Hoard gets 4 player cooperative confirmed

Hoard is an upcoming downloadable game where you control a dragon and well, destroy everything for points.  At any rate, click the link below for new screenshots and more information.

blog.us.playstation.com/2010/08/20/hoard-coming-to-pax-four-player-co-op-confirmed/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hoard_082010

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2 new characters announced for Marvel vs Capcom 3

Two more characters have recently been announced for Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds at Gamescom 2010. Now see them in action in the video clips we just posted at the Capcom press center!
 
He’s known by many names: The Dread One, Eater of Souls and Lord of Chaos. But you know him as Dormammu, the mystical scourge of time and space. Dormammu will officially make his fighting game debut in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He’ll be joined by Thor, Deadpool, Hulk, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Doom and Super-Skrull.
 
Next up is Viewtiful Joe, the red-suited rabble rouser from the Capcom universe. He’ll have back-up coming from Amaterasu, Dante, Ryu, Morrigan, Chris Redfield, Felicia, Trish and Chun-Li.
 
Get set for the ultimate 3-on-3 faceoff when Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Spring 2011.

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Review: Monday Night Combat

By: Roger Hansen

I had mixed feelings when I downloaded the Xbox Live Arcade game, Monday Night Combat for my trusty old 360 I call “Flashy the Wonderball”. To be completely honest with you, I really only bought the game because my friends were buying it and like any good friend I crumpled under the righteous weight of peer pressure. As the impending release date drew ever near, the anticipation grew to a fever pitch. My friends eagerly prophesized which class they were going to play and how much they were going to own. Meanwhile I wallowed wonderfully in a pool of apathy. After playing a dozen or so matches I found myself pleasantly enjoying my purchase as I murdered robots and other players to the roar of the crowd.

It is hard to describe Monday Night Combat without inevitably mentioning Valve’s third person class based shooter, F Meat Resorts 2. But, hell with it, I’ll take that challenge. Monday Night Combat’s main mode pits two teams of six players against each other and the goal is simple–destroy the other teams Money Ball while protecting your own. Adding a little spice to that, each team continually spawns a variety of robots that mindlessly march towards the enemies’ base. Players earn money which they can spend upgrading various skills and building different types of turrets to protect their Money Ball. There are six different classes to choose from, Assault, Tank, Support, Assassin, Sniper, and Gunner. Later in your career you are also given the opportunity to tweak the classes by selecting their endorsements, increased health regeneration, faster rate of fire, more speed, etc.

So how does this work out in the end? I ended up being pleasantly surprised. The various classes supply much appreciated variety while the small strategic decisions available help liven up the gameplay. The classes seem fairly balanced (albeit with some disagreements between my friends) and reflect the style of play you’re feeling at the moment. Are you feeling sneaky and want to run around the map stabbing people? Play the Assassin. Want to hang back and take potshots at your enemies while laying traps? Be a sniper.  Feel like walking around and getting shot up more than a Piñata at a Mexican standoff? Yeah there’s a class for that. Each class also features two weapon modes and three unique upgradeable abilities. Due to the objective orientated nature of the mode, it proves beneficial for teams to coordinate and communicate.

The pace of the game is extremely fast, and the characters move smoothly. The grappling system works most of the time, blending in seamlessly with the gun heavy combat. A handful of different maps help liven up the environments you are fighting in. I really enjoyed the sports arena atmosphere the game creates, keeping it light hearted and fun. During matches the mascot will randomly show up and run around and the game urges you to shoot it and rewards you with cavalcade of money for you to greedily snatch up.

A single player and co-op mode exist, pitting players against endless waves of bots, providing a little break from the single adversarial mode and a way to grind for cash. Future downloadable content packs are planned for later release to help keep the game fresh for many more frags to come.

Unfortunately the game does fall short in several aspects. It is a sin to release such a multiplayer heavy game without a dedicated lobby system. This makes forming and reforming groups of players a bit of a chore. This issue is compounded with the amount of connection issues I experience. During any gaming session consisting of more than two rounds I can expect to be dropped out to the main menu. When the host quits, the host migration system proves inadequate with roughly a 50% success rate. Even when successful it takes several frustrating minutes for it to work itself out. In several of the games I played lag proved to be a serious issue, but luckily it was confined to only a few. I love objective based game types and prefer them to free for all and team deathmatch modes. Fortunately for me the game caters to that type of gameplay, but it can get frustrating playing with random people and being teamed up with a disorganized mob of solo minded players. Overall for its price Monday Night Combat offers a richer multiplayer experience than many $60 dollar games. This is definitely a game I recommend for anyone already interested or on the fence.

