PS2 Preview - 'Final Fantasy XII'

by Alicia on May 30, 2006 @ 1:45 a.m. PDT | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2006

Final Fantasy XII shakes the series to its core with the introduction of a unique new combat system, while still honoring the franchise's reputation for epic storytelling, incredible spectacle, and compelling characters. Final Fantasy XII is undeniably FF, but it's also something completely different.

PS2 Preview - 'Final Fantasy XII'

by Rainier on May 30, 2006 @ 1:45 a.m. PDT | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2006

Final Fantasy XII shakes the series to its core with the introduction of a unique new combat system, while still honoring the franchise's reputation for epic storytelling, incredible spectacle, and compelling characters. Final Fantasy XII is undeniably FF, but it's also something completely different.

X360/PC Preview - 'Alone in the Dark: Near Death Investigation'

by Rainier on May 6, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT | Filed under E3 - Post - E3 2006

Alone in the Dark returns with a heart-stopping survival experience realized through the use of state-of-the-art real-time physics and unprecedented environmental interaction combining to deliver an exhilarating action-orientated experience within a highly detailed, open environment.

PSP Preview - 'Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops'

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

Genre: Stealth/Action
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: Winter 2006/07

Since the PSP launched, fans have been clamoring for a Metal Gear on the go.

We have not gotten one.

We have, instead, gotten a smattering of card-based games carrying the Metal Gear name, and while they're supposedly not half-bad, it's still to the dismay of many interested in the franchise. Fortunately, Konami's finally giving so many of the fans what they want. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is exactly what it sounds like – a full-fledged action-based Metal Gear for the PSP.

Xbox/PS3/X360/PC Preview - 'Splinter Cell Double Agent'

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

Genre: Stealth Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: September 2006

There are tons of Splinter Cell games, or at least it feels that way. Somehow, Ubisoft can keep a new one hitting every 18 months (or so) and still leave the gameplay feeling fresh and fans satisfied. The upcoming Splinter Cell: Double Agent seems to be no exception to this general rule. Plenty of what goes on in the story and gameplay should feel familiar to fans of the Splinter Cell titles, but there are also some striking differences from previous entries in the

PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Urban Chaos: Riot Response'

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

Genre : FPS
Publisher: Eidos
Developer: Rocksteady
Release Date: Jun 13, 2006

We first saw Urban Chaos at E3 2005, when it was named Roll Call. Since then, it's seen a name change, but the general themes remain intact: it's a police-based first-person shooter with a focus on ... well, on not dying. It's not squad-based, it's not particularly tactical; it's more about time limits, action-based bonus objectives, popping gangbangers' heads like zits with a shotgun, escorting NPCs to a given objective, and getting set on fire 53 times in rapid succession.

In single-player mode, you are

PSP Preview - 'Silent Hill Origins'

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

Genre: Survival Horror
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: Winter 2006

I’m excited about Silent Hill: Origins for a whole host of reasons. I’m a rather embarrassingly large Silent Hill fanboy, for one thing. More importantly, if Konami manages to follow halfway through on their claims at E3, we’ll finally see a 3D game on the PSP that isn’t saddled with an awkward-ass control setup that requires yet lacks a second thumbstick.

That said, Origins was only present at E3 in the form of a remarkably vague trailer, and offered no gameplay to speak of. Thus, everything I’m

PSP Preview - 'Sonic Rivals'

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

Genre: Action/Platform
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Release Date: Fall 2006

Wouldn't you know it? The people who loved the 2.5D action of Sonic Rush (which includes yours truly) are about to be thrown another bone: Sonic Rivals is coming to the PSP. For those wondering what it's like, picture non-stop servings of the two-player versus mode zone-races in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Now imagine the aggression turned up a notch, and there you go.

Sonic, Shadow, Silver and Knuckles the Echidna will each be getting their own storylines, and will participate in one-on-one races through

Xbox 360 Preview - 'Gears of War'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: TBA

Microsoft's theme for E3 2006 was to show off all of its big titles in playable form, and when it comes down to big titles, they don't get any bigger than Gears of War. Last year, we got an early look at one of the single-player levels, but this year, we got to see a much more complete version of the single-player mode. We also got the chance to go hands-on with one of the multiplayer modes.

The madness all started off when Cliff Bleszinski from Epic

PSP/PS2 Preview - 'The Fast and the Furious'

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

Genre: Racing
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Eutechnyx
Release Date: June 2006

Add an extremely popular movie franchise to one of the most popular genres, and you end up with a game that promises to fly off of the shelves. It helps that the movies are speed-oriented adrenaline fests full of pedal-to-the-metal racing and customized top-of-the-line automobiles, as those are the things that lead to success in the racing genre.

The newest "Fast and the Furious" movie is focused around drifting, a type of racing that requires the drivers to intentionally come close to losing control, while literally sliding around

PSP Preview - 'Brooktown High: Senior Year'

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

Genre: Social Interaction/Dating
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Release Date: Spring 2007

Okay. I don't know about you guys, but I, like, so totally hated high school. Check this: in a school full of nerds, I still didn't fit in! What kind of ironic garbage is that? I was, like, a complete and total prodigy anywhere else, yet a doofus at the actual place of learning I was eventually sent to. What a joke.

(…wow, "ironic?" Like, ohmigod, total vocab word alert! I should seriously save it.)

