BBUT

Hello. Just popping in to talk about a few things. I haven't gotten any of the games from Games to the Video 6, yet. A few have been released. I don't know why I havent' gotten Batman, but I probably will. Section 8 got ok reviews, and people liked the multiplayer a lot. I don't know about that one yet. Wet sounds like something to pick up when it's discounted. I'm hearing fun, but really no depth. For 60 bucks, fun is good, but it's repetitive fun, so that goes down to like a $30 purchase in my book. I can play the demo over and over again if I feel like playing it. Darkest of Days flopped. I figured it would. Sounded good, but no hype. In Xplay's review, Adam made the comment, "Some games are so bad they are good, like Earth Defense Force 2017, and some games are so bad they are bad." I liked that Earth Defense Force comment because the game was very badly done, but it was very fun to play. I love playing that game, and if I had a 360, I'd buy that game. Anyways, yeah.

October is when my video game meter goes into overload. Four for sure buys. Brutal Legend is one, Uncharted 2, is the second, Borderlands is the third and Torchlight is the fourth. Brutal Legend is a must buy for me. I've seen a lot of videos for it (including the awesome opening cinematic found on XPlays website) and I'm phsyched. You can see Tim Schafer's humor in the dialogue for sure. And it mixes perfectly with the heavy metal setting. Then you have Borderlands. The trailers for the game are awesome and funny. Lots and lots of guns. The weapons, enemies, and areas are randomized in Diablo II fashion, which will be good. You got your first person shooter action, which is good. And you have four player coop, jump in and jump out awesomeness. Loving it. Oh, and the coop is for split screen, lan, or online. That's one thing that I'm glad they covered all the basis. Call of Duty doesn't allow split screen multiplayer when you are playing via LAN, which made us mad once.

And Torchlight. My little $20 dollar game made my Runic games. Their publisher has exclusive rights to sell it only through their website for 30 days. Since I don't know much about how Perfect World's distribution system works (such as if I accidently delete the game, can I still redownload for free?) I might have to wait until they distribute on Steam (which they plan to do after 30 days). I'd feel better about that. Plus with Borderlands and Brutal Legend so close to that release date, I might not have time to play it in the first month. They have said that the game will be released as an unlockable demo. So you download the demo for free, the you purchase a code that unlocks the full game. So I'll probably find myself downloading that demo and at least playing that before it gets distrubuted via Steam.

Then Uncharted 2: Among Theives. The first game was awesome, so I told you... I think. Yes I did. Xplay already reviewed Uncharted 2 (it doesn't come out until October 13) and they had nothing but praise. It was awesome because they were goin on and on about the single player, and then I went, "but wait, there's more with multiplayer" and then I heard, "But wait, there's more." They really liked the multiplayer, and said that Naughty Dog spent an equally amount of time and polish as they did with the single player. It got a 5/5 and I'm looking forward to it.

Gosh, November is a big month as well. The God of War Collection for PS3, Assassin Creed games, New Sumper Mario Bros Wii. Just a ton of games. Luckily December is completely emtpy. Not even "maybe" games. So December will be good month to blow through some games. Short paragraph.

In waiting for October 13th to roll around, I picked up Grand Theft Auto 4 for $35. I'm glad I didn't pay full price. It's fun to play and all, but it's not my favorite GTA. I've played GTA 1, GTA 2, GTA Vice City, San Andreas, and now GTA 4. Vice City is my favorite. San Andreas had too many RPG elements like eating, working out and stuff like that. GTA 4 got rid of that luckily, but they expanded the "dating" stuff. You can build friendships and date in the game. You'll get calls from friends or girlfriends to go do something. It's annoying. If you don't, your relationship goes down. If you do, it goes up. You get perks if you keep your relationship with certain people up, but it's a feature that I don't like.

Also, there's really no point in doing extra stuff like collecting hidden packages (killing pigeons in this GTA) or vigilante missions, except that it counts towards 100% completion. No money or cool perk from doing them. I feel like I wasted my time hunting down all 200 pigeons. I don't even want 100% anymore after doing that. I just want to get the story missions done. I might do a post on the "perfect" GTA game for me. But it's pretty much Vice City. I liked buying property, I like getting perks like can't start on fire, and infinite sprint for doing side missions. Or weapons spawn at your house when you collect hidden packages. Not impressed with 4, but I'll finish the story missions and maybe goof around a bit.

Today I bought Zombie Apocalypse from the Playstation Network for 10 bucks. I believe it is on XBox Live as well. It's a top down shooter fun time. I call it a mix between Left 4 Dead and Contra, but that's kinda inaccurate because it's not a 2d sidescroller. Basically you kill lots of zombies and try to survive the day. There are 55 days. I got to Day 11 before I ran out of lives. It has up to four player coop and you can play online. It's a good time. You have a chainsaw and gun with infinite ammo. You can pick up guns with limited ammo that are more powerfull, like a minigun, shotgun, and more. You get more points for saving survivors. You also can throw a teddybear, which is like a pipebomb in Left 4 Dead. The zombies run for the teddybear and then the bear explodes. It says some funny phrases. It's a great way to pass some time.

I'm gonna go now. I'll keep you posted on games and more.

