Poor Mafia. When the first game released in 2002, it drew plenty of criticism for being too much in the vein of Grand Theft Auto. The game actually had a flair of its own and a distinct cinematic style, with plenty of interesting moments and glowing reviews. Some moments in particular (notably the one involving crashing a funeral) were altogether more memorable than anything in other open-world games.
Nearly a decade later, 2K Games has decided to bring the series to current-gen consoles with Mafia II. We got a hands-on sneak peak at the game at the GDC. Do your best Marlon Brando impersonation (note: please do not do your best Marlon Brando impersonation) and hit the jump to see how it stacks up to its namesake.
3D was a fad that died a well-deserved death during the 90s. Of course, the flame was kept alive by evil, evil hipsters who swapped between polarized lenses and shutter shades for a while, but only recently has it come back in a big way (thanks to new glasses, new technology, and the ability for us as a culture to forgive transgressions for existing as fads before being properly implemented.)
Sony is apparently on board with the 3D revival, and they had a bunch of games and TVs showing off their 3D technology at the GDC. Hit the jump for our hands-on impressions.
‘Splosion Man, currently available for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Arcade, is a 2.5-D action platformer where the goal is to “splode” your way through levels.
You play as a guy who can ‘splode himself - which essentially propels him into a jump. The controls are simple - A, B, X, and Y all do the same thing; yeah you guessed it, ‘Splode. You can also perform wall-kicks, akin to many platformers like the more recent Mario games. Of course, instead of just kicking of a wall, you ‘splode off of it.
However, the game’s not so simple once you get going. The catch is that you can only ‘splode three times while in the air before either coming back down to the ground or briefly sliding down a wall to recharge your ‘splode-ability.
This morning, Microsoft hooked us up with an early preview of the next Xbox 360 Dashboard Update. We were able to get a look at the new Netflix features (which no longer require a PC,) the Avatar Marketplace, Game Ratings, Games on Demand, and more. While more coveted features like Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace won’t be landing until the fall, the update is still a solid one. Here are our thoughts on the next update, which lands on your Xbox 360 on August 11 (or sooner if you apply for early access!)
God, what a lonely-looking stand they had this game set up on. Look at that. Really?
When it comes down to brass tacks, at least to me, Rock Band and LEGO go together like peanut butter and chitin. After being revealed to discerning eyes during Dan Teasdale’s GDC talk, the game has garnered some attention from puzzled, clueless journos like myself. LEGO Rock Band is a game for the little’uns, principally, tooled to a younger age demographic and given a fresh coat of paint to keep the drooling cretins jamming away on modern pop hits. So if you’re coming in looking for some Pantera, you’ll be disappointed. But I digress.
Hit the jump for some impressions of LEGO: Rock Band.
By now, you’ve likely seen the hubbub that surrounded the unveiling of The Beatles: Rock Band at the Microsoft presser. Hell, the two remaining Beatles even took time out of their busy schedule of rolling around in huge piles of money and prestige to come onstage for approximately 2 seconds and say how awesome it was. Where does it stand in the growing pantheon of music games, though? Does it innovate? Can it woo new fans? Is it safe? Will it blend?
Well, Harmonix, if nothing else, is dedicated to the music. That being said, they did a fantastic job of doing the Beatles justice, even going so far as to disguise their E3 booth as giant replica of Abbey Road. Yeah. They roll like that.
Hit the jump to check out our opinions on The Beatles: Rock Band.
God dammit, Warner Brothers, how the hell am I supposed to come into this convention without any bias when you set up a demo center like this?
They brought in their own little slice of Arkham Asylum to display the latest Batman game to attendees of E3 ‘09, and while it took for-f*cking-ever to get a turn to play it on the 360, it was well worth the wait.
Hit the jump for our impressions of Batman: Arkham Asylum.
I want to workout without going to the gym – much like the millions of people that have purchased Wiifit. However, I’m not a huge fan of the game. Having to stop every time after a small workout was very time consuming and lead me not to want to “play”. EA Sports Active does not only look like a lot of fun but it also gives you a real workout feeling. Giving you the option to customize your routines and what parts of the body you want to work out, it gives you the variety you need to keep going. It also offers levels from easy to hard so everyone one can accomplish the routine they set out to do.
For those looking for more motivation, they can opt to the 30-day challenge. It’ll keep track of your workouts, nutrition, give you the historic graphs of your progress and will give you tips for relieving stress, eating healthier, and motivation to keep your challenge going.
EA Active is a gym, personal trainer and nutritionist all in one game-like experience. Tons of workout modes, exercises and abilities to customize your sessions, your workouts are sure to never get repetitive and keep you going. It’s a great substitution for anyone that feels WiiFit does not give them a real workout experience.
All Points Bulletin (APB) is a third-person action game from the creators of Crackdown, Real Time Worlds. “Focusing on ‘the three C’s’—creativity, conflict and celebrity” APB gives the player freedom to create anything they want.
Creating your own characters and cars are things we have done before in games like Oblivion and Forza, but APB pushes this feature like never before. When in character creation, standard options like gender, skin tone and other physical features are available for customization. But APB goes a little bit deeper and allows you to pick a hairstyle and how long it needs to be or even pick breast cup-sizes for the girls. Tattoos? They got those too. Design your tattoo art, color and size to place anywhere you want it to be.
As a big fan of DiRT and having put in many hours into the game, I was extremely excited to get my hands on the demo at the Microsoft booth at this years E3 2009. DiRT 2 looks and feels like DiRT, but with a kick. Powered by the third generation of the EGO Engine’s racing game technology, DiRT 2 offers tuned-up car-handling and new damage engine effects.
It’s all about details and that’s what makes the difference. Depending on your car, tuning or even what type of road you are on, every vehicle will feel different. Find a car you love? You are able to use your favorite vehicle and tune it with add-ons. With seven vehicle classes and a large collection of officially licensed rally cars and off-roads vehicles, I doubt you will have any problem in finding the best vehicle.
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