E3 2012 – Lost Planet 3 [GO/ER]
Jun 5th, 2012 by Dan

I really dig the everyman personality that the protagonist seems to have. Not to mention that I’ve been really sweet on Capcom games since RE5 and Dead Rising 2.

Captivate 2011 Brings Great News [GO/ER]
Apr 12th, 2011 by Dan

The big announcements for me to come out of Captivate 2011?

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record and SSFIV Arcade coming to home consoles.

DR2: Off the Record

Frank West returns in a bizarre alternate retelling of the events of Dead Rising 2. Originally meant to be a director’s cut of the first game, the concept evolved into this bizarre mechanical overhaul where the photography from the first game is reintroduced and the narrative is totally mixed around. Will I pay to play the same-ish game again? Probably.

SSFIV Arcade

Yun, Yang, Oni, and Evil Ryu join the cast along with changes to the mechanics of the game.

The best part of this is that it’ll also be a $15 DLC pack. Thank god. I thought they were gonna lose everyone’s goodwill by making us buy another disc copy of the game. How weird is it that I’m complimenting Capcom for not being total jerks? In any case, I’m excited, even though I haven’t booted up SSFIV in ages. Get hype, y’all.

2010 in Video Games [GO]
Jan 5th, 2011 by Dan

The Super Potato Exterior in Akihabara

Super Potato in Akihabara

As is typical of me, I played a ton of video games this year. Here’s a listing of what I played along with a few short (or long) words on each game. For the most part, this list is restricted to games released in 2010 unless I did not play them until this year. It’s also mostly in chronological order, with some skips here and there.

Mother 3: Definitely did not come out in 2010. I reviewed it already, but let me say that there is significant beauty to this game. Affecting and heartwrenching, this is easily among the best games I played this year. Do not play this on an emulator because the music-timing of the battles is deliciously fun and the time lag of emulation makes that impossible to experience.

Mass Effect 2: The first AAA game of the year. My review trended toward disappointing, mostly due to the way that story was handled in this iteration compared to part 1. Still, an undeniably great game whose heist-story mechanics and plot are unique and interesting in the gaming landscape. I can’t wait for part three in November.

Heavy Rain: Almost as exciting as actually doing the chores your imaginary wife forces you to do in real life. The execution just missed with this one and its plot twist was asinine and felt cheap. If you’re allowed to hear the thoughts of the protagonists, but you fail to provide a logical reason as to why that person is lying to us (himself?), you’ve lost me.

Pro Yakyu Spirits 2010 (Professional Baseball Spirits 2010): My baseball game of the year. I love taking the Carp to the Japan Series each year. I spent countless hours developing my franchise. This game was worth every dollar I spent importing it.

Final Fantasy XIII: Thoroughly disappointing. Expect more from me on this (edits from the future!), but SqueEnix really dropped the ball something fierce here. A game that suffered from complete lack of creative direction. Final Fantasy XIII is the head of the snake eating its own tail that has become SqueEnix.

Yakuza (1, 2, )3: Did not put that much time into this one, but I did play its prequels to completion. Fiercely Japanese in design, I just haven’t found the time to get deep into this gem. I’m sure it’s actually pretty great.

Mega Man 10: It lacked some of MM9’s magic (partially by being easier), but still a razor sharp example of why the Blue Bomber captured our hearts in the first place. Pump Man’s power, while heavily reminiscent of Leaf Man, is deliciously fun to play with. Using it again Solar Man was also tons of fun for me.

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilve: It was fun to go back to the best two games in the series. The Pokewalker was stupid, but I have high hopes for Black & White. These games are easily dismissed as rehashes, but they’re still white-hot proof that JRPG design doesn’t have to be needlessly complex to be addictive and elegant.

Alien Swarm: Valve gave me this game for free. I played it maybe twice. Decent fun, but I’d rather play Left 4 Dead 2.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: Never beat this game. SMT continues to be ridiculously tough and legitimately mature in their presentation of mankind’s eternal struggles against its darker tendencies. Maybe it’s the first-person dungeon crawling, but something about this game prevents me from ever picking it up most days.

Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse: I’m lumping all five episodes into one entity. I find TellTale adventure games to be workmanlike in quality. With the exception of the last two or three episodes of Tales of Monkey Island, they lack the extra oomph that could make them truly great. That said, The Devil’s Playhouse was the most hilarious Sam & Max iteration yet. From Sam & Max’s insistence on pronouncing General Skun’kape as skunk-ape to their episode-wide fight over what to call the menacing Sam clones (Samulacra or Doggleganger?), these games were absolute riots. Now if only TellTale could figure out how to make them great games as well…

Monster Hunter Tri: One gaming session. The sword swipes pack so much friction it’s beautiful. Despite this, never picked it up again. Got a sick black classic controller out of it. Now if only I played Wii more often…

Super Street Fighter IV: Played the hell out of last year’s iteration. Opted to play other games since it was structurally similar to vanilla Street Fighter IV. Kind of wish I’d played it a lot more this year.

