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

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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 Well 343 Industries did well with the property but it’s time to face facts: Halo is obsolete.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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Armada’s E3 picks – Halo 4

 

 

Well people we all knew it was coming, after Reach and Bungie departure from the legacy series, we knew it was only a matter of time before someone else takes the mantle of ‘Master of Master Chief’ and continues the story of the hardest working man in the galaxy (sorry Commander Shepard). At this point there is no real information on this title in any way, shape, or form outside the obvious. But hey, at least there are preorder available at various locations so we can all get an real early start on it. So why we selected this as an E3 pick when chances are it will show up at next year’s E3? Because it Halo, duh – and hopefully the fourth game in will make me forget the digital diarrhea that was Halo Reach every existed.

 

 

 

 

Alright, the clue for tomorrow’s game pick goes as followed: It’s what GTA wishes it could be.

 

 

Friday the 13th & The six most cursed games of all time

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Friday the 13th , a lot rational people will just wave this day away as another typical day  but others see it as the single worst day of the year (of course if Wikipedia is to be believed the 13th can have multiple Fridays depend on the year). Me? I got to admit I’m starting to see the menace of the day: I wake up & I feel like I got run over, no milk for my cereal so I use half & half and water, and of course I start my computer machine to start writing this article only to find out it was right in the middle ‘catastrophic system crash’ – you know that ol’ chestnut. Fortunately it got better, but I still updated my important back-ups just in case. All these bad luck events only steel my resolve for writing this article, and with that here’s the six most cursed games of all time. Laugh if you must, but these games are either cursed or were cured upon for being utterly lame. Let us begin:

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6. E.T. (Atari version)

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Ok, so this one I’ve never played myself, but plenty of people have told me the old horror stories on how miserably bad this particular game is. It had it all in fail – bad story, bad graphics, pseudo time limit, ear drum busting sound FXs, and far too many pits for a game not called Pitfall. This game was supposed to be the next big game franchise but ended up the be the biggest game failure of all time – and a cautionary tale to tell other game developers what will happen to them if they don’t do the work. Which brings me to the whole ‘buried millions of “E.T.” cartridges in a New Mexico desert’ rumor. If it turns out to be true (snopes.com confirms it) then that proves this game’s cursed because the only two things you burry in a desert (location may vary) is poop and cursed items. Atari’s  E.T. maybe a combo of the two, moving on.

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5. Team Fortress 2 (console version)

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Now don’t get me wrong, by all normal definition of awesome games Team Fortress 2 is indeed an awesome game. However it only continues to be awesome if you have the PC version. If you’re like me and purchased ‘The Orange Box’ or its counterpart ‘The Black Box’ for your favorite non-Wii consoles then Team Fortress 2 is nothing more than a torrent of woe and misery with a slight hint of what it could be. For whatever reason Valve decided to stop supporting the console version game outside of keeping the servers running. Because of that, mal-factor players from time to time will screw with the matches; such as attacking enemy players above and below stage maps, turning off critical attacks, keeping critical attacks on all the time, making themselves invincible, problem after problem… Combine that with the fact that the PC version get news maps, weapons, items, character skins, the whole nine, and that only adds insult to injury! I can hear some of your bleating people:

“If you don’t like the game anymore why do you keep playing?”

Or

“Why don’t you such play the PC verison?”

Why should I? – This is me now – After all, it’s all the same game, all they need to do is crank out DLCs like every other console developer/publisher. But no, the console versions are cursed to be in the shadow of  the PC game – and so too the players of their respective systems.

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4. Aerobiz Supersonic

 

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Imagine you’re 12, an avid video gamer but not refine enough to research games before you buy or rent them. You go to your local tape rental store and peruse the gaming options for your Super Famicom. Then something catches your eye, a hyper cool box with a year 3000 style super jet on it. The tile ‘Aerobiz Supersonic’ was on it and you knew then what to rent that day (even if you didn’t know what those words meant at the time). Well when you got that rental home, you put it in the system and was expecting to have an wicked adventure with hi tech jets – what you got was an game about the airline industry (graphs, charts and all). That, my friends, is an experience that will forever curse my memory. The killing part is that now that I’m old enough to understand the meaning of this game it’s not so bad; but when your 12 and you buy a comic book based on the cover and turns out to be consumer reports in the pages that feeling of resentment still sticks with you over the years.

