Amazon Lightning Deals for 9-24-2013

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Michael DiMauro No Comments

All day you can get Saints Row IV: Commander in Chief Edition for $37.49 on X360 and PS3 and $29.99 on PC. You can also get Saints Row IV – Super Dangerous Wub Wub Edition (X360, PS3) for $69.99. Finally you can get Saints Row IV – Game of the Generation Edition (X360, PS3) for $89.99.

Click here for today’s lightning deals.


12AM PDT – Muramasa Rebirth

6AM PDT – Clue: $50 Amazon Credit on Xbox 360 Console

$50 Amazon Credit on Xbox 360 Console

8AM PDT – Clue: Prepare to unleash your inner beast as you go after an army of wicked extraterrestrials

The Serious Sam Collection

10AM PDT – Clue: Save 50% on this game on the Poptropica Islands

Poptropica Adventures – Nintendo DS 

12PM PDT – Clue: Throw explosive fireballs and shoot lightning as devastatingly powerful Vigors surge through your body to be unleashed against all that oppose you.

BioShock Infinite

2PM PDT – Clue: Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect Nike+ Bundle with $50 Amazon Credit

Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect Nike+ Bundle with $50 Amazon Credit

4PM PDT – Clue: Get this volcanic Skylanders Lightcore Character at a hot price.

Skylanders Giants Lightcore Single Character Eruptor

5PM PDT – Clue: A robotic suit-wearing dragon who is one of the playable Skylanders in the Skylanders series, first appearing in Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure.

Skylanders Drobot

6PM PDT – Clue: Skylanders Giants Series 2 Whirl Wind

Skylanders Giants Series 2 Whirl Wind

7PM PDT – Clue: Skylanders Giants Series 2 Shroom Boom

Skylanders Giants Series 2 Shroom Boom

9PM PDT – Clue: Noise-canceling boom microphone can be adjusted for optimal sound quality for crisp and clear voice communication.

It might be an Xbox 360 Headset

PAX Prime 2013: The Future of Borderlands 2

Posted on: September 2nd, 2013 by Michael Dao No Comments

By: Michael Dao

Borderlands 2 doesn’t have that much content. Said no one ever. Let’s be honest, Borderlands 2  has to be one of the most updated games to come out on any platform. Since it’s release a year ago, they’ve released two additional playable classes for the game, a level cap increase pack that also added a new game mode for players looking to complete their third playthrough, and four additional campaigns for the game – Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. In addition to what is currently available, there will be another level cap increase with a new map that allows players to “overlevel” and equip gear past the new level cap, which is 72, and will add backpack, ammo and bank slots. It’s with this dearth of content that Borderlands 2 became the first game in which I actually purchased the Season Pass.

Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was originally intended to be the last piece of content for the title, and was set to serve as sort of a “season finale.” However, the fine folks at gentlemen at Gearbox did not anticipate how much fans wanted even more, which caused the creation of the upcoming Headhunter Packs. The Headhunter Packs are smaller bits of content, something that isn’t the length of a full-on DLC campaign. They contain a new area, a few missions, and culminate with a big boss battle. Defeat of the boss earns the player the ability to wear their head in the game, hence the name of the content, Headhunter Pack. The first is T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest, a sort of Halloween themed affair, which has the player battle Jacques O’Lantern at the end. This is the first of the three currently planned Headhunter Packs to be released. Pricing on the Headhunter Packs have not been released yet, but due to the nature

In addition to the plethora of DLC announced, also recently announced was the new Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands 2. This GOTY edition will contain the Psycho and Mechromancer classes, the four DLC campaigns and the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack, everything that was covered by the first season pass plus the two classes. It will not include the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge, nor will it include any of the new Headhunter Packs. It is sort of intended as a way for a player new to the game to get in and started and have all of the core content for the game. But what about the future? Gearbox states that they had never planned to do Headhunter Packs, but were quite pleasantly surprised by the fan response and their demand for more Borderlands 2 content. When all three Headhunter Packs have been released, they will go back and re-evaluate, and decide from there whether to work on another campaign DLC.


