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CHARLES’ E3 thoughts:What I liked

So there’s few things that get my inner nerd worked up anymore. I don’t get really excited for phones(Joe you and the Pre will be happy together) like friends, or TV shows (my cousin Alex really digs TV stuff). I get excited over comics, movies, and games. I don’t remember a time before I played video games. I still remember my first time playing the original Nintendo when I was four(1986) and it was over, I was hooked. Over the years I’ve waited in line for a Dreamcast, played Aladdin on the Sega Genesis, spent an entire Christmas morning playing Donkey Kong Country, got a head ache from sitting too close to the TV the first time I played Super Mario 64, played Spider-Man 2 for hours on XBOX, laughed while playing Crackdown Joe, and watched blu rays on my PS3. It’s been a long, storied relationship. E3 is like the prom or even better the day you get to sign up for electives next year. A lot of E3 is anticipation and wonder, this year was no different. I saw a lot and was left with a feeling that the coming couple of years will be great. As usual with me I’m going to give my unflinching opinion on things I liked and hated. It’s kinda what I do.

CHARLES LIKES:

ASSASSINS CREED 2

ASSASSINS CREED 2

  • I played the first one but didn’t get to deep into it because while it was fun, I didn’t care about the story so I was done. The overall story still doesn’t interest me but after watching the play through on G4 I can’t wait to rent it. I probably still won’t buy it but can’t wait to play it.
MASS EFFECT 2

MASS EFFECT 2

  • I have something to admit, I’ve only played about 20 minutes of the first MASS EFFECT. I always tried to rent it when I worked at Blockbuster but I couldn’t ever give it my full attention. I felt that since I was usually at work I didn’t want to do myself and the game a disservice by just playing it to beat it. So now with a lighter work schedule I feel like I have to time to give it my full attention and plan on buying the 2nd one when it come out.
LEFT 4 DEAD 2

LEFT 4 DEAD 2

  • I haven’t played a single minute of the first one, because I wasn’t working so I didn’t have a GOLD subscription anymore and everyone told me to not play it by myself. So with the new job, I plan on starting back up GOLD and putting in some time with the first one. I’m excited basically because of the stories I heard from friends about they’re game play experience alone.
MODERN WARFARE 2

MODERN WARFARE 2

  • The Call of Duty series games are the only first person shooters I really like. They just feel right in everything they do, to me.Friends of mine are still playing Modern Warfare, but while I loved it I played a ton of World at War which surprised me. I’m really excited to get back to the modern world with this one.
UNCHARTED 2

UNCHARTED 2

  • If it weren’t for the 1st game I would have not really liked a PS3 exclusive at all. It’s the only PS3 exclusive I really care about and enjoy. Although I wish the first one was longer and had more exploration but just the character animation blew me away. I wish my PS3 hadn’t bricked on me when I was close to beating it, but oh well I’ll buy it again in anticipation of the 2nd one.
ALAN WAKE

ALAN WAKE

  • I don’t play creepy games, it’s a rule I have. I love horror movies, but horror games are too much for me. I guess for some reason I get too into a game with a story that I’m not prepared for the scares like I am when I watch horror movies. I’ve seen so many horror movies I’m usually paying more attention to camera work and story structure than the scares, but controlling a character puts me into the story and its creepy. But watching the onstage demo made me really interested in finding out what going on with the story and that alone is the reason I want to play the game, not looking forward to being creeped out. But can’t wait. I hope they add that “PREVIOUSLY IN ALAN WAKE” bit to the game, that would be a genius way to come back after you’ve saved and turned the game off.
SPLINTER CELL: CONVICITON

SPLINTER CELL: CONVICITON

  • This game looks sick and I can’t wait to play it. It seems that they’re taking out all the stuff I hate about stealth games and are making it more fun and less slow. Really dig the way they put the objective prompts into the game world, great design. Kinda want someone to put that in a movie now.

PROJECT NATAL

  • Just the promise of it blows my mind. Really like the voice and face recognition parts, and being a fan of Minority Report I can’t wait to be able to scroll through my instant que with the wave of a hand. The future is bright.

