Join your Internet besties Jessie, Carl and Aron as they discuss:
-Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze
-South Park: The Stick of Truth
-Card protector sleeves as a possible means of contraception
-Yoshi’s New Island
It seems like only yesterday that an expertly scored video game trailer had the gaming community racked with anticipation over a game called Dead Island. The first-person, zombie themed RPG garnered a lot of mixed reviews, but overall it ended up being a game a lot of players came to greatly appreciate, mostly for its multiplayer co-op experience. When its publisher, Deep Silver, announced a sequel so soon after the first game’s release, a lot of people said it might be too soon for another entry in the franchise.
Truthfully, Deep Silver has tried to push their second Dead Island game, subtitled Riptide, as a spin-off rather than a sequel. This is a hard pill to swallow though when there is so much about Riptide that screams sequel. The entire cast of playable characters from the first game is available, along with some additions. Most of the core gameplay mechanics from Dead Island are present. Even the locale of Riptide is strikingly similar to its predecessor. That’s not to say any of these things are a bad thing, it was just a little distracting to go into this game expecting something completely different and then get treated to a revised version of the original.
So far the best feature about Riptide is you don’t have to start over from scratch while building up your dream zombie killer. When you first select your character, you are given the option of a few pre-selected skill builds or you may fully customize the character to your liking. This is great for People who aren’t making their first trip to Dead Island, but it could be a little off-putting for first time players. Especially considering the fact that the enemies start out leveled up as well, so some rather advanced combat techniques will need to be implemented right out of the gate.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play enough of the game for a proper review at this point due to some unforeseeable circumstances, but I definitely plan on spending a lot more time with Riptide in the coming days. If you have any questions about the game or ideas of something I should address in the review, feel free to tweet me.
Capcom just announced a new gameplay mode for their upcoming port of the 3DS title, Resident Evil Revelations. Infernal Mode not only offers more enemies or stronger enemies like a lot of games with changing difficulties do, but it also takes the formula a step further and remixes things like item placement and enemy placement. Infernal mode actually promises to be so hard, there is a warning on the screen to first time players that you can see in the video below.
Resident Evil Revelations hits Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on May 24th, 2013.
People come in a a variety of sizes, shapes, attitudes, colors, and smells, but despite our differences there are a few basic needs and desires that we all have in common with each other. Me, being a cold, hardened, and vicious Chicagoan, have an innate desire to commit massive crimes, run people over with assorted vehicles, and shoot things with a wide array of weapons. Until recently I had to keep these urges locked up deep down inside of me, hoping against all hope that the time would come when I would have an appropriate outlet for my violent and criminal tendencies. Not only does the newly released Retro City Rampage allow me to cover all of these bases, but it is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is something anyone can appreciate these days.
At its core, Retro City Rampage is an open-world sandbox game. This simply means you could probably spend a fair amount of time just engaging in sidequests and other optional aspects of the game without ever really touching the main quest. It also means things don’t necessarily need to be performed in a specific order, so you can play the game in a structure that best suits you.
While exploring the game world of Theftopolis, you will assume the role of the main character named PLAYER. Almost all tasks in this game will revolve around some sort of crime. Whether it’s burglary, assault, or grand theft auto – you name it and it has probably found its way into the game.
If you’re going to commit crimes, you obviously need weapons, which are definitely not in short supply in Theftopolis. Each weapon is uniquely designed so you will need to learn the best weapon for each situation in order to succeed. Most people’s first instinct is probably to “run and gun” through missions in this game, but that would be a mistake. If you want to keep PLAYER alive, you will need to make a plan before heading into a room guns blazing. Thankfully, there is a simple but ingenious targeting system in place to ensure you will be able to make every bullet, rocket, or squirt from your flame thrower count.
If you ever tire of the main game’s action, simply hop over to Nolan’s Arcade and play some of the mini-games. Some familiar indie game faces will make an appearance, such as CommanderVideo in “Bit.Trip: Retro City”, and Super Meat Boy in “Virtual Meat Boy”. When visiting the arcade, it was pleasantly surprising to see how easy it was to spend almost just as much time on the mini-games as the main game.
