Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Walking Dead, Toy Soldiers DLC, and Escape Goat Shirts!


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GIVEAWAY: First things first, I'd like to start off by giving away the Darksiders 2 swag that I promised in the last update.  Eugaet, WeskerJ, Andrew, VDH360 and Marcela, you guys all win! Please send me an e-mail (my addy is to the right à) and I will hook you up with your goods.

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Games: Started playing (and finished, actually) The Walking Dead, Episode 1 – A New Day on 360 last night. It runs about two hours and costs $5. For fans of the comic/show, it's an absolute must-play

It's best described as a combination of point-and-click gameplay with some Heavy Rain thrown in, and the mood and atmosphere are just perfect. I'm really not a fan of the obtuse, nonsensical puzzles this genre often relies on, but I'm happy to say that they are mostlyavoided here. There were two times when I was scratching my head a little bit, but for the most part, all the focus is on the story and the puzzles are solved pretty logically.


The pace is fast, some familiar faces from the show/comic make an appearance, and there are plenty of significant choices and heavy situations that crop up. It's not perfect (my full review is on the way) but it's absolutely worth the cost of a double tall mocha and is a great addition to the Walking Dead franchise.

By the way, I played it on 360 and found the picture to be quite dark at times... I've heard that both PS3 and PC don't have that problem. Heads up!

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In other heads-up news, the good people of @SignalStudios have stealth-launched not one, but TWO new add-on DLC packs for Toy Soldiers: Cold War.


I'll skip the run-down since I'm guessing most people who read this blog already know about Toy Soldiers. The series has been one of XBLA’s all-time best sellers since it debuted, and if you crave more, both Napalm and Evil Empire are available and ready to play at this very moment. 

I haven't cracked them yet myself (going to do just that once I post this blog, in fact) but these guys don't make bad games. If you didn't know these DLCs were coming -- and really, I don't think many people did -- then you have just been informed.

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Games: I finished the Wolfenstein RPG today (iOS) but only after much heartburn... like most iD shooters, the developers take some absolutely cheap shots at the player in terms of design, and what starts out as a clever, fun title turns into something that will make you gnash your teeth and go to GameFAQs in search of a God Mode. (And yes, there is one, although I am proud to say that I did not use it to finish...) 


I still recommend it, but I would caution anyone starting it to be aware of what they're getting into. iD can be some real bastards at times.

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While I was still raging over the infuriating cheapness of Wolf’s endgame, I jumped back into Trials Evolution and used my fuming anger to complete the last two Extreme tracks that I hadn't finished. I knocked them out one right after another, and the day before I had finally gotten around to finishing the final Extreme in Trials HD that had been left undone for two years.


At this point, I've now at least Bronzed every track in the series, and I've got to say, it feels pretty damned good. Trials on Extreme is some of the hardest, most brutal stuff in all of gamedom if you ask me, so being able to complete the tracks (even if my times/faults are garbage) is definitely good enough for me.

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I mentioned it on Twitter the other day, but I recently played through the demo of Sniper Elite V2 (360) and it was a hell of a lot of fun.

I'm a sucker for sniping in games if it's done well, and I had high hopes for the original Sniper Elite. I'm sorry to say that it completely did not scratch the itch back then, but V2 seems to take the same concept from the first game and polish it up quite a bit. The graphics are a thousand times better, the controls feel smoother, and the developers have added frequent and varied kill-cam shots that Never Get Old. There’s even one that mimics the new Mortal Kombat’s X-ray supermoves… it’s pure giggles.


I was only partially interested in it before playing the demo, but it's definitely going on my must-play list now. If the full game is as entertaining as that little section I saw, it will make for one fine weekend.

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At the time I'm writing this, there are approximately 19 hours left for fans of SoulCaster and Escape Goat to buy limited-editionT-shirts offered by @MagicalTimeBean


Both of these titles (XBLI) are FAB-U-LOUS, and if you're a fan the way I'm a fan, you'll want to jump on this before time is up.

HURRY!!!

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One final thought for the night before I sign off -- I'm not a fan at all of on-disc DLC (AKA ransomware) and I see common sentiment in gamedom echoes that. However, I was thinking about it the other day, and it struck me as a little odd that Skylanders is one of the biggest offenders out there, if not THE biggest, and nobody has said a peep about it.

Don't get me wrong, I think the game is great and having little figures to collect is fun, but unless I'm totally incorrect, the disc has something like thirty characters, four new environments and a few random odds and ends on it, and buying these figures just unlocks them. I mean, I'm not an expert on exactly how the chips embedded in the figures work, but it doesn't seem likely to me that the information necessary to access a character or whatnot is completely contained within the figure itself.


If my guess is correct about the extra content already being on the disc, that adds up to something like $400 needed to see it all (not including the initial game purchase) and that's no small sum, yo.