Sony screws European 360 and Wii Owners who want Ghostbusters

according to an article I read from DESTRUCTOID.COM Sony is going to make Ghostbusters:The Video Game a PS3 exclusive in Europe. I own a PS3 and a XBOX 360, I also plan on buying a Wii just for Ghostbusters. If this were happening here I’d be pretty pissed because I really want Ghostbusters on BLU-RAY but really, really don’t wanna HAVE to play the game on PS3. Even though Joe finally got a PS3,  he hardly ever uses it  (just like me). We’re always on our 360’s so it’ll be easier to to play multiplayer or co-op(don’t know if it’s actually in the game but you know) with a system we can easily make a party system. Sorry European countries that love Ghostbusters and don’t enjoy the PS3, your kinda boned.

I think it’s only right: USA, USA, USA, USA, USA.


QUICK FIRE NEWS BITS

Batman: Arkham Asylum Delayed

  • Eidos and Warner Bros Interactive have confirmed that the game has been pushed back. Speculation pegged the new date in the fourth quarter of 2009, and many thought that meant a definite holiday release. Eidos has now said the game will actually release at the “end of summer 2009,” which means it has to release by September 21, still (barely) in third quarter. –1UP.COM

Turtles in Time remake coming to XBOX LIVE

  • The Turtles in Time remake was unveiled at last week’s “Galabunga” event in New York City (via Ninja Pizza), which had been scheduled to debut the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party Van. It’s still in alpha, but from the looks of it, it’s already fairly far along. Two playable stages were offered at the event.
  • Notable is that this remake does not appear to be based on the Super Nintendo port, but the original arcade game. One difference between the two is that Tokka and Rahzar (from the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II) were bosses on the pirate ship stage, and not Bebop and Rocksteady. That could mean certain elements are omitted, such as the battle with Rat King and the Technodrome.
  • At the moment, it’s scheduled for release on the Xbox 360. A Wii version is apparently also in the works, though it’s unclear whether it’ll be the same sort of remake. –1UP.COM
cant wait

can't wait

PRINCE TURNS DOWN DIGITAL LONGEVITY VIA GUITAR HERO

  • Prince would rather we put down the plastic controller and pick up the real thing.
  • “I ain’t mad at them. I hear it made, like, USD 2 billion and they came to us and offered us a very small portion of that,” the performer said on PBS’ The Tavis Smiley Show (via GameSpot).
  • “I just think it’s more important that kids learn how to actually play the guitar.” –1UP.COM

PRINCE OF PERSIA, an exercise in patience and hand holding

PRINCE OF PERSIA

PRINCE OF PERSIA

Well with my last Pick of the Week post I finally had the first person to visit the site and post that thought my picks were dumb…cool. I like what I like and dislike what I dislike so I’m just happy somebody’s paying attention…lol. So lets see how many people disagree with me on this.

I have to admit that I never cared about the Prince of Persia franchise as a whole. I tried to play the various incarnations but never really cared about what was going on, so when I picked up the controller for this one I went into it not expecting anything other than great visuals. Once I put the controller I found myself thinking about playing the game. This version of the Prince is not a sequel to the earlier versions, that I can tell. This is another story all together. When the game starts your walking through a desert screaming a woman’s name(which is the name of the Prince’s donkey) and you run into your new companion for the rest of the game. When the game first teaches how to use the controls it feels like they’ve taken all the chances to make huge mistakes out for you.  At various times later on in the game it felt like I was just pressing buttons so the computer could do all the heavy lifting. I don’t know how I feel about that since I’ve been playing games for a insanely long time and felt like I was being on a leash of sorts. The fight mechanic is fun, but when I came across the WARRIOR, who’s supposed to be a total badass I beat him in about 2 minutes. Eventhough there were times where fights lasted longer because of a certain sort of circumstancesk, the game is pretty easy.

It’s not just the fighting that makes the game feel easy, it’s the fact that it’s impossible to die. Even with the SANDS OF TIME rewind functionality you still had to pay attention to what you were doing. With your companion, ELKA, no matter what you won’t die. During a couple of fights I wasn’t really paying attention to the fighting because I knew that if I got hit a couple of times that I’d be forced to enter a quick time event to save my character from dying. It’s not really a practice in skill to beat bosses, it’s more of a practice in patience. If you just keep plugging away and don’t turn off the game you’ll win. It reminded me of when WILD AND CRAZY KIDS came back a few years ago and they took out the practice of winning and stopped keeping score for the three teams. This train of thought is both good and bad. On the one hand me not having to stay involved in the fights helped me pay more attention to the story, but then I didn’t feel the same feeling your supposed to get when you fight a boss.

