March 29, 2009

The return of Tartakovsky

While I eagerly await the long fabled (though seemingly in production) Samurai Jack movie, this will have to do. It seems Genndy is back with an all new Sci-Fi action series known as Sym-Bionic Titan. Little is known about it except that it focuses on three extraterrestrials who crash land on earth after escaping their war-torn planet. Oh, and there's also this giant robot guy who fights dragons, appartently. Check out the show later this year on the failing Cartoon Network. At least there's some good news. I just might have to tune in for it.

They live!

This year's GDC saw the resurrection of some long awaited games that had been cast into the shadows. Besides Fez, which apparently hadn't been heard from for a year now, this year's event saw the return of Alan Wake, Project Offset, and confirmed that Prototype is still coming and is on schedule for a June release.

Behold new Alan Wake details!

Tremble at this new tech demo for Project Offset!

Be dumbstruck by this new trailer for Prototype!

As if we need ten reasons to play Prototype. That game looks kickass! Kick. Ass.

March 28, 2009

Cartoon Network took a shit on my childhood. Then it proceeded to rape it with a sandpaper dildo.

Copy and Pasted from here. Picture is irreverent to the channel itself, but totally relevant to the situation. I can't fix the pic so that it fits, well it says failboat in case anyone is wondering.
*Fixed, sort of. Not sure if that was the same picture, but close enough probably. Looks like the other one was broken. ~N-man* *What the crap! It keeps failing! Replaced. Again. N-man)

Cartoon Network ditching all-'toon format

* By Tim Surette
* 03/25/09 4:06 PM
* 137 comments \ add yours

Cable station no longer living up to its name, will get in to live-action reality shows, scripted programs.

First MTV stops showing music videos, now this? Cartoon Network is sticking with the "Network" portion of its name, but ditching the strictly "Cartoon" bit, the company announced today. Nineteen new projects were announced, and less than half will be hand-drawn.

"These exciting new projects represent the next phase in Cartoon Network's ambitious, ongoing strategy to re-invent the network and re-energize our youth business overall," said Stuart Snyder.

These new non-cartoons will start airing in the coming 2009-2010 season and feature reality and scripted programs, most of which sound like pint-sized versions of programs currently airing on other networks.

Highlights: The Othersiders is a mini-Ghost Hunters, with five friends exploring scary places; Destroy Build Destroy is like Human Wrecking Balls, with two teams blowing stuff up; Dude, What Would Happen is a Mythbusters clone; Bobb'e Says takes the ridiculously funny child actor Bobb'e J. Thompson (Human Giant, Role Models) in his own take of America's Funniest Home Videos.

Also announced was a live-action Ben 10: Alien Force movie, a Scooby-Doo! prequel telefilm, and a full CG movie titled Firebreather!

Don't worry all you glassy-eyed college students--it doesn't look like the late-night Adult Swim block will be affected by any of this.

March 27, 2009

Looking for a new MMO?

I stumbled across this game the other day called Aion: The Tower of Eternity. I'm not big on MMOs myself, mostly because I can't quite find one that plays just right for me. I want direct, real-time control. While Aion may not have that (or maybe it does, but I doubt it) it still looks refreshingly different. Aion, of course, is published by NC Soft, publishers of half the MMOs on the market including City of Heroes and Guild Wars. The game already launched in Korea and is currently beta testing in China. NC hopes to release the game in the US by the end of the year.

Before I get into some specific elements that make the game so cool, I thought I'd first explain the story (or, rather, let our friends at Wikipedia explain it):

In the beginning there was a god named Aion who ruled over a world called Atreia. This god created a race of intelligent entities to act as his servants (in likeness to angels) whom he called the Balaur. After some time passed the Balaur disobeyed Aion's wishes and rebelled against their creator. The god Aion then created the 12 Empyrean Lords. The Empyrean Lords in turn created a barrier which prevented the Balaur from attacking the humans charged under their protection. Within this barrier all things were safe. The Balaur ravaged and destroyed many of the living things residing outside of the barrier.

