Blogs > Yay For Video Games

Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quick thoughts on Heroes of Ruin for the Nintendo 3DS

Square Enix's latest Nintendo 3DS release, Heroes of Ruin, has occupied my time lately. Here are my thoughts on the game so far.

Hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers like Heroes of Ruin are all about the loot, and this game has plenty of it. There are hundreds of items available, although a fair share aren't usable depending on which character you choose in the beginning. There are four available and I chose the Vindicator, which relies on big sword types to unleash destruction upon enemies.

Controls are responsive and easy to use. The circle pad moves your character, and the in-game menus use the D-pad or touchscreen. Your regular attack is the B button, and three separate skills unlocked through leveling up can be mapped to the X, Y and A buttons. The character moves slower than I want it to, but rolling around speeds things up a little.

My biggest complaint about this game is the difficulty. It's just too easy. In most cases, enemies can be annihilated in no time. Plus, the game hands out health and energy potions like candy, so little skill is needed since you can pretty much go into a crowd of enemies and whack away at them without a fear of dying.

Watch out for my full review at

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Michael Phelps loves playing Call of Duty, but is he addicted to the game?

Associated Press photos
As U.S. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps prepares to go for the gold again in the Summer Olympics in London, he sat down for an interview with ThePostGame a while back to give some insight on his life. While he talked about training and swimming, the subject of video games popped up since he has a Kinect game entitled Michael Phelps: Push the Limit.

Phelps said his game of choice lately is Call of Duty on the Xbox 360. "I find myself playing like 30 hours a week," he said in the interview. Apparently he's not to hot at the game. "I just get crushed. I always find myself getting heated, trash talking. And you know it's a 10-year-old kid on the other line that just demolished me. It's so frustrating. But it is fun, and I'm very competitive in everything I do," Phelps continued.

Yep, your American hero and role model for children all across the U.S. does a little trash talking online. Obviously, we don't know his Xbox Live gamertag, but since he apparently plays so much, some Call of Duty players may have gotten yelled at by the swimming guru.

Of course, the topic of video game addiction was brought up by none other than Liz Woolley, the founder of Online Gamers Anonymous, who warned that Phelps should put the controller down. Video game addiction isn't as deadly as drugs or alcohol, but it still can be a serious thing.

Are the warning signs there for Phelps? No way. He's probably exaggerating the 30-hour comment, and even if he wasn't, that's no where near addiction levels. An addict would be playing for more than 10 hours a day, and despite whatever amounts of free time Phelps has, he's got a long ways and a lot more trash talking to go. Unless he misses his scheduled time at the pool because he's playing some Xbox at the hotel - then we got a problem.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition coming in September for PC, Mac, iPad and Android at a cheap price

The wildly popular Baldur's Gate PC game that took the world by storm in the late 1990s will be releasing again with hundreds of new improvements for the PC, Mac, iPad and Android devices, titled Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, which comes with the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion.

The PC/Mac version will cost $19.99 and feature a new adventure called The Black Pits, where you take your party and tackle 15 battles, facing unique challenges and characters. There are three new characters available along with a collection of player character voice sets, more than 400 improvements from the original game, and improved multiplayer support.

This game will only cost $9.99 for the iPad and Android devices, but a couple new characters cost extra as in-app purchases as well as the voice sets and player portraits. Players can keep track their friends and invite them to play through Gamecenter Support.

The Windows version is scheduled for Sept. 18, with the iPad and Mac versions expected in September. The release on Android is to be determined. I played a lot of Baldur's Gate back in the day, so $20 is a great price to relive some memories, and playing on the iPad sounds even better.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nintendo reports another quarterly loss, but profitability likely on the horizon

As expected, Nintendo posted another quarterly loss in their latest financial report, this time to the tune of $220 million from April through June. And again as expected, the shouts of "Smartphones! Smartphones! Smartphones!" can be seen all across the Internet. While their rise have no doubt been a factor, the bigger reasons are falling Wii and DS sales, lack of compelling software to move 3DS units, R&D costs for the upcoming Wii U, and a very bad foreign exchange rate.