"I'm filled with love... and C4!"
-- Teddybear, Zombie Apocalypse

Fall Masquerade

Thousand Foot Krutch Welcome To The Masquerade This is a post for the fall preview. I'll talk about Television series, Music, Video Games, and maybe movies. We'll see how long this post is. It's going to be a good fall. A quick list has been added to the Home Page. By the way, I typed up "Worth A Fortune" post a few weeks ago, it was just I was lazy and didn't upload it for some reason. Probably the same reasons why I have 10 posts typed up and just sitting around either on Google Docs or my hard drive. Anyways, this post isn't about that. It's about other things so let's just pick one and start with music.

Skillet released Awake a couple of weeks ago. I clump it into the category of Collide/Comatose CDs. Pretty much the same sound. I like that sound, so Awake sounds good to me. The songs "Hero" and "Monster" are probably my favorite from that CD. Like I said, their sound didn't really evolve much from Collide and Comatose. Not a bad thing, but I generally like it when bands change their sound, or evolve their sound. Still a good CD and I recommend it. You can buy it at ITunes or the Skillet store. I think I saw it at Best Buy as well.

I was looking forward to Thousand Foot Krutch's new CD Welcome to the Masquerade for a while now. It was finally released last Tuesday. I felt it was going to be good, but it is beyound good. It's their best work yet. TFK has always evolved or changed their sound. They teamed up with the producer that did their second CD, Phenomenon, and they said the sound would be similar to Phenomenon (little bit harder). I would say yes, to that statement, but it is definitely an evolved sound from it. With The Art of Breaking and Flame In All of Us were very much modern Rock sound. However, the first three songs of Welcome to the Masquerade ("Welcome to the Masquerade", "Fire It Up", "Bring Me To Life") are definitely harder, which I find awesome. This is definitely my favorite album from TFK (I love all their albums, though). After those first three songs, it slows down a little bit, just to give you a break. Then it comes back with some more harder songs. It's a good mix, and I wouldn't change a thing. Love it and highly recomend it. You can buy the CD from ITunes, Bestbuy, WalMart or straight from TFK. They also released Deja Vu, which contains the CDs Phenomenon, Art of Breaking, and Flame in All of Us . So if you are new to them, that's a good deal. Set It Off is missing for some odd reason.

Other music is not out yet and is highlighted on the home page. I do want to expand on Dead By Sunrise. Dead By Sunrise is Chester Bennington's side project (he's from Linkin Park). I've talked about it before, but now we are close to the release. Dead By Sunrise consists of members from Julien K as well. They are alright, but there are two songs that I won't listen to anymore on their CD. The rest of the songs are good though. Their music video for "Kick The Bass" is a good representation of why I DON'T like two of their songs. Kick the Bass is a good song though. I suggest you don't watch the video. Anyways, I digress. Dead By Sunrise releasd the single "Crawl Back In" which is great. I like it. Also a music video for it. I kinda like the video for it. You can see the "Emo"ness of the Julien K members. It's not a Linkin Park music video (which are some of the best videos I've ever seen) but it's good. I'm looking forward to their CD "Out of Ashes" October 13.

John Reuben's new CD I also want to expand on. It doesn't hit stores until December, but he is releasing 4 singles and music videos. He's already released "Town Folk" and "Jamboree", which can be found on YouTube. The other two, "Confident" and "Nobenah" get released September 15 and October 20, respectively. Good times. So far I'm digging the sound. I have a good feeling about this album. I've noticed that I instantly love every-other album of his. I grow to like his others. And this one, Drugs, Sex, and Self-Control is an every-other album. Good times.

Television now. Supernatural started on Thursday. Epic is all I have to say. The Season premier was just epic. It's going to be a good season. Lucifer is roaming about, and it's up the Sam and Dean to kill him. If you haven't watched the show, go out and buy season one through 4 either on DVD or BlueRay. It's my favorite series. I kinda miss season 1, where they expanded on supernatural lore, like the Windigo, Bloody Mary, and stuff like that. The demon hunting stuff is good, but it was kinda cool to see some of supernatural stuff.

Then we have House. I need to watch Season 5 yet. I have season 5 DVD sitting on my DVD rack. Then I need to rewatch Heroes Season 1 and 2, and watch season 3. I have all them on DVD/Blueray. Watch season 1 and then waiting a few months and then watching season 2, didn't help. I forgot a lot of details from season 1 so I need to rewatch them. Dollhouse is a good series. I have to admit, it started pretty slow, and wasn't great. But then the series picked up about half way thorugh the series. I like it a lot. I'm glad the renewed it for a second season. Dexter is just awesome. Not much needs to be said about it. If you haven't watched it, you should. Buy the DVDs. I know the show is a Showtime series, which is a premium channel, but that's not an excuse for missing such a well written show. Not to mention the fantastic actors. Michael C. Hall is a great actor, and he was in Gamer, which I will hopefully talk about.

I want to highlight a few video games. Batmana is getting fantastic reviews. I haven't gotten around to buying it, but it will be a future purchase. Darkest of Days got bad reviews so that will not be a buy. Saying the premise is great, but the execution is flawed, not to mention needs polish and the AI sucks. Section 8 is being praised for it's multiplayer. IGN gave it an 8/10 and they talked a lot about the mulitplayer. The single player is a little shallow, but the multiplayer is where it shines apparently. I might have to pick this one up.

Alright we're caught up. I was going to put Trine on the Games to the Video 6, but now I'm glad I didn't. The release date has been pushed back so many times for the Playstation Network. They ran into snags apparently. It's good that they are making sure the game is done before releasing it though. WET gets released very soon. If you preorder from Gamestop or Amazon, you get 10 bucks off. The demo is available and it was very fun. I think I may have to preorder it just to save some cash. still have 3 days.

