Saturday, January 19

Turok, Trash or Treasure?

Turok is finally coming back to visit you in your home for the first time after a six year void since the disappointing Turok: Evolution. The newest in the series, which is plainly titled "Turok", is coming from Propaganda Games and will be available for your Ps3, Xbox 360, and PC on February 5th, 2008.

A demo recently was recently released on the Playstation Network so ryizzel and I decided we would review it for you and give our two cents on it.

This two stage demo starts you out as Joseph Turok with his "buddy" Slade in a dark cave with dripping water and perfect acoustics to echo even the quietest whisper. You'll realize this every time Slade says something as you tramp your way through the cavern searching for your way out. Slade says a lot of things, usually nothing important. He also likes to remind you how he'll "Leave your ass behind if you don't hurry up". What a good friend.

As you work your way through the cave, you'll hear strange noises coming from up ahead, these noises are followed by screams of fear and pain. That combined with the dripping water, the dark, and the sense of claustrophobia all make this part of the demo very tense the first time through.

You start out the demo with a bow, two sub-machine guns, and a knife. You can dual-wield any two one-handed weapons that you wish in this game. Shotgun and a sub-machine gun? Sure! Dual-shotguns? Definitely! The left handed weapon is controlled by the left trigger buttons, and the right weapon with the right triggers, easy and fun. There's also a large assortment of weapons in the demo, everything ranging from a pistol to a pulse rifle.

Though the most fun weapon in my opinion is of course, the knife. This thing is wicked. You have the choice to hack away at your enemy until they fall to their knees, or you can use R2 when you're close enough to your enemy for an instant kill where it transitions smoothly into a third-person view of Turok executing a very bad ass killing move, then transitioning just as smoothly back into first-person.

That's not the only time you enter third-person though. Does everyone remember why Turok was so cool in the first place? The dinosaurs of course! Every now and then a dino may pin you to the ground while trying to rip your throat out and you have to mash either the trigger buttons, or rotate the analog stick like mad to get the savage beasts off of you before you become a part of their digestive system.

Eventually you'll work your way out of the cave and you have to regroup with Slade (with whom you were separated in the cave), and this is the first time you get to see non-hostile dinosaurs, little Compsognathuses. You know, the little rooster sized dinosaurs. They will bite at your ankles if you sit still too long though, feisty little buggers.

We get to witness one cutscene in the demo where we see a little bit into Turok's past that explains the scar on his cheek, and why he carries a knife. He's a member of a group called the Wolf Pack, that's all I'll give away for now.

Naturally after you find out why he has a knife, you have to use either that or your bow to eliminate a few human (if indeed they are human) enemies who are patrolling the area. You could go silently, or you could just blow them all to smithereens with whatever weapons you have currently. I found it most fun to provoke the local dinosaurs and then hide while they tore into my enemies for me.

The whole thing looks great, the people are very detailed, and the dinosaurs ferocious. Ragdoll physics are fun when you blow an enemy twenty feet in the air due to a well placed grenade, but the bodies of your fallen foes feel like they have no weight to them. I barely ran into the corpse of a raptor and the thing slid ten feet in front of me. The raptors in the game are easily twice your size, I find the weightlessness highly illogical captain.

As far as music goes, Turok doesn't have anything spectacular. The music it has fits, it's easy to ignore, but it just doesn't add much to the game itself. The battle music however gets very annoying quite quickly. I'm pretty sure it's just the same 15 second track over and over.

So finally, at the end of the demo I had enjoyed myself, and it left me looking forward to the game's release. Though, I'd wait for the reviews to see if it's worth the hefty price tag before getting it, Turok is a fun First Person Shooter, but it doesn't bring anything new to the genre. The full release version is going to have a 16 person online mode, but if you're looking for a shooter I'd go for Unreal Tournament III or Team Fortress 2 from the Orange Box.

The Turok demo gets an 8.0 from me. Fun, but not incredible.


