In the midst of all the E3 hoopla last week, the folks at Activision released a single player DLC pack for X-Men: Wolverine. It’s pretty neat because it allows you to customize a battle arena and add an unlimited number of opponents to “lunge and plunge” at. Sounds like it’ll be really cool, but very limited DLC pack that ultimately won’t be worth the 800 points. So far I’m enjoying the heck out of the main game, so added DLC is always welcome.
I think I’m about through with the music genre. I still love me some Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but I think after Guitar Hero Smash Hits comes out in a few weeks I’ll about at my limit – there’s just to many titles and tracks to keep up with. But before I do, I took Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock for a spin and it’s good. I’ve always said that Guitar Hero is the better game, while Rock Band has always been the better music “simulator.” This time out the “game” elements has been streamlined and improved upon. This slimmed down version isn’t clutter like the main game and several things that I didn’t like about Rock Band like the way it handled Achievement Points, Scoring, and other simple game elements like progression are much better. I have over 300 Rock Band Tracks and to this day I have yet to finish Rock Band 2 because of the ridiculous way it pulls songs from all the tracks to make up each tour destination. This Track Pack set strips out all of that and takes it back to the basics. You now get achievement points for actually doing well in the game.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) held its annual press conference at the E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles, Calif., announcing several new products and services that reiterate PlayStation’s industry leadership position, by delivering consumers comprehensive entertainment options and fun experiences for all members of the family. Closing out a record year of sales for PlayStation in 2008, the company unveiled a new hardware offering the PSP® go system and laid out its most aggressive software line up to date with unprecedented support from its publishing partners, including Activision®, Capcom®, Electronic Arts (EA), and Ubisoft®.
Today Microsoft took off their Gloves, walked up to Sony and Nintendo, slapped them across the face and said, in a British Accent, “Sir, I Challenge You to a Duel to the Death.” The Beatles, New Games including a Metal Gear game (Take that Sony), a Revamped Video Market Place, Social Networking added to Xbox Live and oh yeah a new Motion Controller (Take that Nintendo) the boys and girls at Microsoft kicked off E3 with a Bang at their annual song and dance. After this Brava performance I don’t think my man Reggie Reg or his girl Cammie can hit us with another Powerpoint infused Nintendo Press Conference. Let’s go from the top:
Games scheduled to be presented this year at the CRAVE Entertainment booth:
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CRAVE Entertainment brings one of the major forces in arcade history to next-gen consoles for the first time with Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection. Presenting classic pinball action along with challenging new tables such as “Medieval Madness” and “The Tales of the Arabian Nights,” Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection also introduces new features such as online leader boards and additional table goals—to bring an awesome, retro pinball experience right into your home. Fans have been clamoring for this award winning franchise to make its debut on the latest next-gen consoles. Genre: Sim Sport; Scheduled release: September 8, 2009.
With E3 upon us in a mere five days the Pre-E3 game line up announcements are starting to pour in Today, I got announcements from Crave, UbiSoft, Sega and Activision. I’m launching our Dedicated E3 site Site in a few days so that the main EM site isn’t taken over by Game News. In the meantime our friends at Activision has quite an interesting line up of titles including Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Blur, Prototype, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, just to name a few, check out the full press release after the jump.
It’s finally here, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 full trailer and it’s very tasty. I’m not sure what is supposed to be gameplay or
or CGI cut scenes.
I have to say I’m looking more forward to playing the Terminator: Salvation video game than I am to see the movie. The game trailer has all the cool moments and classic terminator music that’s missing from the movie trailer. Check it out.
Usually movie games suck and are horribly generic. But lately they have been getting better and better, while still remaining remarkably generic and basically nothing more than Final Fight style side scrolling beat em ups. The difference now is Hollywood seeing the money that can be made in games are working closer with the game industry. We’re still getting mediocre results, but at least they are playable and somewhat fun. I’m getting ready to launch a new blog dedicated to Movie, Superhero and Cinematic games, as a primer to the site I thought it would be fun to take a look at a couple of the hot upcoming movie games we’ll all be playing this summer.
