April 30, 2012
Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s time for our first-ever episode of gaming news! I know, gaming new’s been a part of Sammwak’s lore for a long time. Actually, one of the first posts on Sammwak was about Left 4 Dead. But it’s time to take that knowledge to a whole ‘notha [level]. And that’s what our segment 1st Person is for; all the news that’s fit to–no, um, it’s the largest source for–no, that’s GameSpot’s slogan. Um, while I think of a catchphrase, how about we get to our first game and find out the first piece of news in our series premiere.
There are a lot of games out there for the Xbox Live Arcade, open since the Christmas month of 2004. Through its eight years of existence, some really good and bad XBLA titles have come to be. Some good examples include the ‘Splosion Man duo, Limbo, and Super Meat Boy. Some bad examples include Zombie Wranglers, Tour de France 2009, and Blazing Birds. And another bad example might include the recently released title Warp, the second “XBLA House Party” released for the XBLA, PS3, and PC. In this game, you control an inhuman character named Zero, who seemingly looks like he was a rejected de Blob sidekick. Zero is taken to a military-grade facility, where he fades in and out of consciousness and at one point awakens to find that he is being operated on, having a disc-shaped object extracted from him. Soon after, through telepathic procedures, a fellow alien contacts our hero, saying that it can sense other aliens in the facility and planning the duo’s great escape. Zero then proceeds to fulfill his title as a facility escapee under your control, helping any aliens on the way, but not before reabsorbing that disc. It may seem kinda cute, but this game fulfills its M-rated properties: Warp seems like the perfect name for this game, not only manifesting our hero’s eponymous attack (where he warps through walls and even through people & objects), but also of the game’s oddly balanced warp between violence and cuteness.
A hybrid between stealth, action, and puzzle, Warp is one of two currently-released titles from the Canadian indie developer Trapdoor Inc., the other being Fez for the rarely-known PlayStation-esque NES hardware clone, the PolyStation. Considering Trapdoor has clearly not had much taste in the more popular gaming culture, can Warp be their first success?…Well, kind of. GameSpot’s Jeremiah Johnson said that although the game had merits (enjoyable puzzles, charming balance of gore and cuteness, superb visuals, tough leaderboard challenge rooms), it also had its flaws, like clunky controls and some trial-and-error puzzles. On high, he said that it was an “entertaining top-down puzzler” that was still, however, weighed down. He gave the game a 6.5/10, which ranks as “fair” on the meter, an above-average level. Users were slightly more positive, upping the ranks to 7.2. IGN’s Daemon Hatfield was a lot more positive for the game, however. He called it “brainy and amusing”, and despite some hiccups around the final half of the game, he highly recommended it as a “rich, satisfying adventure.” He gave it an 8.5/10, which is not only “great” on the meter, but also received an Editor’s Choice award. So, yeah. IGN really likes this game. Joystiq gave it a 3/5-star score, saying that it wasn’t particularly memorable, and didn’t quite create an identity for itself, and pulled the inspiration from the many corners of gaming’s landscape, and for that reason, Warp got degraded a bit more. Game Informer gave the game a 6.75/10 score, saying that it was “promising at first, but it becomes more tedious as it progresses”. They said the simple factors of the game weren’t enough to make a standout in the Arcade, and that anyone looking to go deeper should choose a different game. Overall, Warp overall may have fatal flaws that push it back, but it does have its moments. Approach the game with caution.
It’s Manhattan. A viral plague called Blacklight is spreading. The infected become grotesque behemoths on uncontrollable manhunts for the uninfected. You’re an amnesiac mutant, enabled with the power of shape-shifting and absorbing others (known as “consuming”), as well as tremendous power that even allows you to climb up buildings effortlessly. What kind of person are you? You are Alex Mercer, the star of Radical Ent.’s hit of summer 2009, Prototype. Despite its gameplay similarities to other games, it was a critical and commercial success, having enough sales to be inflicted into the Xbox’s Hall of Platinum Hits. And, of course, after that there needed to be a second phase. And so that’s where Prototype 2 comes in, the super-heroic sci-fi sequel. In this game, a man named James Heller goes out to fulfill his goal of eradicating Blacklight, but also plans to terminate a person whom he believes is responsible for the death of his family in the virus outbreak: none other than Alex himself. James practically shares the exact same powers as Alex, although shape-shifting and consumption has become more tactical. Like, if James consumes a soldier, people’s reactions will show they want nothing to do with him. To prevent enemy overwhelm, Radical has included more down-to-earth AI, as well as weapon use, like fending off using a freshly-ripped tank cannon.
Prototype 2, in my eyes, looks like a good game. But is it?…Somewhat yes. IGN’s Greg Miller quoted that the said game “[had] no impact”, and despite the factors of the game, nothing really meant anything to Miller. He said he doubted he’d remember the game’s “sterile side missions and curse word-laden dialogue”, and he came to the conclusion that Prototype 2 was a case of “forgettable fun”. He gave the game a 7/10, which is only “good”. At GameSpot, editor Tom Mc Shea praised the game’s empowering mechanics of movement, huge variety of attacks, experimenting incentives, and fun-to-find collectibles. But he also criticized the game’s practical lack of challenge, and also that it contained little that hasn’t been seen before in the series. He said that these “sporadic missteps” where however covered up by its “brutal delights”, and wrapped up his review with a 7.5/10 score. Another “good”. Joystiq handed out another 3/5-star review, saying that people would have different emotions for the game, as much as you liked its mobility and brands of mass destruction, and how much you can forgive more brain-dead moments like repetition and witless dialogue. Even Destructoid gave the game an 8/10! So, overall, this sequel looks like a good pick to add to your library, but discerning gamers beware.
