Wet

September 30, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

Title: Wet
Release Date: 15th September 2009 (NA) / 18th September 2009 (EU)
Developer/Publisher: Artificial Mind + Movement/Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Action & Adventure, Shooter
Platform[s]: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Storyline

Tarantino meets Tomb Raider in this highly stylized third person action adventure title, with the player taking on the mantle of vicious gun for hire Rubi Malone. Sent on a globe-trotting mission to retrieve crime boss Mr Ackers’ son, Rubi gets inevitably double crossed and sets about exacting revenge in spectacularly bloody fashion…

Gameplay

Wet’s gameplay is fun, fast, frantic and varied – based around gun and sword attacks which can be chained together with devastating effect, QTE’s, on-rails sections and the super-stylish “Rage” mode (which we like lots). Harking back to the days of Max Payne, bullet time is triggered automatically when Rubi fires off a shot during a jump or some kind of Tomb Raider-esque acrobatic lunacy (of which there is a fair bit), giving you more time to take out your enemies, but also granting you the ability to target two enemies at once. One is automatically locked onto for you, while you’re free to move the left stick around at will to take out any of your other nearby enemies. It takes a while to get used to, but with Rubi’s full 360 target capabilities it’s a hell of a lot of fun once you master it, and you’ll soon be swinging on poles, sliding down ladders and wall-running whilst cracking off head shots with the best of them.

The majority of your play time will be spent moving around each level, disposing of your enemies before entering a main “arena” style section which sees you shutting off enemy entry points and collecting score multipliers. These parts offer up more acrobatic combo opportunities than usual, and we’re sure some gamers will have great fun learning the quickest and most stylish route around as you leap from wall to ledge to pole and back again. At the end of each level you’re offered a score based on your performance (how quickly and stylishly you completed the level, and how many kills you successfully chained together), which is then translated into RPG style experience points that you can spend on upgrading Rubi’s skills, abilities and weapons strength.

Despite the main levels being largely linear and rather samey, Artificial Mind + Movement have done a great job of breaking up the monotony by throwing in some cracking on-rails levels, one of which sees Rubi leaping from car to car whilst capping bad guys in a Matrix style freeway chase, as you would have seen if you’ve downloaded the demo currently available on Xbox Live. One level in particular is especially inspired (we won’t spoil it by telling you why), completely ruined by the most frustrating collision detection and trial and error gameplay we’ve seen for quite some time.

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Finally, Rubi’s “Rage” mode: only available during pre-set parts of the game (with seemingly no attachment to the main story), it echoes the Crazy 88 fight in Kill Bill, with the screen taking on a cartoon-esque black and red hue. Using Rubi’s heightened senses you have to clear the area as quickly as possible, with points accrued for large amounts of kills chained together. It’s a wonderfully stylish idea executed marvelously – although we’re deducting points for the fact that you can’t earn the right to trigger the mode once a set amount of kills are achieved during the main game, for instance.

Graphics

Drawing on Tarantino and Rodriguez’s Grindhouse movies as inspiration, Wet mimics the grainy, scratchy camera style they made famous brilliantly – coupled with the over the top action, constant blood spatter and stylized characters it gives the whole game a cult 70’s action flick feel which really makes the game stand out from the pack. The camera imperfections can be switched off however, which does make some of the poorer graphics stand out – for instance, some of the incidental characters are badly detailed and look china-dollish next to Rubi, Ackers and crew. The environments are varied and interesting to look at and (despite the mediocrity of the opening levels) fit in well with the rest of Rubi’s universe.

The characters are well animated, and although the hack and slash action isn’t quite up to Afro Samurai’s limb-removing standards, the blood spatter is satisfying and some of the cutscenes are particularly wince-inducing.

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Sound

Boasting the vocal talents of Eliza Dushku (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) and Alan Cumming (X-Men 2), a sleazy rockabilly soundtrack to rival Dusk ‘til Dawn and some of the snappiest in-game dialogue we’ve ever heard (penned by Duppy “24” Demetrius), Wet sounds amazing – and we guarantee you’ll be humming “Insane” by The Arkhams for days to come.

