Pac-Man Battle Royale

Title Screen


Everyone knows Pac-Man.  Everyone has played Pac-man.  Now, imagaine there are three other Pac-Mans (Men?) on the board, and you're all fighting for the same thing!  Pellets, fruit, ghosts (just like a ghost hunting parrot)!  Of course, it wouldn't be Pac-Man if you weren't able to eat things when you get the Power Pellet... and of course, that includes the other Pac-Men (Mans?  I don't know what it should be).

Seriously, why isn't this game on XBOX Live or PSN.  There is a bar/arcade ("barcade," if you will) here in Houston that is the greatest place on Earth.  They happen to have one of these machines there.  It is fantastic!  I cannot tell you the amount of hours that friends and I have spent on this machine (both because I'm not keeping track and because it's a lot).  Oh, and it has cup holders!  Well, make that beer holders or rum and coke holders.  I haven't see anyone there with a "cup."
This is a perfect example of a multiplayer game that should be on XBL or PSN.  It's quick and easy to pick up, incredibly addicting, and is a superblast!


Stop Going Backwards

Have you ever played a game and thought it was absolutely fantastic? There was so much that you loved about it. Maybe it even had features or elements not seen in any other game. You felt that it was a huge step forward and were happy to be a fan of it... happy to talk to people about it... happy to spread the love and get others to check it out...

And then they make a sequel and take out features. Take out features?!?

Why would anyone take out things that made the previous version so unique and interesting? I can list example upon example of this, but the most recent would be Red Faction: Armageddon. I loved Red Faction: Guerilla. It had so many aspects that kept me playing and playing and even having a hard time deciding whether to continue with the campaign or level up in multiplayer. Here is a list of things I enjoyed so much about it:

- Not over the shoulder third person view
- Sandbox environment on a planet we all know and love
- Jetpacks
- Human vs. human conflict (A government/civil type war)
- Hammer time
- Competitive multiplayer
- Messing around with friends in competitive multiplayer creating funny situations using the physics engine and weapons
- Basically doing that for hours in all different ways... You know, not even really doing the objectives... just messing around having a super blast.

That is just a handful of things that I had so much fun doing. I literally spent hours just messing around in the world. Obviously, that is part of the whole sandbox environment. Now let's get to things that were changed for the sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon:

- Everything

Yes, the shooter/sci-fi genre is already very saturated, but Red Faction: Guerilla was something fresh. It did so many things to stand out. Now with Armageddon, it's basically an uninspired Gears of War copy. They are going backwards by trying to cash in on a game that came out five years ago, but this time they aren't even bothering adding anything to it.

I downloaded the demo yesterday, played it, and then deleted it. The original demo for Guerilla, I put hours into just messing around. Now I'm stuck in a tunnel with only one way to go. There is no room for destruction. What is the point of having such a fantastic physics engine if there is no room to use it? The scale of Guerilla was perfect. There are large buildings that could be completely demolished. Now, I can shoot a barrel or knock over some stairs. That's going backwards!

There was an interview in EGM where one of the producers said again and again, "We listened to the fans. They didn't like this, so we changed it. They didn't like that, so we changed it." It was all stuff that fans I know ENJOYED. I sent them a Twitter message about that. They said, "We didn't change everything. Just a few small things." That statement is half right. They did change a few small things, but they also changed everything around those small things... which would be, everything.

Oh, and another game I loved that kept taking stuff out? Burnout. In the first one, you could edit and create videos of all your crashes. In the second one, you could just watch replays (but not save them). In the third, nothing... There were other things as well. Leaderboards had best at everything; longest jump, longest drift, most flips, etc. Now it's just fastest time. Also, they took out the world renowned Crash mode (where you had to cause the most destruction).


A Dead Rising Fan's Dead Rising 2 Preview

I thought for quite awhile on how to start off this preview of Dead Rising 2. I can imagine fans of the first one are thinking what I had been thinking. Now that I’ve seen what I’ve seen, there is only way to begin: 

Do not be afraid. Blue Castle knows exactly what they are doing. I spent the better part of three hours playing the two sections available in the presented demo. I explored as much as I could while discovering new items, weapons (three times as many as DR1), food, and even creating items (Combo Cards). Everything about Dead Rising 2 is Dead Rising, minus what you may have disliked. 

The first Dead Rising is one of my favorite games of all time. Obviously, I was excited at the chance to play the sequel early, as well as sit in on interviews with Keiji Inafune and Blue Castle. Previews are going to be all over the place soon, but I don’t know how many will be from such a huge fan of the series. Perhaps I saw some things they didn’t. There was plenty more to be seen than just a trailer. 