Let’s start off by getting the obvious out of the way; Retro City Rampage is a current generation game designed to look like an 8-bit classic. To drive this old school feeling home, players can select different frames to put around the action, such as a UHF TV frame (if you have to ask what that is, you’re too young to comprehend). If all this is just TOO much of a throwback for you, there is the option to remove the frames. You can also toggle scanlines on or off. Despite all these tricks that were employed to give the game a retro feel, a well polished and fully HD game shines through. It would have been so easy to cut corners and say it’s for the sake of making the game look older, but thankfully that wasn’t the case here.
While you’re ogling the sharp, HD 8bit goodness of Theftopolis you will notice another visual element of the game, and that is quite a few nicely done visual jokes. We won’t dive into all of them here, but make sure to read the signs on businesses as you are blazing through the streets plowing over pedestrians or evading the fuzz. You will be pleasantly surprised and the amount of laughs to be had.
To solidify Retro City Rampage‘s 8-bit feel, a killer chiptune soundtrack has been crafted to bleep and blop along with you as you terrorize the city. If you find there is one of these songs you just can’t get enough of while you’re playing, you can pick an in-game radio station to listen to. However, the game’s soundtrack is so awesome you would do better to leave it on the default setting so you can listen to the music as it was intended.
Video games often get a lot of heat in the media for being too violent, and therefore promoting violent tendencies in their players. However, it’s easy to see from the comical tone of Retro City Rampage that VBlank Entertainment Inc. had nothing but good intentions over the years it took to create this game. Not only is this a finely crafted parody of the 8-bit games we 30somthings cut our teeth on, but it also manages to poke a little fun at modern sandbox style games while throwing in heaps of other humor and nods to pop culture both old and new. We here at RoboAwesome recommend doing whatever you have to do to get your hands on this game, short of looting, plundering, or pillaging.
Pros: This game will not only appeal to gamers who grew up in the 80s, but fans of games like Grand Theft Auto. It is the finest modern example of a parody video game.
Cons: The old school graphics and music are fantastic, but they may alienate younger gamers.
Value: At $10 this game is a steal, considering the amount of play time you are likely to get out of it.
Verdict: Retro City Rampage is definitely a game that needs to be played to be appreciated, but you won’t be sorry for giving it a shot.
The Wii U is out and I have to say it has exceeded all my expectations, which should have been nearly impossible with the amount of excitement I experienced while waiting to wrap my arms around it on November 18th. While this isn’t actually a review of the system, it is a bit of interesting information that I discovered this week. The Wii U appears to have a better lineup of launch games than any console. This is clearly my opinion, but one based on research and nostalgia. I won’t start too far back, I figured Fifth Generation and on would suffice for this demonstration.
Starting with the misunderstood Sega Saturn, our lineup on May 11th 1995:
• Virtua Fighter
• Panzer Dragoon
• Clockwork Knight
• Daytona USA
Out of these four games the only game I would have gotten immediately would have been the imaginative Panzer Dragoon, a fantastic on-rails shooter that really needs a reboot.
September 9th 1995 gave way for the Sony Playstation which launched with:
• Air Combat
• Battle Arena Toshinden
• ESPN Extreme Games
• Kileak – The DNA Imperative
• NBA Jam Tournament Edition
• Power Serve 3D Tennis
• Ridge Racer
• Street Fighter: The Movie
• The Raiden Project
• Total Eclipse Turbo
As you can see, there were many more options, but was there anything that really enticed me back then? I really don’t think I was excited about the Playstation with these titles. Battle Arena Toshinden looked neat, but it definitely didn’t sell me on the system.
Finally on September 29th 1996 Nintendo came back swinging with the N64. With the only launch titles being Pilotwings 64 and Mario 64, the choice was easy. Mario 64 was certainly a system seller. I remember being so delighted to see Mario PUNCH THINGS! Percentage wise Nintendo can literally say that half their N64 launch titles were must buys. Still, the fact remains is they only released with two of them.
The Sixth Generation is certainly an interesting one that starts off with a bang. On September 9th 1999 the Sega Dreamcast launches. The system launched:
• Sonic Adventure
• AirForce Delta
• Blue Stinger
• Flag to Flag
• The House of the Dead 2
• Hydro Thunder
• Monaco Grand Prix
• Mortal Kombat Gold
• NFL 2K
• NFL Blitz 2000
• Pen Pen TriIcelon
• Power Stone
• Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
• TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat
• Tokyo Xtreme Racer
That’s a lot to choose from, but I wasn’t excited about many of them. Of course, I HAD to have Sonic Adventure, that was a given. Power Stone looked pretty awesome, so I had to have that. SoulCalibur could also be seen as a must buy. So there were at least three decent launch title choices.