PAX Prime 2013: XCOM: Enemy Within Preview

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Michael Dao No Comments

By: Michael Dao

In the days that came before PAX Prime 2013, Firaxis announced that there would be an expansion pack to their critically acclaimed turn based strategy title, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It will be titled, XCOM: Enemy Within. The theme of the expansion centers around a new way to progress your soldiers in the game. In addition to giving the troops psionic abilities in the original game, there are two new progression paths in this expansion. One of the huge concepts in the original game is how humanity takes alien technology and then integrates it with existing human gear to enhance it. Enemy Within takes this further, and starts to modify the soldiers themselves. The first progression path available is the Mech Trooper, which cybernetically augments soldiers, replacing their body with a giant robotic body which also mounts heavy weaponry. The second path is enhancing soldiers genetically, giving them new superhuman abilities.

The demonstration we were shown took place on one of the new maps, a hydroelectric dam. Firaxis states that the map pool has been increased by fifty percent, and there are also 8 new multiplayer maps. Several abilities of the mech trooper were showcased. They’re initially armed with a minigun, which can then be replaced later on with a railgun. They have an ability called collateral damage that will destroy cover in an area and do some damage to units behind it, but the most fun was a new ability called Kinetic Strike that can only be described as a rocket powered fist. In the demonstration level, this ability was shown off with the Mech Trooper quite literally punching a sectoid off of the dam.


The contrast to the cybernetically enhanced Mech Troopers are the genetically augmented soldiers now available. How this mechanic works is that these genetically enhanced soldiers receive super powers by spending a new resource, called Meld. Meld can be found on certain maps in semi-random locations. The canisters of Meld scattered across the map have a timer on them and will explode, damaging everything around them. This is meant to encourage players to play more aggressively, rather than the quite passive and safe move and overwatch method. Some of the powers available are muscle fibers, which allow the soldier to leap to high points without the need for ladders, neural feedback, which severely damages Sectoid Commanders which attempt to psionically attack them. Finally the last ability shown was one called bioelectric skin, which essentially gives a soldier a short range radar, allowing them to track enemies that are unseen.


Humanity, doesn’t receive all of the new toys, however. The aliens receive two new units which can change gameplay drastically. The designers, having added a Mechanized soldier to the Humans, wanted to do the same for the aliens to complement the existing mechanized units. They considered doing a mechanized Muton, sort of a ranged Berzerker, but realized that the Muton was already a fairly strong ranged unit. Their thinking went down the path of wondering which species in the game would probably be the most keen to develop this technology, and the answer was the Sectoid. Thus was the Mechtoid born. Its a large mechanized unit with twin plasma cannons. What makes it especially deadly is that when paired up with a regular Sectoid, the regular Sectoid can mind meld with it as in the original game, but here, the mind meld doesn’t just add to the Mechtoid’s health – it adds a pretty powerful psi shield, really requiring the player to take down the regular Sectoid before engaging the Mechtoid.


The second alien unit is the stuff of nightmares. Quite literally one of the developers’ nightmares. They combined the two things they feared the most – sharks and spiders, into this flying mechanized shark-spider hybrid that can also cloak. It is terrifying. Their one regret is that they were unable to make it shoot laser beams, as aliens only use plasma-based weapons. So yes, there are flying robotic shark-spiders called Stalkers, that can cloak and which look like one of the machines from The Matrix. They roam the battlefield looking for lone soldiers, such as a sniper on a perch, and will literally strangle them. While strangled, the soldier is unable to perform any actions, and receives an amount of damage which ramps up over time. Should the Stalker be destroyed, the soldier is put into a “Catching Breath” state, and they will not be effective for a little bit.


This expansion will be a downloadable DLC on Steam, but for console, will be sold with the original game and all current DLC in a Commander’s Edition which will be priced lower than the original game was at launched. Commanders can expect a call to action on November 12, 2013.


Opinion: Why the PS4 controller is better than the Xbox One controller

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Nick Bristow 30 Comments


Before I get branded a Sony fan boy forever, let me preface this by saying, both controllers are perfectly fine controllers and I will be getting both of them. Also, based on the size of your hands and personal preference, this could all be moot to you. With that being said, I wanted to break down why the PS4’s Dual Shock 4 edges out the Xbox One controller for me.