Some humans, living within the safety of the barrier, learned how to harness some of the same energy as the Empyrean Lords, known as aether. Such humans were called Daeva and like the Empyrean Lords had wings. With time, enough Daevas were born to form an army. Ten of the empyrean lords led these Daevas into battle against the Balaur, while the remaining two were the guardians of the tower of eternity, the embodiment of the god Aion. The war with the Balaur lasted for hundreds of years till one of the guardians of the tower announced that they should find a way to make peace with the Balaur, five of the Empyrean lords vehemently disagreed, however the second guardian of the tower was swayed to peace. The Balaur were invited into the tower for peace talks, it is unclear what happened at that point, one of the Balaur lords lay wounded on the floor and the rest proceeded to attack the tower, the two Guardians attempted to raise the shield going to opposite ends of the tower, they were unsuccessful and the tower, along with the world, shattered in two. However they sacrificed there lives on order to protect a part of the world. With the world severed the survivors banded together to face the new world, ten of the empyrean lords survived. Five who had opposed peace and who claimed that the weakness of the rest of the lords had allowed the Balaur to attack them, reigned in the dark part of the world, they are know as the Shedim Lords. The other five reign the light covered bottom part of Atreia and claim that it was the Shedim lords actions that caused the breaking of the tower, they are known as the Seraphim Lords.

The new shape of the world also reshaped its inhabitants, those that lived in the light part of the world saw little change except for and increase in their beauty. These followers of the Seraphim Lords called themselves Elyos and created the city of Elysea. The inhabitants of the upper part of the world saw many changes, having to walk on ground strewn with fragments of the tower their feet became talons and having to fight against beasts their hands became claw like, the darkness made their complexion change and their eyes grew red adapting to the absence of light. They call themselves Asmodians and live in the city of Pandemonium under the rule of the Shedim Lords.

Two things struck me the most: One, the game heavily features flying and areal combat. Awesome. How many MMOs can do that? Second, the world looks incredibly gorgeous. Each half looks truly unique with varied locations, creatures, and populations. It looks living and breathing- something I've been looking for in an MMO. The game runs on the CryTech engine so it actually looks good, unlike most MMOs on the market that sacrifice playability for graphics. I have no doubt that Aion plays as well as it looks. The character customization system is something to behold as well. It's similar to the one in Oblivion, where you basically get to alter ever aspect of your character's face. I'm greatly anticipating this title now as well as Champions Online. We'll see how Aion turns out, but for now I'm very hopeful. It looks pretty freakin sweet. For more info, check out the official site. Check out the awesome trailer here and find a lot more videos at GameTrailers.

Meet Fez, your new best friend.

Fez is the story of a little, uh, dude on a mission. What that mission is? He must traverse the third dimension. Not surprisingly, the little guy wears a fez. The hats are also collectible apparently. Why should you care about Fez? Because Fez looks exceedingly awesome. It's old school meets new school. In Fez, you must scale vast towers of floating land, solving puzzles as you go. It's like a vertical platformer except you have the power to "flip" the landscape to another direction. Basically, it refines the gameplay mechanic seen in games like Super Paper Mario and Crush. It's 2D and 3D at the same time, with an awesomely catchy oldschool soundtrack. It looks like a lot of fun, if you ask me, and I think it'll be an arcade award winner when it launches later this year. Yes, it even looks more fun than Braid. Check out the new trailer below to see how colorful and laid back the game is. Gotta love that broken english!

FEZ TRAILER 2 from fish on Vimeo.

March 24, 2009

Let's take a look into the future...

...all the way to the year 2000...

References aside, what you see above is the future of gaming and, damn, it's small. At GDC (that's the Game Developer's Conference for you layman) Rearden Studios unveiled the future of gaming- OnLive. I will save all the hullabaloo for another day (I expect to write a full-fledged feature on the thing when more info becomes available. i.e. tomorrow) but know this: this little device can not only bridge the gap between console and PC gaming, but it may just save PC gaming altogether. Basically, if you have a computer, you need do nothing more than download a small browser plugin (or something like that) and you're off. If not, buy the small, cheap "microconsole" and hook it up to your TV. Viola. The revolutionary part is this: its all digital distribution with absolutely no need for downloading anything. Yessir, everything streams right to you. It's a complex concept, but at its core it means that Rearden has massive servers that run games for you and stream that content to you. Your controller remotely controls the game from your couch while data is sent to the sever where the game is actually being played. Then, that signal is beamed to your screen with so little delay (i millisecond) that you don't even notice. This not only makes possible playing PC games comfortably on your TV with no PC required, it also means that you don't even need a powerful PC because your computer is not running the game. Hell, this thing will even end the Mac/PC gaming feud!
So let's recap:
  • Download app, access games and video content straight from Rearden's servers directly to your PC or buy microconsole for your TV with no need for fancy equipment.
  • Games are played indirectly and beamed to your screen.
  • You can rent, buy, and demo games with no downloading whatsoever.
  • Available this winter.
Sold yet? I certainly am intrigued. Now if only they'd alter their snazzy controller so the buttons don't spell "LIVE."