Green Day: Rock Band: Played it once, exported the tracks to Rock Band 2/3, never felt the need to boot it up again. Despite only 1 hour of playtime, unlocked an achievement. Fixing the ‘D’ rank that came as a result on Giant Bomb is the only reason I will ever boot this up again.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies: Practically perfect in almost every way that a JRPG should be. I understand why the story was left more generic than years past, but the lack of an interesting narrative is what kept me from finishing.

DeathSpank: Played the demo once. Bought it on PC to support Ron Gilbert. Might actually play it one day. It seemed funny.

Comic Jumper: Hilarious in a juvenile way, I slogged through the repetitive, mediocre gameplay just to see more of this game. I think Min “played” this the right way. He watched me beat it and got to enjoy the presentation without having to touch a controller.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty: Am I the only person who hates what they did at the end of this story? Sure, it has legitimately far-reaching consequences for the sequel, but I think they’re also legitimately less interesting. Still, as perfectly constructed a game as they come. I fell out of playing it, but it definitely feels like I could pick it up at any time and have fun with it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game: A loving tribute to River City Ransom wrapped up in a franchise that I really enjoy. Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Loads of fun, but, like most middling brawlers, starts to wear on you toward the end as there’s not enough variety introduced in later levels.

Worms: Reloaded: Love Worms. Loaded this up once and never did it again. I’ve hated all Worms interfaces since Worms 2, mostly because they obfuscate and hide customization options more and more as they transition toward console friendliness. I wish they’d put more effort into their PC version.

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Case West: I’ll lump these all together since they are mostly the same game spread out into chunks. The prologue and epilogue (Zero and West, respectively) are just small and feature-gimped enough that they lack the oomph of the full retail release. Dead Rising 2 itself was everything I wanted it to be. A more robust co-op system would be all it needed to be top tier, but I still had loads of fun with it. As a bonus, Min and Dead Rising 2 taught me how to play Texas Hold ‘Em this year.

Civilization V: You probably saw my review where I hated on the terrible AI. I haven’t played since they patched/fixed it, but if they did it right, this game could totally fall back within my good graces. I do sincerely love this game, it’s just not what I hoped it would be and, in its present form, not as good as IV.

Rock Band 3: Harmonix went and made a perfect Rock Band game. Now all I’ve got to do is get my hands on a pro-guitar and I might actually learn something practical from a game that lets me indulge in all my favorite music.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale: Ever wanted to run a JRPG item shop? This indie game translated from Japan is charming and fun, but I haven’t had the time to devote myself to it yet in 2010.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: So good until the end. Can a stupid ending mar an otherwise good game? Yeah, kinda. I still loved it for the great acting (weird to say, right?), but stupid ending + sub-Uncharted 2 traversal-style gameplay mires this one in the mediocre bin. The fighting system could also have used a little less frame-lock in its animations (is that what this is called?). Can’t count how many times I died because I was stuck in a seconds-long super attack aimed at the air.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn: Unparalleled artistic vision ties this game together. I haven’t put too much time in, but it seems super easy. I want to play with a friend to get the most out of this. What do you say, Min?

Super Meat Boy: Juxtaposing Kirby and Super Meat Boy is wrong on so many levels. One is like chamber music. Beautiful, complex, but not so complex it’s tough to listen to. The other is kick-you-in-the-teeth, bite off a squirrel head, make you a man heavy metal. Super Meat Boy is so deliciously crunchy in every way that it might be the best game game on this list. Where Starcraft II is perfect with a Beatles-type polish, Super Meat Boy is The Clash; unabashedly punk rock. I love this game. It’s so addictive and fun.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX: Did I say Super Meat Boy was perfect? Pac-Man CE DX (PMCEDX) is video gaming distilled to its primal essence. Eat a whole train of 30 ghosts and I dare you not to feel primitive fun stir deep within you. Words cannot express how great this game is in bite-sized chunks.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge: Is it cheating to count a re-release? This is probably the greatest adventure game ever now with a commentary track recorded by the big three: Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, and Tim Schafer.

Poker Night at the Inventory: Strong Bad is unbelievably annoying, but banter between Max, Heavy Weapons Guy, and Tycho are always a joy. The second half of this year’s poker lessons were learned here. Now if only I could get straight flush and four-of-a-kind hands so that I can 100% the achievements in this game!

Back to the Future: The Game: The voice acting and atmosphere in this game are both spot on. Unfortunately I hit a game breaking bug and had to start over. That sucked.

Limbo: First played this on 31 December, so it still counts. Deeply atmospheric, but darkly disturbing and difficult for me to stomach more than once a day. I want to go more into that in another post. Unfortunately for the game, I think the controls are a touch floaty, which I mostly find frustrating because I need to beat it dying fewer than 5 times for an achievement.

And that was 2010 in video games (for me). I missed some huge ones (Super Mario Galaxy 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Call of Duty: Black Ops), but I think I got a good spread in there. Here’s to another great year in gaming for 2011.