Lets start with the PS4’s predecessor the Dual Shock 3. The DS3 was essentially a Dual Shock 2 with motion support. Basically the same shell with new guts. It has short stubby handles that are angled in such away that only about half your hand fits on the thing. Gripping the DS3, requires a light grip. This is the only way to get quick access to all of your controls.  Then if you grip it too tightly and you get the dreaded controller sweat. This was mainly due to the paint job. It is a fine, glossy finish that doesn’t give much air to your skin, thus causing sweat to build up. Then there are the sticks. The tops were convex meaning your thumbs would slide off the rounded tops. And last but not least was the triggers. They curved down and towards you, making gripping them kind of an annoyance. Overall, the DS3 was a functional, but not ideal controller for me.


So what’s better about the Dual Shock 4 you ask? Well first off, its a wider controller, in order to make room for the touchpad. They’ve stretched the thing out and made the handles longer. They’ve also made the handles at a better angle. It feels natural holding the controller. If you take your hands, put them a six inches apart in front of you and rest them in a natural position, thats about how you hold the controller. It really feels snug and secure in your hands. Then there’s the texture of the paint. It has a cross etched pattern on the bottom. While I didn’t play for hours, I can only assume the sweatiness issue should be greatly decreased. I noticed none at all playing for 30 minutes or so. The sticks have been improved as well. They have a crater in them that actually lets you have grip of the thumb stick. They also feel like they have more resistance than their predecessor. The triggers have also been redesigned. They are narrower, but they are also angled away from you now. Thus letting you get a good grip and pull on them. Every button feels like it is right under your fingertips ready to be accessed. If I had any complaints about the thing, the sticks may be a little high, but I hardly noticed after I got going.

Lets switch over to Xbox. The 360’s controller is one of the best controllers of all time. I’ve had the same controllers since launch and they still work great. It’s really hard for me to find faults in that controller. Its very comfortable in my hands and I prefer the placement of the sticks not being parallel. The biggest draw back to the 360 controller has always been its d-pad. More of an analog stick with a cross on it. It has been the bane of fighting game fans for years.


With that being said, it seems pretty obvious what Microsoft needed to do, fix the d-pad and we’re all good. But thats not exactly what happened. The first thing I noticed about the Xbox One controller is how sharp it is. It’s almost as if they were trying to copy the styling of the square Xbox One. Which doesn’t make sense for a controller unless you’re Nintendo. It seems narrower. The handles are thinner and for me, this means I’m getting less of a complete grip on the thing, and more of a lighter hold. When I attempted to hold it like I would a 360 controller, it felt a little jabby in my hands. The sticks and the buttons are all grouped tighter. This is a good thing as all the buttons are easily accessible at all times. The triggers are wider curving around the sides of the controllers and feel great. The triggers also have haptic feedback, but none of the games I demo’d appeared to have that turned on. The shoulder buttons may take some getting used to. There were several moments where I’d go for them and not press hard enough to register. I am just so used to the quick press of the 360’s bumpers. The d-pad on the other hand feels great. I didn’t really have to use it other than giving orders in Battlefield 4, but it feels snappy and responsive. I am sure the controller will be fine and dandy for years to come, but what sums up my whole argument in two words is, when I picked up the controller, the first thing that came to mind was “Mad Catz.”

I think the really interesting aspects of these two comes from the comparison. If you just used one or the other, you will be completely satisfied, but when you pick up the Xbox One controller, quickly followed by the Dual Shock 4, it’s immediately noticeable how good the DS4 feels in your hands. The DS4 has finally given up its baggage of past controller design and moved on to something spectacular. And that’s really my point here, it’s not that Microsoft has screwed up, it’s that Sony has created something awesome. These two controllers are very different and I will need to spend a lot more time with them to see if my opinion changes, but at the moment, I’m giving it to Sony.

Pax Prime 2012: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Hands On

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Nick Bristow No Comments

At E3 this year, Microsoft announced a new downloadable title from Press Play, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Coming in Q1 of next year to both Xbox One and Xbox 360, Max is a sidescrolling physics puzzle-platformer designed to appeal to a wide variety of ages.

You play as Max, a red-headed kid with enough hair gel to kill an elephant, and your brother has been kidnapped into another dimension. As you make pursuit you quickly get some help from a witch who enchants your marker to help you along your journey.


