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PC Preview - 'Bet on Soldier'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Bet On Soldier is a first-person shooter with a corporation-takes-over-the-world-style plot, where you bet on the outcome of encounters with specific enemies.

NGC/PS2/PSP/Xbox Preview - 'Marvel Nemesis: Rise Of The Imperfects'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Fighting
Developer: Nihilistic Software/EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: October 2005

When Electronic Arts first announced what was formerly known as their Marvel vs. EA project some months back, to say that fans—both of comics and of fighting games--were skeptical was an understatement. Already, EA was fighting a losing battle with popularity; the X-Men aside, the last time Marvel characters had been in a fighting game was Marvel vs. Capcom 2. A lot of people had been perfectly happy with that title, and had long awaited a sequel to it. This license (along with Capcom quitting the

PC Preview - 'City of Villains'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: Cryptic Studios
Release Date: TBA

Being a superhero is cool. Being a supervillain is cooler. At least that's the premise behind NCSoft's upcoming City of Villains, a quasi-expansion/standalone that can work together with the existing City of Heroes, or not, depending on whether you happen to own City of Heroes as well. It's kinda hard to describe, since I've never really seen a situation quite like this before. City of Villains will not require that you own City of Heroes to play, but some interactions between the two games will not be available. Likewise,

PC Preview - 'The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: Christmas 2005

The Elder Scrolls series is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Considering the fact that this latest installment took over three years to make, that's not all that surprising. Bethesda's design philosophy is to build each game from the ground up, and for this ten-year edition, they're pulling out all the stops.

The first thing everyone is going to notice is just how flat-out gorgeous this game looks. Seriously, this is some near virtual-reality stuff. The game starts you off in a prison, where everything looks amazingly solid; the solidity

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Crash Tag Team Racing'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Racing/3D Platformer
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: Fall 2005

We didn't go to the Vivendi Universal booth expecting to spend most of our time playing a Crash Bandicoot game. It just sort of... happened. Oh, we saw other games first, like F.E.A.R. and Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and we'll talk about them elsewhere. But Crash was the game we got to sit down and play for a good long while, and the experience was too surprising not to write about.

Much like Jak X, Tag Team Racing mutates a platforming title into a racing game. Unlike

GameCube Preview - 'The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: Fall 2005

The Legend of Zelda has been one of the most successful and enjoyable series in video game history. Every Zelda title was a top seller, and most every Zelda title was a must-have, and after getting my little hands on the latest title in the franchise, I am a firm believer that Twilight Princess will be no different. At any point during E3, the demo dungeon had a longer line than the showing of Sony's new PlayStation system. I have no doubt that this sort of popularity will follow

PS2/Xbox/X360/PC Preview - 'Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Sports / Golf
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Redwood Shores
Release Date: Fall 2005

In the mist of video franchises for more popular sports such as football (Madden) and basketball (NBA Live), EA's Tiger Woods series of games has always been somewhat off to the side, discreetly making strides for those who like their sports a little quieter than most. They simultaneously strive for both accurate simulation and for accessibility, with the random fun feature thrown in for good measure. The series is now making its way to the next-generation systems, and we were able to take a

PC Preview - 'Mojo Master'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Simulation, MMO
Developer: Wild Tangent
Publisher: Wild Tangent
Release Date: June 20, 2005

My meeting first appointment at E3 turned out to be my meeting with Wild Tangent. It was an appropriately odd start to what was a very odd week; after all, going into the meeting, I knew nothing about the developer other than a rumor about them having made an RTS played via WinAmp’s browser. It turns out that they specialize in making fairly simple PC games, the sort of stuff that you can run on basically any computer or just play online. These are the

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Total Overdose'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre : Action
Publisher: SCI
Developer: SCI
Release Date: November 2005

"So," the PR agent said, "have you ever seen I’m Gonna Get You Sucka?"

That was what first got my attention about Total Overdose, because truly, that film is the Wayans brothers’ magnum opus. What kept my attention was the insanity that followed.

