The sexy witch gun wielding – magical cat transforming – monster slashing action game Bayonetta, (boy what a mouth-full to say) just got a Japanese release date for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. And if promises are kept by Sega and PlatinumGames, the same fellows who made the recent ultra-violent fest MadWorld for the Nintendo Wii, we might see the game drop at the same time here in North America.
Do not think for a minute that Project Natal, Microsoft's recently unveiled motion sensing peripheral, is just a Xbox 360 one trick pony, not by a long shot if Bill Gates is still around. In a recent interview with CNET's Ina Fried, the chairman of Microsoft and the successful mind behind the Windows operating system used world wide, spoke about how Project Natal could benefit the office environment with its ability to connect to PCs.
From replicas to classic puzzles with a modern videogame theme, there are always tons of cool stuff for gamers to check out. Once a week we bring you six of the coolest. Keep your button batteries and sticky notes handy, you just might get some good ideas.
Blow on this.
contributed by Heidi Ward
Everyone loves portable gaming. One crafty gamer has put in some effort and creativity to make a gadget that works as a portable game, as well as, a fun novelty gift for any retro-game fan. By adding a small screen, tearing out and replacing the guts, he made a Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge into a portable version of its own game. It also includes standard NES controls on the front. Three n-cell button batteries keep it running, loaded in the bottom. There's one very important piece of information missing though. Do you have to blow in it to get it working? www.geekologie.com
contributed by Andreas Asimakis
Gamers and their creativity, will it ever end! This gorgeous, hand-crafted, wooden replica of Halo's BR-55 Battle Rifle comes to us courtesy of master woodworker LeeKegan. This excellent piece, which undoubtedly took many painstaking hours to perfect, captures the spirit of the Halo franchise. Details, like wooden bullets, help make this elaborate fan creation a complete package. www.405th.com
Metroid 2 Remake.
contributed by Jason Saenz
Metroid II: Return of Samus was first released on the Nintendo Gameboy in 1992, and is now being remade by one DoctorM64, a programmer out of Buenos Aires. Using the Martin Piecyk´s platform engine, he has painstakingly created hundreds of tiles and sprites to program the new version. Hoping to release the game by 2010, DoctorM64 has already been flooded with interview requests and questions about his inspiration and how gamers can get their hands on it. There is still a hunger for classic platforming action and if you're going to remake a game you might as well have it be a Metroid game. Metroid II is a great choice because it's the worst-looking game in the series. People are excited to play a version that will be fun and look good. Check out videos, demos and FAQs at metroid2remake.blogspot.com
Peggle: World of Warcraft Edition.
contributed by Karl Cramer
The two most addictive games out there, Peggle and World of Warcraft, have merged to create the ultimate gaming superdrug: it's WoW-themed Peggle. If that isn't enough to give you a gaming jones, did we mention it's free? Why do we feel like we're kids in a schoolyard getting set up? Oh, who cares. We want it! All the cool kids are doing it. www5.popcap.com
contributed by Heidi Ward
YouTube is a great place for people to show off their homemade movies…even the ones that are stop-motion. Stop-motion re-enactments of Donkey Kong. Stop-motion re-enactments of Donkey Kong made of sticky notes. That pretty much says it all. This video is a clear example of gaming love when you think about how long it must have taken to make. Not only did they construct an eight-foot tall Donkey Kong from a pile of Post-its, but moving the characters for stop-motion had to take hours (at the least). Well done, guys! www.youtube.com
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Threat of Peace Webcomic.
contributed by Karl Cramer
The trailer for the Star Wars: The Old Republic massively-multiplayer online drove fans into a frenzy when it premiered during EA's E3 press conference. LucasArts and BioWare want to keep that momentum going. Enter the Threat of Peace webcomic. Made in conjunction with Dark Horse Comics, the story introduces the era that the MMO will be set in. Could the Sith and the Republic actually sign a peace treaty? Sure. That'll go well. How authentic is the story? It's scripted by Rob Chestney, one of the main writers for the MMO. www.swtor.com
Have you designed a short game? Putting the finishing touches on a puzzler? Do you dream XNA code? You could win $100,000 and a publishing contract or full-ride college education. GameStop, The Guildhall at SMU, and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences have announced the Indie Games Challenege, a contest to find the most promising novice game designers. The contest is open to both individuals and teams. Entries must be submitted by October 1, 2009.
Anybody who designs a game about being in a movie theater audience wins my vote if we can bludgeon people who talk.
For official rules and more details follow the link.
Surprise! Tour de France 2009 is now available as a Xbox Live Arcade downloadable game for 800 MS points. This came as surprise since the only games previously announced for DLC new release Wednesday were The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Madball in…Babo Invasion.
While not major sport in the U.S.A., cycling has dedicated following here and internationally. Thanks in part to superstar American cyclist Lance Armstrong. The sports biggest event, Le Tour de France, is going on now and can be seen on the Versus Network.
