XBLA House Party Games Get Release Dates

23 01 2012

Microsoft so kindly released the final details on their Xbox Live Arcade House Party starting February 15th.  One game will be released each week from the 15th to March 7th.  If you do happen to purchase all 4 of the content, Xbox will reward you with 800 Microsoft Points.  Think of it as, buy 3 get 1 free.

  • February 15th- Warp for 800 MP
  • February 22nd- Alan Wake’s American Nightmare for 1200 MP
  • February 29th- Nexuiz for 800 MP
  • March 7th- I Am Alive for 1200 MP

I had a chance to play both I Am Alive and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare at CES and they were both really impressive, even for arcade titles.  I will definitely be picking both of them up.  Unfortunately I’m not too familiar with Warp or Nexuiz, but with a buy 3 get 1 free, Microsoft may have me locked in to buy all 4.  We’ll have to see.




Happy Action Theater Release Date Announced

19 01 2012

The legendary Tim Schafer of Double Fine stopped by Giantbomb.com to show off the wonderful experiences of Double Fine Happy Action Theater.  With 18 creative and engaging activities, DFHAT actually is one of the most impressive Kinect titles I’ve seen to date.  I beg to wonder if  Tim Schafer had kids in mind or drunk adult party goers when DGHAT was in development stages.  Either way Double Fine Happy Action Theater is available February 1st on XBLA for 800 Microsoft points.  Watch the video on Giantbomb.com if you don’t believe me.


Mass Effect 3 Demo Release Date Dropped!

18 01 2012

With every type of demo imaginable dropping this month, EA and Bioware weren’t afraid to make us wait a few more weeks for the Mass Effect 3 demo to hit XBLA and PSN on February 14th.  SWTOR ruined relationships around Christmas and Mass Effect 3 looks to re-open those wounds on Valentines day.  Maybe you could plan to dine in, order some pizzas, light some scented candles and blow up some Reapers all romantic like.  And of course bring a friend because co-op missions will be available for those with the online pass via Battlefield 3.  Sorry Steam members, EA’s Origin doesn’t want to play and has taken it’s ball back home.  After getting your fix you can continue to repel the Reaper invasion starting March 6th on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC (Origin).

Expect to see the latest Demo Reel from Nic soon,  don’t miss it!


Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Multiplayer Trailer

15 01 2012

Curious about what Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is all about?  See what it’s like doing Umbrella’s job in this pretty impressive trailer detailing each multiplayer mode.

  • Team Attack: Seems to be the general Deathmatch rules, whoever kills the most wins.
  • Biohazard: Escort samples of the G-Virus to the base.  I don’t know exactly what that entails but I would say it’s safe to assume that it’s a capture the flag type mode.
  • Survivors: Stay alive until a chopper arrives to rescue you.
  • Heroes: Escort your iconic character to win.  From the trailer it looks like you’ll have the ability to be Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, Leon Kennedy and even Ada Wong. 

With random zombies everywhere, breakable grapples, brutal executions and plenty of game modes to choose from, RE: ORC is shaping up to be an action packed experience.  Expect to see it hit store shelves for PS3 and Xbox 360 March 20th of this year.



I Wander the Desert With Someone I Don’t Know in Journey

13 01 2012

During my exploration of the massive Sony booth at this years CES I managed to stumble upon That Game Company’s third title, Journey.  With no more than 12 people, That Game Company has managed to make some of the most interesting and creative games of the past few years.  Flow was peaceful and bright, Flower was elegant and had a masterful soundtrack, and now with their third installment Journey looks to be as beautiful as it is mysterious and allows them to delve into the multiplayer scene.

The demo Sony had available sent you through the first 3 episodes of Journey, mostly to get the feel for the game.  You can choose to use sixaxis controls or the conventional analog, the choice is yours.  The soundtrack continues to be ultra calming and matches the mood of Journey.  Rolling sands and broken temples mark your path as you collect “glyphs” to enlarge your scarf and collide with larger pieces of cloth to make bridges and solve puzzles.  The difficulty came with explaining how Journey works, rather than actually playing it.  Imagine the scarf you wear as mana, when you use your magic to jump or solve puzzles, your mana depletes.  Cloth are strewn all over the desert to replenish your mana.  With the addition of a completely anonymous drop in/out multiplayer, Journey allows you to experience the desert and puzzles in a different way.  When running with another player your mana refills simultaneously allowing you to jump higher and run faster.

