Gaming conferences are kicking off around the country with the start of the new year, and North Carolina's "The Triangle" (Wake County area) is not one to lag behind. The Triangle Game Conference (TGC) is an event hosted for aspiring game developers - both programmers and designers - and, well, for gamers! Boasting over 30 gaming dev and gaming media companies, this game con is no joke. Epic Games, famous for Unreal Tournament & Gears of War, Insomniac Games, Crytek, wildly famous for Crysis, Atomic Games, known for the controversy over their next title, Six Days in Fallujah, and more will all be at the conference. A couple of "Game Development Universities" will also be on hand for those of us interested in the gaming industry.
Zombies. We've seen enough of them lately. Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, plenty of no-name other zombie games, it's just too much, right? Wrong. Plants vs. Zombies, the newest edition to our zombie obsession, is due to be released May 5th, 2009. What is Plants vs. Zombies, though?
Imagine this: Overrun by zombies wanting nothing more than your braaaainnnnssss (sorry, had to), your hometown only has one certified zombie-hunter. You.
Unfortunately, recent changes to the 2nd amendment have made it impossible to secure a pistol or pump-shotty for yourself. Oh, and don't think you can rely on the local hillbillies - they've all fled to the mountains and sealed up their hunting shacks. The Governator rings you up, panic-stricken, and says to you: "[Your name here], help us! The town will be decimated by the zombie-bobsledders, zombie-driven-zambonis (or are they zombonis?), and buckethead zombies! We need you to help us!"
Oh noes! Bobsledding zombies? None of those video games released earlier this year helped us prepare for that! There's only one obvious answer. Plants.
As a frequent-viewer of the Pure Pwnage gaming internet TV show (www.purepwnage.com), I thought I would make a short news announcement about how the Pure Pwnage team has recently recorded a new soundtrack - it's 12 days of christmas, except for gamers. Whether or not you like Pure Pwnage, you can still appreciate this awesome take on an old song, gamer style!
“Last time I checked Gods weren't any human, never mind Too Human... A standard battle goes something like this: charge in, swing sword (the gun thing is totally useless, it's like shooting them with spitballs), things die, men complain, on to the next wave, repeat until brain melts"
Half-Life is $0.98? What?! That's right, the originator of the Source Engine that we have all come to love is now available for less than a dollar. What else can a dollar get you? A few sticks of gum, 1/3 of a gallon of gas, maybe (before tax) a fast food meal - why buy any of those? Those only last for so long, but a game like Half-Life, with all the hundreds of good mods available, for $0.98 will secure you countless hours of gameplay. But you must act fast, this deal ends on November 21st!
To quote Steam's website:
"To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the game that started it all, Half-Life is on sale for only 98 cents. Ends Friday, November 21 at noon PST."
Gift this to as many people as you can for the holidays - but, shhh - normally it's $10, you just "know people." Happy Owning!
Guiding Eets through insane levels with exploding super-pigs and marshmallows may sound like fun and games, but I assure you… it’s not. Eets has an emotional eating disorder, where his mood instantly changes by eating different color marshmallows. Eating a yellow marshmallow makes Eets happy, a red marshmallow angers him, and green marshmallows sadden Eets. Eets will only jump off of ledges if he’s happy or angry; he’ll jump farther when he’s angry. You must clear Eets a path to the orange puzzle piece in each level in order to continue his adventure.
Do what sensei marshmallow says, he’s wise beyond his years.
Eets comes in contact with many different characters and objects throughout his travels, including Prankster Whales, Radioactive Ginseng, and Exploding Super-pigs. All of these characters operate in one of two ways: either you click them or hit them with something. For example, clicking on a ‘Radioactive Ginseng’ Creator will shoot out some ginseng. This ginseng can hit Eets, making him angry, or can be used to turn on light bulbs. More characters and objects are added by developers and are available for download in Puzzle Packs. These puzzle packs also come with new maps for the player to solve. The puzzles in Eets are at first very enjoyable, but the originality quickly fades since the puzzles don’t get any harder, and rely more and more on timing. You’ll quickly understand the use of each object and that you’re simply using different combinations of them to the same puzzle with a different face over and over again. One map in particular requires you to shoot Eets with a chocolate chip cannon as he attempts to jump over it. This map was incredibly frustrating. It was ranked the hardest puzzle level, but the puzzle itself was elementary: the only difficult part was trying to shoot Eets with the cannon at the correct time. After about ten minutes of shooting chocolate chips to bounce Eets just the right amount, you’ll never want to see his over-expressive face again.
Click the whales! Just don’t let Eets pass one, you’ll have to start again.
The best part of Eets is the community and map editor. The map editor provides the player with the tools to create just about any type of puzzle you can imagine. After selecting background, foreground, lighting, and music, you begin building. Place any type of terrain at any angle in any location! Fill it with exploding pigs and have the time of your life blowing things up! Unfortunately, you’ll still lack instant gratification for your creations unless you have a friend sitting next to you who’s willing to solve your puzzles. You can even set what object locations are revealed when your friends click the “hint” button. After creation, players can then upload their maps onto the site and share them with the world. The community’s favorite maps are featured on the homepage of the Eets website, and are available for download by anyone who wants to try them out.
