There’s an iOS game from UK developers Kwalee called Pussy Flip. Get your minds out of the gutter, it’s about cats! A classic puzzle game in the tradition of Othello that calls for “strategic pussy placement” to win. Lost in translation or perhaps intentional joke, you must admit Pussy Flip is an attention grabber.
I think the title is hilarious but in a probably wise move, a future update to Pussy Flip will include a name change to Flip The Cats. With so many games on the App Store I probably would have not even been aware of this game were it not for its innuendo inspiring title. I’m sold, well-played Kwalee, well-played.
Pussy Flip is now available on Apple’s App Store for .99 cents.
In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate you are cast in the role of hunter and will explore an area within the Monster Hunter universe. Completing quests and stalking and assassinating monsters will help you gain skills, as well as earn you equipment upgrades. If you played the previous installment in the series, Monster Hunter Tri, there have been over 38 new monsters, extra stages and hundreds of additional quests added to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, making it the most expansive entry into the series yet.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was developed and published by Capcom and is available now in retail or digital form for Nintendo’s Wii U or 3DS.
Every once in a while a game comes along that completely reaffirms my love of gaming. The recent reboot of Tomb Raider is one of those games. I had expected great things from Lara Croft‘s “rebirth” but what I got was quite a lot more awesome than I had planned. Tomb Raider is a near perfect game from start to finish and will leave you wanting more from our heroine, Lara, who finally got the game she deserves.
Through the years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Tomb Raider franchise. Being a female myself I was instantly smitten with the idea of controlling an intelligent female protagonist. Despite her extremely short-shorts and well endowed chest, Lara had credibility as a dual gun wielding action/adventurer who became an icon in the “boys club” of memorable video game characters. Unfortunately for Lara, she was always kind of one-dimensional and through the years lacked character development and was slowly forgotten as her male counterparts progressed and became multi-dimensional.
As we moved into the current generation of consoles I hadn’t given Lara much thought, that is until I started playing Uncharted Drake’s Fortune. Not only did I think, this is the game Tomb Raider should have become, Uncharted finally succeeded in giving me the female video game character I’ve been seeking. While Elena Fisher is not Uncharted’s lead, she has become as beloved as our hero and main man Drake. All of Uncharted’s characters were created with love and depth as was the gripping cinematic quality to the franchises stories. I largely credit this with Naughty Dog’s, Amy Hennig, who is the main creative director and writer to the Uncharted series.
Amy Hennig is a legend in the games industry and previously worked for, Crystal Dynamics. As you may or may not know Crystal Dynamics took over development of the Tomb Raider franchise in 2003 and are also responsible for the current reboot of Tomb Raider. At one point during her time at Crystal Dynamics, Hennig wanted to reboot Tomb Raider but the task was given to someone else. Hennig eventually left Crystal Dynamics and joined Naughty Dog, and a legendary series was born. In a recent interview Hennig has stated that she was disappointed she didn’t get the opportunity to revive Tomb Raider. However, I feel Ms. Hennig is largely responsible for Lara’s growth as its apparent Crystal Dynamics took more than a few pointers from her groundbreaking Uncharted series.
When we first meet the new Lara Croft, we find a young woman and recent archeology graduate about to embark on her first expedition to the Yamatai island in the Dragon’s Triangle which is off the coast of Japan. It’s here that an unsure girl will be forced to overcome a bevy of trials and tribulations that will mold Lara into the iconic heroine the character has earned.
Lara and her crew set off to explore the mysterious Yamatai and the legend of its queen known as Himiko or “Sun Queen”. Legend has it Himiko had shamanistic powers in which she could control the weather. A storm is what sets off events of the adventure which leaves the crew torn apart and stranded on the strange island that is inhabited by the Solari Brotherhood, a dangerous and violent cult. Throughout Tomb Raider’s campaign an interesting and well written story unfolds but I would be doing you a disservice to elaborate on events that are responsible in transforming a young Lara who is unsure of herself into a fledgling hero, poised to take the reigns of the Tomb Raider franchise.
