Wednesday, 29 June 2011

XBLA - Deals of the Week "Mutants And More!"

Xbox Live Arcades "Mutants And More!"
June 28th - July 4th

I consider this weeks Xbox Arcade Deals Of The Week to be mediocre at best, but I am happy to see "Lara Croft And The Gaurdian Of Light" on sale. I had a blast with this game, I'm hoping that this sale will promote the game even more than its 150,000+ downloads already. Below is a list of all the games on this weeks Xbox Live Arcades Deals Of The Week, with the very loosely themed "Mutants And More!", along with a brief description and a MetaCritic Score. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled - 400MP(50% off)

4-Player Co-op
MetaCritic Score: 60
User Score: 75

Turtles in Time Re-Shelled is a side scrolling beat 'em up. Players control the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Raphael. Each playable character has his own strengths and weaknesses. Up to four players can play simultaneously, and can play any combination of local and online multiplayer. Players are given a basic control setup, with jump, attack, and special attack buttons in addition to movement. Certain button combinations can execute special moves, such as a sprint, dash attack, or special attack. New to the remake is the ability to attack in eight directions, as opposed to the two directions of the original version.

Other enhancements were made to Re-Shelled over the original game. The graphics were recreated completely in 3D, with players now moving in and out of a true 3D camera. The opening and closing cinematics were redesigned with a stylized comic book feel. The vocal quips of the arcade version return, albeit re-recorded by the cast of the 2003 cartoon. The music has also been updated, with the original theme song from the being replaced. Re-Shelled also features Survival and Quickplay modes as well as leaderboards which track a player's high score.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - 400MP (50% off)

Square Enix
2-Player Co-op
MetaCritic Score: 85
User Score: 86

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a departure from the main series as being a third person adventure game. Instead it is a non-linear "arcade-inspired" action game played from a raised viewpoint similar to isometric games using a fixed camera.The game also features cooperative gameplay, and players can take control of either Lara or an ancient Mayan tribesman named Totec. Each playable character possess unique weapons and skills. Like with some previous installments, Lara retains her dual pistols with infinite ammunition and a grappling hook, which she is able to use to cross gaps and which Totec can tightrope walk across. Totec carries spears which can be used both as a weapon and on the environment, for Lara to climb on. Both characters carry unlimited "bombs" that can be dropped and detonated. Tombs can be explored and some have "booby-trap puzzles" to solve. The game does not have any loading screens once a level is started.

Guardian of Light may be played with a single player, and a second player may join at any time, whether online or locally. In the single-player campaign the only playable character is Lara; Totec cannot assist and Lara has all the tools required along with new abilities to make it through her own unique adventure. Puzzles and parts of the map are also different. Creative director Daniel Neuberger said that this was because he did not want the player to get frustrated by having to rely on AI. The campaign features eight to ten hours of gameplay.

X-Men Arcade - 400MP (50% off)

4-Player Co-op
MetaCritic Score: 70
User Score: 53

The object of X-Men Arcade is to progress as far as possible while surviving attacks from Magneto and his minions. The character is controlled with a standard joystick, an attack button, a jump button, and a mutant power button. In addition to right and left, the character can move up and down the screen as well which adds a three-dimensional feel to the game. Every character is able to fight with punches, kicks, or other close combat attacks. Each character also has a unique mutant power which can be used to defeat all or nearly all enemies on the screen. The use of a mutant power is very effective, but also costly since it causes a character to lose three health points. Normally, a character who drops below four health can no longer use any mutant powers, but it is also possible for characters to obtain bonus mutant powers which can be stored like items (similar to Golden Axe 's magic powers). In the Japanese version, the power items are used up before the health, and there are also power-ups and health packs throughout the level.

Comic Jumper: The Adventures Of Captain Smiley - 400MP (50% off)

Microsoft Studios
Single Player
MetaCritic: 74
User Score: 69

Comic Jumper: The Adventures Of Captain Smiley is a 2.5D action game in which the player must defeat enemies to progress. The main gameplay revolves around using Captain Smiley's dual pistols and platforming across levels broken up by various segments which include melee combat, on-rails shooting and quick time events. In keeping with the game's abstract humor, Captain Smiley can call on the game's developers to perform a special attack, in which live action footage of Twisted Pixel employees is shown over the gameplay, with the developers destroying nearby enemies.

By performing well in each issue players can earn extra cash on top of their base fee. Additional bonuses can be earned by fulfilling reader expectations, which involves things such as completing a certain section without getting hit. Cash can also be earned by completing special challenge levels or exploring the main base and conversing with characters. Money earned from the levels can be spent on upgrades to Captain Smiley's abilities or to unlock various content, including concept art, interviews, gamerpics and two additional levels for 'Splosion Man. Purchased items and abilities also increase the amount of money Captain Smiley earns from missions.

