Tag: Zombies (page 1 of 2)

resident evil 6

RELEASE: 10/2012 | DEVELOPER: Capcom | ESRB: M for Mature

Capcom brings together survival horror, intrigue and all-out-zombie-action in the sixth release of their popular franchise Resident Evil (RE). This is the biggest, best looking RE title to date. Hours of running, gunning and running and gunning at the same time; which is just one of the new additions making this game even better than the last. Though Resident Evil 6 has a bit of a scarred reputation on the internet, which I choose to ignore and see these zombie-infested streets for myself.

A new evil pathogen has been released by Neo-Umbrella, the once dismantled corporate monsters responsible for the original outbreak in Raccoon City in RE2. The opening scene shows the current (and fictitious) U.S. President becoming one of the newly infected. This new C Virus has been released in areas across the globe, from the US to Lanshiang, China. Fan favorite character Leon Kennedy (RE0) and Secret Service agent Helena Harper (new character) are the first on the scene investigating the initial terror attack.

With four separate but intertwining campaigns to play through, Leon and Helena are just the first RE characters you get to play. Each campaign has their own cast and distinct focus of gameplay. You could easily say there is something here for every type of RE fan. The game spins into an epic adventure with all of your favorite RE characters, into one (semi) cohesive story.

Add in some online co-op, multiplayer and the support from sites like ResidentEvil.net and you’ll have AAA game content that you’ll want play and replay. Each campaign involves a pair of protagonists perfectly suited for online co-op with a buddy. If you’re more the run-n-gun type who keeps a steady trigger finger on their kill/death ratio there is a whole multiplayer angle here too; pitting you against a whole world of BSAA agents and zombie recruits. ResidentEvil.net is your community hub where your scores can be tracked. The site hosts monthly online competitions based on multiplayer scores and main campaign stats, for example: “lets kill 10,000 Shriekers this month.” 

Sadly, the game is not without glitches, mostly server side rather than graphical or AI gone awry. Staying connected online with a co-op partner is a nightmare. You’ll hold your breath at every cut scene hoping your online buddy is still connected when it’s over. In fact, staying connected was my only real issue with RE6. I definitely do not side with the thousands of negative reviews the game has gotten. Quite the opposite actually, I was thinking more along the lines of “Game of the Year”. I’m not sure what this says about me as a reviewer, but I do know that I’m in favor of a very good game.

While games are often critically panned, ignoring reviews can often lead you to find some overlooked gems. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Resident Evil 6. It’s just as intriguing and complicated as any past RE story. I’m happy with the gameplay and rather enjoy being able to choose between survival style, ammo storing campaigns vs all out shooting in big action campaigns all on one disk.

Don’t knock it till you try it.

walking dead the game

RELEASE: 4/2012 (Episode 1) | DEVELOPER: TellTale Games | ESRB: M for Mature

Walking Dead The Game is the best point and click game I have ever played. As a fan of the comic book series and of the AMC TV show I felt duty-bound to play. However, I did have my reservations: I’m not super-into point and click style games and I’ve been burned by TellTale games before, see Jurassic Park or Back to the Future. This game has won tons of awards and has been reviewed by just about everyone but you came here for my two cents, so read on, in my spoiler free review below.

Shopping can be especially tough during a Zombie Outbreak

We’ve been over what a point and click adventure is before. To summarize, it’s the videogame equivalent to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Basically, you are presented with a series of multiple choice options and each answer will move the story along in a different direction. TellTale has improved on their point and click games with some serious updates. Multiple choice scenarios are now timed making your answers more instinctual rather than well thought out. Consequences are more severe in this game and sometimes very hard to deal with emotionally — unlike the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the past where you could simply keep your finger in place to skip back to the moment before your bad decision.

Walking Dead The Game is one of the first successful games sold in TellTale’s episodic fashion. Five episodes make up the complete game, which were originally sold separately and released months apart. Each episode lasts about 2-3 hours. This was an intriguing sales gamble, the primary risk being that gamers would not be interested in buying a partial game. Although, there was an option to “subscribe to the season” for a lower price. I believe their gamble paid off and having five separate release dates helped push awareness of the game and keep gamers talking about it. “What is going to happen next” tweets reminded me of old fashioned water cooler talk at the office.

