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    by Published on April 8th, 2011 21:34
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    2. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Yes, you read correctly... "The very first time", thanks to the U.S. PlayStation Store having the demo, which for some reason the UK store does not (I've even searched for it many times).

    Anyway, I played through the first level demo with my SEGA Saturn controller (I now refuse to play a Sonic game with a non-SEGA controller) and was quite impressed with the demo overall. Although, it was ruined by the adding of the lock-on targeting, which did not exist pre-SonicAdventure.

    Also, to celebrate my new YouTube channel (VampDudeDCEmu), which from time to time I will upload gaming related videos. My dodgy footage from my HDDcam, which was rested on my knee during gameplay. Something that will not be an issue once I go back to recording in my standard format, when my new HDD arrives for my homebrew PS3 (component to DVD) and free advertising to DCEmu.

    I'm considering purchasing the full version from the store, but I'll wait and see if anyone wishes to see a playthrough. Obviously without the shaky cam. ...
    by Published on March 15th, 2011 19:09
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    It's time for the inaugural Spring 2011 season of Texas Heat! Texas Heat is a regularly scheduled, fast-paced poker game that brings thousands of players together at the same time. You’ve got thirty minutes to bluff, bet, and raise your way to the top table in this unique, new poker game show!
    There is currently a FREE Full House Poker: Texas Heat, Spring 2011 Season, Xbox Live game available for all Xbox 360 owners. You can check out the game over at marketplace.xbox.com and download from your Xbox 360 console.

    Source: Full House Poker: Texas Heat, Spring 2011 Season - Xbox.com
    by Published on March 2nd, 2011 06:29
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    2. Nintendo 3DS News

    The game of Super Monkey Ball 3D was released by SEGA and it will be came out on 03-03-2011.Following is the information about this 3DS games ;

    Game Name : Super Monkey Ball 3D
    Platform : 3DS
    Developer : SEGA
    Type : Action
    Release time : 03-03-2011

    Game Information :

    Taking advantage of the power of the Nintendo 3DS, players can let themselves loose in each new vibrant world as they twist and turn whilst aiming to collect every banana in the fastest time possible. This latest installment contains three brand-new compelling gameplay choices including single-player puzzle levels, Monkey Race and Monkey Fight. These new game modes give players the chance to compete via wireless connection with up to four players in the best 3D social experience possible in the palm of their hands. In addition, Super Monkey Ball fans will be able to choose between the Nintendo 3DS motion sensor or the Slide Pad to navigate the puzzle mazes with complete precision

    Game Video Show :

    by Published on February 24th, 2011 13:39
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    2. PSP News,
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    6. GP2X News,
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    Article Preview

    The PS3 Scene may be very very slow due to SCEA's MIB attorneys and legal actions against hackers but Spanish dev, Hermes, brings us Pintor. Pintor is a rather humorous homebrew puzzle game which pokes fun of Sony's aggressive PS3 related lawsuits at PS3 hackers such as fail0verflow, graf_chokolo and of course, Geohot. In the game, you play the role of "John Doe" and must avoid SCEA's MIB attorneys. Hermes created the game as a tribute to fail0verflow's git repository, which was ordered to be removed Sony's attorneys. The game is based on a video game that Hermes previously made for the PS2 and that has been ported to countless systems since.

    fail0verflow repository is a tribute for the old fail0verflow repository with LEGAL TOOLS deleted cowardly by github.com because of threats from licks-ass guys called “attorneys of SCEA”.

    The original code was forked more than 1300 guys (the second most forked repository in github.com) who wanted to defend our rights as consumers, owners of our computer / console called PS3, and like non-profit independent programmers. But again, in a system where money is more important than justice, freedom and people (you are a number) the threat of one has much greater weight and repository was deleted unceremoniously and without one word to explain the exact reason.

    Because it, i was create this tribute that shows we “evil” usage of the old fail0verflow tools.


    ‘Pintor’ is an old videogame made by me, initially, for PS2 console. It is strongly inspired in a spectrum+ game that i remember fondly. I have done ports for a lot of consoles: PS2/GP2/GP2X/PSP/WII and now PS3.

