Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nintendo DSi Price Drop. 3DS at $200 more likely.

Nintendo has announced that it will be dropping the price of the DSi and DSi XL on September 12th to $129.99 and $149.99, respectively.

The two handhelds will be undergoing a twenty-dollar decrease, and the DSi XL, the most expensive of the DS handhelds, will now be sitting at the price at which the original DS launched.

Nintendo will be unveiling the final pricing, software, and launch dates for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS at the end of September, and with the price drop of the DSi systems this early in the holiday season, rumors are arising that the handheld will be releasing THIS year rather than next, as Reggie Fils-Aime had stated at "The Late Show," in June this year. Furthermore, the price drops suggest a price for the 3DS around $200 when it launches, but no information is concrete.

The Nintendo 3DS is the next handheld from Nintendo, focusing on displaying 3D without the use of glasses. It can be played with different strengths of 3D using a slider, and it will be backwards compatible with the DS library.

The Nintendo DSi is an expanded DS handheld which contains a new OS and two cameras. The cameras point in and out of the system, allowing for games to use the cameras as a control device. The DSi XL, which launched earlier this year, is a much larger DSi handheld made for those who prefer larger screens and a more accessible viewing radius. Furthermore, the DSi handhelds have DSiWare, akin to WiiWare, which are downloaded titles through a Nintendo online store.

As of now there is no word as to whether or not DSiWare can be purchased or even transferred to 3DS when it launches.

SOURCE: Gamespy

XBLA Gets a Feast!

It seems Summer of Arcade had just finished a few weeks ago, but Microsoft has today announced a new XBLA promotion, Xbox Live Game Feast, a collection of games which will take up the month of October this year!

The Xbox Live Game Feast will feature four XBLA titles starting the end of September. The Feast consists of the following:

September 29: Hydrophobia (1200 MS Points), developed by Dark Energy Digital, is a third-person survival-adventure title which takes place on the inside of a massive city-sized ship called the Queen of the World. As Kate Wilson, a technician to the ship, players have to explore and survive the slowly sinking ship and the terrorist group that aims to wipe out everyone on board. Originally an episodic title, there is no say whether that is still the case now.

October 6: Comic Jumper (1200 MS Points), developed by Twisted Pixel (The Maw, Splosion Man) is a humorous side-scrolling action game starring Comic Jumper, a washed-up comicbook hero. Low on cash and popularity, Captain Smiley gets his creators to move him onto other comics in need, from the comics of the Golden Age to the newer adventures seen in Manga. With four art styles and multiple gameplay scenarios filled with laughter, it looks like Captain Smiley won't be the only one smirking.

(Screen of Pinball FX)

October 13: Pinball FX 2 (Purchase per table), developed by Zen Studios (maker of the original), is a virtual pinball experience which offers a number of tables to choose from. The game allows for importing Pinball FX 1 tables, so all the tables can be opened up with the same program. The original had three tables but gradually grew to nine, so we can expect a similar situation with its sequel.

October 20: Super Meat Boy (1200 MS Points), developed by Team Meat, is a side-scrolling platformer with a focus on swift and meaty gameplay. Meat Boy and Bandage Girl love each other, but Dr. Fetus hates Meat Boy and captures Bandage Girl! The game is much akin to N+ but with one goal: get to Bandage Girl and don't die! The game was recently announced to be content complete, with seven chapters, each with two variations of each level. On top of that, the game has many indie-inspired extra characters to unlock and a number of special retro levels to add to the insanity of the already insane game. The game is expected for a PC and WiiWare release before the end of the year, but the XBLA version comes first.

So there you have it, folks! At this rate, I expect a promotion every couple months for XBLA, and I welcome the push! Get those points ready!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Xbox LIVE Gold Price Hike Ahead

Today, Major Nelson broke news that Xbox LIVE Gold subscription prices would be increasing from $50 to $60 a year, starting November 1, 2010.

Major Nelson's blog spilled the beans on a unique price hike for the special online services Microsoft provides to Xbox LIVE users who pay a premium on a yearly or smaller periodic basis.

This image describes the changes as follows:

The price hike will be effective in November, so Major Nelson states that it would be a good idea to lock in the cheaper price before November in order to save the ten-dollar increase. Certain places, including Japan, will not have price hikes.

There is no actual explanation to the increase, other than that the content has gotten better since it started. The lack of a worldwide increase dictates some behind-the-scenes activity.

