Review – The Walking Dead: A New Day Episode 1 – Xbox 360

Walking Dead fans get excited. The first installment of Telltale Games, The Walking Dead 5 part game series is here and it’s good! In case you’ve missed all the news, it’s now available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3 for the pittance of $5 per episode.

Background

I played The Walking Dead: A New Day on the Xbox 360 and the game took about 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murder who, because of the recent zombie outbreak, finds himself injured and trying to survive in a world that no longer makes any sense. Lee soon meets a little girl named Clementine, who has been alone for days and is bad ass enough to have survived on her own. They quickly bond and the adventure begins.

Along your travels you meet a bunch of different characters that are new to The Walking Dead cannon in addition to a couple familiar faces. Slowly, you begin to learn some of your character’s back story and get a feel for the other characters in the game.

Graphics

The game itself has both a mix of the T.V. show and the comic book and strikes a really awesome balance between the two. Since some of the people you run into along the way are characters we already know (and love) there is a familiarity with what is going on and the cel-shaded graphics makes the game look like you are right in the middle of the comic book. I love the graphics, there were times throughout the game that I couldn’t get over how close to the comic it really looked which added to the overall experience of the game. The game, like the show and comic book is very character development heavy, which is why I think that they are both as great and compelling as they are. The game does an excellent job really fleshing out the characters and making you either really like them or really hate them. There is one character in particular, Larry, that you meet along the way who really infuriated me. I kept hoping there would be a time somewhere in the game where I would be able to kick his ass.

Gameplay

While there’s not a ton of zombie action (a complaint I hear about all the time in regard to the T.V. show), I think it’s exactly the way it should be. The Walking Dead is about the characters, their coping strategies and if and how they survive through extreme circumstances. These aspects are perfectly captured in the game. The game is dialog and choice heavy, a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure game that is very interactive both in your decisions and with your in-game environment. This format is nice and gives you a good bang for your buck because you can play the game multiple different ways by simply choosing different answers.

Throughout The Walking Dead game you interact with people (and your environment) and are given multiple choices in your conversations. The choices are on a time limit (some seemed longer than others) and the choices you make affect your game play in the future. The characters you interact with remember the things you tell them, so if you lie, you better remember that in future conversations. The choice aspect of the game often times made me feel very tense and anxious, but in a good frantic kind of way. It made me feel like I really needed to think about the answers I was going to give and the choices I was going to make, except I didn’t have much time to think creating situations where I had to make snap decisions.

There were definitely some challenging parts to the game. There are a couple of tasks that you must complete to progress and they proved a little frustrating. After I figured out how to complete them it was a “smack yourself in the head” kind of moment, because they were not actually as difficult as I made them out to be. For the achievement hunters, you get all 8 achievements on the first run through just by completing the story. My only gripe, and it’s a minor one, is that there were a couple of times in the game that the camera angle/control got a little wonky, it didn’t actually affect my game play in any way but it was a little annoying.

Conclusion

It is well worth the $5 and at that price there is no excuse for Walking Dead fans to not get this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the next episode!

Gameplay:★★★★★★★★½☆ 
Story:★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Visuals:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Review – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – War #5 of 5

Script: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Benjamin Carre

Zayne is on a last-ditch effort to save the young Jedi from the grasp of Kace as he looks to expand his ranks, there’s a whole plant in question for the Mandalorian control and only a brave group can stop them. With so much on the line is it possible for the bad luck of Zayne to stay at bay or will this all go horribly wrong?

Fortunately this isn’t a cliffhanger ending, we’re in the final chapter of the War series and it’s a tense issue, after using soup and mind games to chase off an entire crew, they’re off to Dantooine to showdown with Kace. The plan is strong and with an entire armory at hand they’re privileged to all the tools they need for the biggest ruse of their lives in this ongoing arms race of the Mandalorian knights.

Miller delivers attention to the holes in the story that opened up, making sure to close out the drama with Kace in full and deliver some heated conflict in the process. We also see some follow-up to everyone after this whole story breaks out giving some resolve until the next time we visit this conflict and universe for more action. The only shortcoming is the big battle, Zayne isn’t a man of conflict and it shows, even in his most violent moment everything feels like he’s just buying time for something more to happen. He has the potential to deliver as we see in so many battles where he’s able to disarm and bring enemies to surrender and it would be nice to see that spotlight come to full light in the future.