    In this case it is based in the GP32 port, including the famous geohot MP3 “The Light It Up Contest” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iUvuaChDEg)

    I think it is a very funny song ^^ and is suitable for the symbolism of this respository (also i use a black background representing the PS3).

    Pintor: the game

    You are John Doe and must walk the way to complete the boxes to change to the next screen. But you have to be careful because SCEA and their attorneys are looking to bite your ass. Fortunately, the enemies do not think and are blinded by greed. So as donkeys, they pulled forward and forward, without knowing for sure where are you (here they cannot ask to github, google, paypal personal datas of John Doe)


    SQUARE – Pause Music
    SELECT – Pause Game
    START – Game Exit

    In “Pintor” screen:
    UP/DOWN – Number of attorneys
    X – Start

    In Game:
    UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT – Move John Doe
    DOWNLOAD: http://www.multiupload.com/3I1N0052O1

    Source: Github via PSGroove ...
    by Published on February 18th, 2011 16:36
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    2. PS3 News,
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    17 years of interesting, thoughtful often exhilarating games. All gone. Today, the Liverpool-based developer Bizarre Creations closed down, after its owner Activision failed to find a buyer. Disappointing sales for the studio's under-rated racer Blur did the damage. "We are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio," said the publisher last November. Its options turned out to be limited.

    This is a difficult time for the industry. Publishers are streamlining, profit margins are being squeezed, the slow transition to digital distribution is proving painful and unpredictable. Often the victims are the developers. According to the industry trade body, Tiga, around 140 UK studios shut down last year. True, 100 more set up, but a massive majority of those are concentrating on smartphone and digital download games. Nothing wrong with that – it's smart business. But it won't bring Project Gotham back.

    Bizarre Creations' first major game, a scorching F1 sim for the original PlayStation, announced the intentions of the studio: authentic simulation matched with genuine pedal-to-the-metal thrills. While so many driving game developers floundered in the no-man's land between the sim and the arcade racer, Bizarre Creations – headed by perfectionist Martyn Chudley – just understood how to meet both criteria.

    The company's Dreamcast classic Metropolis Street Racer was a generation ahead of its competitors. Replicating three huge swathes of London, Tokyo and San Francisco it delivered over 250 circuits and a vast range of challenges and side-quests; it's expansive, non-linear feature set heralded a new age for driving games. As a design endeavour, it was as arguably important as Gran Turismo. Also on Dreamcast was the criminally overlooked Fur Fighters, an inventive, anarchic and funny platform adventure that should be considered alongside Conker's Bad Fur Day, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank.

    Then, the Project Gotham series, another sleek, sophisticated and brilliantly constructed driving franchise. Project Gotham 4, with its masses of DLC and clever introduction of the Gotham TV channel was another prescient achievement, hinting at the community-led digital features that now adorn the likes of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and Shift 2. And there was The Club, a brave experiment in genre-bending, bringing a driving game mechanic to the third-person shooter. And Geometry Wars, an authentic, thrilling 2D shooter, that got in early on the whole retro DLC scene and remained at its head.

    And Blur. Lost, perhaps in the packed 2010 release schedule, a little bit too idiosyncratic, not perfect – but another inventive, exciting title, packed with ideas and craft. As for Bloodstone... well, it was a leap above most James Bond games without 'Goldeneye' in the title.

    I visited the studio several times, especially during the development of its Dreamcast titles. What a friendly, passionate, literate and talented team. What a waste that nothing could be done to keep them together.

    Goodbye Bizarre Creations.

    Source: The Guardian
    by Published on February 10th, 2011 13:31
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    Article Preview

    Eurogamer has reported that Activision has axed the Guitar Hero series and will be laying off a lot of employees including developers working on DJ Hero. It seems that the music genre doesn't have the same mass appeal as it did years ago and the fad is dying.
    UPDATE: Reports are coming in that layoffs have also hit the Activision-owned developer Vicarious Visions. Developer Manveer Heir tweeted this evening to say, "Ugh sorry to hear about the Vicarious Visions layoffs today after Guitar Hero canceled. Shitty. Sounds like Freestyle (DJ Hero) got hit too."

    ORIGINAL STORY: Activision has hit DJ Hero developer Freestyle Games with severe layoffs and axed the Guitar Hero series, Eurogamer understands.

    United Front's open world game True Crime has been cancelled, sources have told Eurogamer.