But there is good news out of this: Nintendo confirmed that the 3DS, which has sold 19 million worldwide, will now be sold at a profit. Nintendo historically sells hardware at a profit out of the gate. The 3DS was when it first released, but a massive price cut put a red mark in Nintendo's financials. This is a huge step forward for Nintendo getting back to profitability, especially with the upcoming releases of the 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2.

The remaining unknown factor is the price of the Wii U, which will release this holiday season. Regardless of what it is, it's looking good for Nintendo. They will be kicking off a much-needed new generation of consoles all by themselves with potential hot selling games like New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U and NintendoLand. Video game sales always skyrocket during the holidays, and with a new console release, Nintendo should have no problem getting back in black.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Atlus releases new screenshots for The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

Atlus' upcoming game The Testament of Sherlock Holmes will release in September for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Below are four new screenshots just released.

Players will be thrust into the world of London where Holmes is suspected of being the culprit after what should have been another case solved. Doctor Watson even is suspicious of the famous detective. Crime scenes will be investigated, clues will be collected, and witnesses will be questioned in this adventure game.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

THQ releases new screenshots for South Park: The Stick of Truth. I hope it lives up to expectations

THQ has released four new screenshots for South Park: The Stick of Truth, expected to be released in March 2013. They look good ... real good. The game pretty much looks just like the TV show.

We've seen our share of rough South Park games in the past. There was a first-person shooter I played in the late 1990s that was horrible. South Park Rally was an embarrassing racing game that should have never existed. Pretty much all of them are blah and feel like cash-ins.

But for some strange reason I have faith in The Stick of Truth. Maybe it's because creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are heavily involved in this game. They're writing the script and, of course, voicing the characters. This new game will have players create their own character and join Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny on an "epic quest."

I really want this game to be good, and hopefully the long wait will be worth it. Please, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, deliver the South Park game we've all been waiting for.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Developer of Game for Cats for the iPad accused of making it easy for felines to buy DLC

Game for Cats is a silly app for the iPad that allows our feline friends to play games like chasing around a laser or a butterfly. But according to reports, Hiccup, the developer of this app, got into a little trouble when complaints surfaced that the cats were actually buying extra content for it, costing their owners some money.

Fearing an uprising, Hiccup decided to make it a little harder for cats to purchase extra content. A person's fingertips will have to be held in the same spot for a few seconds to activate the DLC. Unless there are some very smart cats out there, this should cure the problem.

The thought of a cat buying DLC is funny to me, kind of like a toddler inadvertently purchasing extra content. But if I owned a feline and an iPad I wouldn't let it anywhere near my expensive toy, fearing a heavily scratched-up screen.

If you think people allowing their cats to play on the iPad is crazy enough, watch this video below of tigers and lions playing the game. I was secretly wishing they would have ripped the things apart.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dyad, the crazy, psychedelic PSN game, now available

Dyad is now available on PlayStation Network for $14.99, or $11.99 for PlayStation Plus subscribers. This colorful, crazy and psychedelic game features 27 levels of mayhem, requiring players to create a "harmonious synthesis of color and sound as you hook, graze and lance enemies."

Go crazy, folks.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Rockstar releases two screenshots for Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar has been quiet on Grand Theft Auto V information, but they did release two screenshots on their Asked & Answered feature on their website. One shows a scenic view of the city with a helicopter, and the other a nice, relaxing shot with very impressive water reflections. It's not much, but it's safe to say the game is going to look great.

GTA V sure isn't coming out this year, but expect it sometime in 2013.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Angry Birds Trilogy coming to PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS this holiday. Don't expect it to set the world on fire

It has been reported that Rovio and Activision will be releasing Angry Birds Trilogy for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS this holiday. The game will bundle the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Seasons, featuring tweaks and additions like Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move support, and utilizing the StreetPass feature on the 3DS.

Angry Birds is a worldwide sensation due to its addictive gameplay combined with a cheap price (free in some cases). No price has been announced for this addition, but don't expect it to be a few bucks. Releasing on a console and handheld means higher prices. I would have to guess a minimum could be $19.99, and I'm being generous. While I don't see this being a full $60 for consoles, I would guess around $30-$40, and maybe $30 on the 3DS.