Anyway, if you're, like, like me, then you seriously want to check

PC Preview - 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: TBA
Developer: Left Behind Games
Release Date: Q4 2006

From Troy Lyndon, the developer of the original John Madden Football, comes a new RTS set in the universe of the hit Christian book series, "Left Behind." Lyndon, who has served the ministry for a number of years and has a track record full of game development and managerial experience, is perhaps the perfect choice for executing the new Christian-driven game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Without the religious theme, Eternal Forces would have been a solid RTS with some interesting gameplay mechanics and a

PS3 Preview - 'Assassin's Creed'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: Q1 2007

The Prettiest, Noblest Assassin

If you set aside all things Nintendo in their own special, line-hundreds-deep category, the non-Wii-related star of E3 2006 belonged to Ubisoft. The Assassin's Creed demo chamber barely contained the frenzy of last-minute glimpse-seekers during the waning hours of the show. As if the situation weren't dire enough already, Steven Spielberg and a small entourage arrived just in time to commandeer the room for 30 precious minutes while all of us who didn't direct "Munich" hassled the PR people for a good position

PC Preview - 'Company of Heroes'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Release Date: September 19, 2006

What Would a 30-Ton Tank Do?

The conventions of World War II-themed games have become so persistent and commonplace that the act of discerning clich̩ from authenticity is a grand struggle in its own right. Everyman heroes, squadmate drama, clear distinctions between good and evil that let you enjoy the shooting without much regard for the corpses piling up, forever referencing the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan Рit's all endlessly recombined to balance the intensity-versus-authenticity equation in new ways that keep gamers

PS3 Preview - 'Fatal Inertia'

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

Genre: Racing
Publisher: Koei
Developer: Koei
Release Date: November 17, 2006

Of all of the titles slated to ship alongside the launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, Koei's Fatal Inertia looks to be one of the standout titles. Set in the 23rd century, Fatal Inertia is based on a sport that involves pilots flying around at incredible speeds and taking each other down, all in the name of honor and glory. At this year's E3, we got to talk with some members of the Koei team to check out their fast-paced racer, which is set to hit

PC Preview - 'Supreme Commander'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Release Date: Q1 2007

The Strategic Possibilities of Deluded Megalomania

The Gas Powered Games crew, including Chris Taylor of classic real-time strategy game Total Annihilation fame, really know how to get a point across. That title hit PCs in 1997, and a decade's worth of anticipation and expectation awaits the arrival of Supreme Commander, the Taylor-led PC RTS due out early next year. The Supreme Commander show at the THQ pre-E3 summit was a presentation, not a demo. Still, the sense of scale and the-galaxy's-at-stake drama emerged convincingly from

PC Preview - 'Paraworld'

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

Genre: RTS
Publisher: TBA
Developer: SEK/Sunflowers
Release Date: TBA

No, it isn't the "Land of the Lost," but the world of Sunflowers' upcoming real-time strategy title, Paraworld, will certainly remind you of it. It's a land of dinosaurs and ancient tribes anachronistically juxtaposed with modern humans with shotguns and smug grins. It's a land that time forgot, but one that Sunflowers hopes you won't.

Paraworld is an example of the action RTS – a game of building a base, collecting resources, creating an army, and crushing your enemy without mercy. Other than the dinosaur theme, there are a

X360 Preview - 'Chromehounds'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Sega
Developer: From Software
Release Date: July 2006

It's time to take smashing each other with giant robots to the next level.

From Software's Chrome Hounds is a next-generation squad-based shooter, the first mech game for the Xbox 360, and offers you the opportunity to go after your friends with huge, customizable robots. It's hard to find anything wrong with this.

In an alternate universe where the Cold War ended in the decimation of the planet, you take on the role of a mercenary participating in a conflict between nations, as a member of one

NGC/PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Eragon'

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

Genre: Action-Adventure
Publisher: Vivendi-Universal
Developer: Stormfront Studios
Release Date: Fall 2006

Buoyed by the sudden interest in fantasy fiction that followed in the wake of the Lord of the Rings movies and the monstrous success of Harry Potter, Christopher Paolini's Eragon novels soared to the tops of the bestseller lists despite being written by a fifteen-year-old and being arguably quite derivative. 20th Century Fox promptly snapped up the rights to make an Eragon film, and a veritable deluge of Eragon related media - the film, the final novel of the trilogy, and a video game - are all poised

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'FlatOut 2'

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

Genre: Driving
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Bugbear
Release Date: July 2006

FlatOut was at best a deeply flawed game, but remarkably, the original developer has come back with a second installment that shows staggering improvement over the original. This time, Bugbear is a bit more serious about trying to deliver an authentically enjoyable racing experience, while still retaining the demented ragdoll driver-flinging wrecks that put the original title on the map. With everything from the production values to the depth of the various mini-games, FlatOut 2 is simply shaping up to be a bigger and better

PSP Preview - 'Miami Vice: The Game'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Rebellion
Release Date: July 2006

If you're thinking scathingly bright pastel colors, silly '80s fashion, and the cheesiest of all TV music when you hear Miami Vice, then I'm afraid you're on the wrong track. The upcoming Miami Vice: The Game for the PSP is based on the upcoming film starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell, not the masterpiece 1984 TV series starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. It was honestly pretty disappointing. Miami Vice: The Game, much like the film it's based on, seems downright serious. This

PSP Preview - '50 Cent: Bulletproof'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: High Voltage Soft.
Release Date: Q3 2006

And lo, the seas did run red with blood, and the wolf did lie with the ewe, and the oceans did freeze. The seventh seal was undone, and an army of howling spirits was released upon the world entire, to destroy and undo all that man has built.

50 Cent: Bulletproof on PSP doesn’t look all that bad, guys.

Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. This is in stark contrast to the PS2/Xbox title, which overcame the critical equivalent of mob violence to move something

Wii Preview - 'Super Swing Golf Pangya'

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

Super Swing Golf Pangya is a wholly rebuilt version of a golf game that's super-popular over in Japan and Korea. It promises to make use of the Nintendo Wii's new controller in order to make playing this golf game an experience in your very own living room.