Jump angry Eets, jump!
The Good: Eets is pretty cute. The characters are diverse and are being expanded on everyday with new puzzle packs. The community continually creates new and improved puzzles to make you laugh, cry, and solve inner turmoil. The map editor is very expansive, allowing you to pour your creativity into the world of Eets.
The Bad: The puzzles that are initially in the game are very mundane and routine. You’ll find nothing new from puzzle to puzzle. Timing is a larger issue in puzzles than using physics and logic to find a solution. Bugs occur all the time with Eets getting caught on masses of chocolate chips in mid-air, landing on food and getting caught instead of eating it, and the destructible terrain leaving miniscule amounts of land for things to get caught on. Soon after beginning, you’ll realize you’d rather be playing Armadillo Run.
Pulling together music and gaming, Audiosurf provides something for everyone.
The game mechanics of Audiosurf are relatively simple; the player maneuvers his/her ship across lanes in order to collect or avoid colored blocks. The player must touch at least three blocks of the same color to clear them and gain points. The higher the number of single-colored blocks connected, the more points earned when they’re cleared. Mono, another game mode, sends only one color of blocks at the player, along with gray blocks. The player must avoid these gray blocks since they do not disappear unless the player breaks them and takes a score deduction. The controls of your ship are straightforward: to move left and right, either use the arrow keys or move the mouse left to right, to use abilities, either left/right click or use the number keys.
There are many different ships in Audiosurf each having its own ability. The ships fall into three categories: Casual (Easy), Pro (Medium), and Elite (Hard). The easy category is divided into three different aircraft, with Mono, Pointman, and Double Vision. Mono allows the player to focus on collecting, instead of arranging, their blocks by disabling all colors save one. Pointman allows the player to grab blocks and hold onto them until he/she decides to drop it into position. Double Vision places two cars on the track, allowing for mind-boggling two-car-at-once action, or co-op play from the same keyboard. The Pro characters are: Mono Pro, Vegas, Eraser, Pointman Pro, Pusher, and Double V Pro. The characters from Casual are simply harder versions of their counterparts. Vegas allows the player to shuffle the blocks they’ve collected, hopefully making the arrangement of three adjacent blocks easier. Eraser can destroy blocks of a specified color, clearing space for others, and Pusher can send blocks to the lane left or right. The Elite characters are simply harder versions of the Pro characters, excluding Vegas. There is also “Ironmode” for those who simply can’t make the game hard enough.
The most intuitive part of Audiosurf is the option to use any song you want, including your personal library, Steam games (it comes with many Orange Box songs), or the built-in radio stations. Audiosurf generates a track that follows the music, no matter its intensity. The track swerves, twists, and changes in slope to provide a smooth, colorful ride. The faster paced the song, the faster the track. The busier the song, the more traffic there will be on the track. For example, an acoustic guitar song will have a relatively low amount of blocks to collect, whereas a techno song will send wave after wave of blocks. Audiosurf accepts CD, mp3, wma, ogg, flac, and iTunes music files. If you are tired of your own music, or don’t have any on your computer, you can play songs from the Audiosurf radio, which is updated constantly with new songs. After you’re done playing, you can view scores from all around the world from other people who have played the same song.
The Good: The game’s fun. The ability to use your own music greatly enhances customization, allowing for an intense game or a slow relaxing game whenever you feel like it. The graphics are perfect for the game; they’re beautiful and fit the theme. You also can play for as long as you want - if you only have 5 minutes, play a 5 minute song. Low-cost, at a base of $10 and holiday special of $2.49.
The Bad: The novelty can quickly wear off when you have other things to do, and realize you could just listen to your music and get them done. On rare occasion, the algorithms used to create the track won’t match the beat of your song. Bugs can occur, such as one where the screen is supposed to be black, but is instead white, preventing you from seeing the white track. The score database is hard to use since songs are not labeled the same on every computer, and the scores are compared using their name. There’s a limit on the length of the songs you can use, it’s around 20 minutes.
Martin "CyberGrim" Baker and Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke have finalized two new reviews for our readers to devour! That's right, Viking: Battle for Asgard - the first game on our "Wall of Win" ever and Spectraball by Flashcube Studios have been reviewed by the two gamers respectively.
For the PC Only:
Spectraball, as reviewed by Lelldorianx. "Possibly the best $10 I've ever spent," Said Lell. After inspecting the puzzle/platformer ball-rolling game, our reviewer was pleased to say that he "found only a few bugs to squash," and that the game's unique look and feel reintroduce a classic-style game, that is a "refreshing break from all of the shooters." See what Lelldorianx had to say in his review here.
For the XBox 360:
Viking: Battle for Asgard is the first game that The Gamers Nexus has ever reviewed to makes it mark on our not-yet-published "Wall of Win,"where gamers can find all items we've reviewed that scored 95% or above. CyberGrim states, " Viking is the way hack ‘n’ slash games should be made," and "Viking is an amazing game and I can't recommend it enough for other gamers." Check out his full review here.
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