My hands on time with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood in a private hotel room only gave me a glimpse of the story, but what I really got out of it, was a good chunk of time to play through some levels. The marker mechanic is extremely clever. It can only be used in specific places, but its up to you how you use it, and how you solve the puzzles.

At first, you can only raise and lower pieces of earth, but later on, you are drawing tree branches, making water ways and more. It relies heavily on physics puzzles and solutions didn’t appear to be canned. There were several moments throughout the demo where I was able to solve a puzzle in ways they didn’t think I could, but that may be because I was just so awesome at it.


The controls and puzzle mechanic are all very intuitive. It makes sense that you would draw a water jet to shoot a branch you drew across a gap to make a bridge. The gameplay focuses on what matter, there really isn’t combat to worry about, leaving you to focus on exploring and figuring out puzzles.

The games world is extremely varied from what I could see, with a unique beautiful art style. Even if the story seems a little below my age group (grown-ass adult) I will be purchasing this game and cannot wait to see how the rest of the game’s powers change things up. With the variety of puzzles and approaches, this is the kind of game where epic speed runs will be a thing of wonder. I personally, can’t wait to see that.

PAX Prime 2013: The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

Posted on: August 31st, 2013 by Michael Dao No Comments

By: Michael Dao

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is quite possibly the most creative free to play game that’s coming out that hardly anyone has heard of. This needs to change. The title comes from Ubisoft, and didn’t originate from the wish to build a dungeon crawler, but the idea of creating a space where players can create things, and then allow different players to then interact with them. The whole castles and fantasy theme came later.

Upon first glance, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot looks like any other 3rd person, isometric dungeon crawler set in a fantasy realm with bright colors vaguely reminiscent of the Dreamworks Shrek universe. It’s only after playing the game for a bit that the asymmetrical gameplay presented takes center stage, and then manages to steal the show. The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot focuses on wealth and the accumulation of it. The player starts the game by entering generic, NPC made dungeons, and then navigating past all of the included traps, and defeating whatever monsters are in the way until they reach the final chamber, and past that, the treasure room. If you were successful in navigating the castle without dying and under a certain amount of time, you’re then welcome to pilfer a decent percentage of whatever was in the coffers.

Yes, it’s all fine and good to collect gold and the second resource in The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, life force, but the question begs to be asked, what do you do with it all? The answer to that, is where the genius comes in. In addition to raiding castles, the player must design, build and improve their own castle, to repel invaders that want to make off with their own resources. It’s this part that for me, is the most fun. I can be honest and say that invading other dungeons to steal their gold and life force is not for me. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the mechanics of it. They’re actually quite fleshed out. As there are with many other similar games, as you level up one of the three characters you can play with, you unlock new abilities, and the mobs that you kill can sometimes drop loot that you can then pick up and equip. Or you can just craft your own equipment at your new castle. Each character can only equip a limited number of abilities at a time, so there is some thought required on the players part, and there are certainly enough abilities to afford a variety of playstyles.

However, building dungeons is incredibly fun. The best way to describe it is you’re playing a version of the Sims where you’re encouraged to be an asshole. Heck, not even encouraged but rewarded. The first thing to do is to place some mines in your castle – these gold and life force mines provide a steady revenue stream, and from there the player can start using the collected resources to upgrade and build out their castle, from upgrading and customizing rooms, to adding creatures and bosses, and putting in traps. Creatures and boss creatures can also be upgraded to have one of several abilities, so there’s a quite real possibility for a great deal of complexity as the player can pair up customized creature sets that complement each other well. There are also checks in place to ensure that a player can’t pack a dungeon room with a thousand creatures and make it impossible for anyone to clear. Each creature is assigned a numerical value that tells us how powerful it is, and there is a cap of just how much numerical power can be concentrated in a certain area. This levels the playing field. There are also other fantastic features to the game, and the best is that upon completing a castle, you can leave a note for the owner. My day was made when someone who was unable to clear my castle sent, “WTF.” There’s also a replay mode so you can watch what people who entered your castle did inside, and a test mode where you can attempt to tackle your own defenses yourself.

