Home Upcoming Reviews About
Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Ethos’ Hype List: Arkham City

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

More fake badass boxart

There actually isn’t too much I have to say about Arkham City.

I haven’t been eating up the details, I haven’t been jumping in my seat over screen shots. I haven’t been thinking about it or talking about it unless someone else brings it up.

But that’s the way it was for Arkham Asylum as well. I don’t give two shits about Batman as a character or superhero, and so I didn’t follow that game in the slightest.

Yet it was an extremely pleasant gaming experience for me. So it’s nice to have a title coming up that I’m not going to spoil for myself, not going to be tempted to spoil for myself, yet know that I’ll enjoy playing quite a bit.

And this time I won’t be stupid enough to buy it for XBox.

Anticipation Level: 17/27

Welcome to Most Anticipated Games Week

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I don't really even care about Batman, but I'm excited for this game.

Well Riddles got his chance to write about Back to the Future: The Game, but only came up with a video of his friend playing it. So I’m moving on.

This year is fucking insane for us gamers.
This is the calm before the storm. Quite literally. Because next week both Pokémon and Dragon Age 2 will be released, then Infamous soon after, then the 3DS, Team ICO collection, then nonstop blockbuster AAA titles until all of our faces fall off.

This week – at least – I will talk about the games I have unbridled excitement for (see: Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, Pokémon White, Batman: Arkham City). I will talk about games that I am excited for with hesitation of varying levels (see: Uncharted 3, The Last Guardian, Infamous 2) and games that I am tentatively excited for (see: Skyward Sword).

That last category probably wouldn’t even exist without the latest gameplay trailer for Zelda. I’m all for a little context sensitive swordplay, but based on that trailer, it looks like the entire thing is motion gimmick after motion gimmick. It’s like Nintendo hasn’t realized that their controller sucks and is really, really old. Even with the expensive fix.

There’s actually a lot more I have to say about that, but I’ll leave it to the specific article. I hope to write one for at least each of the games I’ve already mentioned. Can you feel it? Gaming is going to give a hell of a year before the 2012 apocalypse.

Welcome to Always Sunny Season 6 Week!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Yes, the name is unwieldy, but aptly descriptive. This week will be spent examining the recently-concluded sixth season of the FX sitcom, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s one of my favorite shows on television, and if you don’t like it, then you’re just lame.

Nah, I’m kidding. That was harsh. But yeah, it’s Always Sunny Season 6 Week, brought to you exclusively by me, Oliver “Riddles” Motok. I know that my sole contribution last week was an odd little aside where I talked largely about books and sandwiches, but I’m ready to step it up this week, and bring you some meaty, satisfying content. That’s what I’m good at doing, dont’cha know.

Well. Anyway. While I’m here… how about them VGAs, huh? Not that I actually, like… watched them or anything. Partly because I don’t have cable, but also because I don’t particularly care about the awards themselves. All I care to see are the epic game announcements accompanied by equally epic trailers. And, all it takes to see those is a quick hop over to GameTrailers.com.

As of now, I’ve seen the trailers for Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, and Elder Scrolls 5. Since I’ve never played an Elder Scrolls game, I only really care about the first three. (Plus the Elder Scrolls trailer was hardly informative, or even interesting to anyone unfamiliar with the franchise lore, I presume.)

First off, Arkham City. The trailer was super-slick, and looked fantastic. But it was all CG. No gameplay. Regardless, it was intriguing enough, and reveals the apparent main villain of the game: Hugo Strange. For those unfamiliar with Batman lore, (I had to consult Wikipedia myself) Strange is a longtime villain of Batman’s, and his only apparent powers are that a) He’s a mad scientist and b) he knows Batman’s true identity. Seems like an obscure choice to me. Makes me wonder what sort of role The Joker will have.