“In Assassin’s Creed we set up a timeline with this whole end of the world plot in December 2012… That’s fast approaching, and the story we have to tell, we obviously need to do it before we arrive at that point. It would be stupid of us to be centering a game on a semi-reality and then have that conclusion happen after that date in real life…” – Alexandre Amacio, Revelations creative director
Never has Ubisoft attempted such a game that I’ve known of. This is one of the biggest twists in the company’s history. But indeed, their award-winning saga Assassin’s Creed is going back, way back, to the era the thirteen original colonies called “the good ole days”. In other words, Assassin’s Creed is going to the American Revolution with its newest upcoming title, Assassin’s Creed III. This open-world stealthy action-adventure is said by Ubisoft to be bigger than any other installment (no chiz), and it will feature a new character (much like in Prototype 2) named Connor Kenway, whose birth name is Ratohnhaké:ton, which is pronounced (ra-tohn-ha-ke-ton). Spanning 3 decades of Connor’s life from 1753-’83, the war between the Assassins and Templers has moved to the colonial Americas. Connor is a half-English half-Mohawk man drawn into the fight when his home undergoes attack by white colonists. Over the course of the game, it being an art of long-long-ago historical fiction, you’ll run into famous faces of the past like Ben Franklin, presidents Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Charles Lee, William Prescott, among even others. Work on this game began almost automatically after the primetime release of Assassin’s Creed II, but the following year when Ubisoft first revealed Brotherhood, confusion occurred as to whether or not this was the real deal. Well, luckily, now they know, and now you know to mark your calendar for this game’s release on October 30 in North America, Halloween 2012 for the PAL region.
This game was the cover story of this month’s issue for Game Informer (keep an eye out for the exclusive second issue cover), and it has already exceeded the pre-order numbers of its two previous predecessors, surpassing Brotherhood and achieving numbers 10 times of that Revelations received in a comparable time frame. So, yeah, people really want this game. Attorney/planter/politician Patrick Henry once said in 1775 in his famous speech, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The rest of Ubisoft says, “Why don’t we just go and give them both?”
You can tell by this picture that Microsoft’s M-rated Arcade title Bloodforge is a very violent game. Well, you don’t say? The game has “blood” in its name, of course it’s violent! Anyway, there’s this guy named Crom, and he’s, y’know, a little miffed. Okay, a lotta miffed. He has murdered his own family, tricked into the act of the god Arawn, and he wants revenge. It’s a familiar setup, by the looks of it, because there’s that one mad guy who charted a brutally satisfying course to get revenge against the gods. Hint: It wasn’t Percy Jackson. And, of course, Crom’s quest to gain his right is a bloodstained one, especially gorier than your average hack-and-slash. And please do like this post if I’m not the only one whom is greatly reminded of Skyrim and Ninja Gaiden 3 whilst looking at screenshots for this game. This game honestly looks like it had mixed emotions, depending on the type of player. Some people praised this game, saying that it was worth every penny–or, in this case, Microsoft Point–while others think that, um, well, there were only 3 player reviews on GameSpot for this game and they were all positive. Are they right in the editor’s eyes?…
Nope. Carolyn Petit, an experienced GameSpot enthusiast in both reading and editing, said that despite some grotesque character designs, the game had tedious combat, terrible boss battles, a generally underdeveloped world, a distractedly unstable camera, and a number of tech problems of minor level. She gave the game 4 merits overall: Brutal (the good), Shallow, Bad Camera, and Derivative (the bad). Petit wrapped up her review with a 3/10 score, a “bad” on the scale. After this cold review, Bloodforge found no luck at IGN, either. Steven Hopper, a level-four editor, praised the game’s visuals and graphics, but criticism got the better of him for numerous reasons: an awful camera, a shallow story, derivative gameplay, and bringing nothing unique and/or innovative to the table to yak up. Hopper said that the game was a bad competitor against series like God of War or Darksiders, and considering the Arcade’s other chockful of prime experiences, it was hard to recommend Bloodforge to anyone, anywhere, anywho. He gave the game a 4/10 score, another “bad” on the meter. Joystiq handed out yet another 3/5-star score, saying that it would be more difficult to confront as a full-priced standalone, and that its action would be tiresome lasting any longer than its campaign, clocking in at a rough five hours’ worth. Attempt to play this game as thoughtfully as Microsoft developed it, you’ll come out disappointed. Attempt to play it whilst accepting it as a button-masher, and you’ll come out guiltily pleased. So overall, Bloodforge might offer a small portion, but all-around, it looks like you should skip this opportunity.
Well, that’s our news for this week! Thanks for watching, and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an anger management class to attend, if you know what I mean. Th-that was a funny joke, right? Oh, if you haven’t already, go check out my friend Maggie at nuthatchlover.wordpress.com. If you like looking at cute pictures and seeing what’s been on the Pinterestboard lately, this is the place to be. If you have a license to Pin, you can also follow Big Mag (see what I did there? ) on Pinterest and see what she’s been further Pinning. And this goes for the both of us—comment, like, rate, subscribe, reblog, follow, and stay tuned for more! (Also feel free to check me out at Google+ @ Samuel Mwak‘s page!)
p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…eat bacon with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again, or would you eat pizza with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again?
p.p.s. Time for our Random Video o’ the Week! This week goes to “Dubstep Puffle“, a video from the official channel for Club Penguin, consisting of a dark gray pet Puffle wearing a pair of headphones, listening to dubstep, while in numerous situations, like living memes and riding inside a box in space that is farting out a rainbow. At the end of the video, you can snag a secret code to get your Puffle their own set of headphones, although I’m not sure it’s gonna be dubstep they’ll be listening to. Anyway, since its debut on the 5th this month, it’s gotten almost 400,000 views, but with you I can bet cold hard fake cash it’s gonna go longer.