PC Preview - 'Dark Messiah of Might and Magic'

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

Genre: Action RPG
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Arkane Studios
Release Date: September 2006

It says a lot about the reputation of the Heroes of Might and Magic series that Ubisoft had a sequel to the recently released Heroes of Might and Magic V already mostly finished and ready to show off in time for E3. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is the work of a different development studio, but picks up directly where the last game left off and takes place in the world of Ashan. It tries to shake up the gameplay a little for the

NGC/PS2 Preview - 'Super Monkey Ball Adventure'

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

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Traveler's Tales
Release: July 2006

The Monkey Ball franchise – which honestly, is one of the best ideas anyone ever had; it's monkeys in balls, for God's sake; it wins by default – is about to be taken in a new direction.

Traveler's Tales, the developers behind LEGO Star Wars and Crash Twinsanity, have been tapped for the newest Monkey Ball game. Before, this series has mostly revolved around multiplayer party gameplay; now, it's acquiring a "robust" single-player mode to go with it.

In the story mode, you control the four "named" monkeys

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Scarface: The World is Yours'

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

Genre: Grand Theft Pacino
Publisher: Vivendi-Universal Games
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: Fall 2006

The Godfather might have been a fun sandbox game in its own right, but let's face it: it completely failed as a licensed title. From the total lack of subtlety to ludicrous elements like the horse-head stealth mission, the game sometimes felt like a profoundly extended exercise in missing the point of the original movie. I bring this up because the upcoming Scarface: The World is Yours is in some ways a remarkably similar title. Not only is it a GTA-style sandbox

PC Preview - 'Joint Task Force'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Most Wanted Entertainment
Release Date: September 2006

You may be able to overcome countless terrorists, foreign insurgents, and enemy armies, all before breakfast, but in Joint Task Force, your greatest enemy might be CNN.

JTF is a story-driven, tactical RTS from Most Wanted Entertainment. You play the part of a fictional, multinational peace enforcement unit, with missions set in such recent real-world hotspots as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Iraq, and Somalia. Your unit may not be real (Most Wanted's aiming for gameplay over realism here; to quote them, "Real is not fun"), but

PC Preview - 'Caesar IV'

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

Genre: Simulation
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Tilted Mill
Release Date: Q3 2006

Caesar IV is the latest in the distinguished Caesar line of city-building sims that rose to great fame as part of the late, lamented Sierra Entertainment. Even though it's been a good eight years since the last iteration came out to positive reviews and much love from simulation fans, Vivendi Universal has allowed developer Tilted Mill to bring back the franchise for one more outing on the PC. What's special about this title is that the development team includes many staffers who've worked on

NGC/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning'

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

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Krome Studios
Release Date: October 2006

Spyro's newest venture is entitled A New Beginning, and for good reason. With this new game, the reset button's been hit on Spyro; all past adventures have been forgotten in favor of giving one of the hardest-working mascots in video games a fresh start.

In this case, it means shifting the onscreen action's focus from cutesy platforming to surprisingly intense action. Krome Studios, the dev house that gave the world Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, has set out to make Spyro's newest adventure feel like "playing through a

PC Preview - 'FreeStyle Street Basketball'

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

Genre: Sports
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: JC Entertainment
Release Date: Q1 2007

It is within the bounds of possibility that you could sell a million copies of anything in Korea, as long as it was a massive multiplayer online game. Ideally, it should be an MMO you can play with one hand, freeing up the other hand to smoke a cigarette.

Freestyle Street Basketball is, at once, a demonstration of this principle and an idea I'm surprised we haven't seen before now. This is a game where you can create and kit out a cel-shaded cartoon avatar, and then

NDS Preview - 'Crash Boom Bang!'

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

Genre: Party/Puzzle
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Dimps
Release Date: October 2006

Well … Crash is back.

Crash Boom Bang! is sort of weird, in that it's the first game in the long-running Crash series being made by a Japanese developer. For Crash's DS debut, the reins have been given to Dimps, the house behind Dragon Ball Z: Budokai.

As a result, Crash Boom Bang! has taken a turn for the anime. (Look, Mom, I'm using nouns as adjectives!) The game is more colorful than its American predecessors were and definitely more cute; Crash has gone from looking insane to looking

PC Preview - 'World in Conflict'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Massive
Release Date: Spring 2007

It may look like another World War II RTS when you see the screenshots, but it isn't. World in Conflict is actually a World War III RTS, set in an alternate universe where the Cold War did not end in 1989.

Instead, it heated up rapidly, culminating in Russia invading the United States via Alaska, forestalling the collapse of their economy by shooting the hell out of people. As a result, the settings of World of Conflict aren't the usual Eastern European/Middle Eastern hellholes; you'll be fighting

PS2 Preview - 'Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2'

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

Genre: 3D Fighter
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Spike
Release Date: October 2006

If Super DBZ is the "professional" of the two upcoming Dragon Ball Z games, then Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is the feel-good, super mainstream title. Building off of the best-selling DBZ title in history, the original Budokai Tenkaichi, BT2 introduces new characters, stages, and gameplay modes. The gameplay is still super-accessible 3D brawling, complete with multiple transformations for most characters, an expansive selection of characters, and enormous levels in which to battle.

