Author - Jerry Paxton

Operation Darkness Demo on Xbox LIVE

The demo for Operation Darkness, a WWII TBS game developed by Atlus U.S.A. Inc, has been release on Xbox LIVE for your playing pleasure. The game blends the fantasy genre with the modern strategy game by integrating the use of magicks and the existance of werewolves. What, you mean werewolves aren’t real!?!

You can find the official Operation Darkness website here.

Official Release:
Atlus U.S.A., Inc. today announced the launch of the official Operation Darkness demo on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This epic fantasy WWII turn-based strategy game demo features one mission, offering a variety of attack options and access to some of the more unique spells in the game (werewolves, anyone?).

Operation Darkness is currently scheduled for release on June 24 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Obscure: The Aftermath Review

Set after the events of the original Obscure, Obscure: The Aftermath brings the feel of a campy horror flick to your screen. Unfortunately, the game suffers from some setbacks which should have been caught during the design and testing of the title.

The game begins at a university where students have been getting high and hallucinating by inhaling the smoke from burning special seeds. These seeds, however, are actually from the organism-mutating plants in the original game. Well, eventually the evilness of those dreaded plants return, mutating college kids into blood-thirsty monsters and setting the stage for our six heroes to battle them.

The gameplay in Obscure: The Aftermath is unique in that you control two characters at a time. Each character has a special skill such as being incredibly strong, hacking ability, etc. You technically only directly control one of the two characters at any one point, with the other being controlled by the AI (you can always toggle between the two though). This gameplay element is one of the game’s most creative features. Controlling characters, however – especially in combat, is awkward in the PC version of the game. Another nice feature about the character control system is that everyone shares an inventory, no matter where they are located. While not the most realistic idea, it does make things alot more convenient than they would be otherwise. Your heroes will obtain a variety of melee weapons and firearms throughout the game, however the camera system can be a bit wonky at times, moving to strange angles that makes targeting opponents difficult, even with the game’s built-in targeting system.

Graphically, the game is of the typical Playstation 2 fare and, as that is the game’s original platform, we can’t knock it for that fact. The game’s creatures are creative and well modeled with plenty of mutations to go around and, we must admit, some are pretty creepy. The game’s score was performed by the Boston String Quartet as well as the Paris Opera Children’s Choir and provides good, creepy atmosphere for the player to interact in.

The writing and voice acting are double-edged swords in Obscure: The Aftermath. On one hand, the developers intended the title to be a throwback to those corny and campy horror flicks where teenagers throw popcorn at the screen in protest of a character doing or saying something stupid. If the rest of the game wasn’t so clunky, this would really help pull that design off. Unfortunately, with this clunkiness, players can’t be sure if the bad dialog and acting aren’t just additional problems with the title.

Conclusion: Obscure: The Aftermath does feature some creepy music and might be a more enjoyable down the line should patches come down the road. Unfortunately, in its current state, the game is very unpolished and awkward. We can only recommend it to fervent fans of the survival-horror genre at this point.   

Bourne Conspiracy Gameplay Footage

Here is a new gameplay video from the upcoming actioner, The Bourne Conspiracy. It shows a bit of Bourne kicking ass at a train depot. Note the ‘quick cuts’ that the movies are well-known for. I hope they do not distract too much from the gameplay. The Bourne Conspiracy releases in June for the PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms.

EA Bringing Back Monopoly With A Vengeance

EA is bringing the fun back with Monopoly for the Xbox 360, Wii, and Playstation 2 platforms.

Official Release:
The Casual Entertainment Label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today released additional details on MONOPOLY (working title), the first Hasbro-branded video game set to launch on next-generation consoles including Wii™ and the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system. MONOPOLY will also be appearing on the PLAYSTATION®2 computer entertainment system as well as mobile phones and Pogo.com™. The multiplatform video game is inspired by Hasbro’s highly anticipated MONOPOLY HERE & NOW: The World Edition board game. Currently, the MONOPOLY video games are set to release this year simultaneously with the global launch of the new board game.

