Finally Rockstar has released a trailer showing, and explaining, what you can actually do in the Timbaland featured game Beaterator. I have messed around with DJ audio software before and Beaterator actually seems to keep pretty close to that kind of software, allowing you to make your own deft beats. They also show off a jam session-like gameplay that reminds me of Electro Plankton.
A brand new Assassin’s Creed II trailer. Mostly showing off some of the combat you can do in the upcoming game with a funky music beat to set the mood. Some of the modeling does not look so great zoomed in and slowed down though. I have a feeling the game will look great when played on a HDTV at regular speed. Enjoy the funky beats and action.
The title pretty much sums it up. Rockstar has decided to give us a look into what you can expect from their next episode in GTA IV. The music is definitely kicking. It also looks like there could be more action in this one compared to the last episode.
In the continuation of Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade,” a game heralded as a metroidvania is released from a lesser known developer, Chair Entertainment. However, it has some decent backing: support from one of the industry’s renowned game designers Cliff Bleszinski, the Unreal Engine 3 under its hood, and well known writer Peter David writing the script. Could this game possibly go wrong?
Shadow Complex starts off with a bang, throwing you straight into the heat of battle. Without reading any instructions, it is a tad overwhelming trying to figure out how to use everything. However, all that power is taken away after a very enticing cutscene, leaving you saying “What? Why did they just do that?!?”
The screen fades to Jason Flemmings, your character, hiking with his new girl friend, Claire. Right away she goes missing (way to go, Jason). You go looking for her and discover that Claire has been dragged into a giant complex. While looking for her, you discover there is much more to this complex and all the characters than you expected. I will not spoil anything for you, but in the long run it is refreshing to play through a plot that was neither too heavy nor nonexistent.
Shadow Complex definitely pays homage to Super Metroid and Castlevania, from the side scrolling navigation to the hidden passage ways, from the many upgrades to all the cramped quarters. It does add a next-gen twist to some of the gameplay though; the main one being the 2.5-D environment.
You navigate in 2-D while existing in a 3-D world. This leads to some interesting situations where the enemies can be in a plane you can not access. However, you can shoot into the background to dispose of them or wait until they defy the planar barrier and come to your plane to take you out.
The weapons you can use are fun, and the abilities you unlock along the way are rewarding, especially the ability to double and triple jump. If you are a true collector of all the items in the game, like myself, the game will seem like child’s play when you near the end, armed to the teeth with the state of the art weaponry you collected.
The combat and navigation are great and are just what you would expect from a game paying homage to Super Metroid and CastleVania. While the gameplay in Shadow Complex approaches perfection, it does not achieve it. You sometimes will see random glitches when downing enemies or if there are many units on the screen at once.
Though there may not be a multiplayer in Shadow Complex, there are many different levels of difficulty to play the game. There is also the proving grounds. In the proving grounds, you try to go from start to finish in mini-levels designed to test your skills in all the game mechanics. You can even compare progress and times with your other friends to see who is the best. And for the egotistical sides in us all, there are also leaderboards to compare yourself to everyone. On top of that, you can also compare your enemy disposal methods with your friends’, which I found to be pretty fun.
Graphics and Sound
The Unreal Engine 3 definitely shows its power in Shadow Complex. The scenery and modeling are spot on. The water effects are worth noting by themselves; they are probably some of the best I have ever seen in a game. The lighting effects are also superb. Combined with the water effects, coming up from swimming underwater has never looked so good in a video game.
This is the best XBLA game yet, and it’ll probably stay that way for awhile. Only once did I see a graphical error, and that was at the very end of the game when Jason’s hair somehow became white and purple for the final cutscene.
The sound effects and cues fit well in the game and sound nice and crisp. Though music is not playing all the time, when it does play it is appropriate and not out of place. The voice actors are not flaky either; they perform well and add more to the whole experience.