Overall Score and Replayability

Wet is a rare game, one that dares to be different and despite the odd graphical glitch here and there and linear and repetitive levels it manages to pull off enough quick fire, enjoyable gameplay a lot of titles seem to be lacking these days to warrant a spot in your “to play” pile indefinitely. With a couple of unlockable challenge modes once the main game is completed, a heap of toy monkeys to find in game and the chance to better your previous scores on the arenas Wet has definitely got a lot to offer.

First Fable II episode free today

September 29, 2009 by Daniel Gillespie  
Filed under News

fable 2

If you haven’t experienced the brilliant Fable II yet, then you have the chance to get in on The Albion adventure – for free. Today sees the launch of Fable II: Game Episodes on Xbox Live’s Games on Demand channel.

The RPG is being split into 5 digital installments that you can download via Live, and you can get the first 2GB installment for absolutely free.

The free episode will cover your childhood in the game and period as a young adult, and if you decide you want some more Fable II action, all of your progress will be kept for future episodes and even the full disc.

The game’s achievements make it over to digital download too, and you can play co-op with a friend if you so desire.

Left 4 Dead Crash Course incorrectly priced

September 29, 2009 by Paul Carrett  
Filed under News, PC, Xbox

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The new downloadable content for Left 4 Dead, Crash Course, has been released today on the Xbox Live Marketplace but has been incorrectly priced. Crash Course is available for 800 Microsoft Points when it should be 560 Microsoft Points. The price should be rectified at some point in the next hour or two.

Major Nelson and other Xbox personalities have been warning their followers on Twitter not to buy Crash Course at 800 Microsoft Points and wait until it is priced correctly.

As with almost all items on the Xbox Live Marketplace there are no refunds for this downloadable content so if you have paid 800 Microsoft Points for it then there you are probably not going to be able to claim the 240 Microsoft Points back. As seen in this previous article on VGR (aptly titled ‘Microsoft wants your money’) Valve didn’t even want to charge for the DLC but it was Microsoft’s decision that they had to.

No Modern Warfare 2 demo before launch

September 28, 2009 by Paul Carrett  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

mw2

There will be no Modern Warfare 2 demo before its release on 10th November, Infinity Ward has said. As more and more developers are doing these days, Infinity Ward made this announcement via their Twitter page. Infinity Ward tweeted: “No plan for a Demo before launch. The entire team is focused on polish all the way up to ship of the full game.” However this doesn’t rule out a post-launch Demo as we have seen with Call of Duty: World at War. This news comes after last month’s news that there are no plans for a public multiplayer beta either. But why does this matter, you’re all going to buy the game on launch day anyway, aren’t you?

Modern Warfare 2 is released 10th November and is available to pre-order now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows.

“Super” Street Fighter IV Images Leaked ?

September 28, 2009 by Rob Knight  
Filed under News, Playstation, Xbox

SF4

In what’s likely to provoke the Dragon Punch heard round the world early photos have leaked showing what is purported to be the upcoming new game teased by Capcom on their ?????? site, Super Street Fighter IV.

The internet has been ablaze with rumours of what this New Warrior game will be with all set to be revealed at 9am British Summer Time tomorrow.

Hadoken!

Next GOW will be ‘Next-Gen’

September 28, 2009 by Daniel Gillespie  
Filed under News

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Epic Games have announced that Gears of War 3 will not be released for the current Xbox 360, and is more than likely to be ‘next-gen’ release, meaning it will not be out for a predicted four, or even five years.

President of Epic Games, Mike Capps, was at the Tokyo Game Show this weekend and revealed: “If there were a next Gears of War, that will be for the next console generation, whenever that is. If someone knows, please tell me! That’s about four or five years away, I think.”

Capps also stated that the company has been working on Unreal Engine 4, the successor to the godly Unreal Engine 3, for seven years now, and that it would be in fully functional with the next generation of consoles.

Rock Band 2 gets significant update

September 28, 2009 by Daniel Gillespie  
Filed under News

rock band update

A new patch has been released for Rock Band 2, which will add some brand new dimensions to the game, including the anticipated ‘Rock Band Network’.

The Rock Band Network is a community feature where users can upload songs from their PCs to try them out using the game’s tools, and if successful, could earn a tidy sum of cash.