Torchlight was at PAX, and a lot was announced. All three classes are announced, the release date is officially October 27, and people loved playing it at PAX. Perfect World, Runic Games publisher, has the rights to sell the game exclusively through their website for the first month, but it will be available on Steam and such after that. Also, early next year it will be in box form. I'll have to see how Perfect World's distribution system works before I buy. I like Steam's system so I might have to wait another month. Not to mention Borderlands is very close to October 27 so I might be consumed by that. So I'm leaning towards picking up the game in November from Steam or something else. We'll see. Also, the official price is 20 bucks. A must buy.

And one of my favorite things I heard about was the God of War Collection for the Playstation 3. God of War and God of War 2 on one BluRay disk, optimised for 720p, and they are adding trophey support. I'm gonna buy it, but that's because I'm a fanboy of God of War. Also, 40 bucks. That's like buying both games as Greatest Hits on the PS2. My PS2 lens needs to be cleaned so this is kinda good that I don't have to worry about freezes because of dirty lens. Plus, right before the release of God of War 3 and gives me time to replay the first two. Either November or December this year. I've heard both dates.

I think I'll wrap this up. It's long. I as going to talk about some movies, but this is a fairly long post and yeah. Enjoy and look forward to movies in the future.

"Oh god. Is that a molar? Do I have a molar in my hair. This has been a really stressful day."
-- Chuck, Supernatural

Worth A Fortune

Uncharted Drake's Fortune Classes started for me so don't expect updates often... however this summer flew by and I didn't even update that much either. So expectation are low. First thing I want to talk about is Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the PS3. I took my own suggestion. It became a Greatest Hits, which means $35 game. I bought it. It was a little slow for games. ICO is freezing on me, which ticks me off a bit. I'll have to clean my PS2 lense. Anywho, Uncharted. I bought it, played it. Played it a lot. Like hardcore. I beat it in about a week, and it's not that short of a game. It's no Zelda game, in terms of length (60 hours it took me to beat Twilight Princess) but it was about the right length.

First off, when the game came out, I downloaded the demo and didn't like the demo. Something about it. So when it went down to 35 bucks, I told myself, "Uncharted is a very high rated game from pretty much everyone, and it's only 35 bucks... I'll buy it." This is the second game that has happened. Resistance Fall of Man was the first (and you can see that I loved that game). Uncharted is another one of those cases. One of the best games ever. I like to call it, Prince of Persia meets Gears of War. It has about an equal amount of platforming and puzzle solving as there is combat. The story is good as well. It's not mind blowing, but it kept me progressing through the game and kept me wandering what was going to happen next. Naughty Dog (the developers) did a great job seemlessly integrating cutscenes into gameplay. The story was even told while you were playing, not just during cutscenes, which is sweet. I just think Naughty Dog did a great job all around with this game.

The story revolves around a treasure hunter named Nathan Drake (as a side note, Naughty Dog and Insomniac games have an interesting history together, and in Insomniac's game, Resistance, the main charater's first name is Nathan). He has a friend named Sully. Nathan says he's a decendent of Sir Francis Drake, even though Francis never had kids. A news reporter named Elena has followed Nathan into the middle of the ocean to find Francis's coffin (he was buried at sea). The find it and open it only to discover his diary, but not his remains... which means Francis had a secretive life and didn't really die when history says he did. So yeah. The Diary leads Nathan, Sully, and Elena on an adventure to find El Dorado. They meet some intersting people on their way and it's not a good thing. They aren't the only ones looking for El Dorado. Like I said, nothing mind blowing, but defintely keeps your attention.

The graphics are great too. It's nice to see a game using greens and oranges and blues. Tropical setting. Really stands out. The animating is awesome too. The leaves on the trees, and the grass move as if wind was blowing. Just details like that shows how great an animating team is. Doesn't compare to Crysis, but nothing does. The sounds are great too. The game has one of the best musical scores I have heard in a game. Really gave a carribean feel to the game.

The game play is where this game shines. There's platforming and pretty good puzzle solving. Exploring and looking for treasures are also fun. It really gets you to look at the environments. Combat is also very well done. It has a cover system, similar to Gears of War. You can carry one pistol, grenades, and one rifle. There's a variety of pistols and rifles. There's a semi auto pistol, regular .45 pistol, a super acurate deagle, and a magnum type weapon. For rifles, there are AKs, Shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, etc. It's a good time. Although basically you take cover, pop up and shoot at enemies, it never got boring for me. I guess there was enough variety. You kinda had to watch your ammo a little bit, even on normal. It wasn't terrible, but You didn't want to spray and pray, that's for sure. And the enemies are smart. If you just duck behind cover, they toss a grendae right behind your cover. They are accurate with everything they do. They rarely miss if you are out of cover. You can also beat the crap out of enemies if you so choose. That's fun, although the only combo worth doing is Circle, Triangle, Circle. If you sneak up on an enemy, you kill them in one hit. Good times.

My biggest complaint about the game would have to be the undead monsters near the end of the game, but I complained a lot less when I got closer to the end and relized there was a story behind them. Which is good. Don't let undead creature turn you off to the game. It's only for a few chapters, and they make sense in this game. And only one chapter feels like a survival horror game scary. The rest of the time you either have a someone with you, or it's day. Plus they are easy to defeat (they charge you in a zig zag pattern, at a medium speed, and they get stunned if you hit them so they go down fairly quickly. They do take more bullets though). They added some variety to the enemies vs the gun weilding ones.

