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Ramblings from the Marginalized » 2009 » August

August 2009

video games August 31st, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Brutal Legend

Listen up everyone, there is a contest for the Brutal Legend game on Facebook. it ends on September 9, 2009 so act now!

    Contest Info:

  • Become a fan of the official Brutal Legend Facebook fan page
  • Post your Brutal Legend fan art onto the official Brutal Legend Facebook wall with "Fan Art Contest" somewhere in the title
  • 5 winners will each receive a limited edition Eddie Riggs statue
  • Sorry to all of our international fans, this is a US only contest
  • Sample contest and statue image & rules/full contest details

When ex-roadie Eddie Riggs is drawn back to an ancient world of heavy metal by a mysterious power, he lands in a world where humans are subjugated by demons and he is the only one who can save them. Legendary game designer Tim Schafer strikes again with a story featuring Jack Black as Eddie Riggs. Filled with humor, awesome characters, and melted faces, you will be on the edge of their seats.

Now I have to admit, when I first saw the screenshots and art for this game I thought for sure the main character was Meatloaf. I was wrong. The main character is voiced by Jack Black. The setting of the game is pure 80's metal goodness.

Do you remember the 80's? Back when MTV was still good and metal bands wore leather pants so tight you didn't have to wonder how they hit those high notes? That's the feeling you get from this game, good old heavy metal nostalgia! Don't believe me? Check out the soundtrack:

3 Inches of Blood - Deadly Sinners
3 Inches of Blood - Destroy The Orcs
Accept - Fast As A Shark
Angel Witch - Angel Witch
Anthrax - Metal Thrashing Mad
Anvil - March of the Crabs
Anvil - Tag Team
Apostasy - Sulphur Injection
Bishop of Hexen - A Serpentine Grave
Bishop of Hexen - The Somber Grounds of Truth
Black Sabbath - Children of the Grave
Black Sabbath - Symptom of the Universe
Black Sabbath - Never Say Die
Brocas Helm - Cry of the Banshee
Brocas Helm - Drink the Blood of the Priest
Budgie - Breadfan
Budgie - Zoom Club
Candlemass - Witches
Carcass - No Love Lost
Cloven - Hoof Nightstalker
Children of Bodom - Angels Don't Kill
Coroner - Skeleton on your Shoulder
Cradle of Filth - Her Ghost in the Fog
Crimson Glory - Queen of the Masquerade
Dark Fortress - Insomnia
Dark Tranquility - Cathode Ray Sunshine
Deathstars - Blitzkrieg
Def Leppard - Rock of Ages
Dethklok - Mermaider
Diamond - Head Am I Evil?
Dimmu Borgir - Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Dokken - Mr. Scary
Dragonforce - Through the Fire and Flames
Emperor - Thus Spake The Nightspirit
Enslaved - Frost
Enslaved - Loke
Firehouse - Overnight Sensation
Girlschool - Bomber
Iced Earth - When the Night Falls
Iced Earth - Pure Evil
In Flames - Goliaths Disarm Their Davids
Judas Priest - Battle Hymn
Judas Priest - The Hellion/Electric Eye
Judas Priest - Leather Rebel
Judas Priest - One Shot At Glory
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Kabbage Boy - Girlfriend
KMFDM - Free Your Hate
KMFDM - Rip The System
King Diamond - Cremation
King Diamond - Welcome Home
Kiss - God of Thunder
Lita Ford - Betrayal
Marilyn Manson - Beautiful People
Manowar - Die For Metal
Manowar - The Dawn Of Battle
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Mastodon - Oblivion Instrumental
Megadeath - High Speed Dirt
Megadeath - Tornado of Souls
Metal Church - Metal Church
Michael Schenker - Group Assault Attack
Ministry - Stigmata
Ministry - Thieves
Mirrorthrone - So Frail
Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood
Motley Crue - Kickstart My Heart
Motley Crue - Live Wire
Motorhead - Back at the Funny Farm
Motorhead - In the Black
Motorhead - Marching Off to War
Motorhead - We Are the Road Crew
Nitro Machine - Gun Eddie
Omen - The Axeman
Ostrogoth - Queen of Desire
Overkill - World of Hurt
Ozzy Osbourne - Believer
Ozzy Osbourne - Mr. Crowley
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Prong - Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
Quiet Riot - The Wild and the Young
Racer X - Technical Difficulties
Racer X - Y.R.O.
Ratt - Lay It Down
Riot - Road Racin
Riot - Narita
Riot - Swords and Tequila
Rob Zombie - Superbeast
Rotting Christ - Ad Notics
Running Wild - Riding the Storm
Sanctuary - Battle Angels
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
Saxon - Wheels of Steel
Scorpions - Blackout
Scorpions - Holiday
Skeletonwitch - Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery
Skid Row - Youth Gone Wild
Slayer Metal - Storm/Face The Slayer
Slough Feg - Warriors Dawn
Static-X - Love Dump
Tenacious D - Master Exploder
Tenacious D - The Metal
Testament - For The Glory Of
Testament - More Than Meets The Eye
Tvangeste - Birth of the Hero
UFO - Rock Bottom
Whitesnake - Still of the Night
Wrath of Killenstein - Ignisis Dance