The game looks great, it’s simply beautiful. I just wish that the story was more linear. I didn’t enjoy having to back track to different areas after gaining a new power just to finish off my job there. I would have preferred staying in the fight against the Concubine, The Warrior, and The Alchemist. I think the story would have felt more solid and complete if I didn’t have to fight the Warrior, get his story and then have to run to fight the Concubine and get her story at the same time. That’s like having a franchis with three sequels that you have to run back and forth between to finish the entire vision. Doing that takes me out of the story at hand, which is pretty sad on The Warrior’s side. I did enjoy the fact that to get more info you had the choice whether or not to hold a conversation with ELKA, because that made it feel more like an interactive movie. Overall the game looks and plays great, even though it holds your hand a little too much.

CHARLES’ GRADE: B+

PROS: WATER PAINTING STYLE CELL SHADING, FLUID CHARACTER ANIMATIONS, A STORY THAT YOU HAVE TO DO SOME WORK TO EXPLORE BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS

CONS:WAY TOO EASY, FRACTURED STORYTELLING, FEELING AS IF YOUR ON RAILS DURING PLATFORMING, NO SENSE OF ANY REAL DANGER


CHARLES EXPERIENCES THE NEW XBOX LIVE…EXPERIENCE

When Microsoft announced this new experience I didn’t care, all I heard was NETFLIX streamed to my 360. Well when the experience went live I was surprised. I enjoyed making a avatar. As far as I’m concerned XBOX’s Live service is so much better than the PSN it’s ridiculous. PSN does have the free thing going for it, but it works like it’s free. While XBOX LIVE actually feels like a community, PSN feels like I’m in Siberia and I have to fight for my life to have fun. I didn’t know if I’d enjoy a new interface, but the new experience does what Microsoft has been doing since the beginning. I don’t know what it is, but just moving around the menu feels perfect. The little sound effect just adds to the way it feels. The experience is like going into Best Buy when you have a $100 gift card, everything just comes to you. I did have a issue with the slim choices for your avatar and the inability to change clothings color, but hopefully that will be fixed later.

It’s not just in the interface that Microsoft knows what it’s doing. I can’t believe that they changed the entire look and feel of XBOX LIVE with a update that took me 7 minutes on a crappy DSL line. When Sony “updates” the PSN it takes forever and that crap looks exactly the same. I haven’t gotten around to playing with the NETFLIX functionality yet, mostly because I don’t feel like buying another GOLD membership just to use a service that I’m already paying for. I want to get the Gold Membership package with the 60 gb hard drive, but I keep changing my mind.

Even with the silver membership XBOX Live is still fun, I can still bother Joe while he’s playing Street Fighter with a quick text message. I would like the Xbox Live Demo scene to get back in the swing of things, I miss the wednesday demos but I think it’s just the holidays. It’s not all good, I kinda don’t the fact that if you decide to put up a wallpaper that it’s automatically cut in half to make room for the Xbox Live gray base for the Experience windows.

Overall this experience feels like a step in the right direction. If anyone reading this wants to say hey on XBOX LIVE my gamertag is CHUCK LEGEND360.


SONIC:UNLEASHED review

image taken from Amazon.com

image taken from Amazon.com

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I finally got my hands on the latest next gen Sonic game. From what I heard about the first one from Joe it’s a good thing I passed on Sonic The Hedgehog. I went into this game hoping to get just a ounce of the same joy I got during the classic SONIC ADVENTURE on the Dreamcast. Well I didn’t and I also didn’t enjoy the entire game.

Noooooo, he wanted Sonic Adventure and got Sonic Unleashed

Noooooo, he wanted Sonic Adventure and got Sonic Unleashed

The opening cinematic was great, the quality of the images where great. I actually got really invested in the story to start off. Then you go to earth and the game starts. There are A LOT of cinematics in the game and they can grate on your nerves pretty quickly. They are really long, and when I say long I mean long. I started to get annoyed when I couldn’t stand the staggering length anymore. The voice acting is good, but the dialogue itself is cheesy.

This can happen to the earth and its still there? Whyd they have to put Superman in a rocket?

This can happen to the earth and it's still there? Why'd they have to put Superman in a rocket?