For a game looking to be considered a metrodvania game, it is spot on. The gameplay and graphics are the best I have experienced from an XBLA game for a long time. With the additional difficulties and all the potential to prove you are the best on the leaderboards, Shadow Complex has enough to go the distance on replayability, even without multiplayer. For $15 I would say this game is almost a steal.
Shadow Complex is a strong 9/10.
Note: I completed the campaign on normal with 100% map exploration and items. I also played a third of the proving grounds.
Dylan and Cole were not the only ones to have a camera at Gen Con; I also had one with me. Now you too can see some of the additional things that were at Gen Con. This is best viewed using the PicLens link below the jump.
Weren’t there to see the opening ceremony? Don’t worry; we were! Enjoy the video.
The day has finally come. After seeing all the cool new things Microsoft was going to add to the Dashboard at E3, some of those have gone live today.
While Microsoft has not yet come through with all the features they showed off at E3, there is still much to be excited about. Also some stuff to definitely be disgusted with, such as the microtransactions for avatar clothing and accessories.
Here is what you should have access to once you Xbox 360 dashboard had been updated.
Games on Demand
Enjoy the convenience of finding and buying new games right from the comfort of your own living room. Download a wide selection of full Xbox 360 games over Xbox LIVE. Games on Demand is now available for purchase on Xbox LIVE as part of the latest Xbox LIVE Update. You will be able to browse and purchase games through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web starting August 13.
- Shop– Games on Demand are found in the Game Marketplace and include a large library of favorite titles right from the start. More titles are added every Tuesday, so check back whenever you’re in the mood for a great new game.
- Purchase – Purchase full games using Microsoft points or a credit card. Games are downloaded directly to your console (hard drive required), and your purchase history is stored by Xbox LIVE, meaning you can delete games and re-download them again if you run out of space.
- Playing and Sharing – As with other LIVE content, your game license is linked to your Xbox LIVE account. Download your purchased games to any console you are logged into with your Gamertag, and anyone else can play on the console that your game was originally downloaded to. No physical disc is required to play these games!
- Find Manuals – Game manuals can be viewed, downloaded, or printed from Xbox.com. Just locate your game in Web Marketplace and select “See Game Manual”.
Avatars have seen lots of love! Check out the new Marketplace and Avatar Props. The Avatar Marketplace is now available on Xbox LIVE as part of the latest Xbox LIVE Update. You will be able to browse and purchase Avatar apparel through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web starting August 13.
- Avatar Props – Equip your avatar with animated items they can interact with and carry around.
- Avatar Marketplace – Reflect your sense of style with the new Avatar Marketplace. Download and purchase premium items, including branded apparel from your favorite fashion labels and Xbox 360 games.
Now you can watch movies with your friends and find new movies to add to your Instant Queue without leaving your seat.
- Party Watch – Catch a show with your friends! Bring your party into Netflix and watch a movie or TV show together. (Feature available with supported titles.)
- Find Content Faster – Browse through New Releases and other genre lists based on the types of shows you’ve previously watched, all from the comfort of your couch.
- Improved Playback Experience – Improvements have been made to ensure a better experience when adapting to changing network conditions.
- Improved Presence – Richer information is now displayed in the Friends channel and in the Guide showing what you and your friends are watching.
Everyone loves to Party! Check out the new and improved party reconnections and streamlined party invites.
- Party Reconnections – If a user is disconnected from a party inadvertently, they will be automatically reconnected to the party without any user interaction.
- Streamlined Party Invites – Invites are now just a click away! Never again will you have to navigate through multiple screens to get all your friends together.
Been an Xbox LIVE member for a while? Check out some of the new features we’ve added just for you.
- Gold Member Veterans – Been here long? Show it off! Anyone looking at your gamer card will now know how long you’ve been an Xbox LIVE Gold member. And who knows, there might be other perks for you, too. Thanks for sticking around!
- Subscription Notification – If your Xbox LIVE subscription is about to run out, you will now be notified when you sign into Xbox LIVE. No more surprises the next time you hop in to frag your friends.
