Monthly Archives: April 2015

Submerged Announcement Trailer – Is this what global warming will do to the world?

Anyone who’s seen Waterworld knows it ain’t easy living in water. It takes wit, luck and some serious athleticism to survive. Based on the Announcement Trailer, Submerged will require all of that and more to “win”.

The premise is simple. A city is submerged – most of it anyway. A sister and brother, Miku and Taku, respectively, are unconscious on a small boat. They drift into the city. They are lucky that they found it. The alternative is dehydration on the open ocean. The city gives them a chance, hope. They just have to find a way to survive.

submerged video game

The website for the game says that the city is “ancient”, but there are clock towers and Ferris wheels and antennas. But Miku and Taku look primitive based on their clothes. So, the conclusion at this point is that this game takes place in the future. The world has somehow entered into another dark ages where all the technology and civilization have taken few steps – maybe leaps – back.

There’s no “death end” in the game. Meaning, you play at your pace. You explore, find things, avoid danger and starvation and survive. The trailer doesn’t show gameplay, but I’m guessing third person. But the biggest draw is the mystery, the stories to be told in this mysterious place. This PS4 exclusive is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 — Reveal trailer reveals inner turmoil

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but it’s advanced. Way, way advanced. The reveal trailer gives us a glimpse into the crazy war-plagued future that awaits us all. This future, which again has no connection to the world of Advanced Warfare, has walking mechs like in Star Wars.

That’s pretty advanced, but what really makes Black Ops 3 more advanced than advanced is the Robo-soldier. Yes, half-man, half-machine, all soldier heeding the call. He doesn’t need to pick up weapons because he is the weapon. That’s advanced.

He’s also fighting droids. Yes, cyborgs versus droids. Like Star Wars. There’s even a droid that rolls around and pops up and smacks you – just like Star Wars! But these aren’t the Star Wars droids that say cute things. They’re more like Battlestar Galactica Cylon droids. I’m talking the new Battlestar Galactica not the old one, though the old-school Cylons are gnarly, too.

Black Ops 3 is also Star Wars in its Darth Vader-ness. Not only do we have the cyborg like Mr. Vader (“he’s more machine than man now”), but it also has His Darkness’s inner turmoil, bipolar craziness. At 1:02 of the trailer, we have our soldier’s Hamlet moment, kneeling down, pull-and-push of the soul. The real battle isn’t fought with guns and rockets – it’s fought within oneself. Profound. Very profound.

But then again, Star Wars fans know fighting droids isn’t that difficult. Just hit the OFF switch. But apparently the COD soldiers didn’t get that memo because they got The Call. After Modern Warfare, one would think they’d stop answering the phone, but all good because COD keeps developers, voice actors, producers, et al, et al, employed. It also gives bloggers something to write about. So everyone wins – even the common grunt robo-soldier.

Oh, and there are also zombies. They’re advanced, too.

Black Ops 3 is out on Black Friday, November 6.

 

Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains Trailers — Humanity may be in chains, but it ain’t dinner here

Attack on Titan, the anime, is impossible to stop watching. It has an amazing story with tons of mystery and profound-without-preachy “this-is-humanity” epiphanies. But most of all, I love watching titans eating people.

The slow dumb-looking giants are the best. They always have a goofy smile on their faces when they see and catch a person to eat. And they have perfect teeth even though they have no clothes. They grab a person, squeeze him or her limp, and munch! Blood everywhere. It’s morbid. It’s heart-breaking, especially when the hero’s mom get snacked on. But it’s just too shocking to look away. Guilty, I know.

Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, the game, is coming to the U.S. in May 2015. Two trailers are out this month, including a “Features” trailer. See both here:

No snack time in these trailers. The action game for Nintendo 3DS is focused on our heroes and heroines like Mikasa. The titans are the victims in the features trailer. They get messed up pretty bad. No chance to eat helpless people.

The game doesn’t have the same graphic quality as the anime. When a titan gets hit, nothing happens except damage points. They don’t get cut up or lose a limb or an eye. We know it’s a hit because the game tells us. No fun.

There’s also some titan on titan action, which is just a brawler. They go nuts on each other, but no visible damage or wreckage.

The anime sets the bar too high. It’s graphic, it’s shocking and at the same time, pretty darn amazing. The game doesn’t look all that.

Warhammer 40,000: Regicide Gameplay Trailer — Violence is King

Chess is a violent, violent game. Don’t let those small innocent plastic or wooden pieces fool you. Each pawn that is sacrificed or gambited away represents thousands and thousands of men slaughtered in the defense of the king. It’s a cruel world. Especially the way I play chess, no one is spared. It’s a game of attrition. Everyone dies. Only the king and maybe some lucky pawn will live – yes, the pawn who will make the charge to the other side where he will lose his manhood, but in return, will become the most powerful creature in its universe.

Chess is violent, and it’s more so because the violence is in the player’s imagination.

