Nov 272012
 

After being everywhere the past few weeks due to the Wii U launch, Nintendo has decided that isn’t all it has to show for this holiday by unveiling a new Wii Mini. The Wii Mini is tallied at $99.99 by Nintendo will feature everything you need in a Wii, including:

  • Wii Mini Console
  • Wii Remote Plus Controller
  • Nunchuk Controller
  • Sensor Bar
  • Power Adaptor
  • Standard Composite Cables

Oddly enough, this deal is currently only available in Canada though it’s a rather safe bet to say it’ll expand into at least the States. It’s a tad surprising to see another SKU of the Wii appear but when you think about, I’m sure Nintendo will make a killing this Christmas off of people who don’t have the money to shell out for the rather pricey $300.00 Wii U

What say you, folks? Seems like a great gift for a niece or nephew.

Sep 192012
 

Though Darksiders 2 only released around a month ago, it’s already time for some DLC. Today Vigil announced their plans for their first little piece of DLC, entitled The Argul’s Tomb. It’s interesting to see where Death goes from the end of the second game because, without spoiling anything, he didn’t seem like he was in the best spot to continue along a journey.

In Argul’s Tomb, you will experience the following:

· Two icy new dungeons

· New legendary loot

· Challenging new boss battles

None of which are West Nile Virus symptoms, by the way. To simplify things down a bit, if you enjoyed you some Darksiders II, keep your eyes peeled for Argul’s Tomb. If not, keep calm and play more Borderlands 2. To be fair, that’s currently the solution to every problem I experience in my life.

Argul’s Tomb will release on September 25th and cost a solid 560 MS Points, or seven bucks in human terms.

Sep 132012
 

Today Nintendo announced quite a bit of info for their upcoming Wii successor, the Wii U. First and foremost, they reviled a release date and price point, with the date being November 18th and the price being $299. Though if you want to pay 50 bucks more, you can upgrade to an edition that features a black Wii U, Nintendo Land, and more storage space.

Arguably the biggest unveiling was in the form of Nintendo’s video player, the Wii TVii. Nintendo describes it as an “application that will let Wii U owners in the United States and Canada find, watch and engage with their favorite video entertainment in fun new ways. Using the GamePad controller, Nintendo TVii lets viewers seamlessly explore available video content from a variety of sources – including live TV, their TiVo DVR and video-on-demand services such as Netflix – all in one easy-to-use interface.” The most intriguing part to me is being able to watch my DVR”d shows, which is something I’ve always wanted from a portable device. Now I just need to know if it will work as well as I want it to, though I do have some faith in Nintendo.

“The wait is almost over — in just 66 days, Wii U will arrive with the strongest lineup of launch software in Nintendo history,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “With the integrated second screen of the included GamePad and features that instantly enhance the way people play games, watch video and interact with each other, consumers will see how Wii U delivers a completely unique experience and a remarkable value right out of the box. The new system also creates extraordinary new possibilities for game developers, bound only by the limits of their imaginations.”

To wrap it all up, Nintendo showed off their extensive launch and “launch window” lineup, which consists of a ton of titles, featuring both major franchises and original IP’s. For the record, the launch window is described as being in between November 18th and March 31st. Some of the games include “Nintendo LandNew Super Mario Bros. ULEGO® City: UndercoverBAYONETTA 2The Wonderful 101, Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Activision’s Call of Duty®: Black Ops II, and New Super Mario Bros. U.” what are your thoughts on the Wii U? Does Nintendo already have your $300? If so, what games are catching your eye?

Aug 212012
 

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

Darksiders II

Windows PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360

Contains: Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.


The first Darksiders released with critics and gamers alike all emitting a bit of unexplained confusion. The confusion wasn’t a bad thing however, as it mostly came from the surprise that Darksiders was not only borrowing ideas from other games but most importantly, was producing a damn fine adventure of their own. Vigil Games never denied their inspirations for the first Darksiders but those inspirations begin to fade a bit in their newest adventure, Darksiders II. The new things within Darksiders II aren’t all unique to only this experience but it’s clear Vigil is attempting to divert away from the original games reputation by adding new touches such as a nice loot system and an enhanced upgrading experience.

Arguably the biggest change in Darksiders II is to be found simply through your main character. As you may know, in the first Darksiders you played as War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Due to War’s actions at the ending of the last game, his reputation has become slightly worse in certain people’s minds and his brother (and fellow apocalyptic horseman) Death has come to restore that reputation. He’s never really one hundred percent sure how he’s going to do that but the when and how become apparent as the story goes on. While it’s similar to the first in spots and has a lot of dragging due to overly long dungeons, the narrative in Darksiders II is very strong. Mainly in part to great acting performances from the voice cast but also because of the well thought out and realized world you’re set in. I’m not quite sure how Vigil did it but they make you relate to a character named Death and ultimately even care for him.

Another thing that really sets up the world and the story is the absolutely incredible music composed by Jesper Kyd. Jesper Kyd is the brilliant artist that composed the music for Assassins Creed 2 and whiles it was rather good, he really outdone himself this time around. It all fits together so well and helps to establish a mood that directly corresponds with the current environment you’re in, be it an eerie or cheery mood.

As you can probably tell from his name, Death is different from War. War was more of a bruiting, chest out while my hammer is in your face guy. Death, on the other hand, provides a new variety in the combat as he is more of a dash around and slice you with my scythes kind of cat. Ultimately, this doesn’t make up much of an issue or a positive as you tend to play both characters the same once you start getting into more difficult combos. The speediness of Death is always at your disposal, it’s just not always useful.

Darksiders II is one ugly game. There’s no bones to be made about it and no excuses to be had. After seeing the PC version, it’s clearly the superior of the two as it doesn’t contain many of the issues prevalent in the Xbox 360 version. From screen tearing to the frame rate absolutely dying, Darksiders II tends to not even hide its unappealing visuals. While some of the environments do look rather nice and the character design is fantastic, the actual textures and technical aspects of Darksiders II are all just one big mess and it shows, repeatedly.

There’s one thing we all love as a collective society, and that is loot. Glorious, sweet loot. But the only thing better than loot is even more loot, and Darksiders 2 has just that. From nice shoulder pads, capes, boots, to swords, Darksiders has you covered. In typical loot style, all items are color coded representing their rarity and show off the stats of each weapon compared to yours when you highlight over it. There really isn’t much to say except for it’s loot and it achieves its purpose. It keeps you gnawing at the bit for more and more green arrows that tell you that the weapon you picked up is better than the one you have equipped.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the loot system is the acquisition of possessed weapons throughout the game. Attaining possessed weapons seems like a bit of a rarity as I only picked up one along the way but that one still lasted me for about one fourth the game. The reason for that is that you can literally feed your weapon other weapons and have it level up, then letting you select abilities to upgrade on your possessed weapon. It’s a really fun system and adds a nice knot in the bartering, leading you to have to choose between leveling up this already strong weapon even more or just taking 40,000 gold from a merchant.

Darksiders II suffers from something no game of this day and age should have, awful technical issues. Though no game should have it , particularly this severely, plenty of games do and Darksiders is no exception as the issues bring up such bugs as a switch not activating when I press B to use it, me falling into the environment, and many full game lock ups. There was even a situation where a button wouldn’t activate for me, I then had to restart to the last checkpoint and upon doing that and hitting the button, Darksiders locked up on me and forced me to restart it again. It’s a bit ridiculous THQ didn’t postpone Darksiders just for these technical issues to be worked out. While it isn’t a technical issue, it’s more of an issue with the UI, I even had a problem where I forgot how to assign skills to my quick menu, and since there’s no controls screen, I was forced to make an all new game (separate from my main game, not overwriting it) and go through the tutorial just to find out that I need to press down on the D-Pad. There’s no doubt this is a situational issue that many will not run into but it was a frustrating one to say the least.

