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Never underestimate the power of fan backlash. On the heels of inFamous 2's strong showing at E3 but an outcry regarding a few changes to the game's hero, Sucker Punch announced prior to its Comic-Con panel (which I picked up via IGN) that it is jettisoning the initial character art style for the sequel -- which featured Cole McGrath sporting hair and some tattoos -- in favor of returning to Cole's traditional look from the first game. How convenient that the news dovetails with two new trailers from Sony, eh?

Comic-Con 2010: inFamous 2 Behind The Scene Trailer »


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Studio Head of Beenox, Dee Brown, swings into action talking about Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Find out how the different versions of Spider-Man bring unique gameplay mechanics and discover what villains are showing up to stop the heroic Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Comic-Con 2010 Interview »


 





Would it be Bond without an awesome credits sequence? I dare say not.  On the heels of an initial roll-out for Comic-Con, Activision has released this credits trailer that should (hopefully) mark the opening of the newly announced James Bond 007: Blood Stone. I'd tell you to enjoy, but then I'd also be telling you that the sky is blue, or that water's wet, or that it's sunny outside the G4 offices in LA on a Thursday afternoon.

Comic-Con 2010: James Bond 007: Blood Stone Credits Trailer »



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Alice: Madness Returns

It's been a long, long time since American McGee's Alice. Some of you out there weren't even in kindergarten when it was scaring the crap out of PC gamers back in 2000. Since then, American McGee has dabbled in awful social commentary and episodic gaming, but as of yesterday, it's official that Alice is getting a sequel. Harold Goldberg sat down with McGee and executive producer R.J. Berg to discuss Alice: Madness Returns. I particularly liked this blurb about how the idea came to be:

"American McGee: Back in the day when R. J. and I were here 10 years ago, I was asked (by EA) to come up with an original idea for a game. This one was inspired, oddly enough, by a song. I was driving along the California coast, and this bit of music came on with the word 'wonder.' As this song hit me, I thought 'wonder' and 'wonderland' and then 'dark.' It kind of spun from there. What was the song?

AM: 'Trip Like I Do' by The Crystal Method. The introduction to that is a sampling, talking about a dark crystal and the crystal split in this land of wonder. When I came back, I looked into it and found out this is a direct sample from the movie, The Dark Crystal. But really, it was all about the word 'wonder.'"

There you have it. A rave anthem is why we got American McGee's Alice. To find out more about what's up with Madness Returns, read Harold's interview.










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DJ Hero 2

DJ Hero made some big waves last year when Activision announced that Daft Punk would be joining the roster of waxsmiths on the virtual decks. And this summer, DJ Hero 2 has made some splashes by including big name dance talents such as Deadmau5 and David Guetta in the game. But for hip-hop heads, the news that legendary turntablist Q-Bert will be gracing the game with his presence (and two exclusive mixes) should be, well, music to their ears. To commemorate, Activision released a trailer, which you can catch after the jump.

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GoldenEye 007

Golden Gun Mode. I don't know about you, but it was the cause of many an argument over a decade ago on my Nintendo 64. Activision brought back GoldenEye 007's perennial friendship-killer at Comic-Con, and Steve Johnson was there to jump in. Thankfully, he and Kevin Kelly are co-workers and not buddies, so they're still forced to hang out even after shooting one another in the face repeatedly. Steve's pretty positive that the nostalgia factor's working in favor of GoldenEye, per this snippet from his hands-on time:

"While online shooters can be seen to provide a 'better' gaming experience to players who are really into their kill/death ratios, if you're more concerned with games being fun than hardcore, split-screen multiplayer is the only way to go. GoldenEye will offer 'modern,' fully online multiplayer, but the split-screen is better--Until last night, I'd almost forgotten how much more awesome it is to trash-talk in person as opposed to over a headset. Suffice to say, there was a lot screaming, good natured cursing, laughing and 'did you see that?' coming from our section of Activision's press event."

Plus, Oddjob's been properly nerfed. Sound like a deal? Read Steve's anecdotes from his play time to learn more.





Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

I knew there was something about Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions that reminded me of 2005's diamond in the rough Ultimate Spider-Man. Lo and behold, amidst the four different Spidey personas, Activision has unveiled the final Spider-Man you'll play as in this tale of parallel universes, and it's Ultimate. Steve Johnson jumped into some hands-on time with this newly revealed playable Parker, and here's a glimpse at how he'll play:

"If Spider Man Noir is kind of wimpy when he's not hiding in the shadows, Ultimate Spider-Man is the opposite. He takes on enemies full-on, dispatching swarms of bad guys with powerful attacks in a God of War, beat-em-up style. Ultimate has a rage-meter that allows him to unleash special attacks, as well as the ability to string together devastating combos. The controls are smooth, and while it's a bit button-mashy, that's the intention, and like in God of War, it works very, very well."

So he's like Kratos, minus the high blood pressure? Color me interested. And if you're a shade more intrigued, check out Steve's hands-on impressions from Comic-Con 2010!


E3 2010: The Sly Collection PS3 Screenshots

I love the Sly Cooper games. In their PS2 heyday, they scratched several gamer itches for me, including slick cel-shaded visuals, clever storytelling, and a great grasp on what makes the best animated TV shows tick. Naturally, I'm looking forward to The Sly Collection, which revamps the three hit games with a coat of HD and a smattering of new features. Now, according to Official PlayStation Blog, it'll set you back roughly the same as the last HD "Collection" compilation.

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E3 2010: DC Universe Online Hands-On Preview

At this point, the likes of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have become synonymous with the voices of Batman and The Joker for a generation, thanks most recently to their fantastic work in Batman: Arkham Asylum. They're the Adam West and Cesar Romero for millions of 80s and 90s babies, if you will.

And with this year's San Diego Comic-Con right on the cusp of kicking off, Sony Online Entertainment has officially announced that Conroy and Hamill will be adding their vocal talents to the massive roster of upcoming MMO DC Universe Online.

In addition, "Firefly" actor Adam Baldwin has been unveiled as the voice of Superman in the game.

Are you looking forward to hearing Mark Hamill's trademark cackle as you grind through The Joker's minions for extra XP?

Deadliest Warrior

TV show "Deadliest Warrior" takes the "who would win" scenario and stretches it into the realms of insanity. The popular show has recently gotten a game adaptation, and you'll now be able to figure out who's better between ninjas and Roman centurions in the confines of your living room with Deadliest Warrior: The Game. David Wolinsky played through several bloody rounds, and while it's not going to replace Super Street Fighter IV, he says it's a fun and meaty experience if you check your brain at the door. How could you not, after reading the following:

"Fights in the three-dimensional arenas can easily be navigated with pure button-mashing, but you’d be wise to memorize at least a few combos, block, and try your luck with the one-hit-kills projectiles. Almost nothing is as satisfying in Deadliest Warrior as watching an intense round draw to a close with a near-dead pirate squeezing out a lucky round on his pistol out after hacking off the centurion’s shield-wielding arm, or watching a ninja go totally limp after he gets a spear to the brain."

Are you a fan of "Deadliest Warrior?" Are you looking for something to chuckle at that won't require you to pull off an Focus Attack, Dash Cancel? Read David's review of the game.

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Eerie Platformer Limbo To Hit PlayStation 3, PC And Xbox 360

Microsoft's annual Summer of Arcade is firing up this week with Limbo, a dark and subversive platformer from Danish developers Playdead. The annual promotion is a time when some of the year's best downloadable titles hit consoles, and from Jake Gaskill's review, it looks like we've already got a frontrunner for best digital game of 2010 so far. Here's a taste:

"...Limbo is a top to bottom masterpiece. The last time I was this enthralled with a game world and a narrative (despite the fact that there is absolutely no explanation whatsoever about who the kid is, what happened to him, if he’s actually in “limbo” in the traditional sense, etc.) was BioShock, one of my favorite games of all time. It grabs hold of you at the title screen, and doesn’t let you go until after the credits roll."

Limbo hits Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday. Read Jake's review to find out more about what makes it tick.