    An announcement is expected tonight ahead of the publication of Activision's financial results.

    In December last year Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said Guitar Hero, and the music genre, had a future following dismal sales of Warriors of Rock.

    "It's no secret that not just Guitar Hero, but also Rock Band, and the music category in general, do not have the same mass appeal today that they did a few years ago," he said.

    "That said, I think that we would be foolish to not try and build on the strength of the Guitar Hero brand, because as you said, it's a pretty strong brand with great recognition and great likeability, and there's a lot to work with there.

    "I think the road to rejuvenating that category goes through innovation," he continued. "The premise of Guitar Hero - that everyone has an inner rock star - it's something that we've all done forever. Some version of singing into a hairbrush, or holding a tennis racket like a guitar, or singing karaoke, or singing into the bathroom mirror - we all do that.

    "I think a lot of video game genres that have had tremendous staying power have a fantasy-fulfillment element at their core, whether it's driving the fast car, or participating in professional sports, or going into battle. People don't get to do this in everyday lives.

    "So I think the core premise and the core insight at the heart of the Guitar Hero franchise is still very relevant. I just think we need to escalate the experience for people and innovate. I think the genre is still fairly new, and so I think it's probably time for us to really look at what the next level looks like for that genre."

    The publisher had confirmed the return of the franchise in 2011.
    Do you think there was too many versions of the franchise that it killed itself? Or was it bound to happen? Let us know what you think.

    Source: Eurogamer ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:20
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Published by: Gamecock
    Developed by: Blazing Lizard
    Genre: Sports/Action
    Platforms: XBLA, WiiWare
    Players: 1-4 (Offline) 1-8 (Online)
    ESRB: E10+: Animated Blood,Cartoon Violence,
    Suggestive Themes,Use of Alcohol and Tobacco.
    Prices: 800ms pts

    $12.79 (CAD)
    $13.20 (AUD)

    Overview: For many years now there has been a debate between who would win, Pirates, or Ninjas, this game lets you play as ether, and two more (Robots, and Zombies) in a game of dodge ball, And each team member is packed with its own special ability to spice things up during the heat of battle.

    Gameplay: There are a few different modes to play, and three different ways to play them:
    Exhibition : this is pretty much free mode, you choose your team's size (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4) the number of rounds, the difficulty mode (easy, medium, or hard) the arena, the two teams you want in the game, how many balls, and the rules (game mode)
    "Combat Dodge Ball" is the first mode in the list, here, you will notice that the line that goes through the middle is removed, giving you the freedom to roam around the whole map.
    "traditional Dodge Ball" is probably the closest thing to an actual dodge ball game you'll find here, due to the fact that as soon as you step foot across the line, you will be turned back to your side.
    "Enhanced Dodge Ball" is by far my favorite, You are allowed to step foot on enemy territory for three seconds, which adds a good amount of strategy, and it is always fun to steal your enemy's balls.
    Then there is story mode, where you will start out with only one team mate, and work your way up to three buds to make up your team, throughout your journey, you will encounter numerous text boxes, normally i would skip them, but these ones caught my attention since i AM a pirates vs ninjas debater, and found that the story, altho senseless and short, has many jokes that will make you smirk.


    If you are playing offline, then you have an extra option available, which is co-op play, this allows you and up to three friends to play through the story together, fun as it may seem, you will often get lost and run in circles trying to figure out where you are at, not only is this contributed by the fact that there are too many players on screen in such a small arena, but all the characters look alike from far away, specially if you are playing on a standard T.V.
    Apart from story you can do a local match which is the same thing as an exhibition match, except you get to play with, or against friends, sadly enough, there are only four different arenas in which to play, and altho they all look beautiful, some may resemble one another in large amounts.
    If you are playing online, then you have the options to play privately, ranked, or just a player match, here you loose alot of the options you once had in local modes, you will only be able to choose your character, and the amount of players, everything else seems to be randomly generated.
    Not excluding online mode, when you play with three or more players per team, you will easily loose track of yourself which is why in my opinion, two on two is the best way to go, not only do you keep track of your self at all times, but you also gain a great seance of team work.