One comparison that stays true throughout Darksiders II is the similarities between it and The Legend of Zelda. The most unsurprising of them all is that most of the game still takes place in a dungeon filled with levers and switches just waiting to be hit. I found myself getting tired of the dungeons in the original Darksiders, with the puzzles never really ramping up any kind of excitement from me and unfortunately, that issue rode over into Darksiders II. If there’s one perfect word to describe the dungeons in Darksiders II, it would be dragged. With the exception of one or two, every dungeon in Darksiders had lost my attention by the time I had put in half the two hours they require from you. I can only push so many buttons and switches before I just get bored, and then become irritated because I feel as if I’m making no progress. That no progress issue is elevated by the fact that a lot of the dungeon design is cluttered and utterly confusing, with the map providing little to no context on your current position and how exactly to get from A to B. In a game like this, this is something Vigil had to get right, and they just plain didn’t.

Speaking of getting right, an adventure game like this would not be complete without a deep, combo heavy combat system and Darksiders II has just that. The first few hours had my doubts arising however as it forces you through tedious combat that gives you little to no combos, making you hammer on the X and Y button multiple times with no real difficulty or worry in mind. I understand they’re teaching you and rolling you into the combos but after a few hours, I was ready to learn instead of practice. Alternatively, they made me go through a dungeon knowing no combos so that I could get money to pay for training. It makes sense, sure, but it’s a poor way to begin a game.

When the combos do begin rolling and you open up the glorious skill tree Darksiders II presents, the combat becomes an absolute blast. There are so many combos that there’s almost no way you can perform all of them in one play through, leaving more and more new combat abilities to be unlocked along the way and they never get old. The first few hours of combat may struggle to muster up a punch but the rest of the game knocks it out of the damn park.

Vigil Games has set out what seemed to be one of their main goals in the production of Darksiders II and that was give it its own image and not have to rely on comparisons to other games. They achieved that goal with flying colors but along the way they forgot to improve on key aspects like visuals and dungeon design. The visuals are a forgivable problem, but the dungeon issue is so prevalent throughout Darksiders II that it becomes a tad unbearable. If you enjoyed the first Darksiders and want more, then I have a game for you. But if you didn’t enjoy Darksiders as much as the next guy, it’s probably best to stay away from Darksiders II.

XBox 360

Graphics

55
 

Audio

85
 

Gameplay

65

Creativity

75
 

Execution

75
 

Offset

65
    

7

  

How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!

Jun 012012
 

Over the course of the past two months or so, the gaming industry has played host to a number of various push backs, deadline failures and delays. The reason for each of these varies between wanting to put out a quality product or not meeting specific goals within their alotted time frame. Delays are nothing new to the gaming industry, and they are something that will always be present. It is easy to say, learn to live with it, but that seems like a terrible way to look at the situation. A better way to look at it would be to learn to love them. Here, we will list a couple of reasons that delays help benefit the consumers, as well as, the developers, and why having delays is really a good thing in the long run.

For many of the delayed projects, the reason boils down to nothing more than the developers not being happy with the current build of the game. This could mean unappealing gameplay, massive bugs or glitches, or even going a different direction artistically. Regardless of why they are delaying the project, it is to the benefit of both the gamer and the developer. The developer wants to create the best gaming experience for their customers. If they are not interested in that, then they are not a very good developer. By wanting the best experience for the gamer, the developer sometimes needs to make a bold decision. This decision is something as simple as stepping back, looking at the project and the direction it is heading, and telling everyone, “hey, this is not what we want”, then making the appropriate changes. What this really means is that the developer, no matter what, wants the best experience and does not believe it is possible to achieve given the current situation. This is a good thing, a very good thing.

Imagine if every game that had ever been delayed was forced to release at the time it was originally quoted. Think of BioShock, Metal Gear Solid 4, Twilight Princess, just to name a few. These were some of the greatest games to come from this generation of console gaming, but would they have been if it weren’t for critical delays in the creative process? Would BioShock have been the powerhouse AAA series it is today without going through some necessary bumps and bruises along the way? Absolutely not, just ask the developers. They thought it would take more time, people moaned and groaned, and after it was all said and done, the gaming community was given an amazing title worthy of numerous awards. By saying to all the excited and rabid fans, “hey, you are going to have to wait another six months”, they aren’t telling them it is going to be bad. They aren’t telling them it isn’t going as planned, they aren’t telling them it isn’t even going to come out. What they are telling them is that they want you to love their game, and if that means a few more months of hard work, sacrifice, and the occasional hurtful comment, then so be it.

Game developers want people to love their games. It is true that some games should be delayed, but due to certain circumstances (i.e. games released in conjunction with popular movies, cookie cutter annuals), they are not. Battlefield 3 should have been delayed a month or two, perhaps if that had happened, they may have avoided a poor start and a long lasting bug problem. Diablo III might have also benefited from a week or two delay, just to insure that the servers were ready to handle the millions of fans that had waited over a decade for the popular title. The cases are isolated and debatable at best, but you get the idea.

It used to be that when I was younger and heard about a game I had been waiting to release for sometime, I would be enraged. I would curse to the skies as if the developers were looking down at me, laughing as if they only delayed the game to piss me off for their own amusement. But eventually I came to realize that by delaying the game, I wasn’t so much guaranteed a perfect game. What I was guaranteed was that the people making my game want me to love it, they want it to be perfect. These guys that are spending endless hours slaving away at art design, story writing and coding were just as excited to finish this game the way it was intended to be finished, not the time it was intended to be finished in. They wanted me to wait, because by waiting, they believe that I will have a more enjoyable, memorable experience. Then I began to love the delays. I would say, “great, that game got delayed, it must not be ready to come out yet. Take your time and make it amazing”. I feel as though most people are in the same boat as me, but you cannot help but noticed the mod of angry internet users that bombard message boards with profanities.

Basically, learn to love delays. They are there to make sure you aren’t pissing away sixty bucks on a piece of garbage that you thought you wanted. So what if Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry, Aliens: Colonial Marines, South Park, BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light have been delayed until 2013. I say we all just sit back, relax, and use our income tax checks to purchase a slew of great titles lined up for early 2013.

 

Apr 192012
 

As E3 approaches, more and more pieces of news will continue to trickle down to the media.  After all, E3 is one of the biggest gaming events of the year. Therefore, in order to have big reveals for the show, there has to be extensive preparation on the part of those participating in it.  This of course, leads to the infamous press leaks.  The most recent leak is a trailer for Kratos’ latest adventure, which is titled God of War: Ascension.  I’m sure a lot of fans are going crazy over this.  I’m not.  Basically, this upcoming title features Kratos (duh!) and takes place during his service under the Olympian gods.  Yes, it takes place before the original God of War.  No, it is not God of War: Ghosts of Sparta for the PSP.  This is another prequel.

So far the God of War series has 3 main titles, 1 mobile game and 2 portable games.  If we exclude the mobile game, then Ascension becomes the sixth title in the series.  That’s a lot of titles for a series that started in 2005.  Don’t get me wrong, the God of War series is a testament to the quality of games that can be played on the Play Station.  However, I wonder why there is more excitement and coverage on a leaked trailer for an existing franchise on an existing console, than say Pikmin 3, which is a relatively new series on a brand new console.  Why doesn’t Pikmin get any love?  Is it because it doesn’t have a trailer yet?

