, Perry, Rick and Skip (generic enough?), all of which play hockey. Mia overcomes all the obstacles she encounters with cunning and wit and manages to turn an enemy into a friend in the process. She makes it all the way to regionals (along with everyone else she originally competes against) and wins the competition, at which point the game ends and tries to entice you into playing again. Total play time, two and a half hours.
The worst part about the story is that the player is constantly reminded of how little money this family has and structures the entire game around this fact (which is ironic considering that American Girl dolls retail for around $90 USD each. Maybe rich kids want to know what it’s like to not have a lot of money?).
Every major obstacle that Mia encounters is money related and is resolved by people giving her free stuff in exchange for the completion of some meaningless task or answering some trivia question.
All Mia wants to do is figure skate, but in order to do so she has do what feels like dozens of fetch quests just to get on the ice to practice.
My least favourite time spent with Mia was her gig working as a sewing store mascot in order to get material for her costume. I was required to tell at least 10 people of a holiday special and sing a tune which is not very pleasant.
Once you’ve done all the require tasks which include picking your costume (which you don’t actually get to do), pick your music (again, not up to you), and fix your skates (answer some figure skating trivia), you’re finally ready to design your routine. This is where the fun begins… kidding, there is no fun to be found in this game.
Designing your routine consists of dragging possible manoeuvres into numbered slots indicating the order of your tricks. The only freedom you have is choosing the order in which your tricks will appear in your routine, as there are rules that dictate what has to be included. Once all the required tricks have been added you’re ready to begin practice, which brings us to the next big problem with the game. The figure skating.
In order to perform the tricks which you have chosen for your routine, you simply hit one of the directional buttons within the time limit and the trick is performed right in front of your eyes… Are you serious? I am supposed to feel like a figure skater by pressing a key within an allotted amount of time? The challenge level is zero. The most difficult trick requires the player to press the direction key twice in the same direction or once in opposite directions. That’s really all there is to say about that. That is the closest the game gets to any form of action. What’s worse is that when you win the first competition, you get to do the exact same tasks that you had to do before, with a few boring additions.
Mia uses Blizzard’s Diablo style of movement and really doesn’t add anything to the mix. Players simply point and click on the screen or use directional buttons to navigate the quietest, most desolate town ever depicted in a video game. The single map includes a library, garage, pizza place, your house, an arena, and sewing store. The town has a population of 12 characters who you can only interact with by talking if you have something to say to them or need. No shooting the shit with these characters.
As for graphics, there’s really not much to say. Nothing in the town moves, come to think of it, nothing in the entire game moves other than yourself and maybe the occasional blinking of an eye or moving of the head by one of the NPC’s. The game uses a mix of animated and real life graphics which fails to captivate the details of a real person and the exaggerated features of an animated character and the result is the most vanilla looking character models I have ever seen.
Dialogue trees are bland and really cheesy. A snooze fest all around. I do however appreciate that the writers didn’t subject me too many bad puns or jokes.
With that as evidence, I rest my case your honour. American Girl: Mia Goes for Great is another attempt by publishers to cash in on a popular franchise without delivering a quality product. A game this linear, where players are given absolutely no freedom other than that of choosing which order tasks are completed, is a waste of time and money. Even the low price point seems too steep to purchase this game which is good for nothing more than to serve as a coaster. Buy them some candy, or put the money in their education fund, but don’t waste it on this game. If your children are really interested in learning about figure skating, read them a book, or sit them in front of a Wikipedia entry, they will have more fun, I promise.
Graphics: 0.5 / 5.0
Gameplay 0 / 5.0
Sound 1 / 5.0
Replay value 0 / 5.0
Crysis is a game based on an alien invasion and conflict with an advanced North Korean military in the year 2020. You are sent to an exotic island with a Delta Force squad to find a missing science team involved in a mysterious archeological dig. The island is over-run with North Korean forces but don’t worry, you aren?t going in alone or ill equipped. You are armed with the latest weaponry and a super hi-tech nano-suit which gives you added powers.
Crysis immerses you in huge environments indoor and outdoor where you can see for miles and miles. You have almost unlimited freedom to go anywhere you wish.
You may go into the levels and tackle your challenges all guns blazing or choose to sneak around stealthily or perhaps you wish to create a diversion to temporarily get the enemies attention.
The game-play is amazing, you can take different paths to accomplish your mission and go exploring for different weapons and ammo along the way. Everything is interactive in Crysis, you can pick up and throw any object from crabs and sea turtles to all sorts of weapons. You may even shoot down the trees with your bullets and watch them fall and roll. The physics are incredible and extremely realistic.
