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Spelunky Review: Independent Gaming By Derek Yu


In my recent articles, I have mentioned several games known as “Roguelikes,” which are generally fully-designed, highly-detailed role-playing games with a dungeon-crawling aspect. Using numerals and letters in a computer system database, the player is the at (@) symbol who fights monsters and hordes treasure all in the vain hope that you will reach the end? Why I say “vain”, you may ask? Because Roguelikes are HARD. These games, not for the faint-at-heart, tend to set you up against monsters and monster hordes that whittle you and your resources down, in addition to insidious traps which degrade your equipment, lower you to different floors, and teleport you. You have to learn from each death, plan out each of your next moves carefully, and pray that the random factors of each game don’t screw you over.

This leads most people I’ve talked to about “Spelunky,” a independent platformer by designer Darek Yu, to ask a very simple and reasonable question; why am I talking about roguelikes, a completely different genre of games entirely, when referring to a platformer? [Continue Reading]

Sony’s Big Announcement is $100 PS2? Sony to Hold Press Confernece To Announce It’s Wednesday

Grrrrr, everybody. I’m a bit frustrated today, as word of Sony’s rumored big announcement has finally been revealed, and all it is is a $30 dollar PlayStation 2 price drop… bummer. I, like many other gamers who heard there would be a “big” announcement, was under the impression that a much needed PS3 price drop was on its way. Instead, Sony took a 9-year-old console, that’s past its prime, and tried to give it one last shock of life.

On Sunday,  multiple high-profile gaming websites were reporting that Sony were going to have a big announcement for us all on Tuesday, and many believed that it would have something to do with the PS3. Today, Sony shot those hopes down by dropping the price of the PS2 from $129.99 to $99.99. [Continue Reading]

Trivial Pursuit Review: Have Your Pie And Eat It Too

Trivial Pursuit

“Trivial Pursuit” is a game that has been around my entire life. For as long as I can remember, there has been a square, aqua-blue box sitting in the closet of my parent’s house, only to be taken out when my older brother needed his ego boosted. It’s a game that has been played by millions, even if they just asked each other the game’s questions while in the backseat of a car on a long road trip, but fans of the game know it well, and love its simplicity and challenge. EA is looking to capitalize on “TP” fan’s loyalty by releasing it for the first time on the current generation of game console, and, manages to hone in on the fun parts of the game, and exploit them to their fullest.

The recently released “Trivial Pursuit” isn’t the first video game released to bear the same name as the analog classic. Without delving too much into the game’s history, PCs and consoles from the Commodore 64 to the Sega CD have seen releases of the pie piece chasing game, with “Trivial Pursuit: Unhinged” for the Xbox and Playstation 2 being the most recent incarnations of the game. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never played a full-on video game version of the game, but I have played many games of the original, including some of the DVD integrated ones, and the package that EA has put together in their latest release should keep most fans happy, while at the same time making the list as intellectual gamers’ party game of choice. [Continue Reading]

Welcome to the Ninth Circle of Hell: Dante’s Inferno Multimedia Assault

EA is doing everything in their power to make sure that their new IP, “Dante’s Inferno” becomes another mega-hit franchise.  The game, which currently has no release date, takes players on the journey of Dante, who travels the nine circles of hell, with his guide Virgil, in hopes of saving his own soul.

The kicker is that the book is actually a poem with very little action. Dante and Virgil travel the nine circles meeting and talking to people that have failed to make the right choices in their life, and find themselves eternally condemned to the underworld. But that hasn’t stopped EA Redwood shores from creating their own take on the classic tale. [Continue Reading]

Metal Gear Solid The Animated Movie… With Bunnies?

Wow! On one hand it’s kinda cruel to see animals portrayed like this, but on the other it’s all kinds of awesome! This upcoming flick has nothing to do with “Metal Gear Solid,” but is based off of a popular manga series titled “Cat Shit One”. The overall premise of the series takes place during events based on real life conflicts like the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq during the early 90′s.

I’ve never heard of the series until now, but after seeing this trailer, I think I am a fan! It’s definitely a breath of fresh air from all the cute cg animal movies that flood our market. I just hope it gets a proper distribution over here! The movie is set to release at the end of this year early next year at the latest. You can find out more about the movie and series at the links below.

Official site

More on the manga

Casting Call For Real Life Punch-Out! Think You’d Make A Good Piston Honda?