Sooo....its my turn to give my review of the demo...joys...

From what I experienced in the 30 minute demo, Turok is just another generic shooter. This doesn't mean its a bad game, just not a good one. The demo contains everything you'd expect from a Turok game, dinosaurs, A bow, and a expansive jungle environment for the player to explore.

From what I've gathered in the demo, our Dinosaur hunter has joined a group of mercenaries named wolf pack who are tasked with tracking down a war criminal on a planet inhabited by dinosaurs. The demo consists of two levels, a small cave which appears to be a nest for raptors and a vast, open jungle.

You get a variety of weapons to use in this game, Pulse rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, and Grenade launchers are all at your disposal to wreak havoc upon your enemies. The best of all of the weapons was the knife. When you get close enough to an enemy, you can execute an instant kill move. Another cool feature was using the shotgun's alternate fire, a flare launcher, to distract the dinosaurs. You could even shoot enemies with the flares and the raptors would attack them.

My main problem with the demo was that it didn't leave me wanting more. With games like Farcry and Crysis on the market, this game seems vanilla. Turok has all the features every FPS should have, dual wielding, a large variety of weapons, and lots of crap to shoot at. I really hope in the full version of the game, the devs include things that make Turok unique.

Turok gets a 7 from me. While its not innovative, it's still enjoyable.



Friday, January 18

Crysis Comes to the Ps3

All whom own a run-down, slowly chugging it's way to death PC rejoice! For Crysis is coming to the PS3! At least according to an "inside source" at Crytek it is.

It'll be just like Crysis for the PC, but with a few extra features. Not much is known now, except that it will NOT be coming to the 360, due to technical issues. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the technical issues are that the 360 is DVD dependent, while the Ps3 has gone Blu-Ray.




Thursday, January 17

Super Mario Fusion

Ever wonder what would happen if Mario and Master Chief had babies? Do you yearn to see Mario frag goombas? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to kill a grunt with a turnip?

Well, you might want to check out Super Mario Fusion.

Super Mario Fusion is a crossover Mario fan game made in Game Maker 7 Pro using a heavily modified version of the Super Mario Bros. Hello Engine III. I expect to release the demo and source by the weekend of January 11-13.

Halo will be its own world in this crossover Mario fan game. I've developed three Halo weapons into the game: Plasma Pistol (with charge shot), Assault Rifle, and Covenant Plasma Rifle; Mario can use them all!

The most significant aspect of the Halo levels is that THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT. Many enemies will be strategically placed throughout the levels, so you are required to work your way through the enemy fortifications at your own pace. Also, Halo weaponry will make certain sections easier, but Mario can still use his own weaponry (shells, fireballs, hammers, invincibility) to kill the Covenant. The Covenant cannot be stomped.

The level featured will be in the demo release. Believe it or not, this level is only 40% complete. I still have one more sublevel planned after the checkpoint, and additional level design tweaks are needed for all areas of the level. As it stands, this is a very difficult level because of the timely pace and patience required for most sections of this level.


Grab the Demo here.

The author also made a megaman crossover here.



McCullough Follow up

My favorite "journalist" has finally... sorta apologized for the remarks he made about Mass Effect on Sunday.

Since yesterday's response many gamers who have written have offered more assistance in unlocking obscenity and dangerous content in the video game world. That is much appreciated. Based on the multitude of response by gamers who share my concern for decency in the entertainment of our children, it is obvious that I had been misinformed on at least two points of substance in my original column. For this I DO apologize to the gaming universe!

To me, this sounds like a "stop sending death threats to my inbox" apology. The Internet should take this as a victory however, getting a reporter to admit they didn't properly research the topic they were writing about is no small feat. Perhaps next time Mr. McCullough will rely on sources other than Youtube.



Wednesday, January 16

File Corrupted....

R.I.P Mark Haigh-Hutchinson.

Picture of Mark from 1996. Credit to for the picture.