Nothing left to imagination in Warhmmer 40,000: Regicide, though. The gameplay trailer shows us the familiar chess board so that we know it’s a chess game. But before viewers can say, “Aw, chess?” they switch on the marketing push. Blood and gore. Heads get squished. Bodies chopped. It ain’t pretty, but it’s chess like we’ve always imagined it.

It’s called regicide, which is the action of killing a king. But in chess, there’s no killing the king. It’s more about trapping the king and making him your puppet. That’s true power. But it’s regicide because it sounds cool, and killing is more violent than trapping.

Warhammer 40,000: Regicide has a traditional chess mode, but it also has a Regicide mode, which involves more strategy and variations in battles utilizing individual unit abilities and equipment. The factions so far include Space Marines and the Orks.

Hammerfall Publishing’s game is out in May 2015 on Windows, iOS and Android.

Star Wars Battlefront Reveal Trailer – Don’t Mess with a Sullustan!

Sullustans are like Kato of Green Hornet. They’re sidekicks who do some serious rear-kicking. The most famous Sullustan is Lando’s Millennium Falcon co-pilot, Nien Nunb. Yeah, he kind of freaks out a bit in Return of the Jedi, but he’s right there when they blow up the Death Star. Put that on your resume: “Assisted in the destruction of the most terrible weapon in the entire galaxy”.

Star Wars

Nien Nunb. He kinda loses it, but still gets the job done.

A Sullustan is the big-time Bruce Lee-esqe stand-out in the new Reveal Trailer for Star Wars Battlefront. This one is an infantryman. At about :53 into the two-minute trailer, he blows up an AT-ST all by himself. In the sequence, his human comrade hides under a bubble-shield and tells the Sullustan to blow up the AT-ST. I would’ve said, “Dude, you blow up the AT-ST!” But not this Sullustan. He’s a hero. He’s brave (or he’s incredibly stupid). He puts on his jet-pack, launches into mid-air and shoots a rocket at the AT-ST with Jedi accuracy. Give me a dozen Sullustans and I’ll conquer the galaxy.

After the AT-ST crash-and-burns, the Sullustan looks up to see an AT-AT approaching. For those of you young-ens who don’t know your Star Wars, the AT-ST is the two-legged walker, and the AT-AT is the four-legged one. Huge, slow, clumsy things. One wonders why the Empire would deploy them in a jungle. In fact, one wonders why deploy them anywhere at all.

They had the most screen time in Empire Strikes Back in the Battle of Hoth. They have thick armor, which the rebels can’t penetrate with their pee-shooters. But then the clever rebels figure out how to bring them down: trip them! Yes, put a string around their legs and they’ll fall. Genius! It is amazing that the Empire would deploy them, and it’s also a head-scratcher that the Rebel strategists couldn’t figure out that you can counter them with strings to trip them up.

Star Wars

AT-AT: they’re big, slow, and they’ll blow up if they trip.

Anyway, back to the Sullustan. He sees the AT-AT, and I just know he’ll drop them, too. But before he can, several Y-Wing Bombers blast them above. Bummer. I wanted to see the Sullustan jack up them ugly things.

Star Wars Battlefront is going to be awesome, and I’m definitely playing a Sullustan. It goes on sale November 17 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.

BMX Ride on Kickstarter — Crankflip to Funding?

BMX Ride is a BMX simulator. It’s currently on Kickstarter raising kr350,000. (I had no idea what kr was – Google says it’s Swedish krona.) Unless you’re a BMX fan, most of the game won’t get your heart-rate up. But there is one thing – a very tiny mention near the end of the Kickstarter page that is of some interest:

PC controller & Oculus Rift support. Virtual reality is not simply plain awesome but we feel it might bring a little comfort to those who cannot ride anymore because of medical or other reasons.

I don’t know, it could just be marketing, but for me – a non-BMX fan – it’s the main selling point. Not only is it sweet to help out the disabled, but it’s got to be pretty darn exciting to truly simulate that BMX experience. I’ve never gone up a ramp and did a twirl and spin and all that. It’s got to be kicking awesome and Oculus VR will be the only way to get a taste of that. The small mention might mean it’s still ways off or it just ain’t as cool as it sounds. Who knows, but it’s still radical.

Rest of the game is ho-hum. Customizable characters, bikes, courses, etc, etc. Haven’t those been requisites in a sim for the past twenty years? Not exactly selling points.

As of now, there are still 35 days left to fund it. The game will be on Steam.

Good luck!

Xenoblade Chronicles X Trailer — Speak Softly and Carry a BIG Sword

What is it about the Japanese and their big…HUGE…swords? Is it some kind of inferiority complex? After all, Japan’s had a turbulent, violent history. Do they love big swords because a big sword means power, which has been a MacGuffin for much of their past?

