This just in (Or not) – Junction Point is put on the bus

Good-bye-Junction-Point

 

Dang it guys! What is up with 2013? For every good thing I found that coming our way this year there’s an almost equally suckyness thing that’s going on at the time. First the annihilation of THQ which was bad enough, but now I hear that Junction Point, the studio that made the too awesome for reality game Epic Mickey 2, is closing down VIA twitter post (which was removed and replaced) and confirmed on polygon.com. Why? Why? Well there are many factors here, and plenty of blame to go around. Lack of good advertisings, unnecessary cross platform release instead of making it a Wii U exclusive, competing with freakin Halo 4 and Assassin Creed III during their launch windows, Disney probably cutting their losses to focus on ‘other’ projects, and of course shortsighted, twitch happy, non-gamer gamers (you know who you are) who rather teabag then play a game that takes real skill to play. The Power of Two wasn’t perfect, but I’ll put this game up against any other game from last year and Two would tear it a new one every time. Junction Point doesn’t deserve to be unceremoniously removed only after, in my opinion, two superior games. When in the world did success = failure?

 

 

Junction Point this is for you. No matter where you end up, you’ll always have an ally of the Armada (Disclaimer: The Video Game Armada are not, or shall never be, Bronies – so DON’T ask).

Game Preview – Crysis 3: Beta Multiplayer

 

Crysis-3

 

 

YES!!! I was waiting for this! See nearly two years ago before Crysis 2 came out the good people at Crytek and EA released a multiplayer demo for all of our enjoyment – and thanks all that is good they’re doing it again for Crysis 3. I need this especially since I’m up to here with the lame and lazy Halo 4 multiplayer (seriously an over 4 gigabyte requirement install just to play). Nearly everything in War Games is uninspired and Spartan Ops is horde mode without the fun, so yeah I’m done with that; and once I’m done with this I’m going to play the Beta Multiplayer until I forget all my troubles.  However there are a few caveats unfortunately: first the demo will be only live until Feb. 12. Also the Demo isn’t live at PSN yet (although that may change between now and hours from now), and finally once the PSN demo does become available it will be available to the PlayStation plus players first then the free players on the 30th. Sorry PS3 owns. Anywhere I’m off.

 

 

 

 

What Santa brought me (Mini Game Review) – Halo 4

halo-4-cover

 

Ah franchises, we all love’em and/or hate’em. They define the standard we all know or the example of the things that have lived past its prime, and for me Halo is one such franchise, on both counts. The very first Halo was nirvana to gamers everywhere, never since Goldeneye (Oddjob FTW) did a FPS outside PCs impress and challenges the industry so. Thanks to its success the, then unknown gambit console, Xbox survived and in turn infused gaming with new blood which of course has brought video games to this point in the present. However with Halo sequels they reached their peak around Halo 3, what comes after are experiments and straight up lazy titles that shouldn’t have the Halo name on it. As for Halo 4? Well 343 Industries did well with the property but it’s time to face facts: Halo is obsolete.

 

Blasphemy! Betrayer! C.o.D. Famboy! Call me what you will but I’m sick and tired of seeing the same problem from this series and I won’t tolerated or defend it anymore. You all should know where I’m going with thi,s but I’m still going to drag it out. Is it the story I got a problem with? Nope. Set three years after the good Master Chief nuked his 2nd ring world and clam baked the flood, he was brought out of hyper sleep to not because of rescue but because of his old enemies the covenant. Why? Because his crippled ship wander into the orbit of a hollow man-made world, also known as a Dyson sphere. I won’t go further into story details but let’s just say the forerunners didn’t just lock up the Floor in their super prisons. So is it the characters that are flawed? No. I mean the Master Chief is not what I call the life of the party, but his interactions with Cortana are pretty believable and the new characters are passive. So what’s making me put my foot down on the Halo as a whole?

 

 

Final Rating

Pass-sign

 

Multiplayer of course! People, I said it before in my Halo Reach review, I’ll say it again in this one: This ‘here’s two generic weapons (from seven options for main shot, three for the sub, and three nades), good luck finding better stuff on the field’ stuff is not acceptable anymore – it’s downright archaic people. I hate this, hate having to run around on the battlefield looking for the weapons I want to use while at the same time trying to do die from campers. It is stupid and only this series and Gears still do this crap. And no, they don’t get a pass for introducing new features, modes, and customizable options to multiplayer – and major flaw is still a major flaw. If I was a vindictive S.o.B. I would fail this game because, in my opinion, it is a game breaking style of play that should be done away this like time limits. However other than minor glitches in multiplayer (lag and match rebooting due to player drops), the game itself is pretty good, much better than Reach, so it Passes. But I swear if the next game’s multiplayer is still supporting this scavenger hunt style of weapon acquisition then I’m just going to play the story mode –and that’s it.

 

 

 

Trailer-rama – Halo 4

 

What’s the old saying: “Just when i thought i was out… They pull me back in.” Halo 4 will be out November 6.