Total Overdose is a sort of demented cross between Robert Rodriguez’s Mexican Westerns, i.e. Desperado, and Max Payne, with a lot of room for improvisation, a Mexican hiphop soundtrack (featuring bands like Control Machete), and a lot of points for style. You begin the game as an

X360 Preview - 'Full Auto'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Racing
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Pseudo Interactive
Release Date: Q4 2005

Now this will involve thinking way back, the length of which being painful for some to attempt, but think back to when you were little. Remember how you had the Matchbox cars and imagined them racing each other and doing whatever was necessary to cross the finish line first? Missiles making opponents fly into heaps of rubble, explosions, and ridiculous amounts of violence? Maybe it's just my childhood that was as strange…

In either case, Pseudo Interactive has captured that same wanton destructive glee and digitized it in the

PS2 Preview - 'Radiata Stories'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action RPG
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: tri-ACE
Release Date: Q4 2005

One of the pleasant surprises about E3 was the presence of the special Radiata Stories localized demo. This game caused quite a stir when it was launched in Japan, debuting at #2 on the sales charts and receiving some astronomical review scores from Famitsu. Import fans were more divided on it; while the game was enjoyable, it was almost totally unlike anyone's expectations. A lot of the micro-management that fans expect from RPGs was simply not there, replaced with what was obviously an experiment in Western-style, open-ended gameplay

PS2 Preview - 'Beatmania'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Beatmania

Genre: Puzzle/Rhythm
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: TBA

Konami has finally started bringing their music games stateside, which means that we gaming fiends can finally experience Beatmania. I'm hoping that this will start a trend, forcing Namco to import more Taiko goodness, and Konami to bring over DrumMania and Guitar Freaks.

For those who are new to Beatmania, the game is Konami's version of deejaying. It plays like Dance Dance Revolution, but instead of using your feet, you are using your hands to hit the keys of their deejay controller, basically a turntable and seven buttons. At the Konami booth, they

PS2/Xbox/X360 Preview - 'The Godfather'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Redwood Studios
Release Date: Fall 2005

They all just make it look so easy, don't they? The mob, that is. Control of underground criminal activities, a reach that spans cities, the power to make or break lives within minutes, manpower to call their own … oh, yeah, it's incredible.

Most movie mobs, however, don't show you the nitty-gritty side of things, just the raids and the gunshots and the thick accents. But what about getting there? Isn't that half the fun?

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were organized crime empires. There's

PS2 Preview - 'Kingdom Hearts II'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Release Date: TBA

One of the titles I anticipated most before this year's E3 was Kingdom Hearts II, which picks up the story a year after Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The Heartless are back once again, but so are Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Some of the supporting characters from the original game have returned, as well as a few new friends.

For me, Kingdom Hearts was always about two things: the gameplay, and the joy of seeing the Square-Enix characters working with the Disney characters. As far as gameplay goes, a lot of

PC Preview - 'Dragonshard'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: RPG/RTS
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Liquid Entertainment
Release Date: Summer 2005

One of the weirder revelations coming out of this year's E3, if you're as big a damn nerd as I am – and you aren't, so don't even try to step to this – is that the new Dungeons & Dragons PC games -- Dungeons & Dragons Online and Dragonshard -- are set on, of all places, Eberron.

This is one of the few memorable campaign settings to come out since D&D's third edition hit shelves, because it is, in a way, a fantasy world taken to its natural

PC Preview - 'Parkan II'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Space Sim
Publisher: 1C Company
Developer: Nikita
Release Date: Q3 2005

This is why you shouldn’t provoke developers. Actually, to be more accurate, this is exactly why you should.

