Fracture - Yeah I Played It

For the past 2 nights I sat down with Fracture and I have to admit the single player was actually alright.  Repetitive and dumb AI but the actual game and easy achievements were decent enough to make me want to finish it.  I think I managed to get about 700 points for a play through on the easiest setting (yeah I'm a puss) and it only took me about 6 hours in total.

The best part about playing Fracture was the online.  It doesn't exist.  I tried to find a game to knock off the really easy online achievements and there was not a single person playing it.  Not 1 person on planet Earth cares enough about Fracture to actually play it online and while that should make me angry, I think it's ridiculously funny. 

Overall it was worth the $10 I paid for it and if you have a couple of dollars/hours to waste on a mindless 3rd person shooter with easy achievements, you might want to pick it up.

Persona 4 - Yeah It Hates Me

Oh Teddie...
For a brief second there I had forgot how hard the Shin Megami Tensei games were.  I have played through every single one of the titles that hit North American soil and every single time I forget just how frustrating they can all be at times.  Yesterday I started up a brand new game of Persona 4 and instantly fell in love with.  Tonight I have played for about 4 hours and right when I got to a point in the first dungeon where I was about to fight the boss - I died.  1 hour of work absolutely gone but I will admit that it could definitely be worse.  I once lost 3 hours in Persona 3 because being the idiot that I am I forgot to save.

Thankfully the frustration is actually worth it because the game is so damn good otherwise.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to go back to a PS2 game and have a good time with it but Persona 4 is pretty much the best RPG I've played since... well... Persona 3.  If you enjoy sitting down with a grindy RPG every once in awhile you should check it out.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.  There's a girl in my class (in-game) that I am so going to try and hook up with. 


As I Reach the End of Fallout 3...

The journey continues...
Tell me what to do people!  I'm at the final story mission in Fallout 3 but I'm contemplating on holding off on finishing it until the March "Brotherhood" DLC comes out so I can continue the story.  I still have a few more other quests left so I was going to slowly knock those off between now and then, along with the Anchorage and The Pitt DLC.  What do you think?  Finish the game now or be patient and truly experience the game after the March DLC hits?

From Amazing to Meh.

Hi guys! Remember me?
I' m going to have to agree with the Seiken Densetsu series.  Secret of Mana (SD2) came out 15 years ago (wow, I feel old ) and it's st ill fun to throw into the Super NES and play.  Ever since then, it has become common knowledge that anything with "Mana" tacked on the end is something you shouldn't spend your money on. 

I remember looking forward to Legend of Mana, only to realize that it was absolute garbage after playing it for a couple of days.  Of course, this was during the "Summer of Squaresoft," where Square released four really good games so I didn't really hold it against them.  They were giving gamers Chrono Cross, how could I? 

Fast forward to 2007 when Dawn of Mana was released.  I really thought things would be different and that Square-Enix would be giving gamers something that lived up to Secret of Mana.  Once again, I was wrong.  The game was horrible, and it will probably be my last venture into the Seiken Densetsu world.

Unless we see a remake of Secret of Mana on XBLA.  (hmmm....)

Kim Fidler


New Review & Weekend Gaming!

Hello Internet,

The Soul Still BURNS!

Just wanted to let you all know that I've just posted a new review for Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy.  Surprisingly it was a more difficult review than I thought it would be, but I think it turned out pretty well.  Go check it out.

This is just going to be a short blog to see what everyone is going to be playing this weekend.  So what are you playing?!

Tomorrow I'm planning on hitting up a Soul Calibur IV release party that promises to have women, alcohol, and enough Soul Calibur IV to shake my sword at.  I'm excited.  It'll be nice to get some more hands-on time with the game, and I should have some multiplayer impressions up this weekend.  I'm waiting for a bunch of you guys to get some reviews up so I can check them out.  Do it!  Also this weekend, I plan on working on Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2, which will ultimately end up with me reviewing it on either Saturday or Sunday.  I've spent a good 5 hours with the game already, and to give the game it's due, I plan on spending at least another 10 or so to get it really figured out.  I like it.  Along with all that, I'm still chugging along with Final Fantasy IV but it seems with all the stuff I currently have on the go, it's hard to find time to get my JRPG fix.  I'll remedy that this weeken d and hopefully have a review by next Friday if I can get it finished.

Anyways, let me know what you guys plan on gaming this weekend.

Kim Fidler


GeoWars2, Summer of XBLA Pricing, HAWX Delayed, Rumors!

Good afternoon Internet!

I have just spent the last hour playing "just one more game," of Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2. Released today for 800 Microsoft Points, it kicks off the "Summer of XBLA," with which we'll be seeing five amazing games hit the Marketplace. In the hour I spent with GeoWars2, I have to say that it is definitely going to become my "go to" game. The game I play when I don't have a huge amount of time outside of reviewing games and everyday life. Expect a review on it next week.