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REVIEW: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

If you were given the opportunity to redefine the Lara Croft franchise what would you do?  Would you keep the same 3rd-person perspective and focus more on fighting? Would you almost completely rid of fighting and switch it to more of an Uncharted/Uncharted 2 type of game?  Or would you keep the core concepts of the franchise but completely change nearly everything we as gamers are familiar with?  Well, regardless of what you may do with this choice, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics chose the latter, and it’s about as perfect as one could ever hope for.

In Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, you play as the infamous treasure hunter Lara Croft (naturally).  You break into the area where the Smoke Mirror is resting, only to realize that you were followed by mercenaries.  Before Lara can do anything about it, the mercenaries take the artifact from it’s resting place and unleash the badass evil god Xolotl and his no-nonsense evil army.  Upon his release, Totec, the Mayan guardian who has been watching over the Smoke Mirror for thousands of years, is awakened.  He and Lara set off on a quest to retrieve the Smoke Mirror from Xolotl and restore peace to the world.

The first thing you need to do is throw away everything you know about Lara Croft.  Gone are the days of 3rd-person perspective and shotty controls.  No more random wolf attacks and awkward underwater levels.  Puzzles are no longer simply time consuming and redundant, but actually involve using your brain and have a purpose.  The view has now been zoomed out (reminiscent of Diablo), with the controls being very similar to games such as Zombie Apocalypse and iDracula.  You use the left analog stick to move around, and the right analog stick to aim/fire your weapon.  In other words, if you aim the right analog stick to the upper right, Lara will fire that direction.  All the other controls are fairly standard with the ability to jump, run, and switch weapons on the fly to name a few.

The biggest change to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the ability to play cooperatively.  Right now the release only allows for same screen/same system cooperative play, with online support being released September 28th.  While I can see how people may complain about this, sitting directly next to the person you are playing with makes this game so much more enjoyable.  If you play cooperatively the second player will control Totec.  His main weapon is a Spear which you can throw against walls, allowing Lara to jump onto them and cross certain areas.  Along with that Totec can lift his shield above his head so that Lara can jump on top of it to reach higher areas.  Lara is equipped with a grappling hook that she can launch out for Totec to grab, or walk across, so that he too can cross distant areas.  Watching Totec jump blindly across a 30 foot gap, knowing that the only way he will survive is by Lara launching her grappling hook leads to some heart-stopping, and sometimes hilarious, situations.  For instance, did your co-op partner blow you up with a grenade?  Looks like it’s now your turn to “forget” to engage your grappling hook.  Messing with your partner is just as much as fun as actually playing nicely.

The one thing that truly amazed me about this game is how all 14 levels are built differently depending on if you are playing single or cooperatively.  Each puzzle is constructed according to how you are playing, allowing 100 percent completion regardless of how you play.  I look at it as if it’s two completely separate games, with new puzzles to conquer.  The one glaring moment I can remember is a puzzle where I had to shoot my grappling hook across a gap to a golden ring.  Once it was attached, I walked around the outer edge until I came a full 360 degrees and the grappling hook cable was now wrapped around a large spiked pole in the middle of the room.  Once this was attached, Totec was then able to walk across said cable and grab the hidden artifact.  In single player, the pole was taken out and the solution to said puzzle involved Lara repelling and jumping to get the prize.

Each level is also built with a ton of side objectives to complete.  Whether it’s completing a level in less than 8 minutes, collecting all 10 red skulls, blowing up every truck, or reaching a certain Score goal, each completed objective comes with it’s own unique prize.  I highly recommend achieving as many goals as you possibly can (even if it means replaying certain levels) because the artifacts and relics you will be rewarded with will make you much stronger.  Take your time playing this game and thoroughly enjoy how intricate and detailed each level is, it’s truly amazing for a digital download.

