Author - Jerry Paxton

Epic Mickey Into the Archives Trailer Talks Game Inspiration

Disney Interactive Studios has released a new trailer for their upcoming actioner, Epic Mickey, which gives viewers a behind the scenes look at the 80 years of inspiration available to the developers in creating the game world. Epic Mickey is due out on November 30th, only on the Nintendo Wii.

Lord of Arcana Red Band Trailer Released

Square Enix has released the official ‘red band’ trailer for its upcoming PSP action-RPG, Lord of Arcana. Lord of Arcana is due out on January 25th, 2011 for the Sony hand-held platform and features hand and slash gameplay with plenty of giblets to spare.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Launch Events

Blizzard Entertainment has released world of the official launch events to take place around the world on the night of December 6th – most notable in the United States being at the Fry’s Electronics store in Fountain Valley, CA. The Fountain Valley launch event will begin at 9:00pm PT and feature a performance by The Artist Formerly Known As Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, as well as door prizes, developer signings, and more.

We will have a couple of reporters on-hand for the event to provide you with as much coverage as possible of the festivities. Stay-tuned!

Checkout the full launch event info portal for more details!

The Next BIG Thing Gets Release Date – New Screens

Focus Home Interactive and Pendulo Studios have announced that their upcoming 2D, point-and-click adventure title, The Next BIG Thing, will be released on March 25th, 2011 on the Windows PC platform. The game is a departure from the studios’ previous Runaway series and begins a new tale.

Checkout the new screenshots, After the Break!

2010 Spike Video Game Awards Nominees Announced

Spike has announced the official nominees for its upcoming 2010 Video Game Awards. The ‘VGA’s will take place live on December 11th at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Spike. The awards show will also feature some surprise title reveals, such as some new game being developed by BioWare. We will be on-hand to cover the event live so stay-tuned.

Nominees for Game of the Year:
Call of Duty: Black Ops
God of War III
Red Dead Redemption
Mass Effect 2
Halo: Reach

Checkout all the nominees over at the VGA’s official website.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Announced with Debut Trailer

Electronic Arts has announced the next game in the Need for Speed series, SHIFT 2 Unleashed. The game, which is due out sometime next year, promises new experiences like driver battles, enhanced physics, and a first-person perspective. The game also features a brand-new rendering engine for the series. Also released was the debut trailer for the game, which you can see below!

Blizzard Customer Service Wants Your Feedback

From the ‘Awesome’ file comes this new survey from Blizzard Entertainment’s Customer Service department. It seems that one of the world’s most popular game developers would like to know what you think of their CS policies! Head on over to their survey page and let them know – it is a wonderful thing when a game company asks the gamers what they are doing well and what they could be doing better – don’t miss the chance to send them feedback.

The Official Blizzard CS Survey

Incredible Battle: Los Angeles Trailer Debuts

Some of you may know of an upcoming alien invasion flick called Battle: Los Angeles. It is due out on March 11th, 2011 and promises an action-packed, visceral, and realistic depiction of a military response to an alien invasion. If you are a fan of these types of films, you need to watch the trailer below. In fact, click the vid twice, head over to YouTube and check it out in 1080p fullscreen – it is that good.

Vanquish (X360) | Review

Generally speaking, first-person shooters are not a gaming genre handled well by Eastern developers. The most recent example of this axiom would be Tecmo Koei’s Gears of War-wannabe, Quantum Theory, but there are a ton more which came before it to point fingers at and march back to the game store to get your money back. Thankfully, Vanquish from SEGA and Platinum Games (Bayonetta), is NOT one of these. In fact, despite some especially bad voice acting and character dialog, it is actually a lot of fun!

Vanquish takes place in the future… A future fraught with global tension as the planet has become seriously over-populated. So over-populated, in fact, that the United States has built a gigantic space station as its 51st state (its that big, people – seriously). The game starts off with a bang as it thrusts you into the middle of an invasion from Russian extremists looking to use the space station as a weapon powerful enough to destroy a city! Why they have to go to all the trouble to do this – gathering space ships, thousands upon thousands of soldiers (organic and robotic), building and purchasing weapons, to any millions of other logistical issues that would have to be in place is beyond me. It would be far simpler to just deliver nuclear ordinance to a city (or, at least, attempt to do so) – hell we have seen situations in our own recent history where a low-tech attack can be far more effective. These extremists are just plain over-complicating the matter. Now, to be fair, in the context of the game their plan is reasonably successful, but still!

The gameplay in Vanquish is nothing you haven’t seen before in one form or another. Most of the run, gun, and cover systems are fairly standard and are very functional inside the game world. However, the two main features touted by Platinum Games regarding the gameplay are the abilities to slide at incredibly-fast speeds via booster rockets and the ability to slow-down time a la Max Payne (or any of the time-slowing clones to come since). Admittedly, both of these systems are cool and visually-interesting, however it is nothing we haven’t seen before in some fashion. That is really an issue when reviewing this one as, technically, the gameplay is somewhat re-hashed from numerous past titles. Couple this tried-and-true gameplay with the interesting boss battles, fast-paced combat, and cool set-pieces – it works!

The game’s boss battles are all very thrilling experiences. The bosses you will run across are all varied, interesting characters, ranging from gigantic robots to more ‘un-realistic’ chaps with seemingly supernatural abilities. Overall, these fights are one of Vanquish’s saving graces and, despite many bosses having a special ability to kill you in one shot, are fun!

Overall, the game’s combat is a cavalcade of action, with battle waging all over the place, not just in your direct line of fire. Vanquish does a good job of immersing you into a larger conflict. You will simultaneously fight enemies en masse from above, in front, and below you! Additionally, many of the game’s levels focus around very cool set-pieces like crumbling bridges and wasted our urban areas offer good variety to make use of the somewhat ‘been-done’ gameplay mechanics.

Visually, Vanquish is a pretty game to oogle. Not the best I have seen – but very pretty. Pretty enough that, during many of the game’s cooler levels, you will take your fair share of impacts from wanting to look around rather than fight the Russian threat. Sound design and game audio are good as well, with the glaring exception being its horrific voice acting. I am still not sure why Eastern developers think that just because we Americans love our share of violent video games, that we don’t also like to hear believable characters every so often. The acting in Vanquish is a step up from that seen in the seminal movie – ahem – ‘classic’, Troll 2.

That is not Vanquish’s biggest issue, however. The biggest problem with Vanquish is that its singleplayer campaign runs about six to eight hours in length. Normally in a first-person shooter of this type, that would not be an issue. With Vanquish, however, you get no multiplayer modes to increase the game’s lifespan. No doubt, if the game performs well they will make DLC packs but, as the mk1 product stands – no multiplayer! Maybe I have become a bit price stodgy of late, but I think that if a game is not a 100% gripping experience un-necessary of multiplayer features, it should be a bit easier on a gamer’s pocketbook – not a full price title.

Overall, Vanquish is a fun, albeit ‘been-done’ shooter that is worth your valuable time if you are a fan of over-the-top action and shoot ’em ups. If you are looking for a lasting experience with some multiplayer, you will not find it here. Vanquish would be a great choice for a game rental or even purchase when the price comes down slightly.