Piston HondaCraig’s List is a bastion of interesting … stuff. While my insomnia was inspiring me to peruse NYC’s video game related job openings I came across this casting call that some old-school Nintendo fans might find particularly interesting. If you ever thought, “Damn, I’d make a good Piston Honda” I may have found just the thing for you.

“EDP Casting is currently looking for Real People to portray characters from the classic video game “PUNCH-OUT!!”

And here’s the particulars of what they are looking for in real life “Punch-Out!” characters: [Continue Reading]

Inside the Nuthouse – A Look at Batman: Arkham Asylum

BatmanBatman games don’t normally have the highest success rate in the gaming industry. Whenever a new Batman game is announced, it’s usually met with much excitement, however, when they’re released they normally disappoint without fail. Fortunately, Eidos and Rocksteady are looking to change all that with “Batman: Arkham Asylum.”

The game is being shown off on the GDC show floor, and if ya ask me, it’s looking pretty sweet.  In the video below, Game Director, Sefton Hill, takes the liberty of explaining exactly how we will be disposing of the Joker’s baddies once inside Arkham. It looks like a pretty interesting take on stealth gameplay, (the explosive foam in the shape of a bat logo is a nice touch). What you see in the video is not actually part of the single player campaign, but a challenge mode that can be unlocked upon completion of the game. Apparently the game will be loaded with unlockables that will make Batman fans giddy in their pants. [Continue Reading]

Legends of Wrestlemania Review: Back In The Ring

“Oooooooooh What a RUSH!!!!” was what I was greeted with when I first booted up “Legends of Wrestlemania.” I thought it was quite fitting that those were the first words I heard, being the beginning lines of the entrance music for the one and only Legion of Doom Tag Team.

“Legends of Wrestlemania” has been a long time coming for me. Not to be confused with the “Legends of Wrestling” (I & II) games put out by Acclaim last generation, this title has the licensing of the WWF …er WWE. With this, THQ left no stone uncovered by utilizing the real, classic footage of these wrestlers and their historic matches to tell the story. [Continue Reading]

A Closer Look At The Games of RPG Maker 2000/2003

Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden

Created in Japan by ASCII and Enterbrain, and the personal computer version translated by Russian developer Don Miguel, “RPG Maker 2000″ is a program originally made to use it’s combined database of systems, sprite-sets, music tracks and more to develop a role-playing game. For the PC version, the user is capable of using Paint and the mapbuilder to create new spirte-sets, maps, battle system animations, and even more to create your own style of game. It was released in early 1995 to a English-speaking public, and sparking the flames of a large community spread over the world. Originally seen in French and German sites, the English translation hung around for some time until forums started to pop up, positioning itself as a basic means to create role-playing games. Nowadays, that is still true, but has become more than that through innovative designers, custom work, and a penchant to see a specific system make platformers.

For a long time, the independent gaming community seemed to glide right over the system despite well-developed material, due to the multitude of other systems at the time like Macromedia Game Maker, or Flash, which had overwhelmed the shareware, and eventually online gaming, scene for quite some time. The inner communities, however, flourished; in ongoing sites like RPGMaker.net and Gamingw.net, the forums were alive with new games and game development, relatively unnoticed until recently. A game known as “Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden,” a parody based off the multitude of 1990s basketball/fighting videogames like “Shaq Fu” and “canon” movies like Space Jam, which garnered major attention in the overall community for it’s innovative battle system, use of quicktime events – never before seen in the system – and a well-made, if not strange story. Nowadays, most of these games can be found on the main websites and through the forums in those sites. I’ll point out some of the noteworthy ones. [Continue Reading]

GDC ’09: Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time Announced

Word of another new game comes from GDC today, and this one features a couple of the Playstation 3′s favorite. 1up reports that a press release from Sony indicates that “Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time” will see a release in Autumn of 2009. Details on the game are scant to say the least, but it should be noted that it’s not clear whether this will be a downloadable title like “Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty” or if the game will see an actual retail release. However, the game will pick up where “Quest for Booty” left off, with Ratchet still searching for his long lost pal.

By the way, last time I checked “Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty” was on sale at the Playstation Store. So go check it out if you haven’t already. And speaking of Insomniac games on the Playstation Store, “Resistance 2′s” new map pack should be up today. Maybe this will revitalize my quest for the 10,000 kills trophy. I’m currently around 8,000… I’m so close, and after that I’ll have 100 percent. The world is mine!

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