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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quick thoughts on Dead Island: Riptide

I've been furiously beating down endless amounts of zombies in Dead Island: Riptide. Here are some thoughts on the game.

Dead Island: Riptide feels more like an expansion of the original game than a full-blown sequel. It takes place right after events from Dead Island, and to simply put it, it looks and plays just like it. You still amass a collection of melee weapons and guns that can be upgraded and modded to your liking. However, I didn't really notice any pros or cons from one melee weapon to another when I was just mindlessly swinging away at zombies.

While the main missions keep things interesting, there are plenty of side missions to complete to rack up experience points. However, they are a drag to finish, since you're killing the same types of enemies every single time.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Legend of Zelda, Yoshi's Island, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for 3DS highlight software-packed Nintendo Direct

Nintendo released another Nintendo Direct, and it didn't disappoint for 3DS owners. Here are some games expected for the 3DS in the future:

The biggest announcement was a new Legend of Zelda game that takes place in the world of A Link to the Past, the very popular SNES title. In this game, Link will be able to turn into a drawing and move along walls and through tight spots. It is expected to launch this holiday season.

A new Yoshi's Island is coming sometime in the future, and will feature flutter jumps, ground pounds and egg throws, as well as new moves. This will be the third installment in the franchise.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team will take place on a mysterious island, and will feature Mario traveling between the real world and Luigi's dreams to rescue Princess Peach. It will be released Aug. 11.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is the handheld version of the Wii title. It includes eight new stages, and a New Mode for handheld play with new items and mechanics. It releases May 24.

Exclusive to the Nintendo eShop is Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, which releases May 9. Featuring more than 180 stages in four modes, players will have to place tiles on the bottom screen to guide Mini Marios to the top. A stage creator allows players to share their creations across the world.

Mario Golf: World Tour is scheduled to launch this summer and will allow golfers to play competitive real-time matches against others online.

A new Mario Party game will release this winter and feature seven game boards, each with their own rules, and 81 new mini-games. AR Card games and StreetPass battles will also be available.

Bravely Default, from Square-Enix, will be published in North America in 2014. In this RPG, players can skip a turn to do more damage in later turns, and it also includes AR functions, multiple endings and wireless features.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy will include a whopping 500-plus puzzles. It has a 2014 launch.

Level 5 will release a trio of games to the eShop: The Starship Damrey, Bugs vs. Tanks!, and Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale.

When Shin Megami Tensei 4 from Atlus releases July 16, the Limited Edition Box Set will include a 176-page strategy and design book, containing the strategy guide and full-color artwork, a music CD and a collectible slipcase.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons games from the Game Boy Color days will be on the eShop May 30.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf will also be bundled with a special 3DS XL edition of the system, and will be available on June 9 for $219.99.

So what about the struggling Wii U? There was some news, but I suspect Nintendo may be holding off until E3 later this year. EarthBound is coming to the Virtual Console this year. New Super Luigi U will be DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U (game required), and include 82 updated stages and a new adventure featuring Luigi. Many stages start with 100 seconds on the timer, and there are more obstacles on quicker ones. Game & Wario releases June 23. Pikmin 3 will release Aug. 4, and now includes a flying Winged Pikmin. A new system update will shorten loading times when messing around the Wii U menu. The Virtual Console service will launch soon after the update, as well as Wii U Panorama View. A Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate update is now available, enabling off-TV play with the GamePad.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Barry Sanders closer to Madden cover glory; up against No. 1 seed Jerry Rice

Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders is up against Jerry Rice to see who will represent the old-school bracket in the championship round of the Madden 25 cover contest. If Sanders wins, he'll face either Arian Foster or Adrian Peterson from the new-school side. The winner between old-school and new-school will be the cover boy of EA Sports' Madden 25 when it releases later this year.

To vote, click here. Semifinals voting ends April 17.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quick thoughts on Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

I've been sucking up ghosts in a vacuum cleaner in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. Here are some thoughts on the game.

The sequel to the charming GameCube launch title, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon expands on the fun with more new areas to explore. Each location is separated into different missions, so once you complete one, you'll be pixelated out of it and have to start it over again. This creates some repetitiveness in the gameplay.

The animations of Luigi and the various ghosts are very well done. The graphics are nice, too, and the 3D effect (if you're into it) is very cool looking in certain spots.

There is an online multiplayer portion of the game, but there isn't much depth to it. Games include sucking up all kinds of ghosts and chasing down cute little Polterpups.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quick thoughts on Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

I've been destroying the environment in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel on the Xbox 360. Here are some thoughts on the game.

The third game in the Army of Two series, The Devil's Cartel plays like any other third-person shooter, but lacks anything memorable. The most fun is when you enter Overkill mode and blast away everything in sight.

Co-op is the name of this game, and your AI partner actually performs well in combat. Playing with a friend is a blast, too. But hooking up with random people online is a hassle since it boots you back to the start of a chapter. This also happens if your partner leaves the game unexpectedly.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Barry Sanders needs your votes to beat Ray Lewis in Madden NFL 25 cover contest

Barry Sanders crushed Marcus Allen. Now he needs your help to defeat Ray Lewis and advance in the Madden NFL 25 cover vote. If Sanders wins, he'll face Joe Montana or Dan Marino.

Round three voting ends April 3. Click here to vote.