Think about it. Awesome soundtrack, axes and guitars, metal legends and lots of blood, death and gore. What more could you ask for in a heavy metal dream game?

The game is set to hit stores on October 13, 2009.

Stories and video games August 30th, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Xbox Banner

I know what you are thinking, "how can a price drop on the Elite and Pro make the Arcade the most expensive?" As with most things it's not just what you get but what you have to pay for.

Let's do a little bit of a comparison of each of the three versions of the Xbox360.

Options Arcade Pro Elite
Console White White Black
Wireless Controller White x1 White x1 Black x1
Storage 256MB 60GB 120GB
Headset No Wired Wired (Black)
Cat5 Cable No Yes Yes
A/V Cable Standard Standard/HD Standard/HD
Compatibility 360 360 + Xbox 360 + Xbox
Price $199 $249 $299

On the surface the Arcade is the cheapest version of the Xbox360 to buy but it will cost you the most in the long run in not only money but also fun.

Microsoft Store

According to Microsoft the Arcade only works with Xbox 360 games while the Elite and Pro will work with over 300+ Xbox games. This might not be a big deal for you but as a long time gamer even I still have some of my old consoles because of one or two games I like to play. I never owned a previous generation Xbox so I like knowing that I can play those older games on my Xbox 360 (For the record I own a 20GB Xbox 360 Pro).

How much is that hard drive going to cost you? Now that the Pro version (60GB hard drive) is being discontinued your only option for adding a hard drive is the 120GB one. A drive that will set you back a whopping $149.99! If you are lucky you might be able to find an older 60GB drive at a local store for about $99.

Yes, for more than $1 per GB you can buy a hard drive for your Arcade edition of the Xbox 360. When you count only the drive you are looking at your Arcade version now costing you about $350 or $50 more than the Elite.

The sad thing about the hard drive issue is that large drives are dirt cheap these days. There is no reason for MS to be charging $149.99 for a 120GB drive. You can buy a 320GB external hard drive for your computer for less than $99 these days. Before you get the bright idea to buy one of those and swap it out with the 120GB drive sold by Microsoft you might want to remember that MS has no problem kicking people off of Xbox Live for doing that.

In the end it is up to you but without Xbox Live and a hard drive the Arcade level of the Xbox 360 is a complete waste of money. You wouldn't buy a Ferrari with a 4 cylinder engine so why buy an Xbox 360 without a hard drive?

Nintendo August 28th, 2009 by HMTKSteve
Nintendo DSi

Have you been wanting a chance to check out the new DSi from Nintendo? Do you live near Portland Oregon? Are you free the weekend of Aug 28 - 31? If you answered yes to these three questions then you might want to check out the Oregon State Fair and the Nintendo DSi™ Mobile Tour!

The Nintendo DSi™ Mobile Tour will be located near the "Big Sling" ride near the gateway to the fair. There will be plenty of Nintendo reps on hand to show you how to take and manipulate photos, tweak sound recordings and enjoy a wide variety of games. Visitors can print their original souvenir photos on the bus or store them online and download them from home!

video games August 11th, 2009 by
Terminator Salvation
Format: PlayStation 3™
Launch Date: 05/19/09
Game Type: Third Person Shooter
Players: 1 player, 2 player Co-Op
Developer: GRIN

Terminator: Slavation is the game release to tie-in to the release of the new movie by the same name. In the game, you are John Connor, and you are on a mission to rescue a group of resistance fighters trapped deep in SkyNet territory. The game is set 2 years before the events of the film, where John Connor isn't considered a leader of the resistance.

Lets start with what this game is not. It isn't a CRPG like Fallout 3, where the focus is on interacting and exploring the world. This game's telling a story, and isn't asking on any input on where that story's gonna go. It also isn't the sort of game that has a great deal of replay value. I played it on both the easy and hard difficulty level and the game 'feels' pretty much the same, only the Terminiators dish out more damage.