During E3, we got a chance to sit down with 1C and view a slew of upcoming titles they will be publishing in the near future, one of which being the space sim Parkan 2. Not many people have heard of the title, and to be frank I only knew the name and the look as I sat down. As the title was demonstrated, I was told the game overall

PC Preview - 'F.E.A.R.'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: FPS
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Monolith
Release Date: September 7, 2005

Pre-order 'F.E.A.R.': PC

E3 is a very loud place, and it’s hard to appreciate a game like F.E.A.R. properly when you’re seeing it there for the first time. While Doom 3 flirted with some survival horror conventions, F.E.A.R. is an outright horror FPS. Instead of just using low light conditions to build a sense of terror, F.E.A.R. goes the extra mile and has your character periodically overwhelmed with nightmarish visions of floating phantoms and seas of blood. There’s also a creepy sense of sound to

Xbox Preview - 'Conker: Live and Reloaded'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre : Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Rare
Release Date: June 21, 2005

The first time I saw Conker: Live & Reloaded was at Microsoft’s pre-E3 conference in 2004. I will remember it for a long time, if for no other reason than I’d never seen a cartoon dog’s head explode before.

Conker is back. It is still gleefully offensive.

The singleplayer portion of our show is a fully remastered version of the infamous Conker’s Bad Fur Day, an N64 platformer that should not, by rights, exist. It starts with Conker, a somewhat generically cartoony squirrel, getting horrifically drunk and passing out

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview – 'Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Krome Studios
Release Date: Q4 2005

Working at EB Games during the Christmas season gave me a chance to see the popularity of the Ty series, some really easy platformer titles that are perfect for kids age 6-12. We got some hands-on time with the Xbox and GBA versions of the upcoming third installment, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3, to see what Krome Studios has done to improve an already successful series.

In this new edition, several new features have been added. There are now more boomerangs to choose from and a lot more customizability.

Hardware Preview - 'Razer Diamondback Plasma'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Hardware
Publisher: Razer
Release Date: Q4 2005

During our E3 experience, we were able to meet up with hardware manufacturer Razer. Razer caters to the real gamer, the one with the twitchy hand who demands nothing less than accuracy during split-second moves that'll make your head spin. While they are known for making high quality mice, they are now going to make a gamer keyboard as well. You won't find any ps/2 mice here; the resolution of their top of the line mouse, the Diamondback Plasma, is 1600dpi so USB is a must here. Another way they distinguish themselves is

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: August 23, 2005

If you've ever read an Incredible Hulk comic, you'll recall that almost every story has some point where Hulk has been, I don't know, shot by approximately 500 helicopters at once or something. Hulk will be all hunkered down, hands covering his face, experiencing some sort of animal rage… and then he'll just snap and go nuts on his attackers, like he suddenly remembered that he's functionally invincible. With a mighty "HULK SMASH!" he'll tear into every breakable thing in the vicinity. A few pages (or

PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Buena Vista
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: October 11, 2005

If you've played God of War or Devil May Cry, you will already have a basic grasp of how to play Buena Vista's action/adventure title Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge.

In Oogie's Revenge, gamers play as Jack Skellington, who must fight his way through 25 levels of vicious enemies in order to prevent his sworn enemy Oogie Boogie from kidnapping all of the holiday mascots and proclaiming himself king.

Even though it is facing strong competitors, Oogie's Revenge is looking pretty good, and the fighting and the

X360 Preview - 'Perfect Dark: Zero'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Set in the year 2020 — years before the original hit game — Perfect Dark Zero reveals the origins of Joanna Dark, one of the most lethal special agents. Players must guide Joanna Dark on her journey to become the Perfect Agent, plunging players into a world of corporate espionage and conspiracy.

Xbox Preview - 'Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: FPS, simulation
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Release Date: October 3, 2005

The first thing I noticed when the fine developers at Bohemian sat down with me to demo Operation Flashpoint was that the graphics were… to put it kindly, not exactly cutting edge. In fact, they looked like just what they are, a port of low-power PC graphics from 2001. Given how many polys the Xbox can push, it was an initially disconcerting sight.