Xbox LIVE Gold memberships allow those with Xbox 360 to download demos earlier than those with Silver. It also adds the ability to use Netflix and other online services directly from the console. The biggest perk to Gold memberships is the ability to play online multiplayer games at any time; Silver members have specific free periods of use but are otherwise restricted to LAN and single-console gaming.


Team 17 Returns to Publishing

Team17, the development company behind the Alien Breed and Worms series, has announced that it is breaking ties with third-party publishers and focusing itself strictly on digital download publishing for consoles and mobile platforms.

The developer had been developing certain games for retail release, two of which were released in the last three years. At the same time, various Worms games and a new Alien Breed were released digitally in the same time frame. Co-founder Martyn Brown told MCV, a gaming news site.
“Digital distribution has allowed easy and direct access to the game for millions of customers at a time when it has become difficult to get attention at retail.”
Rather than focus on just their own properties, Team17 has further stated that it is searching around for Independent developers with which they will publish games to XBLA, PSN, App Store and potentially more locations.

The company has made it known that it has no plans to release any more retail titles in the far-reaching future. Team17's management restructuring demonstrates that point clearly. For more specifics on the restructure, check out the source!


Disney Epic Mickey Collector's Edition Announced

It appears as thought Disney Epic Mickey is going to have a Collector's Edition, helping to make Disney Epic Mickey a little more epic.

Unveiled at Toys "R" Us's website, the Collector's Edition of Disney Epic Mickey will contain the following:
  • Disney Epic Mickey Game
  • A Bonus DVD dedicated to Behind-the-Scenes videos and specific marketing assets
  • A five-inch Mickey figurine
  • and skins for a Wii Remote and Wii console.
The cost for the Collector's Edition is slated as $69.99 on the website, available for preorder now. While I think an artbook would have been better than the skins, an extra DVD and figure seem pretty worthy of the extra dough.

Disney Epic Mickey is an adventure title starring Mickey Mouse as he ventures into the Wastelands of forgotten Disney characters and locations. Here he will meet Lucky the Rabbit, Walt Disney's first creation before Mickey Mouse. The game, developed by Junction Point and directed by Warren Spector, is expected to launch exclusive to Wii mid-November this year.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekly Releases: 8/29/10

Next week is Labor Day, so that means that within the next two weeks, everybody who should be going to school or college will be in school or college. Meanwhile, Nintendo has stepped in with its usual "End-of-Summer" title, and there is more, too, on the horizon.

Significant Releases

Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Developer: Nintendo R+D1 (Metroid Fusion, WarioWare) and Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden)
Publisher: Nintendo

After five years, Metroid director Yoshio Sakamoto is bringing a new look to the Metroid franchise. Members from the Metroid Fusion team (R+D1) have been working together with Team Ninja and new company D-Rockets to produce a story-driven, action-packed adventure starring Samus Aran under the name Project M. The game takes place following Super Metroid, during which Samus Aran intercepts a distress signal from a research "Bottle Ship,"
where she encounters ex-commanding officer Adam Malcovich and Federation Team already on the case. However, in need of assistance, Adam allows her to join on the mission. The game is unique in that it has a much larger story than any Metroid game before it, and with its introspective look at Samus, it is the first to truly define her character. The game is a third-person action title with the ability to switch into first-person to make observations and to use precise missile shots against a multitude of enemies along the way.

Dead Rising 2: Case 0 (XBLA)

Developer: Blue Castle Games (The Bigs Series)
Publisher: Capcom

Perhaps one of the first "prologue" downloadable adventures currently available, Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is a prequel to the scenario seen in Capcom's upcoming Dead Rising 2. In Case 0, we control Chuck Greene, ex-motocross rider, as he fights to protect his daughter Katey from zombification. His wife had been claimed by a recent zombie outbreak, and Katey, already bitten, must be given Zombrex daily in order to keep from turning, as well. In this 360-exclusive "demo," players explore a small area just outside Fortune City, where the Greene's must stay alive for 12 hours before they can escape. Players can go up to Level 5, and all special equipment and money can be transferred from this game to the main product when it releases later this year. A unique twist for DLC, to be sure!