The whole Journey experience is something new and refreshing.  Concerns of mine were more focused on people watching me play who continually asked where the “action” was and who do I shoot.  That Game Company knows who their audience is, and although the idea of Journey is lost to the general public, I believe fans of That Game Company will be very pleased with this brand new IP.  Expect to see Journey as a PSN exclusive sometime this spring.


Hands on With I Am Alive and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare at CES

12 01 2012

At this years CES I got a chance to preview the much anticipated Ubisoft title I Am Alive and the follow up to Remedy’s underrated Alan Wake,  the XBLA exclusive Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.  Both are slated to release this spring under XBLA’s House Party promotion.  Since I Am Alive is I believe, much less known, I went hands on and spoke with one of the lead testers to bring you all of the gritty details on this post apocalyptic survival game.

The first thing I noticed about I Am Alive is the drab color scheme of black and grays.  Don’t let “drab” turn you away though, the game graphically looks phenomenal for an arcade title.  You play as a gentleman traversing the shoddy city of Haventon in search of your wife and daughter after an earthquake decimated the city.  In the playable demo your goal is to reach your apartment in search of clues.  Exploring this dangerous terrain takes skills in managing your stamina and knowing when to run and when to fight.  You can tell right from the beginning, I Am Alive is about survival.  Your “Stamina” decreases as you climb, run and fight.  So management of this stamina is crucial for your survival.  If you take too long climbing you will fall for example.  Items are scarce, which leaves me to believe the earthquake happened a while ago, people are either scared or aggressive, each fighting to survive.  While exploring I backed away from a man just trying to protect his area of the sewer, bluffed a man with my empty pistol, and fought for my life killing one man who attacked me with the one bullet I found and “surprise attacking” another man with my machete as he came to mug me.  Ubisoft is trying to make I Am Alive THE survival title, they want you to FEEL like your struggling, yet give you just the right amount of items to be successful.  The decisions you make and management of your stamina and inventory will decide how enjoyable your gaming experience will be.  Expect to see I Am Alive available for XBLA and PSN this spring.

After a really in depth 30 minute demo of I Am Alive, I snagged the controller for a look at Alan Wake’s American NightmareAlan Wake‘s story mode was not available to demo, but instead gave you a look at it’s new horde mode.  Although you only got to test out horde mode, I was let in on some insight to Alan Wake’s American Nightmare main narrative story line.  The game is going to take place as a “Night Springs” type episode, you know that Twilight Zone type show you would see throughout the first game.  And most of you probably are aware you will be dealing with Alan’s doppelganger.  The game is dark as ever and the controls were very similar to the first game and felt accurate and smooth.  Being a fan of Twin Peaks and Alan Wake I’m really looking forward to this titles release for XBLA on February 15th.


The Worlds of Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur Collide

11 01 2012

EA is doing something really creative this first quarter of 2012.  Starting out rather strong to be more precise.  EA is releasing demos for Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur that will unlock in game items across each games universe.  “What does that even mean?”  Glad you asked, EA is releasing the Kingdoms of Amalur demo on January 17.  When you complete the demo, that also means watching the trailer at the end, you will receive in game items for not only Kingdoms of Amalur, but also in game items for Mass Effect 3.

These in game promotions for Kingdoms include an ice resistance booster Twist of Fate Card, a health and mana boosting Twinned Souls Chakram weapon, and a protective helmet called The Infernal Helm.  And for your troubles, or enjoyment depending on how you like Kingdoms, your Mass Effect 3 awards include The Reckoner Knight Armor and the Chakram Launcher.

It doesn’t stop there, when the Mass Effect 3 demo does drop, EA has disclosed no information when that may be, completing that demo will also reward you with N7 Armor and Omniblade Daggers for Kingdoms of Amalur.  The Commander Shepard inspired N7 Armor looks bad ass with the accompanying  Omniblade Daggers.  Every piece of armor and weaponry look awesome and have useful perks that would be well worth a play through to get them.  The Mass Effect 3 Reckoner Knight Armor maximizes close-quarter damage and increases projectile velocity while the Chakram Launcher fires “lightweight explosive ammunition discs.

With rewards like these I will definitely be downloading each of these demos.  It really feels like free DLC or pre-order bonuses, they’re that good.  The Kingdoms of Amalur demo drops this January 17th and you can pick up the full game for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on February 7th.   Happy hunting.