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It's the middle of July. You're probably eyeing the upcoming Summer of Arcade games, thinking about upgrading to PlayStation Plus, or trying to decide what else is worth picking up on the cheap. Loot Whore covers a certain amount of the price-digging for you, but I wanted to ask folks around the office to recommend at least one game from last fall's release rush that was criminally neglected by the gaming masses in favor of blockbuster titles. The criteria are simple: when the game hit stores, what you probably bought instead, what we said then, why we still love it, and which major online retailer has the best deal on a new copy. Without further ado, here's some diamonds in the rough that are worth taking another look at.


DJ Hero First Look

DJ Hero

Release Date:
October 27, 2009

What You Probably Bought Instead:
Uncharted 2, GTA: Episodes from Liberty City, Demon’s Souls, Borderlands, Halo 3: ODST

What We Said Then:
DJ Hero is a gamble that was worth taking and further proof that Konami's bungling of the Americanization of its own music games (in this case, Beatmania) remains one of the biggest missteps in modern gaming. DJ Hero is a good game, one that will undoubtedly find a hardcore audience that appreciates it, flaws and all, and an interesting step forward for music games.”

What We Say Now:
Sterling: I still enjoy poking around with DJ Hero every once in a while. It’s certainly not a perfect game -- that hardware issue with the crossfader is a sticking point -- it’s still good, and with DJ Hero 2 on the horizon, it might behoove you to pick up a copy now while the fire sale clearance is going on. I’ll never forget hitting a perfect on “Fix Up, Look Sharp vs. Genesis,” or playing “Feel Good Inc. vs. Atomic.”  For someone who got tired of mash-ups some time around 2004, DJ Hero impressed me with its take on the genre -- music games and mash-ups, that is.

What's The Best Price You Can Find It New Online:
$46.29 for game bundle, Buy.com

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Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge

I bet you've given Deathspank a glimpse after yesterday's review posted. You might've played Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition or Tales of Monkey Island last year. If so, congratulations, you're an adventure game nerd. But you're in good company. The tried-and-true combination of humor, plot-driven gameplay and simplified gameplay are very much in vogue right now. David Wolinsky played LucasArts' latest revamp, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge, and he digs what they've done:

"If you did play the original, more than likely you still have some muscle memory of encountering LeChuck’s Revenge’s craftier puzzles, but the ensuing two decades -- and the rise and fall of grunge --has likely washed your memory clean of how to solve them. The substantial window of time between the original and this update helps level the playing field between newcomers and those who still remember where they stored their Dial-A-Pirate copy-protection wheel for the first Monkey Island."

Ready to face LeChuck one more time? Read David's review of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition!



APB

APB: All Points Bulletin is Scottish game studio Realtime Worlds' follow up to the surprise hit Crackdown. It's an MMO shooter that lets you play cops and robbers on a widespread scale. Yet, as Scott Alan Marriott discovered, it's not all it's cracked up to be. He dishes some dirt here:

"Every major action you do outside of driving and shooting involves holding down the "F" key and waiting until a circular meter fills, with the idea that at any point, you could be interrupted by the opposing faction. So mugging consists of holding a key as a meter works its way around. You don't actually punch the people, the victim never puts up a fight, and the animation is exactly the same each time you do it. Stealing a car involves the same single-key system, and all of the jobs you'll take will test your ability to hold down the "F" key near an identified target. Exciting, it's not, especially in an action game."

Were you waiting to pick up APB until the initial impressions came out? Read Scott's review to find out more!




Blacklight: Tango Down preview

Zombie Studios' Blacklight: Tango Down is a new downloadable multiplayer shooter that purports to give you countless customizable options for weapon layouts. Could it be the cure for your summertime gaming blues? Jeremy Zoss gave it a spin, and here's a choice blurb from him:

"There’s little question that Blacklight: Tango Down offers up a multiplayer gameplay experience that’s on par with many bigger-budget shooters. The guns have a satisfying feel to them, the maps are all well-designed, and there are a bevy of multiplayer modes to choose from. As with most top-tier shooters these days, there’s a ranking system that rewards you with new levels and unlockables as you earn experience points from kills. There aren’t a lot of new ideas on display here, but the ones that Zombie included are winners."

Done with MW2 and BFBC2 and looking for the next fix? Read Jeremy's review to find out if Blacklight: Tango Down is worth some extra hard drive space!

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