Will these gentlemen be friends or foes?

 The art style is fairly loose, if such a description has ever been applied to a video game. The illustrated graphics, a bit jarring during the first couple of episodes, actually improves over the course of the episodes. The characters felt a bit bobble-heady to me at first, but as I got used to the art I barely even noticed that. By the final episode you will be so engrossed in the game you will literally forget how childish it looks when compared to the live action TV show. It’s a wonder though, why didn’t they go with Charlie Adlard’s already established look? I would have liked to see that.

Is this my Walking Dead? Fans of both the comics and the television show will enjoy this companion story. It fits neatly into either fiction by introducing (mostly) all new characters. I’m purposely avoiding talk about the story here. You play a survivor in the wake of the zombie outbreak. Your character has a back story, an attitude and ultimately a goal: to protect a young girl named Clementine. Clementine is smart, winsome, nine-year-old girl and the heart of the story.

It may not be my favorite game of the year but certainly deserving of many accolades. The compelling story will keep you playing. I imagine it will be the first platinum (100% completion) trophy for many casual players since simply completing the story will unlock it. It’s nice to step out of your comfort zone and try a different kind of game. Hopefully, trying something as simple as a point and click will inspire shooter and sports game aficionados to try some new games. Unlike those kinds of games, I don’t see a lot of replay value in Walking Dead The Game. Once your spoiled on the story it is spoiled, so be careful.

If you cry easily, bring some tissues

This is a great game for fans of the Walking Dead or any TellTale point and click games. Rarely has a game pulled off the “protect me” scenario but you’ll find that you feel sincerely compelled to protect Clementine. The game forces you to pick sides and choose favorites amongst the characters. It is clever how even the main menu in the game reflects this Television mentality with fast forward and rewind buttons. Each episode adds to an already dense serialized story but also leaves itself open for additional “seasons”.

Like I said in the beginning, Walking Dead The Game is certainly the best point and click game I have ever played. However, like all point and click games I’ve played I sometimes feel robbed of the action. With dramatic cutscenes that look like they might be more fun to play than watch or the nuisance of having turn over (figuratively) “every rock” to find the little piece of the puzzle to move forward, sometimes I just want to blast everything and move on. Available on most every platform, the first episode is even free on iOS. Obviously, the game is worth checking out.

Nom nom nom for more

E3 2012: home viewing guide

Once again, it’s that time of year to gaze upon the oracle of gaming-to-come, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). My NeverEnding Story of trying to get inside is still being written. The gatekeepers to the kingdom of gaming (the E3 committee Sphinxes’) have thwarted even my most “Atreyuian” moves towards the gates.
Nevertheless, E3 2012 is happening June 5-7th with major keynote addresses starting on Monday, June 4th. You’re viewing choices have grown (slightly) this year over last, with more network choices and dedicated streams over the Internet. Televised on Spike TV and sister Viacom Media Networks, including MTV2; MTVU; VH1; Tr3s: Música y Másand will all air the coverage simultaneously. Check your local listings for their correct channels. The Microsoft keynote will be airing for the first time on XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360. I’m starting to wonder if by attending E3 you actually risk not seeing everything; and the best move may be getting all the information in one massive media download.

It’s interesting to ponder what’s in store and its affect on how the industry is fairing. E3 has high expectations associated with it, namely first look at new consoles. While I personally don’t think we will be seeing any new hardware besides the Wii U, there are some highly anticipated games we can expect to hear about.

The Gamedae E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide is below.

GAMEDAE E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide
A Guide to Where and When to get the most of E3 from your Couch.