I did mention you aren't alone. Either Elena or Sully or both will fight beside you. It's not an escort mission, because they have infinite health. I saw a rocket hit Sully dead on, and he wasn't phased. They still act like they are vulnerable. They duck behind cover and what not. But they don't help out too much (they'll kill one or two of a bunch). Most of the time the enemies are shooting at you, but sometimes Sully and Elena distract them. One battle I won that way. It was a tough battle.

I'm going to replay the game on hard and work on getting other trophies. Maybe not at the same time. Most of the trophies I have left are "Kill 50 enemies with *blank* weapon" or "Kill 10 enemies in a row using *blank* method/weapon". I'm missing a few treasures, so I'll have to use a guide for those.

I'm looking forward to Uncharted 2 and that has been upgraded to a for sure buy. In fact, I'll probably preorder it. Really no great deals for preordering. You get an ingame multiplayer gold gun if you preorder from Best Buy. Amazon has a treasure map. Gamestop has early access to multiplayer demo and the Revenge Attribute. Attributes are things you unlock in multiplayer and adds little perks. The Revenge Attribute lays a grenade where you die when you are killed and it is one of the last things to unlock if you don't preorder. We'll see.

"You act like you've never seen a German U-boat in the middle of the jungle before."
-- Nathan Drake

Games to the Video 6

Games To The Video 6 This is the sixth edition of Games to the Video. Games to the Video is something I do twice a year now. This is the second one this year and will preview the games I am looking forward to in the second half of 2009. August 2009 through January 1, 2010. I'll use the same format I've been using lately, but I'll go into more detail on the games. I'll provide a link to the game's Gamespot page. Also, I'll get a little picture that represents the game from google, which is probably copyright infringement. I do not take credit for those pictures. I do take credit for the picture I made for this post and yes, anyone is free to use it. If this is your first Games to the Video, you can check out Games to the Video 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 [links removed] by following those convenient links.

I get release dates from a few different websites. Some of them I heard from interviews from Xplay. Sites like Gamespot, IGN, and Wikipedia are my other sources. A few magazines also. All dates are North American release dates. After E3, I got a ton of release dates, and even after E3, release dates were changed. So all dates are subject to change at the developer's/publisher's will. Example, I originally had 21 games on this years list. That's a lot. In the few weeks I worked on this, I've had to remove 5 titles because they were moved back to 2010. I've also added one game. I'll list exact (up to the month) release dates first, and then I'll list the quarter 3 and quarter 4 release dates after those.

Batman Arkham Asylum Batman Arkham Asylum: This game is a stealth action-adventure game based in DC's Batman universe. Joker is going to Arkham Asylum, and Batman wants to make sure he gets there. But Joker has a few tricks up his sleeves and escapes and takes over the asylum, releasing many of Batman's enemies. Batman needs to put these felons in their place, and put Joker back behind bars. What makes this game cool, it is being co-written by Paul Dini, who wrote for Batman The Animated Series. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will reprise their voice roles as Batman and Joker respectively from Batman: The Animated Series. The developer, Rocksteady Studios, has focused on both stealth and combat evenly. It will feature a Detective Mode which highlights points of interest and scans items, among other things. It's looking awesome. The combat looks easy, but varied, and the stealth looks like it'll be fun as well. The story and atmosphere is what I'm most excited for. Arkham Asylum is a sweet place, in my opinion, to hold this game. Expect this game for the Playstation 3, PC, and XBox 360 on August 25, 2009.

Section 8 Section 8: It is one of the few games that caught my eye with screenshots. It was featured in Games to the Video 3. The game looks great, graphically. The people of earth have discovered interstellar space travel and colonized other places in space. The ARM of Orion is a group who has disconnected the outermost colonies from the main government. The main government has deployed the 8th Armored Infantry to investigate and fight. You play as Alex Corde, who is part of this team. They go on near suicidal missions, which other teams call them insane for, causing the nickname Section 8. Standard first person shooter stuff, but the deployment and vehicles make the game stand out from the rest. It's interesting sounding, but we'll probably see how the reviews go. The game will not be out for the PS3, but will still release PC, and XBox 360 with multiplayer. The release date is August 28, 2009. Or September 1, 2009. I see it listed as both.

WET WET: It's an action shooter, with a third person camera. The game features a heroine named Rubi, who is played by the television show's Dollhouse star, Eliza Dushku. Rubi is very acrobatic. While diving you whip out two guns, one gun auto aims, and the other gun is controlled by the analog stick, and this allows you to shoot two enemies at once. You also have a nice sword. It's over the top, and takes a lot of credit from grindhouse type films. WET also features a Rage mode. Your kill multipliers are increased and everything is even more over the top violent goodness. What attracted me to this game is because it was one games the were dropped by Activision Blizzard when Vivendi and Activision merged. I cared for those games and developers. Luckily, Bethesda Softworks picked this game up. The game will be out for both the Playstation 3, and XBox 360 on September 15, 2009.

Darkest of Days Darkest of Days: The greatest strength of this game is the concept. You die and are transported back in time by a mysterious organization. You fight in turning point fights of the past to ensure that history stays intact. You travel back and forth through time. It sounds interesting. The game engine supports over 300 characters on screen, but the objective is not to kill everyone and get the flag back. However, your objective is usually to save a key soldier from dying. The company is kinda unknown, who is developing this game so we'll see how this goes. They did make the engine, so they know it in and out. Probably see what reviews will say about. The game comes out for the PC and XBox 360. September 8, 2009 is the release date.

