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Jim Plachy's Blog
|Video Game Roundup 8/28/2010
|Hello, it's Jim from Four Player Co-Op back again to fill you in on what's been going on in the video game industry. |
First the Internet asploded on Tuesday when THQ Creative Director Cory Ledesma told CVG that fans who buy used video games are cheaters. Many publishers have begun to pack in extras with new copies of games, including access to online multiplayer leaving used games buyers with an incomplete feature set.
Whatever side of this debate you fall on, I guarantee you there is a place on the Internet for you to argue your point.
Originally Posted by Cory Ledesma
"I don't think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don't get the online feature set I don't really have much sympathy for them."
"That's a little blunt but we hope it doesn't disappoint people. We hope people understand that when the game's bought used we get cheated,"
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will feature an interesting alternative to disc swapping on the Xbox 360. Players will be able to install disc 1 to their Hard Drive, then insert disc 2 and play seamlessly. This solution isn't perfect though, what about Xbox 360 owners who don't have enough disc space, or old Xbox 360 Arcade owners who don't have a HDD at all? We'll find out how many upset Castlevania fans there are when the game releases in North America on October 5th.
Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 are getting more DLC, this time in the form of The Sacrifice, which is a prequel to Left 4 Dead 2's The Passing DLC. For those unaware a member of the Left 4 Dead 1 cast is killed in The Passing DLC, but in The Sacrifice players will get to choose which of the foursome meet their gruesome end. For those who like their stories to remain canonical, comic book artist Michael Avon Oeming of Powers fame will draw a 150 page digital graphic novel that will tell the story of The Sacrifice and The Passing and set up future DLC for the series. The Sacrifice will release on October 5th the same day Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 make their way to the Mac, it will of course be included for free on Steam. Xbox 360 owners will have to pony up 560 Microsoft Points.
Uber-Popular tower defense game Plants Vs Zombies will shamble it's way onto the Nintendo DS this January. It will cost $19.99 and include some so far unannounced special features.
Uber-Popular bird chucking game Angry Birds will arrive on the Playstation 3 and PSP as a Playstation Mini and feature some exclusive levels and a new bird. The PS Mini version will cost $9.99 and be available sometime in the Fall.
SURPRISE! A sequel to the very recently released Deathspank is hitting Playstation Network/Xbox Live Arcade on 9/21 and 22 respectively. It's subtitled Thongs of Virtue and features 50% more gameplay and a more modern setting. Deathspank 2 will cost you $14.99 or 1200 spacebucks.
Crackdown 2 is getting it's first round of DLC one free and one premium. The free DLC is Keys to the City, which just like Crackdown 1's free Keys to the City update will allow you to toggle things on and off in Pacific City such as infinite ammo and turning on and off the day/night cycle. Those willing to shell out 560MS Points will get 2 new vehicles, 5 new weapons, 2 avatar rewards, 8 new suit colors, and 250 points worth of achievements to unlock. No release date has been announced yet.
Halo: Reach is getting campaign matchmaking. So while your friends are off doing less important things like working, dating, or eating you can find 3 people to go fight with. If that wasn't enough for you gamertag nameplates are getting an upgrade with the addition of symbols that go next to your gamertag. The symbols are awarded to players who have played Bungie's previous games or for earning specific achievements.
Rockstar Games laid out some details for the next three rounds of downloadable content for Red Dead Redemption. On September 21st the 10 dollar Liars and Cheats pack will add multiplayer to the game's table games like poker and liar's dice. The pack will also add 7 new gang hideouts, 4 new hunting grounds, and a new weapon. 15 new skins will be available in multiplayer and achievement/trophy hunters can find new ones to unlock. A free DLC pack entitled The Hunting and Trading Outfits pack will be available in the Fall and will add, get this, hunting and trading outfits. I know. Finally the one you've all be waiting for the Zombie pack will cost you 10 bucks as well and feature a "lengthy" single player campaign. I'm sure there will also be some multiplayer zombie hunting.
Finally, Capcom announced a High Stakes Edition for Dead Rising 2 which is available exclusively through their online store. It includes the game, a set of bloody poker chips and poker cards, 5 green dice, a map of Fortune City, as well as an in-game Psycho costume and skill pack. No, I don't know what those do either. One lucky winner will find a golden ticket of sorts in their High Stakes edition which will net them a 6ft tall statue of one of the zombies in the game. All of this will run you $90. If I were you I would order one now.
The final DLC for BioShock 2 Minerva's Den hits digital download services on 8/31.
Mass Effect 2's Lair of The Shadowbroker DLC will see release on 9/7.
The Imperium of Man is the first announced playable race for the Warhammer 40,000 MMO.
PC gaming sensation Torchlight will arrive on XBLA and PSN sometime this "holiday".
Platinum Games shoot em up Vanquish gets a demo on 9/2
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Ultimate Edition (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP)
Disney Guilty Party (Wii)
Mafia II (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC)
(2K Czech, 2K Games)
Mafia II is a boring, forgettable gangster romp through a beautifully designed city that you spend far too much time driving in. Cut scenes and driving sections are far too long and nothing terribly interesting happens. Combat portions of the game are never satisfying and at times infuriating. Mafia II forgoes a modern checkpoint system in favor of putting you back at the beginning of large chunks of the game should you die or fail an objective. The game tries to weave an intricate narrative full of plot twists and backstabs, but you never end up caring about any of it because you dread the gameplay that is to come. It's also about two hours too long. The city is a sight to behold, an interesting mash-up of NYC and LA, but since the game isn't technically a "sandbox" game you'll spend most of your time just driving past anything interesting on your way to the start or end of a mission. There are some clever uses of interactivity throughout the game, such as every fixture from light switches to toilets being usable, but in the end it's hard to forgive bad gameplay and a boring story.