    Going deeper into the game, you have a few cool things you can do while in game, apart from each player having their own special power, you can also preform special throws which will make the game go in slow motion for about a second, allowing you to see the flamed up ball slowly reach its targeted flesh (or metal if it is going after a robot) it is always cool to see someone dodge it in slow motion, or slowly hit the ground from the impact, which brings me to say that smacking someone with a ball in this game feels good, no seriously, you can REALLY FEEL the ball hit your opponent, it is one of the most rewarding things i have ever done in a game in years, unfortunately, that is probably the peek of this game, the controls feel flimsy, and it is hard at times to grab the ball seance the 3D environments can be very confusing at times due to the fact that you are almost getting a side view of the arena, it seems to me like an over the head camera view would have been more appropriate for the game.
    There is also a stamina meter which goes down every time you dodge, (the right analog) strike, or jump, which are the two actions you will be doing the most; If it ever goes down all the way, you will be forced to stand still until it goes back up.
    You can also catch balls to gain some health back up, but should only be attempted after alot of practice or you will simply be a sitting duck, hit balls to throw them back at whoever threw the ball at you in the first place to hit him, this can be done back to you so stay alert.

    Can you find all four ninjas? OFF COURSE NOT! THEY ARE HIDDEN!

    Graphics: It doesn't take much more then a few minutes to appreciate the level of detail found not only in the characters, but in the arenas as well, in the snow arena for example, when you step on thick snow, it will go down, but the fact that there are obstacles on screen, not only serves to purpose of having something to hide behind, but it aslo makes the game a hell of alot harder, when you go behind a tree for instance, it will not turn translucent, fully blocking the view of your character, this quickly becomes repetitive, and you will soon be wanting to play in levels with less obstacles.
    Other then that, they do a good job animating the characters, and keeping a good frame rate throughout the game, still, a wider variety of models would have been appreciated, mainly just so that i don't keep thinking i am some huy, and then find out i am all the way across the screen getting hit by a robot.

    Sound:There is a nice song that plays at the beginning of the game and stays throughout the menu screen featuring Chinese instruments and pirate "arrgs"apart from that you will hear alot of "ouchs" and "wooshses" as you may expect, and each level has its own fitting song.

    Difficulty:For the most part, the AI in this game is absolutely horrible, they will stand in one place waiting for you to hit them, and the next minute they are running towards the ball deflecting anything you throw at them and catching every ball that gets near them, and then go back to maybe running in circles while you go grab the ball, on the bright side, you don't have to play against them scene the game comes with on, and offline multiplayer.

    Replay Value:It is no secret that most games with multiplayer have at least a decent amount of replay value, and this is no exception, playing two on two can actually get pretty exiting, but most other multiplayer game modes are virtually broken, they are frustrating and confusing for the most part, which is a shame because this game had the potential to be a great one, but bad level design and controls made it go down on the fun factor.

    Achievements: Most achievements are pretty simple, and if you dedicate about an hour to them, you can get most of them, they ARE fun, but too obvious at times I mean, you get an achievement for dodging a ball :P and another one for winning a match, ect, they could have been a bit more imaginative.

    Conclusion:At the end of the day, even tho this not the best game ever made, multiplayer modes you will keep you happy for a few days, specially if you have something to prove to your friends (who is better, pirates or ninjas) but for an 800 ms pt price tag, I can't really recommend it.
    Also, there is a free downloadable special moves pack available which is a nice touch, tho I don't see why it couldn't come in the game if it was going to be free in the first place.

    Because a dodge ball is more valuable then a chest full of gold.
    *Great graphics
    *Each character has its own special move
    *finally! a pirates vs Ninjas game!
    *Fun multiplayer
    *The story is entertaining

    *Character movement feels odd
    *Only four stages
    *You can easily get confused
    *too many times it won't feel like a dodge ball game

    Gameplay: 1.5/5
    Graphics: 4/5
    Sound: 2.5/5
    Replay Value: 2/5
    Difficulty: 3.5/5

    Final Score:
    .:Not Recommended:.