Demon's Souls Demon's Souls: I'm not a Japanese RPG kind of person. Demon's Souls is being developed by a Japanese developer, but this is a very Americanized RPG, like Oblivion. It's actually out in Japan right now, is getting really good reviews. There's Co-op up to three players, and you can also fight other players. Basically a standard American RPG. There's also an educational mode where you can leave hints for other players. That looks interesting. You fight enemies that are huge. I don't know much about the story, but it takes place in a dark fantasy type of world... so England pretty much. If there is a demo, I might give that a shot first. It's only on the Playstation 3. It comes to America on October 6, 2009.

Brutal Legend Brutal Legend: I love this one. This was also one of the orphans abandoned by Activision Blizzard during the merger. Luckily good EA picked it up. And they are promoting the crap out of it. Activision is trying to sue, but the developer, Double Fine Productions is coutersuing. Double Fine is run by one of my favorite people in the video game bis, Tim Schafer. My friend actually got a picture with him and his kid at Comic Con this year. I should throw that up on the site. So I've been following this game for a long time. The game is an action-adventure game, taking place in a metal (the music genre) world. You play as Eddie (voiced by Jack Black) who is a roadie who get's transported to this metal world and finds a magic guitar and axe... like the sharp axe. You also have a hot rod. The game will feature voices of heavy metal musicians including Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford and other celebrities such as Tim Curry. I like metal, but not a fan of it, and I'm still psyched about this game. You don't need to be a metal fan. The locations of the game are inspired by metal album covers, so that's pimp. Tim Schafer is known for funny games, and this is no exception. Every time I see Tim talk about this game, he has a genuine smile on his face, like this is his dream game. So he has put a lot into making this game perfect, and you should buy it. I'm preordering it, and I don't preorder games very often. It comes out for the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 on Rocktober 13, 2009.

Borderlands Borderlands: This is a game that was actually found by my friend... I'm usually the person telling him about games. Alas, he subscribe to Game Informer back in the day, and that's when this game first popped up with realistic graphics. The game is a First Person RPG with over 500,000 different guns, with several more combinations with modifications. They changed the graphics style earlier this year, and I think it looks fantastic. Makes the game stand out. Instead of the standard browns, you have colors. Seeing it in action in gameplay footage makes it look even better. I applaud Gearbox for the change. This is my new Hellgate London basically. Except this should be good. Four player coop is always a plus. In the distant future, you live on the planet of Pandora, and everyone is seeking riches, especially from this vault in the side of a mountain which is rumored to contain alien technology. But the peeps who found it were wiped out mysteriously. There are four playable characters, each containing different characteristics, like sniper, support character, mage, and tank. Diablo like randomization is used for weapons, areas, and monsters. Towns and general paths will not be randomized. I'm hoping for a better version on Hellgate London, and this game looks like it. It puts more emphasis on the shooter part, then the RPG part. Another preorder. The game comes out for the PC, Playstation 3, and XBox 360. The release date is October 20, 2009.

DreamKiller Dreamkiller: This game reminds me of Psychonauts, except freakier and first person shootery. You play as a psychologist who can enter the dreams of her patients. You shoot the crap out of their sub conscience in order to cure them of their demons. So very Psychonaut like. Has a creepy feel to it to. There is an insane asylum that looks scary, and the enemies are creepy as well. The guns are over the top, with one being a minigun that lobs grenades. This game is for the PC and XBox 360 and should be out in October 2009. Although IGN still says Q3, but in an article on Gamespot, it says October from the developer's mouth.

Dragon Age Origins Dragon Age Orgins: Another RPG. This one is from Bioware, the peeps behind Mass Effect and Bulders Gate. In fact, the developers call it the spiritual successor of Bulders Gate. It's called "origins" because each character class has origin in the game. This is the beginning of their story. Each charter class has a home town, and will start in the town, so the story will be different for each class. It even goes down to the point where a rich character will start out in a noble part of town, where a poor character starts out in the slums. Oh, and their are actually dragons in the game! This game was going to be on the last list because the PC version was going to come out in March before the 360, and PS3 versions, but they changed it to be released with the rest. Oh well, the polished the PC version a little more. As a result, it is on this list and will be released on November 3, 2009 for the PC and 360. The Playstation 3 version follows later in November.

Assassin's Creed Bloodlines Assassin's Creed Bloodlines: Another portable Assassin's Creed. The DS version didn't do so well, but this one takes place between the first game and the second game on the island of Cyprus. You get to play as Altair. The game should explain the link between Altair, Desmond and the protagonist from Assassin's Creed 2, Ezio. The game is only for the Playstation Portable and will have connectivity support with the Playstation 3 version of Assassin's Creed 2. This will allow you to unlock six unique weapons on Assassin's Creed 2, and vice-versa. Upgrades and treasures unlocked in one game, will be transferred to the other game as well. Pretty sweet, with me being a PS3 owner and PSP owner. Another game, other then God of War and Twisted Metal, that give me a reason to own one. The release date is suppose to be November 10ish, 2009.

