March 26, 2010

The Elite 8 ... of Mega Man 2 Music

March Madness and the Men's NCAA Championship is craaaazee this year!  And to keep the craaaazeeness going, here's what my mind has conceived:

THE ELITE 8 ... OF ROBOT MASTERS' LEVEL MUSIC!!! (begin Boss Victory music here)

Inspired by the awesomeness of March Madness, I've created the ultimate video game competition bracket, and what better choice for combat than eight Robot Masters from arguably the best game in the Mega Man series?  And instead of fighting against each other, their level theme songs go one-on-one?  And how often do these Masters get to fight against each other?  I'm sure there's a little inner-office bickering down in Wily's Castle about who gets to play their level music in the office CD player from time to time and not just contending against Mega Man himself.

Unfortunately since they can't literally exchange blows (you know they're not real, right?), your clicky fingers will do the battling American Idol style.

Each round will give you the ability to listen to each Robot Master's different music, then you simply vote on which one you like better!

~ The tip-off for Round One begins now and will end Monday morning March 29th whenever I get up and remember to check the vote count before I "Focus" on Final Fantasy all day.

~ The Final Four will begin March 29th and go until April 2nd.

~ The Universal Championship will last from April 2nd until April 5th as soon as the NCAA Final is over, when the Master Robot Master will be named!

Note: You only get one vote per day, so this might be a pretty tight race.  In the event of a tie ... I guess I'll choose, much like a Boxing judge.

Click the jump button below to begin voting for your favorite Robot Master level theme music!  


March 18, 2010

Halo: Reach, New Matchmaking Details

I've never heard of this website before, but shacknews (via ran through some of the excitingly ambiguous things we saw in that latest Halo: Reach multiplayer beta trailer.  Explained are:

Active Roster - Thought to be some kind of drop-in-drop-out mechanic, it's more of a pre-game lobby interface that tells you what all your friends are doing if they're playing Reach.  This would eliminate/lessen the use of the forever-loading Guide and provide an overall streamlined nature to Halo multiplaying.  Very cool.

Arena - This is for the more hardcore players with a great new ranking structure that sounds like athletic standings, "daily rankings" being a feature.  Geared more for the higher echelons, it doesn't discourage the low-levels as long as people play mainly against same skilled players.  Could be neat, especially with a prominently displayed global leaderboard ...

Various voting changes - The coolest is perhaps more veto options that allow for vetoing specific match elements instead of the whole thing.  For example, still want to play Shotty Snipes but not on this map?  Veto the map only!  Also, you can kind of customize your account how you typically like to play, whether you're "chatty" or "quiet," want to win or just have fun, "polite vs. rowdy," and even whether you like to play alone or are team-minded.

Speaking of customizing, no mention as to the Loadout situation, so we'll just have to drool over these pics and read and re-read the article because there's more in it than I've mentioned here.  This is a must read!

Can't Afford a New 360 Hard Drive? Try a USB Memory Stick ...

First, I'm back!  I've just been consumed with the beautiful Final Fantasy XIII (and work), and really haven't had the energy to post.  But it's time for me to buck up.

Now, onto the news, and what cool news it is!

Via two articles by Joystiq and Kotaku, it looks like one of the next system updates will allow the usage of USB storage devices (that have a maximum storage of 16GB)!  512MB will be used to "recognize" the storage unit, but the remainder on the device sounds like it's fair game!

This is fantastic news since I've had to delete some demos and content I didn't want to because my hard drive is steadily dwindled away!  According to the Joystiq article "Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live Indie games, Games on Demand, DLC and Title Updates" are transferrable ... but I don't know why you'd want to move/save a TU to one ...

One drawback, however, is that one console can only recognize two memory sticks at a time, so we can't keep buying Sandisk after Sandisk stick when we need it.  But still ... 32GB of extra space?  That's more than my hard drive came with, so that's incredible news to me!

March 9, 2010

FFXIII In My Hands!

I didn't do the midnight thing last night since I didn't have the day off today.  And I was going to pick it up after work, but I had a mite frustrating day and needed a pick-me-up, so I got it during my lunch hour.

Looking forward to beginning the journey tonight!

Of course, I'm meaning once my wife goes to bed ... :)

March 5, 2010

Portal 2 - Share Your Cake with Co-Op

And the floodgates have opened for Portal 2!

Via G4TV, GameStop released today a description of the what we can expect in Valves unique shooter's sequel:

Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Features single and multiplayer co-op modes. The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game. The game’s two-player cooperative mode features its own entirely separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters. This new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals. Success will require them to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively.

However, going to the game's GameStop page now yields a more truncated version of the above:

Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game.

Co-op puzzles?  Twice the companion cubes, maybe?  And a different co-op campaign?  Um, this is going up on my list of anticipated games ASAP!

Two Awesome Sequel Announcements for BioShock 2 and ... PORTAL 2!

BioShock 2 news:

The Sinclair Solutions Test Pack is going to be available March 11, next Thursday, for 400 points/$5!  Read here for the skinny on what you get.  This one is purely multiplayer related, and I'll admit that I'm enjoying multiplayer a lot more as I play.  Perhaps I should write my own second-opinion ...

Now for the people who are still alive ...