Next? Uncharted Fucking 3, baby. Uncharted 3. A shame the trailer’s a bit on the wankerish side, at least for the first half or so, with Drake monologuing about dreams and whatnot. However, it ends strong – and it has Sully, which gets major props. Oh, and it’s set in the desert. Ethan’s already whined about the desert thing in a voicemail he left me some days ago. I actually just listened to it today. I tend to let messages sit for days before actually listening to them.

And then Mass Effect 3. Wooo boy, did this one look good. Short, slick, and fully CG once again, but awesome nonetheless. In yet another phone message that I listened to today, Pipher complained – once again – about the setting: Earth. Yes, Mass Effect 3 will take place – at least partially – on Earth. And I think that’s pretty cool, actually. We’ve seen the far-reaching effects of our exodus from earth in the first two Mass Effects, and personally, I’d kinda like to see how things are going back home.

Oh, yeah, and I think the desert thing is cool too. So. Ethan, seriously. Just get over it.

~Riddles

Hey! Look! Listen! #60 – High Hopes

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Hooah. Welcome to the 60th edition of Hey! Look! Listen! Can you believe it? 60. I mean, there isn’t much significance in the number, but it’s a pretty impressive run, eh?

EH?

That’s what I thought. Anyway. While the review and banner doubtless gave it away, allow me to offer you a formal welcome to Metroid: Other M Week. Being the impoverished fuck that I am, I will likely be unable to purchase and play the game, so my thoughts will not be offered. As for Ethos, he’s already written a detailed review for the game, but he’ll likely write something else about the game before the week’s end.

Alright, well, now that pleasantries are out of the way, let’s dive into the topics of interest for today.

First Batch of Arkham City Screens Released, Look Way Too Good

Holy God. I mean, Arkham Asylum was a damn good looking game – aside from Uncharted 2, it was probably the prettiest game that came out in 2009. So clearly the people at Rocksteady know how to pump out some graphics. But this – this – is just insane:

Click on the image for the full size. Some mighty fine texture work there, eh? Almost looks touched up. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that these are from the PC version. In any case, I think it’s safe to say that Arkham City will be a hell of a good-looking game when it’s released in late 2011. Hit up IGN for the full batch of screens. (They’re all amazing.)

Great Scott: Back to the Future Episodic Game Series Coming

That’s right. Telltale games, the people behind episodic titles such as Sam & Max and Tales of Monkey Island are adapting everyone’s favorite time-travelling trilogy into a series of episodic games, due out later this year on multiple platforms. It will be timed to coincide with the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray, which releases on October 26.

I didn’t even know the trilogy was coming to Blu Ray. And we’re getting a game, too? Can this get any better?

Yes, yes it can: Christopher Lloyd will be returning to voice Doc Brown, and original screenwriter Bob Gale will be onboard the project.

If this sounds completely out of the blue (it was to me) it actually isn’t. Some months ago, Game Informer spilled the beans on a Jurassic Park game being developed by Telltale as part of a deal they struck with Universal Studios. A Back to the Future game is yet another product of that deal.

“Our partnership with Universal is an exciting next step in our continued growth as a mass-market games publisher and developer,” says Telltale Games CEO Dan Connors. “We are all huge fans of both of these franchises. For Back to the Future and Jurassic Park, we will leverage Telltale’s expertise in story-telling and game design to deliver on the unique elements of each series, with our goal being to create compelling cinematic adventures paying homage to each franchise.”

I’ll admit to being excited. Back to the Future has long been one of my most loved film trilogies, and I’d love to see it given proper treatment within the world of videogames. Same with Jurassic Park, really. I haven’t played any of Telltale’s other stuff, but given the reception of stuff like Sam & Max, it sounds like if anyone can do it, they can. I can’t wait. (Kotaku)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Details Revealed

Treyarch appears to be stepping up their game with the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops. And they need to, because when set next to the two Modern Warfares, World At War, their previous effort, pales rather dramatically. (In my opinion, at least.)

At an event in Los Angeles, journalists were allowed their first hands-on time with Black Ops’ multiplayer modes. The event is actually taking place as I write this, so I doubt every piece of information has found its way to the internets at this time. But, this being the modern age and whatnot, there’s already more than enough to whet the appetite.