Other Releases:
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Ultimate Edition (Ps3/360)
Castle Crashers (PSN)
Disney Guilty Party (Wii)
Cosmos X2 (DSiWare)
Ace Combat: Joint Assault (PSP)
Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island (PC)

Previous Weeks:
8/22/10 - Mafia II / Shank / And Yet it Moves
8/15/10 - Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days / Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
8/8/10 - Madden NFL 11 / Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game
8/1/10 - Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
7/25/10 - Starcraft II / Hydro Thunder: Hurricane
7/17/10 - Limbo
7/11/10 - Dragon Quest IX
7/04/10 - Crackdown 2
6/27/10 - Sin and Punishment: Star Successor / Singularity

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Acclaim is Gone...Again.

As a result of the Playdom acquisition made by Disney, Acclaim Games, a provider for free online games including a number of MMOs, has announced that as of August 26th, 2010, their games will no longer be available for play and the company is being shut down.


Acclaim Games was an online game provider based in Beverly Hills, California, which acquired the name for Acclaim for $100,000 in late 2004 following Acclaim Entertainment's bankruptcy. Since then, the company brought in a collection of Asian MMOs to America and Europe, including BOTS!!, The Chronicles of Spellborn, and 9Dragons.

The company was purchased by online game producer Playdom on May 18th, 2010, just a few months short of the Disney-Playdom purchase. Unfortunately, it appears that the Playdom acquisition did not include Acclaim Games, and as the website states:
We regret to inform you that all Acclaim games will no longer be in service effective August 26, 2010
Those who wish to claim their unused Acclaim coins may do so by emailing the company at its skeleton website. Specifically, users of 9Dragons who purchased anything within the last 30 days may be reimbursed for the items.


Some of Acclaim Game's games will live on: 9Dragons will be held by GamersFirst, Kogamu is available through Facebook, and RockFREE is still available, according to Gamasutra.

The original Acclaim was known for developing the Turok series, Exteme-G titles, and publishing such titles as the original two Burnouts up until 2004, in which it went bankrupt. There is no word on whether the other MMOs will be picked up by other companies.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

DJ Hero 2's Song Listing Unveiled

DJ Hero was certainly an interesting title, what with the unique DJ equipment and all, but the biggest thing about music games is the soundtrack. DJ Hero had some good songs mashed up in it, but the songs of DJ Hero have been unknown since its unveiling just before E3 this past June.

Well, Activision has now unveiled what songs will be featured in DJ Hero 2, ranging from more recent pop star Lady Gaga to famous DJ Deadmau5 and the great duo Daft Punk.