BT2 is determined to outdo the previous title in every respect. The already-large BT levels

PC Preview - 'Neverwinter Nights 2'

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

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Obsidian
Release Date: September 2006

Obsidian managed a successful debut with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, despite having to face the Herculean task of crafting a sequel to one of the finest licensed games ever made, and by a developer no less than Bioware. In light of that, it suddenly seems a bit more understandable that they're now tackling the unthinkable challenge of crafting the sequel to Neverwinter Nights, perhaps the single most popular Dungeons and Dragons game ever. With NWN, there is not only the challenge of

PSP Preview - 'Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics'

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

Genre: Tactical RPGs
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Kuju Entertainment
Release Date: Q4 2006

After the change-over to 3.5 rules, Dungeons & Dragons became a game that practically required some sort of miniatures to play it properly. There were all sorts of rules about facing and attacks of opportunity and reach that you just couldn't follow very well on paper unless your GM was willing to hand-wave through a lot of rules. As any gamer knows, of course, the problem with using tons of miniatures is the sheer cost involved. If you want really nice ones, you can

PS2 Preview - 'Yakuza'

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

Genre: Action/Fighting
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Release Date: September 2006

The point of Yakuza, according to Sega, is to allow the player to “see the underside of Tokyo like never before.” Set in 2005 Tokyo, Yakuza is a beat-‘em-up that purports to “deliver the authentic experience” of being a member of the modern yakuza, the Japanese mafia.

Apparently, being an authentic yakuza involves beating roughly five hundred men a night to death with whatever happens to be handy, from bicycles to street signs to knives.

Yakuza is a story-driven beat-‘em-up that takes place on the mean streets of

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Arthur and the Minimoys'

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

Genre: 3D Platformer
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Etranges Libellules
Release Date: January 2007

There is something faintly surreal about sitting down to a demonstration of a license game based on a very prestigious license that you've never heard of. The developers seemed to have been getting that reaction out of journalists all day, and helpfully explained exactly why I should care about Arthur and the Minimoys before they got down to the nitty-gritty of showing me the game. Since I imagine I'm not the only American who felt that way, I'll pass along this information before I

PS2 Preview - 'Super Dragon Ball Z'

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

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Craft and Meister/Banpresto
Release Date: July 2006

Two Dragon Ball Z games are going to be punching their way to your PS2 this summer, one a sequel to last year's Budokai Tenkaichi and the other a PS2 port of the 2005 Japanese arcade title Chou Dragon Ball Z. Called Super Dragon Ball Z for its US release, this title has quite possibly the greatest pedigree a fighting game can hope for: it's the brainchild of Noritaka Funamizu, one of the creators of the original Street Fighter II and the producer of nearly

X360/PC Preview - 'Monster Madness'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
Developer: Artificial Studios
Release Date: TBA

SouthPeak Interactive's upcoming console/PC multiplayer frag-fest, Monster Madness, employs a top-down view that may remind you of Smash TV. In fact, much of this game is reminiscent of that old arcade classic, minus the ubiquitous Mutoid Man. The camera floats above the action, zooming as needed to keep all the players on the screen simultaneously.

At the start of Monster Madness, you can choose one of four characters to use as you progress through the game. There is the nerdy guy, the gothic chick, the stoner dude,

X360/PC Preview - 'Star Trek: Legacy'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Bethesda
Developer: Mad Doc
Release Date: September 26, 2006

Star Trek: Legacy was one of the first games that we checked out at Bethesda's booth, and it immediately became apparent that the title is definitely not one to be balked at. Previous games set in the Star Trek canon have had varying degrees of quality attached to them, no matter how old or new the particular facet of the timeline was. Star Trek: Legacy not only ups the ante by promising gameplay that spans all five television series of the popular show, on its

PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Jaws Unleashed'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
Release Date: TBA

Long in the making, Jaws Unleashed will be gracing consoles in the near future, bringing with it what can only be defined as wanton violence to the nth degree. Taking place around 30 years after the original "Jaws" movie, this game continues the story in a unique way, as this time, it is seen from the eyes of the shark. With design by the makers of Ecco the Dolphin, this game is in the capable hands of Appaloosa, who have become experts in the niche of

X360 Preview - 'MotoGP '06: Ultimate Racing Technology'

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

Genre: Racing
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Climax Group
Release Date: June 14, 2006

Vim and Vigor

The diversity of experience hidden beneath the rather reductive genre label "racing" can be mystifying to gamers for whom tooling around a paved loop – modeled on a real-world counterpart or not – falls somewhere beneath precision jumping and key-collecting on the scale of exciting leisure-time pursuits. It doesn't matter if we're talking car or kart, bike or motorcycle, tuner or arcade racer. The varieties and possibilities are lost on many potential consumers who aren't already fans of a particular sub-genre before

PC Preview - 'Pirates of the Caribbean Online'

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

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Buena Vista Games
Developer: 10tacle Studios
Release Date: Q2 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Disney franchise of the same name. The goal here is to undertake enough adventure quests and gather enough treasure to become the Caribbean's most legendary pirate. You'll learn tactics and skills from Jack Sparrow, which will teach you how to battle evil undead forces, forge alliances, and hunt for buried treasure.

PotCO promises to be enjoyable by all ages and a treat for any serious fans of the movies. Players

PS2 Preview - 'Guitar Hero II'

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

Genre: Rhythm/Puzzle
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: Red Octane
Release Date: November 28, 2006

Take one of the greatest, if not the greatest, rhythm-music games to ever enter the market. This is a game that lets you act like a virtual rock star, using an innovative controller that really makes you feel like you're on stage playing a guitar. It's got tons of songs that have universal appeal, and difficulty modes that challenge even expert guitar players, yet are still accessible to the complete newbie.

Take all of this guitar perfection… and now, pretend as if it were just practice

PSP Preview - 'Guilty Gear Judgment'

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

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Arc Systems Work
Release Date: September 1, 2006

Guilty Gear Judgment is the next game in the popular 2D fighting franchise from Sammy. Although the title of the game only mentions "Judgment," the disc itself actually is two games in one – the aforementioned Final Fight-style GGJ and the neoclassic fighter Guilty Gear X2: Reloaded, a practically perfect port of one of the best 2D fighters around.

