New Overlord II Trailer Released

Overlord II

Click Here For Official Site!

As a huge fan of the original game in this franchise, I can’t wait to hop back into my evil shoes and send my minions out to die horrible deaths in my name.  Codemasters decided to release of few more details on their game today, along with a new gameplay trailer. Let’s take a look, eh?

In Overlord II the Minions return stronger, smarter, deadlier (and funnier) and are ready to fight in epic battles that will see them squaring up to the Legions of a new enemy– the Glorious Empire. Their horde mentality is as wild and outrageous as ever and their loyalty to their Overlord has not changed– they’ll do anything and everything that’s commanded of them (and then a bit more) to aid their masters’ quest to destroy or dominate the land.

During the Overlord’s onslaught, the savage pack will gleefully destroy the towns of the Empire and decide the fate of their denizens. Given the right instruction, they’ll even gather voluptuous mistresses for the Overlord and infiltrate the very heart of the Glorious Empire’s army badly (but passably) disguised as diminutive soldiers.

Delivering a whole new level of Minion control, players can equip the Overlord’s devoted brown, green and red Minions with mounts, unique and deadly creatures ready to raise hell. Forming the Minion Cavalry division, brown Minions can ride and control packs of vicious wolves (“Aw, lovelies wolfies”). On wolf-back, the Minions can be swept into attacks and knock enemies off their feet through sheer force and then bite and gore opponents in lupine finishing moves.

Red Minions ride fire salamanders, which become living flamethrowers that shoot fireballs as a primary attack. Green Minions can mount giant spiders, enabling them to climb walls to get to places where no other Minion can get. Meanwhile, the blue Minions, the more ethereal and Zen-like of the tribes, wouldn’t be seen dead on a creature’s back; but they will keep their eyes on their Minion pals and, should they take a tumble or get injured, they’ll dash to the rescue and make use of their unique healing powers.

“The Minions are the stars of the show and we’ve brought them back with bigger personalities and with more abilities than before,” said Lennart Sas, Creative Director, Triumph Studios.“Hilariously supercharged, the Minions can tear down scenery and destroy buildings, ride mounts and operate powerful siege weapons in massive battles with the Empire. They became hugely popular from the first game, so we’re upping their profile, abilities and unique characteristics.”

Spider mounts? Fire breathing salamanders? Wenches? Is there anything this game doesn’t have? Oh yeah, the ability to SHOW us any of that…except the spiders. Oh well, the trailer still looks spot on. They seem to be keeping the formula that worked last time, only upping the graphic content and number of minions you’re allowed to have at once. See?

Still no word on whether they fix players’ biggest gripe; the lack of a map system. Nothing is worse than being all dressed up in intimidating plate armor with a horde of minions and then wandering around in a big circle for twenty minutes.

Overlord II is slated for a Xbox 360, PS3 and PC release on June 26th. For the MASTER!

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Block & Roll: LEGO Rock Band Confirmed

TTgames, makers of the LEGO video game franchise are teaming up with Harmonix and Warner Brothers to bring together a meeting of two cash cow meccas. That’s right kids. Now you too can play Rock Band without having your parents’ look on in chagrin as you sing the lyrics to “Dani California”. Designed as family friendly, LEGO Rock Band is set for a 2009 release across all current gen platforms save the PSP. Look for little Lego Rockers on your Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and Nintendo DS before Christmas this year.

Some more information from the press release:

The unique family-friendly music experience is currently in development by TT Games in partnership with Harmonix, and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game, which will allow families, tweens and teens to experience a wild journey to rock stardom where they can“Build a Band and Rock the Universe”, will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™ home videogame console. LEGO Rock Band for Nintendo DS™ will be co-developed by TT Games and Harmonix in partnership with Backbone Entertainment, a Foundation 9 Entertainment studio. All versions are scheduled for 2009.

LEGO Rock Band combines the multiplayer music experience of Rock Band® with the fun, customization and humour of the LEGO videogame franchise packed with brilliant chart-topping songs and classic favourites suitable for younger audiences, including:

Blur:“Song 2”

Carl Douglas:“Kung Fu Fighting”

Europe:“The Final Countdown”

Good Charlotte:“Boys and Girls”

Pink:“So What”

Players will become rockers as they embark on a journey to stardom that the whole family can enjoy as they work their way through local venues, stadiums and fantasy locations on Earth and beyond, that mimic the imaginative settings that the LEGO world offers. Also continuing the LEGO“build-and-play” gaming experience, players will be able to create their own LEGO Rock Band style as they customize their minifigure avatars, band and entourage, including roadies, managers and crew. LEGO Rock Band supports Rock Band instruments, as well as other music game controllers.

