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06.29.12

Trying to invigorate a game genre that’s gone to its point of extent is a tricky move.  On the one hand, you create a worthwhile game experience that’s bound to attract some kind of audience.  On the other, it’s not always guaranteed to work.  With that, we have Zivix’s JAM Live Music Arcade, a game that takes an assortment of rock tunes and lets you mix them however you please, provided you’re ready to switch between various instrument tracks.  At first, it definitely shows signs of innovations, but it’s when you’re trying to go to the next level with the game that it really shows how flawed a rock experience it is.

06.28.12

We’ve already got an abundance of downloadable arcade racing games available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  Not only do you have pretty much every major Sega arcade racing franchise (Sega Rally, Daytona USA, Outrun), but you’ve also got secondary favorites like Hydro Thunder Hurricane and the recently released Mad Riders.   But that isn’t stopping D3 Publisher from releasing Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad, a no-frills dirt racing extravaganza with plenty of drifting, high-flying arcade action.  It’s hardly the most original thing out there, but at least the motor keeps running.

06.28.12

A year and a half ago, Zen Studios once again upped the ante on its virtual pinball creations with the release of Marvel Pinball, a collection of four tables based on popular superheroes, featuring both a solid table design and characters that would jump around, as if they were leaping right off the comic book pages.  Now, after what seemed like months in the waiting, Marvel Pinball has finally made its way to 3DS, and while there may be a slight question regarding table selection, there’s no doubt you’ll find plenty of pinball fun to be had here.

06.27.12

With war, no answers come easy.  An enemy’s motives may not be what you think, as he or she may merely be protecting their family; but on the other hand, someone’s decision could be fueled by the fact that something’s just not right.  With Spec Ops: The Line, the long-awaited third-person action shooter from 2K Games and Yager, this feeling really seeps in as you, Captain Walker, and your fellow team members investigate goings-on in Dubai, trying to locate Colonel John Konrad and his fellow members of the 33rd U.S. Battalion.

06.27.12

Over the years, we’ve gotten used to understanding what a Fable game is supposed to be like.  Under the guise of Peter Molyneux and his team at Lionhead Studios, we’ve played through three games, all of which featured memorable quests, with different decisions to make and the ability to control your fate however you chose.  By Fable III, however, the formula was getting a little dry, so Microsoft began looking for ideas on how to expand it.  And one of those ideas was the previously announced Fable: The Journey, an exclusive project for Xbox 360’s Kinect device.

06.27.12

Last fall, Epic’s Gears Of War franchise came to a close. It has helped form the third person shooter genre as various publishers have adapted the Unreal Engine. The series launched in 2006 with Kevin Riepl designing the score for the game. The signature Gears Of War echo came from him and has been echoed through out the series. The thunderous bass, drums and orchestral clashing together are what fans come to expect. Riepi also showed his full repertoire by creating the somber and depressing times in Gears Of War, but do fans notice? Do people look at soundtracks as a whole or as background noise?

06.26.12

When the development team at Beenox took control of the Spider-Man franchise for Activision, little did we know that they’d be able to do so much with it.  Shattered Dimensions, which released a couple of years ago, came out of nowhere, introducing four different Spider-Men types and plenty of fast-paced action for players of all types to enjoy.  Last year’s release, Edge of Time, wasn’t nearly as successful, whittling playable characters down to two, but it was still quite engaging, and backed by an interesting time-travel storyline.  But, honestly, a lot of players were wondering, “When will the Spidey games go back to the ‘swing through New York’ formula as we remember them?”  Well, wonder no more, because here’s The Amazing Spider-Man.

06.26.12

Konami had a pretty killer show this year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  Though Castlevania: Lords of Shadow II was present in video form only, it did have plenty of other playable games to offer, including the Lords of Shadow spin-off Mirror of Fate for 3DS, Zone of the Enders HD Collection, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and Frogger Pinball.  But in the middle of all this was its next soccer champion, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, or PES 2013 for short.

06.26.12

All aboard the hype train for NBA 2K13.  2K Sports' latest basketball simulation is just over three months from release, set to arrive on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 4th (and on the Wii U when it arrives at retail), and promises a bunch of changes that will certainly make it the most realistic one that the company's released. And to help push the hype further, 2K has chosen a trifecta of current NBA superstars to grace the cover, a step forward from the solo cover stars that graced it previously.  Surprisingly enough, currently crowned NBA champ LeBron James nor series favorite Kobe Bryant are amongst the three stars.

06.25.12

If you owned a PlayStation back in “the day” and played shooters a lot around that time, you might remember a top-down 3D entry called Raystorm, brought to US shores by Working Designs and its shooter label, Spaz Games.  It was quite a brilliant offering at the time, packed with great music, colorful visuals and challenging shooting action.  The game recently underwent a resurgence on Xbox Live Arcade as Raystorm HD, with excellent results, and now it’s made its way to the App Store, following the release of Rayforce earlier this year.  This game fares much better, and is a must for anyone who’s hardcore about mobile shooters.

06.25.12

In just a matter of months, the new NBA season will kick in, and teams will challenge the recently championship crowned Miami Heat for superiority.  And in the video game world, the basketball war will heat up once more, with EA Sports’ returning NBA Live 13 going head-to-head against 2K Sports’ winning franchise, NBA 2K13.  We already did a news piece talking about the game in action, but now we’ve gone one step further, chatting with its producer, Erick Boenisch, about what to expect this time around.  Complete with game footage!

06.25.12

On Monday we talked with Sam Hulick, Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco about composing the Mass Effect soundtrack. This time we had the privilege of talking about another Bioware’s dark fantasy RPG series, Dragon Age. The series has many similarities from Mass Effect like interweaving dialogue choices throughout the current installments. However Unlike the Mass Effect series, score is done by one man. Inon Zur has been the franchises leading composer since day one, helping atmosphere behind the series. It’s an underrated soundtrack, but do people notice? Do people look at soundtracks as a whole or as background noise?

06.25.12

Is Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City on it's way to PS3? The ESRB recently rated both games with a stereotypical M rating for the PS3. This shouldn’t come of as a surprise as rumors of GTA V release this fall or in 2013 early continue to ramp up.

06.24.12

After playing through the somewhat lackluster Circus Atari (which, by the way, doesn’t represent the classic 80’s game at all, nor feature it as an unlockable), we had high hopes that Atari would somehow bounce back with its latest iPad/iOS remake.  And lo and behold, here’s Centipede Origins, a fun new take on the 80’s classic.  Even though the company still hasn’t found a way to incorporate the original trackball gameplay into the game, Origins still has plenty to offer – and for a buck at that.