There were two sections of the demo for us to try out. One section actually had a "case" to solve, complete with a Psycho fight. The second had a separate part of Fortune City to explore. From what was shown, there is still a mall setup including several shops to explore. I took a sneak peek at the map by pressing the "Back" button (I was playing the 360 version. Both were available to check out). It was huge. It’s apparent there will plenty more than just a mall section and a casino! 

"Left" on the directional pad still brings up your wristwatch; however Chuck Greene exhibits his more sporty side (in comparison to Frank) with a digital watch that includes date, day, and time. I was only able to bring up his watch during the "Case 4-1: The Source" demo. Perhaps it’s just a throwback to the Willamette incident which was September 19 - 21 (and more with Overtime Mode), but the date was September 25… or does it mean something else? I asked and my response was, "It’s funny that you notice that." Maybe September is Zombie Season? 

The combat has been updated by adding the ability to strafe and walk around while aiming in the over the shoulder third person mode. It’s very smooth and feels great. If you just fire your weapon without zooming in, it still automatically finds a target. This still helps greatly when using automatic weapons or you have a target that moves quickly and may leap at you. 

The Psycho fight during "The Source" is against two attractive women who constantly attack you with katanas, their high heels, and their sexiness. Blue Castle is keeping the same sense of humor and perversness (you know you liked it in the first one) while expanding on it. It just wouldn’t Dead Rising without it. You’re fighting these two in order to save another woman. I am not quite sure who she is, but she is thankful of your help and expresses it initially with, "It’s about time." 

Once again, Dead Rising is about time. It was brought up during the presentation, and as you just read told to us by the young woman held captive by two insane, sword-swinging women. The 72 hour mode is back keeping the series’ sense of dread. It seems nighttime starts an hour later at 8 PM now. Whether or not Overtime or Survival mode will return has yet to be revealed. All this "It’s about time" talk, as well as the Blue Castle guys yelling "PANAMA!" while jump kicking has me thinking they’re big Van Halen fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a rock star Psycho. Should he be too tough, feel free to have a friend join you! 

Yes, Dead Rising 2 includes Co-op. This is something that my friends and I have discussed non-stop since the first one. "How fun would it be to kill thousands of zombies in hundreds of funny and/or violent ways?" we would ask each other. The answer is precisely how fun you think. EXTREMELY! Now you’re able to send game invites and when your friend responds, you’ll get a call on your cell phone (no more walkie-talkie). Answer it, and they jump right in! They don’t progress in their campaign, but they do get to keep the money and Prestige Points they receive. The difficulty increased accordingly, so don’t expect it to be too easy. The "Pause Menu" showed the option of having Co-op mode public or private. I’m assuming you’ll be able to search for games to join and as long as they answer the call, you’ll be contributing to a stranger’s zombie genocide in no time! 

To contribute though, you'll need weapons. Lots of weapons. You know there is no shortage when talking about weapons and a Dead Rising game. Chuck Greene has himself as a weapon (just like Frank) as well as everything around him. Some of his special skills revealed include a jump kick, a double feet jump kick (wrestling style, brother!), and ripping off the arms of an attacking zombie. Don't forget about your surroundings though. It's full of items to be used by themselves or even combined to create new weapons by using "Combo Cards." Items you can combine with others have a blue wrench icon. This icon will pulse along with another icon in your inventory indicated they can be combined to create something new. Also, the icon will pulse if you are in the vicinity of something that can be combined. Once you have created something, you'll get a place holder "Combo Card" that is black and white with a large question mark. Find the "Combo Card" for it to gain extra Prestige Points as well as an extra heavy attack with it! Combining items can also lead to creating "Lures." Lures are used to, well, lure zombies (didn't see that coming). This can be incredibly helpful when escorting survivors. My favorite lure that I found/created was an RC Helicoptor with a Machete... I'll let your imagination do the rest. As for my favorite weapon I created, a flashlight and gems. Let's just say it makes a type of sword that you can change the color to blue, red, green, or purple. Hmm... what sabers are those colors? I liked the blue one because I've always been a fan of the lighter side of things. 

After one of the best walls of text ever, you have to be as excited as I am about Dead Rising 2. Everything is looking to exceed every fan's expectations. A few things remain the same like saving in the restroom, but now there are three slots to save in. They still haven't released all the details of the save system, however they did say it was being taken care of. They've done a fantastic job so far, so I'm going to believe them. In the meantime, I'll have to wait anxiously and read every bit of information I can find. I'll also be waiting for the prologue Case Zero that will be appearing exclusively on XBOX 360. It is to take place in the town of Stillwater and include everything that makes Dead Rising what it is. Details haven't been revealed about whether or not you will take anything from Case Zero over to the full game, but we'll see.