Sticking to the topic of XBLA, the pricing for all five of the upcoming releases hit the net earlier today - and then quickly disappeared. They were posted on the Japanese Xbox 360 blog, and then promptly were taken down a few minutes later. A few hours later Microsoft contacted Shacknews and stated that the prices were incorrect and would not be released until the Monday prior to the game's release. Now I just have to ask, was this really a leak or was it intentional on Microsoft's part? Check out the following prices and then you can decide.

- July 30: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (800 MS points / $10)
- August 6: Braid (1200 MS points / $15)
- August 13: Bionic Commando Rearmed (800 MS points / $10)
- August 20: Galaga Legions (800 MS points / $10)
- August 27: Castle Crashers (1800 MS points / $22.50)

I think Microsoft wanted to see the reaction a $22.50 price point for Castle Crashers would get, along with the $15 price for Braid. It wouldn't really surprise me, but what really confuses me is why Braid would be 1200 Points, while Bionic Commando: Rearmed is only 800 Points? Braid is a great game, but I'm afraid it will get overlooked at $15. Oh well, the one thing I do know is that I'll be buying them all, at whatever price they set.

Ubisoft hit the press release circuit today and announced that Tom Clancy's HAWX will not meet its September target, and has been pushed back to 2009. I don't really think it has much to do with development, but more with publisher saturation. Ubisoft has five other titles hitting store shelves in Q4, one of those being "Endwar," another Tom Clancy branded title. Is it just me or does it seem like more companies are taking a cue from Capcom with Q1 releases?

Now a quick question for all of you. What would you think of Johnny Depp in Lego form? Hmmm...

Kim Fidler


Marvel vs Capcom 3 - Announcement Soon?

Fighting game circles around the Internet are in a buzz over a comment made at Comic-Con yesterday. Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios' President of Production, let it drop at a panel yesterday afternoon that "Marvel vs Capcom 3" could be on the horizon. When asked about the possibility of another MVC game, Feige responded with "Yes, and maybe sooner than you think." Oh hot damn! Could this be the rumored BIG Comic-Con announcement from Marvel? With the Marvel rights about to expire over at EA, there's a very good chance that the impossible could actually be happening.

Personally, I would love to see another Marvel vs Capcom game hit arcades and home consoles. Being an avid fan of the fighting game scene, I know this, along with the upcoming Street Fighter IV could serve as a total revitalization of the genre. Sure, many may argue that fighting games never really left, but for those of us who like our fighting games in 2D, it's been pretty stagnant for awhile.

Now all we need is "Tatsunoko vs Capcom" for North America release, and I'll be satisfied for awhile.

Now watch this Mugen video and get a preview of what Marvel vs Capcom 3 could look like. I'd even be happy with those graphics.

Kim Fidler


Girls, Beer, & Clowns

Hello Internet!

Finally the weekend is here! It's time to sit back, have some beers, and play some games. This weekend I'm going to be trying to put as many hours into Final Fantasy IV as I can, and hopefully knock off the rest of my Battlefield: Bad Company review. See, I have been working on this review for about two weeks now just because I didn't set a deadline for myself. There's a lesson for all of you kids out there with dreams of becoming a game reviewer. Set deadlines! You'll force yourself to play the game to completion, and work hard to actually get that review finished in time. Semi-Pro Tip!

Last night my girlfriend decided to let me play games and instead of watching Reality TV (although that Courtney chick on "So You Think You Can Dance" is so hot). That means I managed to knock about four hours off of Final Fantasy IV. I don't know if it's just me, but I really don't remember FFIV being so hard. I'm four hours in and I just got passed the part where you recruit Edward. It has been awhile since I played a JRPG (I think my last one was Radiata Stories), but I really don't remember this level of difficulty. Then again, I could just be horrible. I'm aiming to finish the game sometime next week and have a review up the week after. 

A couple pretty decent things in gaming news today. The whole week up till today has been pretty dry and not worth talking about, but finally today some good stuff hit the good old World Wide Web. It has to do with a clown, a pornstar, and bloody ink. I can just imagine the mental image you have in your head right now. Get it out.

Probably the most important thing you need to know is that Mortal Kombat vs. DC got some new characters! Good new characters! It has been confirmed that "The Joker" and "Green Lantern," will be battling on the DC side, while "Jax" and "Kitana" will be representing MK. Great news for fans of DC, obvious news for fans of Mortal Kombat. Also in Mortal Kombat news, Midway announced today that they'll be selling "Mortal Kombat Kollection" this September for $30. The three games included in the bundle will be Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and the so bad it's good, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. $30 for three decent games, I'd buy that for a dollar (or 30).

Porn fans everywhere can sleep well tonight knowing that Tera Patrick has signed onto the "Saints Row 2" development team. Volition let it drop today that Patrick's title will be that of a "Special Producer," so I can only assume that's a special term for "Fluffer." Just kidding! I'm sure Tera is going to be doing some sexy, steamy, sloppy work over there. Fact, I used to date a girl that looked exactly like Tera Patrick. Fact, she was also dirty like Tera Patrick(which also translates to awesome).

