Content about artificial intelligence

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Remember the good ol’ days of arcade-style overhead racers?  I’m talking about stuff like Sega’s classic Hot Rod and even the original Codemasters NES release Micro Machines, where you would race along breakfast tables and garage floors trying to prove you were number one.  Well, these days, that formula of racer lives on, with EA’s Reckless Racing games doing some damage over on the iPad, as well as Bang Bang Racing, an offering from Digital Reality, doing donuts on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.  But did these guys manage to get the formula right, or does it stall out of the gate?


It’s been a good five years since we stepped onto the battlefield with a full-fledged Ghost Recon game, cruising through the skies with Advanced Warfighter 2.  Since that time, Ubisoft’s been putting the finishing touches on its latest chapter, Future Soldier, only to run into delays and forcing its release date to move a few months.  Well, the time for delays is over, as the finished product has finally worked its way to store shelves.  Now the question is, has this long wait been worth it?


Ronimo Games dodged quite a bullet with the release of Awesomenauts, as the game’s publisher, DTG, was just about ready to file for bankruptcy, throwing its release into question.  But things got worked out, and now players everywhere will be able to experience the MOBA – multiplayer online battle arena – action that awaits within.  While there are things that are hard to overlook, the situations you can get into with friends really put the “Awesome” into the game’s name.


I’m not sure what keeps compelling development teams to keep trying to make World War II-oriented flying games.  Maybe they’re trying to get a leg up on the Ace Combat series; or maybe they’re just trying to create the next “great thing” in the genre, like Secrets Weapons Over Normandy and the Blazing Angels series managed to do over the years.  Regardless, Konami’s stepping up this time around with Birds of Steel, and it actually feels like the most authentic entry in the genre to date.  But be warned, that doesn’t necessarily make the experience one that everyone can get into.


While I appreciate the fact that Sony is going for a more diverse game collection for its PlayStation Network service, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s going to be batting out of the park with their efforts.  Case in point – Gelid Games’ Wheels of Destruction, a game that obviously takes its inspiration from the Twisted Metal series, but tries to add its own diverse touches here and there to make it feel different.  And indeed, it does.  Unfortunately, it’s not for the better.


When it comes to racing games on the PlayStation Vita, you have a lot to choose from, between the kart racing shenanigans in ModNation Racers, the futuristic action of Wipeout 2048 and the sim Formula 1 madness of F1 2011.  But it wouldn’t be a launch party without Ridge Racer, and Namco has managed to push another edition out the door in time to appease the PS Vita owning masses.  Now the question is, is it enough?


Tell me if you’ve heard this before.  It’s the future, and a robotic threat has overtaken the place, threatening to put a damper on humanity unless they’re stopped before it’s too late.  Hello, Terminator?  Yeah, the storyline definitely may not be the most original we’ve seen, but Binary Domain still has more than enough to make up for it.  Though it can’t quite touch last year’s brilliant Vanquish, it comes close, which is more than we can say for a  lot of Gears of War clones these days.


It’s been roughly about five years since we’ve seen a new SSX title, and the last one we saw, SSX Blur on the Wii, left a lot to be desired.  Between the motion controls and somewhat too arcade-y approach, it just felt nauseating.  I think EA Sports realized this too, so it went back to the drawing board to bring the game back up to speed for a relaunch on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  And after a few delays – and revamping the concept after the initial Deadly Descents announcement – we’re happy to say that SSX, the way we used to remember it, is back.


Though it would’ve been nice to see a new Guilty Gear game by now, I’m rather overcome by the amount of effort Arc System Works has put into its latest fighting series, BlazBlue.  Sure, there have only been two really complete games to the series, but both of them come with the kind of presentation that resembles an anime being brought to life in a video game, and controls that a true fighting fanatic can certainly appreciate.  To help build the series even further, Arc, along with Aksys Games, has opted to release a portable version of its fighting phenomenon with BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend.


It seems no matter what kind of system is launching, Ubisoft and Gameloft are on standby with some version of its long-standing Asphalt racing series.  Not that there’s anything wrong with having an arcade racer on hand, especially one where you can ram into opponents and send them crashing to a halt, Burnout-style.  But it almost seems like the development of these games has become by the numbers, wherein going for a fresh approach would’ve been more welcome.  Alas, Asphalt Injection doesn’t do that, and so it stands as an “average” pick for the system’s launch today.


When SoulCalibur came out for the Dreamcast just over ten years ago, it defined a new direction for the team at Namco Bandai, one of promise and dedication.  Despite the software that followed over the years, nothing could knock the weapons-based fighter off its perch as the best game to come out for the system.  Fast forward eleven years later, as the company tries to repeat its success by launching the same game on Apple's mobile devices.  Is it just as successful this time around?  Not exactly...and that's probably due to the changes in the market itself.


There's a rule of thumb that if you make a good survival horror game, you set the standard for what future types of games should follow -- and that's been proven with Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Dead Space and so forth.  But it's also said that an awful one can set its own standard, one that developers should avoid at all costs.  And sadly, we already have such a game two weeks in 2012 with AMY, a game that gets absolutely everything so wrong, dying seems like a better alternative.


When Namco Bandai released Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in October, I thought it was a great new direction for the series, one filled with plenty of adrenaline and excitement, even if the helicopter sequences aren't for everyone's tastes.  But if you prefer the Ace Combat of old, you should check out the recently released 3DS entry, Assault Horizon Legacy.  It does have some stuff in common with the other version, but it's heart is kept firmly in the realm of old-school.


When The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came out years ago, it addicted a different kind of role-playing adventurer than the ones that would normally be playing, say, the Final Fantasy games.  Rather than working through a tactical-style battle, you would simply venture forward in a tormented world, battling enemies using a variety of weapons, skills, spells and other goods to stay alive – all from a first-person perspective.  It truly is a splendid game, and one that would pave the way for an even better sequel.  You might want to set some time aside for this gem – and I don’t mean a mere couple of hours.


For the past few weeks, I’ve been going on for a bit about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, while occasionally taking jabs at Battlefield 3.  Yeah, EA’s press treatment hasn’t been the most favorable regarding this game (they basically denied some smaller outlets, even the ones they invited to events) while Activision has taken care of anyone and everyone with their product.  But when we get down to the good and gritty, the games should take primary focus.  So, with that, I took some devoted time to sit down with Battlefield 3 to see how it turned out.  And despite a few hiccups, it’s a mighty war machine.

The NFL ended its lockout last week, ensuring that there will be more football for at least the next 10 years, and people couldn't have been happier. However, the NBA is also in a lockout, leaving only football and hockey as the only two major sports during the colder seasons. So it can be said that now would be a really good time for NHL 12 to pick up some steam and give basketball games a nasty cross check. With an improved engine that allows for bigger and better hits, NHL 12 just may have what it takes to be the dominant sport game this winter season.