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Archive for May, 2006

Episode 18

Posted by abootgames on May 29, 2006

Yet another week of gaming is behind us. We played games that ranged from decent to "craptastic". It seems that more and more games are falling into the second catagory.

There is a FULL slate of games set to release in the upcoming week, including some pretty highly anticipated titles.

A couple states take a firm stance on violent video games sales, one has a great plan while the other is totally clueless.

Direct download Link

Mini Reviews:

Full Spectrum Warrior- Ten Hammers – Sequel to FSW – This time on the ps2 at the same time as xbox, i was playing PS2 version. Which didn't look as good as the first game for Xbox. The control are pretty much the same as FSW with a couple added feature like percision firing from the team leader. Again you do not do any actual firing you just tell your squad where to fire. A third team is brought in from time to time the can be snipers, tanks or another squad. The team members have been given peronalites and back ground to bring them to life a little more. There is a profanity option on by default, let me says these character swear enough to make a sailor blush. This game isn't a huge improvment over the first game but worth checking out as a RTS/shooter that is really in it's own genre.

The Hustle: Detroit Streets – This is a pool/billards game that attempts to be cool…badly. The premise behind this game is that you are playing pool with the underwolrd of Detroit trying to build up enough money and cred to play other players in tougher games. Think NBA Street but with pool. It's an interesting premise, but it doesn't translate very well. Ok so enough about the back story, it's a pool game so how is the pool??? Well I've got to say it's not the worst pool game I've ever played. It has a nice mix of different types of pool (9 ball, 8-ball, 9-ball) something that for some reason we don't see in pool games very often. The player is able to pull off all the expected moves including spin and the like. It even goes so far to teach some pool thinking, like leaveing the white ball in godd position for the next shot and hooking your opponent. The AI is ok obviously getting better as the game progresses. All of this is heavily marred however by arguably the worst tutorial mode in video game history. I almost threw the game at the wall trying to figure out what the tutorial wanted me to do. Also annoying is the fact that the developers decided to use a cut scene every time you take a shot, so you line your shot's up in the regular fashion of pool games, with a disembodied pool cue, and then this animation comes on to show you hitting it. This kind of takes you out of the game every shot. Overall if you are a die hard pool fanatic whoose legs have been cut off and you can't find a chair to allow you to play at a real table this game will satisfy you as long as you can get past the horrible tutorial mode and unneeded story.

Samurai Showdown V – This is the same game you may remember. A 2D fighter with weapons. I mentioned that The first Samurai Showdown was one of my favorite fighters, and this game improves on absolutely nothing on that game. There is a ton of new characters to play as but they all pretty much play the same. The graphics are a definate flash back to the early 90's but that was 15 years ago. If you are a fan of these games give it a rent, if not you wont miss a thing with this game.

Ultimate Spider Man – This is the cartoony little brother of the earlier released Spiderman 2. Most of the game is very similar. Major differences include the cartoony feel, slightly different controls, a slighlty different acheivment system, and the big thing…the ability to play as Venom. I have to say that overall the only thing this game did for me was encourage me to throw my copy of Spiderman 2 into my PS2 and swing around for a bit. There isn't enough new and the things that stayed the same aren't done as well. For instanct there are less tall buildings to swing from. Even playing as Venom, who doesn't swing but can jump long distances isn't enjoyable to play as, or at least wasn't enjoyable to me. The only cool thing about him is that you can eat people to get health back back sucking them into the suit. Overall play Spiderman 2 first if you can't get enough this is nice, but it's not a new game, just more levels for the admittedly short original.

