Sunday, May 31, 2009

Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox) Completed for the 5th Time

It sure took me a while, roughly a year and a half, but I finally got around to finishing my 5th playthrough of Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox). Since Star Wars: Republic Commando was a lower priority in the face of many newer games, this didn't bother me, and it's still every bit as fun and intense as the first time I went through it.

This time, however, I played it on my Xbox 360, and I must say the emulation software did a very good job. The most notable emulation glitch would be the rainbow coloured textures on some shiny surfaces, most evident on the Core Ship in the game's first Act. I actually found these messed up textures gave me a bit of a headache, but thankfully that's over quickly, and the rest of the game is really holding up well even by today's standards. Sure, it's no Gears of War 2, but the art design, lighting, and even texture quality are still very detailed and nice to look at, and that says a lot about the Unreal Engine since this is a 4 year old original Xbox game. It was also great to be able to play Star Wars: Republic Commando in widescreen, since it is one of the few original Xbox games that supported this.

The game's audio emulated properly as well, save for a few minor bugs on Kashyyyk where Boss' audio would be completely muted at a level's start. This seemed to resolve itself as you played, but it was too bad as you missed some of the dialogue between the squad.

And still, even after all this time, it's the banter between Delta Squad itself that makes the game such a charmer. The unique personalities of each Clone Commando, and how much time you spend with them, really attaches you to the game and has you caring about these special forces soldiers who have no choice but to fight this war. You really do feel like you're leading a squad of the best of the best, and their AI handles very well, with each member supporting you and effectively taking on enemy targets the majority of the time.

The gameplay is as crisp as ever, and controlling your squad is a snap. The weapons are plentiful and mainly standard fair for shooters, and the use of off-hand grenades, or Detonators, made them all the more useful in a pinch. The pre-determined positions make location assignments quick and painless, and the development team did a solid job of incorporating basic squad elements into a standard shooter.

Really, Star Wars: Republic Commando is an all-around excellent single player shooter, and a great original Xbox title. It's all the more the shame that LucasArts never developed a sequel, as a Star Wars: Imperial Commando would sure be a blast to play, even if it featured a different squad.

BioShock 2 Release Date

In the clamour of preparation for E3, 2K Games has announced the official release date for BioShock 2.

You'll be able to return to Rapture in North America on November 3rd.

Mark those calendars, kids. November 3rd is the day you start adopting creepy little girls.

Originally spotted at ActionTrip.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Star Trek Review

Way to make Star Trek cool again. No, really. While many hardcore Trekkies will argue that Star Trek was awesome before, the series was definitely in decline, as demonstrated by the general lack of success of Star Trek: Enterprise, and a reboot of the franchise is just what Bones (Karl Urban) ordered.

Thus far, Star Trek is the best film I've seen this year, and certainly the current thrill ride of the summer. For those unaware, Star Trek starts off in Kirk's (Chris Pine) time, and there's some time line muddling so the characters are different from their retro '60's counterparts, and I'm not just talking about the actors. While I'm generally sick of the time travel plot device, it works well here (especially since it's been done before), and everything we know from the original series and onward is in a different timeline (so yes, Star Trek: Enterprise still happened).

The action kicks off right away, with a Romulan vessel that looks more like a Borg uber weapon (and yes, yes, I know it was built with Borg technology, but that was never explained in the movie, now was it) coming through some kind of rift, and their commander, Nero (Eric Bana), doesn't take too kindly to the United Federation of Planets. In fact, Nero really needs to take some anger management courses, as he's just raging all over the place (and yes, I know his real back story and motivation was explained elsewhere, but not in the film!). Think of him as the "Hulk smash" kind of villain, though much more articulate than Bana's previous, traumatizing role. So you've got a very angry guy with a very powerful ship, plotting revenge on a galactic scale. The solution, get some crazy, red-necked maverick onto the new flag ship to blow shit up. What? At least Kirk isn't bumping every alien chick in sight (though he certainly does try).

You see, Kirk's not exactly in Starfleet. Part of the timeline shift, his old man wasn't around to be that you-can-do-it influence, so Kirk's just some rough-and-tumble farm boy trying to score at bars. It takes a visit from Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to convince him to enlist, and thus begins Kirk's journey through Starfleet and our introduction to many of the original series' characters. These may be the same characters under different, re-envisioned circumstances, but mark me the film makers did their homework. Lots of classic details and traits are prominently displayed, but with a twist, and it's very interesting to see how everyone meets and reacts to one another. Kirk and Bones hit it off right away, of course, but Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto), not so much. In fact, they hate one another, a lot of pride in the way, but hey, that's ambition and ego for you.

