Blizzard shuts down Korea on July 27

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Blizzard has announced it will be releasing the eagerly anticipated sequel to the best game of 1998 on July 27th around the globe.  Having played the beta, I am excited to finally get my hands on the single player and start my climb on the battle.net ladders

Halo Reach Beta is Now Live – Thousands Call in Sick with “Team Slayer-itis”

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Calling all Halo geeks: it’s officially time to dust off that old copy of ODST and have yourself a taste of Bungie’s latest helping of multiplayer deliciousness. Be sure to test out the sweet new armor abilities (read: OMG JETPACKS?!?!) and we’re confident that once you taste the new DMR, the battle-rifle will be nothing more than a distant memory.

Update:  After some brief technical issues due the overwhelming response of 600,000 rabid fans, Bungie appears to have things under control once again and the Rarespawn editors were able to get up and running.

Source: bungie.net

Mass Effect 2 review

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Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Rating: M
Players: 1

With any artistic medium, it’s very difficult to create a follow up of something that was already great. You don’t want the game to feel like a duplicate of the first one, yet you want all the things there that made it so great. It’s a balance that BioWare nailed with Mass Effect 2. Read More »

Shiny New Coat of Forza 3 Screens to “Wax Off” To

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Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft have released a spankin’ new batch of Forza Motorsport 3 screens that practically beg to be your new desktop wallpaper.  While you’re at it, be sure to check out our hands-on E3 impressions for more info on FM3, coming to Xbox 360 this October.

E3 2009 Hands-On: Mass Effect 2

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One of the games I wanted to get my hands on the most at this years E3 was Mass Effect 2. I was fortunate enough to sit down with EA rep and get some hands on action. I was really trying to keep my eyes open for texture delays between sequences and happily I couldn’t find any. There are some really nice changes to the combat system. You can now assign individual way points for your teammates and they don’t seem to get in the way as they could in the first one. You can also queue up an ability in the talent wheel and just hit a button during combat to use that ability. Likewise for Shepard. You can also equip yourself with a heavy weapon now. Of course you can only carry one at a time and it sounds like you choose which one when you exit the Normandy. The new hit system is nice and something I wanted to test during the demo. There are actual head shots now. At one point I shot out a androids legs out from under him and he fell to the ground and started crawling towards me.

I asked about DLC for the sequel and it sounds like we can certainly expect to see more than just one available download. Although the exhibitor I spoke with also hinted at another mission that will be released for Mass Effect, a prequel to Mass Effect 2.

With any sequel it’s a difficult balancing act between giving the player something new and exciting without losing the things that made the game so great to begin with. From what I saw and played they really nailed that balance. So until its release in Q1 2010, keep an eye out for that prequel mission.

E3 2009 Hands-On: Dragon Age: Origins

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After watching the 20 minute showing of Dragon Age at the EA both at E3 I was left wanting more.  The video ended with an epic battle with a dragon and showed off some the moral choices that are encountered through out the game.  Some of the interesting points from the presentation were that your party is ever evolving.  If you make decision that others like they will fight harder for you.  Vice versa if you really upset a party member they may even fight you to the death over their beliefs.  All in all it looked like it was shaping up to be another masterpiece for Bioware… then I got to play the game hands on.

As I entered the world of Dragon Age: Origins I was given a taste of the elven race’s starting point.  I had to pick between a warrior, a rogue and finally a mage.  All of these classes later expanded into 6 distinct specializations.  I picked a warrior and put all my points into 2 hand weapons and began my adventures in the world of Ferelden.  The leveling screen and skills look similar to Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect and is easy to navigate.  The combat on the console version (which I played) was mapped with A being your primary attack and X, Y, and B being special attacks/buffs/debuffs.  There was also other set of X, Y, and B that held another 3 skills.  As I wandered the wooden lands of the elven world we ran across a group of humans coming from a tomb.  I spared their lives and was told I was the only person that day that had.

As we moved along towards the tomb I was given my first taste of combat.  Since the game did not start me off with a 2 hand weapon I was forced to only use my primary attack against a pack of wolves.  My character sliced and diced while my ally let loose a barrage of arrows into our enemies.  After looting the bodies and finding herbs I was informed that crafting will be available in the game.  I was also told that using the same armor sets will give bonuses to character.  After finding a 2 hand weapon in the tomb I was able to use my special attacks.  The blow back animations were amazing to see and felt effective against the spiders.

After a cutscene I ended back in my camp.  I was joined by a mage and was able to see the spell casting effects in the game.  All in all Dragon Age: Origins is shaping up to be one massive and entertaining game.  The game will be released on October 20th, 2009 for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, so get ready!

E3 Hands-On Impressions: Forza Motorsport 3

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Racing fans rejoice – your favorite racer for the Xbox 360 is returning this fall and this time with a whole slough of new features that fans have been craving! Turn 10 is back with a whole new engine and a variety of graphical and gameplay improvements to update the series in style.  Follow the link to read our full hands-on impressions.

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InFamous Review: Shockingly Good!

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Platform(s): PlayStation 3infamous-cover
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Rating:T
Players: 1

Now that I’ve gotten the inevitable electricity pun out of the way early on (see: title), we can proceed with a serious discussion about the merits of InFamous for the PlayStation 3.  Developer Sucker Punch Productions is no stranger to platform games, but this time ’round they’ve taken a more mature approach than with their popular and critically acclaimed PlayStation 2 Sly Cooper series.  At it’s core, InFamous is an action/platformer super-hero game that combines RPG elements with intense 3rd person combat, all layered with a series of situations that tap into the player’s morality, similar to the Xbox’s Fable 1&2 games, or Bioware’s Knights of The Old Republic series.  Does InFamous live up to the hero that the PS3 so desperately needs, or does InFamous turn out to be another average game behind a shiny mask?

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E3 upon us

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Ah yes, the Mecca of gaming, E3, is upon us next week. This year marking the shows return to its trade show roots. I feel the announcement last October came as many people were about to turn their backs on E3, especially after the ’08 show. But with the ’09 show upon us the mood could not be any more different from how we felt last year. Read More »

3D Realms is no more

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Rumors first surfaced yesterday from multiple sources saying that developer 3D Realms had closed its doors. Seems to be the case.  Today a final post on 3D Realms’ website says “Thanks for being fans and all your support.” and has a photo of the team. Beyond that no official statement has really been made but rumors speculate that funding problems triggered the closure. As we all know 3D Realms were working on the aptly titled Duke Nukem Forever which was been in development since ’97. Sadly, I very much doubt we’ll ever see anything beyond a few screen shots and concept art from Duke Nukem Forever. Sorry to see you guys go.