Simple to play, but difficult to master, the original Peggle was an incredibly addictive arcade title in which players bounced metallic balls off tiles to gain points. This simple idea was enhanced through the use of masters, characters in the game whose special powers changed the gameplay rules slightly to benefit the player. New videos for the upcoming sequel, Peggle 2, a timed exclusive for the Xbox One, highlight some of the new masters to the series as well as showcasing returning masters from the original game.
The first video shows Peggle Master Luna, an evil-looking ghost child whose special power darkens blue tiles for a round so the special orange tiles can be targeted directly.
The shutdown of LucasArts by Disney early last month left many wondering about the fate of the Star Wars games. Disney had previously stated that their focus would be directed toward social games, and the with the demise of LucasArts fans wondered if all hope was lost. Who would save us from a sea of Star Wars Facebook and mobile games? Then an unlikely hero emerged. EA stepped in.
The announcement came yesterday to mixed reception. Some were optimistic, others were quick to point out EA’s reputation as the Consumerist’s Worst Company In America. On Twitter the #starwarsnextgen hash tag began to trend with ideas for new Star Wars titles, the majority coupling Star Wars Battlefront III with the Battlefield series engine, EA DICE at the helm. Others clamored for a new, non-MMO installment to the Knights of the Old Republic series.
Regardless of how you feel, it’s a very exciting time to be a Star Wars fan and a gamer. With LucasArts’ relatively poor showing the last 5-8 years there’s really only one direction Star Wars games can go. Up. So let’s take a few minutes to assess just why EA is a great choice for the franchise, and take a few more to note some potential caveats as well.
It’s interesting to me to see how different publishers are handling this still relatively new digital game world. Many have stuck their toe in the effectual water then scampered off because they felt it was too cold. Newcomers and small-fries have braved uncharted waters to find that they have success. Some have even dedicated much of their workforce to re-publishing their golden games from yesteryear. But why do some publishers still have a fear of the inexpensive digital market (XBLA, PSN, etc)? I’m not sure, but I have a few words for a handful of publishers–some of praise, some of pleading.
Earlier this week, we reported on Microsoft’s plans to further monetize its already quite profitable Xbox LIVE service. At that time, it was anyone’s guess as to what that …
EA is set to terminate online functionality for Hasbro Family Game Night later this month. Game Night joins a cluster of retail titles that will also have their online features disabled April …
We totally missed January, but the Monthly Recap is back for February! Yaaay. There’s an immense amount of news this month because for some reason February is XBLA month. There’s roughly a million game announcements and DLC as well. I suggest hitting CTRL + F and searching for the copious news about your favorite game. Or games. Or just read all the news, because that’s a good idea.
Beyond the “things that happened”, there’s also several Friday Top Fives and Most Wanted’s this month as we continue to beef up our feature repertoire. Our chief feature, A Year In Review (2011) is definitely worth checking out for some insight into the fluctuations in XBLA cost versus review scores. Lastly, amongst the five podcasts is our Music Special which showcases some of the best XBLA soundtrack tunes since its inception.
Without further ado, welcome to February all over again!
With the release of Renegade Ops earlier this year, the name Desert Strike was name dropped a lot. In reality the games aren’t all that similar, but the few times you get to fly a chopper around reminded many of the long forgotten series.
Most remember the first game in the series Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf, which put players in control of an Apache attack helicopter. However there were actually five games in the series, with a sixth planned but ultimately cancelled (though it morphed into Future Cop: LAPD). The 16-bit era Strike games, Desert, Jungle and Urban were all fairly similar with the only changes being settings and the ability to pilot other (ground based) vehicles in the latter games.
With the jump to the PlayStation the core gameplay of the series remained the same but Soviet and Nuclear Strike boasted live action FMV. Of course this was all the rage at the time, usually looking extremely low budget and coming off as incredibly cheesy. While the FMV in the Strike games was a little cheesy and the acting slightly hammy, it was very well produced and often extremely effective. A lot of the praise goes to the fact they used FMV for everything, meaning you could look up videos on every enemy, weapon or mission objective. Even now we often have to trawl through a huge body of text to find out objectives or even learn how to play the game.
Warp was developed by Trapdoor and published by Electronic Arts. It was released February 15, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Kicking off Microsoft’s House Party event, Trapdoor’s Warp is a stealth/ puzzle game that draws from some of the most celebrated franchises in the gaming library (Portal and Metal Gear Solid come to mind). Players take control of Zero; an ostensibly adorable alien held captive by human scientists in an underwater labyrinth of labs and curious mechanical contraptions. The dastardly men of science are performing all manner of foul experiments on the little fella, but it’s not long before Zero’s harnessed the power of his titular talent and is embarking on a violent quest through the belly of the science facility in a bid to retrieve his lost abilities and unite with an enigmatic alien life form that contacts him telepathically (and acts as a handy guide).
While he looks all cuddles and kisses on the outside, Zero’s a bit of a barbarian; capable of teleporting inside of his human captors, causing them to burst in a crimson shower and just about everything in Warp is anchored by Zero’s natty teleporting ability.