Hard Corps: Uprising - 600 MP (50% off)

2-Player Co-op
MetaCritic Score: 75
User Score: 65

Hard Corps: Uprising features two main game modes, Rising and Arcade. In Rising Mode, players can collect points throughout levels which are then used to purchase various upgrades and customizations for weapons, armor and character abilities. Rising Mode also features a health bar, similar to the Japanese version of Contra: Hard Corps, allowing the player to take more than one hit before losing a life. Arcade Mode is a harder game mode in which the power-up shops are removed.

Many new moves have been added. The character can dash, dash in mid-air, double-jump and deflect enemy projectiles by bouncing them back. Additional moves can also be purchased in Rising Mode.
Weapons include the standard rifle, the machine gun, the spread shot, the crush gun (shoots arcing grenades), the heat gun (shoots large blasts of fire) and the chain laser (homes in on enemy targets). As in Contra III: The Alien Wars, the player can carry two weapons and switch between them at any time. By collecting the same weapon several times the player will improve its firing rate and power. Other weapon upgrades are available in Rising Mode as well.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Microsoft Windows, OnLive
Release Date: Due August 23rd, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is fast approaching. Set to hit the shelves in North America on August 23rd, 2011. As a fan of the Deus Ex series, and especially "Deus Ex: The Invisible War" (I know I'll get some flack for that) I'm very excited for the games release. The FPS-RPG genre has made a lot of headway in the last few years, with games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3.

My personal copy of Deus Ex: The Invisible war

My first experience with the FPS-RPG genre was with the Xbox version of "Deus Ex: The Invisible War". Up until that point, I had barely played FPS's, and even fewer RPG's. The whole concept of branching paths, choices and consequences had barely been enlightened on me. It took me a few hours of solid game play to really get into it, but after I finally started to make sense of what I thought was going to be a simple RPG, I was hooked. Deus Ex: The Invisible Wars was indeed one of my favorite games I have ever played, and easily one of the best for the Xbox. It's hard to believe it's been almost 7 years since I've played it.

"The game takes place during the year 2027, 25 years before Deus Ex. Nanotechnological augmentations have yet to be developed and biomechanical augmentations are the current state of the art. The main protagonist, Adam Jensen, is a private security officer with Sarif Industries, a leading company that specializes in human augmentations. After he witnesses a chilling attack on his company which leaves him horrifically injured and forced to undergo augmentation to survive, "the conspiracy begins." The visuals are a combination of cyberpunk and Renaissance aesthetics, resulting in a futuristic-looking Baroque world. Adam Jensen will be voiced by Elias Toufexis.
The player will visit five cities over the course of the game, including Detroit, Shanghai and Montreal. In addition, the protagonist will have his own apartment where he may store his secrets and collected information. The events in the game will lead to the formation of UNATCO from the original game."


Unfortunately, Deus Ex: Human Revolution will not feature any multiplayer content. That could be a mixed blessing, however. I can't see what it would add to the game to have some off-shoot of the single player game. I suppose you could liken it to the multiplayer of Dead Space 2. The multiplayer had nothing to do with the game, but was somewhat fun. But in the end, it didn't add to the game. It could have left out the multiplayer and done just as well.

One of the new, most welcomed features is the "health regeneration" model. Instead of having to go out and buy med packs, or stock up on them, or leaving the current mission field just to go back and find some, you'll be able to duck away for a few moments and restore your health. The developers included this feature so people would be able to focus more on the story and mission as opposed to hunting down health. With all that said, health regenerating items and consumables will still be available in the game.

Enemies you encounter will also have easily identifiable squad leaders that direct the fights and the teams actions. Once the squad leader is disposed of, the squad will fall apart and become much less organized.

The new upgrading system will allow players to upgrade their character with several different types of augmentations. Because the game is set before the events in the the prior Deus Ex games, the augments take shape in the form of mechanical upgrades, rather than the previous "nanotechs". The augmentations come in the form of: Social, Combat, Technology and Stealth. According to the developer, it will be possible to go through the whole game without killing anyone but the "bosses".

