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Archive for August, 2012

Rock Band Blitz is the newest emergence from the franchise and it brings a new way to play all that music you have purchased. With Blitz you no longer have to run to the store to buy batteries when you want to rock. This game utilizes your normal console controller instead of the plastic instruments we all have lying around. You will get a new 25 song setlist with Blitz but all of your previous DLC and exports are also compatible. Another new feature is power ups which will take everything you think you know about the franchise and turn it upside down.

Pros:

Library Card: Like a library you have many different choices in what you want to experience. The Rock Band Franchise is on its 250th week of consecutive DLC for for nearly 4000 available songs. This makes the replay value of the game immensely greater than if it only had its 25 song soundtrack. All of your exports of previous games also work and you can even export Blitz into Rock Band 3 which is currently not available to be exported into Blitz itself.

Power Ups/Coins: One of the new additions to the franchise with nce certain ones will work better on certain songs. You have three different types of power ups within the game that you can utilize for high scores, they include overdrive power ups, note power ups, and instrument power ups. The double points power up for drums will work best on songs with intense drum beats and if you combine that with band mate to have that drum track played for you while you hammer out another one you may top the leaderboards. Using the power ups in smart ways leads to high scores, which in turn gives you coins to use to buy more power ups. You can even connect the game to the Rock Band World Facebook app for more ways to earn coins and some intense multiplayer.

Rock Band World: This is a new feature and it is very fun to use. When you load up the Rock
Band World app you can do many different things. First of all you can start challenges that will get you extra coins, these can be done alone or with groups of friends and range from playings songs from specific decades, to getting a certain number of stars, and even guessing mystery songs. These challenges become even more fun when you are looking at the leaderboards to see how your friends did, and then trying to beat them. If you want to shame them even more you can challenge them to a score war.

Asynchronous Multiplayer: While Rock Band Blitz doesn’t have multiplayer from the main menu of the game, it does have its score wars from within the Facebook app. Score Wars let you challenge a friend to see who can get the highest score on a song within three days. You will go back and forth battling it out to become king or queen of the song. If you manage to win this war you will be granted 1500 coins to use on power ups. These battles are great fun especially if they stay close up until the last hours and you have to fight for the win and the bragging rights.

Cons:

Score War Process: While I love the score wars I do wish they were better implemented into the game. From the Rock Band World app you can challenge your friends to these but from in the game you can only send out challenges to random people. I wish that you could challenge friends from within the game because it would make the process all that much easier.

In Conclusion:

Rock Band Blitz shows that the franchise has life beyond the plastic instruments that litter your gaming room. With the Score Wars and DLC with no end in sight you will be coming back to the game over and over again. I do hope that the Rock Band World app makes its way to handhelds so accepting challenges and starting wars is easier. The cost of admission is only fifteen dollars and you won’t regret taking the plunge back into the colorful world that Harmonix has created.

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Skin Pack 2 is on it’s way for Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition and we have the details inside.  (more…)

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Humble Heart’s Dust: An Elysian Tail was the winner of the 2009 Dream.Build.Play challenge and because of this it was pick up and published by Microsoft instead of just going onto the indie games channel of Xbox Live. Winning that competition and showing off the games potential was one of the best things that could have happened for the game. It gave them more money to create this masterpiece that plays like platformers of old and is one of the breakout games of 2012.

Pros:

Combat: The combat in Dust is very simple but I never got tired of it and always wanted to go deeper into the game. The X and Y buttons account for your attacks and can be comboed together for devastating damage. You eventually get access to a whirlwind attack that can be combined with Fidgets ranged attack to hit enemies hundreds of times in mere seconds. This whirlwind can also be used when jumping to soar through the air. These easily mastered controls combined with the detailed graphics make all the fighting you will have to do easy on the eyes and enjoyable.

Graphics: Dust has a graphic style that may as well be considered moving art. It is so pretty it will melt your eyes only to put them back together with the promise of more gorgeous adventures. The whole game is hand drawn and you can see the love that was put into it from all the amazing details.

Cameos: Stan Lee may be the king of cameos but the indie community are the ones that make appearances here. You will find friends like Gomez from Fez, Tim from Braid, The Kid from Bastion, and the Maw. Other games like Super Meat Boy, Audio Crew, Spelunky and the Dishwasher series are all represented as well. These appearances aren’t the only thing to make you smile because many pop culture references made it into the game as well. This really was a service and I was happy to see these things make it into the game.