FRIDAY JUNE 1st (Weekend before the expo)

10:30 PST / 1:30am EST || Konami Pre-E3 Show

 || Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th (day before the expo opens)

9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST || XBox: Entertainment Evolved
  • Expectations: Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, the newest Call of Duty and a Spotify-like Music Service
  • On XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360.
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || Electronic Arts: The Download at the Orpheum Theater in LA
  • Announced Featured Content: SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.ea.com/e3 & GameTrailers.com
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || Ubisoft
5:30pm preview, 6pm PST / 8:30pm preview, 9pm EST || Sony

TUESDAY JUNE 5th (First day of Expo)

9am PST/ 12pm EST || Nintendo All-Access
  • Expectations: New Mario Launch game, Wii U redesigns, release date and price
  • TV: Spike TV or MTV2 networks, watch the presentation live with no commercial interruptions
  • WEB: the Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 website at http://e3.nintendo.com
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th (Second day of Expo)
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
6pm PST/9pm EST || Nintendo Software Showcase
    •  WEB: http://e3.nintendo.com/

THURSDAY JUNE 7th (Third day of Expo)

3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage

resident evil: director’s cut


ESRB RATING: M for Mature
Progress: Finished

Interesting or irritating? That depends on your sense of nostalgia for the Resident Evil (RE) series. I (and for the sake of this review) am leaning towards interesting. Resident Evil in its original incarnation was more of a puzzle game than the survival horror/shooter franchise it has become. Once called “The Greatest Game Series of All Time” Resident Evil games have a special place in my game collection but how does the original game play now? Can I play it on my PSP now as a PSOne classic?

You bet I can and did.
There are two things I want to get out of the way when discussing the original RE. First, with this recent play through of mine I am finally proud to say I have finished the game. I never had the PSOne, the system this game was released on first, back in 1996. My first experience was with the remakes for the NGC. I’m not too proud to admit that I was too scared to finish and didn’t even make it to the second disk.
 See the uncut version of the opening cut scene here
Second, there was a strange decision made to have a live action cut scene at the beginning of the story. This was America’s first introduction to beloved RE characters Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Rebecca Chambers and Albert Wesker; all of which have reappeared in the continuing franchise. This cut scene was a pretty neat feature in 1996 but really dates the product today. Some of the wonkiness of the cut scene might be explained by it being edited down from the Japanese release for length and gore. For a game that creates suspense and scares, the voice acting is comically bad. With lines such as “Quick, head for that mansion” or “I’m sorry for my lack of manners, but I’m not used to escorting men.” In fact the whole game’s dialog is right up there with Duke Nukem‘s sexism and subtlety. Luckily, this hokey cut scene does what it needs to do, introducing the characters, setting the scene then going away.

A series of bizarre murders has been reported in an area outside of Raccoon City. Possible reports of cannibalism. The police department of Raccoon City wastes no time sending its S.T.A.R.S. agents to the scene. Broken into two teams, Bravo was sent in first. Communication was lost with the Bravo team so the Alpha team is sent to investigate. Immediately after being dropped by helicopter, the Alpha team is attacked by morbidly deformed dogs. The encounter with the dogs does not go well, the three remaining agents find shelter in a nearby mansion. As you might guess this mansion is much more than it seems.

My play through clocked in at just under ten hours. That was ten hours of edge-of-your-seat exploration and puzzle solving. Aside from the obvious zombie slaying, the game play is mostly puzzle solving. Solving each puzzle will get you into the next part of the mansion. Some puzzles are very Zelda-like, moving statues and lining up lights. Others involve collecting a few items to unlock another area. The rewards in this game come from opening up a new section of the mansion which in turn provides story-reveals about the mansion, the zombies and how the shady corporation, Umbrella, is involved.
Gameplay restricts you to holding 6 items on your person, making it a puzzle in and of it’s self. This is managed through careful use of ammo and game saves and the storage box. Ammo is in short reserve and it can even be advisable to run past some zombies rather than shoot them to conserve. Games saves come in the form of using the scattered typewriters with the ink ribbons. You only find 20 or so ink ribbons in the whole game. The storage box “system” allows you to store extra ammo and weapons you can’t carry and claim them at any of the storage boxes found in the game.
The main frustration with the game is too much back-tracking through the same game map. This requires you to basically memorize the mansion and other locations. If this zombie outbreak was really happening I hardly believe I would be running back and forth through the same hallways. My second frustration is the ominous “door opening” scenes that you see while the game loads. While I do prefer this to a standard flashing “loading” page, it gets old fast. Remember when Voltron was formed in the old cartoon and they showed the same animation for it every time? That kind of frustration.

