Review: Dementium II

“It’s not very often that you’ll come across a DS game that isn’t afraid to splash the screen with gore and dismemberment. While buckets of blood alone aren’t guaranteed to result in a great and creepy game, 2007’s Dementium: The Ward made a strong case for taking a trip to the dark side on the handheld. Venturing through the grim, oppressive hallways of an atrocity-infested mental institution with a cheap flashlight and an arsenal of deadly implements was an eerie and entertaining experience. The original was an ambitious first-person survival horror game done mostly right, but a few design issues–chief among them a poorly implemented save system and repetitive level structure–bogged down the short, grisly adventure. Dementium II tightens up the gameplay, fixes a lot of the frustrating elements that hampered the first game, and brings the horror-infused action to some interesting new locations.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.


PAX East: Crackdown 2 Multiplayer Hands-On

“Bounding high atop towering buildings and opening a can of Super-Cop whup-ass on the scummier inhabitants of Pacific City had a lot of appeal in Crackdown, but even with a massive open world and sandbox style gang-busting gameplay, something was missing. That something was the ability to pop-a-cap in the do-gooder posteriors of other human players. Aside from two-player co-op over Xbox Live, the original game was sorely lacking any kind of multiplayer feature. Crackdown 2 aims to rectify that unfortunate omission.”

Check out the full preview here at

M-Rated Swap: The Conduit for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Reflex

Modern Warfare Reflex is filled with gory deaths, gratuitous killings, profanity, and other situations that can be quite jarring and fairly disturbing at times. If you’re looking for a tight first-person shooter experience on the Wii that’s slightly toned-down but doesn’t sacrifice fun FPS gameplay, The Conduit is a great alternative. This sci-fi themed shooter is rated “Teen” and stars a special agent who must stop a government conspiracy tied to an alien invasion.”

Check out the full article here at What They Play.

Review: Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

“With games that daringly straddle the past and the present, there can be a fine and delicate line between being old-school and being freaking obnoxious. First-person shooters are pretty fancy these days, and modern gamers have been spoiled with newfangled ideas that push the genre in new and occasionally exciting directions. However, once you’ve progressed beyond a certain point of innovation, it’s sometimes best not to look back and revisit the “good old days.” Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter really drives that point home with a spiked gauntlet.”

Check out the full review here at Cheat Code Central.

Feature: Homophobia and Harassment in the Online Gaming Age

“The explosive growth of online gaming communities in recent years has created amazing opportunities to go head-to-head against all kinds of players from around the world. But the vast freedom and flexibility of online play on consoles and PC has also given rise to something more insidious – a new place for bigotry and homophobia to manifest and thrive.”

UPDATED: Here’s the link for the article on IGN. Note the 1,000+ comments. Holy crap.

I’ve been wanting to write this feature on homophobia and harassment in the online gaming world for quite some time. After a lot of work, I’m very pleased that the finished piece is running on two prominent high-traffic sites to help get this discussion out there. I’d like to thank Flynn at GayGamer and Angela at LesbianGamers who took the time to share their thoughts and feelings on this important subject. You can check out the article here at MSN’s Game On at this very moment, and it will also be running on soon. Please feel free to spread the link around, post about it on your blogs, fire off a tweet about it, and get people talking. Thanks.

Hands-On Preview: Dementium 2

“You have to hand it to the guys at Renegade Kid – they’ve managed to elevate disturbing to an art form. Exhibit A: the box art for the developer’s upcoming horror-drenched follow up to its first-person survival horror experiment Dementium: The Ward. It features a close-up shot of some poor bastard screaming in terror, though his cries are clearly muffled by the human hand that’s ripping its way out of his own mouth and clawing at his eyes. Amazing. Judging from our recent hands-on time with Dementium II, good things are on the way. Particularly if you like you handheld gaming sessions served up with a slab of raw, bloody meat.”

Check out the full hands-on preview here at GamesRadar.

Review: C.O.R.E.

First-person shooters work, and often work reasonably well, on the DS. But the portable platform is not the first choice that often comes to mind for those seeking a great first-person shooter experience. In some ways, the handheld’s various limitations force developers to get creative in how they attempt to wow players. Without flashy graphics and other high-tech accoutrements to rely on, game designers who take the meat and potatoes approach with nothing particularly unique to spin into the mix are likely to fall short of their intended mark. This is one of the problems C.O.R.E. suffers from.”

Check out the full review here at Cheat Code Central.


Review: The Conduit

“Unlike PC gamers and the rest of the console gaming community, Wii purists have been starving for high-quality first-person shooters. They’ve suffered through Red Steel, a glut of tired WWII-themed shooters and a few other major disappointments in their quest for blissful headshot salvation. After years of roaming listlessly through the parched desert of FPS mediocrity, a game like The Conduit offers a certain measure of relief. Yes, if you’re thirsty enough, even stale, gritty canteen water can taste like Evian.”

Check out the full story here at The Escapist.

Review: NecroVisioN

“NecroVisioN is a moderately sexy-looking game, both in terms of its dark, depressing environments and the mixture of mundane and unholy foes you’ll encounter. Despite occasionally jumping around a bit between overt seriousness and Duke Nukem-like humor, the various settings you’ll battle through are largely on-point. Muscling through barbwire and gassed trenches early on with hellhounds braying in the distance and planes bombing nearby just feels right. Carving through mobs of hellish beasts in later levels is equally thrilling. Thematically, most encounters are pretty gruesome. You’ll frequently come across lots of gore, severed limbs, exploding heads, walking rotten corpses, and ample nastiness. Horror enthusiasts should find the level of hyper-violent dismemberment and splattering innards to be quite satisfactory.”

Check out the full story here.