The Network is due to be fully released in the next couple of weeks, as it is currently in closed beta.

Other notable new additions are that you can now download songs whilst playing the game, and have the ability to use a wireless microphone, instead of the bog-standard wired one.

Finally, along with in game features such as hammer-ons and pull-offs being fixed, there’s now an option where you can see which songs you have fully starred.

Sky on the 360 in October

September 28, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Xbox

Sky on the Xbox 360

The latest issue of Sky’s subscriber TV magazine has confirmed that Sky content will be available on the Xbox 360 in the UK from next month, October 2009. No more details are currently available, but it’s thought the functionality will be similar to that available with the previously PC-only “Sky Player”.

DiRT 2

September 27, 2009 by Dave Burns  
Filed under PC, Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

Title: Colin McRae DiRT 2

Release Date: 8th-11th September 2009 (Consoles Wordwide) / December 2009 (PC version)

Developer/Publisher: Codemasters / Codemasters

Genre: Racing

Platform[s]: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Nintendo DS & PSP

Storyline

Colin McRae is arguably the best Rally driver to ever grace the world of racing and that is still true today, even after the tragic events that took 10place 2 years ago in which Colin McRae and his son died in a helicopter crash, which left a huge hole in everyone’s hearts. Since then there has been a lot of drama online about whether or not Codemasters should be sanctioned to create another Colin McRae title, a series that has been going strong for over 10 years and is seen as the definitive rally driving game. Codemasters were granted permission from the McRae estate to go and create a new title based on the DiRT IP and here we are today with a fantastic title that Colin would surely be proud of if he was still with us.

DiRT 2 introduces Rally X Games, a sport in which Colin McRae was heavily involved with after leaving the WRC (World Rally Championship) and it brings a fresh, definitive look at rallying and introduces part off-road and part on-road rally driving. You see yourself travelling the world taking on Rally X Games, Rallying, Baja and many more.

Gameplay

A lot of improvement has gone into DiRT 2 after the feedback from the masses after DiRT, and playing this game reminds myself a lot of playing GRID. Whether your a seasoned racing game fanatic or a casual Sunday driver you are going to fail when you start, (unless of course your name is often featured on the WRC leaderboards) and you will probably find it slightly daunting, but after a few failed races you will learn the in’s and out’s of each car you get to drive in the tournaments and races. Each car does drive differently from the next so you may find yourself changing cars after failed races, in fact I probably kept swapping my cars for the first 2 hours of playing the game just to get accustomed to the style of each vehicle and learning the drive styles that match races and tracks.

2As mentioned before you get to visit tracks and race types all over the world, for instance London specialises in Rally X Games where as Croatia will see race in Rally’s. At first I felt a little overwhelmed by the different types of races but that quickly settled down as I learnt the tracks and felt comfortable with the cars.

Overall the game feels a lot like GRID and the original DiRT and it certainly accommodates new drivers with a difficulty system, there is a disadvantage to playing the game on easier levels and this is the amount of XP that you earn after completing races, but the difficulty can be adjusted before each race so as you get better at the game you can slide the difficulty up slightly to reflect your skill level. The XP that you earn levels you up unlocking a wide range of items such as liveries, cars and dashboard toys. Earning XP also unlocks new regions and new races to visit and special events such as Rally X Games, World Tours and a special Colin McRae challenge which upon completion unlocks a special tribute video of Colin McRae which will turn the hardest most daring people into a big pile of tears.

Graphics

“Does it really get any better than this?” a question I asked myself numerous times while playing DiRT 2, the scenery, the tracks even the advertising is extremely vivid and certainly leaves an imprint on your mind that will last for quite sometime. The whole design of the menu system is very unique and sees yourself looking around a trailer to enter races, configure options and play online amongst other options that we won’t bore you with. Your trailer also comes complete with a TV playing music video’s from the games soundtrack which we will talk about in the next section.

Sound

I haven’t wired up my gaming chair directly to my Xbox since I first got it, I just simply plugged it into my TV with 9loads of adapters and cables all over the place but this title made me want to get the most out of my system and I’m so glad I did. The roar of the engines at the starting line is quite phenomenal and I’m pretty sure you could find someone gullible and tell them that your not actually playing a game, your watching a race on TV. The unique sound of a Mitsibishi Evo X is unmistakable when your here it Rev up on TV or at a race but when your hear it from your own sound system it would almost be impossible to tell the difference between the two.