 

 

 

E3: Microsoft Press Conference – Aims for everything

 

Well people E3 is here once again, yay! And sadly Armada misses out to go there live, boo! But hey, that’s why the internet was invented – to be there without being there (someday though, someday). Anyway the first conference this year it was Microsoft who started first. Well… It wasn’t bad but it did focused on more, um, non-gamer pursuits. I mean I’m not one to complain since I got Netflix on my Xbox 360, but yeah, I would have liked a few more notable games at the gaming convention. So here’s what they showed to the world, and reactions to them:

 

 

 

Halo 4 

 

 

Well they start off strong showing a live action cut scène (I think) and then play-though of the upcoming Halo 4 title. It was good to see the chief up and about, wasting covenant like the good old days. However that gets shot out the airlock when new enemies show up; they look like a fusion of living things and lightcycles from Tron. They swarm chief pretty good and use some pretty decent hardware but he puts him down all the same and got some handy weapons out the deal. Of course before he can do some real damage, the player gets surrounded by those things and the Demo’s over. An excellent showing but I got to admit, it looks a little familiar. From the lightcycle enemies to the reflection of Master Chief’s helmet, a lot of it is similar to the Gamecube Metroid games – or is that just me?

 

 

Splinter Cell Blacklist 

 

 

Again leading with their best foot forward they showed the latest upcoming title for Splinter Cell called Blacklist. The player shows many of the same abilities (i.e. Mark & Execute, alternate routes, inferred sight) that were used in Splinter Cell: Conviction only faster and on the move while in combat. They also show how the game worked along side the Kinect (should have been the theme for the mircosoft conference). Shouting ‘Hey you!’ will grab an enemy’s attention for sheath kills, he also down a bunker buster when things got hairy. I’m sure they’ll have other ways to do those things without the need of Kinect. After that the demo is essentially over. Again an awesome showing of another game that will drain my attention away in the near future.

 

 

 

Fifa 13

 

 

Not much to say here (at least for now), but the Xbox presenters made sure to show the Kinect’s ability to sub out players and change up strategies while in play. They even added a cursing detector in the game so the ref can hear your foul words if a play doesn’t go well and penalize you accordantly. Right… Moving on.

 

Madden 13

 

 

Like Fifa 13, the presenter shown off the Kinect’s auditory prowess by transforming player words into actions. Call players, make audibles, and so forth. However the difference is that the presenter called on the services of legendary athlete Joe Namath to help demonstrate. Which he did quite well and was pleased on how accurate everything was.  Moving on.

 

 

 

Fable the Journey, Gears of Wars: Judgment, and Forza Horizon

 

 

Just like I said up top they showed three trailers almost one after another. Standard stuff really but I do have a few complaints. The Fable the Journey is still a Kinect only title, which is a big ‘screw you’ to people who like Fable but don’t have a Kinect – bad form Lionhead Studio. And in the Gears of Wars: Judgment trailer they use the “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” by A Perfect Circle, the same track used in a commercial for the ‘Rage’ video game months prior. Guys come on, I know the song is good but you can’t just poach songs from other games – even commercials. That’s also bad form. Forza Horizon, you’re fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hardware update and apps

 

Here’s where things get little off the beaten path. Instead of showcasing more new games they decided to flex the muscle of the console itself. Introducing a slew of new features, apps, and services that will be available in the future. So since a) there’s a lot of them and b) they’re not video games I’m going to just list them instead of describing them (And of course provide links where available). Sure they’re useful, maybe even important, but it’s like getting underwear for Christmas – and you just can’t get excited for underwear at Christmas.

 

Kinect Voice search through Bing

Sports add-ons

Xbox Music

Kinect + Training

Xbox Smart Glass

Xbox & Windows 8

 

 

 

Tomb Raider

 

 

Ok, full discloser time people; I hate Lara Croft & the Tomb Raider series. Why? Because it is a game that has nothing worth playing and its main character is an overblown sex symbol. Impossibly enough, over the years the series just gets crappier, and I thought for sure it died alone and forgotten.  Now they’re trying to bring this a pox back into the world, only this time they’re going to make Lara Croft more like a ‘real’ woman (yeah because that was her only problem, not real enough). I swear when I saw that larger than crap picture of  her on Game Informer 213 I thought that was androgynous dude, the reality was much worst to comprehend. Why bring this back? Now I got to argue with half the internet why Tomb Raider sucks, grrr… Sorry, I’m getting off track here. Ahem; this demo showcases Lara fight generic thugs with a bow and arrows. Sometimes with a Shotgun, all very similar to Uncharted – down to the scenic QuickTime events. It ends on a cliffhanger and we move on.

