It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a deep appreciation for games in quirky, niche, genres, and also intelligent stories. Frankly, it is rare that I get to find both of these needs met in a single game, but Lost Odyssey manages to do it.
But wait! I thought Lost Odyssey was a Japanese-RPG and thus not really niche? Sadly (in my opinion), the gaming landscape has changed so profoundly over the years that the once thriving JRPG is now increasingly a rarity; One with high-production values, so much the more. Several early reviews would have you believe that Lost Odyssey does something fundamentally wrong simply for being true to its genre. Mercifully, you are reading this review so at the very least let me try to paint a slightly different picture of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s latest opus.
Not to rest on the laurels provided by Baulders Gate and Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware has created another instant hit: Mass Effect. Mass Effect is in many ways the spiritual successor to the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) series although it goes far beyond the capabilities and offerings of its predecessor.
Mass Effect is a third person shooter/space exploration game set in humanities future when alien discoveries have catapulted human technology ahead centuries and given our race a place among many in the galactic empire. Click through for our full thoughts on this stunning game.
Along with the release of “Halo 3” and the unfortunate postponement of “GTA IV”, one of the biggest video game stories of the year is the saga of Rockstar’s “Manhunt 2”. First, it was banned in England due to its graphic violence. Then it was given the kiss-of-death “Adults Only” rating here in the US by the ESRB. Sony and Nintendo do not release games with that rating—and they’re not carried by Blockbuster and Walmart. Undaunted, Rockstar made some revisions, and eventually the game received a “Mature” rating.
So now “Manhunt 2” is available in stores for Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 and PSP. Having followed the saga, and very curious about the game’s content (plus I’m a huge fan of previous Rockstar games), I made it my business to rent the Wii version and play it. Having never played the original “Manhunt”—and not being a fan of stealth games—I had little idea what to expect. After completing the tutorial of Wiimote and Nunchuk moves (which includes some very funny, if grisly, sound effects), I dove in.
Valve’s big new gaming pack, The Orange Box, includes a stunning new kind of puzzle game called Portal. Portal is a non-linear puzzle platformer featuring M.C. Escher-like bending of space, and some of the most unique gameplay to hit gaming market in a long time.
Portal features Black Mesa’s newest research competitor- Aperture Sciences - creators of the aperture gun, a device capable of creating space-bending portals between almost any two points in space. It’s hard to describe the gameplay in words so check out Valve’s Portal page and view the trailers to try and wrap your head around it. Click through for Playfeed’s full thoughts on this fresh new gaming experience.
The reviews have been coming in for a week now, and they have been phenomenal. Consider that according to GameRankings.com, BioShock is the 4th best game of all time. On Metacritic, BioShock has received more perfect 100 scores than even The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, usually the game cited as the best of all time. Clearly, 2K‘s Mature-rated, failed utopia FPS is a critical smash hit.
Perhaps then there is little need for another glowing review of the game. Except this is not a glowing review in the strictest sense, because BioShock is not exactly the masterpiece of perfection indicated by these scores. Instead, BioShock is a wonderful game that happens to draw to light the inadequacies of the way games are typically reviewed and the inherent inconsistencies of how games are judged.
With Halo 3 just a month away, its promotion and hype engines are running at an almost deafening volume. The buzz has been so loud that Bioshock, an Xbox 360 and PC shooter set amidst the ruins of a rapidly declining utopia, snuck up on us more or less under the radar. Now that it’s here, though, it looks like a sure winner, featuring a compelling story, unmatched graphics, and a fantastic overall experience.
Bioshock takes place in the underwater colony known as Rapture. Built as a haven for the best and the brightest members of society, Rapture has become a cesspool of insane former virtuosos who are all hopelessly addicted to a DNA-altering drug called Adam. Apparently not satisfied with their natural gifts, the denizens of Rapture used Adam to supercharge their intellects and multiply their talents. Unfortunately, everyone became dependent on the substance, and if one doesn’t get enough, he loses his mind and his face falls off. Sounds quaint, doesn’t it? As your character explores Rapture, he’ll run across a variety of violent junkies called splicers, as well as enormous armored supersoldiers called Big Daddies. While standard weaponry can hold off splicers, fighting Big Daddies is a strategic affair. Attempting a frontal assault is suicide, so your character needs to get smart and use the supernatural powers granted by Adam to take them down. Yep, you’re using Adam, too. Are you going to end up a hopeless, addicted mess like everyone else? Who knows, but the engrossing storyline has a fair share of twists that could lead you anywhere.
Bioshock hits stores everywhere tomorrow, so be ready. It looks to be one of the season’s best buys.
Read More | GamePro
Posted by Edie Sellers Categories: Activision, Announcements, Corporate News, Culture, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Microsoft, MMORPG, Music, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Politics, Portable/Mobile, PSP, Release Dates, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Rumors, Sony, Sports, Third Person Shooters, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Marketplace, GamerAndy
Finally, now that the dust has settled from E3, we have finally found the time to get our thoughts in order and give you an extra-long episode of GamerAndy Live!
