Where do I start? This week’s been a busy one: I had three cool events where I got to play three awesome games. The first one was the legendary Duke Nukem Forever – I only got to play multiplayer and still can’t speak about it (due to embargo) but damn, it was really fun. Check out our interview with Randy Pitchford and Steve Gibson and the rundown of the event here.
Next I got to play inFamous2 over at the Sony Head Quarters in Sydney and spoke to Ken Schramm and Joe Ishikua from Sucker Punch Productions. Check out a full rundown (semi-preview) of the game and our interview here. I have to say inFamous2 is looking awesome and was great fun to play. The third game I got stuck into this week was over at UBISOFT offices, and I was totally blown away by the sheer awesomeness that was Driver San Francisco. Check out our preview of the game here, even if you’re not the biggest fan of driving games (like me) you have to at least give this game a go just to experience the great story.
Apart from that I’ve been getting stuck into Gears of War 3 BETA, which is now in its third week (I’m nearly level 25). Even though I don’t have much time to play I still make sure I get in there and chainsaw some Locust scum. I still hate shotguns but hey, best way to counter that is to get your active reloads happening and fight fire with fire!
Lastly I’ve been spending a fair amount of time playing Gameloft’s WoW clone on the iPhone, Order and Chaos. Check out our review and video gameplay of the game here. I must say this is certainly the best MMO on the iPhone; the only disappointment is that you can’t play it unless you are connected to a WiFi access point. 3G internet will not cut it due to the sheer size of the game. MasterAbbott can finally play as a Monk character in Order and Chaos so I’ve been running around kicking the crap out of everything that gets in my way. If you’ve got the game, jump onto the Asia server – Eye of the Swamp and send me a friend request…together we can beat the crap out of everything!
Have a great week. Play hard or don’t play at all!
Senior Editor: Travis Bruno
With the release of Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat last week, you can easily guess what I’ve been spending most of my time with the past week. First I spent most of my time playing Portal 2 on the Xbox 360. At first I was skeptical about the title because it seemed like it was just good enough when bundled together with The Orange Box package but I wondered how it would be in a full game. It actually turned out to be quite well, but some of the puzzle mechanics from the original game really took a hit. While the humor was great and the plotline was enjoyable there were a lot of times that you had to spend a few minutes simply looking around a big environment to find the one place where you can put a portal. That’s not really puzzle solving – it’s more like Where’s Waldo with Portals.
As for Mortal Kombat, it’s 2011, developers. Fighting games do not need cheap bosses at the end of the arcade fights anymore. Shao Khan is entirely beatable but the first time I faced him it was pathetically one sided. Beyond him, however, I found myself enjoying the story as it tied a lot of different things together as a great reboot to the series. I found the challenge tower rather fun but I also found it really fun skipping nearly all of the tower fights and aiming for the Test Your Sight/Might/Strike as those were my favorites. Have to love the reward for making it to and completing the 300th floor of the tower though. Or at least the achievement that they give you for it.
Besides new titles I was able to get back into the Call of Duty: Black Ops online multiplayer again thanks to the Escalation map pack being released. The multiplayer maps are good for the most part except for the Stockpile level (which is literally as it sounds: a stockpile of all the snow maps placed into one jumbled mess). Besides that I have spent a good while on the Call of the Dead mode trying to send the old crew to Paradise, have to say that the achievements for the zombie mode this time around are going to take quite a long time to complete. I’ve dabbled in the Gears of War 3 Beta and have unlocked Cole Train in the main title, leveled up Tifa and Terra in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy and hitting up some Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars on the 3DS.
Senior Editor: Dustin Spencer
It has been a busy week for sure here. I most recently started playing Conduit 2 for the Wii. It is a decent shooter for the most part but online truly is what makes the game…so far anyway. I did encounter some bugs but it seems High Voltage are catching these as I have seen a patch applied as recently as last night, so it is nice to see this game looks to have full support from the developers (which is rare for a Wii Game). A review is coming soon on that.
Other than Conduit 2, I have been trying to mow through the Challenge Tower in MK, still have got quite a ways to go but all of the little touches and variations really make each challenge feel different. Portal 2 is also complete on both Single and Multi-player modes. Fantastic game all the way through and by far one of the most memorable stories I’ve went through in a long time. I also jumped back into RE5 a bit and I am going through the story yet again. I can’t even count the number of times I have went through the story mode, but there is just something about the whole RE universe that makes multiple playthroughs a must for myself.
