Akuma Revealed for SFIV Arcade

For all you Street Fighter die-hards out there wondering where your favorite character has disappeared to in Street Fighter IV have no fear! Capcom has just announced a new secret character in their arcade build of the game and it’s none other than Akuma.

There’s no word on if Akuma is already in the Japanese arcade hardware or if he will be region-specific to North America. Also left unstated was whether or not Akuma would be in the console versions of the game and whether he would be a playable character.

Continue reading “Akuma Revealed for SFIV Arcade”

Activision Announces Civil War: Secret Missions

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A new chapter in in the interactive history of the Civil War has been announced by Activision Publishing. The press release describes Civil War: Secret Missions as “a completely new episode in The History Channel’s Civil War franchise, the game will allow players to assume the role of Union and Confederate soldiers fighting behind enemy lines in legendary battles.”

The first game was generally received as lackluster when released due to non-dynamic environments and clipping issues as well as a lack of any coherent narrative or campaign mode. Another point of contention that should have been addressed was the bumbling enemy AI. But the new game promises to add a deeper tactical element to the franchise.

There is a rich history to the Civil War, especially in terms of covert military tactics,” said Dave Oxford, Activision Publishing. “American warfare in the 1860’s was brutal yet surprisingly sophisticated, so it was essential for us to capture this duality.

Continue reading “Activision Announces Civil War: Secret Missions”

NCsoft Announces Gracia – Part 1 and New Game Mechanics in Lineage II

Fans of the very popular Lineage II MMORPG (19 million subscribers) need to ready themselves for some changes coming to their game. In the first of three new updates to the game, called Gracia – Part 1, NCsoft has changed up their game mechanics to basically make it easier to level up and thereby make it easier for newer players to more quickly advance and gain experience in the game.

According to NCsoft’s North American Producer, Tim Tan, “Gracia represents a huge change to Lineage II. The increase in leveling speed allows players to create new characters and advance nearly twice as fast as before.” But he’s quick to mention that “this game is still a hardcore game,” just easier for noobs. Continue reading “NCsoft Announces Gracia – Part 1 and New Game Mechanics in Lineage II”

Eidos and Warner Bros. Announce Batman: Arkham Asylum

You knew it was coming and now it is upon us. Eidos has just announced a new Batman game in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The new game is titled Batman: Arkham Asylum which promises to be “a dark, action packed videogame adventure.”

The setup of the game is Batman is delivering The Joker to Arkham Asylum where a trap is set for him by the myriad denizens of Gotham’s madhouse. The press release says Arkham Asylum will deliver an “immersive combat gaming experience” with an original script by Paul Dini. Continue reading “Eidos and Warner Bros. Announce Batman: Arkham Asylum”

Legends of Norrath: TCG With a Twist

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If you have ever played Magic: The Gathering, or one of its many successors, you probably know the addictiveness that is the Trading Card Game (TCG). For me, however, it was something new (and exciting) when Sony Online Entertainment announced their new Legends of Norrath online TCG.

Featuring cards based on the EverQuest universe, the game is similar to other trading card games in that players collect cards to build and customize their decks and then use them to compete against other players.

The core of the Legends of Norrath deck is your avatar card. It can be one of any four classes – Fighter, Scout, Mage or Priest. The rest of your deck consists of units (creatures that can fight for you in battles), abilities and equipment. Continue reading “Legends of Norrath: TCG With a Twist”

World in Conflict: Brain in Conflict

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When I first picked up World in Conflict, I really felt it even before I installed it. With the plethora of really good RTS games already on the market and soon to come – such as Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts and Age of Empires III: Asian Dynasty – it was going to be tough to give an accurate review of yet another game in the long line of games that:

1. Are based on killin’ things, and
2. Have tanks shooting other tanks.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t like the game much when I first tried it out. The units moved in an incredibly unrealistic way, the graphics weren’t as good as I thought they should be and damage was just weird. But I’ll come to that later. First, let me give you the premise. Continue reading “World in Conflict: Brain in Conflict”

Everquest 2

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Several months ago, shortly after the release of the World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion, The Burning Crusade, I had already leveled my rogue to 70, was keyed for every heroic instance, and was, quite frankly, bored out of my mind. I seemed to be faced with only two choices – go out and kill monsters to grind reputation, or run through a dungeon I had already completed twenty times. I was definitely ready for something new. Around that time, an e-mail arrived in my inbox advertising EverQuest 2’s new free trial, called “Play the Fae.” They had introduced a new fairy race in their latest expansion, and were offering seven free days to try them out.

I had tried EverQuest 2 (EQ2) when it was first released, but had been unable to get into the game before I got sucked into World of Warcraft with my friends. My old computer could barely handle the graphics load of EQ2, and now-gone concepts such as group experience debt (an entire group being penalized when one member died) caused frustration.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the idea of a fairy race (Could they really fly?), and decided to download the trial and give the game another shot. It was free, right?!? Continue reading “Everquest 2”

2 Moons: Open Beta

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“No mercy for the weak, no pity for the dying, no tears for the slain!” declares the tagline for David Perry’s latest game in open beta; 2 Moons.

The game – yet another fantasy-based MMO – takes place in Haran, or “the Immortal Land,” during a period of growing dissonance. Centuries before, a heroine named Trieste had saved Haran from an event known as The Corruption by sacrificing her own life and sealing evil beings known as the Pitborn back into their own realm (along with their master, Abaddon).

Now, with Trieste’s magic wearing off, the seal is breaking and the Pitborn threaten Haran once again. And, as before, the people of Haran are forced to fight. Continue reading “2 Moons: Open Beta”

Fallout 3: Heaven or Hell?

Image from the Fallout 3 teaser

If you who haven’t already seen the teaser (I recommend it, if only to kill a couple of minutes), I’ll give you the condensed version:

Vacuum tubes, Inkspots music, radio panning out to an abandoned bus, panning out further to a ruined bus, panning out further to a ruined cityscape (arguably Washington D.C.), pulling back over craggy destroyed cement, Fall 2008 release date. The End.

… Oh, yeah, and a guy in Brotherhood-of-Steel-style power armor. Continue reading “Fallout 3: Heaven or Hell?”

Command & Conquer 3: KANE LIVES! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!

Brotherhood of NOD base on the defense

Let’s face it – we all knew it was coming. Kane was never dead, will never die, and it was just a matter of time before he crawled back up and started to wage war on GDI again. Of course, we always wondered how he managed to get all those resources overnight, but hey, let’s not let plot holes get in the way of a good game.

After the staggering success of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, many wondered if the remains of the now-extinct Westwood Studios could dust off the Command & Conquer franchise and be competitive in the RTS market once more. Were they successful? Well, you be the judge.

Actually no, I will. I’m writing the review. So there. Continue reading “Command & Conquer 3: KANE LIVES! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!”