RECOMMENDATION: Try it, before you buy it.
Alright, that's another roundup. Be sure to check out my podcast and website for all the latest video game news and rumors.
|Video Game Roundup 8/21/2010
|Hey everyone my name is Jim Plachy and I co-run a website called Four Player Co-Op and I'm going to start doing the weekly Video Game Roundup, I hope you don't mind.|
Right now it's Gamescom over in Germany and the announcements have flowed like a German lager.
First up Mass Effect 2 is coming to the Playstation 3 in January of next year. The game will feature much of the DLC that has already been released for the PC and Xbox 360 and will include an intro that let's PS3 players experience "the story so far" in case they missed the previous game.
Sony will be refreshing their Playstation 3 hardware lineup in time for the September 17th launch of Playstation Move. The $299 Playstation 3 will now sport a 160GB HDD up from 120GB and the $399 PS3 includes a 320GB HDD up from 250GB. The more expensive bundle will also include a Playstation Eye camera, a Playstation Move controller, and a copy of the Move Enabled game Sports Champions. Those three items will also be available separately in a $99 bundle should you already own a Playstation 3.
The kids over at Insomniac Games announced a couple of new games including Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One and Resistance 3. The Playstation 3 exclusive titles will be available next year.
Rumors of a desperately needed PSP 2 popped back up again, with some developers speaking anonymously to Eurogamer that Sony is showing the device behind closed doors at Gamescom. The unnamed sources say it has touch controls on the back, and will be out by the end of 2011. Let's hope something can get the stagnate PSP brand moving again.
EA continues it's grand tradition of making the first runs of new games "Limited Editions" with extra features. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit will include early and exclusive access to a small group of cars. Meanwhile, Crysis 2 will come in a limited edition that includes an XP boost in multiplayer, as well as an exclusive power and weapon. If you want to class up your Crysis 2 experience you can pay $149 for a "nano" edition of the game that includes the limited edition in a steel book case, a statue of the game's protagonist, and an art book all packaged inside an honest to God backpack that you can wear IRL.
Realtime Worlds the company behind Crackdown and the recently released MMO, APB have filed for Administration the UK equivalent of bankruptcy. The company has laid off 75% of it's workforce and our currently courting buyers. However, they don't have much time before they completely run out of cash. No word on whether or not EA the distributor of APB would be able to keep the game's servers running.
World of Warcraft's next expansion Cataclysm is getting a collector's edition whose contents should be familiar to anyone who has picked up the collector's edition of the previous two expansions. For $79.99 you get a making of DVD, a CD with selections from the game's soundtrack, a hardcover artbook, a mousepad, an exclusive in game pet, and some exclusive cards for the WoW TCG. If you want one I highly suggest you pre-order one soon.
THQ will release an Xbox Live Arcade/Playstation Network Red Faction title called Red Faction: Battlegrounds. It's a vehicular combat game with destructible environments. THQ wants the game to cost less than $10 and be free for pre-orderers of Red Faction: Armageddon. The game will also get 2 rounds of DLC one tied to Armageddon and one tied to Origins the forthcoming Syfy original movie that bridges the gap between Guerrilla and Armageddon. All of this happens in the first quarter of 2011.
One of 2008's best games Castle Crashers will finally be released on the Playstation Network on August 31st. The game will cost you $14.99 and is worth every single penny.
There will be an update to the Xbox Live avatars this Fall to make them more realistic. Kinect focus testers found that the avatar's stubby arms were hard to follow along with so it's back to the drawing board.
Microsoft will resurrect the classic RTS Age of Empires as a Farmvilleesque freemium web based game. Robot Entertainment made up of former members of Ensemble Studios the studio behind the original Age of Empires games are the developers.
Finally, Microsoft also unveiled the launch lineup of games for Windows Phone Series 7. Among the list of games is a Crackdown themed tower defense game, a mobile version of Halo Waypoint, and puzzle game Hexic. Players will login to Xbox Live to play these games and will be able to see what their friends are doing no matter if they are playing on the phone or the Xbox 360. The games will also award achievements just like Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live games.
Portal 2 will hit stores on February 9th, 2011
Ubisoft announced Heroes of Might and Magic 6
Ubisoft will release a fighting game for Kinect called Fighters Uncaged.
Dragon Age 2 will be released on March 8th, 2011
RAGE will be out for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on September 13th, 2011
The Hideo Kojima produced Castlevania game Lords of Shadow will be out on October 5th.
DJ Hero 2 spins into stores on October 11th.
NHL 2K11 (Nintendo Wii)
Mafia II (PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, OnLive)
For breaking news, rumors, interviews and reviews check out Four Player Co-Op, and this article is pretty much a written version of the weekly video game podcast I host called Bullshot!(link opens iTunes). If you want in depth analysis of the week's video game news along with a few laughs, give it a listen.