Released officially today, here is the song listing:
  • 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman - “California Love Remix”
  • 50 Cent - "In Da Club”
  • Adamski - “Killer”
  • Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force - "Planet Rock”
  • Armand Van Helden - "I Want Your Soul”
  • A-Trak - "Say Whoa”
  • B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars - "Nothin' On You”
  • Basement Jaxx - "Where's Your Head At”
  • BlakRoc feat. Pharoahe Monch & RZA - “Dollaz & Sense”
  • Busta Rhymes - “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”
  • Calvin Harris - "I'm Not Alone”
  • Chamillionaire - "Ridin'“
  • Chic - "Good Times”
  • Chic - "Le Freak”
  • Clinton Sparks, DJ Class, & Jermaine Dupri - "Favorite DJ”
  • Daft Punk - “Human After All”
  • Damian Marley - “Welcome To Jamrock”
  • David Guetta & Chris Willis - “Love Is Gone”
  • David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi - “Memories”
  • David Guetta vs. The Egg - “Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)”
  • Deadmau5 - "Ghosts N Stuff”
  • Deadmau5 & Kaskade - “I Remember”
  • Deee-Lite - “Groove Is In The Heart”
  • Dillinja and Skibadee - "Twist 'Em Out”
  • Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - “Bonkers”
  • DJ Qbert - "Super Battle Breaks"
  • DJ Shadow - "Midnight In A Perfect World”
  • DJ Shadow feat. Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker - “Enuff (DJ Fresh Remix)”
  • Donna Summer - "Bad Girls”
  • Edwin Starr - "War”
  • Eminem - “Not Afraid”
  • Estelle feat. Kanye West - “American Boy”
  • Flo Rida - "Low”
  • Flo Rida feat. Will.I.Am - “In The Ayer”
  • Gorillaz feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack - “Stylo”
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - "The Message”
  • Harold Faltermeyer - "Axel F”
  • House Of Pain - "Jump Around”
  • Iyaz - “Replay”
  • Janet Jackson - “Nasty”
  • Justice - "D.A.N.C.E.”
  • Justice - "Waters Of Nazareth”
  • Kanye West - “Heartless”
  • Kanye West - “Love Lockdown”
  • Kaskade & Deadmau5 - “Move For Me”
  • Kelis - “Acapella (David Guetta Extended Mix)”
  • Kool & The Gang - "Jungle Boogie”
  • Lady Gaga - "Lovegame”
  • Lady Gaga - “Bad Romance”
  • Lady Gaga feat. Colby O'Donis - “Just Dance”
  • Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins - “Get Low”
  • Lil' Wayne - “Go DJ”
  • Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major - "Lollipop”
  • LL Cool J - “I Can't Live Without My Radio”
  • M.I.A. - “Galang”
  • M|A|R|R|S - "Pump Up The Volume”
  • Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel - “Pon De Floor”
  • Malcolm McLaren - “Buffalo Gals”
  • Metallica - "The Day That Never Comes”
  • Missy Elliott - “Get Ur Freak On”
  • MSTRKRFT feat. N.O.R.E. - “Bounce”
  • Nas feat. Keri Hilson - “Hero”
  • Naughty By Nature - “O.P.P.”
  • Nelly - “Hot In Herre”
  • New Boyz - “You're A Jerk”
  • New Order - "Blue Monday”
  • Newcleus - “Jam On It”
  • Nightcrawlers - “Push The Feeling On (MK Mix 95)”
  • Orbital - “The Box”
  • Pirate Soundsystem - "Bashy Bashy”
  • Pitbull - "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”
  • Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes - “Don't Cha”
  • Rihanna - "Pon De Replay”
  • Rihanna - "Rude Boy”
  • Robin S - “Show Me Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit)”
  • Salt N Pepa - “Push It”
  • Sam Cooke - “Chain Gang”
  • Sam Sparro – “B&G” a/k/a "Black & Gold”
  • Sean Paul - "Infiltrate”
  • Sean Paul - “Get Busy”
  • Snoop Dogg - "Who Am I (What's My Name)?”
  • Snow - “Informer”
  • Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”
  • Sparfunk & D-Code - “Apocalypse”
  • Stevie Wonder - “Superstition”
  • Talib Kweli - "Get By”
  • The Chemical Brothers - "Leave Home”
  • The Chemical Brothers feat. Q-Tip - “Galvanize”
  • The Crystal Method - “Busy Child (Still Busy After All These Years Remix)”
  • The Jackson 5 - "ABC”
  • The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Mase & Diddy - “Mo' Money, Mo' Problems”
  • The Prodigy - "Omen”
  • The Prodigy - “Firestarter”
  • Tiësto - "Speed Rail”
  • Tiësto & Sneaky Sound System - “I Will Be Here”
  • Tiësto vs Diplo - “Come On”
  • Tiga - "You Gonna Want Me”
  • Timbaland feat. Drake - “Say Something”
  • Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. - “The Way I Are”
  • Tweet feat. Missy Elliott - “Oops (Oh My)”
  • Walter Murphy - "A Fifth Of Beethoven”
  • Warren G feat. Nate Dogg - "Regulate”
  • Wayne Smith - "Under Mi Sleng Teng”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix )”
  • Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West - "Put On”
Note that the songs in DJ Hero 2 are not the songs themselves but, rather, are mashups that incorporate two songs together using the DJ Hero controller.

DJ Hero 2, developed by FreeStyle Games, focuses on using a DJ turntable in order to correctly play through mixes of famous song mashups and remixes exclusive to the title. The biggest new addition is the inclusion of singing sections, where a second person can sing along to the mixed song as it plays onward. This new mode also demonstrates a cooperative mode with two DJ controllers.

DJ Hero 2 will be releasing October 19th of this year.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wacky Wednesday: Wario Ware: D.I.Wily

Presenting Wacky Wednesday, a weekly article in which 3RM brings out the weird, the wacky, the whimsical, the wild, the wildebeest...wait. No, not that. We here at Third Rate Minion take the time to help spread the oddities of the Internet, whether they are extremely unique Rom Hacks, independent games, odd gaming-related videos, or any other intriguing media for the 3RM audience.

Wacky Wednesday #1: Wario Ware: D.I.Wily

In March 2010, Nintendo released WarioWare:D.I.Y. in North America. D.I.Y. is a WarioWare title for the Nintendo DS which allows, for the first time in the series' history, to develop their OWN microgames using the game's engine. Every microgame made available in it was made using the same toolset, even the main development team's. There is also a WiiWare title, WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, in which the games can be made playable using the Wii Controller's IR Pointer instead of the DS Stylus.