The MONOPOLY video games promise a fresh take on the timeless classic with accessible gameplay for players of all ages and skill levels. The all-new digital gaming edition brings a party twist and features 4-player simultaneous play, ensuring that everyone is engaged and allowing the whole family to get involved in the fun and play together. Faster gameplay eliminates downtime freeing up players to wheel and deal their way through some of the most recognizable cities and landmarks from around the world. Families can fill up their passports as they try to unlock new and never-before-seen game boards or challenge each other to fun interactive mini-games like breaking out of the jail cell and running away with all the loot. Play in offline single or multi-player mode and compete to own it all and win!

Age of Conan Subscription Pricing Details

FunCom released some interesting information to their investors today. Namely, the price points of the monthly subscription for Age of Conan, the upcoming MMO based in Hyboria.

Key pricing parameters for the game will be:
o The Standard game SKU will have a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of 59.99 USD in North America and at 49.99 Euro in the European markets.
o The subscription fee will be priced at 14.99 USD in North America and 12.99 Euro in the European markets (plus VAT where applicable)

New Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Screenshots

The prequel to Quake II, called Enemy Territory QUAKE Wars has been delighting PC gamers for a little while now. The console version, however, is due out in Summer for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 game consoles. Some new screenshots from the console version were released today.

Images After the Break!

Oakenfold’s Bourne Sessions Online

Paul Oakenfold’s Miami concert where he dazzled the audience with his Bourne Conspiracy soundtrack is now available through Yahoo! Music for your listening pleasure.

Official Release:
Sierra Entertainment and Yahoo! today announced that the concert event that kicked-off this year’s Winter Music Conference, The Bourne Sessions™, is now online. The 80 minute set, featuring world renowned DJ, remixer and producer Paul Oakenfold was filmed during a live performance in front of a packed house at one of Miami’s most renowned super clubs, Mansion. The full concert is accompanied by the exclusive premiere of The Bourne Conspiracy™’s music video for the single ‘Falling,’ produced and performed by Oakenfold and featuring Atlantic recording artist Cee-Lo Green.

As co-presenter of ‘The Bourne Sessions,’ Yahoo! will host the event and music video to viewers worldwide through Yahoo! Music http://music.yahoo.com.

New Guitar Hero: On Tour Screenshots

Some new screenshots for Guitar Hero: On Tour, for the Nintendo DS, were released today. The game will be packaged with the Guitar Grip peripheral and will be released sometime in the Summer.

Screenshots After the Break.

Official Release:
For the first time, hand held gamers will have the freedom to unleash their inner rock star anywhere, anytime with Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) upcoming Guitar Hero®: On Tour for Nintendo DSTM. The game will deliver a unique Guitar Hero® experience by challenging hand held gamers to rock out and prove their shredding skills on the most diverse set list of master tracks ever offered in a Guitar Hero game, including classic rock, alternative and pop favorites such as Nirvana, OK Go and No Doubt.

The game will be packaged with a revolutionary Guitar HeroTM Guitar GripTM peripheral that fits snugly into the DS and a unique Guitar Hero pick-stylus that brings a new dimension to handheld gaming and the core gameplay that defines Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero: On Tour has been designed specifically for the DS platform and will offer the DS audience an all-new compelling music experience.

Airport Mania: First Flight Released

Reflexive Entertainment’s Airport Mania: First Flight has been officially released today for PC and Mac platforms. Retailing for $19.99, Airport Mania: First Flight is a casual airport sim/construction game that takes players to eight different airports and 84 levels of play.

More information on purchasing the title as well as downloading the trial can be found here.

Official Release:
Reflexive Entertainment (www.reflexive-inc.com) is proud to announce the release of Airport Mania™: First Flight. In addition to today’s expected PC release, Reflexive is very excited to announce that the Mac release of the game, previously scheduled for June, has also been released, creating everyone’s favorite airport moment: an early arrival.

Airport Mania: First Flight takes players on an adventurous trip through 8 different airports. Along the way players will land a variety of planes, upgrade the airport with an assortment of fun gadgets, and work hard to ensure that their customers aren’t delayed at the gate. The gameplay will challenge players to quickly respond to the line of airplanes coming into the airport, rewarding quick reactions and strategic planning.

Featuring comical music, 8 amusing locations, 84 whimsical levels, and fun Easter egg surprises, Airport Mania: First Flight is an enjoyable gaming experience for everyone in the family that is sure to put a smile on the faces of those who play it.