Assassin's Creed 2 Assassin's Creed II: I loved Assassin's Creed. I recently just played it, so I got psyched seeing ACII being demoed at E3. You'll play as another one of Desmond's ancestors, Ezio Auditore di Firenze. The game takes place in Italy, in 1486, this time around. Leonardo da Vinci makes some gadgets for you, including his flying machine. The only weapons you have are two hidden blades, and you can steal the weapons of your enemies during combat. You can also swim this time around. It looks freaking amazing. I suggest you watch the E3 demo at Gamespot. They also demoed it during the Sony Conference. I'm probably going to be preordering one of the collector's editions. Looks like we have a couple of options. This game will be on the PS3, 360, and PC. The release date is November 17, 2009.

Darksiders: Wrath of War Darksiders - Wrath of War: This game I have talked about. Well mentioned. The game puts you in the very large shoes of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Turns out someone started the end of the world... without War knowing. He loses most of his powers, but he must find out who started the apocalypse, while battling angels and demons. The combat is another interesting point of this game. You wield a giant sword, and there are also guns. You collect orbs also. You can ride on your horse, Ruin. The game is looking like a cross among God of War, Devil May Cry, and Legend of Zelda. Actually the developers said they took inspiration from Zelda. From gameplay videos, and trailers, I agree and I am psyched. This will probably another preorder. This game comes out for the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 on January 1 2010 (for sure January).

Torchlight Torchlight: I spotlit this game in a recent post, called "That's Why" on August 10. So I shouldn't have to say too much on this game and why I like it so. Think Diablo 1.5, and it's only going to be 20 to 30 dollars. It looks sweet, the developers, Runic Games, are having fun with it. Randomization like Diablo. Lots of items. Lots of loot. And you get a pet. It's moddable to boot and will come with the editor for the game to make modding easy. Q3 or Q4 of 2009 for this game. It's for PC.

New Super Mario Bros Wii New Super Mario Bros Wii: This game was probably my favorite announcement from Nintendo at E3 (I'm not a big Metroid fan, or else Metroid the Other M probably would have been). This game will be similar to New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, where it goes back to old school roots and is a side scrolling platformer. The big news is that this is the first Mario game to have four players playing simultaneously. You can play as Mario, Luigi and two Toads of different color. Yoshi also shows up, and has abilities much like the Super Mario World Yoshi. This game will also feature a mode called "demo mode." If you get stuck, just enable this, and the computer plays through that part of the game for you. I'm probably not going to use it. That's my plan anyways. Maybe Nintendo made the game super hard. I don't know. I'm excited. The game obviously comes out for the Wii. Should be out Quarter 4 2009. Holiday 2009 are the words from Nintendo.

Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks: I like the Zelda series. I haven't played Phantom Hourglass yet. And this game looks similar. Not much is known about this game really. Link rides a train to get around the world. Also, Link controls a phantom. It'll be a tried and true Zelda game, that's for sure. Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks will be released only for the Nintendo DS. Quarter 4, 2009 is the release date.

Edge of Twilight Edge of Twilight: I had to make sure this wasn't vaporware, because I stumbled on it back in Games to the Video 3. They turned out two trailers in July of 2009, and they did an interview back in June, and it's rolling along. Gamespot isn't paying attention to it though. Anyways, Edge of Twilight takes place in a world where the Rift tore the world into Night and Day. You play as Lex, who is the only one who can survive in both Night and Day (if I understand it correctly). Lex needs to save the world from plummeting into darkness. There's some Steampunk elements. I don't know what kind of weapons, but that's what the developers say. The game is a third person platformer with hack and slash elements. Should be a good time. The game is very story driven, which makes me happy. The game will be out for the PS3, PC, and XBox 360. Websites say 2009 for the release date, but the developers haven't announced a date and, by the interview I read, it will probably more likely be 2010. So this game might pop up again on Games to the Video 7. Hopefully more information will be available then.

Sadness Sadness: I'm about 90% sure this is vaporware. Vaporware is software that is announced by the developer, but is not actually in development. The reason I say this is because the developers haven't updated their website since 2008, and they said that they would be at the Game Developer's Conference, and they weren't. The website for Sadness expired. Anyways, this game looked really cool. The concept anyways. The game would be in black and white and take place in pre World War I, Russia. The game is a survival horror game, and is meant to scare the player without using violence. It looked cool. It was for the Wii. The developers meant to take advantage of the Wiimote to help scare the player. The stated a long time ago that the game would be released in 2009. Again, I'm 90% sure that this game does not exist, but we'll see.

Honorable Mentions are also back. These are games that I'm keeping an eye on, but not a close eye. Either XBox exclusives, or games that I might buy if it's a game drought and the reviews are good. That type of deal. They are just mentioned with their release dates.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a Playstation 3 exclusive set to release on October 13 of this year. I didn't really get into Uncharted, but if the first game becomes a greatest hits, I'll scoop it up, and if I like it, buy this game at full price. I wasn't impressed with the demo for the first Uncharted though.
Scribblenauts is coming out for the DS on September 15. It's mentioned because writing something and having it form in the world sounds interesting, but sounds like something more casual.
Halo ODST is for the 360 only and comes out September 22. I'm not a fan of the Halo series, but this one intrigues me because it is different from the other Halo games.
Metroid Prime Trilogy comes out for the Wii on August 24, 2009. The game contains the two Metroid Primes from the Gamecube, and the third game on the Wii. The first two games has been upgraded with Wii controls. I figured all three games for 50 bucks wouldn't be bad. I hear good things, but never got into the Prime series.
Cursed Mountain comes out August 25 for the Wii. The main reason it is mentioned because it sounds like a hardcore game for the Wii (which I like to tell people about because people complain there are no hardcore games for the Wii).
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is coming to the PS3 on September 29. I'm not a fan of the Ninja Gaiden series, but it's a big title so I mention it.
Dead Space Extraction gets mentioned because it's another hardcore title, but I don't like survival horror so yeah. September 29 for the Wii.
Left 4 Dead 2 should almost be in the big list, but I probably won't buy it because my XBox 360 friends will buy it, and I'll play with them. I liked the first one for Coop, so yeah. Why spend the money, when you can mooch off friends. November 17 on the PC and XBox 360.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is a sequel to Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. It's hardcore for the Wii again so that's why it's mentioned. November 2009 is the release month.