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3. Halo Reach

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Now I know I ranted about this into the ground at the time so I won’t pick over a scab, but from what I hear the multiplayer has improved slightly and can now get free online players to help others in co-op mode. Quite frankly the majority of people still liked this game even before the improvements and that mystifies me. I stand by my assessment of this accursed game and my only real regret is that an excellent series had to end in this wet fish title.

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2. Games based on Movies

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It never fails, an awesome action packed / cartoon / superhero / movie comes out, does well (or not), churns out products – and a video game. No matter the movie, how it was directed, who was in it, production cost, the studio, its freshness score on rotten tomatoes, any planed sequels, DVD extras, and all that; the one thing they all have in common is that their video game tie ins suck – so – hard… There is no way any developer/publisher would deliberately make crappy games based on  films for a simple cash grab, no, so the only thing it could be is a curse. A curse cast by a witch (or warlock) who played the Atari E.T. and never got over it.

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1. Madden Series

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Finally this last one is a doozie, so famous that it is called the ‘Madden Curse’ and is known by many even outside the gaming world. Basically since 2000 any professional football player that has headline the cover has met with season ending circumstances (here’s an overview). Ten years of this had generated quite of bit of discussions, but usually end in a dismissal of the infamous curse. However when the latest cover boy drops out of the season or is under-performing expectations that’s when everyone starts breaking out the plastic four leaf covers and rabbit’s feet to protect their team from the curse. Me, I would err on the side of caution. If I was Peyton Hillis and the Madden people called me up to put my butt on the box, I would say “I’m Bob, Peyton not here, can I take a message.” *Click*

I’m being funny of course, but still… The game not only takes out players but most times predicts the winner of the Superbowl. Curse or consequences – you be the judge.

Game Review – Halo Reach

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Arrrgghhh! Let’s me tell ye all somethin’ about Modern Warfare 2.

Full o’ mutinous, landlubberin’, bilge rats who blow th’ man down at the’r broadside or poop deck wi’ the’r gunwalls – real shipmates swashbuckle bow t’ bow!

Aye, but th’ game be like grog an’ honey t’ me, e’en now ‘t got me in its siren song.

Halo Reach be supposed t’ be me deliverance, an’ show all th’ American Main true code o’ conduct o’ th’ swashbuckle. Sadly Halo Reach only bring a spring upon her cable, ‘t wasn’t th’ jolly rogership o’ lore more like a cog o’ disappointment…

The tale o’ Halo Reach doesn’t belong t’ Master Chief nay; this yarn be about a lad named Six. Six’s swabbieality be about as potent as a flog made o’ fluff, but his skills wi’ a cutlass be unmatched. Arrrr, on accoun’ o’ this he became th’ newest hands o’ a privateer crew known Noble Squad. They be true Swashbucklers me hardies, each one a Man-O-War in armor, sent by th’ (space) marines t’ scuttle any scallywag that dare threats humanity. Wi’ th’ young Six in tow th’ Noble crew set sails t’ th’ port city known as Reach t’ find ou’ what corsairs be pillagin’ th’ lass’ an’ make them keel haul th’ plank. Woe be t’ the, on accoun’ o’ they found the’r enemies: Th’ Covenant – wi’ an army so large’t makes th’ Spanish armada (cheap pop) look like landlubbers fresh off th’ teat. Will th’ Noble crew survive th’ storm or become Davy Jones’ newest catch o’ th’ tide?

Avast that worry buckos, Six be nay light weight after all, he (or she) can handle a clap o’ thunder an’ then some. A straight shooter if erethere be one, he can handle a dreadnought o’ weapons, from flintlock pistols an’ musket shotguns t’ th’ amazin’ an’ exotic Nest o’ Bees. As a Buccaneer after me own blackened heart Six can e’en plunder arms from th’ Covenant an’ use them t’ blow many men down. This lad-O-War’s tricks continue wi’ a king’s ransom o’ seadogin’ skills: like runnin’ wi’ th’ force o’ th’ sea, becomin’ clear as th’ purest lake, resistin’ e’en th’ sharpest blades an’ th’ like. A force o’ nature that one, but wi’ th’ one o’ many shipshape vessels in th’ game Six can keelhaul th’ Covees like Hades hisself.

