Cities XL 2011

in Games
Published November 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm

As the virtual mayor of a city, you undertake enormous building projects that lead to the ultimate metropolis. Cities XL 2011 is a new form of SimCity - but with lots, lots more people. You don't need to be an economics major to figure out the inner-workings of city building simulations, but you do need a little bit of patience.

Cities XL 2011 adds to the foundation set by Cities XL, this time offering more buildings, maps, and improvements to the interface. Oddly enough, the original game was widely advertised as an MMO City Builder, but its 2011 variant had no multiplayer to be found. After choosing where you'd like to expand your empire -- err, city, you set out to connect your city square (the town hall, in effect) to civilization: build roads, set up infrastructure, and prepare to put that civil engineering degree to use.

Costume Quest Review

in Games
Published November 10, 2010 at 12:44 am

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.

Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition Review

in Games
Published November 04, 2010 at 11:35 pm

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.

The Way Gamers Play Football: Blood Bowl

By Published October 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm

The once-green football fields will soon be saturated with the blood of Orcs, Elves, and eighteen other races; the uprooted grass you see at this Blood Bowl arena will not be a result of cleats, but of the gruesome spikes strapped to the plated 'padding' adorned by each team. If you know people that think they're manly for watching real-world football, it's time to strap on the chainmail, conceal those boot-daggers, and show them how to play ball the way gamers play ball: with gut-spilling, skull-crushing, reckless abandon.


The smash-hit fusion between comedy, stunning visuals, and classic dungeon crawling grows to be one year old! Between reviewing the original game last year and checking out the upcoming Torchlight II at PAX this year, it may come as no surprise that the title has survived its first year in the treacherous gaming world. What might come as a surprise, though, is that Runic Games is promoting their baby's birthday with a 50% off sale on their website! The sale will be online for 48 hours, so be sure to jump on it; you need to be prepared for Torchlight II, that we can promise. The Torchlight team released the following statement:

The hilarious fantasy kingdom simulator, Majesty 2 (reviewed here), returns triumphantly from its short delve into the darkened rooms of developers. The new expansion pack bolsters its prevailing themes of sarcasm and self-deprecating humor with a whole slew of new monsters, characters, maps, and more! The full list of new features can be found below.

WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2011

in Games
Published October 27, 2010 at 12:42 am

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.

The Ball Review

in Games
Published October 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm

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.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1 Review

in Games
Published October 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

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."

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