Visually, the film is excellent. I didn't quite buy some of the structures in the far background in the earlier Earth scenes, they looked added in and didn't blend, but that's just a minor gripe. The new look of the Enterprise is modern, sleek, and inspiring, and I found it very fitting that engineering is designed more like a ship, very industrial instead of the neat and clean look we've come to expect from Star Trek. The make up and costumes are also well done, either looking fantastic, or clearly poking fun at the "nose of the week" from the '60's.

Audio-wise, spot on. The sound effects, the music, all classic Star Trek, but new and modernized. Excellent performances all around by the cast to really capture the essences of their predecessors, especially Karl Urban. He truly was Bones down to the mannerisms and the voice itself. Exceptional. And poor Chekov (Anton Yelchin), not even the computer (Majel Barrett) can understand him.

I suppose when all is said and done, my biggest complaint regarding Star Trek would be the reliance it's using on you knowing the characters and source material, which took away from some needed character development. Nothing too crazy, mind you, but there's several points where I felt a little more exposition was needed, however when it boils down to it, Star Trek is much more of an action flick than the previous incarnations, and action flicks always have less character moments and more stuff going boom, of which the film has plenty.

Of course, if you're not a Star Trek fan at all and you won't even give the film a chance, even though I know many non-Trekkies who've absolutely loved the film, then you could always just watch this for a quick summary. RED ALERT, CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Otherwise, you owe it to yourself to watch Star Trek, enjoy the first "woot" of the summer, and engage to where man has gone before, just in a very different direction. Hopefully in the next film, they can re-invent some better looking uniforms. Them Starfleet types really aren't that military rigid, and love their cheery colours.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Diablo III Bestiary Updated with The Fallen Ones

Silent for a while now, Blizzard Entertainment has finally updated the Diablo III Bestiary with an old familiar to the series, The Fallen Ones.

This time around, however, it looks like there will be several new kinds of Fallen Ones added to the mix, and some interesting story details have also been revealed.

For full details as well as a short video and additional screenshots, head right this way.

Aliens vs. Predator Teaser Trailer and Screenshots

There's something about the sound of a motion tracker that sends chills up my spine, so I'm absolutely psyched for Rebellion's return to the Aliens vs. Predator franchise.

Their classic PC release of the same name was a lot of fun a decade ago, and the unique perspectives of each species was excellent, adding a lot of variety and challenge to the game. The major negative of the title was the horrible save system, so much so that Aliens vs. Predator: Gold Edition, released several months later, contained a more traditional-save anywhere system that was advertised right on the box!

But today, console developers jack off all the time to inferior save systems, so Rebellion can toss that back in there and no one'll complain. Why argue when you can just buy more or pay for some DLC that'll fix the problem! Conform with blind obedience! Oh, and watch the teaser below, and check out some screenshots, courtesy of ActionTrip, right here.

Sarcasm and bitterness over the sorry state of the games industry aside, the Aliens and Predator franchises are truly influential and many a fan favourite. I'm a huge Aliens and Predator whore, so I'll be waiting to pounce on this one as soon as it launches sometime in 2010.

Original story spotted, where else, but ActionTrip.

Halo Wars: Strategic Options DLC Now Available

For those interested in expanding their Xbox LIVE or Skirmish Halo Wars experience, the Halo Wars: Strategic Options DLC is now available here for 800 Microsoft Points.

Halo Wars: Strategic Options contains three new multiplayer game types, new Achievements, and no new units, maps, or anything else I can see to justify $11.60, but hey, what do I know.

Milkage for everyone! Yay!

Bethesda Softworks Officially Announces Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, Retail DLC Packages, PlayStation 3 DLC, New DLC Content

In an announcement earlier this week, Bethesda Softworks has officially announced several bits of Fallout 3 news.

The first is that Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition will be available in October for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3, and contain all 5 DLC.

The second is that two retail DLC Add-On Packs will be launched. The first will be launched on May 26th and contain Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage and Fallout 3: The Pitt. The second will be released in August and will contain Fallout 3: Broken Steel and Fallout 3: Point Lookout.