Mark had a 23 year career where he worked at both LucasArts and Retro Studios working primarily on camera views and controls for the games. That is until he recently passed away due to pancreatic cancer.

I wanted to do something special for Mark's passing, so I've taken a list of a few of the games he's worked on and put a video next to them as a memoir to the greatness which he helped create.

Star Wars : Rogue Squadron

Sam 'N' Max Hit the Road

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Metroid Prime, Series

May peace be with you Mark, thanks for all the games and all the fun times.




AC for the PC

Do you want to play Assassin's Creed but you are solely a PC gamer? Well fret no more, Assassin's Creed has been scheduled to be released for the PC on March 15th. Joy to the world!

That is, if your computer can handle it. The requirements seem to be quite daunting, and you're going to need a beast of a computer to run this one.

"Minimum System Requirements:

* Windows XP or Vista
* 2 GB RAM
* Dual core processor (Intel Pentium D or better)
* 256MB Direct3D 10 compatible video card, or Direct3D 9 card compatible with Shader Model 3.0 or higher
* DirectX compatible driver
* DVD-ROM dual-layer drive
* 16 GB free hard disk space
* DirectX libraries (included)
* Vista compatible sound card
* Keyboard, Mouse
* Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller (optional)

Recommended System Requirements:
* Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo, or better processor
* 3 GB System RAM
* ATI HD2900 series, Nvidia GeForce 8800 series, or better video card
* 5.1 sound card
* Microsoft Xbox 360 controller

*Supported Video Cards at Time of Release

DirectX10 compatible cards, recommended ATI HD2900 series, Nvidia GeForce 8800 series

Direct3D 9 card compatible with Shader Model 3.0 or higher"

My computer putts along just fine, but I think it'd have a heart-attack if I attempted to pull something like that. I guess I'm just going to have to stick with Assassin's Creed for the Playstation 3.




Tuesday, January 15

Super Delay Bros.

If you've been waiting on Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I've got some bad news for you. Today Nintendo announced that they are pushing back the release date to March 9th in the US. This is the 2nd delay on the highly anticipated fighting game, which allows you to play as just about any character from the Nintendo universe... and a few that aren't(I'm looking at you Sonic!!!).

From SSBB site:

"Due to delays in the completion of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, we’ve had to change the release date of the game to Sunday, March 9th.

I deeply apologize to the people who have looked forward to playing the game for so long and ask that you hold on just a little longer. Thank you for your patience."



Am I The Only Sane One?

...What the fuck is wrong with the world today? Seriously, do people even check facts before they say shit anymore?

Sigh...I'll try to keep this Civil......

Today I came across an article that literally made me shake with anger. Yet another jackass is taking potshots at video games. Kevin Cullough, a conservative blogger, published an article on Sunday entitled "The 'Sex-Box' Race for President". To be frank, I don't think even Jack Thompson could come up with more bullshit.

Here, Lemme show you some of my favorite quotes.

" It's called "Mass Effect" and it allows its players - universally male no doubt - to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of."

You mean this? alien on human action...totally fucking realistic. You see more skin in a PG-13 fucking movie than in that scene.

" Starting with the disgusting idea that one can "create" their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships. Right? We can all agree on this?"

Yep, I guess we should just outlaw plastic surgery while we are at it. huh? While we are at it, we should get rid of just about every form of media in existence, seeing how they all objectify women, sex and human relationships to some extent.

"And because of the digital chip age in which we live - "Mass Effect" can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes. "

"Customized to sodomize"? Damn thats catchy...*note to self- get that on a T-shirt*

In my opinion Mr. Cullough should just stick to his day job, which seems to be throwing bibles, bashing the Clintons and telling everyone liberals are satanic baby eaters.

/end rant

Article here



Monday, January 14

Does Sony Really Know What They're Doing?

The past says no, the future shows quite possibly.