While the game's only input method for microgames is tapping the screen, the amount of flexibility the game provides, from graphics to music and even gameplay variations, is astounding. What a better way to demonstrate the abilities of microgame creators than with a throwback to one of the most retro-looking franchises of today: Mega Man!

Youtube user and member of the NeoGAF forums, Jarosh Barksdale had a vision: create a collection of microgames which depict the evil Dr. Wily as he prepares for another fight against the Blue Bomber. The result is a collection of nine microgames, all shown off in the video below, followed by a playthrough of the games randomized.

Here is a list of the games, as given in his video page:
Spikes! - Dr. Wily tests the spike shafts
Dumpster Claw - Dr. Wily steals old robot masters from Dr. Light's dumpster
Door Jumping - Dr. Wily tests the boss doors for their... "jumpability"
Blocks! - Dr. Wily and Guts Man collect disappearing blocks
Eyebrows - Dr. Wily gets a much needed eyebrow trim (with some help from Cut Man)
Teleport - Dr. Wily tests the teleport hatches and tries not to turn into THE BEE
Fueling up - Dr. Wily gets gas for his saucer
Wily shops - Dr. Wily gets some shopping done before the big day
Revenge - Dr. Wily finally defeats Mega Man
Note that everything is made from scratch using WarioWare's engine and not uploaded sprites onto the DS itself. It is quite a feat, and Jarosh certainly deserves credit for this extensive project.


Racing Rally Returns, Really!

Independent publisher RedSpotGames has announced that it is bringing Senile Team's Dreamcast racer Rush Rush Rally Racing to WiiWare with extra gameplay modes.

Originally published in late 2009, Rush Rush Rally Racing is an overhead arcade racer which touts the difficulty of older arcade racers. The game contains five different vehicles and ten courses on which to race against computers in a Grand Prix. With friends, the game adds an additional nine levels, and with three multiplayer modes, the game offers a healthy amount of multiplayer content.

The WiiWare version is more than just the original game with slightly improved graphics. RSG promises to add GameCube and Classic Controller support for more accessibility, and for those gamers who play alone, there are new Time Attack and Challenge modes available with the WiiWare edition. The Time Attack Mode pits players against ghosts of their fastest lap times, and the Challenge mode pits player against computer in duals to leave the other in the dust.

R4 was originally being developed for a coding competition sponsored by online retailer Lik-Sang in 2006. When Lik-Sang went out of business, developer Senile Team decided to complete the project, anyways, and the game finished late last year due to the small and otherwise busy development team.

This is but the first announcement of a new strategy for RedSpotGames. Originally a Dreamcast Independent Publisher, the company is now spreading toward WiiWare, Xbox Live Indie Games, and Playstation Network. No words on any new projects on the other platforms just yet, but keep your eyes peeled. There is no release date yet for R4.


Monday, August 23, 2010

DeathSpank: May We Have Another?

Try to look back a long time, and you might remember an adventure RPG title developed by Hothead Games and Ron Gilbert, famous for creating the Monkey Island series. That game was called DeathSpank. Remember it? It came out about two months ago.

Today, Electronic Arts and Hothead Games have announced the sequel: DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue!

DeathSpank was originally developed to be an episodic series, but the discussion seemed to fade off in the distance. When the game came out, many believed that the episodic factor had been removed in order to make a larger final product; in reality, it appears as though Thongs of Virtue is Episode 2 of the RPG series.

The game takes place immediately following the first, with DeathSpank given the goal to destroy the nine Thongs of Virtue, though only six are necessary. The adventure will take him to new places such as the North Pole and other, more modernized societies. Players can equip each Thong to boost his stats, and there are plenty of weapons and gear to obtain over the course of the adventure, to boot (or helmet).

In the unveiling of the title to Gamespot, producer Hamish Miller explained that the title was in production alongside the original title, and even though they had no way of predicting consumer response to the first game, the Thongs of Virtue team made assumptions on what parts would be criticized and liked by fans in order to make additions to the sequel. There is no word as to whether or not Ron Gilbert played a role in this game's production, as he left Hothead shortly before the release of the first DeathSpank.

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue will be releasing THIS September 21st for PSN and 22nd for XBLA, priced at $15.


