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Halo 3 is very NEAR

Halo 3 has gone gold. Which means they are starting to churn out and manufacture the millions of preorders they have received. There's also a handful of new revealed features such as:

The Flame Grenade! This bad boy blows up with liquid fire- very cool and much needed since 6 grenades just wasn't enough....8 is way better.

To keep within the theme, there is also the new Flamethrower, which is held like the Missile Pod at the hip and slows you down. Should be great for defending that base on high ground though.

New Equipment includes the Radar Jammer seen above that jams enemies motion sensor and folls them into thinking they are being hurt. There's also a portable sheild generator (think what the jackals use), a shield regenerator (power drain backwards), and a flare (blinded by the light).

New maps have been revealed and there's also the Forge which is an interactive map editor where you can switch into a monitor (guilty spark) and add vehicles, weapons, etc. on the fly and then switch back to a spartan to utilize the weapons to kill other monitors. There is just so much in this game.

26 Days and counting...

Super Puzzle Fighter II HD on Live Arcade 8/29/07

This wednesday will see the release of Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix on Xbox Live Arcade.

BioShock Xbox 360 Review: Shockingly Good!

I had no intention of buying Bioshock. Yeah the graphics looked great and it was getting some buzz, but it had no multiplayer and Halo 3 is coming out in a month or so. Then I played the (painfully short) demo and wanted more, and when the first stellar reviews started coming in, I was sold. Bioshock is a great single player experience, probably the best FPS single player experience I have ever had. Yes, it's that good.

Gameplay: 10/10
Pros: A perfect blend of RPG elements into a FPS. Extreme flexibility in the way the game is can strategize and set traps, use plasmids (magic attacks), hack machines to do your dirty work, research every creature as a photographer, specialize in weapons, or just go guns blazing and focus on twitch gameplay. It is absolutely fantastic. Add in amazing enemy AI, a fantastic story, and stat building and you have an incredibly addictive and fun game.

Graphics: 10/10
Gears of What? Bioshock is a gorgeous game...simply play the demo and by the time the tail of the plane crashes into the tube spraying water everywhere (see video above) you should be convinced. It uses the same Unreal engine that every graphic gem seems to use on the 360, but has so many effects, subtleties and touches that it just outshines them all. The art style is truly one of a kind and the futuristic underwater city is both futuristic, yet horrifyingly familiar and historic as well since the game is brilliantly set in 1960.

Sound/Music: 10/10
The Voicework is top-notch and film quality. In fact the music, score, and voicework is so excellent that you cannot help but think Bioshock film. Like all other aspects of the game, the polish and detail is just exceptional...even the piano notes played when you cycle the start menu, capture the tone and immersion of this game.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: The single player experience is a long and investing one. The world encourages you to explore and learn more about it. The gameplay is great and it encourages more play throughs just playing around in the world. The game is never frustrating...even when you die against a tough boss, you're instantly revived at a chamber nearby and your enemies are as hurt as they were when you left them...unless they heal at a health station...this aspect makes you lose yourself in the game and literally lose hours immersed in the city of Rapture.
Cons: There is no multiplayer experience and while this is understandable due to the depth of the single player experience, one can't help but wish that multiplayer was included. I imagine the multiplayer would have been reminiscent of shadowrun...or how shadowrun should've been executed. This game is so good that any end to it is a con.

Average: 97.5%
Tilt: +2.00%

When all is said and done, this game is a work of art. Every aspect is cohesive, immersive, intriguing, and ultimately satisfying. This game is like a fantastic book that you curl up with, get immersed in, and then go to bed with nightmares about. A definitive gaming moment in the era of next gen gaming.

Verdict: 99.5%

MGS4 GC2007 Trailer

Metal Gear Solid 1 had FOXHOUND
MGS2: Sons of Liberty had Dead Cell
MGS3: Snake Eater had the Cobra Unit
and it seems that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will feature the fearsome 4 of Beauty and the Beast. Check out the trailer to see these 4 ladies in action.

Devil May Cry 4 Trailer from GC 2007

I've always been a fan of DMC, but really want the ability to play as Dante with the different styles. I don't know about this new guy.

Updated Storked Page and New Screenshots

I have added a slew of new images from Storked like the one above on its gamepage. You will also notice that I have decided to price Storked at the typical indie game price point of $19.95. I will be offering $5 off coupons to loyal readers and subscribers. Make sure you sign up with the subscription button to the left, since I will email the coupon to those email addresses upon the games release, but more on that later.

Xbox Live Wednesday 8/22

Space Giraffe (which is a lot like Tempest) and Street Trace: NYC ( a hoverboard racing game) are both being released this wednesday.

Space Giraffe:

Street Trace:

Transformers: The Game- The Typical Movie 2 Game Experience

Let me start off by saying this:
Don't play this game if you love the transformers:

Play this game:

Transformers the game is a rushed game tie-in to the spectacular summer blockbuster. What makes it even more pathetic is that the Atari Transformers game released a few years prior on previous gen systems, played better, looked better, and was 10x more fun despite it being based on the new Armada tv shows versus the old classic material. Go try the old Transformers game out, it's a nice gem and a great value since you can probably get it on ebay for $10-20.

