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Game Previews

Exclusive: ION Rocker Drum Review

Posted September 17, 2008 - By Stephen Johnson

The difference between playing Rock Band 2 on the ION Drum Rocker and on the set that comes with the game is like the difference between driving a new M-Class Mercedes and a 1982 Honda Accord—both will get you from Point A to Point B, but the ride is truly magnificent in one, and lackluster in the other. Like any substantial upgrade, though luxury and performance don't come cheap.

While the guitar peripheral in music games is only slightly analogous in feel to playing an actual guitar, the drums are a different animal. When toy-drumming, you use many of the same motions you use when you actually drum, so the temptation is to ask how the ION stacks up to real drum kits. Perhaps not a fair question—while you can use the ION as a midi drum controller if you buy it a new "brain," its real purpose is videogames. While a videogame drum set will never take the pace of the wooden kit you keep in the garage, if you’re interested in a game peripheral as opposed to a musical instrument, the ION Drum Rocker is exceptional.

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Hands-On: 'Rock Revolution'

Posted July 18, 2008 - By Stephen Johnson

If Rock Revolution had come out before Rock Band, we would have been very impressed… but it didn’t, and it’s impossible to talk about this title without comparing it to bigger music games. In short, I don’t think Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour will be crushed by Konami’s entry into the music-game field, but it may prove a nice alternative to the Guitar Hero and Rock Band juggernauts.

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I’m a huge fan of the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 2 was the first videogame that genuinely scared me, and I’ve like all the other iterations of the series, so I was really looking forward to the current-gen Silent Hill.

While it’s hard to get much more than a general impression from a brief time with a pre-release version of any game, it’s particularly hard to get the feel for a survival horror title at a glitzy conference room suite--if you’re not playing in the middle of the night, alone in a dark house, it’s just not going to be that scary--but, I’ll do my best here. This is the first Silent Hill game from developers Double Helix and Silent Hill Homecoming seems like it’s casting a wider net and abandoning some of  the quirks from previous games—it seems like a more general-interest title than, say, Silent Hill 4: The Room.

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You might call me crazy, but I'm ready to call Major Minor's Majestic March the sleeper hit of E3 08. It's not hardcore or anything, but, at least for the 10 minutes I played it, it's very, very fun.

This unassuming Wii title from Majesco (of all people) was made by rhythm game pioneers Masaya Matsuura and Rodney Greenblatt, the team behind Parappa The Rapper, and the game definitely looks like it. It updates the colorful, 2-D cartoonish feel of PaRappa and Um Jammy Lammer and adds a unique, simple use of the Wiimote.

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E3 08: Day One Preview

Posted July 15, 2008 - By Stephen Johnson

This is day one of E3 08, and there is a lot on the proverbial plate. Here's a rundown of what you can expect at the convention, brought to you comprehensively on G4 and G4tv.com:

Nintendo's Press Conference (9 AM PST): The first day of E3 is starting off with Nintendo's press event, bright and early. And while no one but Mario knows for sure what the Big N is going to roll out, here are our best guesses: We'd put money on the announcement of a Kid Icarus title for the Wii, and a balance-board enabled version of Punch Out. Animal Crossing Wii seems possible too. There's also that mysterious title Nintendo promised would be geared toward "core" gamers--we don't know what it will be, but we're very curious. Throw in the possible announcement of new peripherals (?) and a lot of casual games, and you have a heck of a press conference.You can watch it on television on G4, where the conference will be broadcast commercial-free, or point your browser to our page for our live web-feed. Yours truly will also be live-blogging from the event, if you prefer reading over watching. In any case, we have you covered.

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Tags: E3, G4, Videogames

Peter Molyneux has just announced that Fable 2 is complete, and will be available for release in October!  While the game has been under wraps for quite a while, Molyneux  demoed some really new and interesting features at the Microsoft press conference.

The game takes place in the world of Albion, and from the preview we saw, you start the game out as a very young child and progress and grow up throughout the game. There are some similarities from the first Fable game, such as getting married and have children. Also, similar to the first installment, your character is unique depending on what decisions you make throughout your adventure.

And while Fable 2 has a similar feel to the first game, Molyneux also announced quite a few new features for the Xbox 360 version of the game. One of the most interesting features was the way in which you can interact with other players through Xbox Live. Basically, you can find your friends in the game and invite them into your own unique Fable 2 world. They can then interact with characters in your world, such as your family, and experience a different world than their own.