We don’t know what happens to Zayne next, just that he’s on another journey, the team did a great job delivering a concentrated story in such a small span.

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Release date: May 9th, 2012

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9 Apart (of me) Part Two

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Phil Noto Cover

This issue begins with RoboBuffy, Spike and Andrew arriving at the real Buffy’s house. They find signs of a struggle and Buffy is nowhere to be found. RoboBuffy is having trouble dealing with all of the things she has just learned about herself and that everything she believed to be true, isn’t. As Andrew bumbles along, it becomes clear that he actually did think this through and has put some safeties in place for situations such as these. They get a lead on Buffy’s whereabouts and off they go to rescue her. Meanwhile, Simone is beating and berating Buffy and is having trouble figuring out that Buffy has no idea what is happening. Buffy has no memory of Simone let alone that she is the Slayer. Spike, RoboBuffy and Andrew arrive in the vicinity of where they believe Buffy to be and they separate in an effort to find her. One of them however runs into a surprise along the way that none of them expected. While all of this search and rescue business is going down, Xander, Dawn and Detective Dowling are on their own mission. They are searching for Dowling’s on a rampage, recently zompire turned (ex) partner. Dowling is taking the loss hard and soon appears to be in over his head!

I liked this issue, I really liked the way the interactions between Spike and RoboBuffy have subtlety changed. Andrew’s explanations of why he did what he did seem genuine and it really appears that he thought he was doing the right, good thing. I really enjoyed the dialog in this issue a lot, it felt very real and believable. The art was great and both of the Buffy’s emotions were captured well. All in all it was a solid read and truthfully I was initially unhappy with the direction the story line was going. I decided to suspend snap judgments and gave it a chance and I’m happy I did. It will be very interesting to see how everything progresses from here.

Georges Jeanty Cover

Release Date: May 9th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Rating:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Wii U Tech Shown On Leaked Rayman Legends Trailer…..

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Ubisoft has released the following statement:

“An internal video showing images of Rayman Origins’ sequel has leaked over the Internet. This video was intended as a purely internal demonstrative video, and in NO way represents the final game, the final console or their features. This video was destined for internal production teams who often create game prototypes with work in progress development kits. Ubisoft confirms the development of Rayman Legends handled by Michel Ancel and his team in Montpellier.”

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Rayman legends for the Wii U game trailer was leaked on YouTube, It showed the consoles functionality for touch control, graphics and near field communication capabilities.

Although the trailer has been pulled some have gotten a copy of that footage and have made available for gamer’s to see..

I’ve watched the trailer and I liked what I’ve seen so far, the gameplay footage shows that the graphics will be on par with PS3 and 360, I also notice that  the Wii remote control and tablets can control the game in different ways with the touch and button controls.

It also shows the Wii U tablet controller screen can react to objects place on its screen which was cool, the video shows some players place a plastic heart and a Rabbid into the game.

All contents shown on the video are things Nintendo clearly didn’t want to get seen until E3 when they plan to  debut the new console.

Video Source: GameKult

 

First Look: Spider-Men #4

Mike Deodato Variant Cover

Early in June history will be made when Peter Parker meets Miles Morales in Spider-Men, a limited series by Brian Micheal Bendis and Sara Pichelliit will be part of the Spider-Man’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Each Spider-Men issue will feature a variant cover by top artists who have been involve with one or both Parker and Morales, Issues #4 is due this August  Mike Deodato of the New Avengers gives his take on this memorable occasion.

Check out this exculsive first look at Deodato’s work and get ready for Spider-Men #1 coming June 13!

Source: Marvel.com

Riven Sends A Shiver Through

DARK HORSE PRESENTS!

Riven, the latest tale set to debut in Dark Horse Comics’ legendary anthology Dark Horse Presents, marks a new beginning for horror fans!

Dark Horse Comics recently announced the Riven graphic novel, the third collaboration between cowriters Bo Hampton (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and Robert Tinnell (The Wicked West),which is slated to hit stores August 22.  Riven’s three-part story beginning in Dark Horse Presents #14 will serve as a chilling introduction to their world of terror.

Dark Horse Presents is bringing together such a great mix of talent and stories at the moment that it’s honestly an honor to be included in the book. From all the chatter Dark Horse Presentshas been generating it’s clear the book is appealing to discerning, articulate readers—and those are precisely the sorts of people we hope are attracted to Riven,” said Robert Tinnell.

