Archives for : August2013

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate ­ “New Management” Trailer Reveal

Pre-order Batman: Arkham Origins here!
Pre-order Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate here!

 

Developed by Armature Studio, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate brings the core Arkham pillars to a handheld format for the first time to Sony and Nintendo handheld systems. Featuring stealth gameplay, free-flow combat, and Batman¹s infamous gadgets, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate captures the genuine Arkham feel players have come to appreciate. A companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, players can continue the storyline of the console version and discover more details of the Dark Knight’s past. After gang-fueled uprisings occur within the walls of Blackgate Prison, Batman is called in to restore order and put an end to the rebellion before the chaos implodes. With gripping 2.5-D graphics, fully voiced narrative, and a captivating storyline, players will explore deep inside the bowels of this remote island penitentiary that plays an important role in the Arkham universe.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will release on PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Batman: Arkham Origins developed by WB Games Montréal will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360®, the Wii U system, and Windows PC. Both games will release worldwide on Oct. 25, 2013.

Playstation Mobile Spotlight: Ten By Eight, iBomber Defense and Little Acorns

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Hey now! Welcome to our third (not-so) weekly column looking at the wide world of Playstation Mobile titles. This week we have two titles from Chillingo and a great puzzle game. Before we begin here are links to our previous Playstation Mobile reviews…

Life of Pixel
Ripstone Titles

And finally my fave Playstation Mobile title thus far…
Haunt the House: Terrortown

Also you can find our first column here!
And the ever lovely second column here!

And now, on with the show!

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Ten By Eight
Publisher/Developer: Action Button Entertainment

What they say: Ten by Eight is a puzzle game strong enough for a brain surgeon and pH-balanced for a rocket scientist. Swap tiles into groups of three or more. Chain up the longest match you can.

10x8 1What I say: Ten By Eight follows the cardinal rule of puzzle games; easy to pick up, difficult to master. The game gets its name from the setup of its puzzle grid; ten blocks wide and eight blocks tall. The four types of colored blocks match up with the very familiar Playstation button symbols (Cross, Circle, Triangle, and Square). The object of the game is to link as many matched symbol blocks as possible in order to chain them into combos. There are also star blocks scattered throughout that can be used to link blocks of two different colors into longer chains. Naturally the longer the chain and the number of star blocks the bigger the score. You must always pay attention to the field in order to see possibilities for chains and linking them.

The game consists of three modes; Timed which is quite obviously about scoring as much as possible within a time limit, Endless which takes away the timer but adds rocks which have to be completely surrounded by a chain in order to dispose of them, and finally Zen which takes away the timer and rocks and just lets you score to your hearts content. Timed is easily my fave mode as there is quite a bit of challenge involved to managing your time and getting nice big chains. Endless is fine but those rocks will drive you crazy as if one reaches the bottom of the field its game over. Zen is quite honestly kind of dull but it has its uses in gaining points. Points are used to purchase different characters to use. The different characters make no real change in gameplay. It is purely visual based on what character you want to see the most.
The game has a minimalist look but it suits the game and the various characters you can equip are cute and everyone will surely fine one they become attached to. The music is very nice and complements the game well. The game is a lot of fun and becomes very addicting very quickly.

Rating: 8/10

 

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iBomber Defense
Publisher: Chillingo
Developer: Cobra

What they say: The world of iBomber has got bigger and better! iBomber Defense combines classic tower defense gameplay with the intense action and strategy of the original iBomber games. Keep enemies at bay all over the world using a variety of weapons and tactics, from rattling Machine guns, explosive cannons and awesome anti-aircraft artillery!

What I say: iBomber Defense is on the surface a standard tower defense game ibomber defense 1and there are certainly no shortage of those. Fortunately iBomber has quite a bit going for it to separate it from the pack. Sporting a sharp crisp look iBomber Defense is quite a challenge. Once you get past the first few levels difficulty raises pretty regularly. The game does a fine job of putting the best parts of tower defense games forward while trying a few new things. The most primary of these is the ability to “rewind” a bit in order to try to retackle tough waves. There is a cooldown period involved so you cannot spam it so it does not become a crutch.

Despite the familiarity the game shows, it is a damn near perfect example of the genre. If you enjoy tower defense games at all then you will certainly enjoy iBomber Defense.

Rating: 8/10

little acorns

Little Acorns
Publisher: Chillingo
Developer: Team Pesky

What they say: Helping Mr. Nibbles hoard enough acorns for his family will take quick wits and skillful jumps in this fantastic new platformer. Zany power-ups will help you along the way, and the precision controls will make sure every split-second move you make counts.

little acorns 1What I say: Little Acorns concerns the plight of a family of cute squirrels who have lost their supply of nuts. So naturally Papa Squirrel goes on an adventure to reclaim them. At its heart Little Acorns is an old school platformer. But there is more than enough variety to keep you busy for quite a while. The levels generally consist of gathering the titular little acorns. But that’s almost never all there is to it. After getting all the acorns in a level five pieces of fruit appear, if you can get them within the time limit you unlock new clothing for your squirrel. This is motivation to replay levels in order to be able to change up the little fellow.