The last bit of news is the best kind because it's a video and I don't need to spend time writing anything witty about it. Capcom released a brand new trailer today for my most anticipated game, "Street Fighter IV.". It's basically a mix of all the ink bleeding goodness from the game, hence the title "Ink Bleed Trailer." FIGHT!

Kim Fidler
Resident GiantBomb Addict


1 Hour Retro Review - Marc Ecko's Getting Up

They say the first thing you learn in game development 101 is hook the player within the first hour. If the game is horrible within the first hour, you know the rest of the game is going to be even worse. The 1 Hour Retro Review is how we do it here. Play a game for an hour, write a smaller less detailed review, and let you, the reader, decide if it would be worth checking out for yourself. Think of it as one of those small cans of Coke that really aren't enough give you a fix, but are good enough to quench the thirst.

In this edition of the 1 Hour Retro Review, I decided to take a look at a game I've been wanting to play for quite awhile. A couple years back, Atari released a game, developed by The Collective, that was set to be a huge hit for the struggling publisher. Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, not only had an abnormally long title, but was targetted at the coveted 18-24 year old market. So what went wrong? It didn't sell that well, didn't recieve really great reviews, and it didn't take long for the game to hit the bargain bin. Even though it seemed to be a flop, I always really wanted to try the game. The site I was working for when it launched passed the review to a more seasoned veteran, how could I blame them though, I was a new face to the game (I still am) and this was suppose to be a big title. Not wanting to actually buy it myself, I waited, put it off, and last week finally picked it up for the sweet price of $9.99.

So here I am. Sitting at my laptop an hour after playing "Getting Up," and what can I say? Well, I'm going to have to say that the first hour of the game definitely makes me wonder why it didn't sell better. From what I have seen so far, it's a solid action title that actually tries something new and does a pretty good job of doing it. The basic premise of "Getting Up," is tagging, what is known to the less street smart as "spray painting." You play the role of Trane, and follow him on his quest to become a legendary painter in the city of New Radius. The presentation is top notch and it's gritty enough to appeal to anyone that has found enjoyment in any GTA game.

What I did really like about the game is how authentic the game feels. It has a very wide range of music that blows away anything EA Trax has laid their grubby hands on. No "Boyfriend," by Avril Lavigne here (what were you thinking Criterion?), only straight from the street urban music that ranges from the likes of Nina Simone all the way to Talib Kweli. Speaking of Talib Kweli, he actually does the voice of Trane and from what I've heard, does a pretty amazing job. It really blew me away who they hired to do voices in "Getting Up," and it totally baffles me as to why the game never sold on big names alone. Let me make a quick list for you and tell me that it doesn't impress you. Talib Kweli, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Rosario Dawson, Giovanni Ribisi, Charlie Murphy, Brittany Murphy, Andy Dick, Adam West, and a bunch of really well known graffiti artists. That is what I would call A-List talent for a videogame and rivals the PS2 GTA games for name recognition.

In the hour I spent with the game, I had alot of fun. The combat seems to be pretty mindless at the start, but as you get farther in the game you unlock more moves that make it much more than just a button masher. The tagging is done really well, giving you the option of using aerosol, markers, and stickers. Different objectives have to be met in certain areas, and when those objectives are completed you're given a bonus for how well you did them. At the 1 hour mark, I think I'm about out of the tutorial, and I'm really enjoying the game so far. It has many of the things I look for in a game, and if it can hold up, I'll probably make it the whole way through.

Considering how late it came in the PS2's life cycle, I don't really know if it would be worth the purchase at full price, but if you can pick it up for $10 at Gamestop, you should. I think it's a great addition to any PS2 collection, and even if you don't like the game, you can load up the in-game ipod and just play music off of it. Myself, I think I'll continue playing through and see where the story takes me. Great voice acting, decent graphics for a PS2 game, and a game that seems to be authentic to the core. Pick it up.

Kim Fidler

Darth Vader's SCIV Level Revealed!

I'm not a huge "Soul Calibur" fan, but after watching this video, I could become one. It's like the great "Star Wars" fighting game that we've never been given, and will probably never receive.  Yes, I will admit it.  I'm one of the people that will buy this game just because it has a totally random character in it that doesn't belong in the game.  Using the force to wreak havoc on useless Soul Calibur characters for no apparent reason at all.  I love it, and I don't even really like Star Wars.

I've said it numerous times, and I will say it again.  This is exactly what SCIV needed for sales, and there's a good chance that this will become the best selling Soul Calibur game yet.  Every commercial, every print ad, and almost every online ad screams the inclusion of Vader and Yoda.  Without them I think there's a good chance this series would have sunk.  It's not like the gameplay in past SC games were anything to get excited about.  Yes, I just went there.  Instead of raging like the SC fanboys you are, sit back and watch the video.  It's great.

One thing though, why do the graphics look like absolute shit?

Kim Fidler