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Game Buddies

Although it's not exactly a new thing, two games I've played recently have included vocal NPCs tagging along with the player—and I love it. Specifically, the titles I'm referring to are Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and Ghostbusters.

In Juarez, the player selects either Thomas or Ray McCall at the beginning of each level, and the AI plays the role of the other. Although the adventure is heavily scripted in nearly every aspect, their constant company provides ample opportunity for dialogue between the characters. These conversations help build a sense of familiarity with the characters, and it's very welcome to play a game where I don't feel like a lone soldier fighting a war all by myself. Honestly, the back-and-forth between the brothers is the best aspect of the entire game.

In Ghostbusters (I'm still really early in the game) but the first section featured constant chatter between the player and the main characters from the films.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 18: Wii Hate Nintendo

Have we been too hard on Nintendo? According to your feedback, we have. We take a thoughtful look at the company, it's past, present, and future and offer our definitive stance on The House of Mario. Don't worry, it's not 60 straight minutes of unbridled hate. 56 minutes, maybe. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

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The Horror Geek presents: Your return trip to Rapture has been postponed. BioShock 2 delayed

Bad news for anyone hoping for another trip to the underwater utopia of Rapture this year. Shacknews is reporting that BioShock 2 has been delayed. The title has shifted from its original November 3rd street date to a much more vague "sometime in the first six months of 2010".

bioshock2

Once the wave of initial disappointment wears off, this might actually be for the best. Releasing Bioshock 2 in November makes sense (it's out in time for the holiday rush), but as we all know that's a window where there are too many games and not enough time to play them all. Moving it to sometime after the holidays (or even to June of 2010) gives gamers a triple A title to look forward to during what is the biggest gaming drought period of the year, and it pretty much guarantees that Take Two will sell more units as there's not much in the way of competition. Metal Gear Solid 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV released in a similar fashion and both did well. There's no reason to expect that BioShock 2 won't reap the same benefits.

That being said, it's still a bummer. I was really looking forward to duking it out with Big Sisters this November…

Video: Penn & Teller Bulls**t! tackles videogame violence

Ok, Penn & Teller: Bulls**t! is not exactly the highest on my list of shows to watch, but when it does it right, few shows on television or cable are better at pointing out the absurdity of most of today's cultural issues.

This particular episode covers videogame violence—rampant videogame violence if you listen to the likes of Jack Thompson or Hilary Clinton. Penn & Teller: Bulls**t! looks at the industry, the violent games and does a really good job of putting a sane face on some of the madness.

And thanks to YouTube, we are all able to watch what foolish Showtime subscribers pay to see. That is, until Showtime discovers that its content is available for free. So hurry up and watch it before it gets taken down.

Btw, this video is totally NSFW!

Calling Juarez and plus-size Phantasy

I needed something to play on the PlayStation Portable since I knew I'd have some time to kill. Scanning the shelves of used titles (and trying not to imagine a future where this is no longer a reality) I found myself strangely attracted to Phantasy Star Portable.

Although I enjoyed a couple of the original Phantasy Star games back on the Genesis and spent some time with Phantasy Star Online, I can't really claim to be a huge fan of the series in its various incarnations. The more recent titles have been especially lacking in my opinion, and although Phantasy Star sorta paved the way for online console MMOing, the developers don't really seem able to keep pace with current trends for various reasons.

Valkyria Chronicles Review

Maybe if I order you to aim better you'll stop missing

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH The supremely challenging boss missions.

LOW The horrendously out-of-place "stealth" missions.

WTF Some inexplicable actions by the main character that I can't reveal without spoiling everything.

Getting back up to speed

I'm completely behind schedule in terms of reviews which is a little embarrassing since I pride myself on being an industrious, high-output kind of guy, but I'm making the effort and slowly getting back up to speed. At the moment I'm still chugging through Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood on PlayStation 3.

Fight Night: Round 4...

Analog Controls.
44% (41 votes)
Button Controls.
56% (53 votes)
Total votes: 94

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