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is indeed a free to play title, and in some of the mechanics, it shows, albeit not in a bad way. Gems can be purchased with in game money, and these gems are used to speed up in game processes. Let’s say that you’re upgrading your gold mines so they can produce you more gold per hour. The upgrade process takes a specified amount of time, and depending on how much time the player has left to go in the upgrade, they can decided to spend a certain amount of gems to speed it up. It’s a fair way to monetize the game, as it charges the players who choose to pay it the, “I want it now tax” and provides no real competitive edge – it is hardly an I win button by far. The title also comes with your choice of one character, you can either pick an archer, a knight or a mage, and though details are scarce, they will be adding a fourth female class soon. Additional class slots are purchased with gems. Coming in the future are additional ways in which you can spend your hard earned gems, such as cosmetic themes for your castle.

This title is currently in closed beta, and Ubisoft is targeting an open beta by year’s end, and of course, release soon thereafter. This game is for PC, and is a ton of fun.

PAX Prime 2013: Transistor Hands On

Posted on: August 31st, 2013 by Michael Dao No Comments

By: Michael Dao
We last saw Transistor at PAX East 2013. It was the newly announced follow on title from Supergiant Games, developer of the successful and critically acclaimed Bastion. Now, though Transistor  does share a lot with Bastion, as time passes, we can see that the two are clearly different titles in both gameplay and appearance.

Upon first glance, the games are quite similar. They’re both third person action games that have role playing elements, there’s sort of a dynamic narration system like there was in Bastion, and the backgrounds are all beautifully hand drawn. That’s where the similarities end. Whereas Bastion centers around a catastrophe befalling a world and the journey to do something about it, Transistor is the story of a singer who survives an attack on her life, and her story in this cyberpunk world.


The version of the game that we saw at PAX East 2013, was clearly a very early build of the game, although it did run flawlessly, and had an incredible amount of polish, and it is only by comparing it to the version that is being shown at PAX Prime 2013 that we can say that. The core mechanic is this turn-based style of play that can be best compared to the combat system Fallout 3. The player simply has to pull the right trigger to enable the turn system. From here, the game pauses and the player can then choose their movement and actions carefully. Every choice they make depletes a meter, and once they queue up the actions they wish to take, a second pull of the right trigger executes all of the queued commands. At that point, the player needs to wait until they can access the turn again. It is probably wholly possible to play the entire game without using the system, and relying on sheer reflex and action game chops, but the turn system allows for some thought and planning, and there are some puzzle sequences that will require its use. On the flip side, there is no greater joy in this game than executing a well thought out plan that decimates the enemies on the screen.

The biggest difference between the versions is that in this latest iteration, more of the customization options that we saw the likes of in Bastion are now in Transistor. As Red travels and kills enemies in her world, she earns experience points and levels up. As she levels up, she unlocks these modifiers to the abilities that she unlocks in the game. the first one that opens up is a modifier to backstabbing. There is currently bonus damage to attacking from behind to certain mobs, and the modifier can be attached to certain abilities, so that when you attack from behind using that specific ability, even more damage is done.


The new news from Supergiant about Transistor is that the game will be released on PS4 and PC. the build that was playable at PAX Prime 2013 was on PC using a PS4 controller. They incorporated a nice little touch on the game where the light bar on the front of the controller pulsed as the narrator spoke. This is of limited utility. Although Sony advertises the lightbar as a way to differentiate which player is using which controller, which is a fair use of it, they also state that it can be used to deliver some information, such as the health status of a player, but to be honest, it’s practicality may be limited. It just happened to be by chance that the pulsating light when the narrator spoke was even something that was noticed, by how I, and how I suspect most people will be holding their controllers. There is no current word on whether or not Transistor will be coming to any other platforms. Precedence says that it will be coming to the XBox at the very least, as Bastion was made for almost every platform under the sun – PC, Mac, Xbox 360, iOS, Google Chrome, Linux and OnLive. Right now, the title is only announced for PS4 and PC, but that may change as we get closed to the release date, which is looking like early 2014. They’ve stated their second priorities after their initial release on Steam and PS4 will be Linux and Mac, which will probably use Steam, but no details on any other platforms, although they have not ruled any out.

And yes, for the interested, Darren Korb returns as the composer, the art is still by Jen Zee, and vocals are still by the ever lovely Ash Barrett.