Not only does Lara’s character develop throughout the game, her abilities are honed as well. Early on, when you are required to walk across a narrow beam, Lara is cautious and almost clumsy about it, but later she expertly finds herself able to cross similar scenarios with ease and confidence. When Lara is forced to kill for the first time, it’s an emotional moment you won’t forget and expertly conveyed by Lara’s voice actor, Camilla Ludington.
Initially I played Tomb Raider on the 360, but I recently scored a free PC copy through a promotion with AMD Radeon when I replaced my video card with one of theirs. The graphics of the 360 version looks great but the PC version is stunningly beautiful. AMD created a cool little feature for the PC version called TressFX Hair, and let me tell you Lara’s hair looks fabulous! If you have a rig that will run Tomb Raider on Ultra settings, I highly recommend the PC version. However if you are interested in the multiplayer portion I’d go with a console version as the PC community seems to have less interest in MP for this game than console fans do.
Speaking of MP I’ve mostly enjoyed it, which is a good thing as it was recently announced that for now, any planned DLC for Tomb Raider will be Multiplayer based. I do so hope Crystal Dynamics changes their mind on this because I would love some more single player Tomb Raider even if it’s just a few new tombs to explore.
Tomb Raider is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. I can’t recommend this game enough, it is truly an epic experience. Look out The Last Of Us and Bioshock Infinite, a “contender is born”.
Gears of War: Judgement is the newest edition to the Gears family and is set before the events of the trilogy, following the events directly after Emergence Day. It follows Kilo squad which is the home of Baird and Cole from the original games as well as introducing two new people, Paduk and Sofia. All of whom you will play as during the campaign learning about each character as they tell their testimony through game progression.
Being an avid Gears fan having followed the story from the beginning in Aspho Fields during the Pendulum Wars to the end in Azura, it was nice to be able to play and see what happened with some of the characters before they were the saviors we expected. Having said that I know I may seem biased and that I will not be giving a fair review, but this game has quite a few downfalls so hear me out. I will keep this as spoiler free as possible.
What I liked about this game is that you have options for how the campaign will play out. You play as all four characters learning about their experiences while chasing down Karn, the antagonist in this game. But while you are doing this there are what is being deemed “declassified missions” where you will use different weapons or the enemies will be given different weapons, they can also be made harder or come in larger groups, there are also a few declassified missions where your vision or health regeneration is impaired to ramp up the difficulty. The reason this is cool is because the game plays as an interactive narrative while the squad tells their testimony in court so the “declassified missions” are allegations that would have otherwise been omitted. Though this serves no real purpose, it feels like a cool add-on.
Also they have included what feels like DLC for Gears 3 called “Aftermath” which is a small set of missions set in Gears 3 time and it has you playing as Baird with Cole and Carmine in a squad. They go in search of a boat and backup for their landing in Azura and decide to seek Paduk back in Halvo bay. This was a nice glimpse into what was unknown and looked over in 3 and is appreciated from both a fan and consumer stand point as it was not paid DLC, even though you can tell that was its original purpose.
Something else I like is that the weapons have been slightly redone so they feel more evenly powered, the first one that comes to mind is the sawed-off. In Gears 3, the sawed-off was introduced as a super powerful one shot weapon that will do maximum damage at very close range. While this is accurate I never felt like it was quite right until I got a hold of it in Judgement, it has been redone and now offers two shots while still feeling super powerful at a close range.
The new Overrun mode in the multiplayer is awesome, I love objective based multiplayer where you jockey with a team for control over something tangible. Also the new Survival mode is fun as hell, it is pretty much horde mode in Overrun and now that I have said that I feel a bit cheated.