The third is that all current Fallout 3 DLC will be making it's way to the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3 owners of the game beginning in late June, release dates to be announced. No retail DLC packages will be released for the PlayStation 3.

Lastly, 2 new DLC add-ons have been announced, Fallout 3: Point Lookout and Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta.

For full details, release dates, and prices (US dollars), check out the official announcement right here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fallout 3 Game Add-On Pack to Hit Retail

While I was browsing around Best Buy's web site, I noticed something of interest. It looks like Bethesda Softworks will be releasing a retail version of some of Fallout 3's DLC in the Fallout 3 Game Add-On Pack.

It appears to contain both Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage and Fallout 3: The Pitt, and will retail for both Xbox 360 and PC at $24.99.

This places it at a slightly higher price point (less than $2.00) than purchasing the content via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, but you do have a hard copy and presumably no DRM to worry about.

Shame it doesn't have Fallout 3: Broken Steel, however. If it did, at that cost, I'd likely buy it.

The Fallout 3: Game Add-On Pack will be available at retail on May 28th.

Mass Effect 2 Prelude to E3 Video

In just a few short weeks, E3 will be upon us, and to lead up to that event, BioWare has released a new teaser video entitled "Prelude to E3." Want to know the design direction the developers are taking the combat, the weapons, the story? Well watch this for a preview.

Check it out here or below.

Love that sound track.

BioShock 2 Hunting the Big Sister Video

Similar to the lead-up to launch for BioShock, 2K Games has begun releasing narrated videos for BioShock 2, this one entitled "Hunting the Big Sister."

Hosted by IGN, the video is narrated by Jordan Thomas, creative director, and showcases what it's like to play as the original Big Daddy, exploring the ocean floor, and the new interactions you can have with the Little Sisters.

You can view the video here or below.

Looks very nice so far, and is it just me, or does using the Big Daddy's drill seem a lot like lunging with Halo 2 and Halo 3's Energy Sword?

Halo Wars Title Update Notes Released

Wondering what changes were brought about in the latest Halo Wars Title Update? Robot Entertainment has released the details right here.

Not as many balance changes as I thought there'd be, but it is a step in the right direction. Apparently Warthogs will be addressed in the next Title Update.

If only more developers would release the details of what their Title Updates actually do...

Duke Nukem Forever Gameplay Footage

With the demise of 3D Realms, what appears to be authentic development footage of Duke Nukem Forever has surfaced on the inter-web, and though it looks in rough stages, honestly, it's sad to know that the game will never truly see the light of day. There was some nice potential here.

Note the video is _not_ work safe, as there are female breasts.

Originally spotted at Ready Up Live.

Fable II: See the Future Contest

With the release of the latest Fable II DLC, "See the Future," Lionhead Studios is hosting a contest where you can win a Fable II branded Xbox 360 console and a copy of Fable II, all autographed by Peter Molyneux.

To enter and for full contest details, head right this way. Please note that the console is NTSC only.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes Announced

The next game set in the Star Wars universe has been announced, this one based upon the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes will be launching on all major platforms on September 15th, 2009, and will bridge the gap between the first and second seasons of the series.

The game will feature the same animated style as the show, and will allow players to control both Jedi and Clones as they continue the hunt for bounty hunter Cad Bane and face the Separatist threat.

You can view the game's teaser trailer, which features footage from the series as well as the game, on the official site or below.

Though it got off on a shaky start, Star Wars: The Clone Wars has turned into an excellent TV series (you can read my review of Season 1 here), and I'm quite looking forward to it's second season. I'll be keeping a close eye on this game's development.

Dragon Age: Origins "Vengeance" Trailer

I haven't posted any news on BioWare's upcoming RPG Dragon Age: Origins in a long while, but they've released a new trailer that's caught my eye, though I'm not sure if it's in a good way or not.

The Dragon Age: Origins "Vengeance" trailer can be viewed here or below, and as far as I know, it's certainly the goriest trailer released by BioWare to date (EA's influence, perhaps?). It also features Marilyn Manson's "This is the New Shit."

Hmm... Well, it's certainly action-packed and violent, but damn, are those character models a huge step backwards from what we've seen in Mass Effect. I've been a fan of BioWare since I first picked up Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and have loved ever one of their games since, but I still am finding it hard to get properly psyched for Dragon Age: Origins.