Gameplay is pretty fun. One of the big selling points of this game is the cover system, where you can hide behind objects, aim to your next peice of cover, and dash towards it. This is important because the enemies in the game have much more armor than you, and you don't always have the ideal weapon at hand to rapidly dispatch a particular foe. Many enemies have weak spots, requiring you to get behind it, while it's distracted with another character. Most of the time, you are accompanied by computer controlled characters, who can draw fire. There aren't any health packs or anything, so if you take damage in a scene, you aren't getting better until the end of the scene. There are also a couple of chase scenes, where you control a gun, which provide a fun break from the skirmish battles. When you complete the end requirements of a particular scene, the game leads you to the next scene. This is sometimes a problem, because the game glitched a couple of times, where an enemy that had to be killed to move on got stuck inside another model, and I had to back out and start the scene over. There is no save feature, but you can pick up at the end of any scene you've completed.

The story itself was pretty good. It takes John Connor from a grunt who's losing faith in his 'destiny', to the leader that is central to the Terminator franchise. Given that I'm not typically a fan of games that have the storyline on rails, I have to admit that it was a pretty fun ride. The voice acting was decent, though they didn't use any talent from the movie.

My biggest complaint about this game is it's length. It took me about 10 hours of play to complete the game, which seems pretty short for a shooter. This coupled with the limited replay value (you can play through a scene you've already done, or run through the game at a different difficulty), made this game disappointing, although it was a fun play. I hope that the cover system makes it into a longer format game in the future.

video games August 8th, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Metroid Prime Trilogy

The Metroid Prime Trilogy game pack is one of the few Nintendo releases I am actually looking forward to this summer. Even though I have played all three (one and three to completion, the second made me nauseous) I want to replay the first two using the Wii controls such as they were in Prime three: Corruption.

REDMOND, Wash., May 22, 2009 - Metroid™ Prime 3: Corruption set a new standard for first-person motion controls in video games. Now it's bringing those controls to the rest of the celebrated series, allowing players to experience the entire Metroid Prime story arc with the peerless precision of the Wii Remote™. Nintendo announces Metroid Prime Trilogy, a new premium three-game collection for the Wii™ console that bundles all three landmark Metroid Prime games onto one disc and revamps the first two installments with intuitive Wii Remote controls, wide-screen presentation and other enhancements. Metroid Prime Trilogy will be available exclusively for Wii on Aug. 24 at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Each game maintains its original storyline and settings, but now Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes let players use their Wii Remote to aim with precision as heroine Samus Aran. Based on the breakthrough control system that debuted in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, these new Wii controls bring an entirely new level of immersion and freedom to these milestone games.

Metroid Prime Flaahgra

As much as I enjoyed the first Prime game on the Gamecube I have to say that the controls for Corruption simply blew me away. I still consider those controls to be the best among any FPC game I have played and to be far superior to dual analog stick controls. Better than keyboard-mouse controls? That is an argument I'm not prepared to get into.

Now you might be wondering if the $49.99 price tag is worth it, more so if you already have Corruption for the Wii. Let's look at it based on price.

Metroid Prime can be purchased for $5 used at most Gamestop stores. When I traded my copy in almost two years ago I only got $1 in credit. Echoes goes for anywhere between $10 and $20 used. Worst case it would cost you $25 to buy the two Gamecube Metroid games. With Corruption selling for about $30 used it will cost you a little bit more to buy them all used.

Now, that is just based on price. If we look at game play value then that $49.99 is extremly worth it even if you already have all three games. Why? Because for one thing you get to use the Wii controls and for another they have enhanced the earlier games for widescreen.

Metroid Prime Pirates

video games August 5th, 2009 by HMTKSteve
Fallout3: Mothership Zeta

It's been a long time coming but this week Bethesda released the final DLC for Fallout3, Mothership Zeta. The final chapter in the DLC saga sends the lone wanderer into space. On to the final frontier, to seek out new forms of life and kill them with their own weapons.

The DLC begins when you pick up a strange radio signal from the crashed UFO. Yes, it is the same UFO you probably found a while back in your explorations. Things are a little bit different now so if you have not investigated the crashed ship you might want to do so before downloading this bit of DLC.

As you approach the downed ship the signal on your radio becomes more clear. You can hear the garbled alien voices. As you look down upon the crashed ship an intense desire to loot the scattered items overtakes you. Then a strange light surrounds you as you are pulled up into an alien ship to be experimented on!

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