Dead Rising 2 Impressions [GO]
Sep 30th, 2010 by Dan

Dead Rising 2

He hasn't covered wars (you know), but he can do mean things with duct tape.

Dead Rising, how I’ve missed you. You first charmed my heart in Willamette, Colorado along with Frank West’s camera, your punishing save system, immense difficulty, and utter insanity. Within the first two minutes of actual gameplay, you can bet that I died. I fell in love right there.

Oh, Dead Rising. Now you’ve returned with Case Zero and Dead Rising 2. Both reminded me how much I hated the photography mechanic in Dead Rising and how sweet it was to duct tape shit together to make über weapons. Yes, I fell back in love the second I took a drill, combined it with a bucket, and created little helmets of death to put on the wandering undead.

Dead Rising 2 Screenshot 5

My iPhone makes me want to do this too sometimes.

The game is just as difficult as its always been, only now the survivors are less stupid. Be prepared to experience a game that is inherently Japanese, despite its Canadian origins. Keiji Inafune’s stamp is felt all over this game, and not just because Katey mentions playing Mega Man within the first 45 minutes. It’s the punishing systems in place, the madcap insanity of the characters, and the utter insanity behind the premise and presentation that make this game so great.

Dead Rising 2 for PS3

El Kabong!

Bullet points:

– The voice acting is subtly Canadian, eh. It’s not a problem, but it’s jarring at times. Fortune City is in Nevada, not Ontario. Voice talent may come cheaper in Canada, but we can tell here in the states.

– Dead Rising 1 felt like a Japanese interpretation of what an American shopping mall might be like, so a lot of the things seemed a bit off. DR2 does a much more realistic job of capturing this new version of Vegas. There’s still some stuff that feels slightly off, but it feels like there’s less of an East/West disconnect, at least in my mind. Maybe it’s psychological because I know the game was made by Canadians.

– Combo weapons are amazing. I used a 2×4 and a lawnmower to make a portable lawnmower to be used in maiming all kinds of zombies. It was brilliant. The “wolverine gloves” made with boxing gloves and a bowie knife also deserves grand mention. Super fun. I can’t wait to combine a car battery with a goblin head to make a Blanka mask that electrocutes zombies around it.

– I like some of the new characters, but others aren’t anywhere near as endearing. Sullivan seems a little too obviously like the bad guy. TK feels a little like a stereotype. Rebecca Chang is ok so far, but my favorites are Stacey and Chuck. Both of them have great chemistry with each other and Katey and they seem to be the most heart of the cast.

– Thank god answering the transceiver is instantaneous now. Seriously, thanks.

– The achievements seem easier this time around. There are still some toughies (rescuing all 50 survivors), but it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

– I kind of like that shooting is so janky in this game, even if it’s frustrating when I needto shoot

– This game has perfect crunch to it. Hitting enemies with a sledgehammer feels appropriately brutal. Using a sword to slice through them feels exactly as smooth as it should. Most every bit of contact in this game feels perfect. The outlier: bullets. They lack oomph and are obnoxious.

Dead Rising 2! [ER/GO]
Sep 28th, 2010 by Dan

Enjoy Ryan Davis and Jeff Gerstmann’s Quick Look of Dead Rising 2!

Hilarious Dead Rising 2 Trailers [ER/GO]
Sep 24th, 2010 by Dan

I haven’t figured out a way to embed these videos yet, but you have to go to Kotaku and check out these hilarious Dead Rising 2 commercials from Japan.dead-rising-2-in-japan

Dead Rising 2, New Challengers for SSFIV?, and Liara’s Return [Game Overview]
Jul 23rd, 2010 by Dan

Dead Rising 2 is coming. It’s on the cusp of releasing this summer and I can’t wait. While the official date has been pushed back to late September, those interested in getting their zombie killing on will be able to pick up Dead Rising 2: Case Zero next month. Case Zero is meant to bridge the five-year story gap between the events of Dead Rising 1 and 2 and introduce us to our new guy, Chuck Green. It’ll be tough getting used to Chuck after the iconic Frank West (who’s covered wars, you know), but if the game is anywhere near as good as Dead Rising, I think we’ve got a good thing on our hands here.


After being coy about not wanting to release a Super Street Fighter IV arcade cabinet in Japan, Capcom wisely gave up the guise and announced that it would see an arcade release. What they didn’t initially tell us was that there would be two new characters thrown in the mix.

What this means for console owners, I’m not sure, but all the same, I’m starting to get hyped about getting two new fighters.

Liara Returns!

Mass Effect 2 was lacking one thing for me: Liara T’Soni fighting alongside Commander Shepard. It was like the game just wanted to tease me by showing me a new, fierce, Benezia-like Liara, but didn’t want to follow through and let me actually take her fight to the Shadow Broker with her.

Lucky for me, Bioware is looking to remedy that with their next set of ME2 DLC, Lair of the Shadow Broker. I’ll finally get to kick some ass with Liara on my side. Hopefully they put in flags pertaining to the main character’s relationship with Liara in ME1 as well. Time will tell…

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