Portal 2 news:

It exists!!!  And this cake isn't a lie.  The April issue of GameInformer places Portal on a pedestal with snazzy cover art and a 12 page spread, covering details that reveal, among other things, that PORTAL 2 WILL BE A STAND ALONE GAMEPortal on The Orange Box was amazing, perhaps more memorable than the Half-Life portion only because it was something completely new and unexpectedly cool.  But lasting mere hours, it begged for add ons.  I'm looking forward to more mind-exploding puzzles, new twists, and a continuing dark humor-undertone that ends with another hilarious credits-song ... or tops it!

Ominbus - Final Fantasy XIII

I haven't updated much about Final Fantasy XIII, have I?  And it's coming out just over 3 days, gawrsh dang it!  I promise you, I'm gearing up for this one as the countdown clock at the bottom clips towards zero.  Honestly there hasn't been a fury of megaton news drops about it, but with Final Fantasy in the title, it will make waves regardless.  Japan's had it for two months now (as pictured above), but those waves are finally going to crash Stateside this coming Tuesday!

I'm going to miss out on playing it crazily on March 9th, though, and I haven't decided yet if I'll be going to a midnight release (if they happen).  Work responsibilities.  My plan is, however, to begin Tuesday night and play into Wednesday by wrangling a day off.  'Twill be a fun hump-day!

I hope you've liked my two stabs at reviews for BioShock 2 and Aliens vs. Predator, but don't hold your breath for a Final Fantasy XIII review within the first two weeks or even month because I've read this adventure will take at least 30 hours to go through, and if there are opportunities to level up, then for me that will probably eclipse 45.  Unless a miracle happens that I can blaze through and wrap my brain around everything, then early April might be a more realistic window to post a review.

So, in omnibus fashion, after the jump are a series of articles, previews, reviews and bullet points for your perusal.  If you're not even the least bit in anticipation for XIII, you might want to give it a shot ... you don't even need to have played I-XII to know anything!

But shame on you if you haven't even heard of VII ...

March 4, 2010

Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta Trailer Speculations

IGN makes some very nice observations and predictions in their Rewind Theater about yesterday's exciting Reach multiplayer beta trailer.  Enjoy below!

March 3, 2010

Review - Aliens vs. Predator - A Shallow and Bloody Bad Time

(A little late, sorry, but I take a lot of time when I write!)

"I got a bad feeling about this drop," prophesies Pvt. Frost minutes before he, Ripley, and "the Corps" thrust themselves into the xenomorph badlands of LV-426 in Aliens.

"So you cooked up a story and dropped the six of us in a meatgrinder?" expostulates "Ah-nold" Dutch to "Apollo Creed" Dillon in Predator.

Two quotes from the two films of which February 16th's Aliens vs. Predator represents are ironically perfect descriptions of my internal struggle and short play through experience with said game.  Anyone who knows me knows well that I'm an Alien fanatic.  The Predator is less of an appealing obsession, save for his completely cool design, but the Alien, to me, is the king (or Queen) of nightmarishly simple creations that are just down right, well, creative.  Plug into the xeno-realm the inseparable fate of the steadfast Lt. Ellen Ripley, each a thorn in each other's claw, and the Alien saga is thematic as well as frightful.  I love the Alien franchise.

So, perhaps I went into this game with too much excitement and hope, focusing too much on one side of the adversarial triangle that is Aliens vs. Predator.  Aliens, Predators, and the humans they encounter are tightly woven into their own universes, and though crossing over sounds fantastic in idea (and conceptually it's not really all that bad), executing that crossover in film and video game hasn't met with resounding success.  On the other hand, Rebellion's first two attempts in the franchise were very well received for both the Atari Jaguar and the PC.  I played the PC version and it scared the poo out of me!  For it's time, the graphics and gameplay were superior.  Was it wrong to hope that the team who seemed to have the AvP formula down would secure another hit?  And is it ever wrong to have hope, anyway?

No, but for this game my hope for a quality experience never came.  That's why it's a huge eye-opener when I say that six days after having my highly anticipated copy, I traded it back in.  I, the Xenophile that I am, got rid of probably the best looking Alien game to date.  But looks will only take you so far.  In the end, all I felt I had experienced were point-blank sequences of gore, three incredibly uninspired campaigns, and a lack of multiplayer replay value.

Read on for my sadly disappointing experience with Aliens vs. Predator.

Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta Trailer!!!

I'm excited about Halo multiplayer again!  At least until it frustrates me.

But new game modes, gameplay mechanics ... the beta is gonna be something special.

Watch the trailer below and make sure you wipe the drool from your mouth afterward.

Countdown timer soon to follow!

March 2, 2010

In the Light of a Lacking Aliens Vs. Predator Review ...

... of which I'm working on, here is this tidbit from Kotaku about Aliens: Colonial Marines.  I guess you don't really need to read it.  I'll tell you, so just have a seat.

Gearbox, not Rebellion, is working on this one.  They made Borderlands.  Now that Borderlands is out and performing well, they feel more ready than ever to put tons of focus onto their xenomorphic entry.

Randy Pitchford of Gearbox has said "It's the thing I've been stealing from all my career. Now I'm really working on it, but we've been quiet about that so far."

If it gives you any indication about my feelings on Aliens vs. Predator, I'm looking forward to Colonial Marines to revive my hopes that there could be a great console Aliens game.