Spawning four sequels, up to five movies, and various other on-rails shooters, portable games and remakes, the original nightmare called Resident Evil is a classic game experience. Join the S.T.A.R.S. and enter the infamous mansion of horrors for a zombie experience that has pretty much inspired the entire video game zombie genre. Originally released by Capcom in Japan under the title Biohazard, RE was renamed for the US release because of problems trademarking the name Biohazard. Resident Evil goes down in history as being the ground breaking game of its time that still warrants your play-through today. So, conserve your ammo and make some room on your PSP for this trip.
Respect your elders

I know the “Director’s Cut’ isn’t actually the original release from 1996 on the PSOne. For the record I played the Director’s Cut Dual Shock Edition now available on PSN. I just didn’t want to get into the whole version thing.

Who can tell me what the “T” in T-Virus stands for?

dead rising 2 by verdeberg

DEVELOPER: Blue Castle Games
ESRB RATING: M for Mature
With a tagline like “72 hours to kill… Thousands of zombies… What would Chuck do?”, features like building combo weapons from “almost anything and everything” and online co-op, whats not to love… A LOT.
I was lead to believe that Dead Rising 2 was a more involved version of a “zombie smasher” type game where you and your friends can run around finding more and more inventive ways to kill zombies under the veil of a “clear your name and escape” plot. I might be wrong but I always figured that any game that featured thousands of zombies would be hours of zombie bashing fun… I was wrong. Dead Rising 2 definitely sucked the fun out of that concept for me.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, listing everything I hated about this game, I should probably explain the concept of Dead Rising 2. Dead Rising 2
has an interesting enough storyline. Fortune City is the site of the latest zombie disease outbreak. You play as Chuck Greene, a former Motocross superstar who is a contestant in Fortune City’s “Terror is Reality” game show. Your wife was lost in the Vegas outbreak and now your daughter Katey has been infected. To keep Katey from succumbing to zombification you must find or purchase the expensive antizombie drug Zombrex. To make matters worse, someone has released thousands of zombies into Fortune City. A video of the incident has been released by the news and it would appear that the perpetrator was you, Chuck Greene! So now on top of everything else, you are public enemy #1. You have 72 hours until help arrives and you must clear your name before then.
Your “home base” is a makeshift sanctuary where the uninfected are all held up while they are awaiting help. While most of the inhabitants don’t know whether to trust your story of innocence, they reluctantly allow you to leave your daughter. While she is under their protection, you run through Fortune City trying to clear your name. You must regain the people’s trust by helping the lost and stranded people find sanctuary, defeating numerous “psychopaths”, finding Zombrex for your daughter, and bashing zombies. Unfortunately, the seemingly most fun part of that statement, “bashing zombies,” is reduced to an extremely minor element of the game play.
Leading up to my Dead Rising 2 purchase last year, Anotherdae and I were looking for a fun co-op game. I had read multiple reviews of Dead Rising 2 and was prepared for certain pitfalls, mainly the annoyance of the constant loading. Basically, whenever you enter a different area in the game you must endure at least a minute of loading. Most likely the delay is due to the incredible detail with which each area has been designed. So that basically rules out picking up Dead Rising 2 for some quick, fun zombie bashing play. But I was prepared for that…
What I was not prepared for was the ever-present, ever-stressful, ticking clock. The clock counts down the time within which you must complete multiple, simultaneous missions. I imagine the player is supposed to pick and choose which mission takes priority and whatever choices you make as Chuck effect the rest of the game. This creates multiple paths you can take and affect the ending of the game. So basically, while running from mission to mission, you must pass by thousands and thousands of tempting zombies that you’d love to murdalize but you just don’t have time. Because of the unpredictable time length of each mission, even if you think “hey I have a little time to bust just a few zombie heads on my way to the next mission”, you have no way of knowing how long that next mission will take. That’s pretty stressful, and I’m sorry, but that sucks. Combine that with a co-op experience where one person is stressed about time and the other person really wants to let off some aggression on a zombie’s face (with a nail bat), it definitely lends itself to starting an argument.