Avatar Awards: The game comes with some avatar award Tshirts based off the three main characters of the game. The gorgeous art of Dust, Fidget, and Ahrah are all on these shirts that you avatar can show off when playing games that utilize them. They are gained at various story points in the game and I really enjoyed unlocking them.

Content Galore: With the amount of content that Dust has, it could have easily sold for twenty dollars and still have been worth it. At the price of fifteen dollars it is a steal and the main story alone will have you playing for hours on end. If you were to do all of the side missions, harder difficulties, and full percentage complete we are talking even more hours and it would be a better deal than some retail games.

Cons:

Fidget: Dust has two companions on his adventure, a sword named Ahrah and the flying creature named Fidget. Fidget is similar to Navi from the legend of Zelda series in that she is a guide around the world and she can tell when treasure is near. She is also annoying in the same way that Navi is and she lives up to her name and makes you Fidget in your seat sometimes when she talks.

In Conclusion:

Dust: An Elysian Tail is a beautiful game and a great way to end the Summer of Arcade for 2012. you will go on an epic adventure that will bring you deep within the world of the game. It will also bring back many memories of older side scrolling games and is a true fan service that I would reccomend to anyone.

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We know that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 DLC is coming to its HD counterpart but now we get to see some of that in action.  (more…)

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The Olympic Games are something the world only gets to experience every couple years with it alternating between summer and winter. It is a time when we as a species come together to cheer on our fellow man. Sega also releases an Olympic video game every two years, and it takes place in the same venue with many of the same events that you get experience first hand.

Pros:

Diversity of Events: Sega does a great job at bringing many different events into the game. We do have quite a few that play similar but they are all fun to play. Track and Field is present with events like the 100 meter dash and the javelin throw. Gymnastics and aquatics are represented by the trampoline and freestyle swimming. Lastly we have archery and skeet in the archery and shooting events. Being able to participate in these events and many more really make you feel like you are party of the games themselves.

Leaderboards: When loading into your events the leaderboards for the event scroll along the screen just daring you to try and beat the scores. Once you actually load and you are watching the intro to the event it will show you the Olympic and the world records. The leaderboards being ever present will make you want to do events repeatedly until you are number one.

Customization: London 2012 gives you the option to customize all of your teams for each of the events. This feature was enjoyable to use because you could edit the characters to look like friends and family and then change their names. I was immersed in trying to win medals even more with this feature because it let me feel like my friends and family were there with me trying to win for our country.

Better with Kinect: London 2012 can be played using the Kinect for the Xbox 360 and one great part is it isn’t required but a choice. The party mode is really enjoyable with Kinect where you are competing against other players and trying to get power ups or debuff the other player. There is also a challenge mode in party play where you will have to get so many stars to complete the challenge. Party mode and Kinect are great they get you up off the couch and give you more of a workout than you might think.

Campaign Mode: The campaign mode of the game has you select a country and take your team to the Olympic Games. While playing this mode you attempt to earn gold medals and records for your country, you can also earn golden accessories for the events to show off how you did in the campaign. This mode gives you the chance to earn the bragging rights and it really challenges you on the harder difficulties.

Cons:

Kinect: While the Kinect is a great feature of the game it is also on the annoying side sometimes. This isn’t the fault of the game at all but there are times that you have to do a motion over and over to get Kinect to recognize it. Like I said I can’t really penalize the game for this because it is the tech itself.

Events: The game has plenty of different events to do but as mentioned earlier some of them play very similar. Take the trampoline from gymnastics and the springboard from diving for example, they have you moving your joysticks and hitting buttons in sequence to complete the tricks. I wish that some of these events that are so similar could have been dropped in favor of some that played a little different.

In Conclusion:

London 2012 shows that Sega will keep making their Olympic games better and more immersive. I can’t wait till 2014 when we get to see what they bring to the table for the winter Olympics that will take place in Sochi, Russia. I would love to see an official game release alongside a Sonic and Sega All Stars Olympics but with Sonic and friends tied up with Mario I don’t see it happening. All in all if you enjoy the Olympic games and want to experience them first hand while having large amounts of fun head out and pick up the game.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 takes multiplayer to 2025! You will be able to experience it for yourself on November 13. (more…)

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Tony Hawk has been a staple to the action sports genre since 1999 with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and with a clear decline in sales becoming evident over the past 5 years and attempts at new innovation seemingly going nowhere Robomodo teamed up with the Hawkman himself to bring back the best of the past in this HD title, so the only question is does it bring back the high scoring ridiculousness we love or leave us hoping for more. Read on to find out.

 

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