There were a few other cool announcements, such as how your children now age and grow up.


Fable 2 Gameplay Demo »


As you might imagine, E3 is a very special time of year here at the G4 offices... You’ll never see a giddier bunch of nerds and geeks in your whole life as in the week leading up to E3.  With that in mind, and ahead of the official G4 press release, we wanted to give you an idea of what to expect from our E3 coverage will be this year.  With over 17 hours of live coverage on G4 – including COMMERCIAL FREE coverage of the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo press conferences – its going to be quite a week. And if that’s not enough, you can count on the G4tv.com team to bring you even more: Every single trailer and screenshot, live streaming coverage of all press conference (not just the big three but all the rest), special editions of The MMO Report, Sessler’s Soapbox and Freestyle 101, and more.  Oh yeah, and we’ll be launching an HD version of our video player so you can watch high res versions of all of your favorite E3 trailers. Bamph! 

As always, you’ll be able to enjoy highlights of our E3 coverage (and tons of web-exclusives) on G4tv.com... along with coverage extended to G4 Podcasts and G4 Mobile (now available on VCAST). G4 on Demand (VOD) coverage on you cable/ satellite set-top box will start July 17th.

We’re beyond excited, and as you make your way down this list, you will be too.  Keep in mind that the games listed in the coverage below are actual demos, not simple previews or teaser trailers.  That’s how we roll.

Monday July 14th
1PM ET – Half-hour pre-show followed by the entire Microsoft Press Conference – live and commercial free on-air and online.
6PM ET – EA Press Conference - Live streaming coverage on G4tv.com
7PM ET – Two-hour E3 Preview Show featuring the following DEMOS:

  • Fallout 3
  • Fable 2
  • Halo Wars
  • Ghostbusters : The Videogame
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming 

Tuesday July 15th
12PM ET – Live on-air and online streaming, commercial free coverage of the Nintendo Press conference
2:30PM ET - Live on-air and online streaming, commercial free coverage of the Sony Press conference
5:30PM ET – Ubisoft Press Conference - Live streaming coverage on G4tv.com
6:00PM ET– Live three hour E308 Special featuring the following DEMOS:

  • Gears of War 2
  • Resistance 2
  • Killzone 2
  • Rock Band 2
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Prince of Persia
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Lord of the Rings: Conquest
  • Dark Void

7:30PM ET – CAPCOM Press Conference - Live streaming coverage on G4tv.com
11:30PM ET – ACTIVISION Press Conference - Streaming coverage on G4tv.com

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Attack of the Show got a chance to check out the 2009 Nissan GT-R earlier this week, but we wanted to know more about the cars unique navigation system. Why?

Polyphony Digital, the makers of Gran Turismo actually helped design it. That's why. In return, Nissan helped Polyphony get the in-game GT-R running as close to real life as possible.


Gran Turismo 5 / Nissan GT-R Interview »


Check it out and remember, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue releases next week in the US for $40 on Blu-Ray or download. Hit the jump for X-Play's preview.

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'Funny Games' First Look

Posted March 13, 2008 - By Eugene Morton

Scary movies have gotten lame. Yes, they're as gratuitous and bloody as ever and they've pushed the gore envelope farther than it has ever gone, but, with the exception of masterpieces like Wrong Turn 2, they're just not frightening anymore.

They don't build any real suspense. Good horror movies don't just rely on special effects, they play with your deepest (often times, subconscious) fears, subtly manipulating the psyche to create a feeling of pure terror.

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The Loop: Year In Preview

Posted January 2, 2008 - By Eugene Morton

The New Year is young yet and filled with so much promise. Whether that promise will be fulfilled or not is another story. There are only two types of beings who know for certain; amorphous, incorporeal spirits (like the Ghost of Christmas Future for example) and our expert prognosticators.

Which movies will break the box office, what tech will blow the minds of the masses and which titles will revolutionize the world of gaming?

You’ll get the answers when Movie Editor for USA Today, Scott Bowles,  Forbes' Deputy Editor for Special Projects, David Ewalt and Associate Editor for Destructoid, Chad Concelmo give their predictions for the year ahead.

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