Every console right now has a great line up (well except the Wii who is headed towards the chopping block) and each console has their signature games.  It is foolish to think that there won’t be any more God of War, Halo or Mario games.  These franchises are money making machines and are here to stay.  Then why do we act surprised when we see franchises returning time and again?

Is there another action/adventure console-exclusive title as popular as God of War III on the Play Station 3?  No, I believe there is not.  So why do we even doubt that there will be any more installments to the series?  Take a look at Nintendo, this company survives on the charity of third party developers and a back bone of strong first party titles.  It is not a question of whether there will be a Mario game, but when.  The same goes for the Xbox’s Halo series.  Master Chief’s original trilogy might be concluded, but how can Microsoft pass up on the idea of bringing back the franchise that single-handedly  made Xbox a household name?

But in this industry it doesn’t matter that we keep rehashing the same news over and over again.  It matters who get’s the news piece out first.  It is not about content, it’s about speed.  So there you have it, new announcement for God of War.  Here’s a shocker:  There will be a Zelda game for the Wii U!  Also, the moon orbits around the earth!  I know, things are getting wild in here.

Apr 172012
 

This week’s list is the second console specific top 10. I have previously covered my top 10 favorite games on the Gamecube, and this week I am going to count down my 10 favorite games on my favorite console of all time, the Nintendo 64. The N64 may not have been as popular as the Playstation in the mid to late ’90s, but that sure didn’t stop some of the best games of all time from releasing exclusively for the N64. While the PS1 excelled at JRPGs, specifically ones with a lot CD quality music and pre-rendered cinematics, the N64 dominated the action/adventure and 3D platformer genres, and also blew the PS1 away in terms of pure graphical fidelity. Also, for any of our younger readers who only know Rare for Viva Pinata and Kinect Sports, by the end of this list I hope it becomes clear why they were once considered one of the best developers ever.

10. Banjo Kazooie (Rare, 1998)

Let’s get the Rare train rolling early with Banjo Kazooie. After Nintendo basically wrote the blueprint on how to make a 3D platformer with Super Mario 64, many other developers tried to emulate it, with varying to degrees of success. Rare was by far the most successful of the N64 era, and there first attempt, Banjo Kazooie, is still one of the best examples of the genre. They really did take most of the elements from Mario 64; the large worlds, the move set, and even the concept of stars was simply re-branded as “jiggies”. Despite the similarities, the game could stand on its own because of solid controls, cleverly designed levels, and an element of humor that set it apart from the gameplay focused nature of other platformers.

9. Diddy Kong Racing (Rare, 1997)

Another Rare game, and another game that “borrowed” from a popular Nintendo franchise. With games like Banjo Kazooie, Star Fox Adventures on Gamecube, and now Diddy Kong Racing, Rare certainly wasn’t afraid of taking a lot inspiration from Nintendo when making games, but they got away with it because there games were generally really good. Diddy Kong Racing obviously borrowed heavily from Mario Kart, but there were a few key differences that actually set it a notch above Mario Kart 64, at least in my opinion. The biggest thing that really makes Diddy Kong Racing awesome is the single player component. It had an adventure mode very similar to a platformer in that you would travel to different worlds, moving on as you won races. There were even boss races and coin challenges that made the game more than just a few cup races. The other element of Diddy Kong Racing that I think makes it better than Mario Kart is the way it handles power-ups. Instead of the extreme rubber banding of the Mario Kart series, the power-ups were dealt much more fairly. You could see what the power-up was before you picked it up, adding a layer of strategy to multiplayer matches.

8. Goldeneye 007 (Rare, 1997)

Rare is now three for three on this list, with number 8 going to the split screen classic Goldeneye. Goldeneye makes this list not simply out of the quality of the game, but for the impact it made at the time. If I were to judge Goldeneye simply by how it plays today, it doesn’t hold up nearly as well as most of the games on this list. First Person Shooters, console shooters in particular, have really come a long way in the time since Goldeneye first came out, but at the time it was amazing. What made Goldeneye doubly impressive was that it did two things most people never though possible, it was both a good first person shooter on a console, and an outstanding movie licensed game that not only played well compared to other game, but did justice to the film it was based on. It may not not have aged very well, but at the time Goldeneye was the best choice, and really only, choice for multiplayer first person shooting on a console.

7. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (Rare, 2001)

I swear, not every spot on this list will be a Rare game, but number 7 has to go to Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Conker’s Bad Fur Day really succeeds in two key respects. First, it is the culmination of several years of Rare making 3D platformers on the N64, and is without a doubt the best 3D platformer they have every made from a design and gameplay standpoint. Secondly, it is one of the funniest games ever made. Conker’s Bad Fur Day is such an odd creation; it is 100% a Rare platformer in the style of Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 in terms of gameplay and level design, but on the other hand it is crude, crass, and full of foul language and poop jokes. Rare’s other platformers certainly had some innuendo and winks and nods to the older audience playing the games, but Conker’s Bad Fur Day is made specifically for that older audience. It also somehow manages to be both very immature, and very mature at the same time. Some of the jokes are obviously immature toilet humor, but it does have a lot very clever writing in it as well.

6. Star Fox 64 (Nintendo, 1997)

As promised, not ever game on this list is a Rare game, and number 6 is the Nintendo developed Star Fox 64. Back in the late ’90s, I played Star Fox 64 so much I don’t think I could even hazard a guess as to how many times I completed it. While it was mostly on an on-rails space shooter, it is one of the best, if not the best, examples of the genre. It took everything that made the SNES original interesting and simply improved upon it. Even though it was released quite early in the N64′s life cycle, it is still one of the best looking games on the system, and one of the few to have full voice acting. The game had a fun and movie reference filled story and a many different possible paths through the game, making it highly re-playable.

Dec 222011
 

As if speculation on the price of its next console weren’t enough, rumors on the Big N’s beloved franchise, Zelda, are starting to circle around.  This time the rumor involves Nintendo’s official Zelda art book, which according to a user posting on a Japanese website (translated by a Kotaku reader), contains an official timeline.

Is the official timeline kept within its pages?

The legendary, mystical and obscure Zelda timeline (heavily guarded and protected in Nintendo’s HQ by an army of Stalfos) might actually be real.  There are no screen shots of the inside of the art-book as of yet, so this might acutally be completely false.  However, the translation of said time line goes as represented in this graphic from the original Kotaku article:

The first four titles flow into one another, however it is in Ocarina of Time where the bifurcation of  story-lines take place.  If OOT Link fails in his fight with Ganon, then the storyline continues to A link to the Past.  If OOT Link wins against Ganon then the storyline separates into two, Young Link and Adult Link.  If you want to follow the Young Link timeline, then the story continues to Majora’s Mask.  If you follow the Adult Link timeline, then the story continues to the Windwaker.

Once again this is all rumor and speculation.  Through out the years many fans and websites have tried to make sense of a greater, convoluted story to The Legend of Zelda series.  Once such work would be Gametrailer’s The Legend of Zelda Retrospective.

The Official Zelda Art-book, Hyrule Historia, hasn’t been released yet.  Currently it is only planned to be released in Japan.  No word from Nintendo on the leaked timeline or the possibility of the art book being released outside Japan.

 

 

 

Dec 142011
 

Just in time for the holidays, the 3DS Ambassador program does right by its early adopters.  According to Andriasang, the following GBA titles will be available for download this upcoming Friday:

  • F-Zero for Game Boy Advance (aka, Maximum Velocity)
  • Super Mario Advance 3
  • Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • Fire Emblem Seima no Kouseki
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
  • Mario Kart Advance
  • Mario vs Donkey Kong
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Wario Land Advance
  • Made in Wario

The information came to the Japanese gaming blog site via a notice sent directly to Japanese 3DS systems.  As of this time, no such notices has been issued to 3DS systems from other territories.