GGJ itself is a side-scrolling brawler featuring almost the entire Guilty Gear cast, minus Justice, Kliff, and Robo-Ky. That's 20 characters in all, which is

PC Preview - 'Titan Quest'

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

Genre: Action/RPG
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Iron Lore
Release Date: June 2006

Your Own Private Titanomachy

It was neither difficult nor rare to catch developers using words like "accessibility" and "casual" to describe the titles on display at the THQ pre-E3 summit. Talking with Iron Lore Entertainment, co-founded by Age of Empires veteran Brian Sullivan and currently putting finishing touches on PC action-RPG Titan Quest, those words came up plenty often, too, but this time, they were frequently accompanied by the word "Diablo," which of course makes all the difference.

In the years since Diablo's arrival, no truly satisfying

NDS Preview - 'Cooking Mama'

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

Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Taito
Release Date: Q4 2006

Cooking Mama is poised to take over the US in a whirlwind of Japanese-influenced culinary awesomeness. This title, a hit in Japan, is quite possibly the first in a new genre of cooking games, being followed up later this year, of course, by Devil May Cook and World of Foodcraft.

All kidding aside, Cooking Mama features over 76 real recipes for Japanese dishes such as yakitori (meat and veggie skewers) and okonomiyaki (a kind of Japanese pancake). The game is laid out as a series of mini-games which divide up

NDS Preview - 'Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: Fall 2006

The year is 1944. Thirty-three years ago, John Morris and Eric LeCarde defeated Dracula's niece, Elizabeth Bartley, and in so doing, saved the world. As usual.

Now, in the middle of World War II, another vampire has raised Dracula's castle. Two mysterious girls are using the chaos of the war as cover to raise Dracula yet again. John's son Jonathan – the current wielder of the Vampire Killer whip – and his childhood friend Charlotte Orlean are the only people who can prevent Dracula's newest resurrection.

If history is

PSP/PS2/Xbox Preview - 'Justice League Heroes'

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

Genre: Action/RPG
Publisher: Eidos/Warner Brothers
Developer: Snowblind
Release Date: Fall 2006

This is Snowblind’s last hurrah on the PS2 and Xbox, and they’re trying to go out with a bang. Justice League Heroes is a two-player beat-‘em-up running on the fifth version of Snowblind’s famous beat-‘em-up engine, allowing you to step into the shoes of the members of the Justice League of America.

The game’s more based upon the comics’ version of the Justice League than the cartoon’s; for example, the JLA’s Watchtower is a lunar station rather than a satellite. You’ll be able to play initially

PS3 Preview - 'Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom'

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

Genre: Action RPG
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: Fall 2006

Why Do Kings Always Listen to Really Bad Advice?

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is an action role-playing game due out on launch day for the PS3. Dark Kingdom places a clear emphasis on the action half of that genre tag, though from what SOE revealed about the story at E3, it sounds like there will be no shortage of drama. You play as one of your king's elite soldiers who's been on a long journey at the kingdom's edge, conquering new lands for

PS2 Preview - 'The King of Fighters 2006'

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

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: SNK-Playmore
Developer: SNK-Playmore
Release Date: Q3 2006

SNK's playing a sort of three-card monte game with their games' titles. The King of Fighters 2006 began its life as the sequel to last year's KOF: Maximum Impact, SNK's slightly underwhelming first entry into the 3D realm. In Japan, KOF2006 is, simply, Maximum Impact 2.

As such, KOF2006 features a slightly larger cast, with MI's boss Duke becoming playable, 14 hidden characters, and the 3D debut of KOF favorites Billy Kane and Kula Diamond.

What does this all mean to you, the casual player? A classic fighting

NDS/PSP Preview - 'Star Trek: Tactical Assault'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Quicksilver Software
Release Date: Fall 2006

Space Cowboys

If you're among the Trekkers/ies who hold up Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as the pinnacle Trek achievement, you've been waiting a long time for a return to old-school form. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the original series' appearance on television, fans – at least those with a PSP or Nintendo DS – may get their wish at long last in the form of Star Trek: Tactical Assault, a tactical action game that promises a trip back to the

PS3/X360 Preview - 'Sonic The Hedgehog'

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

Genre: Action/Platform
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sonic Team/Sega Studios Japan
Release Date: Fall 2006

2006 is Sonic the Hedgehog's 15th anniversary, but he doesn't get any days off. Nor would we want him to.

Sonic Team's hard at work crafting his first next-gen adventure, and we got to play an extremely early build of a few levels on the show floor. Sonic Team's claimed to have "re-invented" the blue blur for his new game and to have brought him back to his roots. This statement is both true and false, but whether or not you agree with its

PC Preview - 'Field Ops'

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

Genre: First-Person Shooter/Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Freeze Interactive
Developer: Digital Reality
Release Date: November 2006

Field Ops is one of the first titles to successfully merge both FPS and RTS into a single coherent genre. This is not the first game to attempt this – Battlezone and Battlezone 2 in the late '90s had similar approaches – but this is one of the best attempts at combining the best aspects of both genres without compromising either. This is neither an FPS with RTS elements nor a RTS with a splash of FPS – it works equally well as

PS3 Preview - 'Warhawk'

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

Genre: Flight/Action
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Incog
Release Date: November 2006

One of the more interesting titles coming to the PS3 is the sequel to Warhawk, a simplistic air combat title made for the original PS1. This was probably one of the games I most looked forward to at E3 2005, and at E3 2006, Sony finally showcased an early playable build. The game will consist of 60% air combat and 40% ground combat, and although the demo did not show land combat, it should make an appearance in the final version.