    Vote Now! Pirates Or Ninjas!
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:20
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    Tales of Vesperia
    Publisher: Namco Bandai
    Developer: Namco Bandai
    Genre: RPG; JRPG, SRPG
    Players: 1-4 (Offline)
    MSRP: $59.99
    Platform: Xbox 360

    The Tales series really never has gotten the proper respect it deserves. People who have played the tales series games have most loved it, and this was shown by the love that Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Destiny(which is actually a low point in the series in my opinion) had received for the Gamecube. Abyss, Legendia, and just about all of the other Tales series have never nearly gotten noticed by the mainstream in America and Europe. by releasing this RPG on the 360, it seems Namco Bandai has been hoping for the best with results in getting the series well known in the US. (They must not be too enthusiastic about it, since I have yet to see a commercial or advertisement for it anywhere.) But nevertheless, here it is, the next chapter in the Tales of series, Tales of Vesperia. Despite being on the Xbox 360, Tales of Vesperia warranted a vast turnout in Japan, launching the often abysmal 360 sales 5 times what they normally are. Currently, there is even a shortage of 360s in Japan right now, which has never before happened. This should tell you a little something about the amount of influence that this series has in the East.

    But anyway I'll stop beating around the bush and get this review started. The Tales of Series has always been known for its signature Anime style graphics, character skits, and what is quite possibly the best character development in the genre. So the first thing you'll notice is the intro. Its made fully of cartoon-Anime CG, and stands out very well from many different game's styles of cutscenes(Fact: This is one of the very few games that I've even bothered to watch the intro of.) This highlights one of the defining traits of Tales series games; they make use of full cartoon graphics in some cutscenes. They have done this for a while in fact: Tales of Symphonia has 1 or 2, Abyss had around 3-5, and Vesperia has around 21. It gives a very nice break from the normalcy of full CG graphics all the time. Back from what they never really specified(correct me) but they give a great and distinct flavor to the way the story is unraveled, and they also serve to highlight some of the most important points in the game. The character skits were also bashed a good bit. The thing is, they are all optional, but if you want to get the most out of the storyline, you'll want to watch them. And I'll tell you now, if your even slightly interested in the story you will want to watch them. They feature animated, drawn versions of the characters and they have conversations, which ends up really helping to endear the characters to you. But don't take it from me. Take it from what the people who have played the series have said.

    The overall story also reaches a standard of greatness, and easily is the best story that a Tales game has seen yet. It tells the tale of badass ex knight Yuri as he forges his own idea of justice in a corrupt empire. Along the way(naturally) meeting a cast of characters who, as well, get a huge level of development before the game is over. Unlike most JRPGs, the characters (with few exceptions) break most boundaries of generic "save the world" JRPG characters(you know, classic cliche characters.) Still, they do have the essence of the Japanese RPG hero, which in itself has a bit of overall generic-ness to it. Compared to most games out there, however, they stand out well. The story has a few linear parts to it, but Vesperia takes the storytelling abilities of the Tales series to greater heights. Perfectly paced with some of the most well developed characters of any JRPG out there. Much better then Symphonia, and somehow even better then tales of the Abyss. After you finish the game, you may be begging for a direct sequel(Even more then I did with Abyss. And thats saying something.) The story never gets boring or too cliche(though it has its moments) but to get into the story you may have to invest a good 30 minutes or 1 hour. But oh how its worth it.

    Speaking of which, the 30 minutes you'll first be spending will probably in figuring out the combat system. A large number of small tweaks to the ever-expanding Tales battle system greatly enhances the it far past the likeness of Symphonia and most passed iterations of the game. The combat is real time, and starts off a bit slow. Once you've got a full party of characters at your disposal a a good list of moves and skills, the core combat gets deep. Awesome attacks, spells, and combos(Mystic Artes are stunning) make up the combat in Vesperia. The main combat is fairly 2 dimensional though, as you only have the attack option of moving forward or backward. Hold the left trigger and you'll be able to freely run around the arena however, but you'll need to attack the enemies in a regular, linear fashion. Combos in Vesperia are also a great deal longer then in past Tales games, if you do them right. With one character, you can get a 75 hit combo all while continuing to do combos in the air, reaching a huge height before bringing them back down in a broken mess with a 20 hit combo upon returning to the ground. And if you have read my Ninja Gaiden review, you know just how much I love a kick*** combo.

    I cut this flower--for HONOR!

