Afterhours 3: Consoling the Console

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Featuring John “MusiM” and Scott “Artisan002”.

Music by MusiM. Buy the new album at musim.bandcamp.com.  Add MusiM on Spotify/Facebook for a tracklisting of the background music (Lounge and a Floor playlist).

Welcome to the third hardly occasional podcast of the Carousel Afterhours, where we just go without any sort of plan or intention or limitation except not so much this time.  This time its all about the upcoming Playstation, Xbox, and Steam boxes.  We (mostly Scott) get pretty techy too.

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News: Video Game Releases

This is where we put out some info about the games we think are going to be somewhere between decent and awesome that release today or later this week.  Typically we skip over the heavy hitters.  Sorry Call of Duty, but 8 million people usually already know about your release date.

Ni No Kuni – PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Level 5 (Dark Cloud, Jeanne D’Arc, Professor Layton, and many, many others) and Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononokee, My Neighbor Totoro)  and published by Namco Bandai.  Also scored by Joe Hisaishi who has done pretty much all the Studio Ghibli films.  This is rumored to be a fairly traditional RPG (grinding and all).  Originally the game came with a spell book that was required for the game but a physical copy of this book will only come with the collector’s edition.  The game will have a digial copy of the book inside it allegedly.  Don’t expect this to mechanically redefine anything.  Pick this up to play a Studio Ghibli film with serviceable mechanics.

 

Strike Suit Zero – PC

Buy on Steam

Developed and published by Born Ready Games.  This is a Kickstarter game.  The soundtrack is done by Paul Ruskay (Homeworld) and the ships are designed by Junji Okubo (Infinite Space).  This is an east meets west space flight battle where you pilot basically a Macross style Valkyrie.  To put it another way, your space ship transforms into a giant tobot and you blow stuff up in space.  Note this comes out Thursday (24th).

Editorial – 3 Things All PC Games Should Do

The time has come folks.  After Skyrim and Saints Row the III this should no longer be a problem but for some reason it still is.  Here are a few thing to make your UI navigation less of a pain in the ass.

1. Let me have my game pad plugged in and use the mouse and keyboard

I can’t be alone in this.  Spec Ops the Line gave me gamepad prompts while I was using a mouse and keyboard because my gamepad was plugged  in.  Skyrim forces the gamepad on me as long as I have it plugged in.  There are solutions to this people, look no further than 2011 favorite Saints Row the Third.  The last input the game detects dictate the prompts the player receives.  So you can have your gamepad plugged in and not use it.  Or midgame, change your mind.  The game adjusts while not doing a sack check to the player.  Sleeping Dogs also got this one right.

2. I have two hands, let me use them

Oh yes, I’m talking about map and menu navigation which Skyrim nailed.  I can’t go back folks.  Give me ASWD controls on the maps.  Farcry 3 could really benefit from this.  Using the mouse to scroll the map and then hit the enter key with is maddening!  It can and has been better and there is no going back.  Efficiency is what I’m talking about here people!   Select a choice with one hand, navigate the map with the other.  Do it!  And you know what?  Same deal with a gamepad’s sticks.  Don’t bottleneck the game!

3. The escape key should only be used for system settings

One of Far Cry 3’s many UI mistakes, is using the escape key to reach your inventory, the crafting system, the character log, the item collection log.  Why not use a key near where my hands are already operating?  Like Tab, re: Skyrim.  Escape is the button I press when I want to mess with graphics or turn the subtitles on.

Spec Ops: The Line – PC

Spec Ops: The Line is an unremarkable shooter with a few interesting points.  I read recently that professionals write what they need to and hobbyists write what they want to.  The statement is true yet short sighted, much like this game.  I didn’t play the multiplayer and my criticism is only held towards the single player campaign.  Spec Ops: The Line isn’t a fun game, but the story has some interesting points that are undermined by plot holes and bad mechanics   And it does that thing I love where the opening screen is the starting shot of opening gameplay al la God War and Infamous.

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Videogame News: Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter

Kickstarters out the wazoo!

Shadowrun was originally a paper and pencil RPG created by Jordan Weisman who also was involved in creating BattleTech.  He’s also the guy heading up this Kickstarter and has a nice video on the Kickstarter page you should check out.  He’s also the guy who started Wizkids and has made quite a few table top games including Heroclix.  He also made a company known as 42 Entertainment which was responsible for websites such as the Halo franchise’s “I Love Bees” and Nine Inch Nails “Year Zero”.  Point being, this guy is qualified to make a cerebral 2D RPG.