New Releases:

DS:

Scurge: Hive – action game – very colorful –

Big Brain Academy – another brain game – along the lines of brain age

Magnetica – was released as Puzz Loop in 1998, now has touch screen support

GBA:

Scurge: Hive – action game – very colorful –

Juka and the Monophonic Menace – Adventure Game that's full of puzzel solving

Game Cube:

Major League Baseball 2K6 – Didn't the other console get this BEFORE the season began

PC:

City Life – strategy game that manages the balance of the 6 culture in urban life

Act of War: High Treason – expansion to the Act of War game – adds naval combat
Hitman: Blood Money – the latest in the Hitman series

Rush for Berlin – RTS – set in Berlin 1944-45 –
Stacked with Daniel Negreanu – Poker – this fad will end eventually

Half-Life 2: Episode One – first in a series of stand alone games set after HL2

Out of the Park Baseball Manager 2006 – Again shouldn't this have been released BEFORE the season began
Drop Team – real-time, tactical simulation –

Front Mission Online – The latest in the Front Mission series, play online only.
PS2:

Hitman: Blood Money – the latest in the Hitman series

Stacked with Daniel Negreanu – Poker – this fad will end eventually

MLB SlugFest 2006 – Arcade version of Baseball – fast paced over the top.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories – Same as PSP title but Cheaper
PSP:

Stacked with Daniel Negreanu – Poker – this fad will end eventuallyXbox:

Hitman: Blood Money – the latest in the Hitman series

Stacked with Daniel Negreanu – Poker – this fad will end eventually

MLB SlugFest 2006 – Arcade version of Baseball – fast paced over the top.

Richard Burns Rally – more rally racing

Xbox 360:
Hitman: Blood Money – the latest in the Hitman series

News:

Minnesota has passed an "Inappropriate Games" bill that will fine minors $25 for buying M or AO rated games. http://psp.ign.com/articles/709/709437p1.html

Maryland has passed a video game restriction law of it's own. The ESA ( Entertainment Software Association ) is actually backing this one. The state will place it's own ratings along side the ESRB and will fine retailers $1000 that dont comply. http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=12775

Sony in it's arogance has said if we build it, they will buy it. The head of sony europe said that many will buy the PS3 just becasue Sony made it. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3150935

During E3 Xbox live transfered over 600 Terabytes of data. This was users downloading game demos and movie trailers. The most popular being the Halo 3 trailer. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2207229.stm

Surgeons play video games before performing surgury to reduce errors. Laparoscopic surgury involves using a "remote control" system to perform the surgury. http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=scienceNews&storyID=2006-05-24T063502Z_01_N5N185622_RTRUKOC_0_US-VIDEOGAMES.xml

The price of the Nintendo Wii should e around $220 US , this comes from the horses mouth, Yoshihiro Mori. This comes as good news, I was planning on buying this system before I knew a final price, now I will surely get one. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aGb9SiTZ4trI&refer=top_world_news

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Episode 17 – E3 Thoughts

Posted by abootgames on May 22, 2006

Happy Victoria Day everyone

We made it back after our week off. E3 is over and everything is returning to normal. The "BIG 3" made some big announcements that we discuss in the news section this week. All the games shown had the "next gen" look to them, but at E3 they have to look great.

Direct download Link

Mini Reviews

Rampage: Total Destruction – A few shows ago we talked about this game coming out and I said that it looked like there wasn't anything new and that I wished that the series would just go away. After saying something like that I couldn't help but pick it up for this week's show when I saw it for rent at my local. Here goes… The premise of this game is that you and friend (2 players only…1 less than the original arcade title) can destroy city scapes as 1 of a number of over the top stereo-typical monsters. Alone or with your friend you destroy buildings, eat people, throw cars, and generally cause mayhem to the level your on. They've included the other 2 games in the series so you can play any of the 3 major versions with just 1 disc; of course they're all the same except for very small differences so why would you just play through the newest one? They've added some depth to the levels so the monsters can walk into the background to get at other buildings and edible passerbys. You can still only walk about 3 buildings into the background though and levels, although bigger than previous versions of the game, are really tiny. They have managed to get rid of loading between levels, but would have really been nice would have been to actually make a new game and give the player a whole city (ala: GTA or Spiderman 2) to run amok in. This would have allowed for a fully imersive game and some different game play instead of always just smashing thing!!! Graphically they've decided to go the way of the last game in the series, 1997s Rampage: World Tour, in a word cartoony. If anything they've gone beyond the previous game and made a game that has the feel of the claymation games that were ppular in the mid 90s. Overall not a fun game. My wife sat down to play it with me and was board within 10 minutes. It just goes to show you. Just because a game was great 20 years ago in the arcade doesn't mean it'll make a good remake. Especially if the gameplay, which in those days was all aboot high scores and quarter sucking, hasn't changed at all.