 

Dec 012011
 

It’s that time of the year, our 1st Annual Gaming Irresponsibly Game of The Year Awards are here! We have listed the nominees for each category below and we want you to help us decide who the winners are! Here is how it works; answer the survey below, the game that wins each category will receive a “Reader’s Choice” vote. This vote will equal 1/3 of the total vote, meaning that in a close call or a tie, the “Reader’s Choice” will receive the award. Gaming Irresponsibly’s Staff will be voting as well, keep an eye open for their votes as they will be posting them with explanations of their decisions. Voting will take place until 12-11 at 11:59 PM EST, at that time we will close the polls and tabulate the votes. Winners will be announced that week.

But that isn’t all! We have also decided to give away prizes to readers that participate as well. Here is how you can win: After voting, leave a comment on why you think your Game of the Year choice should win. You will get additional opportunities to win by sharing this page on twitter and facebook. The prizes are from our stash of games and swag we have gathered over the year.

 UPDATE 12-7

Here is a quick update on the Game of the Year Polls
1. Action/Adventure game of the year
Uncharted 3 30 15.31%
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 73 37.24%
Batman: Arkham City 50 25.51%

2. RPG of the year
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 60 30.61%
Disgaea 4 104 53.06%
Dark Souls 15 7.65%

3. Shooter of the year
Battlefield 3 67 34.18%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 38 19.39%
Gears of War 3 32 16.33%

4. Sports game of the year
Forza 4 66 33.67%
Madden 12 31 15.82%
FIFA 12 55 28.06%

5. Fighting game of the year
Marvel vs Capcom 3 (Ultimate included) 39 19.90%
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy 44 22.45%
Mortal Kombat 50 25.51%

6. Puzzle/Strategy game of the year
Catherine 68 34.69%
Portal 2 104 53.06%
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes 14 7.14%

7. Indie game of the year
Minecraft 81 41.33%
Dungeons of Dredmor 21 10.71%
Dungeon Defenders 34 17.35%

8. Platformer of the year
LittleBigPlanet 2 54 27.55%
Sonic Generations 37 18.88%
Super Mario 3D Land 46 23.47%
9. Family game of the year
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure 30 15.31%
Just Dance 3 24 12.24%
Rayman Origins 82 41.84%

10. Game of the year
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 50 25.51%
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 24 12.24%
Batman: Arkham City 14 7.14%

Nov 302011
 

Zelda games always seem to be a surprise, you aways expect the next one to be the entry that doesn’t live up to expectations, but each installment seems to be superior to the rest, there has never been need for a reinvention, Zelda games are just great. Skyward Sword is definitely not the straw that breaks the camels back, it is but another fantastic installment which has managed to once again gain heaps of praise from across the board. What do you think? Is this the Wii defining game? Or do you want to see the back of Link after all these years and all these games? Let us know in the comments.

“What Nintendo has done to celebrate 25 years of the franchise is make one of the best games ever” – 10/10 – DarkZero.co.uk

“Ignoring it just because it’s on the Wii would be a damn shame” – 9.5/10 – Machinima

“It is a game punctuated by near-constant moments of genuine exhiliration” – 4.5/5 – Joystiq

“For mostly better and only a little bit worse” – 4/5 – GiantBomb

“Absolutely packed with content” – 4/5 – Gamepro

“Offers an experience like no other” – 9.5/10 – GameOver.gr

“How apt that this ultimate tale of hero-making should see Nintendo’s hardware become the console it was always meant to be” – 10/10 – Edge magazine

“Memorable from start to finish” – 9.8/10 – DigitalChumps.com

“A perfectly balanced mix of innovation and classic Zelda gameplay” – 9/1o – Games Radar

 ”Nintendo refuses to compromise cinematic storytelling for gameplay, finding a balance that seems effortless” – 10/10 – IGN

“A masterclass in the art of crafting video games” – 5/5 – The Guardian

“A huge departure for Zelda and a proper arrival for Wii’s motion controls” – 9.8/10 – CVG

“The best motion controls ever seen in a video game”  - 5/5 – Metro UK

 ”All of the gameplay innovations, emotionally involving moments, beautiful little details, and purely blissful experiences in this game have me completely and utterly spoiled” – 9.5/10 – Destructoid

“The greatest adventure money can buy” – 10/10 – EuroGamer

“An apt swan song for our little white console” – A-  - Nintendojo

“Finally brings satisfying swordplay, delivering on a promise made five years ago” – 5/5 – CheatCodeCentral

“This game restores the joy and excitement that many of us experienced 25 years ago when an old man told us to “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” and continues to awe us with incredible useful items and massive amounts of collectibles as well.” 9.9/10 – Gaming Irresponsibly

Nov 222011
 

The Legend of Zelda series is one of my favorite series in gaming, and one of the most influential series in video game history. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series, and Nintendo is celebrating with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. If you haven’t yet read Josh’s review of Skyward Sword, you can find that here. To celebrate the release of Skyward Sword, I am going to kick off my new series called Top 10 Tuesdays with a countdown of the top 10 Zelda games. Each Tuesday I’ll be doing a new Top 10 list in a variety of video game related topics both modern and retro. Some may be serious, some not, but they will all be my opinion and nothing more, so feel free to disagree. Just a note, Skyward Sword will not be anywhere on this list for a couple of reasons. One, I haven’t played it yet; but even if I had, I would not have included simply because it is too new. I am of the mind that you need some distance from new releases before you can objectively determine its place in history. With that said, let’s look at The Top 10 Legend of Zelda Games.

10. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS, 2007)

I have to be honest, I am putting this one on here simply because I needed a number 10. I was not really able to get into this one. The game was well designed, like most Zelda games, and for a DS game it really looked fantastic. I really wanted to love this game, but the controls ruined it for me. I understand Nintendo wanted to try something new, and I think it is important for developers to try to innovate using their most popular franchises. However, I just didn’t like the stylus only controls. I realize that many people did enjoy them, but they just never felt right to me. My main problem was that they didn’t provide an alternative control scheme. I couldn’t come up with one reason why they couldn’t have given players the option to use the d-pad and buttons, other than because they knew that, if given the option, most players would choose classic controls and their hard work on stylus controls would have been for nothing. Griping about controls aside, this game still featured console quality dungeon design and thoughtful puzzles.

9. The Legend of Zelda (NES, 1986)

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “What? The original Zelda is not number 1?” Many lists like this I’ve seen do put the original NES classic at number 1, but I disagree. If this were a list of the most influential Zelda games, it would be number 1 for sure. However, I am counting down my favorite games to play, and this game just doesn’t hold up as well as most Zelda games. This may have something to do with the fact that I was born in 1989, three years after the game came out. The first time I played this game, I was a teenager wondering what the original Zelda was like after loving some of the newer ones so much. So basically, this game doesn’t really have any nostalgia value for me. Granted, even then it was still an enjoyable game, but sometimes it is just hard to play older games when you’ve played the improved sequels first. The lack of direction was annoying to me in the internet age, and I can’t imagine what kids of the ’80s must have felt like trying to get through this game. The gameplay and level design may seem rudimentary by today’s standards, but it is still a great game even today, and one of the most influential of all time.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GB, 1993)

The first Zelda game on a handheld, but certainly not the last. After the huge success of A Link to the Past on the Super NES, Nintendo released this direct sequel on the original gameboy. This started a trend of having console quality Zelda games on handheld systems that persists to this day. Just like any Zelda game, Link’s Awakening had interesting and unique dungeons and tons of items to find. This was the first Zelda game to take place in a setting other than Hyrule, and to not have any appearances by Zelda or Ganon. Link’s awakening, more than any other Zelda game, does it’s own thing. The game is really weird overall, with some of the strangest characters and items of the series. It is a solid Zelda game, and the start of Nintendo’s great handheld Zelda track record.

