Review: Dead Rising 2 – Case Zero

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is exactly what many have tagged it as: a glorified demo. It has all the trappings of a demo (short play time, limited options, no story to speak of), with one key difference: this demo will set you back 5 bucks (400 MSP). Going into it, I really wasn’t sure if any “demo” would be worth an actual monetary investment. Did purchasing Case Zero pay off for me in the end? Hit the jump to find out!

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PAX Prime 2010 – The Welcome Home Edition

PAX Prime 2010 WsctcAnother year, another Penny Arcade Expo passed. The panels are over and the exhibitors are packed and gone, but the excitement and energy that is PAX are tough to fully process right away. Still lining Seattle’s famous pike street are PAX banners, featuring various statements of nerd humor, such as “why your IT guy is out sick”. But one banner in particular caught my eye, containing a message that why the 72-odd hours of PAX make up the absolute highlight of many gamers’ year (including mine).  “Welcome Home”.

In last year’s PAX, I was fleeting familiar with the sense of community one finds at such an event, but it wasn’t until this year’s convention that I was hit in the face with this fact. As I’ve noted previously, much of my time last year was occupied pursuing swag and spending hours in line for a few minutes playtime of the latest titles. While I certainly spent my fair share of time in the expo hall this year, my experience with PAX 2010 was profoundly different than the last, and one of ultimately more enjoyment. Continue reading

Review: Alan Wake – The Signal

WARNING: This review contains spoilers.

Alan Wake ended with our hero freeing his wife from the dark place but only in exchange for himself.  “The Signal” picks up right where the main game left off.  Wake is again fighting through Bright Falls, but not quite as you remember it from before.  Just when you think you might have a grip on things, the environment changes.  You’ll go from the diner straight into the darkness of the woods.  The Taken are still there, but now you must fight them alone in this dark place (well… almost alone).

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Pre-PAX Thoughts

Less than 17 days until the largest event in the world for gamers begins– right in my backyard. I’ve always felt very fortunate to have such an important event in the gaming community so close to home. When it comes to big events, Seattle feels a little cut off at times, so its events like PAX that make living in the Pacific Northwest just a little more worthwhile.

Seattle Convention Center PAXGiven its occurrence on such a pivotal weekend, Labor Day, last year was the first time I was able to attend PAX. I had an absolute blast, but I still felt like I missed quite a bit of what the convention had to ffer.  For one, I spent most of my time on the exhibition show floor. When I was younger, I used to dream of going to E3 (back when it was closed to the public), so the exhibit hall of PAX was my small way of making up for all those times I missed E3. While I got to play plenty of great upcoming games, I regret not branching out more – the panels, meetups, etc.

This year, I hope to fully make up for last year’s shortcomings . PAX isn’t just about exhibiting the latest and greatest games, its about gathering with 60,000 other gamers, playing a game or two, and making a few friends along the way.

Review: Splinter Cell Conviction

splinter cell conviction

I remember my first look at Splinter Cell: Conviction came in an issue of EGM, full of concept art of a Sam Fisher given a “rugged”, some might say “homeless” new look. The game featured gameplay elements to allow the player to hide in plain sight, using crowds and the environment to slow and escape from enemies. It was a radical change from the past five games, all of which focused on stealth gameplay and an arsenal of gadgets. While these changes might’ve upset some, Splinter Cell Conviction, unlike its precessors, was shaping up to be a game I was legitimately psyched about.

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Sackboy’s New Abilities Revealed in LBP 2 Adventure Trailer

I’m probably the biggest LittleBigPlanet fan as you are likely to meet. While never willing to devote the time into level creation myself, I simply cannot get enough of the content-creation community that is LittleBigPlanet. The sequel appears to be providing full backwards compatibility, which is really the only way for the developer to avoid fragmenting the community between the two titles. There was plenty to complain about with the platforming aspects of LittleBigPlanet, but as the trailer above suggests, many of those problems are being addressed in the sequel. Direct control, a much needed grappling hook, and several others should help the game become a more proficient platformer, while helping it evolve into other genres as well. For me anyway, LittleBigPlanet 2 is shaping up to be one of the strongest-looking releases this fall.

Fable 3 to lack Kinect support at launch

No kinect support for fable 3 at lanch

Today on the Engadget show, Peter Molyneux himself broke the news that Fable 3 will not include Kinect support on its October 26th launch date, but patched in later instead. It seems rather silly for such a major title in Microsoft’s fall lineup, from one of the most passionate supporters of Kinect, to lack out of the box support.  Microsoft certainly isn’t alone in disappointments though.  A few months back, Media Molecule confirmed what sounds like half baked Playstation Move support with LittleBigPlanet 2. Being a bit skeptical over the long term success of motion control in the first place, I can’t say I am all that upset by this news.  Yet when the success of a new hardware launch in the market is so heavily dependent on the software available for it, I wonder how Microsoft or Sony expect consumers to justify the steep entry fee with the current launch titles announced.

I’d love to get a perspective from someone who is excited about Kinect/Move and their respective launch titles. Leave a comment!

Review: Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a title that for many years served only to occupy the tail end of release lists and always with an indeterminate date.  For all that time I thought little of the title.  Surely it would end up in development limbo and probably never see the light of day.  Suddenly, it resurfaced at E3 2009, and my interest in Remedy’s mysterious title continued to grow  until it was finally released on May 18, 2010.  Was the long development cycle worth the wait?

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Northwest Gamer’s Fresh Coat of Paint

Our long overdue redesign is finally here! Its our hope that our new design is easier on the eyes, and simpler to navigate. The redesign isn’t completely done, and even the average user will notice several obvious issues. These will all be worked out in time, so bear with us! That aside, some of my favorite new features include:

  • A featured post slideshow element, which allows us to highlight articles…if we ever actually get around to posting them!
  • A randomized, rotating banner image. Suggestions for additional characters are always welcome!
  • A new comment system powered by Disqus.
  • An updated, hierarchically organized navigation (though it still needs work)

Feel free to explore the new site, and leave any comments or suggestions here, or shoot us a tweet!

Review: Limbo

Limbo is a game that a lot of people have been talking about for a long time. About a year ago, I saw the above screenshot, and was instantly intrigued. And let me tell you, the full game is one of the most beautiful games I have played in years. Limbo is also a great many other things which I will get into further detail about momentarily. But I know the real question that’s burning in your minds…..Is this game worth 15 of your hard-earned dollars?

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