On October 26th 2000, Sony repeated greatness with the Playstation 2. No doubt, this was one amazing console, but how did it fair on launch?
• Armored Core 2
• DOA2: Hardcore
• Dynasty Warriors 2
• ESPN International Track & Field
• ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding
• Eternal Ring
• Gungriffon Blaze
• Madden NFL 2001
• Midnight Club: Street Racing
• NHL 2001
• Orphen: Scion of Sorcery
• Q-Ball: Billiards Master
• Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
• Ridge Racer V
• Silent Scope
• Smuggler’s Run
• Street Fighter EX3
• Surfing H3O
• Swing Away Golf
• Tekken Tag Tournament
• Unreal Tournament
• Wild Wild Racing
Wow! I look at that list and I think about each game and what I was into back then. Honestly I can’t come up with many choices that would have enticed me. Dynasty Warriors 2 could have been on my list for sure. Incredible, I am drawing a blank as I stare at them. At the time I wanted Kessen, but I remember hours into the game I turned it off forever. Thinking back, that’s kind of depressing. Interesting.
Nintendo wasn’t going to go quietly and on September 14th 2001 the GameCube was released with this lineup:
• All-Star Baseball 2002
• Batman: Vengeance
• Crazy Taxi
• Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
• Disney’s Tarzan Untamed
• Luigi’s Mansion
• Madden NFL 2002
• NHL Hitz 20-02
• SSX Tricky
• Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
• Super Monkey Ball
• Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
• Wave Race: Blue Storm
A modest list of choices, but a couple of gems can be found. Luigi’s Mansion is definitely one because hey, who doesn’t want to fight ghosts as Luigi? Then the biggest no brainer was purchasing Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. That game was so freaking amazing. It was the number one reason I bought a Gamecube.
A challenger approaches on November 15th 2001, as Microsoft launches the Xbox with these games:
• Halo: Combat Evolved
• Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
• Dead or Alive 3
• Project Gotham Racing
• NFL Fever 2002
• AirForce Delta Storm
• Mad Dash Racing
• Cel Damage
• Arctic Thunder
• Fuzion Frenzy
• Jet Set Radio Future (Japan launch)
• Double S.T.E.A.L. (Japan launch)
• Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2#Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2XTony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X
• 4×4 EVO 2
Top of the list is really all that matters. Halo was a system seller for sure.
The Seventh Generation starts off on November 22nd 2005 with the release of one the most popular consoles, the Xbox 360. It launched with the following titles:
• Amped 3
• Call of Duty 2
• Condemned: Criminal Origins
• FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup
• Kameo: Elements of Power
• Madden NFL 06
• NBA 2K6
• NBA Live 06
• Need for Speed: Most Wanted
• NHL 2K6
• Perfect Dark Zero
• Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
• Project Gotham Racing 3
• Quake 4
• Ridge Racer 6
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
• Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
Here’s a fun fact, my roommate at the time and I were discussing whether or not to go halfsies on one. The biggest drawback each time we talked about it was the lack of games we were interested in. Looking at that list, nothing captures my imagination.
November 17th, 2006, the launch of the Sony Playstation 3 gave way to these titles:
• Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
• Call of Duty 3
• Genji: Days of the Blade
• Madden NFL 07
• Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
• Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
• NBA 2K7
• NHL 2K7
• Resistance: Fall of Man
• Ridge Racer 7
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
• Tony Hawk’s Project 8
• Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
Another underwhelming list, except for maybe Resistance: Fall of Man. That was a pretty great game. That list is just as unimpressive as the Xbox 360’s.
Nintendo let us play with our Wii on November 19th 2006, and had these games as launch titles:
• Avatar: The Last Airbender
• Call of Duty 3
• Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
• Excite Truck
• The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
• GT Pro Series
• Happy Feet
• The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
• Madden NFL 07
• Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
• Monster 4×4: World Circuit
• Need for Speed: Carbon
• Rampage: Total Destruction
• Rayman Raving Rabbids
• Red Steel
• SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
• Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
• Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
• Trauma Center: Second Opinion
• Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii console)
This selection seemed a little more promising, and comparatively it was. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was for sure a must buy. I was also pretty pumped to get Red Steel which was a small display of what the Wii could do.