7. The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Ages/Seasons (GBC, 2001)

What I consider to be the best Zelda games on the Gameboy, these two games really count as one due to their connectivity between each other. Depending on which game you play first, they take place right after one another. You use a code obtained after completing one to then be able to get the true ending once you beat both. A cynic may say this was a cheap tactic to get you to buy two games, but it really was pretty cool to have this sort of connectivity between two games. The games borrowed many characters and locations from the two Nintendo 64 games, but stood alone as their own adventures. Oracle of Ages involved time travel, and Oracle of Season had a season changing mechanic. The gameplay and design of these games were very reminiscent of both a Link to the Past, and Link’s Awakening, and it was great to see that after two successful 3D games, Nintendo wasn’t about to abandon the series’ 2D roots.

Nov 072011
 

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma stated in an interview that the Zelda team has plans to bring another entry of the Zelda series to the Nintendo 3DS in the near future.

Aonuma recently spoke with My Games, a Portuguese game site, about the possibility of having another Zelda title for the handheld device.  No surprises here that one is in the works.

“We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don’t think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS. We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous handhelds,” said Aonuma.

Commenting on the rumors and fan requests to bring Majora’s Mask to the 3DS, Aonuma said that because of the recent release of Ocarina of Time for the 3DS, Miyamoto and him have decided to focus on original titles rather than remakes at this time.

Time will tell what the Zelda team has in store for gamers in the coming months.  However, I sense that we’ll be hearing more at the next big game convention.

Source: Destructoid

Oct 182011
 

The Zelda series are a favorite for the more nostalgic of us, but know you can play a Zelda RTS. While not officially licensed, the games creator has taken Medieval 2: Total War and created a modified version which allows you to play as some of the more popular raes from The Legend of Zelda creating Hyrule: Total War.

Some of the features are outlined below taken from forums you can find here. Along with more information like download links and you can check out the trailer at the bottom.

Hyrule: Total War is a conversion for Medieval 2: Total War. A vast majority of the iconic races from the Zelda universe have been represented as armies that the player can assemble, command, and ultimately use to destroy their enemies. The Hero of Time has chosen to return to the past, a choice that ultimately has ruined the charts of history and sent Hyrule into chaos. Major wars that were already decided have unmade themselves, allowing fallen armies a second chance at these critical events in Hyrule’s history. This is where you, the player, comes in. You shall choose how to rewrite the history of Hyrule. Do you stick with the proper path and smite the evil in the land in the name of the Goddesses? Or perhaps you feel that the Hylians have overstayed their welcome as masters of the land and would rather the Gerudo forces of Ganondorf lead Hyrule into a new age leadership? Maybe you feel it’s time that the Gorons march from their mountain kingdoms and rebuild their long lost empire, smashing anyone who opposes their will? On the other hand, you might fall in favor of fighting for the Zora Dominion and cleansing the land of imperfect creatures and establishing a new order of purity. Perhaps the forces of nature have won you over, and you would see to it that the Kokiri and beings of the forest rise to power? Or maybe you would act against nature, and infest and consume all life as the infestation of Gohma… There are many races to choose from, and many possible outcomes to your actions. Hyrule’s fate is now in your hands. Will you lead it to a golden age of peace, or dominate it in your name?

Oct 152011
 

Nintendo promised and they have been giving up the goods, releasing small amounts of information regarding one of the most anticipated games this year, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The latest set of details is talking weapons, lakes and potions

  • Lake Floria and the Parella Tribe: Later in his quest, Link must make his way to an as-yet-undiscovered section of the Faron Woods that is home to Lake Floria. The lake is inhabited by the squid-like Parella tribe, which makes its first appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Even when revisiting past areas like Faron Woods, players will make new discoveries and, occasionally, find drastic changes to the environment that require them to explore these areas in entirely different ways.
  • Swimming: As one might expect, getting to and exploring Lake Floria requires Link to swim. The intuitive motion control of the Wii Remote Plus gives players a natural way to control Link as he swims across the lake’s surface or into its watery depths.
  • Insects and Potions: Throughout the game, Link travels back and forth between the surface and Skyloft. Players can collect bugs in the various areas they visit, and these insects can be used to infuse new ingredients into the variety of different potions available for purchase at the bazaar in Skyloft, giving the potions powerful new effects. Players can experiment with different potions and insects to find the concoctions that best meet their needs.
  • Fun Fun Island: Also new in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is Fun Fun Island, one of the small islands that float above the clouds near Link’s hometown. As the name suggests, there’s a lot of fun to be had there, but before Link can enjoy everything the island has to offer, he must find a way to fulfill the request of its lone inhabitant.
  • Whip: Players can use the Wii Remote Plus to lash Link’s whip at enemies and objects. The whip also can be used to grab items and is integral to solving certain puzzles. Link’s items can be selected in real time without pausing the game when he is on the ground, making it easier to switch between a sword and other items.
Be sure to expect some more fresh details as little and often not only seems to be Nintendo’s preferred method of dropping information, but it is the best way to keep yourself excited before the game hits shelves on November 20th.
Oct 072011
 

Nintendo have released new details about the upcoming Skyward Sword, having already told us some of the character details, Nintendo are now exploring some of the new features and loccations we can expect to see throughout the game.

  • Faron Woods and Skyview Temple: The forest is the first location Link visits after leaving Skyloft, an island world suspended high in the sky. The people of Skyloft have never been to the surface, so this stage marks a strange new experience for Link. Traversing the forest leads him to Skyview Temple, where Zelda may be held.
  • Dashing: By holding down the A Button, players can make Link run faster and grant him acrobatic abilities, such as the ability to briefly run up a sheer wall to grab onto a cliff. Dashing uses up some of Link’s endurance, which replenishes itself over time once Link stops running. Certain powerful attacks, like the spin attack, also use up endurance. When all of Link’s endurance is used up, his movement is slowed dramatically for a few moments.
  • Dowsing: Fi, the spirit of the powerful Goddess Sword and Link’s guide, informs Link that he can use the sword to search for things through dowsing. In dowsing mode, when Link holds out his sword, the sword will beep and provide visual feedback when pointed in the direction of the intended target. This technique can be used to search for many objects and characters in the game. In Faron Woods, Link uses it to search for Zelda, guiding him to Skyview Temple, where Zelda’s aura can be detected.
  • Kikwi Tribe: The Kikwis are cute, fuzzy creatures that Link encounters while exploring the forest, resembling a kiwi fruit in animal form. Link can search for the Kikwis in the forest using dowsing. In return, they will help him on his search for Zelda.
  • Slingshot: This is one of the first items that Link receives in the game. While it’s not very powerful, it can be used to stun enemies and activate objects in the environment. As with many items in the game, players aim the slingshot by moving the Wii Remote Plus.
As well as new features, Nintendo have promised that they will keep fans up to date by continuing to trickle information about the game leading up to its release next month.
Sep 292011
 

So far, little has been said about the latest installment in the Zelda Series, all we really know is that it is set before the rest of Link’s adventures, but with the release now only weeks away, Nintendo have released some info on the beginning of the story as well as some of the characters we can expect to see.