Seeing a bit more of the game started putting the graphics into perspective, though. Flashpoint is the rare Xbox title that isn’t interested in

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'The Chronicles of Narnia'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Buena Vista
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Release Date: Fall 2005

If you're a fan of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers or similar hack and slash action titles, Buena Vista's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe might be right up your alley. The game will be released this holiday season, alongside the first movie (of seven, hopefully), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

From the demo we saw at E3, TCoN is already looking pretty good, and although it is lacking a few features right now, things will only improve as

PC Preview - 'Dark Age of Camelot: Darkness Rising'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Mythic Entertainment
Developer: Mythic Entertainment
Release Date: Q4 2005

The expansion is geared towards high level characters — you will need to be at least level 50 to start the new Champion quests. These quests will give you a new epic weapon (one per class) and allow you to choose some sub specialties from other classes. While these are not expected to be massively game changing — "Your warrior will not become a battle healer," says Sanya Weathers, Mythic's Internet Relations Manager, "We have a class that does that already called a cleric." — Mythic does acknowledge

Xbox Preview - 'Far Cry Instincts'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: September 2005

Although not one of our most-anticipated games of 2005, Far Cry Instincts' move to the console from the PC could be a very exciting addition to the Xbox roster. In a move to bring the game to console, Ubisoft is committed to the arduous task of making Far Cry look as good on the Xbox as it does on the PC.

Given the constraints of the Xbox as compared to your costly gaming PC, Ubisoft has indeed taken up the challenge, and from what we see at this point,

PS2/Xbox Preview - '187 Ride or Die'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Driving
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: July 19, 2005

Come and die… come and Die with me! Those lyrics by rapper Fatal come to mind when playing 187: Ride or Die. Taking you into an over-the-top experience, the game resembles the gangland feel of the movie Judgement Night, where there’s excitement, danger and mayhem, but it’s a little too much to be seriously scary. Ubisoft hits this point intentionally in its development of 187. Officially set to release in Q3 of this year, the game is a driver, but definitely not in competition with the current field

Xbox Preview - 'Delta Force: Black Hawk Down'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action
Publisher: Novalogic
Developer: Climax
Release Date: July 2005

The game Delta Force: Black Hawk Down is based upon the actual historical events that took place in 1993 when warlords in Somalia were keeping United Nations vehicles from delivering supplies and food to the area, causing the civilians to starve. The cause of these events would end up making United States military strike back by sending several units and vehicles to that area to end the suppression of the Somali people.

The game will contain several modes of play, including a campaign mode that can be

E3 Booth Babes and More

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

PC Preview - 'Unreal Tournament 2007'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Epic
Release Date: 2006

Unreal Tournament, everyone's favorite futuristic blood sport, is once again making its way to the PC in the form of Unreal Tournament 2007. UT2k7 is essentially the same style of game as the series has been known for but contains enough new content to differentiate itself from its predecessors. UT2k7 uses the new Unreal 3 engine to allow for incredible detail on the enviroments and the player models themselves, and the Karma physics engine has been dropped in favor of the newer Novadex physics engine, which looks a bit more

Xbox Preview - 'King of Fighters: Maximum Impact - Maniax'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: SNK
Developer: Noise Factory
Release Date: June 7, 2005

SNK's popular 2D fighter series, King of Fighters, finally made the leap from quaint sprites to full polygonal glory in the form of King of Fighters: Maximum Impact for the PS2. Now, Xbox owners can see what they missed and enjoy a few new features, not the least of which is full Xbox Live support. Heck, SNK even added the word "Maniax" to the title, which makes the full name King of Fighters: Maximum Impact – Maniax. WorthPlaying spent some time with a preview

PC Preview - 'Star Wars Battlefront II'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: FPS
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: Pandemic Studios
Release Date: Q4 2005

One of the things that surprised me was Star Wars: Battlefront was the best-selling Star Wars game of all time. Given that it's almost a mod of Battlefield 1942, I guess that's not too surprising. Set for release in Q4 this year, Battlefront 2 looks to do all the things a sequel should do: keep what made the original game great and add the requisite new things.