So in this new iteration in the franchise there have been a rather large number of changes. The major of which (at least for me) is that the four weapon system is now gone so you only have a primary and secondary instead of being able to equip three guns and grenades. While grenades are still there, the third gun being taken away feels wrong. Though many people probably never got around to really using the pistol that was equipped it just feels wrong not to have it there. The game seems to make up for this by offering more ammo especially if the declassified mission you accept has the locusts using COG weapons then ammo is plentiful.
A few of the multiplayer modes have been removed as part of the changes like Horde and Beast mode. While Gears feels (to me) to have really defined the Horde mode I cannot seem to wrap my mind around why it is not included in the game, this mode has been one of the most influential from Gears and not having it in this game just seems, wrong. Since Gears 3 had introduced an awesome new mode that lets you play as the locust against AI COG opponents we all kind of expected to have it included with the new game, I even expected it to be better since most games upgrade with new versions being released. Overrun mode does let you play as the locust and break the fortifications and all that but it just does not have that same awesome feel that beast mode did.
One major downfall for the game is that it feels terribly short. While the Gears franchise is not exactly known for having super long campaign play, this just felt exceptionally short. While you play through the testimony of the Gears depicting what happened leading up to the court hearing, you catch up to modern time entirely too fast and the game ends shortly after.
Another issue I have is the character choice. Paduk and Sofia do not resonate with me what-so-ever, not that they feel tacked on or added in as fluffer to make to story longer or anything, they just seem temporary and like the relationship just does not matter. You play through each person and get to know them and their agenda (Paduk is an ex-UIR soldier and Sofia is an Onyx Guard cadet) and while that is a good aspect for the narrative and fits it well, you cannot really connect with them knowing that they have no other place in the storyline outside of this particular game.
My personal most hated thing about the game was that they included new enemies. While it was good seeing the Kryll again since it was dated before the lightmass bombing, I felt that adding new enemies did not fit into the series well because it raises questions such as “Well where were they in the other games?” and “How were those specific types killed off?” The new additions did add a bit more variety and that was fine but from a purist view I cannot justify their existence in this universe as there is no answer to the questions posed.
The main enemy you chase after is named Karn, as we learn from Paduk he is a very powerful and feared general of the locusts. But his great power is never actually shown, he is seen commanding a few groups of locusts but his destruction is hidden so he just seems like some guy riding a big bug. There are a few more issues I have with the addition of Karn but I want this to be spoiler free so I will just leave it at where it is for now.
I actually have a bit of a large probelm with Sofia. Before I delve into that though I would like to preface it with the fact that the person writing the Gears games and books, Karen Traviss, did not pen this one and boy does it show. The story throughout the games has been overlapping and arcing to show you what happened in older more important times as well as present day so you know what is going on when old battles or hardships are referenced. The characters always feel real with their distinct personalities and you can level with them on a few levels.
Judgement however, is not like that. Judgement was penned by two new guys and it shows, it shows in a bad way. The always hilarious and level-headed Cole was mostly silent until you played his testimony and even then he just did not feel like the same guy, he just seemed dry and unattached, almost broody. Baird, known for his razor tongue and quick sarcasm was more friendly and cheerful, that just is not the Baird we all know and love/hate. Then we have Sofia. Rather than incorporate one of the already established female characters (Anya, Bernie, Sam) the writers chose to go with a new conventionally attractive red-head who wears a skin-tight black catsuit under her armor; unlike Anya, Sam, and Bernie in Gears 3, Sofia does not cover much of her lower body with pockets or accoutrements, so the player gets a nice view of just how tight her pants are.
The most notable thing about this feisty red head is not her looks but that she is an inexperienced cadet that always seems to be needing a talking-to from another character. Everyone else in the game outranks her, out-ages her, and outweighs her by well more than half and yet she still tries to make her naive opinions heard. This theme continues up until the last lines of the game, which I will not give away.