If you are new to Warhawk, a

PS3 Preview - 'Resistance: Fall of Man'

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

Genre: FPS
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Insomniac Games
Release Date: November 2006

If there were no World War II, how would the world be today? The team at Insomniac decided to ponder this scenario in their upcoming launch title for the PlayStation 3, Resistance: Fall of Man. Picture Great Britain in 1951, and in your mind's eye, you'll probably see nice cafes, tea parties and quiet civility. The truth is that the world is just not a happy place, even in this alternate history, where WWII never occurred. An alien force has attacked the planet; Asia and most

PS2/Xbox/X360 Preview - 'Superman Returns: The Videogame'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Tiburon
Release Date: Q4 2006

The first thing I thought of when I saw Superman Returns, frankly, is that certain people are going to have an absolute ball with it.

The second thing I thought of, regrettably, was Superman's video game record. With the arguable exception of the arcade quarter-muncher, no game based on the Superman license has ever aspired to or reached anything better than utter mediocrity.

Like Spider-Man before it, Superman Returns is a free-roaming action game set in 80 square miles of city. As Superman, you've got

PC Preview - 'El Matador'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Red Mile
Developer: Plastic Reality
Release Date: Q3 2006

El Matador is a third-person tactical shooter about a top Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Victor Corbet, who has been sent deep into drug cartel territory to stop drug trafficking. Mainly taking place in South America, El Matador's mission is simple: kill and eliminate all drug lords and bosses. As you progress through the game, its movie-like storyline unfolds with in-game cinematics and dialogue.

The story of El Matador is told through expository movie sequences, and the dialogue and cinematics inform you about the targets. Gameplay

X360 Preview - 'Mass Effect'

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

Genre: Action/RPG
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Bioware
Release Date: TBA

One of the most anticipated titles at E3 was Bioware's next-gen action RPG, Mass Effect, which is coming exclusively to the Xbox 360 in 2007. Mass Effect is all about size and scope, and the demo level we saw, "The Citadel," was of an expansive futuristic city that featured a massive docking bay for large spacecrafts. There was a rich use of color throughout the level and some incredibly impressive lighting effects. The lighting really stood out as looking "next-gen" and quite realistic, complete with the blending of

PS2/Xbox/Wii/PS3/X360/PC Preview - 'Marvel: Ultimate Alliance'

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

Genre: Action/RPG
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software
Release Date: Q4 2006

Hey, remember all the fun you had playing the X-Men Legends games? Activision, which employs few if any fools, does, and they wish to hook you up again. This time, they’re expanding that style of gameplay to the greater Marvel Universe, and to pretty much every console you can think of.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is the story of what happens when Dr. Doom reunites the Masters of Evil, and proceeds to attempt to mess up the wider Marvel Universe. In the face of such a threat, Nick

PC Preview - 'Tabula Rasa'

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

Genre: MMO
Publisher: NCSoft
Developer: Destination Games
Release Date: Q4 2006

The surprise for me at last year's E3 was the original design of Tabula Rasa got thrown out with the bath water. It rather needed it, as it was suffering from too many cooks in the kitchen. It tried to be too original, had an art design that seemed influenced by too many mushrooms, and just didn't look fun. Last year, we learned that they'd decided to make the game more of a sci-fi shooter.

This year, they showed more refined gameplay and concepts. It's still a

PSP Preview - 'Mercury Meltdown'

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

Mercury Meltdown

Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Ignition Studios
Developer: Awesome Studios
Release Date: September 2006

Mercury Meltdown is the sequel to the acclaimed PSP game, Mercury, which plays sort of like Marble Madness with a few twists. For those who do not know what Mercury is, it's a really simple yet complex puzzle game that can really challenge players of all ages. The objective is to move as much mercury from your starting point to the goal, with several physical challenges that will require you to think outside the box to get there. This title is great to take on the road and

PC Preview - 'Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures'

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

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Funcom
Release Date: Q4 2006

Conan: Hyborian Adventures is an upcoming MMORPG from Funcom, the makers of Anarchy Online. At E3, I was able to take a look at the latest build of Conan and get a detailed overview of the game's character creation and combat systems.

For those unfamiliar with the title, Conan provides an interesting blend of the genres of action/adventure, strategy and MMORPG. At its heart, it is an action RPG, placing players in the role of a hero among the barbarian tribes in the Conanverse. Combat is

PS3/X360 Preview - 'Indiana Jones'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: LucasArts
Release Date: Q4 2007

Normally, the most anemic demos at E3 are the demos of the games too early in their production cycle to be playable. Often, they're not demos so much as trailers, and while seeing footage of a long-anticipated game like Final Fantasy XIII, Halo 3, or Smash Brothers Brawl can be elating, the high eventually ends, and you realize that you don't really know much more about the game than you did before. One of the most depressing E3 experiences possible is to lay hands on a long-awaited title

PC Preview - 'Infernal'

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

Genre: Shooter
Publisher: Playlogic
Developer: Metropolis
Release Date: Q4 2006

As far as original plots go, a battle raging between good and evil with one man stuck in the middle is not terribly unique or interesting, but fortunately, Infernal is better than the plot might suggest.. Infernal has an interesting stand on the typically stark, concrete concept of good versus evil. The main character, Ryan Lennox, was once a member in the army of good, fighting for those above, until he was deemed a liability, struck from the ranks and left to roam the earth. Shortly thereafter,

Wii Preview - 'Madden NFL 2007'

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

Genre: Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: Q4 2006

Behind closed doors at EA's booth, you can see interactive setups of EA's 2007 sports lineup - that is, if you're as cool as we media-type people are. You can also see the PS3 Tiger Woods demo up close and personal. (I thought it was a video feed from the back room. I still do, and distrust anyone who says otherwise.) This isn't about the PS3, however.