Let's keep this review short and stick to the points:

The ability to play as nearly every character from the movie is cool

Playing as decepticons is nice

Gameplay is repetitive and absolutely rushed: Each level is an open sandbox world a la GTA except all you can do in it is smash stuff, collect cubes, and play stupid side fetch games. The openness of the worlds is just not fleshed out, which leads to all the main missions (which take place in the sandbox levels) all the more boring and tedious.

Guns are pointless in this game- nearly every robot has a shield so you just end up running up and punching them

The driving physics are laughable, you can literally make a tight 90 degree turn on nitro by tapping the handbrake.

Collision detection/physics are just a mess- as a car you can get stuck floating on debris or behind junk as you blasting boost to plow through.

Cutscenes are unpolished- the actors from the film look nothing like their screen conterparts.

Smoke and fire particle effects could have been done on PSone.

It's really not fun to bash a game, but there hasn't been a rushed movie game tie-in this bad since Enter the Matrix. It's a shame too, because I loved the movie and the original TV show and enjoyed a game I played 3-4 years ago A LOT more. It was more impressive graphically and gameplay wise too which is ridiculous given that it was 3-4 YEARS AGO! Thank god, I only rented this game. Avoid this one at all costs.

Verdict: 25%

Glory Days 2 Review

What a surprise! That's really the best way to describe this game. I wasn't even aware of the first game, but after I saw some action packed clips of this game I wanted to give this game a whirl. I'm glad I did because Glory Days 2 combines hectic arcade action with strategy game elements.

Gameplay: 8/10

Pros: Very Unique and different gameplay. Distinct vehicles with different gameplay mechanics and strategies, hectic arcade action- combination of helicopter rescue and sidescroller shoot em up. different time periods, tons of weapons, etc.

Cons: Touch controls are awful. In long play sessions, gameplay can be repetitive. Difficulty can be frustrating since you usually lose because your army is stupid, not because you get shot keeps you playing though.

Graphics: 7.5/10

Pros: Tons of action, fast gamespeed and metal slug-esque graphics. Fantastic Parallax backgrounds give real depth.

Cons: Certainly doesn't push the DS's power and your planes look pixelated when they change direction and turn towards the camera. Plus the generally zoomed out camera takes focus away from the destruction on the ground.

Sound/Music: 8/10

Pros: Pretty epic war drum and battle music fits the mood perfectly. Sound Fx are arcadey and work well.

Cons: Sound FX and music can be repetitive and doesn't differ enough between time periods.

Lasting Appeal: 7/10

Pros: Multiplayer is a great addition even though there is no WiFi play. Campaign has different eras and is challenging. Battle mode helps you customize your own battle field conditions and continue playing after the campaign.

Cons: Campaign is too short and can be beaten in a couple hours with some skill and diligence. No WiFi play is a real shame.

Average: 76.25%

Tilt: +0.75%

Glory Days 2 is a great little game to saddle up with for a trip or quick play sessions. The gameplay is really unique... yet familiar and it's just plain fun to play (as long as you don't use the touch controls). Yes, the experience won't last that long if you play the heck out of it, but in spurts this game is great. It's a great idea and features gameplay that I would truly like to see expanded upon. One of the other great things about this title is that you can pick this game up for about $20 online. It's worth playing if you like shoot em ups or old school games with a little more depth.

Verdict: 77%

Free Copies of Storked for Reviews!

If you are interested in a free copy of Storked to review for your blog, website or whatever, please contact me, leave a comment or whatever. I will be collecting a list of potential reviewers, and you will receive an email about reviewing the game and getting your free copy when the game is ready to launch. See our Press Page for more info.

Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday 8/15

Hexic 2 and Ecco the Dolphin are coming to Live Arcade this wednesday. The latter is a freaking 16 bit classic and is an interesting mix of adventure and puzzle game.

BioShock Demo Surprise Launch on Xbox Live

Without any real word whatsoever, A BioShock demo magically appeared on Xbox Live over the weekend. I don't think it was even really indicated that Bioshock would get a demo, but it does and it is on Xbox Live now. Try it out.

Band of Bugs: Red Kingdom Mini Review

Please see our main review for Band of Bugs HERE since this will only address the new content available in Red Kingdom.

So Band of Bugs had a great single player experience, but after I tore through the campaign, I found that online matches were few and far between. Lucky for me, NinjaBee just released Red Kingdom- a new 10 mission campaign along with some other tidbits for only 250 MS points (there's also 2 new map packs...1 is free and the other is 150 pts). I'll just quickly breakdown each feature of the expansion pack:

10 new single player missions-Red Kingdom. THANK YOU, this is by far the biggest selling point (for me at least) since the single player campaign ended up being the strongest aspect of Band of Bugs. I absolutely love the humor and missions of this game.

New Red Kingdom Tileset- while the new tiles don't match well with the old, It should be noted that the newer levels have much more graphical prowess. There's a sandstorm level, that totally stunned me when i first saw it. Definitely has a unique and different look and expands the editor nicely.