This week, Edie and Hawkes chat up all that happened before E3, during E3, and after E3, including:
OUR E3 COVERAGE
- How Edie spotted Slash, missed Ron Jeremy and got groped by China Doll;
- Edie defends why she thinks Nintendo “won” E3 this year;
- Why Hawkes wasn’t as impressed at Killzone 2 as many others;
- Burnout Paradise;
- John Woo’s Stranglehold;
- Fallout 3;
- Hellgate: London;
- Katamari Damarcy;
- Assassin’s Creed;
- Why Activision will get sued over Guitar Hero III;
- The big scoop we
- Rumor that E for All may not happen
- Peter Moore chucks MS job for EA Sports;
- EA Sports: Hockey-less in ‘08;
- Chocolate Rain;
- Bully revamped for release on 360 and Wii;
- Wii Fit
- MGS4 coming to 360?
- Shoutouts and Shoutats;
- Problems for Unreal Engine?
- X07 gone;
- Xbox extended warantees;
- PS3 price drop…er, clearance sale;
- The Jaime Kennedy Embarassment;
- South Park’s WoW episode nominated for Emmy
Posted by Edie Sellers Categories: Corporate News, E3, Electronic Arts, Hot Deals, Microsoft, Mods/Hacks, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Politics, Release Dates, Reviews, Rumors, Square Enix, Survival Horror, Take2, Third Person Shooters, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade, GamerAndy
Yes, 100 percent less Andy this episode, as he’s in L.A. for a CoD4 event. Instead, Edie and Hawkes cover the week’s gaming news and go off on wild tangents. On the plus side, this episode may be Andy-free, but it has 100 percent MORE of Hawkes’ cat.
- The unusually large amount of games released this week, including The Darkness and The Bigs.
- Toys ‘R Us is holding a 3-for-2 sale on Nintendo DS games until this Saturday. U Bai Now!
- Microsoft sues Immersion back. If you can’t take it, don’t deal it!
- New York Times reporter plays Manhunt 2 and deems it less violent than R-rated horror movies. Hypocracy much?
- The new Hitman movie trailer… and yes, we blew it. It’s Agent 47. Stoopid internets.
- Square Enix says on one hand that it’s not releasing any games for PS3 until April 2008 at the very earliest. Then it says, baby, I’m sorry. The PS3 really is the only console it could ever love. Why does watching these two feel like family-night at Ike and Tina Turner’s place.
- A group of psychologists want to label video games as an addictive substance. Someone’s been sucking on the lead popsicles again….
- Larry Flint had hoped to fire the entire staff of Tips and Tricks magazine while they were all at E3. Too bad he fired the freelancers a week early and they told the staff. Don’t you hate when being a nice guy blows a really great evil plan? And isn’t it ironic that the guy who built his empire on other people s*cking c*ocks turns out to the the biggest c*cks*ucker of them all?
- Shadowrun for Vista has been cracked to run on XP. And there was much rejoicing. (yaaay!)
- Lyndon LaRouch, notorious conspiracy theorist and gay hater, and his merry band of crazy geezers are ticked because the final report on the Virginia Tech massacre doesn’t mention video games—despite the fact there’s been no evidence the shooter ever played games. LaRouch figures it’s… wait for it… A CONSPIRACY!!
Ed. Note: Edie apologizes to for mistaking LaRouche as a guy who was notorious for anti-gay legislation. Actually, he is the freak who tried to get anti-gay legislation passed by California voters back in the 1980s that would have quarentined gays to prevent AIDS. I knew he smelled crazy…
- The 100th episode of Red vs. Blue! Gratz, guys!
Off-topic hits include Paris Hilton, porn (again), the iPhone, how to properly prepare for a night of binge drinking, Andy’s impending move, and… did we mention Hawkes’ cat?
If you want to hear it? Go get subscibe on iTunes already… ya slacker.
Posted by Edie Sellers Categories: Action, Adventure, Announcements, Corporate News, Electronic Arts, Fighting, Microsoft, PC, PlayStation 3, Portable/Mobile, PSP, Reviews, Sports, Xbox, Xbox 360, GamerAndy
Finally a return to gaming news! So much for Andy, Hawkes and Edie to talk about, including Sony’s “major announcement,” the 80Gig Europe hate, Blu-Ray price drops, and (gasp!) Andy’s discovery of a great PS3 title! But that’s not all! We’ve got conversation about EA and ID going to the Mac, the PSP “slim, Shadowrun and Forza 2.
But wait! There’s more! Winners of last week’s contest are annouced.
Order now and you’ll recieve GamerAndy’s TV corner, where we discuss the end of the Sopranos and the return of Jherico.
Don’t walk… RUN to the download!
Our review scoring guide here at Playfeed is very simple and straightforward: games get a single number score, from 1-10, where 5 is considered average. There’s no 0.1 nonsense here, leaving you to wonder what the difference is between a game scoring an 8.2 and another that received an 8.4. We’re looking to provide you with a simple number that sums up the reviewer’s thoughts on the game being reviewed. However, we encourage you to read the text, as it will almost always be of much more help than the review score we assign to a game.
To be clear, a 10 doesn’t imply perfection – no game will ever achieve such a feat. But, if a game receives a 10, rest assured that we cannot more highly recommend it.
10 – Excellent.
9 – Great.
8 – Very good.
7 – Good.
6 – Above average.
5 – Average.
4 – Below average.
3 – Bad.
2 – Terrible.
1 – Bubonic Plague-level atrocity; a sin against nature.
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