Natal E3

This was a strange thing.

Outside the Galen Center, everything was fairly standard. Some Cirque dancers/drummers, nice set pieces, jungle theme. We slowly filtered in and they had us don the what-I-assume-are-now-legendary space ponchos, which were weird. Myself and a nearby French Canadian decided that this was strange, they can’t have a water show in the Galen Center, so we explored and discovered embedded electronics in the shoulderpads. To my electrical engineer’s eyes, I could easily spy a crystal oscillator, several LEDs, an infrared receiver, two large lithium batteries, a host of resistive circuitry, but also a few chips I couldn’t identify without looking out the pinouts online.
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Cowboys and Indians doesn’t really make sense in relation to Red Dead Redemption, yes there are native Americans (kind of), but those of us in the know affectionately refer to the NPC’s of that programmed ethnicity as savages. Red Dead is more like Cowboys and Mexicans, or Cowboys and the Federal Law man. Plenty of promise, but do random encounters with damsels in distress and packs of roving wolves make for fun times in the old west or something less compelling?

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(UPDATE): The Microsoft event is currently taking place which confirms that it is now called Kinect, and that the game I thought would be awesome looks awesome.

According to USA Today, the peripheral formally known as Project Natal will be officially called Kinect. There is a trademark for the term filed by Microsoft in late April for “computer software, computer hardware, and computer peripherals.” The term Kinect also appears in an Italian Xbox ad. These do seem to indicate pretty strongly that Kinect will be the name from now on.  Sounds a bit meh to me but what do I know, I dont get paid a tonne of money to come up with names for products. We’ll find out in mere hours anyway. USA Today also has a list of games that are built for it. Continue reading

Clowns are scary.

Modern Warfare 2 – we loved it when it first dropped didn’t we? The chaos, the total immersion in war, the frustrating checkpoints, the sexy multiplayer, killstreaks were great, then the killstreaks were annoying, not to mention the sad and miserable lack of a local search.

To be honest it was a bit of an on-off relationship and for many MW2 became the stopgap until BFBC2 arrived, which is a shame because MW2 is good at what it does and frustrations aside Infinity Ward do lavish detail on the environments they drop you into.

Which brings us to the second paid map pack courtesy of the developer, weighing in like the first at 1200 points it is pricey and as usual the design of a decent map is a matter of taste. Even after a few games at least one of the new maps (Carnival) was on the ‘vote to skip’ list and ‘Vacant’ allegedly popular and repainted from MW1 never appeared.

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It’s official: a keyboard peripheral is coming to Rock Band 3. Harmonix have shown the game in action and it really makes use of that widescreen – four note tracks side by side. Taking a cue from Beatles: Rock Band, harmonies are back allowing two extra microphones. That’s up to seven people playing at any one time! 

Pro mode is what Harmonix was teasing earlier this year, making your Rock Band experience closer to playing a real instrument. But to take advantage of this feature you’ll need to buy one of the advanced guitar controllers (as if your house wasn’t a junkyard of plastic instruments already). Partial track list after the break…

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Great Scott! Telltale have announced a deal with NBC Universal, to create episodic games for Jurassic Park and Back to The Future. First up is Back to The Future, due this Summer.

Telltale believe these franchises suit their adventure-style games rather than just another couple shooters. I’m not entirely certain how Back to the Future would work, but if anyone can do it, it’s Telltale.

Zeno Clash - Banner

Take a great big melting pot and add some of James Cameron’s Avatar, a dose of Tim Burton’s Alice and stir vigorously while ingesting illegal substances and you may just start to visualise how the developers, ACE Team, worked through the development of Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition. Ultimate because of an overhaul of the PC version including combat rebalancing, interface enhancements, improved animations, new modes, and new gameplay content. But fans of the PC version need not worry, the same brilliant gameplay remains intact.

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