The big addition is space combat. Perhaps now, finally, we can relive what I feel is one of the high-water marks of

PC Preview - 'Heaven vs Hell'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: TBA
Developer: TKO
Release Date: 2006

God is Pissed. And when God gets pissed, Satan gets cranky. And when Satan gets cranky, humans tend to die. So goes the premise of TKO's upcoming RTS, Heaven vs. Hell. Set in the not-so-distant future, God is finally fed up with his prized creation, man, abusing technology to mess with the fabric of creation and attempt to "play God" themselves. However, he has an idea to get the Divine Plan back on track – wipe out creation and start over. First, however, He needs to save all the

PC Preview - 'ParaWorld'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre : RTS
Publisher: TBA
Developer: Sunflowers
Release Date: Q1 2006

I was sold on ParaWorld almost from the word "go." A real-time strategy game from the German developer Sunflowers, it features, among other things, the ability to field an army of heavily-armored dinosaurs, several of which have siege engines or companies of archers strapped to their backs.

ParaWorld was about half-finished and unnamed at last year's E3. Now, it's about six months from completion, as the team tweaks the balance and completes its character animation. It's really more of an issue of their having a perfectionist streak than anything

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Shadow the Hedgehog'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: 3D Action/Adventure
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: November 2005

The day Sega gave a hedgehog a Desert Eagle was the day the world went crazy.

Even if Shadow was a supposed “evil anti-hero” version of Sega’s mascot, giving him a gun, not to mention featuring pictures and videos of him displaying one prominently, was a move on the company’s part that’s been given many words. “Bold,” “gutsy,” “crazy,” “nuts” and “blasphemy” have been just a few of them.

A lot of people, a lot of Sonic fans, fear and loathe this game, and have already written this off

PC Preview - 'Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Funcom
Release Date: Q2 2006

Last week, I sat down with Gante Godager, game developer at Funcom, to take a look at a pre-alpha version of the upcoming action/adventure/strategy/MMORPG title, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. While there were understandable issues with such an early build of the game, much of what is in place is impressive, and if the game can deliver on the promises on what is planned for future development, Funcom may have a hit on their hands.

PC Preview - 'Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: TBA
Developer: Perpetual Entertainment
Release Date: TBA

When Stieg Hedlund, lead designer of Diablo 2 and a designer that worked on Starcraft, makes a new game, you had better sit up and take interest. And that (making a new game, not sitting up) is exactly what he's doing at Perpetual with the upcoming MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. Set in a classical world of myth and legend (roughly 300ish B.C. in ancient Rome), players will become elite Roman heroes literally descended from the gods themselves during the rise of the Roman Republic.

PS2/PSP Preview - 'Jak X: Combat Racing' and 'Daxter'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Jak X: Combat Racing (PS2)

Genre: Racing
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: Fall 2005

Daxter (PSP)

Genre: Racing
Developer: Readybydawn
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: Spring 2005

The new Jak and Daxter game is a racer? Yes, this appears to be the case. While limited scenarios for Jak X were on display on the show floor, we were able to go behind closed doors into a meeting that showcased some of the special, still-developing features of this title. Developers from both Naughty Dog and Readybydawn were on hand, and answered a lot of questions about how the games were made, how

Xbox/PC Preview - 'Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre : Survival Horror
Publisher: Bethesda
Developer: Headfirst
Release Date: Q3 2005

I’ve been following this game for quite a while now. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a strange thing; it’s a first-person shooter set in a universe where shooting things does not traditionally accomplish a great deal.

Dark Corners of the Earth is based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most influential writers in the horror genre, and yet somehow one of the most obscure. Lovecraft’s stories deal with what’s since been labeled the Cthulhu Mythos. He wrote about men who were

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Hitman: Blood Money'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Stealth/Action
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Io Interactive
Release Date: Fall 2005

Eidos' showroom at E3 was small, quiet, and altogether more intimate than many of the experiences we had on the show floor. But this also meant it was absolutely packed with fans and journalists who were dying to get a closer look at the Eidos lineup. We did good to squeeze in a close look at Hitman: Blood Money, with the developers on hand to answer a lot of questions.

