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Xbox 360

CarneyVale Showtime Review

Flying through the air with the greatest of satisfaction

CarneyVale Showtime Screenshot

HIGH Superb clarity of design and shockingly good production values.

LOW The extra S-levels at the end of the game can be hair-pullingly difficult.

WTF And this isn't a full-fledged Arcade game... why?

Video: Final Fantasy XIII delayed until next year, new game trailer released in its place

When will Final Fantasy XIII ever be released?

It's not a good sign when a 2008 release date, slips to 2009 and now 2010. Making things worse is the exclusivity deal Square-Enix struck with Microsoft—FFXIII would be released simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 outside of Japan—Square-Enix has announced that development wouldn't even begin on the 360 version until the PS3 version was finished. How much does that add to development time?

2010 sounds optimistic.

Video: Mirror's Edge modded to play in third-person perspective

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Someone or someones decided he or she or they didn't like playing Mirror's Edge in the first-person and hacked the game (PC version) so that it could be played from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint. That's all well and good as long additional steps were taken to fix any side-effects of the switch. But none were. Instead, we see a character model that was never made to be seen during normal gameplay instances and as a result looks pretty laughable.

What do you think of Fallout 3 DLC: Operation Anchorage?

Please post your thoughts and impressions on the DLC for Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage here and we will discuss your comments in our podcast. Thanks!

What do you think of Resident Evil 5 demo?

Please post your thoughts and impressions on the Resident Evil 5 demo here and we will discuss your comments in our podcast. Thanks!

Finishing The Force Unleashed

Polished off Star Wars: The Force Unleashed this afternoon, and it was a pretty fun thrill ride from start to finish.

I have to admit that I had heard the gameplay had some problems before I started it, so I set the thing to Easy and I'm glad I did. The developers have a real over-reliance on snipers and people firing from a distance which wouldn't be so bad except that it's far too easy to get knocked down and fall into a gang rape as you bounce back and forth between enemies. There's nothing more frustrating than getting ping-ponged without the chance to really do anything, and even on Easy it happened to me more than I like.

The Force Unleashed and getting an early look at Halo Wars

I'm still catching up with games from 2008 that I never got a chance to get around to… this week, I'm trying Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the 360. I'm definitely a Star Wars fan (although less so since the new trilogy ruined everything) but I've got to say that so far, this one fits into the canon pretty well and I really like the tone. Playing as Darth Vader's secret apprentice is a neat concept, and LucasArts nailed his character design—his costumes all exude a sort of low-level wraith-like quality, and although I'm sure that there are only a finite number of ways to carry a lightsaber, this new "behind the back" style is pretty hot.

Are nonlinear, open world games a dead end?

Far Cry 2

I've been noticing lately that I've developed a fairly strong preference for short, linear games over the more open world "sandbox" style ones. Taking a look at some of the games I've played recently (e.g., Call of Duty 4, Gears of War 2, Portal, Mirror's Edge, Grand Theft Auto IV, Far Cry 2, and Fallout 3), I can see a clear pattern emerging in terms of what games I'm more likely to go back to, or in some cases which games I'm simply more likely to continue playing through to completion.

I'm also starting to believe that the whole idea of the nonlinear, free roaming game as some sort of holy grail for the medium is a bit bogus. We've already seen some pretty damn amazing open world games, but what I'm discovering is that there doesn't seem to be anything particularly earth shattering about these games that, for me, makes them feel that much more profound than the more scripted stuff.

The Maw Review

A heartwarming tale of a boy and his... sentient, mobile mouth

The Maw Screenshot

HIGH Looks and feels just like a standard retail release.

LOW It's over way too soon.

WTF Any potential sequel is going to have to take place on a much larger scale.

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