Now don’t be gettin’ too full o’ nelsons folly an’ foolin’ yourselves o’ th’ strength o’ th’ Covees. The’r hands be vast an’ widely known as th’ Scourge o’ th’ Se’en Seas in th’ four corners on th’ galaxy. First be th’ grunts, scurvy wee bilge rats yeller bellies that be cannon fodders fer th’ Covees. Then thar be th’ Jackals, sea weed crossed squids wi’ a spyglass eye fer snipin’. Hunters be large, kraken-size monsters wi’ a cannon on one arm – they take six pounders jus’ t’ hurt’em beware. Brutes be tough, strong, an’ live by dead men tell nay tales; th’ only savin’ grace be they’re as smart as killick. Finally th’ Elite be ever’ bit as weathered an’ resourceful as lad Six hisself sharin’ many o’ his strengths an’ very wee aliments. Separately they’re dangerous, together they dance th’ hempen jig t’ ever’ marines in th’ sea – includin’ ye mate.

Aye me mates, this transcribin’ as a seafarin’ hearty be floggin’ tough, be ‘t enough t’ cause a mate t’ grog blossom. T’ continue th’ review in this fashion would be fool hardly (plus I’m out of time), so when th’ rooster crows I’ll finished me tale fer now I wish ye all a good eve.

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(09/26/10)

Ahoy mates and welcome back to the crew review of Halo Reach, Arrrr! I and I been chopin ‘ta bit to finish me tale… Hold on lads.

*Ack!* *Cough!* *Ahem!*

Sorry about that, all that pirate sticks with you for a while, but that’s all over for another year and now it’s back to business as usual – that being today the synopsis of the game. Halo Reach is very similar to the play styles of all the Halo games that came before it but still has a few changes that players should be aware of. One of which is a health bar, sure  Spartans still sports some sophisticated shields (try saying ‘Spartans still sports some sophisticated shields’ three times fast) but they don’t charge as fast as previous games which leave player’s health up for a pounding. Also players have access to new abilities that surviving battles a bit more likely. Six always starts off with Sprint (also is the multiplayer default ability as well – more on this later) but throughout the game players with find more skills to use like the drop shield from Halo 3; only this time it heals people inside it as well as being portable cover. New (or somewhat retooled) weapons and vehicles are found in Reach as well, each with their own little quarks about them. Some are all propose, middle of the road while others are only effective in headshot situations; but truthfully the weapons on the Covenant side really put the Spartans’ arms to shame.

Which is the final difference between Reach and all other Halo games: the Covenant will mess you up.

I’m not kidding, from the scrubby, but numerous, little ‘Grunts’ to the aptly named ‘Elites’ each and every enemy you will encounter will make your life just that much difficult to live – which won’t be for long, get use to that 3rd person ‘you are dead’ camera pan out. And whether you have CPU helpers or your available friends online (more on this later) it won’t matter in the long run because their out for blood and they will get it.

Halo Reach looks like Halo: Combat Evolved from a graphical standpoint. Which isn’t bad per say, but everything looks (outside of Spartan/Covees armors) looks a little dull. The Sound isn’t much better in fact, a lot of it is caned FX from games of Halo’s past – which again is not a bad thing just not something to write home about in an email either. I will say the voice acting is solid, but five out of the six members of noble squad are the classical stoic soldiers’ archetype (with small degrees of difference); which means character development wasn’t part of their training at basic. Six (the player character) hardly talks and the assortment of people outside of Noble squad don’t bring anything to table either.

In short the audio/visuals here are very decaf.

In life, my friends, true perfection is rare, this is true for video games as well. When I review games and find problems, that’s just part of the course in my line of work. However the problems I found here were not only bad, but they were truly disappointing coming from a pedigree series like Halo and on Bungie’s swan song game no less. All of these problems are found in one place – multiplayer.

Let’s start with the health bar – why Bungie, why? Why would you create a perfect health recovery system for FPS years ago (a system which is still being used today) only to tack this ‘get a health kit now or your die’ crap! I don’t want to survive a dogged battle on multiplayer and recover my shield just to end up dying looking for a freaken white & red box on the wall! Halo doesn’t work like that at all.