Hitman: Blood Money

X360 Preview - 'Kameo: Elements of Power'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Kameo: Elements of Power is an action-adventure game with role-playing elements for gamers of all ages and skill levels. From legendary game developer Rare, Kameo: Elements of Power sends players on a magical and epic journey full of intense combat, magnificent exploration and innovative morph-into-warrior action.

PS2 Preview - 'Arc the Lad: End of Darkness'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Cattle Call
Release Date: June 7, 2005

When I was first offered the chance to take a look at the new Arc the Lad game, back before I had seen or even heard anything about it, I jumped at the opportunity, having been a fairly big fan of the series. My excitement dwindled a bit as I played, though, and I have to ask, what have they done to my series? Toss in a collectible card aspect that's ever-so-popular lately, and scrap the traditional strategic turn-based battles, and you'll have an idea of what

PS2 Preview - 'Soul Calibur III'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Release Date: TBA

"Transcending history and the world, a tale of swords and souls, eternally retold … Soul Calibur 3!" Hearing those words almost brought me to squeal with glee in the midst of the thousands of people brought together by the twin loves of gaming and profit at this year's E3. I'll admit it, playing SC3 was possibly my greatest motivation for attending this year's show, and I, for one, am not disappointed.

By way of introduction, I'll say that my handle

PC Preview - 'Star Wars: Empire at War'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Strategy
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: Petroglyph
Release Date: TBA

It isn't often that galactic combat is truly displayed on an actually galactic level. Generally, a player involved in said galactic combat only participates in single battles, leaving the overall planning and strategy for the war effort as a detail taken care of behind the scenes. LucasArts plans on changing that with their upcoming title, the ambitious Star Wars: Empire at War. This isn't the first time that LucasArts has gotten their feet wet with an RTS (or with a galactic combat game either) – many of you may remember,

PC Preview - 'Auto Assault'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: Netdevil
Release Date: Q4 2005

I must admit, Auto Assault was one of the coolest new games I saw at E3 this year. NCSoft's new action MMORPG is some pretty slick stuff. I also have to admit that I was surprised by the game, which was being touted as the "fastest, most destructive MMORPG" in advertisements, which automatically set off warning bells in my head from the moment I saw the first ad. Fortunately, it really does live up to the claims by combining some of the best elements of action

PC Preview - 'Quake IV'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software
Release Date: TBA

I can honestly say that I won’t forget Quake IV anytime soon. The FPS has reached new heights of deliberate immersion lately; games like Breakdown have placed us behind the eyes of people who are, for example, puking, throwing punches, or doing a backflip.

In Quake IV, among many other things, you get to see the world from the perspective of someone who’s being forcibly converted into a cyborg. This process involves, among other things, a giant needle being thrust directly into “your” face.

So yeah. That’ll stay with me for

PC Preview - 'Tabula Rasa'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: MMO
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: Destination Games
Release Date: TBA

Another MMORPG from NCSoft under development is Tabula Rasa, which combines gameplay elements from futuristic shooter games with the MMORPG formula in order to create something new. It has a very shooter-like interface, all the way down to having crosshairs in the middle of the game. If I hadn't known better and just glanced at the screen, I would have assumed it was a third-person shooter without hesitation.

Humanity is at war with aliens, and the battle isn't going so well. Humans have been lent aid, however, by the mysterious

PS2 Preview - 'Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Racjin
Publisher: Square-Enix
Release Date: July 2005

FMA2 was one of the only five games that Square-Enix was showing off at E3, along with Kingdom Hearts 2, Radiata Stories, Romancing SaGa, and Dragon Quest VIII. All of the titles looked impressive, but FMA2 won out as our choice for preview thanks to an in-depth preview session of the game with the producer, Tomoya Asano, alongside with publicity manager Koji Taguchi. One of the greatest parts of the E3 experience is getting shown a new game by the guys who've been working on it, and with

PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Destroy All Humans!'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Pandemic Studios
Release Date: June 17, 2005

Destroy All Humans! is a game that lets you kill people with psychokinetically thrown chickens.