  • Introduction: The new game’s storyline begins in Skyloft, an island town suspended high in the sky, on the day before young Link is to compete in a major bird-flying competition. The winner of the contest will earn the honor of taking part in a special ceremony with Zelda.
  • Link and Zelda: Friends since childhood, Link and Zelda have always shared a special bond. Events in the new game will add even more depth to their relationship.
  • Groose: Link’s nemesis at school, Groose, plays a significant role in the early moments of the new game. This bully of a character not only threatens Link’s chances to win the bird-flying competition, but he also reveals a jealous streak toward Link and Zelda’s special bond.
  • Fi: Early on in Link’s new adventure, he encounters Fi, the spirit of the powerful Goddess Sword. Fi’s guidance proves to be crucial as Link goes forth on a challenging quest that will ultimately result in the creation of the Master Sword.
  • Zelda’s father: Gaepora, Zelda’s father, is the headmaster of Link’s school. As such, he has knowledge of the history and legends of Skyloft.
So just enough to grab our attention without taking away from the game itself. Skyward Sword is a Wii exclusive and hits shelves on November 20th, along with a special pack which includes a golden WiiMote, Wii Motion Plus and Nunchuck controller.
Sep 142011
 

On Friday the doors to Birmingham’s NEC will open and members of the public will be able to get there hands on some of the most anticipated games set for release over the coming months. So with literally dozens of unreleased games to get your hands on in such a short space of time here are ten of the most exciting, incredible unreleased titles that you should dedicate your time to playing while you’re there.

Inversion

Few details about this offering from Namco Bandai are available at the moment. Having been on track for a late 2010 release, this was inevitably pushed back and back until finally the release date was confirmed for February 2012. While the details are scarce we do know that it will be a third person shooter that involves gravity manipulation and destructible environments. So far even the trailers for the game have been cryptic, but they appear to show some kind of unknown, possibly alien, force acting upon the earth, causing the interference with our gravity. Inversion will be available for PlayStation, Xbox and Windows.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo’s latest game in the Legend of Zelda series is almost ready to hit stores so if you still have some qualms on whether or not this game is worth your time, you should definitely take the time to check out Link’s latest adventure. A prequel to Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword changes the mythology with Zelda not a princess, but instead a friend of young Link and rather than the master sword, as the title suggests, Link is in control of the Skyward Sword instead. With such a close release date, this is one that you should definitely get a quick hands on with, to try out the different battle system, where not only timing your attack, but the direction will also depend on how much damage you can do to certain enemies.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Ubisoft have confirmed that they will be showing this one off at Tokyo Game Show, so naturally this one should be playable for all. Being a blaring sequel, Desmond will be making his return, as will both playable ancestors, Altair and Ezio. Ubisoft have confirmed that this will be the last in the series to be set in the renaissance era but not the last in the series. Some new additions that should be shown off are the new hookblade which allows for both attacking enemies, as well as making it possible to zip line across parts of the city. The game will also see the addition of literally hundreds of bomb varieties which can be crafted.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

one of the biggest games, both in hype and all round size is Skyrim, despite not being released this one could well be game of the year materials. Bethesda are exceptionally good at games that require a giant game space and many hours of gameplay. So, with one of the biggest maps out and an estimated 300 hours of gameplay, this one will definitely be worth a look in. Whether or not the food of Skyrim that has turned up at several conventions and expos over the past months will make an appearance remains to be seen, but rest assured if it is, then a hog roast will taste a lot better than the venue food.

Uncharted 3

2011 has become the year of 3′s, with more third entries for series than you can shake a stick at, perhaps one of the biggest this year, especially if you own a PS3, is Uncharted. The third installment once again sees Nathan Drake traversing through fantastic, visually stunning environments in the search for treasures of lost races. With Uncharted having such a close release date, this is another title we should be able to get our hands on throughout the course of the weekend. Even if you don’t have a PS3, just because of how good this series is, everyone should take some time out of their busy day to take a look in.

Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary

Ten years ago one of the most revolutionary series appeared, bundled in with a console. Since these humble beginnings, Halo has gone on from Bungie to 343 industries who decided a remake was in order to mark the anniversary of us meeting The Covenant and of course, Master Chief. If other presentations are anything to go on, then CE Anniversary will definitely be playable for all to relive some of those incredible, multiplayer experiences of days gone by, but with updated graphics and the option for Reach rules.

Battlefield 3

Battlefield has always been about team work, so with this one sat at GAMEfest, waiting for us to get our hands on it, make sure you have a friend to back you up. Battlefield 3 is set to be a direct sequel to Battlefield 2 and not part of the Bad Company games. While some may be disappointed they really don’t need to be, BF3 i set to be one of the most intense, multiplayer experiences of the year, across all platforms. Vehicles are integral to the online war zones of the Battlefield series and this time around Jets are making a come back. It has been said that there won’t be a tutorial for jets and that once online it will be a case of learning through doing. With flight based vehicles, notoriously hard to control, being able to get in that little bit of extra practice at GAMEfest will certainly come in handy before the game is released in October.

Mass Effect 3

Finally, we will be able to see what all  the fuss about Fem-Shep is. Mass Effect 3 is set to finish off the story from the previous two games, taking Shepard right to the heart of the battle against the Reapers as well as Cerberus. This will be the end for the Mass Effect trilogy and is another entry that has seen it’s date pushed back into next. But, i would rather wait while they tweak than be disappointed on release date. After GAMEfest the wait continues until March 6th 2012 before we can finally get to work cleaning uo the universe.

Modern Warfare 3

While most of the games featured here will be playable in London at Eurogamer Expo the following weekend, this is not one of the,. Modern Warfare 3 makes it’s first and only playable prior to release appearance at GAMEfest. While this may not be high up on your list of games to play, odds are it’s on everyone elses and unless they have a few thousands systems, you won’t want to leave this one until the last minute. The biggest selling, and most over hyped, franchise Modern Warfare 3 is set to improve on previous releases. With multiple new features, focusing on making the online experience a lot more balanced and talk of a better single player story line, Modern Warfare 3 is definitely worth at least a quick online match while it’s there.

Gears of War 3

By Friday, you will have seen a handful of reviews, you’ll have watched Ice-T unbox that damn console again and you will be uncontainable ahead of being able to finish the story the following week. So, to help with the need to control Fenix once again, you will be able to have a hands on taste of one of the years biggest releases days before it comes out. Gears of War 3 will continue the fight you started all those years ago, bringing the story to a final, Epic, end. Be sure to get a hold of this one and don’t go leaving it to the last minute because, along with Modern Warfare, this will probably be one of the most demanded and anticipated experiences of the weekend.

So there it is. Amongst the vast amount of incredible new titles making an appearance at GAMEfest, ten of the best that you should be going out of your way, if you weren’t already, to get your hands on for a few minutes and to pique your interest ahead of the incredible releases over the next few months.

Sep 132011
 

Nintendo have revealed there plans to make the holiday season extra special. First up, the 3DS will be getting a new system update which will allow 3D video recording. While you wont be able to record a massive amount of content, you will still be able to record some of those special, holiday moments in glasses free 3D, no more need for just keeping 3D pictures.

Then we have Zelda. Not only will you be able to get your hands on the brand new Zelda: Skyward Sword, the latest entry to the series for the Nintendo Wii, the gaming giant are also releasing, for free, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edtion. The game will be avaliable from September 28th until the 20th of February next year.You can pick it up through DSi ware on the DSi and DSi XL or through the Nintendo e-shop on the 3DS console. Not only will the game feature the full story, but there is also the chance to unlock new features and abilities giving the game far more replay value.

