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Trino, Valkyria Chronicles, Bikinis and Raiho

In between projects at the moment, I spent most of my game time today (which was not much) checking out the various Community games I've downloaded over the last few weeks.

Every Wednesday when I check out the new stuff on Live, I make a point of looking at the new Community offerings and queue up the trials for a day just like today when I want to play something, but I'm not quite ready to commit to something substantial. Anyway, I think I tried something like ten or twelve different titles, and only one of them was worth a damn.

Called Trino, you take on the role of a small, aquatic-looking life form that creates triangles in space. The point of it is to trap enemy creatures within the triangles to earn power ups and move on. It's sort of half-puzzle, half-action, and it has a very polished and "complete" feeling to it. I didn't spend a lot of time on it, but I paid for the download happily and I'll be getting to it in short order.

Grapple Buggy, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Ultor Exposed... and Tera Patrick!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a great appreciation for indie games. Small, interesting, and innovative are things that I can appreciate, so today I've got some scoop on an upcoming title that should be worth keeping an eye on: Grapple Buggy, coming from Nathan Fouts over at Mommy's Best Games.

Dan's Demo Roundup - May '09

UFC Undisputed 2009 Screenshot - Well that's just not fair.

With the recent spate of demos released over Xbox Live, I thought it was a good time to take a look at what they have to say about the products they’re marketing to us!

This time around, I'll be covering UFC Undisputed 2009, Red Faction: Guerilla, Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Bionic Commando, Up, and Battlestations: Pacific.

Navigating streets of NYC easier when they resemble "Halo"

Jack Schulze and Matt Webb's Here and There mapWho could have imagined that the next evolution or revolution in maps would have been influenced by videogames?

We could, actually.

Of course, ours involved three-dimensional, cybernetic, holographic overlays ala Dead Space or Grand Theft Auto.

Jack Schulze and Matt Webb, creators of the "Here and There" map, were indeed influenced by games—even some not so obvious ones—but games were just one of many influences. (This is probably a good thing given how limited most in-game maps actually are.)

So far it is simply available in poster form, but a 3D-perspective melded with a top down view would seem to have profound applications outside of gaming. Not that gaming wouldn't see a benefit. Gaming worlds are getting bigger and navigating them can be as daunting as navigating the streets of Manhattan for some of us. A "Here and There"-influenced map would be a godsend.

The Horror Geek presents: More proof that Dead Space 2 is in development

dead-space-1

It's not really all that shocking to learn that things seem to be moving along on the as yet still unannounced sequel to Electronic Arts' survival-horror-in-outer-space game Dead Space, because EA hasn't exactly been all cloak and dagger about the title's existence. Producers hinted at it right after the first game debuted, and now we have yet another piece of confirmation—a listing on a LinkedIn profile (I love game reporting…where huge news scoops come from reading people's social networking mumbo jumbo…)

The page in question belongs to Pratik Patel (and it's now gone—but this is the internet, where nothing is truly gone for forever…) an EA engineer. Essentially, he updated his profile information to include the fact that he's now a Technical/Development director on Dead Space 2. This pretty much confirms what we all already knew—that Dead Space 2 will happen at some point in the not too distant future (I'm guessing E3 sees the official announcement). Big shocker—EA making a sequel? Who'd have guessed.

No details on the game at this point, but here's to hoping it's not a Wii-esque on-rails shooter.

Enter the Edy Detachment!, Behind her Blue Flame and Broken Steel DLC

Fallout 3 Broken Steel Screenshot

Spent a little time with the Valkyria Chronicles DLCs, Enter the Edy Detachment! and Behind her Blue Flame.

Edy wasn't bad. A little short maybe, but it starred most of the offbeat characters I liked in the main game. Seeing more of them was a good thing.

Blue Flame was kind of pissing me off… it's neat to be able to play as the enemy side, but one big issue I have with Valkyria in general is that a player's performance ranking is based solely on speed of completion and nothing else.

Getting in some gaming around child birth

Although I'm not up to full speed, here are some tidbits to tide regular Coffeecola readers over until the next update…

Bayonetta. I get that the main character is a witch who has guns on her shoes, but it's a little impossible not to think that this is a recycled Devil May Cry with a gender switch and a storyline that seems to have a little bit of absurdity to it. Call me crazy, but after watching the storyline trailer available now, I couldn't help but sense echoes of God Hand. Anyone agree?

The Simpsons parody Halo and teabagging

"...there is a kegger down the hall. We can go as soon as I desecrate this corpse. I'm sorry Marge, where are my manners? Did you want to taunt my kill also? Press the "X" button."  - Homer Simpson

If you're like me, on the one hand you're thrilled to see The Simpsons parodying videogames... outside of its own videogames (The Simpsons Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game). On the other hand, you sigh sadly with the realization that the masses are seeing one of the less savory sides of interactive play. Why couldn't the writers lampoon Shadow of the Colossus or Flower? Ah well, it was a pretty funny clip.

No more waggle, please

Mock-up of PlayStation 3 Motion Controller

Scanning Twitter today, it occurred to me that if all the Pre-E3 rumors about Microsoft and Sony developing motion controllers/devices turn out to be true, then it'll be a massive case of misguidedly missing the point in both instances.

If these whisperings do pan out, it seems obvious that the only reason they'd be pursuing such technology is a direct result of the massive retail success of the Wii as a console. However, I think that trying to emulate such success is impossible—In my view, the Wii sold such absurd numbers of units based on three factors: the novelty of the motion controls, being the cheapest console out of the current three, and being able to leverage both of those qualities (in addition to the Nintendo name) into a fearsome "cool factor". The thought that adding motion controls to the existing consoles might be enough to translate into attracting new "Wii" players is absurd.

GameCritics.com Podcast Bonus Episode: What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?

While Tim takes some time off to enjoy his new son, we present our very first bonus episode! In these deleted scenes from Episode 14, you'll hear a great segment on how casual games relate to Heather Chaplin’s GDC rant, and then we try to answer that classic gaming question “What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?” Our answers will shock and amaze you. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, David Stone, and the very sleepy Tim Spaeth.

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