PAX Prime 2013: Forza 5 Hands On

Posted on: August 31st, 2013 by Nick Bristow 1 Comment


Pretty much the first thing I wanted to get my hands on at PAX this year was my most anticipated launch title, Forza 5 for Xbox One. The 6th title in the Forza series is exclusive to the next gen system and is a show piece for Microsoft.

The game is simply gorgeous, filled with amazing detail in every aspect of every car. Stitching and bumps in carbon fiber can be seen all over the super cars. While these cars have more polygons than ever before, that means little when traveling at a 100 mph through a bend. The worlds are more alive in Forza 5. Looking off in the distance, you can see activity everywhere. Little touches such as a helicopter flying around in what appears to be a fully rendered city in the distance.


I actually played the game twice, once with a new Thrustmasters wheel, and once with the controller. The wheel setup was nice with strong force feedback and heavy pedals. I asked the representative if this wheel was launching with the system like the Mad Catz one was, but he couldn’t comment.  Unfortunately for the wheel demo, they were leaving the difficulty on easy. Easy mode in Forza basically makes the car break and turn for you. The controller demo I played felt good, but I was expecting to be blown away with the new haptic trigger feedback, but I don’t think it was on, or it was so subtle I didn’t notice. Either way, the racing in Forza feels like Forza. It’s a simulation racing game that offers enough assists and rewind abilities that anyone could play any car.

That’s the main downside to Forza 5, if you’re looking for some incredible new gaming experience, you’re looking in the wrong place. This is a racing game that plays like Forza, but looks incredible and runs super smooth.

The build I played was running on real Xbox One hardware, and it’s still early, but I have to mention, the load times were really long. After picking a car, it would load into an auto gallery view, showing you every angle of the car. I thought several times I had pushed the wrong button and was just in ‘look at car’ mode. But no, it was actually just showing me that until it could load the car color selection. It was about 15-30 seconds, which is a long time when you just want to get into it. After selecting the car, a non skippable cinematic view of the course would play for another 15-30 seconds before finally letting you play. Now, this could be just them wanting demo’ers to see the new pretty graphics, but we’ll have to wait and see.


I came away from Forza excited. Excited to get a next gen console and have a very pretty racing sim to show off how I didn’t waste our vacation money again honey. No seriously, look at the stitching in the passenger seat. So pretty…

PAX Prime 2013: Titanfall Hands On

Posted on: August 30th, 2013 by Michael Dao No Comments

By: Michael Dao
Titanfall certainly has a storied history. It’s creators, Respawn Entertainment, are at it’s core, Jason West and Vincent Zamepella, the former President of Infinity Ward, and the former CEO of Infinity Ward. They were fired, according to an SEC filing from Activision for “breaches of conduct and insubordination.” This was March of 2010. One month later, the LA Times reported that they were forming their own studio under the name of Respawn Entertainment. They were to receive funding from Electronic Arts’ Partner Program,

Not much was heard from them since, until they announced their first game at June 2013’s E3. It is to be called Titanfall, and will be on the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the PC. Titanfall is a science fiction first person shooter. The centerpiece of the game is it’s eponymous Titans, which best described as giant mechs that a player can get into in the heat of combat. Not much is currently known about the single player campaign, as unsurprisingly, the focus has been on the multiplayer component of the game.

At PAX Prime, we were able to get some hands on time with the title. It plays just as good as everyone’s been saying it does. The game is both fast and slow in all of the right ways at all of the right times, and that’s a part of what makes it such an exciting game to play. Movement is quick, and respawning is near instantaneous – you always spawn close to the fight so you can get right back in there, with an absolute minimum amount of time spent in travel. When you add in the fact that each player is equipped with a jetpack, combat quickly enters the third dimension, and retains its frantic, delightful pace. The actual combat and shooty bits of the game aren’t as fast as one would expect from a Call of Duty title, it’s definitely slower, and takes more to kill an opponent. In this regard, it plays more like a Battlefield title, and in a quite interesting feature, there are also NPCs involved in multiplayer maps.