R-Type Final – This will be the last game of the r-type franchise, the went out on top with a great game that no fan will want to miss. This version does an amazing job of putting a third dimension to a 2d game. All the classic weapons ( With the red, blue and yellow power ups) are present to go along with a new fleet of ships at your disposal. The frustration level of this game is well above safe levels, if you get as tempted as I do to throw a controller, you might want to stay away.

Mario Party: 7 – Fot those of you who have never played one of these games, you know any of the 6 previous ones, on N64 or GC they're board games on crack with a mario twist.  Pretty much every turn everybody rolls the dice, moves their spaces deals with what ever boon or penalty come from their new space (things like playing mini games, getting coins, and getting hit by other players traps).  At the end of every turn the players all participate in a minigame for coins, which can be used to buy the afore mentioned traps and other things.  The ultimate goal of each game is collect more stars and other things than your opponents and the game comes with a variety of different game boards that each have a different way of collecting these.  Now to the differences…  Number 7 is pretty much the same as 6 and 5.  Again we see the incorporation of the microphone accesory.  The only real change that I noticed was that the gameboards look a lot less structured now, favouring more natural environments to base themselves on.  Good game, great with a bunch or friends.  Rent if you're having a party.  Buy it if you hold a lot of parties.  Nobody will be unhappy.

Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast – Well just keeping in with the games that we said shoud die I grabbed this "gem". This arcade racer is sure to disappoint. I am not entirely certain but the devolpersw seemed to have ignored most of the advances in racing games since the original Outrun. You drive a never ending road with twistes and turns passing cars all the way. You to have "missions" to accomplish along the trek – pass cars and win races. The heart attack mode is back from outrun 2 – your girlfriend gives you little tasks, hit cars; dont crash; drift; pass cars to gain her affection. There are higher stages of girlfriends but I couldn't be bothered to finish the first one. Much like Rampage this game gets real boring after a few minutes.

New Releases – Xmen: The official a couple days ago.

GBA – nuthin

DS

Miss Spider: Harvest Time Hop and Fly – so cute it has to be a kids game.

Game Cube

Teen Titans – Action platformer – based on cartoon

PC

The Da Vinci Code – with content from the movie but based on the book.

Roque Trooper – 3rd person action game,

PS2

Roque Trooper – 3rd person action game,

Teen Titans – Action platformer – based on cartoon

Steambot Chronicles – ACtion game with big walking mechs and katamari controls –

PSP

Field Commander – PSP version of this greaqt series

Lemmings – yup lemming on the go

Monster Hunter Freedom – yup monster hunter for the PSP. I have been looking forward to this game for a while now.

XBox

Roque Trooper – 3rd person action game,

The Da Vinci Code – with content from the movie but based on the book.

XBox 360

Table Tennis – from Rockstar Games – looks amazing but I still ask "Wha"
News:

Atari to drop prizes on games for all systems and PC to 19.99. The only exception being – Dungeons and Dragons : Stormreach.

SONY E3

  • Controller looks very familiar, and holds true if it ain't broke dont fix it.
  • Also implementing some of the Wii aspects
  • Price poin for ps3 500 for 20gig (no wireless ) 600 for 60gig
  • Gran Toursimo did look freaking sweet.
  • Further Eyetoy support
  • E-distrobution through the hub for ps1 games for my PSP that is gonna rock (if the price is right)
  • Micro payments and online in game stores
  • Using the psp as a mini portable dis play freaky sweet
  • MADDEN 07 – not dropping the Name for ESPN
  • The controller has some of the Wii characteristics
  • The launch numbers looks like the PS3 will be a very hard item to get

Microsoft

  • HD-DVD add on throught the USB port
  • holy crap Pac man in high def
  • Indepentant developer are gonna shop there wares on Xbox live Arcade
  • Fable 2
  • Vista is built to play games

Nintendo

  • It's all aboot the Wii. I think this system is the next best thing.
  • Low price tag
  • Always on network connection to download updates during dormant cycles.
  • Less loading time
  • That great Wii controller that we now know has a speaker built in for a new dimension in sound as well as
  • Aiming for non-gamers and "lost" gamers
  • No Japanese Translation for Wii
  • Old Hits being thrown back out for yet another system
  • A big push on the DS / DS lite
  • what happened to Game Boy ( not one mention in the media show)

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Episode 16

Posted by abootgames on May 8, 2006

Hey guys

We re back with another little bit shorter episode. The E3 circus will begin in just a couple days with all the newwss and info on video games.