Finally no Nintendo christmas wpould be complete without Mario and they have got you covered. Mario Kart 7 is scheduled for release on December 4th and has some updated gameplay features, making useofthe 3DS gyroscope,players will be able to control their character, in first person mode using Wii-style controls. That’s not all, Maripo will also be getting his first full 3D outing in time for Christmas, with the release of Super Mario – 3D Land on November 13th. This is the Italian plumbers first, full 3D outing on the new console and will also make use of the 3DS’ gyro features, allowing players to scout a level before they begin.

All in all, Nintendo has you covered with the return of these two classic characters, not to mention being able to record in full 3D.

Aug 252011
 

Alternate Reality Games are relatively obscure and haven’t really come to the attention of many console gamers despite being an awesome experience as well creating a great way to market a product. They show how the gaming community can work together as well as proving that many developers are willing to think outside the box, even when it comes down to promotion.

10. Frontlines: Fuel of War

The Fuel of War ARG was relatively simple but offered some awesome prizes including copies of the game itself but going right the way up to fighter pilot training. Damn flying a fighter jet would be sweet. The game itself was relatively simple compared to others that have made it onto this list, the basic idea was to find ten passwords which were scattered across the net. These passwords unlocked the truth behind the Exeo Incorporated as well as the prizes for several lucky players.

While the concept was good the game just didn’t have the longevity and complex nature of some of the others on this list which, in some cases, have lasted years.

9. Majestic

Some people will wonder why a game that failed pretty badly has made it onto this list, but number of players don’t make a good game. Majestic

Everything Was Against Majestic

had a wonderful concept, full of government conspiracies and shady agencies. One of biggest failures was that Majestic was designed to be self sufficient, relying on a monthly subscription fee in order to access the content and while other companies succeeded

Over time the clues could be solved, but progress was limited to prevent people from finishing the game in a very short period of time. The diversity and personalisation of being able to arrange phone calls with the characters will have helped to immerse the player but, eventually, people lost interest and around the time of September 11th, government conspiracy theories began turning up all over the place until Majestic’s proposed second season was cancelled along with the original game citing too few players as the reason.

8. The Beast

The Beast was one of the earliest, hugely successful titles to make this list. The name comes from the original number of files released to start the game off, it was 666 by the way. Clues went as far as the credits on promotional posters, bringing the game more into the real world than just a realistic blog. As a promotional tool for the movie A.I Artificial Intelligence and being developed by Microsoft The Beast had the funding and attraction to not only remain free but also generate more attention than Majestic.

As a promotional tool it was once again fairly short lived, lasting only 12 weeks, but still managed an awesome and complex story set around what was a relatively dull movie. Set 16 years after A.I the characters were just what you would expect, rather than Majestic’s option to have a warning stating phone callas and emails were from the game, The Beast made the characters as real as possible. What their employee record, blog and phone calls said made you feel as though they were a real person. Screw disclaimers.

 

Terrifying Link Is A Mii Apparently

7. Haunted Majora’s Mask

Haunted Majora’s Mask first appeared on the internet courtesy of it’s creator Jadusable who set the tone for the game by claiming he had acquired a mysterious copy of the game which contained a suspicious file called BEN.

Over time the story suggested the apparent haunting was getting worse due to how the new owner of the cartridge was playing the game and interfering with the way in which it had been left by its previous owner. This is one ARG which is still running, despite being on hiatus for quite some time the creator continues to promise that the story is not over and that it will rise again to continue and eventually finish the story.
6. There’s Something In The Sea

This ARG was canon from the BioShock universe used as promotional material for the release of BioShock 2. For the most part the clues and main basis of the game where again web based and over time strayed into the real world mostly in the form of props with the puzzles and clues remaining on the internet.

There’s Something In The Sea told the story of Mark Meltzer who was searching for his missing daughter, Cindy and provided some of the best real world items of any ARG. A lot of the clues which appeared on the net would lead people to beaches, early in the morning where items, designed to look as though they had washed up from Rapture had been buried. For those not willing or able to make it to the beach some items, including splicer masks where sent to players through the mail.

5. Missing: Since January

Missing: Since January arrived in the form of a standard, adventure based PC game which spilled over into the real world through

Where Are Jack & Karen

communication. Rather than paying a subscription you simply purchased the game as you would any other except this game had the alternate reality interaction.

Once again, all the staple were present and accounted for with the puzzles and clues scattered across both real and specifically created sites and focuses mainly on hunting down two journalists/adventurers ,Jack and Karen, who have been kidnapped by the  Manus Domini, a sun worshiping cult who are responsible for the murder of Karen’s Father.

The game offered a continuation after the main story was complete which continued the game for a short amount of time and secured a more definitive ending.

4. The Last Ritual

The Last Ritual was the sequel to Missing: Since January And had a much darker feel than its predecessor. The story follows the rise of The Phoenix, a notorious serial killer who has resurfaced to kill again. Clues this time came primarily through the games disc, based around videos but, for some, came into the real world in a different way making the game far more engrossing.

The difference in real world interaction came for the French who, at a cost, could opt to receive text messages from in game characters which was a stroke of genius on behalf of the developers and allowed for a more unknown feeling as to when certain pieces of information would become available to the player.

 

Chief Loves Bees

3. I Love Bees

ILB was a Halo 2 related ARG which was hinted at by the website name being placed within one of the official trailers for the game. Those who followed this initial clue eventually discovered a website dedicated to one woman’s love of bees which appeared to have been hacked.

Over the course of the game the hacker become known as an A.I. From the Halo universe who had appeared on earth due to the ship she was travelling on crashing somewhere on earth. Over time Melissa’s corrupt data revealed more and more information as to her back story.

The main real world interaction came in the form of calls to payphones which players had to answer for further clues. One man is even reported to have waited in Florida as a hurricane bore down on the area just to receive the call and gain another clue, that is dedication.

2. Potato Fools Day/GLaDOS@Home

As we all know Valve has a thing about potatoes, they turn up everywhere from story lines to achievements so naturally the Valve ARG included potatoes. The main premise of the game was GLaDOS attempting to reboot using the power of the mighty potato. Players had to play a range of games from The Potato Sack and find the hidden potatoes in order to reboot GLaDOS faster.

The reward was that working as a community and gathering as many potatoes as possible would lead to GLaDOS rebooting and thus making Portal 2 available sooner than 7a.m. on April 14th, the official release date and time. This was one of the most inventive ARG’s as it allowed people to unlock something as a community whilst supporting indie developers by playing some awesome games.

1.Perplex City

The Most Valuable Cube Out There

The city itself was set away from Earth but the inhabitants had a way of communicating with people on our home world and were searching for the Receda Cube which had been stolen and hidden on Earth. It was all down to humble Earthlings to safely secure the valuable cube and whoever could find it would be responsible

Perplex City is easily the single greatest ARG to date. It succeeded where Majestic had failed in terms of being self sufficient but in a way which didn’t single out non paying players. The funding was secured by the sale of trading cards. These 256 cards used a variety of different, original methods in order to reveal fresh clues. Two of the cards remain unsolved to this day despite the game having launched in April of 2005.

It was almost two years before The Cube was finally discovered, in February 2007, and even then the lucky winner had spent several long days, once he was certain of where to look, before he finally uncovered the artefact, ending the game and winning his prize of £100,000 ($200,000).

The accounts of the days leading up to the discovery of The Cube are a pretty awesome read so check it out here.