-COD Points: A New In-Game Currency

Black Ops will introduce an in-game currency known simply as COD points. They’re earned by playing the game (naturally) and they can be… spent on things. I’m not sure what, exactly, but we’ll probably know soon. As of right now, all we know for sure is that COD points can be used as gambling currency in…

-Wager Modes: Black Ops’ Four New Multiplayer Modes

Now, this is the big one. So far, at least. With your COD points, you’ll be able to gamble in the four new “Wager Modes.” You’ll be wagering that you’ll end up ranked in the top 3 at the end of the match. Those in the top 3 get all the money; the rest go broke. Descriptions of the four modes are as follows:

“One in the chamber” – each player spawns with one pistol, one bullet, and three lives. If you kill someone, you get to take their bullet. If you miss, you have only your melee attacks.

“Sticks and Stones” – you play with crossbows, tomahawks, and a ballistic knife. Obviously, the mode is meant to place an emphasis on visceral, up-close combat. As a twist, if you manage to hit someone with a tomahawk, you instantly bankrupt them. So. Watch your back.

“Gun Game”  - With every kill, you’re gifted with a more powerful weapon. The first player to cycle through them all wins. If you get knifed, though, you’re sent back a tier.

“Sharpshooter” – Everyone starts with the same randomly selected weapon. After a fixed amount of time, another random weapon is selected for everyone. Each kill earns you a perk, and if you rack up enough you’ll be gifted with a scoring multiplier.

Or, instead of reading all that, you could just watch this video:

I tend to play Team Deathmatch and only Team Deathmatch, but I like the sound of these. They sound unique, highly competitive, and potentially highly rewarding.

-Offline Multiplayer

Oh, and there will also be an offline multiplayer component that enables bots. This will be called “Combat Training,” and will be a separate entity from online multiplayer, with its own progression system. I just hope the mode enables split-screen play, so that my flesh-and-blood couch buddies can join in. If so, then the mode will be awesome. If not, I don’t have much interest in fighting an army of bots.

Exciting stuff, to be sure. November 9 can’t come soon enough. I’m just hoping to have prestiged in Modern Warfare 2 by that time. (No, I still haven’t prestiged.) (VG247)

QUICKIE: iTunes 10 Introduces Ping, the Social Network for Music

The headline is the story, essentially. If you want details on it all, head over to Gizmodo. What do I think? Eh, well, it looks slick as hell (I mean, it is Apple) but it also seems gimmicky and superfluous. I’d rather post YouTube music videos to my Facebook account. Or at least, that’s my first impression. I might think differently when/if I take a look at it, which I’m sure will happen sometime, if only out of sheer curiosity.

And that, as they say, is that. Man, I’m tired, and I don’t know why. I’m going to bed.

p.s, remember when Ethos used to write that thing called Scatter Storming? I miss those days.

Hey! Look! Listen! #58 – I Don’t Get No Respect

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Holy shit, mono fucking sucks.

And damn, has this website ever gone to hell. Just look at that banner up there.

Normally I’d apologize to you all, but this time I’m  not going to, because I honestly feel like the universe needs to do some serious apologizing to me. These last few weeks have sucked an unholy dick, and I really don’t feel like I deserved all the pain and suffering that I’ve been unceremoniously gifted with.

However, as you may have gathered by the fact that I’m here right now, I’m feeling better. And I felt the hankering to write something. Before we begin, I should note the fact that, upon having finally given it a try, I think Left 4 Dead is a damn fun game. And also, Netflix on the 360 is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

That’s right, I bought three months of Xbox Live Gold. On impulse. I feel slightly dirty, but… it’s the only console that lets you stream Netflix without a stupid-ass disc. And it was only $9.99 for three months.