The Pokemon dream world has also been a lot of fun to proceed through as well and I have caught quite a few team members from that feature all while attempting to harvest berries to buy furniture (100 berries for a CHAIR? MADNESS!). I am not really a Gears player, but the beta is awesome from what I have played so far and thankfully MasterAbbott and a few others have been showing me the ropes and I have hopes of gaining level 25 before the beta ends on the 15th.
Senior Editor: Dylan Radcliffe
Portal 2, Prince of Persia, Prince of Persia: the Forgotten Sands, and Runescape.
So I finally finished off Portal 2 Co-op with a friend on Friday, and then started on the rest of the achievements but got bored and decided to go for them another time. I bought two Prince of Persia games last weekend and started playing both. For some reason it seems like they simplified the combat and the overall style of the game in both. It seems more like I move forward through the levels and the levels solve themselves. Maybe it is because I am just that good, or maybe it is because they really did make the game easier to accommodate the little whiners out there who think it is too hard. Yeah, I am looking at you…you know just who you are! Something got me to start playing Runescape again; I’m not exactly sure why but I paid for another month of membership. I got into the game, donned my 99 agility cape, Verac’s chest piece, and dragon legs once again and… started cooking. Yes, I literally bought membership just to sit there and cook all 2000 shark and 1500 monkfish that were in my bank. What in the world is actually fun about this game? I am still looking for it, but I’ll probably just spend up my month doing absolutely nothing other than fishing and cooking. What is wrong with me?! Want to check out my stats? Look me up on the Hiscores: my username is “RadicalDylan”.
Senior Editor: Jed Bradshaw
This past week I played Pacman Championship DX edition, and I got almost all the achievements in the game. I love the graphics and music, and the gameplay is still tops. It is the best version of Pacman that anyone could possibly play.
I also got about 7 hours deep into Just Cause 2. I still love the grappling hook and causing mayhem, but so much of the fun in the game is hindered by boring stuff. For example, the game world is huge, but unless you explore every inch, there is very little to do. The missions can be exciting, but often times they are a little too rote for me. Bugs, glitches and controls are also a huge problem. Finally, I hate how you must cause a certain amount of “Chaos” before a campaign mission is unlocked. Overall though, there is still nothing better than hijacking a helicopter and shooting up oil silos that cause explosions that then fling the enemy every which way.
The final game I played this week was Forza 3. I am still loving zipping around tracks in million dollar cars. The painting and design system is also probably one of the most amazing mechanics I have ever experienced and I hope that is implemented into other games too.
Editor: Kyle Moore
With the burden of assignments ever present, I haven’t been able to put on my gaming shoes apart from the purpose of reviewing. Because of this, my gaming list for this week will be rather brief. Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to review the new Gameloft MMORPG, Order and Chaos Online. I’m not really a fan of these types of games, having never played World of Warcraft or anything like that. Despite of this, I had a blast getting to learn the ropes of the genre. Feel free to read the review or look at our gameplay video if you’re interested in it; I highly recommend it to iOS gamers. New to my reviewing list is the 3DS game Steel Diver. As I am yet to write the review, I won’t give too much away! I’ve been having a bit of fun playing it so far, which is about all I think I can say at the moment. Stay tuned for a review. As a form of huge procrastination, and a somewhat guilty pleasure, I’ve indulged myself in wasting a few moments here and there playing Tetris Battle on Facebook. After my addiction to Restaurant City a few years ago I thought my days of Facebook social gaming were behind me, but I’ve got to say that Tetris Battle is awesome fun. A really interesting twist on a classic game!
Editor: Matt Vella
Lately I’ve been playing ALOT of the new Mortal Kombat game….NOT! Damn you, Australian Classification Board! Instead I’m loving the new Black Ops DLC Escalation, and more specifically the map Call of the Dead. I’m going crazy over the fact Robert Englund and George A. Romero are in the same place at once…and I can slay zombies at the same time! I’ve also been playing Chillingo’s new iPhone game Vampire Rush: it’s a Tower and Defence game with a Hack ‘n’ Slash twist that actually works pretty well. The other day I almost got hit by a car because I began cross a main road without noticing because I was so into it! It’s really one of those games that get you into the zone when you’re doing well, which I love. I’ve also been brushing up on my X-Men vs Street Fighter. But mostly I’m thinking about buying Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, because all this Mortal Kombat talk is getting me in the mood for some 2D MK fighting, and if I have to settle for second best, so be it!