Aug 222011
 

(Disclaimer: The views expressed here to not necessarily represent the views for Gaming Irresponsibly as a whole.)

I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda games since the original back on the NES. The original game was unlike anything I had ever played before. Diving into dungeons, whacking enemies with my boomerang, getting lost in The Lost Woods (screw those woods, by the way), it was all just fun and innovative. When Zelda II: The Adventure of Link came out I nearly wet my pants with excitement. Zelda II was such a huge departure from the original Zelda that it blew my mind. To this day it actually stands as one of my favorite games in the series. Just as a little nugget about me, I still have both of my original Zelda and Zelda II game carts.

When the SNES came out and new Zelda game, A Link to the Past, eventually came out and I scooped that up immediately. Just like with Zelda II, the innovations blew me away. That entire game was a joy to play from beginning to end and I’ve played through it multiple times. There have been titles that have come out for Game Boy, GBA and and DS but I’ve never totally gotten into those.

Then came the N64 and the legendary Ocarina of Time. Is the game a classic? Yes, it may well be one of the greatest games ever made. It took me FOREVER to beat that game, mostly because of the freaking Water Temple (that place can go join its buddy The Lost Woods for all I care) and I loved every minute of it. Truth be told, I never finished Majora’s Mask because that game creeped me out a little. As a side note, if you’re bored and want to freak yourself out check out the story Majora on Creepy + Pasta. It’s a long read, has some videos and will mess you up for the rest of the day.

When Twilight Princess first came out for the Gamecube/Wii I was excited for it. But something weird happened a little bit into the game…

I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know what it was about it but I just couldn’t.

I just recently got back to Twilight Princess and started it again. I’m not that far into in but I’m enjoying it, well, kind of. After playing for a bit I realized what the problem is. This is pretty much the same game I’ve been playing since the N64. The innovations that were made in the games from”back in the day” to the newer games just isn’t there. Wait, let me clarify that statement a bit. There are innovations, just not as many as the old games. I’m talking beyond the obvious graphic improvements.

Now Link’s “brother” Mario has always continued to evolve and every game feels like a new experience. Yes they all have the same basic premise, stomp goombas, stomp koopas, beat Bowser and wear funny outfits while you do it, but there is enough innovation in them to make every game feel different. The Zelda series isn’t like that though. They really do feel like the same game over and over. Why is that?

There are plenty of franchises that reinvent themselves. Some of them work out (Fallout and the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot spring to mind) and some of them don’t (I’m looking right at you Shadowrun). Now I’m not saying that Zelda totally needs to reinvent itself, I’m just saying a few things need to change:

1. Get Some New Locales

The starting village, Forest themed temple, Water themed tmplee (hate that one), Fire themed temple. We need some new themes. And with new themes bring new types of enemies.

2. A New Antagonist

You can’t tell me that Ganon is the only baddie in Hyrule. Hell even Mario fought a different big baddie in Super Mario Bros. 2 (Wart). Let Ganon sit a game out, or at least let him have someone over him that’s even more of a badass.

3. Use Your Words

For the love of all that is good and just, let some people freaking talk! And not just “HEY!” but everything they are trying to say. It’s the 21st century for crying out loud. Ideally I would like everyone to talk EXCEPT Link. I’d rather him be voiceless but give him some dialog choices. It worked for Dragon Age: Origins.

4. Multiplayer Is Your Friend

Answer me this: Why have a majority of the multiplayer Zelda’s been on handhelds? That makes no sense. Some of my best gaming experiences have been online with my friends. Now a co-op campaign wouldn’t make sense in the Zelda mythos, but a Four Swords type of game for a console? Yes, please.

The bottom line is that, as of right now, Skyward Sword is not a Day 1 purchase for me. I will check it out, it’s just not screaming out to me to buy it, especially with the amount of new games coming out this fall. I have no doubt it’s going to make Nintendo a butt-ton of money, but the money from me is just going to have to wait a bit.

Aug 112011
 

Games have many things that make us want to buy and play them. A good story or something new with how the game plays are often what make the best games however, as this gallery shows, it also helps quite a lot if the characters are easy on the eyes. So check out 25 of the hottest game characters out and let us know what you think.

 

Jul 312011
 

Some really dedicated Zelda fans over at MajorasMask3D.com have created an online petition in the hopes that they can help Nintendo get the ball rolling on a remake of Majoras Mask for the Nintendo 3DS. Currently the petition has reached 10,000 signatures. While 10k signatures may not seem like a lot in terms of sales you should keep in mind that this has only been up for about a single day. Hopefully these dedicated fans can gain enough signatures to show Nintendo that a Majoras Mask remake would be very profitable.

Jun 072011
 

Can Nintendo steal the show?

 

Nintendo kicked off the second day of E3 2011 with a orchestra symphony playing the tunes of The Legend of Zelda series. After the symphony ended, Miyamoto stepped up to the stage to make his opening announcements.

The Legend of Zelda OpeningZelda is celebrating it's 25th anniversary to gaming.

  • Announcements of Legend of Zelda franchise’s upcoming titles such as Skyward Sword (Wii), Four Swords (DSi) and Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS).
  • Symphony Orchestras will be playing The Legend of Zelda soundtrack in every major region starting in the fall.
  • Two soundtracks will become available throughout the year during the releases of Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword.
  • Nintendo will be producing a gold Wii Remote in honor of Zelda’s 25th anniversary.
  • Link’s Awakening available as first Game Boy Color title for Virtual Console.

 

Upcoming 3DS Titles

A small trailer showing upcoming 3DS titles including Mario Kart and Super Mario World.

  • Mario Kart will feature 3D and become available this holiday season.
  • StarFox will also come to the 3DS, available in September. It will feature motion control by moving the 3DS handheld console as well as live video feed of multiplayer’s faces as you fight online.
  • Super Mario Bros. will be available for 3D before years end.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising will feature 3D as well as multiplayer battles, 3 on 3 multiplayer battles to be exact. It will also feature augmented reality player cards to do battle as well. Available this holiday season.
  • Luigi’s Mansion 2 is coming to the 3DS at an unspecified time.
  • New titles coming to 3DS were shown via a video montage including new Resident Evil games, Driver, and Pac- Man.
  • 3DS will be launching a Virtual Console that offers 3D Classics including 3D Classics Excitebike and 3D Pokemon games and a free Pokedex.

    Big Titles announced for Nintendo 3DS!

     

Wii U

Wii U was unveild, a system catered to you.

  • Wii U has a touch screen/iPad style controller that allows drawing, coloring and a feature allowing you to play the system right on the controllers screen. The controller also offers motion control and new, exciting veiws to the games you are playing. Video calls can be used will the new controller as well as web browsing. The new controller also allows you to play what is on your controller and “flick” it to your television screen. The controller offers a 6.2 inch screen for your gaming pleasure.
  • Smash Bros. will be available for both 3DS and Wii U and they will be compatible together.
  • An amazing graphics display was shown, using Wii U technology.
  • LEGO City Stories, an open world LEGO game and will be exclusive to Wii U and

    As usual, Gaming Irresponsibly will have all your E3 Coverage throughout the day.

    3DS.

  • Assassin’s Creed, Batman Arkham City, Ghost Recon Online, Dirt, Aliens, Metro Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden will all be available for the Wii U system.
  • Electronic Arts steps on stage to talk about the possibilities the Wii U will be capable of. Battlefield 3 hinted.
  • Wii U was made available for demonstration on the E3 floor via hands on.
  • Wii U promises better graphics and online community.
  • More information on the Wii U is available at e3.nintendo.com