Gears are meant to be strong and resolved in their actions and she just seems out-of-place constantly being corrected and letting her emotions get in her way, this is not what women Gears are meant to be. It is demonstrated that she has a history of letting her emotions get in the way, in the campaign you find yourself tracking down something to help with your objective that leads you to the mansion of one of her old professors whom had a crush on her even though he was married and had kids. Anyway so everyone gets into the mansion and find the professor dead which sounds like it would be a cinematic moment for Sofia right? Wrong! Not even a little bit, it is like there is a scene missing or something, she just moved on with no care to the man’s demise. Maybe the writers were trying to show that she can be tough and not as cliche as she seems but they missed the mark by not acknowledging it at all after the lead-in. Or maybe we are just supposed to believe that she is now interested in someone else, perhaps an older man in the squad, perhaps Paduk.
Without getting into a complete diatribe over the whole situation, I dislike this premise because it is so very cliche, woman with a troubled past falls for squad-mate whom she is not supposed to be with blah blah blah. This feels like a step backward. Gears of War 3 gave multiple women guns, agency, and personality. Gears of War: Judgment gives its one woman a gun, an old lover who seemed like a jerk, a new lover who seems like a jerk as well, and then … off-screen torture, fade to black. All in a pair of sexy, skin-tight pants. I don’t expect that much of my military shooters, but Gears 3 had knocked the bar up a few notches. Judgment failed to meet the level that its predecessor set. Had Judgment included at least one other woman (or more!), Sofia’s hackneyed story-line might have stuck out less. I have no issue with women being sexualized in games, that is a certain style that people like including myself on occasion. But Gears is not the place for that.
Okay moving away from the sexism and cliche’s to a final verdict! Overall I would say I like Judgement, I had fun playing the short campaign and plan on playing through it again on Insane and playing the multiplayer for a while as well. If you are interested in the story then it is a solid buy, if you are only kind of interested then wait until it drops to the $30 price.
I’ve been anticipating the release of Bioshock Infinite for quite some time. Often when I place such high regards on a game, I’m disappointed. It’s not necessarily the games fault either but rather the unrealistic bar I set for it.
Bioshock Infinite arrived in my life shortly after midnight on Tuesday March 26. The next 48 hours would be filled with sleep deprivation and obsession. Seriously, I played Bioshock Infinite every chance I could and when I wasn’t playing, it’s all I could think about. Even upon completing my first play through my mind has been swimming with thoughts of what I experienced in Bioshock Infinite.
I recently started my second playthrough. I often play games more than once, rarely immediately after completing it for the first time. Bioshock Infinite is darn near perfect. A bold statement I know but I’d even go as far as saying it just might be the best game I’ve ever played. I’m haunted by events that took place in Bioshock Infinite. The game takes place in a fictional 1912 but presents the player with social commentary that could be applied to present day events.
It’s also worth mentioning that the poignant story is not presented with a heavy hand. If you game for the sole purpose of escapism, Bioshock Infinite also has much to offer in the ways of fun gameplay, gorgeous graphics and intriguing characters. The heart of the story is the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth. Both characters will go down as some of the most memorable gaming has to offer. The fact that Elizabeth is non-playable never deters from her charm. And for once the tag along NPC character you must look after, isn’t a thorn in your side. In fact at times Elizabeth is downright useful and never gets in the way.
It’s difficult to fully discuss the events of Bioshock Infinite without being spoilerific, so I won’t even try. I think it would be a crime having this game spoiled in even the slightest. I implore every player of this game to stop and think about the ending before judging it. I myself played the last part which is largely cutscenes a few times before I was fully able to process what just happened.
Hidden clues are found amongst the voxophone recordings as well as the sightseers that are scattered around Columbia. Speaking of Columbia, it’s easily one of the most beautiful worlds to ever grace gaming. For all its beauty and lightness, Columbia masks an underlying darkness of racism and civil war. At the forefront of this hatred and exceptionalism, is the self-proclaimed prophet, Zachary Comstock, Infinite’s answer to Andrew Ryan.