Right from the beginning Sony insisted upon the Blu-Ray format, which just last year was still being scoffed at as being an unnecessary luxury. Now it seems Blu-Ray is going to win the war of disc formats and proving that Sony was perfectly right.

Blu-Ray is definitely exhilaratingly interesting, but I'd like to focus on the line-up for '08. Microsoft surely has the best exclusive line-up, no question there; with Nintendo following closely behind. All the while Sony is dragging it's feet a few miles back, with only a few choice exclusives revealed so far. However, according to a recent article posted at Team ICO Gamers, Sony's got some stiff competition in store.

"Yesterday in a heated IM discussion about which of the three console makers is going to have the strongest line-up this year, a friend of mine who works at Sony Computer Entertainment Japan blurted out that Sony's internal studios have up their sleeves more than 20 yet-to-be-revealed projects for PlayStation 3."

20 unknown projects for Sony? No doubt they're exclusives as well. If this conversation runs true, all I can say is well played Sony, well played.




Audio Surf, Ride Your Music

One day I was listening to music on my stereo while playing through songs on Guitar Hero; I just got bored of the songs that are on Guitar Hero itself, but I still enjoy the game play. Quite perplexing. Well, what if there was a game where I could play through any song of my choice and feel pretty cool while doing it? That's where Audiosurf comes in, an interactive music game from Dylan at

Audiosurf's scheduled release is for February of 2008, and it's going to be a free music "riding" game for your PC.

Audiosurf allows you to experience the intensity and emotion of your songs in real time, in full color, and in 3D. Songs that give you an adrenaline rush are converted into wild roller coaster rides full of color and motion. Songs that calm you down appear as cool colors against a relaxing sky. Audiosurf enhances the experience of your music collection by synchronizing its environment to the events in your songs--the beats, the intense sections, the long pauses followed by a burst of sound, all take on a more vivid meaning.

Sounds good, but what does it mean? Well I wondered that same thing so I signed up for the Beta release which I just got accepted into yesterday and boy oh boy is this game fun.

What you do is load a song; any song that you wish, be it from a CD, your computer, or just one of the songs preloaded into the game itself, and the game scans the song and creates a track that moves with the song. The game reads all CD, MP3, iTunes M4A, WMA, or OGG files for your listening and traveling pleasure.

You control a ship that flies along the track with one goal, try to get as many points as possible. To get points you have to collect corresponding colored blocks which build up and earn you points. It's pretty simple and lots of fun.

Slow parts of songs slope upwards while fast parts jet downwards in a blurry haze of colored blocks and trippy graphics. Also depending on what difficulty you're playing on you have a choice between a few characters who each have their own special ability to help you amass points during a song; such as Pointer who can pick up a colored block and put it in a different column, or Shuffler who mixes the columns up and hopefully scores you some points by doing so.

There's even an online leader board for every single song that ever gets played, so if you're playing through a ton of obscure underground music chances are you're not going to have too much competition there, but if you play something mainstream or well liked you'll have to beat the best of the best to get a high score.

I'm really enjoying my time on this game, it gives me that adrenaline boost that I haven't gotten from games in a really long time. Audiosurf is also ideal for relaxing after a long day at work or school, just pop in a slow song and cruise down the highway and groove.

You can visit the informational site here.
You can also visit the other site where you can sign up for the Beta (if they're still accepting) here.



Sunday, January 13

...Lol whud?

The end of the world is coming and Sonic is the harbinger of doom!

Bioware, creator of RPGs such as Mass Effect and Jade Empire have teamed up with Sega to make a sonic RPG. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, is scheduled to be released on the DS sometime in 2008. The game will feature 11 playable characters and all the things you've come to expect from past Sonic games, such as chaos emeralds, golden rings, annoying flying sidekicks, and portly villains with a fetish for putting small animals into robots.

Does anyone remember the good old days? Y'know, when sonic games were about running really fast through 2-D levels, trying to get away from that loser tails.

...Yea...those were the days...