    Multiplayer has returned to this installment of Tales as well. Four people can play cooperatively at the same time, and it is by far one of the most fun JRPGs(and one of the only ones) in terms of multiplayer. Each player controls a different character, and uses their specific abilities to help the team and take out monsters. Combat is fast and fun, and cooperating with the people you playe with is key to winning the battles. Magic users don't suffer from the same boredom they do in singleplayer when it comes to fighting bosses, since support is a huge need in battles, and with a human player directing the magic, it becomes far more effective then it would with A.I. Its not without some problems though. In battles you will be using a good bit of items, and to use them you need to pause the game to use them. Its only a minor annoyance though, since most players will know how to use items fast by the time you'll really be needing to use them often. The biggest complaint, and the reason Namco Bandai says they excluded online play, was because there is only one character in the overworld at any one time. I could think of a vast number of ways to make it interesting for other players as well, but whats done is done. The lack of online stings. Badly. However, if you have a few mates to play the game with locally, you've got nothing to worry about. The multiplayer is fast and fun, though not without its annoyances.

    And there isn't a Tales game without its puzzles. Vesperia beats Abyss in terms of puzzles that you have to actually think your way through, rather then guessing or easy puzzles. The puzzles usually makes use of logical decisions to solve them, which is done by iteraction to the vast environments. Once you find what is interactive and what isn't the puzzles usually consist of you trying to figure out how to get these two things to do what they are supposed to. Vesperia won't guide you through them either. They are fairly difficult, which for you people out there who like challenging puzzles will please fairly well. But the main problem I had with these puzzles is how the story is usually at a hugely climactic part when the game throws a tough, time-consuming puzzle at you. As a design choice, its absolutely perfect. It makes the player not want to finish playing till they have beat that puzzle and see what comes next in the story. As a person who really isn't very big on puzzles in games, I got fairly aggravated at this. However, this part does come down to personal preference, so I won't be adding or taking away score for its timing. The puzzles aren't really complicated though, which makes the design of them quite ingenious. Still, there are some puzzles that are there really to JUST build hype for the next major plot twist, and they usually aren't so much challenging as they are time consuming. Still, as an RPG first and a puzzler, well, not first, Vesperia has some very well designed puzzles. They aren't exceptional or amazing, but they do give a well rounded amount of challenge to they're players, at(in my opinion) some of the worst times.

    Back to combat, the combat system has no trouble staying fresh and fun through the entire game, but despite smaller tweaks and more attacks and magic, its not so much different from Abyss and Symphonia's battle systems. So I guess you could say that while its obviously better and smoother then past Tales games, the combat really isn't very innovative.

    You'll probably hear the phrase "not extremely innovative" for a good bit of things about this game. The storyline, while well done and interesting through the game, is basically exactly what You'd expect from a Japanese RPG. Not writing it off, but the overall feel of it feels very traditional, and the plot shares many of the feelings you'll get from playing Tales of the Abyss. In fact, this game could best be described as "fun and fresh, but not too fresh." Yes it is confusing, but I think you can understand. The game makes a fantastic sequel, but not an amazing new take on the series. But you know what they say, why fix it if it isn't broken.

    The Tales classic Anime-inspired look is back and better then ever.

    More things from the past games have returned here without much change too; the ones most profoundly effecting gameplay being the Overworld, cooking, and synthesizing. Likewise, all have had an upgrade, despite being very similar to they're Symphonic roots. The ridiculous loading times in Abyss have been fully done away with in Vesperia, and the Overworld runs at a perfect framerate. Monsters appear on screen, and are never random battles(one of my all time favorite parts of the Tales series) and the detail displayed in the overworld is as colorful and fine for the monsters as it is in the battle arena. Cooking and synthesizing are basically the same, with more things to learn and eat(and that your teamates will sometimes complain if you don't cook often enough. I probably did it once every 5 hours, so its not a big deal.) Overall, you could say the core gameplay isn't taking the series to a whole new height, but its doing everything a sequel should in terms of freshness.

    The graphical design of the Tales series is basically they're series trademark. Tales has always tried to look as close to an anime in terms of graphics as they can, and with the graphics Vesperia has, they are getting extremely close. The entire world is a beautiful cell-shaded look(Trust me on this. I would never say the word beautiful. Thats how good it looks.)that is extremely colorful and endearing. Its got a sort of charm that Symphonia certainly had, and its been translated very well into the HD era.