Editor: Ben Webb
Seriously though, I only just got the internet back up after a long move, so I’ve been catching up on all my MMORPG’s; mainly WoW and RIFT. But, I have also been playing a tonne of QuakeLive (as always) but I feel like I’m completely gimped now – the move has really killed my skills.
During the internetless period; I actually picked up Unreal Tournament 2004 again and I found that I’m still reasonably good at it. Of course, I can’t take on godlike bots with instagib rifles like I could used to, but I can still kick a full team of Inhuman bots’ assess any day. This is also with or without the instagib mutator. I might actually upload the video of me back in the day instagibbing Godlike bots and winning, good times. Also, on topic with the UT, I’ve also been playing Unreal Tournament 3, same deal as with 2k4, can do inhuman but not godlike. I’m sure I’ll get back into it though.
Also during this period without the internet, I recently went back to an old favourite series of mine; .hack//. I absolutely loved these games; and still do. On my current run through, I’m up to the Mutation disc with Kite at level 50. Damned virus core hunting, why’d they have to make it so hard to get them?! For those of you who don’t know, I’ll basically mini-rant this quickly. Essentially you have a skill “Data Drain” that you use on enemies to obtain the virus core, but, the more you use the Data Drain, the less likely you are to obtain one. It kind of resets though after you kill a few enemies, but, it is still chance dominated and can get incredibly hard to get the cores you need, especially if they only drop from say a large enemy, and each area that is your level has large amounts of small – medium enemies. Gah! It’s not as bad as I make it sound though, it’s just a little annoying when you need 1 virus core and you don’t get it until the end of the dungeon in the area that you’re in.
Lastly, the 3DS. People who live in the Newcastle area, please take your 3DSes out with you, I haven’t streetpassed anybody yet! If you live in the area, keep a look out for my Mii; you’ll know it when you see it. On my 3DS I’ve been practicing hard on Super Street Fighter IV and I also have a review coming up in the next few days for a title appearing on the system (if it’s not up when this is published).
Editor: Chris Cerami
I started off May with a bit of a whimper: with the PSN still being down and my Xbox dead there wasn’t much to do. I did get through a majority of Final Fantasy X-2 (at the behest of a friend), but that isn’t anything to celebrate. I also went back to Phantasy Star Online with the same friend and have been levelling up my HUcast. That’s a giant robot that fights with laser swords for those of you out of the loop. I spent a bit of time with Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, although I’m anxiously waiting for the PSN to come back to life before I can do anything too intense in either game. I’ve actually been reading this week rather than gaming a lot, as I just picked up James Clavell’s Shogun…and how can you put a book down that’s about samurai?
Editor: Adam Tabor
Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I was able to do one, but fear not: I’m still alive. Well, at work my PSP has been my good friend; we’ve been playing some Final Fantasy IV, also got Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the PSP as well and loving it. I’m also playing Tetris (you can’t go wrong with blocks), and some random iPhone games I have which I can’t remember. I have shown my consoles some loving (when I’m not drained from work), played Bangai-O for Xbox Live and getting owned in that. and I am trying to finish Final Fantasy XIII on my PS3 because I have been putting it off and now I have procrastinated no longer. Trying to get into the groove of it isn’t as easy when you stopped playing it for a year. Also, of course, I got some retro goodness going on as I have ordered a system from Japan that I have wanted for a long time…and that is the Neo Geo CDZ. For those of who are saying Neo-G whaaaaat?…Neo Geo was a company that made arcade games and decided to bring that home to people in the ‘90s. Needless to say an arcade machine console wasn’t cheap…then they developed a more cost effective version known as the Neo Geo CD and the Z is just a model with a little faster load speed. I played some King of Fighters 97 on it as well as one of my personal favourite Neo Geo game, The Last Blade. Finally with the announcement of Guardian Heroes coming to Xbox Live Arcade, I dug out my Sega Saturn and had myself a good old time. Now if you excuse me, my Paradigms don’t shift themselves.