I'm also a fan of Marilyn Manson, but I do hope this track won't appear in the actual game. Just doesn't feel right to a fantasy theme.

Originally spotted at ActionTrip.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 1 Review

What a craptastic series that turned spectacular. Star Wars: The Clone Wars started out in standard Lucas-flare, which is to say, not that great.

I found the stories and character development featured in the first few episodes were average at best, but what was really horrible is that the show was clearly shot in wide screen yet was originally screened in the worst pan-and-scan format ever. I'm not sure if this was an issue with Lucasfilm Animation, the broadcast tapes that were sent out, or CTV themselves, but the first several episodes essentially zoomed in on the centre of the image from a wide screen presentation, which was blasphemy!

Thankfully, once someone got around to fixing that issue, not only the visual presentation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars improved, but coincidentally so did the narrative of the episodes. By today's season's end, Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes the cake as the best military sci-fi show I've seen in many, many years with both memorable characters, entertaining episodes, and excellent plot-lines.

One thing that's really impressed me is the take on the Clones themselves. The show really began exploring the dynamics of the Clone Troopers, not only with their relations to their Jedi Generals and Commanders, but also with one another and the other citizens of the Galactic Republic. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that Lucasfilm Animation has plumbed their depths to the extent that Karen Traviss has done with her novels, they've done an excellent job for a 30 minute animated series.

A brief re-cap for those not in the know: Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the continuation of the animated feature film of the same name (which I have yet to see and now want to), and takes place between Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. It features every one's favourite Jedi from the prequel trilogy (including a few new characters, and greatly expanding on supporting characters) as well as most of the other characters, though all save C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) are voiced by other actors imitating their big screen counterparts.

While each episode is a 30 minute affair, Lucasfilm Animation got into the routine of maintaining a continuing story arc spreading across roughly three episodes, which really served well to follow the three act structure of a conventional feature narrative. Figured most prominently, an episode would often focus on Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), and their allies such as Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), R2-D2, Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker), and Commander Cody (Dee Bradley Baker), taking the fight to the Separatist Alliance on various worlds and space battles. In the show, the politics that were so heavy in the films are left behind, and the focus is clearly on the battlefield itself which makes for some great action.

The series' plot lines actually became rather complex and intriguing for a Star Wars series, and while the show isn't horribly graphic, it certainly isn't a kiddie animated show. There are decapitations and a whole lot of causalities in this war (you really gotta feel sorry for a lot of the Clones), and though the morality is generally simple and black and white, I found the general episodes themselves to be both mature and intriguing.

It's also fun to watch both Jedi and Sith really make use of the Force akin to Star Wars: The Force Unleash and just tear through stuff. The lightsabre battles are on the epic scale, and you really feel like there isn't anything these super characters can not accomplish. But of course, their weaknesses aren't in their skills or combat prowess, but in their characters themselves. Anakin is compassionate and caring, but too much so which often leads him to be rash and reckless. Obi-Wan in stark contrast follows orders and tries to balance out his former young apprentice. The Clones themselves also take their cues from their Jedi Generals and adopt similar personalities and combat styles, which adds a larger dynamic to the different Clone battalions.

While the beginning of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was awful, it has shaped up into an excellent series, and is well worth watching. I'm glad to know that most of Season 2 is already complete, and I'm anxiously awaiting the continuation of the series next season.

Removing Your Credit Card Info from Your Xbox 360

It used to be that once you entered your credit card information into Xbox LIVE, either on the original Xbox or Xbox 360, it was there forever. While rare, this could lead to some very unfortunate security issues if your Xbox/Xbox 360 was ever stolen.

Thankfully, you can now remove any credit card from your Xbox Account.

1) Log in to your Xbox account at the official site.
2) Click in the top right where it says "My Xbox" and select "Manage Profile"
3) Select "Manage Payment Options."
4) You'll now be looking at a list of all credit cards associated with your account, including the option to remove them.

Personally, I recommend you remove all credit cards, and rely on Xbox LIVE Membership cards and Microsoft Point cards purchased from retail, but of course, it's your call.

The above information is also being added to my handy dandy article on Protecting your Personal Info from Xbox 360 Theft.

Original article found at Unscripted 360 here.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer Details Surface

While 2K Marin develops the Campaign for BioShock 2, 2K Games has signed Digital Extremes to craft the game's Multiplayer portion.