    The character models aren't lacking much depth and detail to them, though the characters appear less detailed then Eternal Sonata who uses a similar style(also published by Namco Bandai.) While they are a bit less detailed then the aforementioned, Eternal Sonata makes use of rigid outlines, whereas Vesperia's characters more or less are distinctly visible against the watercolor look of the background by shading. Overall it looks fantastic, and the art direction isn't to be messed with either. Backgrounds in towns, cities, dungeons, and other enter able areas for the most part are just as detailed as the characters, and sport a very artistic look to them. The animations are clean and crisp, and some of the battle animations look awesome. Most of the animations by normal attacks and some Artes are pretty normal, not bad, but nothing that'll have you screaming about how awesome it looks. They do exactly what they are supposed to, look fine, and thats really all they need to do.

    What will make you think "thats awesome!" about the graphics are some of the magic and special attacks. As usual, Mystic Artes look absolutely awesome, and the new Burst Artes are pretty sweet too. The effects in this game are up and away the most well done part of the graphical aspect. Colorful, brilliant and appealing magic attacks are found in every battle. While some of the melee fighters don't have a "bang" to they're visual attack styles, the magic users spare no expense lighting up the battlefield. Nothing quite like seeing some of the best Artes in Tales history rendered in full HD with these effects. It'll make any Tales fan shed a tear.

    Probably gonna hurt.

    The backgrounds that DON'T share the same detail as the characters, effects and towns are the Overworld backgrounds. While by no means bare, the lack a huge amount of variety. When you encounter an enemy, you go to a mini arena to duke it out, and the backgrounds there are even worse. They certainly don't look bad, but they have little to absolutely no interaction at all with the character, which makes them have no part in determining a battle. Its more of a problem of what they lack rather then what they do wrong. Really, it doesn't make any matter where you fight when it comes to determining the battle. The landscapes in the background look good, but the foregrounds are severely lacking in detail. This has always been the case for Tales games, and it couldn't hurt to much to make the backgrounds a little more stand-out-ish while in combat.

    Jumping topics to sound here. The musical score has a very emotional feel to it, and will well envelope you in some of the battles. it may sound strange, but the music sometimes even effects your willingness to fight some of the battles. Other battles the music will send you into a fiery feeling that you just want to beat the crap out of your enemy. Even other times will make you just want to mess with some of the enemies. The point being that the music helps to inspire much of the emotions in the game, and it works absolutely well for its purpose. And I'm willing to make a bet that no one out there can finish this game and NOT have Bonnie Pink's song Ring a Bell(the games theme song) stuck in their head for the next few days. The music is obviously inspired, and it does its job of inspiring you as well. A fantastic soundtrack for what its supposed to be, though listening to the tracks along without the substance of the cutscene or battle may not be as good as listening to it in game.

    Voiceovers are(considering the infamy of JRPGs with western VOs) rather well done. While there annoying characters in the game, the characters you will be hearing the most won't sound bad. The lead character especially does his job well, and is probably the best voice in a Tales game since Symphonia's Regal. The emotions that they're voices convey will reach you, which just goes along with the fact that the characters are extremely well done and fleshed out.

    The story in Vesperia isn't as long as Symphonia or Abyss. In fact, as far as the main story goes its can be completed in 30-40 hours, which is a bit average for a JRPG, while short for a Tales game. The side quests give this game a huge amount of extra life though. In fact, it nearly doubles the life of the game well past 80 hours. Should you also take the time to get a significant amount of grade for a second play through will probably take you upwords 150 hours. To say the least its a massive game, and if you have people to play it with it will become much longer. So its not over quickly, but you'll defineatly be wanting more when it is over.

    Great backgrounds, though they could use more interactivity.

    Wrapping it up.