Plants Vs. Zombies Onto DS

While most people with a PC or IPhone already own PopCap's popular and unique flower-defense title, Plants Vs. Zombies, currently slated for a release on Xbox Live Arcade, is now coming to another platform: the Nintendo DS.
The DS adaptation will feature all of the engaging gameplay featured in the original version, including Adventure, Survival and Puzzle modes, and mini-games, as well as new and exclusive game content.
The press release does not specify on the added content, and the size of the DS screens leave some question as to how the game will work design-wise. Regardless, one should expect nothing short of greatness when PopCap is involved with their projects.

The game is coming in January 2011 at a price of $20. The XBLA version will be releasing this year with a new Co-Op mode. The Plants Vs. Zombies series has been lauded as one of the most successful titles in PopCap's history, having been among the top PC and IPhone Apps sellers since the game's release. It will be interesting to see if lightning can strike two more times for the series.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekly Releases: 8/22/10

As we near the end of the last summer month of the year, we start to evolve into the Fall release schedule, which means there will be plenty more "significant" releases, too. Keep in mind that every game should be considered; try to look at the smaller games for quality, too.

With that in mind, this week's releases.

Significant Releases

Mafia II (360/PS3/PC)

Developer: 2K Czech (Vietcong 2, Mafia, Hidden and Dangerous)
Publisher: 2K Games

After five years of hard work, developer 2K Czech is finally releasing the sequel to Mafia. The game takes place in Empire Bay, a city which takes content from New York City, Detroit, and Chicago, among others. Players assume the role of Vito Scaletta, a Sicilian-American who has come back from fighting in World War II and, in order to settle his father's debts, falls into the world of organized crime. Players are given the sandbox experience in the criminal 1940's, and it even provides authentic cars and music from the ages. A PS3-exclusive DLC segment entitled "The Betrayal of Jimmy," is available at launch, with another DLC story segment available for all releases in the future.

Shank (XBLA / PSN / PC slated for Fall)

Developer: Klei Entertainment (Eets: Chowdown)
Publisher: EA Games

Do you like cartoony, stylistic action titles with plenty of gore and a western flair to its story and location? Then Shank might be the right game for you! After being left for dead from the only family he knew, Shank must get revenge for those responsible for destroying the love of his life, and with his skillset, the revenge is going to be brutal. The game is a side-scrolling 2D brawler, complete with combos and highly animated cutscenes. There is also a co-operative campaign which acts like a prequel to the main game, so there is certainly a lot of content to expect from this bloody brawler.

And Yet it Moves (WiiWare)

Developer: Broken Rules

WiiWare's next indie great is here! Originally developed for PC, And Yet it Moves is a puzzle platformer in which your character must traverse through a multitude of levels with only the ability to jump and rotate the world at will. While the PC version only allowed 90 degree turns, the WiiWare version allows for free rotation. The game also has multiple control methods and a new modification mode, allowing for speed variations and even a fixed screen for more challenge. New levels and extra time trial modes are also available; it is best to think of this as a remake rather than a port, as there is quite a lot more involved in this than the PC original.

Other Releases:
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game (XBLA)
Martian Panic (Wii)
Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns: Arcade Hits Pack (Wii)
Ivy the Kiwi? (Wii / DS)
Elemental: War of Magic (PC)

Previous Weeks:
8/15/10 - Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days / Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
8/8/10 - Madden NFL 11 / Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game
8/1/10 - Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
7/25/10 - Starcraft II / Hydro Thunder: Hurricane
7/17/10 - Limbo
7/11/10 - Dragon Quest IX
7/04/10 - Crackdown 2
6/27/10 - Sin and Punishment: Star Successor / Singularity

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Portal Co-Op Teaser

I guess the title says it all, really.

Valve has been quiet about Portal 2's unique Co-Op story mode since the game's unveiling, and the demo at E3 was specifically a showcase of the single-player campaign.

This week's GameTrailersTV changed that; Valve released a short teaser introducing the protagonist duo through which players will cooperate within Portal 2's game world.

The protagonists appear to be drones, one blue-eyed and rotund and the other lanky and glowing orange. Each character can produce two unique portals a piece, each colored similarly to the character's eye socket. The teaser only gave one example of how the mechanic could work, and without any further demonstration, it only leaves for a desire for more.

The Co-Op Campaign is said to be nearly as long as the main Single-Player Campaign, and together, the game will be much larger in scope than the original title, which was bundled with two other products in The Orange Box.