There are many ways to travel in Crysis. Try hiding in the ocean and literally swimming around enemy forces or better yet, why not take one of their fancy boats? It has a nice machine gun. If you find a truck in the area, try taking it for a spin. The Hummer with the mounted machine gun is also available. Try a free test drive and take it near an area of enemies then switch to the turret position and start blasting away.
There are a good variety of weapons which are customizable. Try and mount different attachments and tactical enhancements to your weapons such as laser pointers, scopes and reflex sights. As you progress you find some other nice treats like a laser guided rocket launcher and alien energy weaponry.
Your advanced nano-suit will aid you in you traveling. Turn on speed mode to walk and run real fast and dodge enemy fire. Strength mode allows you to pick up very large objects and throw them and will give you a super jump to make those hard to reach places a piece of cake. Armor mode will help you take some serious damage from enemy fire by absorbing the impact. Cloak mode is the most fun. You can sneak around enemies and take them out one by one using your silencer attachment. Watch them scramble all confused as they attempt to locate you. You can perform other tactics in cloak mode such sneaking up and igniting gasoline drums or gas tanks which create some very awesome explosions to divert the enemy?s attention.
Artificial intelligence is really well done. Controlling enemies and squads as they attempt to surround and flank you making an interesting survival experience. I personally recommend playing the game on a hard difficulty setting to intensify the realism. It makes the experience more enjoyable and the single player story last much longer.
Later levels get more intense throughout the game. As you roar through a raging tank battle you see an alien structure emerging high up in a mountain as boulders and debris tumble down to the landscape.
Eventually you find yourself going through the alien structure in zero G’s navigating and fighting alien species, which really twists the game play around.
The graphics will not disappoint you as everything in the world is detailed to the extreme. You can see leafs on the trees to each individual blade of grass. Shadows are also produced very well from plants and vegetation. All the textures are detailed and you can see nicks and cracks in almost every object of the game. Walking right up to most objects at close range shows no distortion of texture quality.
Some surreal environments like the alien space craft look like something straight out of the movie Aliens or some kind of high budget hollywood movie. At times you really wonder if this is a movie or a video game. This game is an absolute technical masterpiece which can only be experienced on a high-end PC.
Multi player mode is one of the more unique experiences in Crysis especially with a mode called power struggle. Here you will play on a team of 16 players against another group of16. In order to destroy the enemy’s base, you must construct exotic weaponry, which requires you to hold specific key power plants on the map. You can also capture other buildings such as factories to manufacture vehicles. Capture a bunker and you can spawn in different positions throughout the map. Take counter strike and a bit of battlefield then factor in the nano-suit and you have Crysis multiplayer.
If you want to run the game at full blast, forget it! Running this game with a GeForce 8800 Ultra on a Core 2 Duo E6700 with 4Gigs of good OCZ memory will not run the game smoothly at extreme resolutions with Anti-Aliasing. Turn down the settings and the game will play fine and besides, it still looks much better then any other game out there.
This game is a truly a next generation game almost ahead of its time. Crytek claims that you will be able to unlock more graphical features for the next generation of video cards to follow. Hopefully there will be some moderate improvements with the current generation of video cards through game patches and driver updates.
This is simply the best first person shooter made to date. If you can afford the recommend hardware and want to push its capabilities to the max, Crysis is your game. Crysis has raised the bar for all new FPS games to follow.
Graphics: 5.0 / 5.0
Gameplay 5.0 / 5.0
Sound 5.0 / 5.0
Replay value 4.5 / 5.0
Army Of Two
It’s time to work together to survive this winter! Army of Two can be played co-op over Xbox Live or with an AI partner to form the finest force against the enemy the government can afford. Plus if you pre-order Army of Two this holiday on the 360 you’ll receive exclusive community created weapons. If you’re a PS3 owner you receive an exclusive dossier including hints and content from the graphic novel.
Army of Two comes out on November 13th, 2007 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It’s a violent game so it’s rated M for mature and will retail at $59.99.
See you in the war!
Do you have a beast of a PC? Does your graphics card far exceed any benchmark out there? Great! You might be able to play Crysis! Powered by Crytek’s CryENGINE2, Crysis is an amazing achievement on all fronts; gameplay, visuals, and an amazing storyline make this game a possible “Halo killer” for the holiday season. Pre-order now and get a 16 page book full of concept art, an exclusive in-game vehicle and a bonus disc with behind the scenes footage from Crytek.
Crysis is out November 16th for PC and retails at $49.99/$59.99 for the Special Edition.