- Fixing Invalid WLID’s – If the Windows Live ID you provided has expired, you will now be prompted to update it the next time you sign into Xbox LIVE.
Many changes have gone into the account recovery process to speed it up and to increase reliability.
Video Display Options
Various improvements have been made to make it easier for you to see your game in the highest resolution possible when using an HDMI connection.
- Display Discovery – Override audio and/or video formats independent of the display’s capabilities.
- How It Works – By default, the console uses the information provided by the display (via its EDID) to determine the audio and video capabilities of the device. However, often the data is invalid or malformed, hence compatibility issues are encountered. When disabling display discovery, the EDID of the display is ignored, thereby enabling the audio and video settings to be overridden with the desired format regardless of display support.
- Who Should Use It? – The Display Discovery feature is available for DVI and HDMI connections in the Display settings section of System Settings in the dashboard. Please note that Display Discovery should only be disabled if audio and/or video related compatibility issues are encountered, otherwise, the output quality may be compromised.
- Monitor Support – Additional monitor resolutions are now available for HDMI connections.
User ratings help you find content that other people think is awesome!
- How It Works – Every piece of game content on Marketplace can now be rated using a 5-star system. Just open up the details on what you want to rate and choose the Rate button. Each time you press the Rate button, you add one star to your personal rating.
- Sort by Ratings – Find great games, demos, and more that you might have missed out on. Just visit Browse All in the Game Marketplace and click on “Top Rated” to see what everyone’s been talking about.
Some parts of the dashboard have been slightly re-organized to make it easier to find the things you’re looking for.
- Indie Games – We listened to our community and have decided to rename Xbox LIVE Community Games to Xbox LIVE Indie Games. This new name better represents the independent spirit of these titles. User ratings are also available for Indie Games, allowing you to share your rating for a game and use ratings from others to find great new games.
- Achievement Browser – Launch a game directly from the Achievement browser making it even easier for you to max out your Gamerscore.
- Achievement Tracking – A new All Games view inside the Profile panel includes a summary of Achievements earned across all the games played, and shows off all your completed games.
- Achievements – Check out the changes to the Achievement browser while playing a game. It’s now much easier to read through all the achievements so you can rack up that Gamerscore.
- Streamlined Navigation – New entry points in the Dashboard for Active Downloads, Redeem Code, Auto Sign-In (via Profile), Create Profile, and Recover Gamertag are included, so that these features are easier to find.
- Voice Messages – When recording a voice message, a warning is now displayed if no audio is detected so you don’t accidentally send blank messages to your friends.
We’ve reorganized the Console Settings menu with fewer, more intuitive categories.
- Memory – Time stamps now appear in the Memory Area. This is particularly handy when managing saved games.
- Friends List Sorting – It’s now much easier to find your friends! Sort your friends list by Activity, Gamertag, or Online Status (default). Just press the Y button while you’re viewing the friends list in the Guide to change the sorting order.
New Experiences Coming
And we have new experiences coming all the time. This fall, Xbox LIVE will see the addition of the following new features as well:
- Zune Video
Ever have the feeling that your zombies were not scary enough for the public? Well Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland amusement park thought their zombies were not exactly as scary as they used to be at their 900-meter-long zombie-infested labyrinth. Below is the additional training the zombies were put through to improve their brain eating skills and the such.
You can check out more zombie training videos here.
[Source Pink Tentacle]
Mega Man has been around for a very long time and has battled evil bots on many different platforms. Now you can have flashbacks and experience some nostalgia by checking out the history of Mega Man in graphical format here.
Gen Con is in ten days! If you don’t have your badge and your hotel room reserved yet, you may want to get on that right away. If you can’t make it, don’t worry: Geekspective is covering it! We will be there all four days to experience, write, photograph, and (who knows) maybe even talk about all things gaming!
In preperation for Gen Con, we will be giving out a daily dose of Gen Con-related news leading up to the con.