Archives by Day

Advertising





Rainier's Articles


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