ON TO THE TOPICS OF INTEREST

Batman: Arkham City Officially Revealed in Game Informer, First Details Rumored

I know Ethos already touched on this in his latest TTKL, and I don’t mean to upstage him; but I’m totally geeking out over this, and there have been some new rumors abroad, so I figured I’d go ahead and take a stab at the story as well.

Ah, who am I kidding, I totally mean to upstage him.

First, just take a look at this concept art/Game Informer covers. Are they not beautiful?

As you can see, DCs infamous femme fatale Catwoman is prominently featured, indicating that she’ll have a prominent role in the game. Co-op play, perhaps? Or maybe an ICO-esque team gameplay mechanic? Personally I’m hoping for the latter, seeing that co-op play tends to come at the expense of a focused narrative – and that would just be a shame, given how strong the storyline behind Arkham Asylum was.

As the title “Arkham City” implies, Batman will be taking down crime in the streets of Gotham this time around. Perhaps you recall the teaser trailer shown at the Spike VGAs, which showed a walled-off portion of the city, and an ending tagline that said “Arkham Has Moved.”

A hastily thrown-together site called Arkham.co.uk claims to have the first details on the game from Game Informer. Supposedly, Quincy Sharp, the man who was running for Mayor in the original game bought off a part of the Gotham slums and walled it off, making it the new detainment facility for Gotham’s colorful inmates. Why? Well, supposedly both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison were deemed “unfit” to hold said inmates. Why a walled-off slum could do the job when two maximum security detention facilities couldn’t is well beyond me, but hey, it provides the necessary fresh setting.

As far as actual storyline goes, it’s rumored that the infamous Two-Face has plans to execute Catwoman in order to gain respect of the Arkham City inmates. The Joker, of course, is still kicking around – but there’s something distinctly wrong with him. You might recall that the teaser showed him in pretty rough shape. One would assume that it’s due to the overdose of Venom that he took at the end of Arkham Asylum, but the GI article hints that this might not be the sole factor.

As far as gameplay changes, Batman is now able to counter two attacks at once, and he’ll be able to use his trusty smoke bombs. Arkham City will feature side missions, unlike the original game. There will also be more puzzles, criminal gangs to take down, and more riddler challenges. It’s too early to say, but it almost sounds like Rocksteady might be focusing Arkham City into a more sandbox-esque experience, which could be pretty damn cool if done right.

Anyway. Keep in mind that the above details are technically rumors; the source is hardly anything credible. Just be on the lookout for the upcoming issue of Game Informer for confirmation. What I can tell you in confidence is that we won’t be seeing Arkham City on store shelves until Fall of 2011. So. It’s time to play the waiting game. (IGN)

Nomura Provides Versus XIII/Agito XIII Updates

Woo. For those of you who are still waiting with bated breath for every Final Fantasy XIII-related piece of news, today is a happy day! Apparently both Agito and Versus XIII are currently undergoing the voice casting process. Which means they must be getting somewhere, right? If you don’t believe me, then believe Mr. Nomura. Here’s what he tweeted the other day: “Agito and Versus have different production styles and progress states, but they’re both presently undergoing voice casting. The 3rd Birthday’s recording will end shortly. Next up is Agito.”

He did go on to say a little more about Versus XIII. Apparently there’s a lot he could announce about the game, but due to Square Enix’s policies he cannot. However, he did comment on the nature of Versus XIII’s world map: “There have been many questions regarding fields. It’s not a completely open world. It’s like the 2D FF games in HD. Although, in terms of looks, it’s not a top-down view, it’s like the screenshots that have been released. You’ll move through the world from that view.”

Hm. Vague as that is, it already sounds more promising than Final Fantasy XIII’s abominable tunnels. In truth, I am still holding out for Versus XIII simply because it has the chance to be the game that Final Fantasy XIII failed to be. Obviously I have absolutely no reason to believe that it will be, but hope springs eternal. (IGN)

Please God Yes: Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia HD Collections Rumored

Oh man. I could care less about Splinter Cell, but an HD collection of the Sands of Time trilogy would be a literal dream come true. According to Joystiq, Amazon France is listing – or listed – trilogy collections for two classic Ubisoft franchises: Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, both set for release in November. Below is visual evidence.

