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:★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Bioshock Infinite brings the Siren in a new video

Bioshock Infinity is already going to new levels of development for enemies and challenges, the Siren is their latest reveal in enemies to torture you in the game world. Acting as a host gathering souls of the dead, the Siren is able to resurrect the bodies you left behind and set them back at you leaving the choice of action to you for how to go forward. Do you kill the Siren and take additional damage by running and hiding or do you engage your undead foes and then take down the Siren? The choice is entirely yours and it seems the team had no intent of making either decision a forgiving one.

The Heavy Hitter series is done but really how else could they have topped this for damage? A supernatural entity raising the dead while you fight… great, just what everyone wanted.

Check out the video below for the goods:

Bioshock Infinite unleashes a new Heavy Hitter, the Handyman in a new Trailer

Bioshock Infinite goods are rolling out at full speed, this week we have we have some developer commentary and background about the new Handyman that you’ll encounter. Learn all about the gigantic hulk with the manly hands that can smash the world or at least make it a lot harder to navigate through courtesy of Ken Levine’s commentary. Honestly while it’s amazing that they’re revealing info about the Handyman, it doesn’t make the reality of him in a game any easier when they mention the game is basically littered with these things. Brace yourself it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Links: Bioshock | Irrational Games

Also if you missed the Motorized Patriot video check out the clip below.

The Ninja Gaiden 3 Debut Trailer arrives

Ninja Gaiden 3 is almost here, to hold you over the team has a debut trailer to share showcasing the new adventures for Hayabusa in the shadowed world. The curse of the Dragon Sword is running through his body and his past is fueling its rage. Even as the darkness circles around him he’s committed to take down his newest nemesis and save the world from destruction.

Check out the trailer yourself to see how crazy this adventure is about to get. Ninja Gaiden 3 is $59.99 for the 360 and PS3 and $99 for the Collectors Edition

2K and and Irrational announce BioShock Infinite release date

2K is on an announcement spree this week, today we’re packing news about BioShock Infinite going to retail on October 16, 2012 for all platforms (Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC). With the game already sweeping up 75 awards at E3 2011 and nominations for most anticipated games of 2012 it’s at least a small relief to know it’s coming in the next 7 months. For those new to Infinite, the story takes place with Booker DeWitt a former Pinkerton agent, combined with his assistant Elizabeth the two explore and struggle to escape from the Sky City of Columbia. With a 1912 American alternate reality and packing a variety of new weapons to the series and bonus abilities as well it turns the classic style of BioShock into a new experience for all.

If you’re still not sure, check out this 15 minute demo of the game from E3:

Ever wanted to make your own 360 Joystick? Instructables has a tutorial

Normally I’m sketchy about most tutorials, mainly because you never actually see the work going on. In the Instructable they promoted today you actually get the hard guide and a video tutorial of the stages to complete the thing. Keep in mind this requires a steady hand and some soldering skills to get it right.

Also you might need to investigate where to buy the parts to begin with, I’ve dug around briefly and found these. I know X-Arcade doesn’t have the best rep for competition but I’m throwing it out there for those who just want the bundle to get rolling.

If you have any favorites please mention them in the comments!

THE VIDEO!

Update – Gotham City Impostors pushed back to February

So we’ve heard about Gotham City Impostors for a while now, unfortunately today we hear a sad tale from WB where the game is been pushed back to February now with no specific date of when to expect it.

It’s an unfortunate setback for the game as it is set to pit 12 players head to head in mock super hero and super villain teams using licensed material from the Batman franchise of course. Xbox, Playstation and PC users will be able to get access to the game as a downloadable title and battle it out to their heart’s content. I saw the game in action at E3 2011 and it looked decent enough but unfortunately we’ll have to hold out a while longer to see if it’s worth jumping into.

For more info keep an eye on the Gotham City Impostors homepage for details. Otherwise check out the video below to get an idea of what feels like a Batman themed TF2 massive shooter.

Review – WWE ’12 | Xbox 360

 BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER …WWE ’12 looks like it’s finally making strides on becoming an all around complete game for its genre with a 70+ character roster and a promise of more to come, WWE’12 is giving the fans what they have asked for… lets jump in and go through the details.

Presentation/Visuals:

The look of WWE ’12 is a huge leap from SvR 2011, the minute you press start you’ll notice the menu layout is simple and direct. I think this helps the loading times significantly, it is the most noticeable in the creation feature. THQ did a great job capturing the production style of the television show, from broadcast camera angles to little things like the mini titantron’s around the arena. The ring entrances are more cinematic and authentic to its TV counterpart, they really capture a WWE event atmosphere and its intensity.