I find it interesting that in the seventh generation, the three consoles had unimpressive launch titles as a whole. Perhaps they were going for “Look what our system can do!” Perhaps these are tastes of things to come.
Bringing us back to the present, on November 18th 2012, Nintendo made history with the Wii U.
• Assassin’s Creed III
• Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
• Ben 10: Omniverse
• Call of Duty: Black Ops II
• Chasing Aurora
• Darksiders II
• Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
• ESPN Sports Connection
• FIFA Soccer 13
• Funky Barn
• Game Party Champions
• Just Dance 4
• Little Inferno
• Madden NFL 13
• Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
• Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition
• Nano Assault Neo
• NBA 2K13
• New Super Mario Bros. U
• Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
• Nintendo Land
• Rabbids Land
• Scribblenauts Unlimited
• Sing Party
• Skylanders: Giants
• Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
• Tank! Tank! Tank!
• Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
• Transformers: Prime – The Game
• Trine 2: Director’s Cut
• Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
• Wipeout 3
• Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
That’s a big list, but is it any good? Currently I have five of these titles. Nintendo Land came with the system, but you had to buy the deluxe version so I think it still counts partially. The other ones include New Super Mario Bros U, Scribblenauts unlimited, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. These are all fantastic games. So much so that when I want to play my Wii U its difficult for me to decide what to play. The other thing is, I don’t have a whole lot of money so there are still launch titles I absolutely need like ZombiU, TANK! TANK! TANK!, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, and Assassin’s Creed III. That’s four more titles. All together that’s NINE Launch titles that I consider must haves. That is more than half of the other systems’ launch titles all together. Granted, this is just about launch titles. What really matters is how they hold up in the long run and that’s still a way off, but at this point, from this perspective, the Wii U is kicking some serious butt.
You’ve seen the games launched on each system over the years, which games did you buy at launch and how did you feel about them? Let us know in the comments below.
Picture it: your living room, Halloween night. You and three of your closest friends have gathered with the intent of having a fun Halloween party, but something just isn’t quite right. Although you have scooted your furniture against wall, stretched fake neon spider webbing everywhere, and your Killer Halloween Jams playlist is getting ready to start over again, yet still no one has started to dance. The Chex Mix is stale, the soda is flat, and everyone just dressed up as their Dungeons and Dragons characters for the fourth year in a row. ”What can I do to perk this shindig up?” you ask yourself desperately. It is then that you remember you have just the thing: Ubisoft’s newest release in the Just Dance series, Just Dance 4. Within minutes, the XBox 360 is fired up and so are your friends, because like the preceding games, this one is a load of fun.
It’s true that not much changes from game to game with the Just Dance franchise. Bright colored, bordering on retina-searing, cartoon visuals make a return as do the wacky dance routines. Both of these elements really help set the tone for a laid back game for people just looking to cut a rug by themselves or with some friends. The game is incredibly accessible and easy to learn, but difficult to master which makes it appeal to casual and seasoned gamers alike.
The core gameplay still revolves around players matching their sweet moves to the character on their screen, but there are some noteworthy improvements. First of all is the addition of the Dancer Card, which is a profile anyone playing the game can make. This will keep track of all kinds of statistics, from your average score to your favorite song. Also, the user interface has been overhauled quite a bit. In Just Dance 3, each song in it’s basic form was in one area, mashups were in another, and so on. In Just Dance 4, you simply select a song from the main screen and all routines you’ve unlocked associated with that song will be grouped together. This even includes the new alternate routines you can unlock as you play the game. Be careful how many “extreme” versions of songs you try out though; your surly friend in the dwarf costume could have a heat stroke due to all that prosthetic hair on her face.