Riven’s Katya has been in a coma for five years, and when she awakes, everything has changed. Now she is a gorgeous teenager with a mysterious, gruesome past, becoming aware of a growing, terrifying power inside her body, triggered by the touch of the full moon, eager to break free . . . Can Katya solve the mystery of her blood-drenched nightmares before they become reality?

“It was a great spawning ground in its original incarnation and I’m really happy to be part of Dark Horse Presents now. I’m looking forward to seeing the Riven pages in that format,” Bo Hampton added.

Check out Riven in Dark Horse Presents #14, on sale July 18!

Source: Darkhorse

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NightWing #8 Goes For A Second Print

DC has announced NIGHTWING #8 will get a second print after only two days in the stores, With Kyle Higgins a New York Times bestselling author and artist Eddy Barrows collaborating on this issue, which is a prelude to “Night Of The Owls” follows Dick Grayson who has been selected as one of the Owl’s Talons.

The second printing of NIGHTWING #8 lands in comic book stores on May 23.

NightWing #8

Source: DC Comics

Yahtzee Croshaw Returns With Jam!

FULL CHAPTER PREVIEW TO BE FEATURED IN THE DIGITAL EDITION OF HIS PREVIOUS NOVEL, MOGWORLD!

Yahtzee Croshaw

The creator of The Escapist’s Zero Punctuation Reviews (TM) and author of 2010’s runaway hit novel Mogworld is back with his hilarious follow-up! Jamtakes the prophecies of the Mayans and turns them on their ear, with a twist on the apocalypse that no one could have expected! The first chapter will run in the newly released digital edition of Mogworld, available today for Nook and Kobo eReaders.

Since 2007, Croshaw’s animated Zero Punctuation reviews have packaged prescient criticism with frenetic animation, off-color humor, and rapid-fire delivery, making him a household name in the gaming community. Mogworld was his first foray into published fiction and has sold through multiple printings! Now, the debut novel finally makes it’s way to tablet readers, marking the beginning of Dark Horse’s foray into digital prose!

Additionally, readers will have a chance to get their first look at Jam, which is set for release later this year. Jam, a dark comedy pitting a handful of twenty-something slackers against a singularly sticky apocalypse, which is set for release later this year.

“You asked for it – by Christ have you been asking for it – and it’s finally here, the Mogworld eBook” said writer, Yahtzee Croshaw. “Now I just have to stop procrastinating on the audiobook version.”

Mogworld is available today for both Barnes & Noble’s NOOK™, as well as the Kobo Vox eReader.

Jam arrives on sale on October 10, in print as well as digitally.

About Dark Horse

Founded in1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, Guillermo Del Toro and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, Serenity, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

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Dark Horse Digital Celebrates First Year With A anniversary Sale

Dark horse is showing there appreciation to there fans, by having a three day sale on all comics, so if your missing some issues now’s the chance to catch up….

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PRESS RELEASE 

April 24, MILWAUKIE, OR—Dark Horse Digital reaches a new landmark, turning one year old this Friday. To thank our loyal fans, Dark Horse announces an anniversary appreciation discount.

This weekend, Dark Horse Digital is offering 10% off all titles in the web store, with an additional coupon to newsletter subscribers and new subscribers who have signed up by this Thursday. And yes, the coupon stacks with an even greater discount off your order!

The sale starts this Friday (April 27) and ends Sunday (April 29) at midnight PST—so head over to Dark Horse Digital and sign up for the Digital Newsletter to maximize your discount on some incredible comics.

Dark Horse Comics launched its standalone comic-reader app and digital store on April 27, 2011 and has received incredible support from the continuously growing digital-comics fan base.

Since then, Dark Horse Digital has grown significantly in numbers and readership featuring it’s most popular, best selling titles including Star Wars, Buffy, Serenity, Hellboy, Conan and Mass Effect as well as exclusive digital only comics such as Falling Skies, Prototype 2 & Dragon Age. Dark Horse Digital also provides sales and discounts for its reader base on a weekly basis. We currently offer thousands of comics and are continuing to increase the digital availability of the Dark Horse back catalog.

Dark Horse Digital is available through all modern web browsers and features cloud storage in both the Android (beta) and iOS apps.

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