Shadowrun basically takes things like elves, dwarves, and dragons and throws them into a Bladerunner meets the Matrix style cyberpunk future.  While I personally wish they had waited a couple months before doing this Kickstarter as I am basically out of money, this may be the one I’m most excited for.  With an entry fee of $15 for the PC game, its not a high gamble.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns

News: Video Game Releases

This is where we put out some info about the games we think are going to be somewhere between decent and awesome that release today or later this week.  Typically we skip over the heavy hitters.  Sorry Call of Duty, but 8 million people usually already know about your release date.

Asura’s Wrath – 360, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by CyberConnect2 (they did a metric TON of dot Hack and Naruto games) and published by Capcom.  To be clear we’re not clear at all on this title, and we understand most of the Shin Megam Tensei games.  So Asura is accused of murdering the Emperor and his wife is captured and there’s something about Mithra and Deus and then there’s a giant finger attacking the planet that is god or something and he explodes when you punch him in the finger.  See, English doesn’t even work when describing this game.  Be warned, QTE’s are abundant.

 

Syndicate – 360, PC, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Starbreeze (The Chronicles of Riddick, The Darkness) and published by EA.  This is a new take on the old classic Syndicate Wars franchise Peter Molyneux is often credited for.  The original series was about taking four agents, replacing their body parts with cybernetics, pumping them full of drugs, and taking over the world in a violent, mind controlling fashion.  The new version appear to have taken this ruthless logic and applied it to an FPS.  Now with dubstep.

News: Video Game Releases

This is where we put out some info about the games we think are going to be somewhere between decent and awesome that release today or later this week.  Typically we skip over the heavy hitters.  Sorry Call of Duty, but 8 million people usually already know about your release date.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – 360, PC, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Big Huge Games and 38 Studios and published by EA and 38 Studios.  Reckoning is a stylized open world RPG romp featuring writing by R.A. Salvatore, best known for his work on AD&D Forgotten Realms novels including the creation of fan favorite Drizzt Do’Urden, as well as art design by Todd McFarlane (Spawn).

 

Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition – 360, PC, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Obsidian and published by Bethesda.  Obsidian took what Bethesda did with Fallout 3 and turned it on its head creating a crazy world of consequence with no black and white path to victory.  This version includes all the DLC.

 

Darkness 2 – 360, PC, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Digital Extremes and published by 2K.  Digital Extremes has developed and co-developed such legendary titles as Bioshock and Unreal as well as the cult favorite Dark Sector.  Darkness 2 is based off of the comic license from Image Comics.  The game protagonist Jackie Estacado is basically the middle of a mob war as he possesses the demonic darkness, who is voiced by Mike Patton (Mr Bungle, Faith No More, The Fantomas, the angry personality orb from the first Portal, the creatures from I Am legend, zombies in Left 4 Dead, no I’m not a fan <-sarcasm <-professional journalistic writing).  The game itself is a first person shooter enhanced by darkness powers including ripping off car doors and using them as shields, creating minions, eating people for health, things like that.

News: Mass Effect 3 Collector’s Edition Detailed

The better question is what doesn’t it come with and the sad answer is no season pass.  But what it does come with includes a 70 page artbook, soundtrack, comic, additional mission, N7 patch, squad mate appearance pack, Normandy robot dog (this is bold because its a freaking ROBOT DOG), lithograph, and other avatar and forum things we don’t feel like typing out.  One more pic after the break.

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News: Video Game Releases

Deus Ex Human Revolution – 360, PC, PS3

Buy on Amazon

Developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix.  This FPS Action RPG takes the player 25 years before the original Deus Ex in a dystopian future where the new prejudice is against those with cybernetics.  Eidos Montreal has been very public with this game and many an interview and question has already been answered.

 

Devil Survivor Overclocked – 3DS

Buy on Amazon

Developed and published Atlus.  Devil Survivor Overclocked is the 3DS port for Devil Survivor, now with voice acting, new demons, and an additional day.

News: Videogame Releases

So now E3 is over we can all go back to enjoying the games that are out, unless you missed last week’s recommendations.

 

Duke Nuke ‘Em Forever – 360, PC, PS3

Its being almost universally blasted in the reviews but I’m willing to bet these guys or these guys will have something different to say about it.  I don’t even want to try to list all the companies involved in this game but we’ll just say Gearbox finished it and 2K published it.

 

Alice Madness Returns – 360, PC, PS3

Developed by Spicy Horse and published by EA.  If you didn’t know, American McGee is an actual person and does work at Spicy Horse.  McGee is best known for doing the original PC adventure platformer, American McGee’s Alice.

 

Child of Eden – 360

Developed by Q Entertainment and published by Ubisoft.  This is the spiritual successor to Rez.  Works with Kinect.  Will be released for PS3 at a later date.