“Any mention of swinging around in 2D worlds often evokes mental imagery of a certain popular NES classic that was among the first to utilize a grappling hook to traverse an unforgiving landscape. During our brief chat amongst the chaotic din of PAX East’s exhibition hall, Mommy’s Best Games’ Nathan Fouts admits that he’s played a lot of grappling hook games and is a big fan of the Bionic Commando series. That’s why he set out to create a game with similar spirit but a totally different approach to grappling exploration in his upcoming downloadable Xbox Live project Grapple Buggy.”
“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.”
“You tend to expect a certain measure of violence, blood, and evisceration out of a game with a name like Shank. Considering Klei Entertainment’s upcoming 2D side-scrolling brawler is heavily inspired by the demented works of several film legends known for their gritty vision, the explosive gore fest and comic brutality Shank offered up during my demo of the latest build at PAX East didn’t disappoint. Indeed, it was hard to conceal my man-glee after shoving a grenade into a guy’s mouth and watching his head erupt in a cartoonish spray of fine red mist.”
“Post-apocalyptic worlds are all the rage these days. Never mind the fact we may inevitably be one day cast, bruised and battered, into the decimated ruins of our own crumbling society following some global catastrophe; it’s still fun as hell to wander around grim virtual wastelands mingling with other depraved souls struggling to survive by resorting to any means necessary. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon eschews the brutal smash and grab mentality that sucked me into many dozens of hours of loot-hunting slaughter-fests in Fallout 3 and Borderlands, delivering instead a more poetic and introspective journey through a slowly dying world shrouded in darkness.”
“Taking the axe to a popular MMORPG and paring it down to fit on a handheld platform is risky business, particularly when the massively multiplayer online portion of the equation is what made the experience so enticing in the first place. Ragnarok DS may look and play very much like its online counterpart, but the sacrifices made to bring the game to a portable format wind up hamstringing the adventure. After slogging through many hours of hacking up scores of creatures with my small band of warriors, I found out the hard way this dry, generic anime RPG has a few decent carry-over elements and a whole lot of tedious grind.”
Like most respectable indie gamers, I’ve had Team Meat‘s Super Meat Boy on my radar for some time now. A little while back I went hands-on with a preview build of the game’s first world. Man-oh-man, was it something else. My preview/feature write-up on the game is now out in the March 2010 issue of GamePro. Check out the three-page spread that starts out on pg. 19. The artwork/layout is simply adorable. Pork Chop Boy…so sad! Also, I wanted to point out that the new look and direction of the magazine is really impressive. Obvious bias aside, the last two issues have really kicked things up a notch.
“What’s most disappointing about Guitar Hero: Van Halen is that you play as the older, present-day version of the band members for most of the game. Rather than reveling in the big hair, tight neon spandex, and over-the-top guitar showmanship of the band in their prime, the game forces you to play as the aging rock dinosaurs of today. It isn’t until the last tier of songs that you finally get to play as the band in their full cheesy old school glory and beating the game does unlock the classic version but that’s a feature that should have been available from the start.”
“There’s not much that brightens the day quite like getting schooled in the fine art of Badassitude. The world is full of Banchos (RE: extreme kickers of major ass), but being the dude with the most Banchosity means you have to let your manliness spill out, deliver some well-placed Pimp Hands when it’s called for, and brazenly Smash Talk your way into the most foolish of brawls. Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is why being a cocky bastard and kicking people’s teeth in up and down the streets of Japan is a fun as it is funny.”