Risk versus booty


Friday, July 28, 2006 | 04:12 PM | by
There are some pretty cool new demos floating around.

For 360 owners, you can hop on XBL and grab the Ninety-Nine Nights demo. I've heard this game received lukewarm response in Japan, which is where the game was targeted (to help move 360's in a culture that just isn't buying them).

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, and all action. Fans of Dynasty Warriors should be pleased. Controls are intuitive, and you can button mash, or learn some pretty devastating combos. The voice acting seems pretty weak at parts, and the storytelling is "meh". But it's really entertaining gameplay.

One that thing isn't mentioned in the controls screen is that if you hold down the guard button (left trigger) and point the left thumbstick in a direction, you'll automatically face that direction. Very handy for finding the largest group of enemies to wade into.

I enjoy westerns, so I was pretty excited to see a demo for Call of Juarez go up. I only got to spend about twenty minutes with it yesterday, but it looks promising.

What threw me the most was the akimbo gunplay. Meaning that each your two pistols fires independantly with the two mouse buttons. And since they're six-shooters, it really takes some awareness, and strategy and coordination to maximize your gunfighting.

There's a really cool bullet-time mode called Concentration, whereby, with your pistols holstered, you jump out from whatever cover is shielding you, or into whatever room you're busting into, and activate concentration. You quickdraw both pistols, and suddenly everything slows down. You have two crosshairs, a left and right, which are slowly converging on the center.

You place your shots as best you can, and when the time returns to normal speed, you watch your enemies fly to the ground dead, or dive for cover. It really helps when taking on multiple enemies at once.

Atmosphere is pretty cool. Unlike most previous westerns, they're going for an authentic, realistic feel to the game. You can pick up or destroy a lot of objects, which is pretty cool when you're shooting someone on a balcony, and they bust right through the railing and plummet to the street below.

The demo comes with two missions, it looks like. I only tried the one where you play as a reformed outlaw turned revered who is inevitably compelled to dust off the old six shooters in the name of vengeance. The voice acting is great.

Cool stuff.


Sunday, July 30, 2006 | 04:11 AM | by
So I got into Chromehounds online this past weekend. I suck terribly at it, but I'm strangely addicted.

I started out with Morskoj, but soon realized they were in the lead. So I switched to Tarakia, which was slightly behind.

I made a squad for the hell of it. If anyone out there wants to join the Steel Potatoes, you're more than welcome. Password to apply is XYYX. Have at. I think I have to be online to accept applications (weird). I'm usually on evenings I guess. You can send me a friend request (Absath) if that will help you find when I'm on.

Like I said, I'm not that good at the game yet. So if you're looking for the "uberest noob-pwning elite squad", this probably isn't it. But if you want to goof off and try and blow some shit up, come on by.

I'll talk more about Chromehounds multiplayer on Monday.

E3 as we know it, no more?

Sunday, July 30, 2006 | 04:40 PM | by
Apparently Joystiq has the inside word. We're expected to hear in the next couple of days that E3 will no longer be held. At least not the over-the-top, extravagant, bright shiny lights and enormous fancy booths E3 as it's come to be in the recent past.

I can't say I'm surprised- having attended the past two E3's, I can personally vouch for the amount of money that publishers waste at this thing, hoping for the press that really just isn't worth it. By all means, make it more about the games, and less about the show.

Anyway, I'll always be proud to say that I attended the last flashy E3.