At the end of the day Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the best game I have every played for $15.00.  I would even go so far as to say it’s the best Lara Croft game I have ever played.  The cooperative puzzles are both fun and challenging, enemies are varying and fun to kill, and each level is incredibly detailed and full of goodies.  I honestly couldn’t believe the price tag on this game, and it still confuses me.  I’ve played $60 games that don’t pack as big a punch as this one.  Absolutely incredible.  Absolutely game-changing.  The world of digital downloads just crowned it’s new Heavyweight Champion, and it’s going to take a monster of a game to dethrone it.

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PSP Go-esque Smartphone

Apparently Sony Ericsson is working on a phone that will destroy all other gaming phones out there.  It’s rumored to be creating an entire new “platform, ecosystem, and device“, and is already near completion.

From the pictures I have seen, it’s the love child of the Android and the PSP Go.  Where a slider on a phone is typically inhabited by a QWERTY keyboard, there is now game controls.  There is a D-Pad instead of a joystick (called a long touch pad), PSP buttons, and shoulder buttons on top of everything else.

The display is reported to be somewhere around 4 inches with at least WVGA resolution, a 5 megapixel camera, and 1GHz Snapdragon CPU.  There is also a rumor that it is going to carry Playstation branding on release. Games currently being shown off are God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and LittleBigPlanet.

Release date is unknown but once again rumors are that it could be released as early as this October.  For more information head to the Source Site listed below:

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/11/exclusive-sony-ericsson-to-introduce-android-3-0-gaming-platfor/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+weblogsinc%2Fengadgetmobile+%28Engadget+Mobile%29

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11 New Bands in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Yes, that’s correct- finally Guitar Hero is actually doing something differently.  Check out the list below and get ready to become a Warrior of Rock!!!

  • Anberlin – “The Feel Good Drag”
  • Arch Enemy – “Nemesis”
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants”
  • John 5 – “Black Widow Of La Porte”
  • Neil Young – “Rockin’ In The Free World”
  • Orianthi – “Suffocated”
  • Queensrÿche – “Jet City Woman”
  • Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe”
  • RX Bandits – “It’s Only Another Parsec…”
  • Snot – “Deadfall”
  • Tesla – “Modern Day Cowboy”

“It’s seriously a huge honour to be included in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock,” said Anberlin lead guitarist, Joey Milligan. “It is surreal to have our name next to so many great bands and amazing songs! I can’t wait to play this!”

“One of the great things about Guitar Hero is that it’s in a unique position to expose millions of people to great music by bands they may otherwise never listen to,” said Tim Riley, Vice President of Music Affairs for Guitar Hero. “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock delivers an impressive 90+ set-list and we are happy to be introducing our fans to 11 bands that have never before been featured in a Guitar Hero game.”

In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, join with friends on an epic rock journey to save rock n’ roll. Featuring an impressive 90+ track set list and a host of all-new gameplay features, living room legends and their friends can strum, drum and wail in the most immersive music videogame experience to date. Delivering the quintessential rock music collection that focuses on guitar shredding hits from bands such as Black Sabbath, Slipknot and Megadeth and larger-than-life band anthems from Queen, Muse and KISS, players can unleash more rewards and unlockable content than ever before in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock’s Quest Mode, the franchise’s first ever story-based mode, and Quickplay+, which invites challenge-starved fanatics to test their rock skills. Running on the powerful Guitar Hero engine that has been expanded and refined and with encores from the critically-acclaimed and fan favorite gameplay features that made Guitar Hero one of the most popular franchises of all-time – such as Party Play, Competitive modes and any combination of up to four instruments – the game offers a complete interactive and connected experience bringing friends and foes to the stage in the ultimate rock music experience.

Warriors of Rock will be released on all systems this September.

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Kane and Lynch 2 Co-Op Vignette

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Bioshock 2 DLC- Minerva’s Den

2K Games announced today Minerva’s Den*, an all-new single-player focused downloadable game add-on for BioShock® 2 that introduces new characters, locations and mystery to the fiction-rich world of Rapture. In development for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows-LIVE, Minerva’s Den is a self-contained narrative experience that puts players in the role of an all-new character who has teamed up with Brigid Tenenbaum to unravel a dictator’s stranglehold on a key district in the distinctive city under the sea.

