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Dead Space


Game Description: Set in the far future, Earth's appetite for natural resources has become a major motivator for deep space exploration. Immense, privately-owned and operated mining ships called "planetcrackers" orbit planets and use sophisticated equipment to carve out entire city-sized chunks of rock, reducing them to component elements and raw ore. When communications go dead on-board the USG Ishimura, a famous planetcracker—systems engineer Isaac Clarke—is sent in to fix the problem. Once on-board the vessel, Isaac discovers that the crew has unearthed an ancient and malevolent alien presence far beneath the planet's surface and brought it on-board. Weaponless, alone and terrified, this lone engineer is burdened with much more than simple survival—he must seal the alien horror back into the dark rock.

Dead Space Review

In space, no one can hear you splatter

Dead Space

HIGH Blowing monsters to pieces with futureguns is an incredibly relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

LOW The 'plot twist' is so cheap and laboriously telegraphed that when it's finally revealed it seems borderline insulting.

WTF Not being allowed to change difficulty levels during a New Game+. What's the point of keeping weapon upgrades if I can't use them on a harder playthrough?

Tales of Vesperia Review

Confessions of an RPG Nerd

Read review of Tales of Versperia

HIGH Finding an RPG hero and villain who aren't exactly like every other RPG hero and villain in video game history.

LOW Non-skippable cut-scenes. Really, should I have to watch five minutes of dialogue again just because I suck and died on a boss?

WTF There is a dog in your party. A dog who fights with a knife and smokes a pipe.

Tales of Vesperia

Game Description: A new generation of tales unfolds! A power struggle begins in a civilization dependent on an ancient technology, the blastia, and the Empire that controls it. The fates of two friends traveling separate paths intertwine in an epic adventure that threatens the existence of all. Tales of Vesperia marks the first Tales RPG release in HD with detail and graphics never before seen in the series. Now, real-time battles are more exciting than ever with over limits, the ability to unleash fatal strikes, combinations and burst artes. The next evolution of the revered role-playing series comes to the Xbox 360.

Not feeling Dead Space

Guitar Hero helps calibrate prosthetic arms

An article in the November 2008 issue of IEEE Spectrum Online describes how Guitar Hero is being used to help "train" artificial arms for amputees. It's part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics (RP) 2009 project, sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). One of the RP 2009 project's goals is that:

[i]n four years, DSO [the Defense Services Office] will deliver a prosthetic for clinical trials that has function almost identical to a natural limb in terms of motor control and dexterity, sensory feedback (including proprioception), weight, and environmental resilience. The four-year device will be directly controlled by neural signals.

Dead Space and the evolution and elimination of HUDs

Dead Space

As far as the video game part of my life goes, last week was all about Dead Space. Well, I also finished up the original Metal Gear Solid (After the credits rolled, my mostly non-gaming wife aptly summed it up as "very Japanese.") but I digress. I rented the PS3 version from Blockbuster and played it steadily through the week until finally beating it on Sunday night. My wife was actually backseat for the entire duration, so props to her for sticking it out.

While I wouldn't consider Dead Space a truly great game, I do think it's a very good one. The graphics and sound are top notch, the zero gravity gameplay is quite cool, the story is decent (enhanced by watching the six downloadable video comics), and the game as a whole just does a great job of delivering the scares. Oh yeah, and I really dug the way the game handled being in a vacuum with no sound. Rather than talk about that stuff, however, I'd like to focus in on something that really stood out to me about Dead Space: the absence of a HUD.

The Horror Geek Presents: EA Announces Dead Space Upgrade Packs

 

According to Kotaku, EA has announced that its popular survival horror game Dead Space is getting some premium upgrade packs. Like all things EA, expect these new "enhancements" to cost you (to the tune of nearly $30 if you wanted them all--which is half the retail price of the entire goddamn game...) and that some of them will be useless "graphical upgrades" as opposed to things that would actually warrant shelling out cold hard cash. In their defense, there are some upgrades that change the game experience--upgrading weapon power, mostly--and no one's holding a gun to your head to force you into shelling out cash for these things. Your copy of Dead Space will still work just fine without them.

Trailers & Demos

I just finished Fallout 3 a few minutes ago, and I've got to say that it's miles ahead of the competition when it comes to picking what's going to be my game of the year. It's a pretty fantastic title, and if you haven't played it yet you should run out and get a copy immediately...

With that out of the way, the wife and I ran through a few of the demos and clips I had downloaded onto the 360. Here's a few words.

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