“LEGO Rock Band combines two compelling properties and creates an experience that family members of all ages will enjoy playing together as a group,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games.“Harmonix and MTV Games are the world experts in music gameplay, and we’re genuinely thrilled to bring the unique and humour-filled LEGO experience to their Rock Band universe.”


Upsides as far as I see them:

LEGO universe – hilarious and self-deprecating.

Accessibility – Thankfully the higher ups realized that while charging an arm and a leg for The Beatles is one thing, people with small kids might not have as much disposable income. So making the game compatible with already existing software was awesome.

Music – Hell YES, Kung Fu Fighting!

Customization – As if the custom options of the original product weren’t enough, LEGO is upping the ante by letting you customize damn near everything in the game.

Downsides as far as I see them:

Internet Whining – The purist, the cynic and the childless will all be whining that this is a blatant attempt to cash in on a hot property and nothing more. Gamers with kids (or parents) will not care.

Backwards Compatibility – So far there has been no word on whether songs from Rock Band and Rock Band 2 will be playable on this new version. While that might not necessarily mean anything, it might mean the upper brass aren’t as smart as I just gave them credit for.

So as far as I’m concerned the positive (so far) outweighs the negative by a mile. But that’s just one blogger’s opinion. Feel free to leave your own, differing or like-minded, in the comments section.

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Extreme Fever! A Peggle Review

Epic win!

Epic win!

In this day and age, where the line in the sand has been drawn, gamers are either hardcore or their not. Either you blow people up with rocket launchers or you look for hidden pictures. You either spend three days zerg rushing the enemy combatant or spend three days perfecting your chocolate empire with mini-games. Well, PopCap Games is here to tear down that wall with their blockbuster hit. Peggle doesn’t care if you like shooters or sims; it just wants to make the world a better place through digitized Plinko.

The idea behind Peggle is ridiculously simple. In each level, you shoot silver balls reminiscent of pinballs from the top of the screen. The ball in turn bounces off of the many blue, orange, green and purple pegs below; each peg lighting up and giving you points as your ball pings off of it. The bottom of each stage is pit for the ball to fall into but if you time your shot right, you may hit the bucket that roams side to side at a steady pace. If you manage this, the game will give you an extra ball; the equivalent of an extra life. Each level gives you a set number of balls and the goal is to clear the board of all the orange pegs. The strategy is involved in finding the quickest way to clear the more plentiful blue pegs to get to the orange ones. All before you run out of balls. In later stages the pegs become animated, rotating or moving on and off the screen, making this simple task more and more challenging.

Those inner tube circles don't stay put.

Those inner tube circles don't stay put.

The other major gameplay element is to build up your score. For each peg hit by a single ball, a multiplier is added. Blue pegs are worth the least, followed by the orange ones, with the elusive purple peg being worth the most. If the player manages to reach a certain threshold of points with one ball, the game will reward your Peggle skills with a free ball. Once you’ve managed to clear all the orange pegs, the camera zooms in on the ball and goes into slow motion while Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from Symphony No. 9 plays in the background. The bottom of the screen, once a cavernous mouth stealing your balls, becomes five separate buckets for you ball to fall into; giving you an extra point boost anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000.

Of course that’s only the basic premise. Once the player has that down, the game adds on a layer of depth and that’s where the mind numbing addiction comes into play. The first time you play Peggle, the game will be in Adventure mode. Set up into groups of stages, each themed chapter has its own avatar. These Peggle Masters, ranging from a jack o lantern to a gopher to a sunflower, will be visible from the top of the screen. The stages for each avatar’s chapter set up the pegs into shapes that accurately depict the current theme or background; such as flowers, a river bank or car.

Vroom Vroom!

Vroom Vroom!