We are goning to take a week off in absorb and process all the info of E3, and be retuning on May 22.

Direct Download Link

Mini Reviews:

Tomb Raider: Legend – Thia game is freakin amazing. I was quickly reminded that this is a great video game series. The gun fighting action is a little over the top, and even includes a "bullet time" move. The puzzles are not overly challenging but familiar if you have played the previous games. There is the occasional react now button press sequence, usually resulting in a wrong or late press ending in one of the many death Lara can suffer. There is what seems like a ton of unlockables, each stage had bronze, silver and gold treasures, time trials (race through the stage). Which gives movie sequences and alternate outfits. I doubt there is a bikini but there are plenty of cleavage shots.

Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity – A very Japanese tactical RPG, with anime like graphics and storyline.  The tactical combat is solid, that is turn based combat that works more like chess than an RPG.  The storyline is actually a bit interesting despite being full of classical anime standby (a close friend becoming your enemies, the evil technological people destroying the planet for their own ends, etc…).  The place that these types of games really shine are in character creation and this game doesn't leave you hanging.  It  features a fully featured leveling system with it's own twist on things.  The standbys remain, you level your players through the different job classes trying to earn the skills required to continue defeating the bad guys and leveling your character.  If you love tactical RPGs and have already played FF: Tacticss this is a solid tactical RPG.  If you don't like the genre, skip this game, it isn't anything new.  If you've never played one of these games, play FF: Tactics for PS1 (don't worry the graphics stand up) and then play this to  satisfy your crazy hunger for more tactics.

Kung Fu Chaos – Fun little action game for up to 4 players. This game is the making of a kung fu movie where your proformance termines if the movie is a hit or flop. This really is a button masher at it's best. The characters and all around goofyness of this game is just fun. The game is not very long, can be finished in a week end. The last few stages really step up the difficulty to controller throwing levels. The multiplayer really does rock, a few friends sittin around will have a blast.

The Simpsonss: Hit and Run – A GTA clone with a completely Simpson's flavour.  This game combines a watered down free roaming driving game with a million and 1 bits of Simpsons trivia.  The driving handles a little more arcady than most games in this genre, but because of the cartoony graphics it fels very natural.  The free roaming is limited to letting the player do 3 or 4 different things at a time although only 1 will progress the story.  For fans of the Simpsons (yes you know you are even though it isn't cool to be one any more) this game has everything you've ever wanted, all the major Simpsons characters with acurate voices, a tonne of very noticable locals, all the greatest Simpsons vehicles are unlockable (Mr. Plow is a loser and I think he is a booser…), and references to all your favourite episodes in the form of different outfits for the characters.  The only drawbacks to this game, and they are minor, are a silly Super Sprint type mini game that is 2 player and the fact that the shading in the game makes all the characters look llike deformed humans instead of well formed Simpsons characters.  Overall I'd say this is the best Simpsons game out there and great fun .

Releases:

DS

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie – platformer fun

GBA

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie – platformer fun

Garfield and His Nine Lives – 9 unique levels of platformer goodness

Gamecube

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie – platformer fun

Pc

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends – Rise of nations expansion

Seal of Evil – action RPG set in Ancient China

SiN Episodes: Emergence – Sci-fi FPS –

PS2

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie

PSP

Nuthin

Xbox

Over the Hedge – based on upcoming movie

Xbox 360

Nuthin

News:

Some industry analysts feel that Microsoft will hold as the dominant system… until mid 2007 when Sony will reclaim the throne. http://ps2.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3150142