Controls/Gameplay:

Over the past 3 years, the SmackDown! Vs Raw series controls have become so complex that THQ featured a training gym with a move checklist so players could learn the control scheme. That’s not the case anymore, for WWE ’12 they’ve simplified the button layout entirely. Since the weak/strong grapple system from earlier versions is no longer around, you can only execute certain moves based on your opponents physical state. A button initiates grapples, with another press along with a direction on the analog stick you can perform one of the four standard moves each grapple position has. This setup allows you the ability to switch between positions using the right analog stick, if your opponent is groggy you will be able to perform a stronger move. Another change in the  game is the limp targeting system, in SvR2011 players had a HUD layout of your opponents body would showcase which area has taken the most damage, it never made difference in matches it was just for show. Now you can isolate a specific part the body by holding the RB button when engaged in a grapple, a similar HUD layout with the face buttons assigned to each area will appear. Pressing a button that corresponds to the head, body, legs and arms will affect opponents hindering their movements and make it easier to hold submissions. Dynamic Comebacks give the player who’s on the verge of losing a last-minute opportunity to turn the tables by hitting certain combinations of moves.

A.I. has gotten an upgrade, for those of you who play on legend difficultly there are some times the CPU use’s cheap tactics to boost its potency, it’s most noticeably when facing John Cena and Randy Orton.

The new Submission system (Breaking Point) moves submissions back to face buttons now, it now becomes a mash button mini game between players/CPU. When a submission is locked on, a breaking point meter pops up and the attacker must fill the meter to the top while the defender tries to stop the meter from reaching the end. Make sure you have your opponent nice and red or they will get kick out instantly on you.

Features:

WWE Universe back and by far the best mode in the series since GM mode for Smackdown vs Raw 2006. Being able to make matches and choose what brand wrestlers go to which event  is what fans always want in WWE games. This mode gives it you and then some, it kept me glued to my Xbox controller through this review. Universe now lets you  change brand names, arenas, logos  and which titles go to which brand. For instance, replacing the RAW U.S. Title with the European title and converting Smackdown into WCW Monday Nitro are some things you can do with this change. I was a little disappointed that you have to buy Fan Axxess DLC to edit character attributes though.

The Weakest part of the game I have to say is the Road to Wrestlemania, players play through months of programming as Superstars of Shamus, Triple H and a created player. With a large episodic format, players must play through match after match with heavy backstage and promo segments and even scripted events during matches. With each segment completed it unlocks special content for the rest of the game. I understand Road to Wrestlemaina gives players a different option besides WWE Universe, but it falls short  and if you’re a fan of RTW then you should enjoy this years game, but if you’re not I would suggest sticking to WWE universe.

The Customization for the series has always been astounding , in WWE’12  it can almost be overwhelming to see the wide variety of options available to players. This is what made this game what it is today, from wrestlers to  logos,  finishers, ring entrance sequences. Throwing in arenas makes this game even more exciting by re-creating past and present wrestling promotions  from AWA to ROH is now possible.

Arena creation is set up like create-a-wrestler,  You have four options: Ring, Ring Side, Electronic Billboard and other. The ring option lets you edit Apron, Mat, Ropes, Ring post and Turnbuckle Pad. The Ring Side option lets you edit Floor mat, Barricade, and Announcer table and you can even choose what logos or designs you want on the Billboard, you can literally spend hours customizing now.

Verdict: 

WWE ’12 is one of the strongest wrestling games the WWF /  WWE has put out on the market, with so many options available it’s hard to imagine getting bored with this version anytime soon. Minus shortcomings such as the AI bias it’s a well designed game and a huge accomplishment for Yukes and THQ this year. With the holidays approaching fast, this should be in any wrestling fans gift list if they don’t have it already.

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

Overall: 9/10

*Updated* The Grand Theft Auto V Trailer is here, watch it now!

Check out the video embed below for the official trailer for Grand Theft Auto V when it breaks in less than 2 hours. In the meantime you can watch the handy counter as it reaches 0. Lets see what Rockstar has to bring us this time around!

*Update: Trailer has been released, watch it below!

Bethesda announces Dishonored

Many may not know or may have forgotten about the acquisition of Arkane Studios by Zenimax last year. Today they’re here with Dishonored a FPA (First Person Action) game already in development on the 360, PS3 and PC of course.

What do we know so far? Not much, Raphael Colantonio the lead design man for Arx Fatalis and Harvey Smith from Deus Ex are on board but the rest is being held for Game Informer who seems to have a full exclusivity agreement as the Dishonored website links to GI. At this point I usually refer you to their website but I’ll just paraphrase the important parts from the cover article topic.

The GI crew got a hands on with the game, the design itself leads to freedom of choice, a game about an assassin that doesn’t have to do it. About having the ability to use stealth and infiltration techniques using the most brutal methods just because you can. Placing full control on the choice of the user instead of forcing the hand of the player. In a sense it’s what many FPS games like the original Deus Ex tried to create for players. A sense of control or choice with every single action.

Source: Bethesda | Game Informer

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