Obviously there’s no way of knowing if this is true or not. I’d like to say that Riddlethos has contacted Ubisoft for comment and will be back with you shortly, but we haven’t, because we don’t have any PR contacts with Ubisoft. Or anyone.

I can assure you, though, that we’ll be doing everything in our power to ensure that this is true. And by that I mean I’ll be kneeling at my bedside every night and offering up a prayer to whatever deities care to listen.

Well, that’s a wrap. Seeing that I’m still recovering from the dread mono, I have all of today off work. And tomorrow. Thursday, I believe, I make my return. In any case, I have some time to play games. Will I play anything aside from Modern Warfare 2? That’s yet to be seen, but for the record, I have been planning to re-start and finish Dragon Age: Origins. Also, I’ve been feeling an intense desire of late to re-visit an old friend, Ocarina of Time.

‘Till next time, you hateful creeps!

P.S, what the hell is a Scott Pilgrim Week?

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! #011

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

All right, here goes. The first in a collection of catch-up posts for this week. Let’s jump into this week’s news. Or at least the news that caught my eye.

We Will Likely be Able to See This Game At Last (Guardian)!

Thank fuck. I think most people were surprised that The Last Guardian was a complete no-show during E3. Not even old footage during a sizzle reel. I know that Team Ico takes its sweet time with its games, but it was a disappointing to not even get a small update. After E3, everybody looked ahead to the Tokyo Game Show as the new platform to hopefully show off the anticipated title. Luckily, it is now more promising than ever. The head of Team Ico, Fumito Ueda, replied to a fan on Twitter saying, “We should be able to show something at Tokyo Game Show, so look forward to it.” While he did not specifically mention The Last Guardian, I can’t imagine he was talking about anything else.

Except maybe a Team Ico HD Collection. Which wouldn’t be so bad either.

Either way, TGS is in about a month, so clench your fists with excitement until then!
(IGN)

I'm guessing this game has an all-female development team

Nippon Ichi Has More Financial Trouble; Cancel Games, Spank Women as Punishment

Poor Nippon Ichi. Despite their popular Disgaea series, their wealth of acutely bizarre other titles haven’t been as friendly in the sales department. As such, the company has been in some financial trouble recently, experiencing a 40% drop in sales this quarter when compared to the same period last year. Although they technically still made a profit, restructuring and ongoing money problems affect that figure.

To try to curb a tailspin, Nippon Ichi has cancelled three titles that they say have been in development since last year and will take a 21 million yen loss for it. Although refusing to reveal the titles, they did cite expected difficulty achieving high sales and quality as the reason for the cancellations.

In spite of this news, the company continues to work on a PSP RPG titled Criminal Girls. The premise is that a group of girls have been banished to hell and you must train them physically and mentally to help them back to the land of the living. How does one train these generously proportioned women? By spanking and massaging them, of course!

I wonder what sort of projects they cancelled…
(IGN)

Badass

Batman And The City

Everybody was talking about how Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 was a dumb name on account of the game not actually taking place in the fictitious prison. Well apparently Rocksteady Studios thought the same thing because Warner Brothers recently announced the new name, Batman: Arkham City. While the city is indeed Gotham, it is apparently the new home for all the maximum security criminals that Gotham – and Batman – seem to attract.

You – like me – might be wondering whose bright idea it was to bring all the crazy-ass criminals of the Batman universe closer to the civilians, but there is no answer yet. No further information was given except that the game should be releasing next Fall for PS3, 360, and PC. Oh, and Catwoman seems to be playing a significant part, so… there’s that.
(IGN)

QUICKIES:

Birth by Sleep Preview- This isn’t really news, but it’s nice to see such a positive impression from a Kingdom Hearts fan.

Sony Rips it Up in Japan - PS3 and PSP own that island!

There you go, post one of at least 3 on this glorious day of content!