Next up stock weapons and abilities – If there’s anything I’ve learned from Team Fortress 2, Transformers: War for Cybertron, and yes even Modern Warfare 2 is that I like choosing what weapons, gear, and abilities I bring to the fight. This ‘here’s two generic weapons (Assault/DM Rifle and a pistol), good luck finding better stuff on the field’ stuff is not acceptable anymore – it’s downright archaic people. Those who played the game are now saying: ‘we do get to choose different weapons and a ability through the selection of classes’. I retort: ‘not always’ – depending on the game type, map, and sometimes race (Covenant I mean) the game may ‘give’ players the choice of selecting a class load out or it will give you whatever it wants and the default ability of Sprint (which by the way the ability to run slightly faster than normal isn’t an ability – it’s a cop out). I what my Spartan to be a reflection of my playstyle, not some front line failure who died because I couldn’t get the rocket launcher fast enough.

Voting for match types – This one’s really annoying. People, I like the unpredictability of deathmatches, never knowing what’s around the next corners. Or capture the flag: preventing the enemies from taking my flag while at the same time trying to steal theirs. Or even King of the Hill where only the strong stay alive for more than a minute and score the highest time. I love them all because no one person or group of people has an advantage – not even I.  Even Halo Reach screws that up too, because during the startup phase in multiplayer the game gives the players in the match the choice of voting for a general match or three other options. These options aren’t a change of venue, but a change of match type like all rockets, SWAT (no shield, no radar, and DMRs), and other various match types. Now say you want a straight up deathmatch and vote for it, however the clan you’ll be facing wants all rockets. How do you think this is going to end? Bungie, I don’t like getting shoehorned into match types I don’t like, don’t play, and/or give an advantage to my opponent just because I got out voted. Worst still I can’t even leave the lobby and find a new one until the game I’m in starts (or I leave the game entirely). There should be separate lobbies for different game types, There should not be a voting crapshoot thrown together just because someone got lazy!

MIA co-op campaign – Ok, while it is true that you can play the co-op campaign with your friends on this game, the good people at Bungie decided to leave out the co-op campaign matchmaker for Xbox live as a whole til October. Why? Because they didn’t want the people who finished the single player to ruin it for the people who did not. Total BS… I don’t know what the real reason is, but because of this shortsighted blunder or outright lie I have to consider this game incomplete now…

For really what it’s worth Halo Reach is not a bad game; I like how the story ended up, I like the various ways you can customize your armor, and they’re firefight mode (their version of the Horde mode in Gears of Wars) was the one single oasis in multiplayer’s desert of discontentment. However it couldn’t outweigh the simply phoned in features, looks, and overall progression of a series that once launched a 100,000 Xboxes (not an exact number, just a figure of speech). It is truly a disheartening game from Bungie – in my opinion they didn’t go out with a bang or a boom but a whimper in the darkness. Whoever takes over from here has a lot of work to do.

Ranking: Sliver

Game Preview – Games to look for in 2010

Well ladies and gentlemen of the gaming universe it finally happened, we’ve officially entered into the future – its 2010 baby! I, for one, couldn’t be anymore excited but my only concern with it is what do I call this era now? The ten’s? Oh well, that’s another question for another time; you’re here for games after all, and games you will receive. This year we have the return of old favorites in sequel form and new interesting titles that will premiering as well. Sad to say, we as gamers won’t get much of a break in ot’10 (I’m still on Dragon Age like blood crazy fiend, never mind all its DLCs that came out of no where), but I’m not complaining – bring in on. Here are some of the games I (and by proxy you all) will be looking forward to:

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Mass Effect 2: [Releases 1/26/10]

BioWare’s science fiction masterpiece of 2007 is not only coming on strong with this high anticipated sequel but early in the year as well. The story picks up where the first one left off; Commander Shepard saving the galaxy from a horde of mechanized monsters. After that you would think he’s take a vacation, but ever the stoic hero he heads off to the stars for his next impossible mission; and boy did he find it. This time around there new weapons, new characters, new locals, new combat system, whole nine. Players of the first game also have the added bonus of importing their character as well as the choices they made to the second game, now who said you can’t take it with you. This spacey sojourn should be all that and then some.

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Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars [Releases 1/26/10]

I love my Wii, I really do. And it has some really impressive titles, but even I must admit that it doesn’t get all the premium titles it should. Well fellow Wii owners Wiijoice because now the shoe is on the other foot; meaning the latest in the Capcom VS fighting series, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, is only going to be available on the Wii console. This time around it mixes the familiar of capcom (Zero, Viewtiful Joe, Ryu, etc) with the unfamiliar of Tatsunoko (Golden Lightan, Ken the Eagle, Dorombo Gang, etc) and they all fight each other in of-the-wall, impossible ways for no apparent reason. Just the way I likes’ it, and being a Wii exclusive only adds to the appeal for the title. The only drawback I can really see with the game right now is the fact it will be released on the same day as Mass Effect 2, and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.