Tucked away in a back room even further out, was a game that was still earlier in its development

X360 Preview - 'Far East of Eden Ziria: Tales from Distant Jipang'

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

Far East of Eden Ziria: Tales from Distant Jipang

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Developer: Hudson Soft
Release Date: TBA

Around this time last year, when the Xbox 360 was six months away and pre-release hype was at its heaviest, one of Microsoft's big promises for the system was that it would have support from Japanese developers. Specifically, it would have Japanese RPGs. Fans hoped this meant the biggest name Americans can think of for J-RPGs: Final Fantasy. But instead of the Final Fantasy XII port or even a system-exclusive spin-off that 360 fans were hoping for, they got

PC Preview - 'Crysis'

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

Genre : FPS
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Crytek Studios
Release Date: Q1 2007

Crytek, the makers of Far Cry, are back with another $2,000 first-person-shooter for the PC: Crysis. It promises intense action, amazing physics, and the kinds of graphics that'll make you shell out for a new video card.

The idea behind Crysis, according to Crytek's CEO Cevat Yerti, is to show "the most credible - not realistic, but credible - alien invasion ever." You'll shoot plenty of humans in this game, but you'll also take on some of the largest opponents I've ever seen in an

Xbox 360 Multiplayer Preview - 'Gears of War'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: TBA

After our single-player demo with CliffyB, it's time to go hands-on with Gears of War. Deep behind closed doors at Microsoft's E3 booth, we walked into a large room that had two groups of eight Xbox 360s decked out with the limited-edition GoW faceplate and networked together for some four-on-four team-based deathmatch action. We first got an overview of the game controls and some basic tactics from the Epic Games team, and then we were off on our own for some intense multiplayer action.

The default button

PS3 Preview - 'Full Auto 2: Battlelines'

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

Genre: Racing Combat
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Pseudo Interactive
Release Date: Fall 2006

Fuller Auto

If you're a fan of the first Full Auto, the Xbox 360 combat racer that arrived earlier this year to mixed, but positive-leaning reviews, you have reason to look forward to this fall – if you're also saving up for a PlayStation 3. The sequel, Full Auto 2: Battlelines, as of the last day of E3 2006, is set to be a PS3 exclusive. After some developer face-time and about 15 minutes of hands-on multiplayer combat at E3, I can say that Battlelines will

PS3/X360/PC Preview - 'Bioshock'

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

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational
Release Date: 2007

It's been long enough that quite a few gamers have never heard of the System Shock games, two benchmark PC games that set the bar for challenging FPSes and, in their own way, for survival horror. When you hear older gamers talking about SHODAN or crawling through hallways with only a wrench to defend themselves, they're referring to the arguably classic System Shock 2.

(It's also unfortunately out of print. Would it be too much to ask that somebody run off another batch of those?)

Bioshock is a

PSP Preview - 'Tekken: Dark Resurrection'

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

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Namco Bandai
Release Date: Q3 2006

This year's E3 featured an astounding number of PSP titles that were just plain fun to play, which is something that the handheld console has been lacking until now. Tekken: Dark Resurrection was among those titles, and it was perhaps the single game I put in the most time with during E3. While it is largely a straight port of the limited arcade release by the same name, T:DR is certainly more portable than an arcade machine.

The most important facet of any fighting game is

PS3/X360 Preview - 'Army of Two'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Montreal
Release Date: 2007

We live in perilous times, my friends. These days, the game industry is either all about the single-player experience, or the dynamics of (God help us, sometimes massive) multiplayer. Remember back in the day, when it was only about two people? In games like Streets of Rage, Contra and Final Fight, you had to help out your partner every step of the way, or face mutual destruction. These days, we're lucky to get a "cooperative mode" in the games of our choice.

Enter Electronic Arts, who wants

Wii Preview - 'Red Steel'

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

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Release Date: TBA

Nintendo has been pimping Red Steel unusually hard for it to be a third-party title, especially a third-party FPS with a Western developer. It's because Red Steel embodies Nintendo's promise that the Wii's games are going to cater to every possible type of gamer, including the aggressive, predominantly male demographic of FPS fans that felt distinctly ignored by the GameCube. Red Steel is not just an FPS, either, but almost a tech demo that shows third-party developers just what kind of an experience they can create

NDS Preview - 'Elite Beat Agents'

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

Genre: Puzzle/Rhythm
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Inis
Release Date: Q4 2006

With companies like Konami and Harmonix making rhythm/music games popular in the 'States, we've begun to see lots more than the latest Dance Dance crazes coming our way. We've had taiko drums, regular drums, virtual karaoke bars, guitars, and now ... well, now we've got touch-tapping.

It's really fun touch-tapping, though.

Elite Beat Agents is the localized pedigree of a Japanese DS game by the name of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, in which male cheerleaders are summoned everywhere they can be to solve the problems of the world through dance.

PS3/X360/PC Preview - 'Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway'

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

Genre: Historical Tactical Shooter
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Gearbox Software
Release Date: Q1 2007

Brothers in Arms is one of the great things to come out of the military game boom, and certainly one of the franchises that keeps driving massive demand for World War II shooters. This spring, the latest entry in the franchise, Hell's Highway, hits the XBox 360, PS3, and PC in full 720p high-resolution. This is the kind of game that will move 360s, make you think twice about the PS3, and send you shopping for a new top-of-the-line graphics card. Ubisoft displayed the

Xbox 360 Preview - 'Enchanted Arms'

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

Enchanted Arms

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: From Software
Release Date: August 2006

Come On, What Was Wrong with [eM] -eNCHANT arM-?