Video game development companies are under fire from their own employees. Activision is being sued for compensation for the excessive over-time they were being forced to work. http://xbox360.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3150187

Time has honored a video game developer as one of the 100 people who shape our world. Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo is one of those people. http://pc.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3150140

Gold Farming is big business. Allakhazam has been purchased by a gold farming company ( IGE ). http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3150282

Olivion has been re-rated from T to M for violent and sexual content. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/41978

Xbox has implement messagaing from xbox.com to xbox live gamers. http://www.gamersreports.com/news/2386/

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Episode 15

Posted by abootgames on May 1, 2006

This week the news picks up as we draw ever closer to E3. The new releases slow to a trickle but a couple qulity titles are coming out.
Direct Downoad Link

Mini Reviews: Remove the timed aspect but aim to keep it short.

XIII – A First Person Shooter done with cell shaded graphic. The visuals are a nice touch and gives a good feel that you are playing a comic book. The aliteration of the sounds is cool seeing "tap ..tap .. tap" as enemies walk, also add to the feel. If you are lucky enough to get a great shot you are treated to a 3 panel replay of the shot. No online for this game serverly limits the replay ability. An awsome but short game that is woth the price you can find it for.

SW: Empire at War Demo – Another SW RTS that has some cool features. It combines the RTS elements of Galatic Battlegrounds with SW Rebellion and older game that let you manage the galaxy and get in some real time space battles. The actual RTS element is handled pretty well. The ground batles are pretty standard, you've got your troops and structures and they've got theirs. In space the battle is significantly better than in Rebellion. It let's you control all manner of ships and the tactics made popular by the movies and more importantly the novels seem to work pretty well. There is also a realy cool movie feature that lets you watch the action as if you were watching a movie battle. It focuses on one part of the battle at a time and really just makes the action look really cool overall. If you're an RTS fan buy this game. If you're a huge SW fan take a look too, if not either of these it's a pass. There isn't anything new enough to draw you into either of these topics if you're not already there.

Me and My Katamari – PSP very of a very simple and very strange game. Roll up object to make a big ball with in a certain time frame. The PSP version breaks each stage into several smaller stages. At aboot the half way point of each stage a second section opens up and a load time, not long but a little annoying. This game is just s addictive as any others. The sound track is weird Japanese pop music that stick in your head. The King of all cosmos is very mean to the litttle prince in this game.

SW: Bounty Hunter – Nice to see a game that focuses on another part of the SW universe.  3rd person game, 1st person controls.  Not the best game I've evr played, but not to bad.

Releases:

DS / GBA / Gamecube

– Nuthin

PC

Guild Wars: Factions

– Guild Wars: Factions (Collector's Edition) – Expansion to guild wars –

– Resident Evil 4 – PC version

SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars – my video card is screeming in pain now. 3 players online little wired

Jaws Unleashed – same as consoles from a few weeks back

Playboy the Mansion: Private Party – expansion to the sim "mens magazine"

Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge – An RTS set in the western era, with the ability to switch to 3rd person for duels / shoot outs.

Seed – An upcoming Sci-fi MMO with 3d comic graphics. looks interesting. This will have a 14 day free trial and a 2 for 1 rate for the first couple months.
PS2

Gallop Racer 2006 – horse racing sim

PSP

Guilty Gear Judgment – A guilty gear game for the psp / more 2d fighting action

Xbox

– DMZ North Korea
XBOX 360

– nuthin


News:

Sony PS 3 is going to use sostware emulation for backward compatibiltiy meaning that not all games will work. http://www.joystiq.com/2006/04/24/playstation-3-not-100-backwards-compatible/

More info on the PS3 just days before E3. Pricing $399us – older games will run in HD – will include a 60 gig hard drive – no regional codeing – as reported by PSM magazine http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/10795/New-PlayStation-3-Details-Emerge/

DDO (Dungeon and Dragons Online) is offering a free 7 day trial. http://trial.ddo.com/

Microsoft is considering buying the in game advertising company Massive for $200 – $400 million. http://gamecube.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3149988

Xbox live is to get MAME and Sega games. http://www.pro-g.co.uk/news/21-04-2006-2625.html

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