Friday, March 26, 2010

More on the Nintendo 3DS

As a brief follow-up, this video of an upcoming DSiWare game shows what the gameplay on the 3DS may look like.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nintendo Announces 3D Handheld

The Nintendo DS (originally released in 2004), and it's offspring the DS Lite, DSi, and newly released DSi XL, is currently the best selling handheld gaming system of all time. Earlier this morning Nintendo announced the upcoming release of their newest Dual Screen incarnation, the 3DS (working title).

(The Nintendo DS Lite)

The new system, set for release in March of 2011, is said to incorporate stereoscopic displays, which will not require the user to wear polarized glasses (much like the 3D advertisements popping up in recent years). The system will also be able to play every original Nintendo DS title, and sport front and back-facing cameras, like the DSi. 

While little is now known about the specifics of the system, further details are said to become available at the 2010 E3 Expo, held in Los Angeles in June.

(For all the old folks... Nintendo's first 3D handheld, which led to hours of eye bleeding.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Xbox 360 Slim

 (360 Slim? Obviously a doctored image of a Slim PS2 but interesting nonetheless.)

Rumors abound about the possible release of an Xbox 360 "Slim". The original whisperings began surfacing when Sony released the PS3 Slim, but increased to a murmur when a "leaked Microsoft memo" hit the internet. The memo, since heralded as a hoax, made mention of a name change for a yet unreleased version of the console, indicating that "XBOX Lean" and "XBOX Granite" have given way to "XBOX Pure." Obviously "Xbox Lean" implies a slimmed-down version of the console, although I'm not thrilled with the idea of "Xbox Pure", since it may indicate Microsoft will be further following in Sony's footsteps and dropping the hardware that supports original Xbox titles. ZERO BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY FTL.

Things jumped to a dull roar as images of a smaller 360 motherboard popped up. According to
"The motherboard reportedly packs the CPU and GPU onto a single chip--that'd be it purportedly hiding under the CoolerMaster fan"

Several questions remain, not the least of which is "How will the old hard drive fit onto a leaner model?" and "Will there be any red-ring-esque issues upon launch?" Nothing official has been announced as of my writing this, but we'll do our best to keep you folk(s) posted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

**NOTE: This is an old review, one that I did for the old site. I had it on hand and wanted to go ahead and get something up. I KNOW it's kind of irrelevant now. I know.

When the demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed hit the Xbox Live marketplace, everyone with a 360 and access to the internet dove into what was essentially the first level of the game, plus several advanced force abilities unlocked. And there was much rejoicing. I was among many who salivated at the crisp graphics (no stranger to the console), and took a childish delight in chucking storm troopers into oblivion. Let's jump forward here for a moment. It's barely a week after the game's release, and I'm standing in GameStop, game in hand, ready to trade it in. "But how could it have come to this?" Well I'll tell you, but you won't like what I have to say very much. One of the principal issues lies in the game's length. It is around 10 hours long, with virtually no replay value because of certain control hindrances to be later identified. One might argue that the publisher has plans to release additional levels later on. Levels you buy off of Xbox Live. For money. Wait... I just paid sixty dollars for half a game?

As you advance through the game, you begin to realize that the targeting system has little to no sense of priority, so many times while attempting to zap an enemy you find yourself instead blasting yourself to kingdom come, because you've accidentally detonated a nearby bomb. Similar to God of War, when you've done enough damage to an enemy, you are directed to follow a sequence of on-screen prompts, resulting in you character performing a sort of finishing move. Unfortunately, the buttons you hit in the sequence are the same ones you attack with, so you occasionally trigger the event without realizing it.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of the game is the fact that you can hit an opponent with your lightsaber, which should cut them in half, and they won't even get knocked back. However if YOU take a hit you're sent flying, and it takes so long to get back up that during melee battles you get tossed around like a rag doll.

I won't say there aren't any positive elements to the game, it looks gorgeous, and the voice acting is excellent. However, gamers shouldn't have to rely on graphics and voice work as the selling point for a game, especially with the high quality play possible on the next-gen consoles. If you've got to play this one, rent it or buy it used.