What really separates Titanfall from the rest of the pack was the objective based multiplayer scenarios, the one we had to complete required the rescue of someone or other while our opponents had to prevent as such. To be honest, both sides really just turned the game into a deathmatch as we reveled in the refreshing gameplay mechanics. The game starts as most modern shooters do, on a screen that asks the player to choose their class/loadout. The first difference is that after selecting a loadout, the player must then select a loadout for their titan. The game plays as one would expect, except with the addition of jetpacks, which makes the game more vertical than one would expect. After a certain amount of time passes, the player can call down a Titan, which is a giant mech that they can call down from the sky, and which gets dropped after a few seconds. The wow moment of the game was when a piloted Titan took an extreme amount of damage. I was forced to eject, which shoots the player into the air. The really cool part was that I happened to land on the back of the Titan that had destroyed mine, and was able to rip away an armor plate and shoot inside it. It did not survive the encounter. Revenge is indeed sweet.

Gameplay when on foot and mounted are quite different experiences. My time without a Titan was spent running from cover to cover, taking out what militia, or NPCs I could, while hunting other players and and avoiding enemy Titans. A person on foot is not much good against a Titan without the aid of cover or elevation, and I was none too good at using my jetpacks to gain some air. Gameplay in a Titan is fantastic. In certain situations the mounting animation of the Titan has it grabbing you and stuffing you inside the cockpit. It was certainly startling the first time it happened, as I thought I had done something wrong, or perhaps the enemy had hijacked my Titan. No, it was just awesome occurring. Though the encounter ended with my team losing the match, the game wasn’t over, in defeat, we had to evacuate to a rooftop location where a dropship would pick us up. Of course, this is not immediate, and for a few tens of seconds, it was quite tense, as the landing zone had to be defended. Evacuating successfully gives a point bonus, ostensibly towards character progression. Even in defeat, the game was awesome.

Graphically, the game looks fantastic. Everything about Titanfall proclaims that it is a next generation title, from the solid frame rate to the graphical fidelity that can only be experienced on a next generation console. It is probably the first title for the Xbox One that truly shows off what it can do, and title people should be most excited about. It’s just a shame that it’s not a launch title, and is coming in Spring 2014.

Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark Review: Stealthy Bastard

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Nick Bristow No Comments


Stealth Inc, or by its cleverer original name Stealth Bastard, is one of those indie games that seems like it was made specifically for me. While not completely lacking in story, it’s really not that important. You play a clone, assumedly, stuck in some kind of facility that is designed to test your stealthing abilities. Throughout the game you are bombarded with taunting messages from some other stealth test subject. And thats about it, but thats not the point. Like a lot of great indie titles of late, this game lives and dies by its mechanics.

Stealth Inc is a 2D puzzle platformer, with stealth elements as the name implies. Shadows are cast around the room allowing you to hide from deadly security turrets and things only get crazier. Your clone has a pair of goggles that turn red when he’s visible, orange when partially visible, and green when you’re good to go. As the shadows move around the room you need to access terminals and switches in order to open the exit door. Take one step in front of a turret while being completely lit up though, and you will die almost instantly with a gruesome laser blast to the head, followed by a taunting message from someone…


The game has 80 levels to start and they are split into chapters. Each chapter adds a single element to the game making things extremely complex by the 5th or 6th chapter. Moving pillars around to cast life saving shadows, using warps in interesting ways, and even walking clone killing robots to ruin your day. With each chapter focusing on a new mechanic, without getting rid of the old ones, the game rarely feels stale. Stealth Inc does what every puzzle game should, and thats making you feel ever so cleaver for solving it. And unlike some puzzle games, just because you know the solution doesn’t mean finishing the level will be a walk in the stealth park. Precision timing and jumps are vital throughout the entirety of the game.

The games characters and interactive elements are all 3D objects with walls being a flat black. This does cause some issues when it comes to knowing whats a floor and whats instant death. I spent several levels running back and forth trying to figure out where to go, only to realize the thing I thought was a shadow, was really a solid black box I could jump on. Not being able to tell whats what, isn’t a fun puzzle to solve.


Stealth Inc is a great puzzle platformer, if youre a fan of puzzle platformers, or stealth, you should definitely check this out. Its $9,99 and that includes cross buy! You can buy it on either PS3 or Vita, and the game will show up on both, and with the press of a button your progress is synched between them. Indie games like this are what make the Vita and PS3 such an insanely good combo. So keep em’ coming Sony.
4 Stars