Each avatar also has a special ability. Special abilities are designed to make hitting the pegs easier. Using your ball to hit one of the two green pegs in each stage will trigger the special. For example, the jack o lantern’s ability is called “Spooky Ball”. Triggering this effect causes the ball to return to the top of the screen once it hits the bottom instead of disappearing. The flower will cause twenty-five percent of all orange pegs on the board to light up and so on…

Challenge Mode

Challenge Mode

After completing the 55 modes in Adventure, the rest of the game opens up. The player is now free to go back and play any level with any avatar; not just the ones affiliated with it. Dual mode allows players to go head to head against a friend or computer player and Challenge mode offers 75 new puzzles with varying tasks to complete.

On the version for the Xbox 360 there are the added bragging rights of trying to get the highest score for any individual level which will then be put on Live for the entire world to see your mad Peggle skills.

This is usually the paragraph where I go into detail about the game’s flaws, but I really can’t think of anything to put. Peggle has sold over 10 million downloads on PC and has been in the top ten XBLA games since its launch last week.  It’s spawned versions on the iPhone and DS and already has a sequel. Not bad for a little game from the company that brought us Bejeweled.

So whether your idea of gaming is Halo 3 or Solitaire, do yourself a favor and give Peggle a chance to win you over. Download the trial for free at PopCap games or XBLA on Xbox Live.

Peggle is available for the Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo DS and the iPhone. It is rated E for Everyone.


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Batman:Arkham Asylum Collector’s Edition

Batman has had a bit of renaissance lately. And if any superhero of badassery needed to be revitalized after Hollywood ditched their raped and mutilated body in a back alley, it’s Batman. For God’s sake, they gave the man fake nipples. FAKE. NIPPLES.

That shit ain't right.

That shit ain't right.

And if apologizing for all the horrible things they did to him by making a bad ass reboot of the series wasn’t enough, the entertainment industry is about to unleash Batman: Arkham Asylum on the world this June. If you’ve been living under some sort of rock, on Mars, this game is highly anticipated by anyone that’s ever wanted a Batman game that involved more finesse than punching guys in the face and racing the Batmobile in circles.

There are A LOT of trailers, videos and screenshots for Arkham Asylum and if you’ve found me than you clearly know what a Google search is. If you’re too lazy to utilize that, here is the official trailer for the game, followed by one of some of the awesome sneaky badassery gameplay.

Now that you are all properly hyped, let’s get to the real meat of this post. The collector’s edition. We all knew there would be one. The Collector’s Edition can either be the pinnacle of fan service or the bottom of the barrel. Which way would the Eidos marketing people go? Crappy artbook or some shoddy pen with “Batman” embossed on it? Hell no! Eidos doesn’t half ass Batman!

Holy Mother of God!

Holy Mother of God!

That’s right. You get a bloody batarang! The complete collection includes:

■ 14″ Batarang with stand – Matches the Batarang’s in-game design

■ Arkham Doctor’s Journal – 48 pages of notes on Arkham’s inmates, Embossed leather dust jacket

■ 2 Sleeve Digi-pack, including: Game disc, Behind-the-scenes DVD

■ Code for downloadable Challenge Map – Exclusive “Crime Alley” map, available immediately

■ Full-color Manual

I haven’t been this psyched about a collector’s edition since I found out I’d get a genuine Big Daddy figurine with my copy of Bioshock. Of course, all this awesome doesn’t come cheap. If you want to attack your pets with a replica batarang, you’re going to have to shell out $100 USD. Not sure what the conversion for Britain or other countries is; but I’m guessing it’ll run about the same. A little pricey for this economy but for those that can afford it, a feather in their cap.

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Look Over There! It’s Bioshock 2!

Big Sister Doesn

Big Sister Doesn't Like Subtitles.

I know, I know. I didn’t post a damn thing yesterday. In my defense, the “Easter Bunny” somehow managed to forget that Easter was this Sunday and had to make a last minute dash to Wally World so my kids wouldn’t be disappointed.

By the way, those pre-made baskets might look fancy with their cheap plastic toys, but there is approximately two pieces of candy in them. Lame.

Then, my shiny toy came in the mail today. A mini-laptop/early birthday present from my husband who loves me. In fact, I stopped enjoying browsing the internet from the comfort of laying prone on the couch to bring you this half-assed post. From my adorable, me-sized netbook.

But anyway, to soothe your savage rage (imagined in my head) have some shiny Bioshock 2 gameplay footage.