Allow me to expand further on a point that I mentioned where each mission takes an unpredictable amount of time to complete. For example, Chuck encounters a crazed Italian chef (one of the aforementioned “psychopaths”) who has decided to start catering to the zombies by cooking humans. You set out to fight him and save the woman he has cowering in the meat freezer. This fight can take an EXTREMELY long time as the chef keeps healing himself throughout the fight. Capcom is known for such puzzling challenges and there is always a trick to beating it in a timely fashion. But there just so happens to be a ticking clock that is counting down, and if for whatever reason it takes you too long to finish this mission, you will fail and then fail subsequent missions that are also placed closely on the time line. So, even when you defeat the crazed chef, your momentary feeling of victory is short lived because you realize you don’t have enough time to do another mission before you move on. Throughout the game you are faced with many time conditions just like this. It’s just not fun.
You would think that playing with a friend would relieve some of this stress but it really doesn’t. This game isn’t really conducive to teamwork. You might think you are coming to your friend’s rescue because he is on the bottom of a 10 zombie pile-on but then you realize that while you are swinging away with your nail bat clearing away the zombies you are also hitting your partner… drastically reducing his life. Now this wouldn’t be SO bad if life was easy to come by in the game, but its not.
There are 2 things that are really important in Dead Rising 2… health and a supply of good, strong weapons. The source of health throughout the game is food and beverage; which at most times is scarce. As you play the game, you realize that it is a good idea to always carry some food with you but your character can only hold a very limited number of weapons and supplies. So, when facing an exceedingly difficult foe or you get hurt through friendly fire, you are only limited to what either you or your partner is carrying. Otherwise you or your partner has to go running around the mall or wherever you are to find more food/drink. Combine that with the aforementioned stressful time condition and you realize that there is no time to do such wandering for commodities to save your partner. There is no auto-save function and if you die or botch an important mission, or just take too long to get from one place to another you must restart from your last save point which, in my experience, is frustratingly far from where you made your fatal error. Stressful and not fun.
Also, god forbid either you or your partner wants to go on a zombie killing spree while the clock is running. Anotherdae and I found each other yelling at one another over the stress of time. After less than 10 hours of total game play, Anotherdae and I got fed up and decided that Dead Rising 2 just wasn’t worth the stress of playing anymore and we both shelved our copies. We both shelved a brand new 60 dollar game that both of us knew neither of us would ever pick up again! 60 bucks down the drain!
Video games are supposed to be fun and not a source of stress. We have jobs and real lives that provide us with enough stress. We don’t need that bullshit from a video game.
Now, I am sure some of you are reading this review wondering “why is Verdeberg wasting his time and energy writing a review for a year-old game he obviously didn’t like so much that he didn’t even get close to finishing?” Because now Capcom is releasing Dead Rising 2 Off The Record for 40 bucks which is Dead Rising 2 but “offers an alternate storyline”, solves some of the time problems, adds some new elements, and places the hero of the original Dead Rising, Frank West, in Fortune City in place of Chuck Greene. This should really only be a 10-15 dollar DLC add-on. Now, everyone who suffered through Dead Rising 2 over the past year can now look at this release and feel thoroughly insulted. It feels reminiscent of the DLC missions Capcom released for Resident Evil 5 (a FAR superior game) at 5 dollars each or when Big Surf Island was introduced for Burnout Paradise by Critereon for 15 dollars.
Another reason why I was inspired to write this review was the hype around the release of the new game, Dead Island, which sparked some sort of post traumatic stress feelings that I had since buried in regards to Dead Rising 2. I entertained the idea of buying Dead Island for all of 2 minutes until I saw some footage and coverage on G4tv which highlighted game play that seemed all-to-familiar to me after playing Dead Rising 2. The combat videos and building of combo weapons just sparked really familiar negative feelings. I had bought Dead Rising 2 to satisfy my love of mercilessly re-killing zombies. Now I can’t even look at another zombie bashing game without feeling apprehension?
I hate that Dead Rising 2 has soured my love for the zombie bashing genre!
I give Dead Rising 2 a D. It had all the makings of an A game but that timer ruined it for me. I understand that Chuck Greene only had 72 hours in Fortune City but Capcom could have thought of a better way to convey that idea. As someone who happily owns many Capcom games I am very disappointed in them for this one. I’ve never thought to trade in a game I’ve yet to finish but I should have gotten rid of this one while it was still worth some kind of trade-in value at Gamestop.
There’s no time