    Major Selling Points:
    --Anime styled Graphics
    --Fast and fluid combat system
    --Explore a massive, expansive world
    --Characters are extremely well fleshed out
    --Decently challenging and fun puzzles

    Major breaking Points:
    --Doesn't break much new boundaries
    --Intricate puzzles are placed at some of the worst times.
    --Check closing comments

    Story: 4.5/5
    An interesting and thrilling tale with some of the most well developed characters ever made. The story doesn't really break any huge boundaries though.
    Graphics: 4/5
    The classic tales anime style characters have never looked better. They don't have the same amount of detail as Eternal Sonata, but they still shine. The art direction and the watercolor look of the towns are also charming, but arena backgrounds and some dungeons look bare. Environmental interaction is at a low.
    Sound: 4/5
    An epic soundtrack really brings out the emotion of the scenes. The Voice overs are well done and show each characters personalities and feelings very well.
    Gameplay: 4/5
    The combat system hasn't had a huge overhaul, but small fixes and tweaks and some awesome new features show that the Tales series still has life in it yet. Challenging puzzles are pretty fun(if poorly placed), but there is a good bit of running around to do. Nothing to hold it down though.
    Replayability: 4/5
    The main quest will take you from 30-40 hours, but side quests can get you well over 150. Achievements won't have you running back to the game.
    Value: 4/5
    At a full price tag, this game is well worth it. The best JRPG on the 360 yet, and the best Tales game ever.

    Tales of Vesperia does everything its supposed to and nothing it isn't. There isn't really any big flaw or major problem with the game, and the experience is a perfectly authentic JRPG one. However, the game doesn't break new ground by any means, and may seem a bit too similar to past Tales games. Still, Vesperia has everything a JRPG fan could want -- a great combat system, and epic (If very common) storyline, great characters, and a pipe smoking dog that fights with a sword.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:20
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Gin Rummy

    Published by: Sierra Online
    Developed by: Studio Ch’in
    Genre: Card & Board
    Platforms: XBLA (Xbox 360)
    Players: 1 (Offline) 1-4 (Online)
    ESRB: E
    Prices: 400MS pts

    I think based on the name, 99% of people would have decided if they where going to buy this game before they were going to read any reviews. Also 99% of XBLA users can guess what this game has: Gin Rummy? Yes, Different game modes but still basically Gin Rummy? Yes. Play on and off line? Yes. Different theme for the cards and stuff? Yes. Supports Live Vision, Yes. Anything else? No.

    Most people are going to dismiss this game like they have with so many other casual XBLA games (bar UNO which has sold a ton), which is a shame to a degree because if you have not played Gin Rummy before (like me) its actually not a bad card game. The rules seem complex at first be are pretty simple:

    The objective in Gin Rummy is to score more points than your opponent. The basic game strategy is to improve one's hand by forming melds and eliminating deadwood. Two types of meld exist:
    * Sets of 3 or 4 cards sharing the same rank. For example, 8♥-8♣-8♠.
    * Runs of 3 or more cards in sequence, of the same suit. For example, 3♥-4♥-5♥-6♥.

    A player's "deadwood" cards are those not in any meld. His deadwood count is the sum of the point values of the deadwood cards— aces are scored at 1 point, face cards at 10, and others according to their numerical values. Intersecting melds are not allowed; therefore, if a player has a 3-card set and a 3-card run sharing a common card, he can only count one of them and must count two cards as deadwood.
    On each turn, a player:
    * draws either the (face-up) top card of the discard pile, or one card from the stock pile
    * may "knock", ending the round, under certain conditions
    * discards one card from his or her hand onto the discard pile

    Play continues, in alternating turns, until one player knocks or only 2 cards remain in the stock pile. In that case, the hand would end in a draw.

    There are 6 game modes: Classic Gin Rummy, Speed Gin Rummy, Oklahoma Gin, Hollywood Gin, Three-Hand Gin, or Customize Your Own Rules. But really its just the same game and most will just play classic gin rummy or if they want a quick game speed gin rummy, unless they are after the achievements.

    It's only a small wait for online 1vs1 games (most of the time) but getting 4 player games very hard, which makes you wonder, why wait 10-15mins to play a 10-15 min game? Oh yeah for the achievement. At time of writing there was only 35,00 on the main leader board (far less in the other board), which explains why 4 player games are hard to get, there is just not enough people playing. Which is a shame as once you get a 4 player (2 vs 2) game going its genuinely feels different from the other game modes and is fun.

    Its a simple game and bar the slightly confusing tutorials and slightly dull presentation, is have been made well, and for 400 points its hard to complain too much. In the end, its just about deserves to be on XBLA and because of that and MS new XBLA policy...

    Final Score:

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