Horse armor and wizards' towers won't keep Oblivion players saddled up forever. Well, maybe they will, but at some point, you'll need to take a breather and find something other than shutting down Oblivion Gates to do with your Xbox 360 role-playing time. Excellent RPG alternatives remain scarce, much as they always were on the original Xbox, so it was disappointing to find the Enchanted Arms demo station somewhat under-mobbed next to the tangle of squirming E3 attendees trying

PC Preview - 'Armed Assault'

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

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: TBA
Developer: Bohemia Interactive Studio
Release Date: Q3 2006

When you look at the first-person shooter genre as a whole, they can largely be broken up into gameplay that is either based on strict linearity (heavy use of hallways, such as Half-Life or Doom 3) or the somewhat less linear collection of larger, more open areas (e.g., Ghost Recon series, Half-Life 2). The original Operation Flashpoint came out on the PC a few years ago and was critically successful for two reasons. Firstly, the title absolutely oozed atmosphere, from the well-written yet totally

PSP Preview - 'SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2'

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

Genre: Action
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Release Date: November 2006

If you're a SOCOM fan, then you've probably played the original SOCOM Fireteam Bravo for the PSP. Because of the title's success, the team at Zipper Interactive has decided to bring out a new release with tons of fixed features and additions, such as increased visual quality.

My favorite features are the crosstalk option, which has been completely revised, and the increased interaction between this game and the new SOCOM: Combined Assault for the PS2. This means that while you play Fireteam Bravo 2 and perform missions,

PC Preview - 'Call of Juarez'

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

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Techland
Release Date: September 2007

If you're a PC gamer, then you are practically drowning in options when it comes to playing FPSes. There are games with every possible gimmick, control scheme, and emphasis looking to cater to some gamer with very particular tastes. Call of Juarez is one more game from that school of thought, with an emphasis on storytelling, single-player campaign, and its Wild West setting. You can do a lot of the typical FPS stuff in Call of Juarez and experience it with a genre twist, and there

PSP/NGC/PS2/PC Preview - 'Pac-Man World Rally'

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

Genre: Racing
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Namco Bandai
Release Date: Q3 2006

Kart racing is one of the original quirky party games that tends to be fun for all ages and for any number of players. With Pac-Man World Rally, Namco has created the latest iteration of the kart racer based on their lovable characters, and from what I was able to see at this year's E3, it is a blast to play.

Pac-Man World Rally will feature various characters and tracks from Pac-Man titles and other Namco classics, such as Dig-Dug and Katamari. Each character will have

PC Preview - 'Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning'

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

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Mythic Entertainment
Developer: Mythic Entertainment
Release Date: Q1 2007

When Dark Age of Camelot launched back in 2001, I felt it was EverQuest, only without the parts that I didn't like. By the same token, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning might be World of WarCraft: PVP Done Better.

Comparing WAR to WoW is inevitable — there are too many similarities to be dismissed. Both feature Orcs with cartoonish armor, both use similar fonts, and heck, even the names are similar. According to Games Workshop — the owners of the Warhammer name — Blizzard ripped them

PC Preview - 'Sparta: Ancient Wars'

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

Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Playlogic
Developer: World Forge
Release Date: October 2006

At one of my final stops at E3, I was able to spend some time at the Playlogic booth checking out World Forge's new historical RTS, Sparta: Ancient Wars. This game, as the title indicates, is set in the ancient world where Sparta was the biggest, baddest military power around. What sets this title apart from the rest of the pack is the focus on realism. In the modern era of RTS offerings, it would seem that conventional military combat is actually an unconventional way

PC Preview - 'Sid Meier's Railroads!'

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

Genre: Simulation/Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Firaxis Games
Release Date: October 2006

It's Like Going to Robber Baron Camp

It will soon be time once again to join the ranks of illustrious industrialists as you build a network of rails and trains to feed economies, fatten your own purse and otherwise spread the wonders of progress via locomotive. Tycoon genre fans know Sid Meier as the sim-strategy kingpin behind the original Railroad Tycoon from way back in 1990 and subsequent big-name titles like the Civilization series. Now the master has turned his attention back to the realm

PC Preview - 'The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar'

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

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar will allow players to forge heroic legacies in the War for Middle-Earth. Gamers will experience an evolving persistent recreation of Tolkien's world-renowned fantasy realm where they can establish their unique reputations, and discover and wield legendary weapons in strategic battles, while adventuring solo or in Fellowships.

PC Preview - 'Enemy Territory: Quake Wars'

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

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Splash Damage
Release Date: Q3 2006

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is exactly what the current FPS genre needs to set a new precedent for what is possible in online multiplayer gameplay. Online FPS gaming has fallen into a rut lately, with Battlefield 2 being the only really notable game in recent memory. Their vehicle-centric sandbox style of play may be entertaining for some gamers, but many other players are clamoring for a more direct, goal-oriented action FPS. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars promises to be everything those gamers are looking for and more.

Splash

PS3/X360 Preview - 'The Darkness'

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

Genre: Action-Adventure
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Release Date: Q1 2007

A Gangster Darkly

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay arrived to a surprisingly loud chorus of acclaim, escaping the curse of being tied to a disappointing film and distinguishing itself as more than just another shooter. It looked good, folks liked it, and it did more for the Riddick franchise than the over-stuffed, big-screen tale of Necromongers gone wild.

The crew that pulled that off, Starbreeze Studios, have set their sites on another mythology now, bringing a next-gen adaptation of Top Cow Productions' The Darkness