Fans of the Bioshock series will be familiar with the gameplay but I found it a little less challenging than the previous two endeavors and would suggest playing the game one level of difficulty higher. Finishing the game will unlock the 1999 mode which is an increasingly tougher mode with limited ammo and stronger enemies plus respawning will cost you $100. Should you not have enough money to pay the toll, you are sent back to the main menu.
It’s kind of bittersweet that the current generation of consoles is being ushered out by the masterpiece that is Bioshock Infinite, considering Bioshock helped kick it off. Kudos to you Ken Levine and Irrational Games. Bioshock Infinite just set a new standard in the world of games.
Rumors are abound that Sony is set to reveal more details about the much-anticipated PS4. It was widely believed that they would use E3 to finalize details or at least give us more info but now speculation is that Sony will make an announcement as early as this month. Sony likely wants to keep the hype train rolling in their favor after the not so surprising PS4 announcement this past February.
My own personal opinion is that Sony wants to have all details available and perhaps even start taking pre-orders before Microsoft announces their next console. In January Microsoft posted a countdown to E3 on its blog which most people assumed was to be taken as a countdown to the NextBox. However there’s still a chance Microsoft will also preempt E3 with their own standalone announcement. Both consoles could possibly release by the end of 2013.
Eventually I will own both consoles but my first choice and the console I will pre-order in hopes of getting my hands on at launch will be the PS4. I think a lot of gamers have similarly made up their minds regardless of announcements. So geeks, what’s your thoughts on the impending next console generation? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what will undoubtedly be a competition that in the end can only end in a win for us gamers.
Our awesome pals over at Deep Silver just pulled the curtain back on a trio of vengeance fueled games centered on the moniker Ride to Hell. Ride to Hell: Retribution stars lone bad-ass Jake Conway, a man on a mission to decimate the vicious, depraved members of the Devil’s Hand Motorcycle Club. Jake must bludgeon, blast and bleed out various degenerates in a gritty Grindhouse feeling world. Watch the trailer after the break to get a small idea of what you should expect. Retribution is expected to grace the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on June 25th.
Gamers looking for a bit of small-sized fun can play Ride to Hell: Route 666 or Ride to Hell: Beatdown. Route 666 is an arcade game for XBLA or PSN that tasks players with recruiting fellow bikers on a quest to conquer the infamous highway. The game will also be out in June 2013. Not much is rightly known about Beatdown except that is a mobile “rock’n’roll brawler”. Once we get more details, we’ll hit you awesome geeks in the brain hole with the info.
After watching the trailer, I can’t wait to see more about Retribution! It reminds me of a underlooked gem by the name of Wet, published by Bethesda. We’re talking babes, guns, blood shed and intense shooting action! Retribution is on my “Must See More” radar now. Hit the break, peep the press release and watch that awesome trailer! Oh yeah and screens!
Time to start your engines: Deep Silver is going to take you on a non-stop Ride to Hell this summer
LARKSPUR, Calif – April 4, 2013 – They say there’s no freedom like the open road, and no bigger badasses than bikers. Deep Silver is proud to take gamers deep into a world of bare-knuckle violence, seedy strip clubs, and rip-roaring motorcycles with the Ride to Hell universe, revving into homes starting June 2013.
Ride to Hell: Retribution tells the story of a lone rider, Jake Conway, a man with either a gun in his hand or a girl on his lap (and on more than one occasion both!). He’s on a merciless path of revenge against a brutal biker gang called The Devil’s Hand, armed to the teeth with an arsenal of deadly weapons to enact his vengeance on foot and on bike. The only law Jake answers to is his own. Hit hard, ride fast and leave ‘em in the dust on June 25, 2013, in North America and June 28, 2013, in the rest of the world for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC, and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.