I can’t tell you how excited I am that even though you are a Big Daddy your vision isn’t impaired. One of the shittiest things about the first Bioshock to me was the lack of peripheral vision once the helmet went on. I don’t care if it was realistic, it bothered the crap out of me.

I was a tad disappointed to not see more of a fight between the Big Daddy and Big Sister, especially after Game Informer built her up to be such a bad ass of badassery in their cover story last month. But I’ll just have to settle for her skipping and acrobatic-ing around like a spider on meth. For now.

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Mutant Chronicles Invades Xbox Live

Click Here For Official Site

Click Here For Official Site

This is only vaguely related to games, but Microsoft recently released a movie by studio Magnolia Pictures onto Xbox 360. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking because I thought it to: Oh goodie, a half-assed piece of tripe. No thanks.

But then I watched the trailer. Check this shit out!

Sure it’s a B-movie style zombie flick. But it has evil corporations, a secretive religious sect AND special effects that tread the line between awesome and suck. It’s like Lucas made this movie! (I kid…not really…) That, and Hellboy. And who doesn’t like Hellboy?

Anyway, it’s available for download on Xbox Live for 800 points for regular old television and 1200 points for spiffy HD.

Plus, it turns out Magnolia Studios is also behind such awarding winning films as the documentary “Man On Wire” and the highly anticipated “Let The Right One In”

Seriously, what else are you doing on a Wednesday night? Or, if you’d rather wait until April 24th (and get raped by movie theater pricing), Mutant Chronicles will be coming to a theater near you.

UPDATE:

Just finished watching it. At an hour and forty five minutes, this movie was extremely awesome. Unlike most composite horror movies, no character is safe regardless of necessity to the plot. Filmed entirely on a digital sound stage, the steam punk effects take on a graphic novel feel that took some getting used to…but I warmed up to it by the time the plot got rolling. Definately worth the $10.

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What the “Flock!” Capcom?

Well, Flock me!

Well, Flock me!

Have you heard about “Flock!” ?  If yes, please skip down to where Capcom deceived me in my stupor this morning. If no, please check out the following explanation and video.

Flock is your basic herding game. I know, the herding animals genre is so overdone, but stay with me. In Flock, you play from a third-person top down view. As aliens, the clearest way to understand life on this planet is to use your spaceship (a la 1950’s B-movie fame) to rack up points by scaring the crap out of domesticated livestock and get them onto the mothership. Only through this process can you truly grasp the horrors of rural Earth living.

However, the tricksy humans have put up “fences” and “obstacles” to keep their herds right where they should be; grazing on hormone injected grass and getting obscenely obese. Mmmm, genetically engineered cows. So you must use the physics based gameplay ( ie: your laser beam PEW PEW) to pick up objects and crash through the obstacles. And of course, you have a time limit. The mothership doesn’t pay overtime bitches; punch out is at 5pm SHARP!

So call me girly or a heretic or whatnot (please save your pitch forks until the end of the article) but based on these gameplay trailers…

AND

…I was as estatic as possible at 8 am to see this giant headline this morning.

CAPCOM’S FLOCK! AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS

Huzzah! I thought and rushed to my 360 to download the game. Twenty minutes and no game later, I’m thinking “WTF Xbox?” Did they crash the game? Forget to put it up? Hate me and don’t want me to enjoy aliens herding animals? No. For once, Xbox is not to blame. It was Capcom. The bloody liars. In their defense, maybe I should have actually, you know, READ the whole press release, which said:

…today launched their newest digital download, FLOCK!. The Windows PC version launches today April 7, the Xbox LIVE® Arcade version for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft launches tomorrow, April 8, and the PlayStation®Network version launches on Thursday, April 9.

Damn you! Apparently, Capcom is playing favorites and Xbox is the middle child. But then, at the bottom OF THE SAME PRESS RELEASE it says:

Rated E for Everyone, FLOCK! is now available to download for Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360, PlayStation®Network and Windows PC.

But what else should I expect from the same company that cockteases Resident Evil fans about run-and-shoot gameplay only to pull the rug out from under them at the last moment?

So now here I am, all ready to herd some sheep and I have to wait another damn twelve-plus hours?! In this day and age of instant gratification, that’s like…like…twelve weeks!

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