Costume Quest was one of those games that truly snuck up on me. I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on all the things entertainment, especially when it encompasses the industry that pays me! That in mind, imagine my shock when I found out about the development of a game from one of my favourite developers only three days before it was due to come out! Yeah, uhhh... Dropped the ball on that one. Double Fine is led by the now-legendary Tim Schafer, best known for imbuing greatness within such titles as The Secret of Monkey Island (with the help of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman), Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, and most recently, Brütal Legend.
Biting the pointy ear clean from a taunting elf's temporal bone, stopping to drink the refreshing blood, and then stampeding down the field with a spiked ball tucked safely under the armpit of an Orc: that's Blood Bowl. However, Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition is a bit more sophisticated; the new release encompasses the sprawling expanse that is Warhammer's race system. In total, there are now twenty playable races - eleven of which are fresh to the pitch, to include: Norse, Undead, Ogres, and Amazon.
According to the previous titles of WWE games I'm supposed to “Know my role” and “Shut my mouth.” I don't take kindly to demands.
I've been a fan of wrestling ever since I can remember. I vividly recall thinking the 'unannounced visits' from Hulk Hogan or other superstars were truly unexpected. Unlike the Easter Bunny or Santa though, wrestling never got worse once I finally realised that it was all staged. I never doubted the skill required in wrestling, but I did know that when Hulk Hogan hoisted chairs over his head and initiated the pummel sequence, the target was fully prepared for his impending 'doom.' It was this synergy between wrestling and theatrics that compelled me to obtain the very first WWF: Smackdown! game in 2000. I played that game until the characters were burned into the memory banks of my brain; everything was there: the histrionics, the dramatic entrances, the signature slams, and most importantly, the finishers. There was nothing better than watching the little cutscene as The Undertaker grabbed The Rock and executed the Tombstone Piledriver. I cackled with glee when my brother's face reacted - he could do nothing to halt my imminent victory. Yuke's has consistently released wrestling games every year, and this year's iteration, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, promises to have the same crunchiness of the past coupled with the advancements of this generation's gameplay. The experience Yuke's gained from UFC: Undisputed 2010 added immeasurably to the development of Smackdown vs. Raw.
Rustic Aztec scenery flanked either side of a lone, unintentional adventurer and his trusty mining equipment; the opening view extracted fond memories of the old television show, Legend of the Hidden Temple, complete with monkeys and mummies. Following the increasingly popular evolutionary path from mod to commercial game, Teotl Studios sets players out on the most engrossing delve into subterranean ruins we've ever seen. After receiving honors in the 'Make Something Unreal' contest, hosted by Epic Games, Teotl is now releasing their humble modification as a full-blown title for $20.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then dragging Sonic back through the time-stream is like sticking a steak through mine.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 – Episode 1 is the first true Sonic game in over a decade. The last one being Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (and Knuckles) for the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis for you Americans). More recently, Sonic Adventures has been released on XBLA, although it is not necessarily related to this review. This new game shows a return to the standard 2D style of Sonic games that we all know and love. Sonic the Hedgehog started life in 1991 on the Master System and Game Gear and spiralled quickly into video game legend along with Mario, his Nintendo counterpart. It was this early game that got me hooked on video games for life. I spent many hours in front of that TV screen, perfecting speed runs, defeating Dr. Robotnik (as he was affectionately known as back then), and just getting as much as I could out of a game that I cherished so much.
The first in our new series of industry job analyses is here! We're planning to talk with everyone in the different fields of gaming, and not just the designers, programmers, and artists. That's right: we're giving the spotlight to the audio developers, public relations representatives, in-depth fields like AI programmers, level designers, and anyone else you can think of. For the first in the series, I headed over to the Icarus Studios building, which houses developer Fallen Earth (of the same-named game) to talk to audio director Mike Franke.
"I'm Mike, and this is my baby."
Reflecting on a time of simple graphics and complex, intertwined stories has become a favored chore of the experienced gamer. It might just be the curmudgeon in all of us, but when truly given some thought, everyone reading this article possesses the ability to conjure up nostalgic memories of games that have come and gone. It was a time when female characters were composed of the same number of pixels as their male counterparts; a time when isometric graphics, a few thatch roofs, and mind-boggling character development was the pinnacle of all things righteous; and most certainly, it was a time when the cRPG dominated primitive gaming machines everywhere. Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II are, alongside Planescape: Torment, considered to be some of the best-crafted role-playing games of all time. They are the exact inverse of new-age 'RPGs,' where the guts of a story have been substituted for the guts of a monster - if you played them at all, you played them to become fully engrossed in fantasy.
A currently disbarred Florida attorney once claimed that playing First Person Shooters drives people to killing other people. I disagree. I think 'Super Meat Boy' does.
Super Meat Boy had simple, humble beginnings as a small flash game on Newgrounds, which has amassed close to 900,000 views so far. Its player-base grew even bigger, accumulating plays by more and more people across the globe. The simple design coupled with hardcore gameplay made it a hit with just about everyone who stumbled upon its tiny hiding place within that vast sea that is the Internet. That small flash game, Meat Boy, would eventually grow until it got a publishing deal, first from Nintendo, then Microsoft. These deals would cement their status in arcade game history. Whether you enjoy Super Meat Boy or not, the fact that it exists on the Xbox Live Arcade at all is phenomenal. Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes are legendary developers in the making.
If H.P. Lovecraft made a video game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent would be it - it's the scariest game I've played in recent years. Unlike any other game I have played, Amnesia gives you no means of fighting back. Now, that might sound stupid, but being defenseless versus big-mouthed monsters helps the horror ten-fold; instead of fighting, you'll spend your time hunting for hiding places - closets, boxes, or dark corners seem to trick the nemeses effortlessly. Aren't demons supposed to have a good sense of smell? In most games you star as some near-invincible gun toting bad-ass, but in Amnesia you're just a normal guy. Immersion elevates Amnesia above most other games in the horror genre.
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