And finally we come to the point where I give you updates on games that made the list in Games to the Video 5. So enjoy.

Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers is a game that I bought and played for a few minutes. It got terrible reviews, but it's still pretty fun. The story is very weak, but who cares. You are running around slashing up zombies on the Wii.
Damnation finally got released, but it got bad reviews so I decided not to get it.
Madworld is one of the best games for the Wii. For those of you complaining that their are no hardcore games for the Wii, pick this game up. Everytime a hardcore game gets released for the Wii, hardcore gamers ignore it and they don't sell. So stop complaining and buy this game. It's got blood, violence, and zombies.
Resistance Retribution came out for the PSP. I played a little bit. The controls were good for the PSP and the graphics were good. Any Resistance fan with a PSP should definitely pick this one up. I need to finish that game.
inFamous is my best game of the year so far this year. It's great to play as Cole. I've played through it twice already want to play it a third time.
The Conduit is said to be the best FPS for the Wii... but that's not saying much really. I didn't pick this game up, because it sounds like an average FPS, and I have a ton of those. I want to buy it to support the developers because they did such a good job on the Wii, but money is money. maybe some day.
Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dark Void, and I Am Alive were all pushed back and Batman appears on this list. Darkvoid and I am Alive were meant to be on this list, but were pushed back further into 2010 as I was writing this.
House of the Dead: Overkill is a game that I did end up picking up. It has a grindhouse theme to it, and is very M rated, and is probably borderline Adults Only just because of the dialogue. It's great. Again, another hardcore game for the Wii. It's still House of the Dead, through and through. It's short, but has tons of replay value if you have friends.

That concludes this edition of Games to the Video. I hope you enjoyed it.

"Be happy to."
-- Orc Peon from Warcraft II

That's Why

Torchlight Sometimes I wonder why I subscribe to 4 gaming megazines even though most of the information I get from the internet (I got them for 20 bucks for a full year subscription i guess). But I get surprised I find out something I didn't know about. The last issue of PC Gamer had been sitting on my bookcase for almost a full month, before I finally ripped it out of it's plastic and read it. I read a few things, but scanned a lot of previews for games, because either a) I didn't care, or b) I already knew everything about the game that had been released thus far. I did a double take at a game called Torchlight. Of all the big games in the issue of the megazine (Supreme Commander 2, Star Wars Old Republic, Modern Warfare 2, Monkey Island, Left 4 Dead 2) this game caught my attention the most with the simple sub headding "Don't call it a Diablo-killer." As I started scanning, the first Paragraph contained the name "Schaefer" which I reread and it said "Max Scaefer." I paused and went to the deep depths of my mind to see where I heard that name. Hellgate London. That's where the name was filed in my brain, but Max Schaefer is actually attatched to Mythos, Flagship's other game before their demise. Now Max is filed under "Runic" and the second I read "DEVELOPER: Runic" in the sidebar, I knew somethign was up. History lesson time.

Bill Roper founded Flagship Studios with several other members from former Blizzard North, who were behind Diablo series. They left because of some disputes with Vivendi (waaaaaaay before Activision Blizzard merger). The Schaefer brothers were in Seatle and were working on a smaller game for Flagship Studios, and they were called Flagship North. Hellgate London flopped, Flagship lost all money, Habitsoft owns Hellgate and Mythos now, and Flaghsip studios is dead. Flagship North, made of 14 people, formed a new company called Runic Games. I didn't expect them to make a new game for a long time, so I put them on the back burner and would check up with them in 2 years or so. Unless something surfaced with their name attatched to it...

Which brings us back to the present. They formed in August of 2008 or something like that. So I didn't expect to look at their web page until 2010 or so. Their game, Torchlight, is set to release this fall. 2009. Don't get turned off to the game just because of the short development time. Although it is true that all code for Mythos could not be used, Runic is using an interesting 3D rendering engine (it's not a game engine for some reason. I'm not sure what that means, but oh well). The 3D rendering Engine is OGRE. It's an open source engine, which is something I didn't expect, but makes sense because they are a new, independent company. From the video on their website, and the screenshots, the game looks nice, graphically.

There are two versions of the game. The first one, which is going to be released this fall, is a single player only version. The game will be released for $20-$30. So that's a good price point. That should perk your ears up. The single player game will establish the world, and give the developers inspiration for the other version of the game (which I will talk about in a second). The game has a lot of Diablo elements, such as randomization and the top view camera, and the point and click fun. I think the most cool part of the game is that it will be bundled with the game editor, which means mods. This means that someone could mod the game to allow LAN support. This just expand's the game's replayability. So if you pay 20 bucks, and beat the game with all the classes, you can look for mods and still enjoy the game. A new feature that I have never seen is the retirement option for characters. If you have a character, and it's leveled and pimptastic and all that, you can retire the character and some of its skills can be transferred to a new character. Kinda like a master-apprentice thing. It's cool sounding.