Halo Wars Triple Whammy pt. 2

A review of the game itself. How delightful! It's also 100% less crap!

Or, more specifically, the limited edition. The core game, of course, is exactly the same, but in addition to reviewing the game, I'll tell you if the extra dough is worth spending for the special edition.

March 23, 2009

So, here's what's new

Follow us! We need loyal followers if we are to vanquish the evil space pirates and control the world. Please aid us in our quest for world domination and become a follower of Installation 04.

Anyway, I've added some new links to fun stuff, but more importantly the posts are now organized in the sidebar so you can easily find what you're looking for if you missed something. I've categorized all of this year's posts so far. Give 'em a try!

File this one under 'site news.'

Halo Wars Triple Whammy pt. 1

Behold! A review of the Halo Wars soundtrack! Let me tell you, I was as skeptical as you probably are that the sound track of Halo Wars would suck. After all, it wasn't composed by the master himself, Marty O'Donnell, but Steve Rippy, the composer for Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. But I purchased it anyway because, well, Halo music is Halo music and any Halo music is a good thing in my book. At the very least, the soundtrack delivers. It's not stunning, but it delivers.

March 17, 2009

Possibly the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life

This picture is so creepy, I can't even post it here. That, and I don't want to spoil the surprise. You will have nightmares.

Behold the Ocarina of Rhyme

I'm not a huge fan of rap music, but this is awesometacular. Classic Ocarina of Time tracks meet contemporary rap music in The Ocarina of Rhyme. Give it a listen and download it at 8tracks. It's cooler than you think.

March 15, 2009

Big Sister welcomes your return to Rapture

Bittersweet day for me, I suppose. It seems I've been fired from my position at AnalogHype for speaking my mind. Basically, I said that this dude's review of Halo Wars was crap and I didn't understand why they posted it as a featured article on the main page. I got a hateful private message from the author, which was to be expected. What I wasn't expecting, however, was that one of the administrators on the site deleted my comment. Well this just pissed me off. I can't tell you the number of times I've posted negative comments on an article elsewhere on the web. Sites like IGN and Joystiq don't seem to give a damn. I was pissed because I got censored and let that be known by leaving another comment which they also deleted. Anyway, I was going to post this story over there earlier today only to discover I had been shut out. Easy come, easy go, I suppose. I'm not sure I'd want to be part of the kind of environment that doesn't allow free speech anyway. So, here I am complaining to you. I'm still a "community member" and my page has an RSS feed from here, so perhaps they'll read this at some point. I do find it funny that I'm indirectly posting on their site anyway even though they obviously don't want anything to do with me any more. The final straw? They didn't even let me know.Anyway, If you're as pissed as me that they would treat me this way, go leave an angry comment on their website.

I digress. The reason your reading this is because you want to know about BioShock 2. Well, just this week GameInformer delivered the goods. Here's the skinny on "Sea of Dreams":
  • You play as a Big Daddy this time around. And not just any Big Daddy, the first one ever.
  • You can use the trademark drill and rivet gun as well as plasmids. The drill will overheat after a set time so you can't spam it.
  • You can also use the Big Daddy shoulder bash and you can heal and repair things you hack.
  • Plasmid upgrades are more diverse and you can now combine plasmid attacks to create devastating combos. For example, using cyclone and then incinerate will create a flaming cyclone.
  • The game takes place about 10 years after the first. The main antagonist is Big Sister (pictured above), one of the surviving Little Sisters from the previous game. She has become the new ruler of Rapture and is kidnapping little girls from the surface and turning them into Little Sisters.
  • You fight other Big Daddies for control of Little Sisters. When you defeat them you have the option to harvest them or adopt them. When you adopt them, they ride along on your shoulder and can harvest ADAM from corpses. You must defend them while they do this. You can permanently save Little Sisters in some manner or another.
  • With each Big Daddy you kill, the game lets you know how close you are to incurring the wrath of the Big Sister. Little Sis will sing a song about how Big Sis doesn't want to play, then you'll get jumped.
  • Vita chambers and audio logs are back, and there is confirmed multiplayer in some form.
Stay tuned for more!

March 14, 2009

From the classic Watchmen cartoon...

Ok, so that wasn't real, but it did hold you over until real posts.

March 3, 2009

So many things to be said

There's a lot of articles I'm working on at the moment, but I'm also quite busy. So, in the mean time, here's this to entertain:

Yes, you can even visit him online, read his life story, and buy a t-shirt!