Batman Arkham Asylum
While not technically a movie game, Batman Arkham Asylum is based on a movie franchise and is the game that should have come out when The Dark Knight hit last year to capitalize on the movie’s release, but it got delayed. Which is a good thing, this game is meant to be it’s own stand alone thing. In it you get to Face off against Gotham¿s greatest villains including The Joker, HARLEY QUINN, VICTOR ZSASZ and KILLER CROC. Become the Invisible Predatotm with Batman’s takedowns and unique vantage point system to move without being seen or utilize the unique FreeFlowtm combat system to chain together unlimited combos and battle with huge groups of The Joker’s henchmen. Choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky and smashing through walls, and use the predator camera get a closer look at the action. Explore every inch of Arkham Asylum and roam freely on the infamous island, presented for the first time ever in its gritty and realistic. Experience what it’s like to be BATMAN using BATARANGS, explosive gel aerosol, The Batclaw, sonar resonator and the line launcher
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
I’m running hot and cold on the movie, last week I had no excitement for it, but then they released that amazing trailer at the end of the week, now my heart’s all aflutter again over Potter. I think I’m going HBP for a 3rd time, maybe I’ve been too harsh. I don’t know anything about the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince other than it was scheduled to come out last November, but got pushed back at the last minute when Warner Brothers changed the release date of the movie to June of this year. So I’m assuming the game has been ready for some time, it is interesting that EA really hasn’t been promoting this title and keeping mum. I thought all of the previous HP Games pretty much sucked but I’m really hoping EA does something different and new here. Streets June 30th.
With Cha$e [Tuesdays, 10/9C], The Sci Fi Channel adapts a highly successful Japanese game show format for American audiences. The rules are simple enough: ten runners must avoid capture by five hunters on a specified game zone for one hour – while finding devices to help avoid, misdirect or otherwise thwart the runners. Even the map of the zone is acquired through a test. Host Trey Farley explains the rules and gives the runners updates on various challenges – and the surprising nature of the fifth hunter – before eventually revealing the mystery exit point. Although runners must work together at times, only one can win – the prize is twenty-five thousand dollars.
There will be CG effects touches to make the show more closely emulate the feel of a video game. There are graphics that show the locations of the runners and the hunters; the hunters will be CG-enhanced figures [instead of just the already creepy men in black with designer sunglasses that appear on the screener]. Runners are shown in electronic “cards” each of which flashes their basic stats, and the equivalent of power gauging bars appear on the bottom third of the screen to show what devices the various runners have/have used/have failed to obtain. The actual gameplay is not especially exciting, though I expect that when all the CG effects are laid in, that will be an improvement.
What is interesting, though, is the way the runners think before, during and after gameplay. One losing runner says, “I thought I wouldn’t care, but I do” – another is quite expressly angry about having failed. Others are more philosophical.
In fairness, I should probably point out that – while Cha$e is based on the aforementioned successful Japanese game show format – the game should really carry an “inspired by” credit for the late Robert Sheckley, whose short story, The Seventh Victim, was adapted into the hit movie, The 10th Victim. With the exception that Sheckley’s hunters and hunted were a stand-in for large scale war – and the principles of his much more violent game [including being televised] are pretty much present here. Sheckley was right, too. The game makes for intriguing – if not brilliant – television.
Final Grade: B-
Iron Man is one of the top 15 movies I’m looking forward to this year. I will say that I’m mixed on the first trailer. All of the Tony Stark bits were right on target. Exactly what I want and expect from an Iron Man film. But the in armor stuff with the planes at the end of the trailer looked terrible. I’m holding out hope that the movie will rock. Of course a big film like this has a video game attached. I watched the demo at Comic-Con and it looks gorgeous. Here are some brand new sceenshots from the game.