BioShock 2's Multiplayer will be set before the events of BioShock during the civil war leading up to the game. Players play as a Plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions and can battle in familiar environments around Rapture using a combination of both Plasmids and Weapons.

Overall, this all sounds very interesting and it's rather genius that these details have placed BioShock 2 as both a proper sequel and a prequel all in the same box. I wonder if the game will be mainly team-based Multiplayer, with a few major factions such as Ryan's loyalists and Atlas' rebels. Only time will tell.

I also like how a completely different developer is crafting the Multiplayer experience, allowing 2K Marin to focus solely on an epic Campaign experience. A solid move by 2K Games in my opinion.

News originally spotted at ActionTrip.

3D Realms Closes Its Doors

3D Realms, the company most famed for their vapourware title Duke Nukem Forever, has closed there doors; the company has officially shut down.

While it's unfortunate that we'll never truly find out how long it would have taken to develop Duke Nukem Forever, many of us will find it hard to argue that they brought it on themselves.

Still, it's a rather sad announcement as back in the early days of shooters, 3D Realms was the only real competition that id Software had. Duke Nukem 3D in particular is an excellent classic shooter, and when it launched in 1996, it introduced a whole new level of interactivity to level design that we simply had not seen before.

Duke Nukem 3D was the first game that allowed you to do things like break random stuff on desks, turn on light switches, blow open certain walls, and even piss in toilets; all of this had never been done before. Come to think of it, it might have been the first game that let you see your own character in mirrors, though I might be wrong in that.

RIP Duke Nukem, and I hope you're enjoying a stogie and a babe, where ever you are.

Original story spotted at ActionTrip.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Starcraft II Beta Sign-Ups

Time's moving quickly, and Blizzard Entertainment is now accepting sign-ups for their upcoming Beta Test of Starcraft II.

If you'd like a chance of being selected to Beta Test the game, head over here for the full details.

Note that you will need an existing account to do so. You can read a lovely FAQ about Starcraft II's Beta Sign-Ups right here.

Best of luck to those who enter!

Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection

Similar to the Halo 2: Multiplayer Map Pack released a few years back, Epic Games has announced Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection, which will be hitting store shelves on July 28th for $19.99 (US).

Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection will contain every Gears of War 2 Map Pack to-date, as well as "Dark Corners," seven new multiplayer maps as well as a previously deleted Campaign Chapter that can be played all stealthy-like.

For those who have already purchased the existing Gears of War 2 Map Packs, you'll be able to purchase "Dark Corners" via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 1,600 Microsoft Points ($23.20).

I was all excited for the new Campaign content for about one whole minute. Then I realized they said "Chapter" and not "Act."

You can view the full announcement, as well as a description of the "Dark Corners" Multiplayer maps, right here.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Trailers

If you don't need to use a Halo-brand condom to contain your flood after watching these, then you're mommy probably still tucks you in at night. Enough said.

Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Fallout 3: Broken Steel Launch Trailer

Earlier this week, Bethesda Softworks released the launch trailer for the latest Fallout 3 DLC entitled "Broken Steel."

You can view it here or below, and Fallout 3: Broken Steel can now be purchased for 800 Microsoft Points.

I know a lot of you wonder why I always complain about DLC. Well, I think Fallout 3: Broken Steel is an excellent example of why. It's kind of like Bethesda Game Studios saying "Hey, you remember that retail game you bought last fall and paid $70.00 for, well we were just shitting with you, that's not how the game really ended. You can now experience the real ending and get a higher level character. $12.00 please."

(sigh). You see, some of you might say that Bethesda Game Studios simply took player feedback and fixed what was incomplete or poorly done in the retail release, and from one perspective this is true. It's also true they could have made a really great expansion set that added in these features and we would be able to buy a solid retail product that greatly enhances the Fallout 3 experience instead of just tossing in an additional measly 5 hours or so.

And here's another point to consider: If publishers now charge for Map Packs, additional minor Campaign content, and non-true expansion set items, how soon until other things that used to be free become "premium" content? I can see it now: "You know that game you purchased for $70.00 that unfortunately shipped with some game breaking error? Well don't you worry, we've fixed it in a Title Update. $12.00 please."