Whatever the price is, it'll be a tough sell. Not only have these games already been played to death, the cheap versions will still exist on PC and smartphones. So why would someone pay more money for a bundle when they could get these three versions individually for less or nothing at all? There's the draw of extra content, but Angry Birds is aimed at casuals who probably don't care about that stuff in the first place.

Selling Angry Birds for cheap put Rovio on the map, but I think it's going to bite back hard come this holiday.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Quick thoughts on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the Nintendo 3DS

I recently got my hands on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the Nintendo 3DS. Here are my thoughts on the game so far:

I've had my eye on this game for a while, mainly because of the chibi art style of all these Final Fantasy characters. While it may turn some people off, these cutesy characters fit well with this style of game where you use your stylus to tap, swipe and slide your way to the music.

There are three main modes of play offered: Series, Challenge and Chaos Shrine. Series will take you on a musical journey through all 13 main Final Fantasy games where you'll play through five songs from each one. The beginning and ending themes are kind of boring since all they are is tapping bubbles once they hit the center of the top screen. The field, battle and event music stages are the most fun and offer different variations of gameplay.

Challenge and Chaos Shrine are where the real meat of the game is. In Challenge mode, you can play each song individually on either Basic or Expert difficulty. Do good on Expert and you unlock Ultimate, which literally is the ultimate test. Basic is very easy and Expert is a little harder but manageable. Ultimate is just crazy fast with so many stylus commands all smushed together. Chaos Shrine has you play two different songs in the form of Dark Notes.

There are more than 70 songs available, although you'll be hearing a lot of the same when unlocking Dark Notes in Chaos Shrine mode. Square Enix is offering add-on songs that can be purchased for $1 each, which are played in Challenge mode. It's kind of pricey, but if you really love Final Fantasy music I guess it could be worth it.

Check out for my full review soon at

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Here's a screenshot of Calvin Johnson angrily running away from a Green Bay Packer in Madden 13

If you don't already know, Detroit Lions' superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the cover athlete of Madden 13. EA Sports just released a screenshot from the game, showing Megatron running away from a Green Bay Packer, most likely going for the touchdown.

As you see from the screenshot, Megatron's mad. He wants that touchdown bad, and no stinkin' Packer is going to stop him. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Lions this year.

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Bug your Facebook friends even more with SimCity Social

If you see a bunch of SimCity Social stuff cluttering up your Facebook page, it's because Electronic Arts officially launched the game today, which is based on the popular city simulation franchise that's decades old.

The idea is to build the greatest virtual city ever with the help of friends. If your friends don't care, well, you're out of luck. Expect a heavy dose of Dunkin' Donuts advertising as players can gift Coffee Boosts and Donut Boosts to their friends.

Those wanting to avoid the social experience but still want to play SimCity can either play the older games or wait until February 2013 when SimCity releases for the PC, promising to be bigger and better than ever.

I may mess with SimCity Social a little, since it's SimCity after all, but I'll probably move on real quickly. Don't worry, Facebook friends, I won't beg you for coffee and donuts.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Quick thoughts on Marvel Pinball 3D for the Nintendo 3DS

Marvel Pinball 3D recently released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Here are my thoughts on the game so far.

This next set of tables Zen Studios has released on the eShop brings four familiar pinball tables from the Marvel Pinball series. The Iron Man, Blade, Fantastic Four and Captain America tables from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions have been shrunk down for the Nintendo handheld.

The top screen is where the gameplay's at and the bottom screen represents the dot matrix display. Since the table is jam-packed on one screen, it's hard to see what's going on if you use a zoomed-out view. I stuck with a closer one.

The use of 3D is great, and this is one of the few games where I like having it constantly on. The game is much clearer and it's easier to follow the pinball, especially when a closer view is used.

Each table has their own specific traits that make them fun to play. However, if you already own the console editions, it comes down to how bad you want to play this game on the go.

Check back at for my full review.

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