The game with its blocky, cartoony style looks fantastic and the game is fun and addictive and perfect for the mobile platform as it can be played in small bites or marathon sessions as this game very much makes you keep telling yourself “Just one more game…”. Another thing Little Acorns has going for it is the almost pitch perfect play control. The game is easily on par with the best platformers in recent memory. As a package this has been one of the more enjoyable Playstation Mobile titles. I definitely recommend this game!

Rating: 9/10

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this look at what Playstation Mobile has to offer. We will do our best to keep the column on a more timely schedule. These games are available for Playstation Mobile certified devices and of course the PS Vita.

Be sure to support these great developers and A Darker Image and pick up a PSN card here!

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: PS3 Game Review

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: 2K Marin
Purchase here!

the bureau

What they say: The year is 1962. JFK is President and the Cold War has the the bureau 1nation gripped by fear – but a far more powerful and insidious enemy than communism is threatening America. Known only to a select few, a top-secret government unit only known as The Bureau begins investigating and concealing a series of mysterious attacks by an otherworldly enemy. As special agent William Carter, call the shots, pull the trigger and lead your squad in a gripping third-person tactical shooter set within a high-stakes, covert war to protect humanity. The Bureau’s mission is clear – survive, adapt and overcome the enemy threat to protect the citizens from the truth.

the bureau 2What I say: The Bureau has had quite the difficult birth. The game started off as a first person shooter but as XCOM fans raged the game was retooled as a third person shooter with strategy elements. I really think this was a wise decision as it gives the game a different feel from anything else currently on the market. Taking its cues from classic XCOM and the Mass Effects series this game is a refreshing fusion of these genres.

Set in 1962, we follow Agent Carter as he deals with an alien invasion while being recruited into XCOM. We see the beginnings of things that will eventually lead into the XCOM games we know and love. Even though this new games is a third person shooter, there are definitely tactical decisions to be made. It is important to balance your team that you assemble before every mission. Your choices start off pretty low level but as you and your crewmates level up more tech and options become available. This is of course instrumental in defeating the ever growing alien menace. You assign your crew tasks through a command wheel and combat slows in order for you to make your selections. the bureau 3Also of note, if one of your crew dies during a mission and is not revived…they are gone. You cannot get them back. This is especially painful if you get a team together you really like and level them up only to lose them to a tactical error. However, the AI could use some work as if you are not issuing constant commands they make some downright puzzling choices like seeking cover next to an alien and so on. And when they kill themselves it’s even worse. Missions are varied and fun for the most part, especially when you get that perfect team put together.

Between missions you can explore the XCOM base and find NPCs to talk to and find out more about the world of The Bureau. It can be pretty cool at first, but once you see everything there’s not much need to keep at it except when directed to do so. The NPCs are great for giving you info but there is not much personality there so talking to them may get old quickly, it all depends how much you get into the XCOM lore.

the bureau 4Graphically the game looks pretty good. The cutscenes are exceptionally well done and the game it’s self runs nice and smooth. As it takes place in 1962, everything naturally has a 1950s-ish vibe to it making it perfect for the subject matter. The story is no great shakes but it does keep things moving and keeps you motivated.

Overall The Bureau: XCOM Declassified was a nice surprise, especially considering all the retooling it received before release. If you are a XCOM fan you need not fear the third person shooter elements as they pretty seamlessly integrate with the strategy elements for a satisfactory experience.

Rating: 8/10

Out Here in the Wild – Official Destiny ViDoc

Activision just sent over a new Destiny trailer. Exciting stuff! This game just keeps looking better and better!

Destiny is due in 2014. Pre-order here!

Activision Announces Call of Duty: Ghosts PlayStation Upgrade for a Suggested Retail Price of Just $10

Activision Announces Call of Duty®: Ghosts PlayStation Upgrade for a Suggested Retail Price of Just $10

Announcement Joins Other Policies Designed to Smooth Transition to Next Gen for Call of Duty® Gamers

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COLOGNE, Germany – August 21, 2013 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq:ATVI), today announced further details surrounding Call of Duty®: Ghosts’ participation in Sony’s PS3 to PS4 upgrade program. The upgrade program is completely optional and allows consumers who purchase Call of Duty: Ghosts on PlayStation®3 to upgrade to the PlayStation®4 version of the game for a limited time at a suggested retail price of only $10, €10, or £10 depending on territory. More details will be shared in the weeks to come.

cod ghosts ps4“Today we’re announcing that anyone who buys Call of Duty: Ghosts for the PS3 will be able to upgrade to Call of Duty: Ghosts for the PS4 for a limited time at a suggested retail price of just $10, €10, or £10,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Retail programs, announced by Amazon and GameStop allow our players to upgrade from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts for $10 as well. We have also previously announced that for a limited time our players will bring all of their Season Pass Content and all of their in-game progress with them within a console family, for no additional charge. We have the best fans in the world, and we want to make this transition as seamless and easy for them as possible. And there’s more news to come on that front. Stay tuned.”

Published by Activision Publishing, Inc. and developed by Infinity Ward, Call cod ghosts ps3of Duty: Ghosts will release on Xbox 360 game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PC and Wii U™ on November 5. The title will also release on the Xbox One, the all-in one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system later this year. Call of Duty: Ghosts is rated M for Mature (Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language) by the ESRB. For more information, please visit www.callofduty.com/ghosts, www.facebook.com/CODGhosts, or follow on Twitter @InfinityWard.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher, and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China, and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.

Pre-order Call of Duty Ghosts for PS3 and PS4.