On June 13th, Infinity Ward revealed the prestige edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The edition would include the game, night vision goggles, and a few other goodies. However, sources say that the price for this amazing package would go up to $149.99. This may be a bundle to be purchased, after all, how often do you get a chance to get nightvision goggles as part of a game's purchase?
The Conduit is the story of Agent Ford and the organization he is employed with, known as the Trust. With an alien invasion imminent, Ford is tasked with putting a stop to his xeno-foes and kicking their alien butts to the farthest reaches of space.
While The Conduit's story doesn't stray from the basic building blocks of science fiction, there are times where the conspiracy-laden twists will raise a few eyebrows as Ford comes to question certain things about his mission. Again, its nothing we all haven't seen before, but it is entertaining nonetheless. Voice talent, such as Kevin Sorbo of Andromeda and Mark Sheppard of Battlestar Galactica, helps to add a bit more to the atmospheric world.
Speaking of atmosphere, this game has tons of it. Dramatic conversations between Agent Ford and company are part of a remarkably tense environment, which is only heightened by the game's upbeat soundtrack and gorgeous graphics. The Nintendo Wii is capable of some really powerful stuff and The Conduit pushes its hardware to some astounding new heights.
The Conduit's controls are quite possibly the best thing to happen to the FPS genre in a long time. The game's default set-up is nearly perfect without any tinkering. Everything from weapons management to tossing grenades is nothing short of genius. You can even customize your configuration, right down to assigning specific actions to your Wii's preset waggle commands.
The Conduit's solo missions are simple run-and-gun fare; mowing down enemies as they spawn. Gameplay is strictly linear, leaving little room in terms of exploration and open environments. But the shooting aspect is so good that it will hardly make a difference. Enemies come at you with guns blazing and little remorse, and with such tight and customizable controls, you can line up headshot after headshot and make quick work of both your human and alien adversaries. Just don't expect much else in terms of substance. There are hidden achievements to stumble across during any of the game's nine missions, as well as data discs to collect, but aside from that, The Conduit is pretty straightforward.
One interesting gameplay mechanic, which mixes up the action, is the ASE or All-Seeing Eye. This gadget is a key point of interest in the game's plot. It allows Agent Ford to see beyond reality. The ASE is quite the multifunctional orb, aiding Ford in locating hidden mechanisms, which unlock doors, and scanning environmental objects, such as discs to gather data. The device can also plot a path to a checkpoint and can even be used to detect and defuse unseen hazards such as Ghost Mines (invisible explosives). It is a well-implemented tool and it is surprising just how often its functions for guidance and support come in handy. Plus, there is nothing cooler than wielding a device that floats in your hand.
The Conduit is swimming with some pretty big fish. And while I don't imagine the hardcore FPS gamers abandoning titles like Call of Duty to exchange Friend Codes by the millions, that doesn't mean The Conduit's multiplayer experience should be completely dismissed.
Aside from the standard Capture the Flag and Deathmatch scenarios, players can compete in unique multiplayer modes such as Bounty Hunter and ASE Football. Bounty Hunter has players scour the map for a specific target. If trigger-happy gamers take out their aggression on the unintended, they will be penalized. ASE Football, on the other hand, makes players search for The Conduit's favored toy and try to hold on to it without getting their head blown off. These modes, along with the others, have a subtle way of drawing the player in and keeping them there throughout all hours of the night. Maybe it's the fact that The Conduit's arsenal is varied and fun to play around with. Maybe it's the fact that The Conduit allows 12 players to compete at once. Or maybe it's because all the online mayhem supports Wii Speak and players can actually communicate with one another. It could be all of the above.
The game does run a tad on the short side, with my overall time for completion clocking in at about seven hours. Things ended a bit too quickly but judging by the game's finale, a sequel should, hopefully, not be too far behind.
The Conduit is a game I can't recommend enough for FPS enthusiasts and Wii owners alike. The controls lend to its approachability, creating a gaming experience that is truly open to any gamer, casual or hardcore. I have to tip my hat to Sega for filling a long-noticeable void in the Wii's library. With its intense single-player campaign and robust multiplayer modes, The Conduit has definitely been worth the wait.
Fun Factor: Precision controls make for easy kills and constant enjoyment.
Difficulty: Enemies may overwhelm you as they spawn without end, but all you have to remember is point and shoot – doesn't get much easier than that.
Length: Expect to gobble up six to eight hours of game time on The Conduit's single-player missions.
On the Negative Side: With the main missions being such a feel-good experience, it's a shame to see it end so quickly. Aside from the abrupt end, the gameplay is a tad on the linear side.
Bang for Your Buck: When the single-player has come to pass (all too quickly), multiplayer will devour your free time. That is of course, if you allow it.