Looking to lead your own pack of fearsome bikers? Ride to Hell: Route 666 is just for you, taking the player on a journey to conquer legendary Route 66. Players will recruit and lead a gang of bikers from Chicago to Los Angeles, fighting for every mile of the road using both brain and brawn. Fast paced arcade combat combined with easy to understand tactics – anyone who understands team sports will be able to dive right in to commanding their gang. Get ready to rule the road with Ride to Hell: Route 666 in June 2013 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 and Steam.
Last, but certainly not least, the Ride to Hell universe will be rounded out withRide to Hell: Beatdown, a rock’n’roll brawler set to light up the mobile space, on the go! More details on this title will follow soon.
Ride to Hell: Retribution is developed by Eutechnyx, Ride to Hell: Route 666by Black Forest Games.
For more information about the Ride to Hell universe, please visit one of the following official sites:
About Deep Silver
Deep Silver develops and publishes interactive games for all platforms, seeking to deliver top-quality products that provide immersive game experiences driven by the desires of the gaming community. The company has published more than 200 games worldwide since 2003, including the critically-acclaimed, best-selling zombie action game, Dead Island . Upcoming titles include the side-scrolling arcade brawler, Sacred Citadel, the isometric action RPG, Sacred 3, and the next game in the Dead Island franchise, Dead Island Riptide. Deep Silver, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, GmbH. For more information, please visithttp://www.deepsilver.com or follow us on twitter at @deepsilver.
Eutechnyx is the world’s leading independent racing game developer. The company publishes a number of game brands including NASCAR The Game (console, PC and mobile) and Auto Club Revolution (PC free-to-play) . With a history spanning over 25 years, the studio has won numerous awards for its million-plus selling titles and garnered exceptional acclaim in the business sector. As well as its headquarters in the UK, the company has studios in Hong Kong, Chengdu and Charlotte, USA.
For more information, please visit http://www.eutechnyx.com
Auto Club Revolution and Eutechnyx are registered trademarks of Eutechnyx Limited. All rights reserved.
About Black Forest Games
Founded in 2012, Black Forest Games is an independent game studio focused on high-quality video games. The studio is based in Offenburg, Germany, and currently employs a team of 40 international industry professionals who specialize in building games for all major game platforms. For more information on Black Forest Games please visit the official website at http://www.black-forest-games.com
With the recent flub of SimCity having to be always online there has been some big tension growing in the gamer community. Gamers everywhere have had unseen yet heated debates on the future of our beloved hobby and how the “always online” requirements will undoubtedly kill the love we share for our other lives inside the television.
Since Microsoft has given us little information regarding the new iteration of the Xbox, rumors have been abound. Will it be always on? Will we still have achievements? Can it still surpass Sony and their Playstation? Will Bill Gates finally hire me as his personal game tester? Most of these are the unanswered fears of Xbox-ians everywhere. Well, Adam Orth, a Creative Director at Microsoft decided to take to twitter to show how he feels regarding the “always online” debacle and the result was less than stellar.
So as you can see in the tweet thread that the developer seemingly does not care about where you live, if you are in a city that has a bad connection then sorry for you. This short back and forth between these two has caused a serious storm in the online community. Gamers everywhere from Reddit to Kotaku are up in arms over this inept conversation with talks of boycotting and mutiny.
But was this really a statement on the future of the Xbox, or was it a conversation between friends that unfortunately went viral? It appears that the latter is the truth. WARNING explicit language ahead:
We’ve heard the rumors that Rocksteady would not take on a third awesome Batman game but there would still be a prequel somehow. For a rarity, rumors are full on true! Thanks to the latest Game Informer cover reveal, we know Batman: Arkham Origins will grace consoles and PC this fall!
Little details are known about the game other than it takes place years before Arkham Asylum and features a less experienced Dark Knight taking on his robust Rogues Gallery. The cover did reveal Deathstroke on the back so we can safely believe Bats square off against him at some point. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for more info when the May issue of GI hits mailboxes! Just salivate over the Arkham Origins cover after the break!