 

 

 

Ascend New God, Loco Cycle and Matter mini trailers

 

 

Back to more interesting games these three are from a more independent set. Although just demos they show just enough to me interested. Ascend looks like a bloody beat’em up with a Heaven and Hell bent to it (and showing this to people still hyped on Diablo III is a smart move). Loco Cycle is confusing but intriguing, and Matter seems to be about a giant metal ball solving puzzles and trying to get away from killer cubes (again intriguing).  I’ll do some more research later see if they got what it takes to make the  Game and Gear list

 

 

 

 

Resident Evil 6

 

 

Ah here we go, a little classic zombie killin’ action from Capcom. I can say right away everything look excellent and downright movie worthy; music score’s not bad either. The quicktime events are much more fluent; they kept the player on his toes I see. My only real complain is that Washington D.C. looks awfully like Raccoon City, meaning cars jammed up butt to gut, dark as heck, and very dilapidated for only a few hours outbreak. Oh well, logic and reasoning don’t always go hand to hand in rez evil games but as long as their things to kill I’m happy.

 

 

 

Wrecker

 

Now here’s another downloadable gem from Xbox live, and I got to admit it’s quirk enough to temp me into playing it. However two things give me pause 1) it’s a Kinect game and I don’t have a Kinect nor do I want it so there you go. And 2) it is just me or is this game an inverted version of Angry Birds?

 

 

 

South Park the Stick of Truth

 

 

Ah South Park, a contradiction between a good TV show and raunchy, no class humor. To this day I have no idea why I watch it, by all things good I should be repulsed by the content found every season. Yet their introspective look on our society year after year is not only telling to a fault but still remains to thumb their noses at it every chance they get.  Family Guy only wishes to be as good.  Sadly their video games are not so stellar in comparison; that too will change if Trey Parker and Matt Stone have anything to say about it. The trailer only showed a fragment of this very exciting title but it’s enough to get your imaginations going. They didn’t give much information afterward either, but I’m sure more will shake from the pipes as the months go on. This is South Park after all, they’re not subtle.

 

 

 

Dance Central 3

 

 

Speaking of not subtle – Usher shows people how to dance like him for the game Dance Central 3. And while he was out there he performed a 7 minute concert. Which was ok I guess, but I certainly didn’t see that one coming at E3 (and it wouldn’t be the last surprise singer at the Expo either).

 

 

 

 

Black Ops 2

 

 

Finally they thanked all the people who attended, and wished to see soon at their respective Xbox booths. However before let they everyone out they had one more play through Demo to show: Call of Duty – Black Ops 2. Now I’ll admit, I’m of those people in the camp idea that I’m just satisfied with following the numbered Call of Duty games and not these non-cannon titles. That being said, Black Ops 2 looks pretty awesome. Set in the year 2025 the U.S.A. is once again under attack by a terrorist group (it seems that’s  always the case in these military shooters these days – I’m not saying, just saying.) but this time they got control of our robotic military units. Not like terminators but unmanned drones and artillery to name a few. The player take on the role of the President’s guard with loft task getting her to safety from the chaos. He does well but the demo cuts out too soon to see if he completed his mission. However the Demo’s mission was a complete success as more than a few people were foaming at the mouth to see more play on the floor. As for me, well we see.

 

 

 

 

Ranking

 

 

Microsoft’s showing was solid but I think they focused on the hardware a little too much for my taste – and it wasn’t very entertain either. They had and nice mix of games but I wish they had more of them. As it turns out though, ‘a lack of games’ may have been the overall theme of E3 this year, stay tune.

 

(Sorry all, I wanted to do more but time ran out on me. But I’ll keep cranking these E3 showing out as fast as I can and hopefully I can do my favs of the show before the week’s over.)

 

 

 

This Just In (Or not) – Conan O’Brien’s in Halo 4

 

Conan, oh Conan. If you weren’t cool for the whole ‘tonight show’ debacle and the ‘Flaming C’; you are now certainly cool for this: becoming a character in Halo 4. Now the role maybe just an outer space dock worker but knowing Conan (and Andy Richter apparently) and his dynamic personality something tells me he’ll be stealing the whole show (or game rather). Watch the clip and make your own call.

 

 

 

Games & Gear of 2012 Reloaded – Halo 4 (11/6/2012)

 

Well people, I know what you’re thinking: after your tirade on the pure dreck that is ‘Halo: Reach’ there no way you’ll going to play Halo 4 right? Actually, no. Like I said before on my Armada E3 pick last year, its Halo, so it’s basically a requirement to play. Plus I don’t condemn the son for the sins of the father. Reach was not all bad people, just the multiplayer (it made BioShock 2’s multiplayer seem good in comparison). Thankfully however the good people at 343 Industries heard my cries (and no doubt the cries of many others) and decided to overhaul the multiplayer almost completely. First of all the multiplayer is connected to the main story itself and have purpose and not just randomness within randomness. Next actual good weapons are part of a player Spartan load out; course you can still grab weapons at various places on the maps but they’re all random and people can’t just camp for the best stuff anymore. And speaking of load outs, your Spartan armor customizations aren’t just for show – they add stat mods to your characters and help tailor to your play style. They reworked the abilities (except for ‘sprint’ – which they made into a default command like every other game character in existence (f’n finally)) and more; just checkout the latest edition of Game Informer Magazine  (issue 229) to get the whole scoop. As it stands, Halo 4 is look like the next great step in the series; and I for one am glad.