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Nexgen, one of the oldest developer and publishers of mobile titles in Singapore, announced today its newest title, Elven Legends:  Rise of Nightshades for the Apple® iOS platforms.  As a sequel to the multi-award winning mobile game from 2008this game will deliver AAA quality along with its signature RPG gameplay.   There will be a KickStarter campaign later this month to help raise money for this long-awaited title.

Elven Legends:  Rise of the Nightshades is an action-RPG in the same vein as Diablo.  The object of the game is to fight through vicious enemy mobs and destroy a powerful boss on each level using a hero that can be leveled up and also strengthened through magical items.  Players use a unique touch system to cast spells by dragging a finger across the screen to affect the terrain and any enemies in its path. Dungeon explorers can rely on different magical spells in combination with their attacks to form complex strategies on the battle field and even use the environment as a weapon.  The game is being developed using the ground-breaking Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to bring rich visuals to this mobile title, and it will also showcase its art in full HD quality. 

This new game is coming hot on the heels of Nexgen's newest title, Deep Sea Catch, a AAA quality iOS title that will be free to play when it's released later this month.  Both of their new titles are being made for the New iPAD® by using enhanced graphics capable of shinning on the iPAD's new display. For more information on Elven Legends:  Rise of Nightshades please visit http://www.elven-legends.com/.


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Total ArKade Software today announced AbraWordabra, an original word game for iPhone, iPad, Android and Bada systems,will be released on May 2nd.

AbraWordAbra mixes word games with arcade action to create an utterly new and addictive experience in word gaming. Marvo the Magician has turned everyone into Blocks! Now it's up to you to change them back into human form.

AbraWordabra features a mix of great characters, from Lufty and Tufty, Shrieking Shirley and 'Baaaad' Baby through to Fanny, crazy guy Tongue and The Don, who'll make you an offer you can't refuse...
AbraWordabra is a Universal app for iPhone/iPad and will also be available on Android and Bada formats. It will be on sale from May 2nd and will sell for 99 cents. The trailer can be seen at www.abrawordabra.com or the AbraWordabra channel on Youtube. A Lite version will also be available on day of launch.

For all the latest news and info, visit the official website at www.abrawordabra.com.

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Get ready to live the lavish life of kingpin Tony Montana! Mobile game publisher Fuse Powered today announced, in conjunction with Hothead Games and Universal Partnerships & Licensing, that its latest mobile game, Scarface, is now available on the iTunes App Store for free.

Based on the epic film that inspired a worldwide phenomenon, Scarface is an action game that allows fans to relive the meteoric rise of cultural icon Tony Montana. Thirsty for power and money, players can work their way to the top of Miami's underworld by building their empire and expanding their businesses Montana-style. In addition, users looking to increase their status can do so through in-game transactions.
Scarface is now available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  

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Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the free Portal 2 DLC titled "Perpetual Testing Initiative" will be available for the PC and Mac on May 8th.

The "Perpetual Testing Initiative" allows players to easily create, share, and play Portal 2 puzzles. The Initiative comes with a simplified puzzle maker that allows that creation of mind-bending puzzles without ever leaving the game.

 The puzzle maker can directly publish maps to the Steam Workshop where users can browse, vote on, and select to play them. Selected puzzles will automatically be downloaded and installed inside Portal 2.
For more information on Portal 2 and its downloadable content, please visit http://www.thinkwithportals.com.

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What good is that new iPad if games aren't optimized for it? The proudly Polish professionals at 11 bit studios think the answer to that question is, "not very good at all," and  have jumped into action. The team behind one of the best-reviewed iOS games available has gone and updated Anomaly Warzone Earth to include support for stunning Retina graphics, so you can start blasting the crap out of alien towers in unprecedented detail.

To celebrate this wondrous occasion, the game is available for half price on the App Store -- that's $1.99 for the HD (universal) version and $0.99 for the standard one.

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Strategy First, Inc. and indiePub are proud to present the high speed arcade racing game Fireburst to more than 40 million Steam users.

Order Fireburst between April 25 and May 2, 2012, and receive a red hot 20% savings off of the regular $9.99 price. Blast opponents off the road with Fireburst, an explosively fun and fast-paced arcade style game developed by exDream using the Unreal 3 engine. Rev up to scorching speeds to outrun opponents on a dozen different tracks, setting them ablaze in your flaming wake.

Get behind the wheel with 16 eccentric drivers and customize your ride with hundreds of unlockable skins. Fireburst includes single-player and multiplayer modes with up to eight drivers competing online. Keep opponents at bay in blazing fashion thanks to the innovative Fireboost system that delivers thrilling action and explosive graphics. Choose from 16 cars in four different categories, each with its own unique Fireboost ability.

Fireburst is fully integrated with SteamWorks and features twelve Steam Achievements increasing the re-playability value.

Fireburst is available now for PC (Windows) via Steam(http://store.steampowered.com/app/207190/) for $9.99 (20% discount through May 2, 2012) and will be available summer 2012 for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

To learn more about Fireburst please visit https://www.facebook.com/fireburstgame.

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