Not only has the game got unreal sound that’s identical to real life races, it has a killer sound track made up of artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Prodigy, Bloc Party, Ladyhawk and Rage Against. In fact I could probably sit here all day and rave about the sound track but the only way your going to see is going out and buying the game for yourself.

Overall Score and Replayability

Overall this game is suitable for racing pro’s and newcomers alike with a fantastic engine thats made for everyone. Even if you only love racing sims you really need to give this game a go and see how fantastic it is for yourself, infact I don’t know how not to live without this game and it would certainly be a crime not to drop down to your local video game retailer and pick up a copy!

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The Hazards of Dating a Gamer: Love At First Frag

September 27, 2009 by Susan Taylor  
Filed under Articles

gamerlovefinal

It’s every nerds dream and it is one that many social-networking sites have built their empires around. Gamers dating Gamers. In theory, and sometimes in practice, the relationship between two gaming geeks can be a truly marvellous act of passion and love. Like getting that first headshot or finally dinging 80. However, there are many occasions where having a gamer for a partner is not something of hope, fun or joy.

Today we are going to be looking at the dangers that can arise in choosing a fellow gamer as your beloved and the issues you may face at the beginning of your relationship.

Endurance Training 101

Congratulations! You have passed the first major hurdle and have managed to attract yourself a gamer girl or a gamer boy. You didn’t screw it up and are on your way to living the dream, busy Twittering about your new love like there isn’t a 140 word limit. Your phone rings and it’s a very excited person who is clearly full of The Squee on the other end of the line. It takes you a few moments to realise who it is. After your little gaming superstar has managed to find time to breathe, you realise that they are squealing about the sequel that has just been announced for their All Time Favourite Game Ever.

The game that you absolutely detest.

You feign interest, trying to hide the sound of that frown on your face, and ask when the release date is. Your real-life-emoticon drops from a 0-bracket to a 9-bracket when you are informed that you have are going to have to endure another 18 months of this kind of conversation. That’s a year and a half of hearing about a game you cannot even pretend to like at gunpoint. And that’s if you’re lucky enough. Most games nowadays get delayed. Unfortunately, you are not a lucky person. Remember what died on you the day before the release of Bioshock and you had to beg your best friend to borrow theirs just so you could get some game time in?

You sigh and resign yourself to your fate.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

Performance Gaming

It’s game time and you have settled yourself down for a good long session on your favourite multiplayer. You have re-stocked your drink supply and you’ve just got back from the toilet. Your headset is all plugged in and you’ve hooked up with your gaming buddies online; the game is about to start. That’s when a message pops up: “Hey baby, can I join you?”. Now you are all for gaming with your lovely partner, the only problem tonight is you are slightly inebriated and this is the first time your gaming god-or-goddess has played a competitive game with you. That means you’ve got to impress, and impress you shall.

Ten minutes in and you are throwing down all your cards and playing all of your top moves. Your adrenaline is pumping like a true gamer, you are doing everything you can to stay on top and keep yourself in the limelight. You just know that your partner’s silence over chat is a clear sign of them sitting there in complete and utter awe of you.

Mission accomplished.

Life is good.

Or so you think. Lets take a look at it from the other side of the screen, shall we?

You log on one evening to see your love online with a group of other gamers. You send a quick message to them to see if it’d be okay for you to join. You are considerate like that. Naturally, they say yes. Game time begins and you start to focus on the job at hand. You try to remember if you’ve ever played this game together, but while you are pondering this, you are rudely interrupted by your partner shouting in your ear “WHOO! ALRIGHT! YEAAAAH!”. Snapped out of your recent reflection, you get back into the game. And that’s when you start to slowly shrink back into your chair, embarrassed of your beloved’s behaviour.

headphones1“DID YOU SEE THAT BABY? DID YOU?”

“OHNOOHNOOHNOOOOOOO!”

“AHAHAHAHA! THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR COMING UP AGAINST ME MOFO!”