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No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle [Releases 1/26/10]

We are Travis Touchdown, and he is us. Every one of us that could buy a beam sword on eBay and hunt down and destroy the world’s deadliest assassins with awesome wrestling moves and wild charisma – would. Well he’s back and so are his — (wait for it) ‘desperate struggles’; but feel bad for the opposition people because this time it’s personal for Travis.

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BioShock 2: [Releases 2/9/10]

And you thought it was over, didn’t you? Don’t worry, so did I. Not that I’m ungrateful mind you; I look forward to once again dive under the sea, infiltrate Rapture and mix it up with enemies that are a combination of X-Men mutants and meth addicts. However this time around players get to roll as one the most imposing forces in the game; a big daddy – actually the first big daddy. While he traverses what remains of the fallen utopia, players will discover the many mysteries that persist there that didn’t end with Ryan.

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Heavy Rain: [Releases 2/23/10]

There is a killer; cold and calculating, call Origami. The Origami Killer has killed many and will kill again unless someone steps forward. In Heavy Rain players take up four characters with the task of stopping the Origami Killer. What makes this game unique is that it is done in the style of a choose your own adventure flavor with an added twitch element. Players must think fast and choose their reactions well because a bad choice will get a character killed, permanently… So what will you choose?

– Be scared and run away.

– Be intimatdated because it’s not a FPS.

– Be excited and count the days until the game launches

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Battlefield Bad Company 2: [Releases 3/2/10]

Now I’m torn about this game, I loved the single player experience where it follows (through the eyes of the rookie of course) the misadventures of B(ad) Company taking down enemies in the name of Uncle Sam and a personal payday of gold bricks. What I didn’t like was the multiplayer which was clusterfreak ‘o failure; though I’m sure people will disagree with me. Regardless BBC:2 is coming out soon so that means a strong militaristic FPS in the vain of the Battlefield series. It boasts new maps, vehicle combat, building destruction, different play modes, and the like. Which is fine and all, but I hope B company return is just as detail oriented as the rest otherwise I’ll be really disappointed. But to its credit, it is really good looking.

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Final Fantasy XIII (That’s 13, if anyone’s wondering) [Releases 3/9/10]

In general I like the Final Fantasy series (FF 8, 11 and 12, not so much) but I’m not quite the rabid fanboy some are; so finding out this game was only a couple of months away from launch was a bit of a shock. Also I know next to nothing about the story, and the characters don’t quite interest me either to speak plainly. Despite all of this however, FFXIII still makes my list because I would be a fool to ignore it. I just hope it will have some substance under that hi-def style, we’ll see soon.

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Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening [Releases 3/16/10]

Dragon Age owns me. I love this game, so much so that I’ve filled up all my required characters slots – and people that’s never happened to me before. There’s just so much to see, do, and experience I can’t decide which record to stick with. It only got worst when I’ve obtained the DLCs (I’m still waiting for Return to Ostagar), now I’ve come to find out they’re releasing this expansion pack. BioWare – for all that’s good, please stop making dynamite content so rapidly. I’m already behind in my other games thanks to you (who got time for modern warfare when darkspawns’ about), now with Awakening I won’t be eating either – thanks a lot.

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God of War III: [Releases 3/16/10]

This is the 3rd in a rather blood and hedonistic series of games. Kratos, one ashy brotha, isn’t just satisfied with iceing the god of war but now he’s after the king baby – Zeus. Over his head, not with an army of PO’ed titans on his side (for now); and of course is Kratos armed with the most power weapons in the mythical grecian world. Sadly, a fully-powered Kratos doesn’t last very long in the sequels. Worry not, with Kratos’ luck something bigger and badder is always located in the nearest enemies’ skull.

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Just Cause 2: [Releases 3/23/10]

Rico Rodriguez is back; grappling hook, parachute and all. I’ll admit the first game was pretty corny; even for a video game, but fun, no question. I think this game will be more realistic (by video game standards at least) this time around, but don’t quote me on that. Even if it’s not however; I’ll still look forward to all the frantic ways I can sky jack a fighter plane and how best to turn it loose on the 3rd world country (mwa ha ha).