The second verison of the game won't be out for 18 months to 2 years after the single player version. It will be an MMO based in this newly created Torchlight universe. While the single player version is being published independently, The MMO is being funded by a Chinese online game publisher, Perfect World. I don't know much about Perfect World, but I hope they don't screw over Runic like Hanbitsoft did.

So cool beans that Runic is making games. FYI, Bill Roper is with Cryptic Studios, and is the Design Director and Executive Producer of Chapions Online, so he found a home as well. I hope other members of Flagship Studios found jobs. Anyways, I wanted to share that game, because I want it to be successful. Looks like it's coming along well. I was going to rant about Activision, but I'll save that for another time. Also, I'm puting the finishing touches on Games to the Video 6. Expect that soon. I'm out.

"This idea for World of Warcraft was originally 'We're going to make the best EverQuest that's ever been made.' Now, you can't say, 'Let's make the best WoW you could ever make.' Blizzard already did that."
-- Bill Roper

Maybe It's Funny to Be Divine

Dante's Divine Comedy I figured I have to post something. I have about 5 posts typed up on various subjects, and they just sit in Google Docs. So almost two months. What's that about? Well, I got West Nile Virus. That was a good time. Not really. Did some moving. Saw some stuff. Turns out, I relax more in the summer. Oh and my computer's power supply broke and was out of commission for a few weeks. It was around the time I had West Nile, and my fingers peeled when I got better, which makes switching out power supplys a hassle. Let's see. I talked a little about E3. Not as much as I would have wanted to, but I got my bases covered. You'll really get to see the fruits of E3 when I post my Games to the Video 6. I need a catchy theme to go with 6. There's 6 pack, but that's kinda gay. Unless you are talking about cold ones. Actually, Games to the Video 6 doesn't cover too many games from E3. I think Games to the Video 7 will be a huge one. In fact, I started typing up 6 about a week ago, and I have had to delete four of the games off my post because they moved the release date. I had checked the dates right before I started typing it up, and in the last week, I read news posts of the release dates changing. Crazy on how many games are getting pushed to 2010. I just watched a clip from XPlay that addressed that.

So I am working on Games to the Video 6, and it's almost done. I have to do the Honorable Mentions, and make a little image for the post. I think I'm going with the 6 cold ones theme. Other then that, I have my bases covered. Expect that probably either this weekend, or next week. It has to be before August 25.

I have been reading the Divine Comedy by Dante. I finished the Inferno yesterday and I have to say, it's really good. I read A.S. Kline's translation, and downloaded it from his website. I read it because of the video game Dante's Inferno. Probably very little similarities between the book (considering that Dante doesn't fight anyone in hell in the poem) but the game still looks really sweet. I really liked Kline's translation because in the PDF file, he links names and other things during the reading to the notes about the person, or other side note. So when Dante mentions Julius Caesar, his name is a link to Kline's notes, and there's a little blurb about Caesar and how it relates to the passage in the poem. It's a poem, but since it is translated from Italian, it is more like a symbolic book. It's fairly easy to comprehend. I recommend reading a little bit about Dante and the time when he wrote the poem. I just read the the little blurb they had cliffnotes.com about the Inferno. It's only a few pages long and helps you understand the poem a lot better. You could just read the cliffnotes, but I noticed that they don't give specific names to the people that Dante meets in hell. Although the analysis from each canto is very helpful. I kinda wish they had something for the two other parts of the poem, Purgatorio and Paradiso.

What I find interesting about the poem is how Dante makes the punishment fit the crime. For example, thieves stole each others' forms in hell. Also how Dante interpreted how serious each sin was. The deeper in hell he went, the more sinful a person was, as well the worse the punishment. He divided hell into 9 circles, but he also had divides certain circles even further. There's 10 parts circle number 8, for example. Very violent circle. That's when things got graphic. Not only that, he puts several famous people he knew of into hell. In fact, Virgil (the poet) guides him through hell. Even Mahammed is down there. It's just interesting. Dante shaped hell like a cone. The top part is wider, and the bottom point contains Satan. That's also when the world flips, and Dante and Virgil ascend into Purgatory. I haven't started reading that yet though.

I finally started Starcraft: The Dark Templar Saga. I'm on the final book already. That's how good it is. I usually don't read books that fast. It takes place between Starcraft Brood War, and Starcraft II. About four years after Brood War, actually. An archaeologist, Jacob Ramsey, discovers a dying protoss and the protoss merges minds with Jake. The protoss is a preserver, a protoss who keeps all the memorys of every protoss. Even way back to the beginning of their species. The book details various points in protoss history. Jake has to relive these memories. It's cool to learn about the protoss, and you even get to know Adun. Any protoss fan needs to read this searies.

I think I'm done with this post. Oh, one more thing. Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. Buy it from Steam, Direct2Drive, or XBox Live. Fantastic game. It's a remake of the original Secret of Monkey Island. It has updated graphics, voice acting, and remixed music. It's fantastic. And for the hardcore fans, you can also play the game with the original graphics and music at any time during the game with a click of a button. I relived some good memories playing that. I played the game like in 2001 for the first time. The games was released in 1992 I think. So I'm not that old, kiddies (although I was alive in 1992). Tim Schafer wrote story and script for the game. You know, the guy behind the upcoming Brutal Legend. Can't wait. Anyways, Bye peeps.

All hope abandon, ye who enter in.
-- Inscription on the gates of hell; Inferno