dragon age: origins


Progress: On my second playthrough
I have been growing my Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O) beard again this past weekend. This game is so long you have time to grow a few weekend-warrior-type beards with this fantasy based role playing game (RPG) released by EA. A blight is steering down on the the world of Ferelden. The Humans, Dwarves, Mages and Elven people are all threatened by hordes of Darkspawn. As one of the last remaining Grey Wardens you must unite the people in time to face the blight and the dreaded archdemon behind it.

DA:O is truly as deep an experience as you want it to be. From the very first screens, you make choices as to what your experience will be with DA:O. You can choose your race, gender and specialty right away. Choosing to play as a warrior will give you a more hands-on battle experience while choosing to be a Mage will allow you to launch powerful spells from afar. Also, the non-player characters (NPC) in-game will treat you differently based on your race and specialty. Even the gameplay is customizable letting you choose the order that you complete quests in allowing the story to unfold at your pace. Lots of additional DLC material let you add more depth to the story in an already vast world.

Saving is key to a successful DA:O journey. As a general rule with RPGs, I like to keep a rotation of five saved games. Good points to save are after major plot changes and before going into battles you feel you may lose. After I have five going I generally save over the oldest as it is least likely I’ll want to backtrack that far into the game. This is very important, especially in a game like DA:O where your decisions throughout affect how future parts of the story will unravel. For example, saying the wrong thing to one of your allies may cause them to leave your team, or trusting the wrong person may lead to consequences down the road. Part of the draw with a game like DA:O is exploring all the different plot points and replaying by choosing a different path and seeing a different side to the story.
My first playthrough was 61 hours in length. I chose to be a human warrior, a very simple choice. After 61 hours I’ve grown quite attached to the characters in my party. Stand outs include Alistar, the whiny would-be king, Morrigan, the devilish Mage and Leliana, a rogue who was raised by the chantry. There are many more but the ones I’ve mentioned you can actually start romantic relationships with, providing you are in good favor with them.
There are some bugs that really messed up my experience. Long cut scenes with no audio. Awkward boss battles that ended with mis-ordered cut scenes. NPC starring off or running into walls. There are some humorous bugs too, I once used a fire spell on a thug and ended up in a conversation with a guy on fire (Much like the banner I chose up top). All these bugs, while frustrating, did not bother me as it would in most games. I almost feel with a game as open ended and as long as this there are bound to be a few hiccups.
Big shout-out to the Dragon Age Wiki, without which I would probably have had to take notes throughout the game. I don’t condone walkthroughs unless it is a last resort but this site is a handy reference. The cast of NPCs is very large; there are so many, it is easy to lose track of who is who. Most have small roles that they play in the numerous side quests you can partake in and often, you can run into a character you were introduced to previously without remembering who they are. The game does feature some very in-depth glossaries and maps called codexs that you can also refer to. I found having my laptop on the DA Wiki page to be handy to keep the game moving along while doing research.
DA:O really left an impression with me on many levels. The story, while slightly predictable, never let me down. Ideas of race, religion and the consequences of your choices are all relevant. Like I said before, this game can be a deep as you want, you could blaze right through skipping over cutscenes and hacking your way to the bosses or you can sit back, develop your character and learn more about the vast story of Ferelden laid out before you.
“enchantment? ….enchantment!”
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