Mark me, some day if we keep supporting silly DLC that should be free, or should be at least of much higher quality to match its cost, we'll see something like this, and that will be the day I quit gaming.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Assassin's Creed and The Orange Box Sold

Cleared out my gaming collection a little today and sold two games, the Xbox 360 versions of Assassin's Creed and The Orange Box. I bought both using Best Buy gift cards when they were already nicely discounted, so I'm not out too much.

Assassin's Creed I couldn't bring myself to finish. After a few assassinations, the game just became so boringly repetitive that there was no point, I had no drive to complete it, and since I haven't touched it in about two months I figured what the heck, might as well cash in a little while I still can.

As for The Orange Box, I'm not the biggest Valve fan and find most of their games to be average to just above average, so again, no great loss for me. I've already played through Half-Life 2 four times, the Episodes I had no desire to replay, and I had my fill of Portal.

Debating whether I should sell a few other older titles, like Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, but decided to hold off for now.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

M&M Meat Shops

Now that I've moved out on my own, I need to learn how to do certain things that I've never bothered with before, like cooking. But I'm also lazy (and how!), so I'm relying on others to do the work for me. Like the fine folks at M&M Meat Shops.

I paid them my first visit today and picked up several pre-done idiot meals, and when I got home, I noticed they had actually undercharged my credit card by $10.00. So, what did I do? I drove back there and paid them what I owed.

Most would have let things be and pocketed the $10.00, but me, I believe in honesty and a fair deal, so I did my good deed for the day.

I've gained Karma. I'm sure Dad's proud.

Dead Space Completed on Impossible Difficulty

Well, I finally did it; I finally completed Dead Space on Impossible, earning the Epic Tier 3 Engineer Achievement and earning the last Achievement in the game. And was it ever hard!

I jumped right from Normal to Impossible, and made it as challenging for myself as I could. This meant no Elite Suit, and only using the Plasma Cutter. Enemies are a lot more durable, you're essentially made of paper, and ammo was very rare. Credit management and proper use of Save Stations and Stores was the key to victory, as well as a whole lot of cursing and swearing (Damn Leviathan.).

Each Chapter took me a little over and hour, with an overall play time of about 15 hours, and by the end I had scored it rich and was able to max out all my items and buy more ammo than I'd ever need, but getting to that point I needed to fight tooth and nail for every inch of breathing room.

The majority of my play experience was spent running around with about 50% health, and maybe a clip and a half to my Plasma Cutter. Let's just say I gained a whole new appreciation for Stasis and Kinesis (Beat the Leviathan using almost just Kinesis. It took over 30 minutes). Chapters 5, 9, and 10 stand out as the most frustrating Chapters, mainly because of very inconvenient "quarantine" points. Grrr...

Overall though, I haven't had that challenging, fun, or freaky of a gaming experience in a long time, and it just goes to justify my awarding of Dead Space as 2008's Game of the Year.

Well done EA, and please bring on an awesome sequel!

Fallout 3 Update Released and Additional Fallout 3: Broken Steel Screenshots Posted

A new update for the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Fallout 3 has been released by Bethesda Game Studios, which mainly adds new Achievements for their upcoming DLC, Fallout 3: Broken Steel. The update also features a few bug fixes, and you can read the full details right here.

To get the update, simply go play Fallout 3 while connected to Xbox LIVE or Games for Windows - LIVE.

Speaking of Fallout 3: Broken Steel, 6 additional screenshots have been posted, which you can view right here.

Lionhead Video Diary #9 and Fable II: See the Future Release Date Revealed

Right on cue with the imminent launch of the next DLC for Fable II entitled "See the Future," Lionhead Studios has released their 9th Video Diary which discusses all about, who knew, Fable II: See the Future!

You can download the video via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace here, view it on Lionhead Studio's official web site here, or simply watch it below.

Fable II: See the Future will be available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on May 12th for 560 Microsoft Points ($8.12).

The Elder Scrolls Novels Announced

Earlier this week, Bethesda Softworks and Del Rey Books announced a deal that will see the publication of two novels set in The Elder Scrolls universe.

Considering the rich and graphic lore contained in The Elder Scrolls, and the fact that each game contains about a novel of reading unto itself, my only question is: What took them so long!

Both novels will be written by Greg Keyes, and the first novel, to be published Fall 2009, will be entitled The Elder Scrolls: The Infernal City and is set after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

For the full press release, including details regarding The Elder Scrolls: The Infernal City, step right this way.

Original story spotted at TeamXbox.