Xenoblade won’t be Xenoblade without the blade. And they’ve got some big blades. Check out the one at 12:41 of the new 30-minute Japanese-version “trailer”. Look at that ridiculously huge sword. As clumsy and cumbersome as they are, every Japanese action-adventure RPG seems to have one. And these blades always pack some serious punch – how else would one justify their existence?

Xenoblade Chronicles X (not sure why the X yet) is an open-world action role-playing game. The trailer shows some of the best art-directed worlds in gaming today. Most of it reminds me the South Pacific Islands with its strange rock formations, jungles and caves. Nothing too exotic, though.

The characters are typical anime-style deal with big dilated eyes. Nothing new.

The biggest disappointment are the Dolls, the robots that transform into vehicles. You need them to transform because the world is huge and need the ride, whether it’s a field or over water. Some can also fly. The Dolls in their robot form are cool – similar to Gundam – but the vehicles look ridiculous. It’s difficult to determine if they were going for practicality or what, but it’s not sleek like the fighters in Star Wars Episodes 1-3, nor are they ruggedy and beat-up like the vehicles in Star Wars 4-6. It’s somewhere in between. They look messy and ugly, and things stick out where they really shouldn’t stick out.

But it’s all good because they’ve got Big Swords.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is out on Wii U in the United States sometime this year.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Announcement Trailer — Do Augs Dream of Electric Sheep?

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided makes me think. It makes me think deep thoughts. Like the kind of existential ponderings I had when I first saw Blade Runner. Yes, Blade Runner is what the sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution reminds me of. The announcement trailer gives us a glimpse into the dystopian world. Not androids like in the Ridley Scott film, but augmented humans – that is, people with mechanical body parts like the Bionic Man – are the outcasts and the undesirables, hunted down and slaughtered. Very similar, and even the poster has a nostalgic early ‘80s feel to it. Homage, homage, homage.

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The Augs turn to acts of terror in order to survive because after all, they have humanity and have a right to exist, too. Standing in their way is everyone, including our hero returning from the first game.

Adam Jensen is the hero and he’s got skills like Solid Snake. And like Metal Gear Solid, a third-person cover system is the key to taming the augs. The cyperpunk action RPG’s also got first-person-shooter action. Cloaking and tazing follks are some of his special skills. He’s also got a big gun and a smart little gadget that blows back bad guys like Jedi force-push.

Cool gadgets aside, the world is the key selling point for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. There’s good, evil and a whole lot in between, and (hopefully) nothing is what it appears to be and all things that exist are meant to disappear…like tears in rain.

The game will be on windows, PS4 and Xbox One. Release date TBD.

James Bond: Spectre GTA V Remake — Movie-making will be Shaken and Stirred

Powerlight-13 is doing some ground-breaking work. He has Grand Theft Auto V. He has an editing program. He has time. He recreates movie trailers. He did one for Star Wars VII, and now he’s got 007. Check out his awesome Spectre trailer remake:

Okay, it’s not exactly ground-breaking, earth-shaking stuff. It’s fun, it’s viral, that’s it. But you can imagine the possibilities here with a game like Grand Theft Auto or possibly something new altogether…

An SDK for making movies.

You have the models. You have the locations. You have the vehicles, wardrobe, props, etc, etc. It’s open source and communal like Second Life. Players add new worlds, new skins, and so on.
And then something new perhaps. Easily customizable facial gestures, body language and lips that read and act lines just like in the real world.

Like the camcorder, anyone at any time can create realistic animated movies. All they need is a computer and time.
Not a novel idea. People do that already. But it ain’t too far now. Some thirteen-year old kid will make an amazing film during his summer break, put it on YouTube and launch a film career.

Hush Action-Adventure Video Game on Kickstarter — Who says little girls can’t be super-heroes?

Little girls don’t cry. They fight!

Ashlyn is a tough little toddler. She’s a swing-gogo-first, take-names-later kinda girl. She’s also the star of the new action-adventure, Hush, from Game Studio 78 (what happened to the other 77?).

Hush is on Kickstarter and it’s got some work to do: currently 282 pounds of 99,000 goal with 26 days left. But the game looks very fundable.

Ashlyn is trapped in an orphanage and she needs to escape. But there are ghosts in the way. Every creepy creature that scared us as kids. But Ashlyn isn’t hiding under the bed. She’s fighting. Her weapons? Her trusted BFF doll, Gogo, which she swings like she means it.

hush video game

Ashlyn is bad and she ain’t kidding

Gameplay is top-down, dungeon-crawl-ish, like old Diablo, and a bit too dark, but it allows for quick exploration and battling bad guys.

There are also puzzles and other adventure story-line to keep things interesting.

The orphanage is also a good choice. I didn’t grow up in one, but have seen enough movies to know that’s where all the ghosts are.

I was a scared little boy. Twisted shadows would make me cry like a…little girl. But no more of that…not with Ashlyn swinging her Gogo.

Let’s fund this game!