For some reason Sega feels that just making a solid Sonic game just isn’t enough anymore, and that thinking has spawned countless failures. Does anybody remember the Sonic hoverboard racing game? No didn’t think so. With this one we get the added “fun” of turning into a werehog. I wasn’t one of the many fans who bawked at the idea, I just wanted to wait and see if it would be a good thing or a bad thing. Well bad thing it is. I never thought I’d have to complain about not getting enough Sonic time in a Sonic game, those days are long gone. The levels with Sonic are quick, you blink and they’re over. They look so great that it’s a shame they weren’t longer. The werehog levels on the other hand last at least three times longer, they border on gameplay punishment. Who plays a Sonic game for a beat ’em up? Add in some tacked on platforming and you’ve got a less interesting Crash Bandicoot game. I remember when Sonic was the King and Crash was just some slow rip off, well they’re now on the same level. Like Crash I don’t think that Sonic will ever get a good next gen game. I really miss the Crash and Sonic games from the Dreamcast and PS One eras. Oh how we miss those that weren’t with us long.

CHARLES’ GRADE: C-

PROS:DAY TIME SONIC LEVELS FLASH A BIT OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS

CONS: WEREHOG LEVELS BLOW, BOSS BATTLES ARE ANNOYING, INSANELY HARD TO EVEN WALK AS SONIC

He compared us with Crash Bandicoot? How far the great have fallen.

He compared us with Crash Bandicoot? How far the great have fallen.


Super Street Fighter 2 tur… A Good Street Fighter Game.

Hey Everyone, Its Joe again I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving as I did. I figured with the holidays out of the way I can get some time to get a Post in.

As the title says, the new Street Fighter game is out, available on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Networks and as no surprise to this blogger, its really good. Finally, after months and months of nail biting sweat dripping anticipation, the game Capcom has only been teasing about was in my hands. The first thing I noticed about the game as I started it up was the title screen where you have both Ryu and Akuma face to face holding their own fireballs in their hands and the amazing graphics there in. The developers truly out did themselves with this beautifully rendered image for the title screen. The BGM of the classic Street Fighter Theme remixed into an edgy rock/techno mix that gave me chills begins here and follows you through the menu selection process. The main menu, simply designed to house the selections of arcade, multiplayer, and various other extras. Everything has been redrawn by the talented team at Udon comics, the backgrounds, the facial animations, and the ending cut scenes. No detail was left un-touched and it really breathed some new life into this old classic.

After you choose your fighter from some excellent high res thumbnail shots its time to get into it. The game pretty much stays true to its roots here, with a plane flying over to the next country to indicate the battle ground of your next opponent. The fighting speed has truly been beefed up to show the change in times despite the age of the title. The speed of the fight and the responsiveness of the characters is excellent and very fluid like. Even fighting on the horrible Xbox D-pad wasn’t as much of a chore as it was on the original.

The game is just as difficult as you remembered, with characters like Sagat and Vega appearing to know every move your going to make before you do. There are some nice Xbox 360 achievements you can get, the best one to me being the “Scar of Sagat” achievement. This requires you to defeat the behemoth Sagat with Ryu’s powerful Shoryuken technique, a very nostalgic achievement to any Street Fighter fan. Other achievements include time opponent defeated in, game completion, and a bunch of online multiplayer achievements.

The multiplayer option really gives the game some great benefit also, with ranked, player, and custom matches and the inclusion of Tournament mode. The initial versus options have about 6 players take turns battling the winner of individual rounds. These modes take me back to the “I got winner” days, which is very fun for long time fighting game fans such as myself. Players not fighting are spectators and watch the fights which can prove to be strategically beneficial or intimidating depending on the skill of the active warriors. Tournament mode is a test of players skills as they are slotted up against one another and advance to take on fellow winners in typical tournament fashion.

All in all Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, is worth saying the full name because it is a great game and always has been. I say it always has been because it is the same game I remember from my childhood, but with a fresh coat of paint and a wax to make it shiny. Though it may be the same game, that doesn’t make it not fun to play. The game is plenty of fun and a great distraction from the seemingly endless supply of shooter games and the fact that the next NEW version of the franchise is 3 months away. Capcom, keep up the great work!

Images gathered from IGN.com, teamxbox.com, gamesuy.blogspot.com,