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Splinter Cell: Conviction [Releases 4/1/10]

Ah poor Sam Fisher, things seems to go bad to worse for the man; his daughter dies in a hit-n-run and since the last game (Double Agent) he becomes public enemy number one. However Fisher ain’t the kind of guy who goes quietly into the night, now that’s he out of a job he’s going to use all that military bad-asslery to find his daughter’s killer and have a little ‘chat’. But if you don’t think this too won’t tie into some secret conspiracy to take over through the government, you’re crazy.

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Super Street Fighter IV [Releases 4/27/2010]

One of the happiest resent memories I have is when Street Fighter IV came out and showed the world how a fighter is supposed to be. It had it all: awesome characters, impressive modes, passable story, and killer online play. I didn’t think it could get any better but I was wrong. With the coming of Super Street Fighter IV not only will players get all of classic IV’s excellence but added (and much appreciated) characters, new finishers, online modes and more. My fingers throb with anticipation, shinku hadoken!

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Alan Wake: [Releases 5/18/2010]

Writers, has this ever happen to you: You are one the best writers in the country, but have contracted massive writer’s block for over two years. So you and your wife decide to take trip into the country for some R&R and reconnect to riting –er writing. Well next thing you know wifee’ gone and weird shiza is going down at the town you were staying at. Now the strangest thing is that everything that’s happing now follows a book you wrote – only you don’t remember writing it. Never happened to you, you say? It will this April.

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Red Dead Redemption: [Releases 5/18/2010]

I love the future (2010, duh) but sometimes I long for a simpler time; where all a man needed to settle a disagreement was to shoot someone in the face. Ok, not in real life, but in games definitely. Well here comes Red Dead Redemption to help cure me of my modern life-itis is by taking me (other players with the same affliction) to the wildest of the west. Be a lone ranger righting wrongs, an outlaw causing chaos or something in between. Just bring a six-shooter, your trusty steed, and your best Clint Eastwood impression because you’ll need them partner.

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Crackdown 2: [Releases 7/6/2010]

Ok, so you play a nameless authoritarian peacekeeper that lays the smack on thugs, mutates and anything that looks at you cross-eyed. Using conventional weapons, vehicles and — of course SUPERPOWERS! Pick up MACK trucks and throw them at anyone you don’t like, chase down the fastest car – on foot, leap tall building – that’s sort da thing. It’s because of this that made the first Crackdown a breakout hit (well that, and the ending). I have no doubt that the sequel is going to be just as good, if not completely awesome.

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Alpha Protocol: [Releases 6/1/10]

James Bond (not the new one), Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne (a lot of JB’s here.) or whatever your spy/infiltrator of choice players can now put them all to shame and blaze your own trail of daring-do behind the scenes in Alpha Protocol the espionage rpg. Take up the mantle of Michael Thorton, an agent tasked with the job of finding out who downed an airliner with a U.S. missile and how to stop them from doing it again. From there it’s all up to you; be direct, be stealthy, be a user, be abuser, follow orders or don’t – just complete the mission.

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Dead Rising 2: [Releases 8/31/10]

This game should be called ‘Zombies – and how to kill them 2’. This time around you don’t play as a journalist in a mall, more rather a motocross champ in Las Ve—er, I mean ‘Fortune City’. Gambling and zombie murder? Sign me up.

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Halo Reach [Releases 9/1/10]

Ladies and Gentlemen: if there’s one thing I hate in the entire world its prequels. Hate it in movies and I hate it in games; they’re cop-outs to the fans and they don’t push the story forward – just stagnates them. However since in this case its Halo we’re talking about I’ll ignore it, for now (but they’re pushing it – see ODST). Fortunately every new full Halo game makes the series better in one way or another, especially in the multiplayer arena. So odds are we’re all in for a lot of long nights, shouting obscenities, to people we don’t even know this fall.

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Epic Mickey [Releases 11/1/10]

Mario and Mickey Mouse; the two icons people should know whether they’re 8 or 80. Mario keeps himself busy but Mickey not so much, that changes November. Epic Mickey, brought to you by Warren Spector, will destroy any and all preconceptions of the mouse you thought you knew. Somehow Mickey destroyed the cartoon world Yen Sid (the wizard from fantasia) created for retired Disney characters including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the ‘original’ Disney mascot. Well now it’s up to the mega mouse and his magical brush to set things right… Or not. This game’s going to be one for the ages.