The game’s fitness mode, “Just Sweat”, has been included before, but now it has a calorie counter and an intensity tracker to make it even easier for you to actually include in a fitness routine. What’s really interesting about “Just Sweat” this time around is that how well you do in one round affects how difficult the next round of aerobic dancing is. You can select songs a la carte from the main song listing, or you can choose one of the prefabricated routines that are centered around a theme like “Electro Body Combat” which offers a fighting style workout, or “Swinging 60’s Workout” which is kind of goofy, but in a fun way. This will be especially helpful if you, like me, gorged yourself into a diabetic coma on Reece’s Pumpkins and need to work off a few extra calories this fall!
If deliberately exercising isn’t your thing, you have the new Battle Mode to look forward to, in which two players dance off over five rounds and is structured much like a fighting game. The moves are some of the most elaborate in the game, but if you go head-to-head with a friend you’re sure to have some good laughs. Your twin friends the elf warrior and the elf rogue can duel each other and leave their 20-sided dice at home! As if all that newness wasn’t enough, there is the Autodance with Kinect feature (exclusive to the XBox 360 version) which will capture all of your most awkward and embarrassing moments on video and automatically sync them with the music to create a video in which you look like a true dancing superstar. You can then easily share these videos with your friends via Just Dance TV.
The soundtrack for Just Dance 4 is one of the most robust to-date, featuring a wide range of songs with assorted styles like Motown, Pop, and Electronic.. There’s a little bit of everything; like corny mega hits like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”, 80s jams like Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, and the PERFECT track to perk up your Halloween party – “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show. The game came out of the gate with DLC via a promotion with Cheetos, and its first full-fledged DLC is planned for November – “Gangnam Style” by Psy. The full track listing can be viewed here.
While it’s clear that Just Dance has become one of Ubisoft’s annualized titles, it’s nice to see they’re taking time to add new and interesting features as well as tweak the user interface for the player’s benefit. With the WiiU launch on the horizon, that version of Just Dance 4 promises even more new tricks and treats to set that version apart from the others. Whether you’re a beginning ghoul getting your groove on for the first time, or a veteran vampire who has expertly cut every rug in town, you will definitely find something to like with this game and maybe even work off some of the entire bag of Fun Sized Snickers you ate while waiting for your party guests to arrive. Once they’ve left, you are finally free to take off your wizard’s hat and beard, tighten the laces on your sneakers, roll up the sleeves of your robe, and practice One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” until you finally get the five-star rating you’ve been hoping for.
[review title=”Just Dance 4″ pros=”Updated user interface, great track list, and a handful of new features make this the best Just Dance game so far.” cons=”It may be hard for some people to get into this game without thinking it’s just more of the same.” verdict=”If you have any interest in a game that asks you to shake your groove thang, then this is the one to get.” score=85]
I haven’t played Kinect Star Wars but if anyone around the offices was going to enjoy it, it’d have to be resident Star Wars fanatic Jessie. While I’m sure he would want to pass on podracing I bet there’s one thing he’d love the chance to do.
See you next week.
HOLY HELL! That’s probably what you will shout while watching this video. It’s like they took the giant monster battling of Monster Hunter and threw in magic and more traditional fantasy elements, oh and YOU CAN JUMP ONTO THE DRAGONS! Yeah, it looks epic and I can’t wait, even if it is a Capcom game. Check out the video.
Oh look, It’s me, talking about a Capcom game. Well, to be fair I was excited about Dragon’s Dogma before they shit all over my dreams. ANYWAYS, They’ve announced that a demo will be available for PSN and XBOX Live at some point before the game releases on May 22nd. While a demo is pretty typical, we were given some insight that it will include the chance of playing as one of two classes. Playing as The Fighter, will be a melee specialist who delves in deep tunnels until he ultimately fights a mighty Chimera. The other class is the Strider, who uses daggers and bows, which will come in handy when it puts you up against a mighty Griffin.
With these characters, it appears you will be able to use the game’s character customization options. The really neat thing is that once you buy the game you can export these characters to the real deal and keep playing them. Now that’s a great idea! Touche Capcom…. touche…
On February 22nd, Remedy Games in conjunction with Microsoft Game Studio will release Alan Wake’s American Nightmare exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade. This stand-alone title pits Alan Wake against his evil doppelganger, known as Mr. Scratch. Check out the teaser trailer below for a look at the game’s villain.
Be sure to keep your eye on RoboAwesome for more coverage of Alan Wake’s American NIghtmare, and check it out when it hit’s Xbox Live Arcade.