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By Michael Flood, April 13, 2012 0 News, PC

The non-traditional MMORPG from Funcom that deals in a war between various secret societies is no longer lurking in the shadows.

From May 11 to June 19, the game’s developers are opening up the beta process with free, open access to its weekend beta testing for anyone who pre-orders their copy of The Secret World.

If early beta access isn’t enough to persuade people to pre-order the MMO, Funcom has tried to sweeten the deal with some added pre-order bonuses as well. Some of which include:

  • An exclusive in-game item providing an experience boost to progression
  • An exclusive in-game t-shirt featuring a unique monster design
  • A powerful pet (Ferocious Wolf, Egyptian Cat or Loyal Hound) to support the player in combat
  • A head start on character naming before the game launches.

Source: Kotaku | SecretWorld

By Michael Flood, April 13, 2012 0 Gaming culture, Humor, PAX East 2012

At PAX East, the men and women of MAGfest had their own dedicated area for attendees and musical guests alike to get up on stage and rock the eff out. Among those musically talented princes and princesses of nerdy musicdom was none other than brentalfloss, a man we’ve interviewed not once, but twice now.

One of the highlights from his show that Saturday was when he asked the audience to once again provide words for a brand new mad lib. We won’t say what song he did right here, you’ll have to go to the video after the jump for that. Let’s just say that it’s a song every gamer should be familiar with by now.

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By Michael Flood, April 13, 2012 0 Multiplatform, PAX East 2012, Preview

Quantom Conundrum stands above everything I was able to get my hands on during PAX East. Most of the PSN and XBLA games at the show had a summer release date including this new creative puzzler. It is safe to say that Quantum Conundrum will be one of the more impressive games out of that bunch.

The lead designer, Kim Swift is best know for her work in Portal but left Valve to join Airtight Games. With the help of Square-Enix, Airtight Games have created a charming puzzle game.

You play as a young boy who wonders into his uncle’s laboratory in the bottom of his mansion. Your uncle, Professor Fitz Quadwrangle was developing this glove called the Interdimensional Shift Device or commonly referred to as IDS. Needless to say, the young boy stumbles across this device and begins learning how to use it.

The main element in this game is the ability to change dimensions with this newly discovered device. You are able to switch between slow motion, reverse gravity, heavy and fluffy (makes everything lighter) dimensions. Watching the textures of the level change with the dimensions was one of my favorite parts. It created a very fun feeling to the game especially watching the picture frames on the walls change entirely depending on your current dimension.

During the demo there were simple puzzles where you needed to pick up a heavy safe in the fluffy dimension and while throwing it, switch it back to normal giving it the weight to break through glass. As the demo moved on they started showing some neat platforming areas as well.

One of the more impressive parts was when the slow motion dimension would keep switching on and off while your platforming from different objects that were being shot through the air. It was an unexpected high intensity moment that I wouldn’t expect to see in this type of game.

The puzzles never got super difficult during the demo but I can see that changing very quickly once they start asking you to quickly switch between multiple dimensions within the same puzzle. The reverse gravity dimension was also not show during the demo which I could see being the most disorienting dimension.

Quantum Conundrum  borrows the same pacing structure from Portal with how the overall game seems to flow, but that is the only thing it borrows. The humor, artwork and puzzles are vastly different and is still something that will be well worth your time when it releases this summer.

By Michael Flood, April 7, 2012 0 PAX East 2012, Preview

In case you didn’t need another reason to play Rock Band… here’s yet another rhythm game from Harmonix.

Rock Band Blitz, a DLC arcade-y rhythm game, is pretty solid and a great addition to the Harmonix family.

It’s safe to say that Blitz is mainly inspired by previous Harmonix titles like Amplitude and Frequency, but more relaxed. You’ll notice a similar layout with all the instruments lined up on separate tracks with the capacity to switch instruments as many times as you want.

Unlike Amplitude and Rock Band: Unplugged, there are no indications to switch tracks and the game encourages you to take a more free-formed route. Blitz will not penalize you for sticking to one track, but you will be heavily rewarded for jumping instruments often.

Multipliers are rewarded very creatively, in comparison to other rhythm games.

As you build up a streak on your current instrument, your multiplier specific to that instrument will rise. Additionally, your multiplier can’t raise more than a few points above your lowest instruments multiplier. The competitive community will enjoy the amount of  strategy that is involved in being on the right track at the right time to score the most points.

You will also notice that there is only two notes per track this time around, but I personally don’t think that the game will be boring as a result of that. Following the beat of the alternating notes is much more enjoyable than I was imagining it to be.

Rock Band Blitz is currently being aimed for a summer release on the XBLA and PSN – and it supports all previous Rock Band DLC.

By Michael Flood, March 27, 2012 0 News, PS Vita, PS3, PSP

We have just entered the final week of Playstation’s huge Spring Fever sale, which brings the Tom Clancy franchise into the mix.Every Tom Clancy game including Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Rainbow Six: Vegas and End War has a 50% – 75% discount.