“Minerva’s Den is a substantial addition that will give players more of what they’re looking for: more story, more narrative, more gameplay and more of Rapture,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “The core team has created an exciting product that further enhances the mystery and allure of the world of Rapture. Minerva’s Den will be a fitting conclusion to the BioShock 2 saga.”

Prepare to explore Rapture Central Computing, a never-before-seen district of the undersea city, and uncover the dark secrets hidden in its founder’s past. Wield new high-tech weaponry and a devastating new Plasmid to best the towering threats in Minerva’s Den: more dangerous Splicers that command the power of the elements, upgraded Security Bots that throw rockets and lightning bolts, and even a never-before-seen type of Big Daddy. Developed by 2K Marin, Minerva’s Den offers new twists on the story-driven experience that drew players into BioShock 2 when it launched earlier this year.

About BioShock 2
BioShock 2 provides fans with an unsettling storyline, dazzling visual design and the evolution of the genetically enhanced shooter gameplay. Set almost a decade after a grueling civil war consumed the once magnificent city of Rapture, evil reverberates through the halls and a wickedness once thought gone forever returns along the Atlantic seaboard. An unspeakable series of kidnappings from local seaside communities by an unseen monster leads to the repopulation of Little Sisters in Rapture’s failed utopia under the ocean. Players must step into the boots of one of gaming’s most iconic characters, the Big Daddy, as they traverse the fallen city, fending off attacks from an army of genetically modified Splicers, while searching for escape and the key to their survival.

BioShock 2’s multiplayer modes provide fans with an engrossing prequel experience that expands upon the fiction of Rapture’s origins. Set during the year before Rapture’s descent into chaos, players assume the role of a Plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions, a key provider of Plasmids and Tonics in the underwater city that was first explored in BioShock. Players will enter into areas from the original title as they struggle to gain superiority and fight for survival in franticly paced battles.

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Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Leaderboard System

Among the many new features in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, the Leaderboard system is the one that’s going to make players continue playing this game.

Based off of several criteria including, but not limited to, items collected, enemies, killed, time beaten, and overall damage taken, your score will be calculated and thrown amongst the rest of the world.

The picture you see above is none other than Bryan Cole (who wrote the review) in the number 1 spot for Level 3.

Congratulations to him!  Send us a pic of your score if you ever beat him (which I doubt you will)

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Play Blur, Win a BMW 125i

Starting Wednesday, 4th August, PlayStation Network users across Europe will get to experience powered-up racing in the demo of Activision‘s BlurTM – and get a chance to win a BMW 125i series car!

Celebrating the launch of the Blur multiplayer demo on PlayStation Network, all qualifying PlayStation3 users who download the Blur demo, available now on PlayStation Network, will be in the running for a racing experience like no other and a chance to win a BMW sports car.

The Blur event will be taking place from 4th August to 25th August. All qualifying players who download and play the demo and rank up to level 5 or higher, will be entered into a sweepstake to win a brand new BMW 125i coupé equipped with sporty BMW Performance accessories. The BMW 1 Series coupé in alpine white is very much tailor-made for sportiness and dynamics – from the muscular front right up to the powerful rear. The six-cylinder in-line engine under the hood of the BMW 125i delivers 160 kW (218 PS) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.4 seconds – moreover it is equipped with various products from BMW’s very own racing-inspired BMW Performance accessory line, providing ideal driving dynamics.

The details at a glance:
– The Blur demo has been available from 14th July on PlayStation Network in selected EU countries and the CIS
– The sweepstake will be run on PlayStation Network from 4th August to 25th August – all qualifying players who download and play the Blur demo ranking up to level 5 are eligible
– The main prize is a BMW 125i coupé equipped with sporty BMW Performance accessories. Three runners-up will receive a full copy of Blur for PlayStation3
– Minimum age of participation: 18 years
– A fully rendered 3D model of the BMW Tii concept car can be seen in PlayStation Home (Home Square)
– For further information visit: www.eu.playstation.com/blurcompetition.com and www.facebook.com/sonyplaystation.com
– Full Terms & Conditions available at www.eu.playstation.com/blurcompetitionterms.com

See you on the battlefield!

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