I'm hoping that this game is going to be as good as the hype that is following it. This year has been mediocre at best for game releases. With only a month left until the games world-wide release, all I can do is sit back in my recliner, twiddle my thumbs, and write some blog posts. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New Prototype 2 Trailer

Prototype 2
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Windows
Release date: Some time in 2012

New York City, stylized NYZ, has been divided into three regions. Each region stands for how affected New York City is by the Blacklight Virus, with the red zone standing for the most infected. James Heller will have missions in each zone and each mission's difficulty will depend on which zone it takes place in. 
As stated by Radical Entertainment, Prototype 2 uses a new protagonist, Sergeant James Heller, and takes place 14 months after the original. James had returned to the tattered New York City from the war in Afghanistan to find that his wife and daughter were dead due to Alex Mercer accidentally releasing the virus when questioning Elizabeth Greene. This damages Heller emotionally, who then goes out on military's most dangerous missions, succeeding each time out of his rage, despite hoping to die. Unknown by Heller, he is being watched by Alex Mercer who has taken an interest in him. Alex Mercer is now the ruler of New York City despite having become a ghost, only being seen on rare occasions. During one mission, Heller succeeds in completing the mission but is mortally wounded and appears to be getting everything he wanted, but Alex Mercer shows up. Alex then infects him with the Blacklight Virus, turning Heller into a creature like Alex. For unknown reasons, Alex is now spreading the virus despite previously trying to stop it. Heller then goes on to tap into the Blacknet System to decide where to try and strike Alex, as he believes Alex to be behind the mutants (though it was actually Elizabeth Greene). As stated by Radical, the Heller vs. Mercer revenge story is the game's A-Plot and there is to be a more complex and multithreaded B-Plot.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Monster Hunter Portable HD Remake For PS3

Being a long time Monster Hunter fan, I was absolutely filled with nerd joy when I heard about the recent HD Remakes of PSP hit titles. Sony plans on releasing a series of remade, hi def, and polished games exclusively for the PS3, starting with Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver.The press release states:

"Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that a new "PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Remaster" title series, PSP titles customized and developed specifically for the PS3 computer entertainment system, will become available as Blue ray Disc™ games starting in the Japanese market.

"PSP Remaster" titles will deliver rich and immersive gaming experience on the PS3 system through stunning high-definition graphics as well as through additional new features for these titles, such as operability on the PS3 Wireless Controller (SIXAXIS® and DUALSHOCK®3), new add-on content or stereoscopic 3D support*1. Users will also be able to utilize the same save data from the original PSP game for the "PSP Remaster" version and enjoy the game on the go with the PSP system and continue the game at home on a large TV screen using PS3. Ad-hoc mode gameplay will also be supported through "adhoc party for PlayStation Portable" application on the PS3 system.

For Japan, the first "PSP Remaster" title to be introduced will be Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver. from Capcom Co., Ltd. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd for the PSP system is the latest installment of the blockbuster Monster Hunter franchise, which has alone shipped over 4.5 million units in Japan since its release in December 2010. The graphics of the PS3 version, including monsters, fields, equipment, as well as Felyne Comrades, are more gorgeous and vibrant than ever, and will deliver dynamic gameplay when played on the large TV screens. SCE, with strong support from software developers and publishers, will deploy various measures to enhance the software title line-up for the PS3 system.

SCE will continue to further expand the PS3 platform and create a new world of computer entertainment with innovative and exciting new titles."

I'm glad they decided to remake Monster Hunter Portable 3rd in Hi Def. It's easily the best one out. The new features have added a huge dynamic of gameplay. My favorite being the addition of the two Felyns to assist you in combat instead of the one from Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. Also, the Felyn customization is pretty neat. I know they aren't game makers or breakers, but they are pretty nice to have around in a bad situation.

My sister went to Japan in April of 2011, and ended up going to Akiabara and picking me up the Japanese versions of both Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. I used my Custom FirmWare PSP 1001 (Original "Phat" PSP) to get English Patches for both games, which works surprisingly good. There are, however, a few non-translated parts that can make the game a little frustrating. I'm still in the middle of playing Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, but I'm extremely impressed with the game. Luckily, I get to play the game on my breaks at work, so that's just great. But of course, like everyone, there are times in the games where the 15 minute fights really make you wonder how your PSP is still in one piece, and not a million in  a blender.

I'm hoping that the new Monster Hunter game for the PS3 will have online support, or at least 2 players per console. The worst (and I suppose best) thing about the PSP version is having to be within a few of the people you're playing with. Granted, it's a good reason to go out and get lunch, or have a few drinks, or just get together, but it can be pretty inconvenient for a game that is more or less of a "pick up and go" game.

Friday, 17 June 2011

New Website

Hey everyone, it's GR2 from Green Ring Game Review. In preparation for the new move I'm about to make, I've decided to go for an easier, catchier site handle, the "Lazy Ass Gamer". I will discontinue my GR2 blog in favor of working on this one in the future.

So if you're new to this blog, or blogging in general, head on over the the Privacy Policy page.

Welcome to the new blog!