You can also grab Sky Drift, Zack Zero or the strategic multiplayer zombie survival game Dead Block for 50% off.

The award winning indie game Closure also makes its debut today on the Playstation Store. It was released with a demo but, if you decide to grab this creative puzzle platformer soon you can save yourself 20%.

On the Vita side of things, you will find a new augmented reality app for resistance and some DLC for games such as Blazblue, Motorstorm and Dynasty Warriors.

Remember this is the last week of Spring Fever, so take advantage of the great deals and as always hit the jump for the full listing, courtesy of the Playstation Blog.

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By Michael Flood, March 24, 2012 0 News, PC, PS3, Rumor, Xbox 360

The fate of Human Head Studios’ Prey 2 is looking pretty bleak, as one Dutch gaming website claims it has received word from a source that the futuristic bounty hunting/parkour game completely devoid of Native Americans has met an unfortunate demise.

According to PS Focus‘ “different reliable sources,” Prey 2 is looking dead in the water. Rumblings of the game’s alleged untimely end began during the Game Developer’s Conference when the game’s publisher Bethesda pulled the plug on all three scheduled discussions regarding Prey 2.

The game’s Facebook page has been silent since Dec. 2011 and there are unofficial reports that there will be an official announcement about the game’s cancellation next week.

Officially, however, Bethesda offered no comment on the situation. Had there been no cancellation, one would guess that Bethesda simply would have denied it.

Regardless of this hiccup, Prey 2 is still currently scheduled to release later this year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Footage from E3 2011 showed the game was a bit into its development cycle and looked like it was gearing up to be a solid shooter. It would be a shame to see it fall by the wayside so late in its development life.

Be sure to check back later once we hear the official word from Bethesda.

Source: PS Focus | Kotaku

By Michael Flood, March 8, 2012 0 News, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

EA revealed earlier this week at GDC that this holiday season we will be seeing a new Medal Of Honoras opposed to another Battlefield, on Oct. 23.

News is scarce so far but, EA has dropped a trailer showing what Danger Close is able to do when given the Frostbite 2 engine. Danger Close Games, the studio behind the recent Medal of Honor reboot will indeed be in charge of Warfighter as well.

According to the trailer located after the break, the story is going to have an elevated focus on the Tier 1 special forces teams. The character known as “Preacher” returns home after many years and finds his home ripped apart from the war, which gives him a much stronger and more personal reason to continue his fight.

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By Michael Flood, March 4, 2012 0 Deals, News, PS Vita, PS3

Starting on March 6, MLB ’12: The Show will be launching simultaneously for the Playstation 3 and the PS Vita.

As the first title to fully utilize the advertised “cross-play” functionality between Sony’s latest handheld and their flagship console, Sony is offering a $20 discount at checkout for baseball fanatics that buy both versions of the game at the same time.

Normally that type of transaction would cost $100, but with the promotion, running for a “limited time” at “your favorite retailer,” the price tag gets dropped to $80 plus tax.

With both versions, gamers will will be able to transfer their season, franchise and Road to the Show save files back and forth between the two systems through the Playstation Network (or the Playstation Entertainment Network – just can’t get used to typing that.)

Think of it as Kojima Productions’ “transfarring,” only with men worth millions of dollars instead of a grizzled old war hero from the 70s.

Source: Playstation Blog

By Michael Flood, February 28, 2012 0 News, PS Vita, PS3

It’s awards season again.

This week begins the voting for the 2012 Gamers’ Choice Awards, allowing all PS3 owners the chance to vote for the best game in a number of categories. Last year, Sony had a sale on all the winning games immediately after the voting closed, so you may want to keep that in mind when casting your votes.

Killzone 3‘s multiplayer has also officially become free to play up until the rank of Sargent I, giving anyone with the incredibly bad luck to not try the online multiplayer a chance to do so for free.  Final Fantasy XIII-2 also has made some DLC available with a couple costume packs and the first new gameplay content pack – Sazh: Heads or Tails.

As for the still new Vita section, Capcom fixed their cross compatibility issues involving the Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 DLC and have made them available for players on the Vita. There is also a piece of free pumpkin helmet DLC for Army Corps of Hell and BlazBlue receives a character voice pack for a price.

It’s a little disappointing to not see any new Vita games up for download but they did at least add some demos for a few games like Touch My Katamari, Modnation Racers and the upcoming Reality Fighters. They’ve also added another social networking app to the mix with the inclusion of Foursquare, though unfortunately Facebook still hasn’t made its way back onto the store since being removed.

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By Michael Flood, February 26, 2012 0 Preview

When Minecraft released a couple of years ago, it started a new genre of exploration games that hoped to capitalize on Markus “Notch” Perrson’s success. A new indie game using voxel sprites instead of straight up blocks called Cube World is looking to be that next big indie game to hit the PC market.

Being developed by a single man who goes by “Wollay,” who updates his blog frequently documenting the development process, is setting his game apart from Minecraft by making it more like an action RPG and less like a “world creation, exploration” game.

Right now, Cube World is a year into its development, but judging by the information available it looks like it won’t launch quietly.

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