In a perfect world, that would be all you need to hear. I wouldn't have to mention the ability to hypnotize cows into dancing the Funky Chicken, the weird retro-'50s ambiance that makes posters for "The Friendly Atom: It's Working for YOU!" seem a natural fit to the world, the ability to cloak yourself as public officials and make speeches decrying communism, denying alien invasion and blaming mutant radioactive zombie cows for the

NGC/PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Ultimate Spider-Man'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: 3D Action/Adventure
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Release Date: TBA

Ultimate Spider-Man, at its core, is a re-telling of the classic Spider-Man story with a slightly younger cast and a contemporary spin.

You all know the gist of it by now: a nerdy kid gets bitten by a radioactive spider, gets super powers, and uses both them and his mind to solve crimes while at the same time possessing the ability to upstage just about everyone on Def Comedy Jam without even trying. The Ultimate line of comic books puts the Spidey stories in the here and now, with today’s

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Seven Studios
Release Date: Q3 2006

In case you missed the memo the first time around, here’s another copy of it:

Pirates Are Cool.

Heck, just go ask Guilty Gear X’s Johnny, or the entire cast of Skies of Arcadia. Pirates are always fun to play as in video games. There’s just something about being able to break all the rules, play dirty, and fight as underhanded as one possibly can whenever one feels like it that translates wonderfully to the genre.

Few pirates are better at all of this than one Jack Sparrow, and he’s going to

Xbox 360 Preview - 'Gears of War'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Gears of War

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: Q1 2006

Going into E3 2005, the game I was most excited about seeing was by far the very impressive Unreal Engine 3-based Gears of War for the Xbox 360, and it sure didn't disappoint.

The story behind Gears of War paints a pretty bleak picture for humanity, thanks to some really nasty creatures that will send chills up and down your spine the first time you see them, and many times after that as well. The setting is the planet Sera, which is very much like Earth, just slightly more

PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Castlevania: Curse of Darkness'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Genre: Action/RPG
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: Fall 2005

If nothing else, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness answers one question I’ve had for a while about the Castlevania series. Simply put, it’s this: when you leave and come back into a room in a Castlevania game, where does the fresh wave of monsters come from? Is there a hidden wing of Dracula’s castle that’s entirely dedicated to the care, feeding, construction, and breeding of new monsters to replace the ones you’ve been hacking to bits?

Apparently, there is, and it’s staffed by people like Hector. As a Devil Forgemaster, Hector

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Tomb Raider: Legend revives the athletic, intelligent and entertaining adventurer who won the hearts and minds of gamers worldwide. Lara comes alive with intricately animated expressions, moves and abilities. An arsenal of modern equipment, such as a magnetic grappling device, binoculars, frag grenades, personal lighting device and communications equipment, allows gamers to experience tomb raiding as never before.

PS2 Preview - 'Dragon Quest VIII'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

To say that Level 5, creators of the amazing Dark Cloud RPGs, developed Dragon Quest VIII is a bit of an overstatement. While they did create the game's cel-shading engine and did a lot of core work with the title, there was also immense input from the initial creators of Dragon Quest. One of them, Yuji Horii, worked on the story and game design just as he did the original game. Akira Toriyama and his Bird Studios group of designers, famous for their work with manga classics like Dragon

PC Preview - 'The City of Metronome'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2005

Metronome is a third-person adventure game where sound is your weapon. Explore the city of Metronome in search of proof of the Corporation's secret agenda, while listening for sounds to record, and use them to fight enemies, solve problems and confuse citizens.