Portal 2 will be releasing February 9th, 2011 for PS3, 360, and PC via Steam.



Sonic the Hedgehog 4's Updates Listed

After months of silence regarding the game's changes, Sega has finally given some details on what aspects of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be changed before its release at the end of 2010.

A little backstory: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 was originally announced for WiiWare, XBLA, PSN, and a secret platform, later announced to be the IPhone. It was anticipated for a July release, but before E3 in June, the entire game had leaked in video form through XBLA's PartnerNET system in which companies test games through Xbox Live before releasing to the public. In that leak, gamers discovered many problematic aspects, including two "gimmick" acts and a poor physics engine. This resulted in a massive amount of negative press toward the game, and Sega announced its delay in order to tweak the game and remove both hated acts in favor of other areas.

Sega's Blog explained a few of the updates this past week as the game comes closer to its final release.

The first and most obvious change is the entirety of Lost Labyrinth Act II. The leaked version of Sonic 4 had the entire act located on a mine cart, but in the new version, Sonic is given a torch. The mine cart segment has been cut to the ending of the act, rather than the entirety of it.

The second and third change are related to each other: Sonic's running animation has been modified, and it will appear faster than in the original build. Sounds like Sega's starting to understand that the devil is in the details.

Finally, Sega mentioned that the game will be undergoing particular difficulty tweaks which cannot be wholly explained on this site.

More changes are expected as the remaining two worlds are unveiled before the game's release.


Grasshopper Gone Gunning

*That's a horrible title. Bad, News Minion!*

Hungarian developer Digital Reality and Japanese development house Grasshopper Manufacture have recently announced a collaboration for a new line of games, the first of which was just announced this week.

Sine Mora is a side-scrolling shooter with a focus on time-manipulation, and the product will allow for those with 3D displays to see a more spectacular experience. The game is slotted for release on both XBLA and PSN, and Suda 51, the main man behind Grasshopper, he will not be directing it, although he is providing a supervisory role. It has a "loose release window" of about a year, so expect it before the world ends in 2012.

While no concrete footage or screenshots have been provided, a poster was recently found and posted by Destructoid.

Digital Reality is best known for its PC releases, although it shifted to download content for consoles as of late. Grasshopper Manufacture is best known for the No More Heroes series of games for the Wii, along with the releases of Killer7, Contact, and a flurry of mystery games on the DS.

Suda 51, director of Grasshopper, is currently working alongside Resident Evil creator Sinji Mikami and EA Partners on a large horror adventure product. It is rumored that it will arrive at this September's EA Tokyo Game Showcase event prior to the Tokyo Game Show.


Nintendo Starts Metroid: Other M Advertising

Nintendo's newest venture into the Metroid series is almost upon us, and the company has made sure as many people know as possible. This past week, after rumors of a live action commercial, 3RM can confirm that the rumors are true.

All three major sales regions (the US, Japan, and UK) have started to see unique commercials pushing for Metroid: Other M, which launches in the US on August 31st.


The American commercial, having both a minute and half-minute iterations, shows Samus Aran in her Zero Suit, walking through various memories in her life: from Ridley's attack on her space colony to her discovery of the last Metroid on SR-388. An emotional and impactful score hits as gamplay comprises the remaining time of the ad, and the logo arrives just at the end.

While Sin and Punishment 2's advertisement was poison, this ad rings similarly with the Super Mario Galaxy 2 Ad that came out not too long ago.

Meanwhile, Japan is getting two flavors of Metroid: Other M advertisements. One demonstrates the evolution of the gameplay as a "Famicom+" style game. It shows how the controller is held like a Famicom controller until turned toward the television, sending the game into a first-person view.

The second Japanese ad is the opposite: it shows the story elements completely, ignoring the gameplay in favor of pushing the game to a story-driven crowd of gamers. I would say more, but I personally cannot understand what the characters are saying.

The UK is getting a slightly more casual look at the game. In this ad, a man is shown expressing his excitement over scenes from Metroid: Other M. While it demonstrates the main gameplay aspects, his appearance might be a bit too dramatic to appear enticing. This nearly reflects the "Wii Would Like to Play" commercial shown for Metroid Prime 3 in the US, but I will not reflect on it here.

Metroid: Other M is the first non-first-person-exclusive title since Metroid: Zero Mission, over five years ago for the GameBoy Advance. It is a collaboration between Nintendo's Metroid team and Tecmo's Team Ninja, along with new company D-Rockets.