2 new units: Cavalry & Catapult. The Cavalry unit is great and the Catapult is a limited fire mage.

2 new achievements: Beat Red Kingdom, get 10 golds in Red Kingdom

All of this for 250 MS points...End Result:

If you like Band of Bugs, Red Kingdom is certainly a steal. It has helped reinvigorate the game for me.

Beta Updated

I have just uploaded a new version of the beta. There was a critical bug that I missed and prevented people from proceeding forward in the levels. The new version happens to have some of the other changes I've made since I compiled the Beta as well. They are:

Press R to restart a level at any time
Backspace will rewind/undo minor mistakes (get stuck, miss a jump, etc)
Kicking now has a press and hold shift and release to kick. Longer you hold the stronger the kick.

Enjoy and keep sending in those comments to I can fix problems such as the above which was brought to my attention.

Graduate Games Forum has Launched

The Graduate Games Forum has been launched with the most recent website update. It has been launched in alongside the Storked Beta in order to consolidate and centrally locate all discussion, bugs, etc. having to do with the Storked Beta. You can visit the forum HERE.

The Storked Beta is available for Download!

All I can say is that IT IS A WORK IN PROGRESS! It is playable, but there are already things that I have changed and improved upon. I would love any feedback that you all could give me. You can download the BETA HERE for the remainder of August. You can play and enjoy it until approximately Sept. 15th (When you download it, it is active for approximately 14 days). I will be taking all of your comments, suggestions, and constructive criticisms and will genuinely try to implement them. Everyone has a real opportunity to contribute to this game. Feel free to submit levels to me as well, I would love to include 5-10 community made levels. In order to give everyone an incentive to provide feedback, levels, etc. I will provide contributors with discounted copies of the final game in the fall.

The Storked Beta should be Coming in the next 48 hours

Title, pretty much speaks for itself, but the Storked Beta should be available sometime this weekend /early next week. It will have about 6-8 levels and is missing a whole lot of music / background images, etc., but has the fully featured level editor so you can make more levels with all the objects/gadgets etc. A forum will be launching alonside the Beta that will allow people to post bugs/problems/suggestions/etc. Cheers

Halo 3 4 player co-op is a reality!

I am not surprised and had my fingers crossed on this aspect of Halo 3. You have to give it to Bungie, they take their time and make a complete game. The 1 player game seems to have the longevity of the multiplayer. Well sort of, It will be a lot of fun to play with 4 people even though I anticipated some of the remaining Spartans from the novels to return for this final game. Perhaps they do in later missions...only time will tell. My only complaint is that only 1 person can be a Spartan and everyone else is stuck as an elite. Minor complaint though. Below is some more information on the 2 new characters directly from Bungie's post:

"Split-screen co-op is as ever, limited to two players per screen – but they can if they wish join two other friends online or via System Link.
For fictional reasons, we decided to avoid Halo’s slightly surreal compromise of two identical Master Chiefs and rather, use this opportunity to expand the Halo universe just a little bit. Player one will control the Master Chief, player two will control the Arbiter and players three and four will get the chance to control two brand new Elite characters.

Allow us to introduce them:
PLAYER 3 (Sangheili)
Name: N’tho ‘Sraom Affiliation: Fleet of Retribution/Special Warfare Group/Special OperationsHistory: N’tho ‘Sraom is the youngest member of his Special Operations unit and is one of a growing number of human sympathizers amongst the Sangheili youth. He is a fairly typical young male adult Sangheili—he began compulsory military service at the end of adolescence, and remains unmarried with no close, non-familial relationships outside of his martial order. N’tho Sraom refused to stand idly by while the Prophets replaced Sangheili units with Jiralhanae packs, and now bears deep resentment toward those Sangheili politicians who landed his kind in their current predicament.
Although N’tho ‘Sraom’s romanticized nationalism is emblematic of all Sangheili, he has developed a healthy respect for humanity—not for their physical abilities or martial prowess, but for their audacity and resolve.PLAYER 4 (Sangheili)
Name: Usze ‘TahamAffiliation: Fleet of Retribution/Special Warfare Group/Fleet SecurityHistory: Although Usze ‘Taham was born into a respected merchant family he was fathered by Toha ‘Sumai—one of the preeminent swordfighters of this age. Usze graduated with honors from the top War College in the Iruiru region of Yermo, Sanghelios (a distinction he shares with Rtas 'Vadum). Shortly after receiving his first post within the Covenant Navy he was offered a place on the Prophets’ Honor Guard but he declined citing “lack of practical experience”. In truth, he had no desire to be part of a largely ceremonial unit, and at the end of his third combat tour, Usze ‘Taham again refused the post—even though his superiors warned him such behavior could be misinterpreted as apostasy.
Since that time Usze has evaded countless punitive actions, at least two assassination attempts, and served with distinction for two additional tours before the Schism. Following the dissolution of the Covenant, he was approached by the Ascetics to become one of their liaisons within the Navy.
Every player will have identical abilities – only their appearance and weapon starts are different (Elites will start with Carbines versus Battle Rifles for example, depending on the mission). "