“BRING IT AWWWN!”

You are left completely speechless. Everyone else in chat have gone quiet and all that can be heard is YOUR partner making a fool of themselves. You sit there hoping that they do not act like this with people IRL and certainly not when you host that LAN party next week.

You do something that you have never done before in this relationship.

You face-palm.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

Quality Time Together

Picture the scene, if you will. The lights have been dimmed, there is a sweet melody playing the background – two love birds sitting in front of an open fire, gazing into one another’s eyes with candles dancing seductively around the room.. And then your partner asks if you could stop playing your new JRPG and come spend quality time with them.

To a gamer “quality time” generally means “All of my games are boring me right now and I need entertaining.”

The plus side of dating a gamer means they are really understanding when it comes to all things games-related. Be it queuing up outside a store from 12 midnight for the launch of a new game, to purchasing a game they know nothing about on a whim because “the cover looks good”.

The down side to dating a gamer is the high chance of them catching what we in the industry call “gaming mojo burnout”. This horrible condition is when a gamer’s poor mojo has been driven to it’s limits by an influx of fantastic games, so much so that all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they can’t find something to play. The same way an artist or a writer will sit and stare at a blank page, these poor gamers spend hours just sitting and looking at their pile of games feeling lost.  The lucky gamers out there only ever find their gaming mojo gone maybe once every few years, others will be burnt out every six months.

So now it is up to you. You must re-kindle your partner’s gaming mojo or face the prospect of endless nights of: “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” “I’m not fussy, I’ll do whatever you want to do.” and so on and so forth.

You run to your computer to find your “thinking cap” which is in the shape of a website you find all of your gaming news from. There you spend hours trying to get your partner interested in upcoming game releases. You’re waving your arms around, you’re speaking in a higher voice than normal and you’re practically bouncing on the chair in a bid that some of your excitement will rub off of them.

After you have exhausted all of your brain power online you move onto the idea of co-op games and throw yourself into setting up a session you can both get involved in. You are the perfect team mate, letting them take the lead and giving words of encouragement every 30 seconds in a desperate hope that your gamer geek would take the bait and get back to their happy-go-gaming-self.

And when all else fails you offer to buy your pouting partner a brand new game of their choice.

“Well…” they say with their eyes suddenly coming back to life, “There is one game..”

And just like that, the mojo has been resurrected. You may now pat yourself on your back, you have successfully averted disaster. Although you have just lost a good chunk of cash.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

The Present Question

There are many occasions throughout the year that generally require you to purchase a gift of some sort for your significant other. Birthdays, Valentines Day, Christmas.. All of these holidays generally mean you need to head into the nearest town centre and hunt down the perfect present.

So there you are, standing at the entrance of the mall, desperately trying to think of what to buy your gamer geek. Clothing? Crap, you forgot their size. DVD? Nah, might as well torrent that. And then it hits you – A video game. Duh. You click your heels with glee and run off to the nearest game store. Now it’s up to you to pick the right game for your gaming god/goddess. And it doesn’t matter who you are or how long you have been with your partner, the first game you pick up will ALWAYS be something that YOU would play. You hold it in your hands, you pause. You re-think your choice and move onto the next shelf. Rinse and repeat about nine or ten times until you return to the original shelf where you hover around the game you picked up first.

“Yeah.. Yeah they’ll enjoy this. I can totally see them getting into this.” you convince yourself. In your head you are picturing your sweetheart gaming their little heart out on the game in your hand and then, for a brief second, you see yourself playing it too.

Money exchanges hands and you skip out of the store with a spring in your step. “I’ve bought the best present ever!” you sing to yourself internally.

onechanbara_bikini_samurai_squad_conceptart_Guw7QAnd that, my dear friends, is how I ended up with a copy of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for my 21st birthday.

Yes, the hack ‘n slash samurai game with half-naked women with their ill-fitting clothing and their big bouncy boobies. I spent about five minutes playing it before I returned to F.E.A.R 2.

But that’s what I get for dating a gamer.

I hope you enjoyed the article, and I look forward to hearing your stories about you ‘n your gaming girl/boyfriend.

The Hazards of Dating a Gamer: Part 2- Coming Soon!

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