Swords and sorcery? MMO? Free to play? Loads of loot? Vindictus has all of this, including female characters who can play as tanks, and not just ranged bow-wielders. Alexandra Hall took a look at Vindictus at E3:
"Unlike many MMO games Vindictus has you choose between a few pre-made characters. The E3 demo offered Lann, who inflicted rapid strikes with dual swords, and Fiona, who hit harder but slower with a traditional sword / shield combo. I thought it nifty how the female character got to be the strong/slow one for once. (A forthcoming character, Evie, will be a mage who can assemble a nifty-looking golem from junk.)"
Check out the rest in our E3 2010 Vindictus Preview.
Power Gig: Rise of the Six String is that other music game with a real guitar... but it also has "air-drums" and a different feel from Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Sterling McGarvey says this of the drums:
"I also got my first hands-on with PowerGig’s drums, which seems built expressly with apartment-dwellers and traveling in mind. They’re around ¾ of the length of Rock Band’s drums, they’re set in a lower position, and they’re designed to be tossed in a backpack and taken around with you. The big bonus? They use light sensors to detect your hits, so you’ve got quiet drums that’ll keep your landlord from kicking you out. Well, at least in theory they work. I’ve been told that the drums are something you’ll need to adjust and play with a lot to find your sweet spot."
Check out our E3 2010 Power Gig: Rise of the Six String preview!
Sega's Sonic turns 19 this week (what university do you think he attends?), and the company is readying four (and more) Sonic titles for later this year. How are you going to know which one to pick? It depends on your particular poison. Sonic Free Riders will hit the Xbox 360's Kinect, and it promises the most moving title. Get it? I checked the game out at E3 2010, and it was like watching a hamster in a cage:
"Players can choose to be Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Jet, Wave, Storm, Amy Rose, Dr. Eggman or even their own avatar as they race for golden rings and dodge attacks from their fellow racers. Gameplay consists of kicking your foot on the ground to accelrate, leaning to bank turns, reaching your arms out to collect rings, jumping up for maximum air, and spinning around like a top to entertain the people watching you. I mean, for bonus points in the game."
Check out the rest in our E3 2010 Sonic Free Riders preview.
If you want gamers’ undivided attention, all you have to do is say “Ron Gilbert” (The Secret of Monkey Island) and “new game that features forbidden bacon and drunken leprechauns.” As such, we took a look at Gilbert’s upcoming downloadable adventure/RPG title Deathspank during E3 last week, and if Alexandra Hall’s following description of the game doesn’t spark your interest, we’re going to have to talk.
“Gilbert’s back to his game-making ways with Deathspank, which might best be described as Monkey Island meets Diablo. Or maybe Diablo with giggles. Or Monkey Island with bloodletting. One of those.”
Check out Alexandra’s full Deathspank E3 2010 preview for more.
Patrick Klepek played Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep at E3 2010, and he brought back this previe detailing his complicated relationship with the game series. Klep visited Cinderella, and says:
"Within moments, I'd run into Cinderella and her posse, providing me a moment of pause while staring at the PSP screen. Even though Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is running on a PSP, you could easily confuse it for Kingdom Hearts 2. The art style established in the Kingdom Hearts games continues to impress and works incredibly well on the PSP. Hey, I might not know what's happening during Kingdom Heart's cut-scenes, but that doesn't make them any less aesthetically pleasing to watch."
Check out the entire E3 2010 Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep preview.
Stephen Johnson played Lara Croft & The Guardian of Light at E3 last week, and went all philosophical on the nature of Lara Croft's career:
"Lara Croft is like an aging movie star; once the most recognizable, famous face in gaming, Croft has since sunk from blockbuster status to one disappointing outing after another, with each feeling like increasingly desperate attempts to recapture the glory she had in the first couple of Tomb Raider games. Meanwhile, newer, hipper adventurer-platformer games like Uncharted 2 take home the Game of the Year awards. So think of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light as a quality indie movie that showcases Croft's talents in new ways..."
Check out the entire E3 2010 Lara Croft & The Guardian of Light preview for a more in-depth look at this game. It's definitely one to watch.
"One of the Park worlds we played on was a virtual Candyland, and the surface consists of multiple cake layers (including a jellybean layer, naturally), and Sonic plows down through the icing and moist cake layers beautifully. Honestly, I would've been happy if they'd turned this game into Sonic Drill Dash. That's how fun that power is."
Check out the rest of our E3 2010 preview of Sonic Colors.
Contra holds a very special place in a lot of our hearts, and when corporate shenanigans and licensing deals muck around with continuing that love, we don't like it. Luckily, the game doesn't care and it plays exactly the same way. Alexandra Hall checked out Hard Corps: Uprising at E3, and she found Contra lurking just beneath the surface:
"Didja assume that Hard Corps: Uprising was a follow-up to 1994’s Contra: Hard Corps? I sure did. Seems it ain’t so, though, and not just because of the naming issue. Hard Corps ’94 was defined by under-developed stages and frequent, apocalyptic boss fights. In contrast, E3’s Hard Corps: Uprising demo featured a very long and varied playfield, punctuated with a handful of modest mini-bosses. For my money it felt a lot closer to 1992’s Contra III than 1994’s Hard Corps."
Check out the rest of our E3 2010 preview of Hard Corps: Uprising.
Days of Thunder might seem like it was a million years ago, but in fact it was 20. Wait, twenty years have passed since that movie came out? Holy cow. Thanks for making me feel old, Paramount Digital. This NASCAR edition version of the game is only racing onto the PS3, while the Xbox, PC, and Mac will be getting a different, non-branded version. Confusing, right? Anyhow, Joe Rybicki looked at the game at E3:
"This is a far cry from the sim-heavy NASCAR games you might be used to. While Days of Thunder includes some mild engine and car tuning, this is all about what happens on the track. That said, it does include some real-life ovals (e.g., Daytona, Richmond, Talladega) and real-life NASCAR drivers -- but you won't be playing as any of them. You'll take on a fictitious persona, and interact with both NASCAR drivers and characters from the film. (In fact, Michael Rooker, who played Rowdy Burns in the film, provides the voice of your crew chief.)"
Check out the rest of our E3 2010 preview of Days of Thunder: NASCAR Edition.
It's just not video games without a visit from old friends. This E3, Nintendo brought back many favorites, including the one and only Donkey Kong, in a new Wii game called Donkey Kong Country Returns. Patrick Klepek got his ape-like hands on this title and said:
"Donkey Kong Country Returns looks and plays like the Donkey Kong Country you remember. In a good way. One of the great joys of playing Donkey Kong Country was searching high and low for secrets. This is before Rare went overboard on collectibles and started designing all of their extracurricular gameplay around the concept. Donkey Kong Country Returns seems to hit the same sweet spot..."
Check out the rest of our E3 2010 preview of Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Cheats and Walkthroughs
The Electronic Arts Lord of the Rings games based on the movie weren’t half bad, but EA eventually lost the license. Warner Bros. Games picked them up and has spent their time since crafting Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, a more kid-friendly adventure Jake Gaskill checked out at E3:
“The first thing that catches your eye when you see Aragorn’s Quest in action is the art style (I only saw/played the Wii version, so I can’t speak for the other console versions, specifically the PlayStation 3 version with Move support). Warner Bros. Interactive have taken a decidedly more stylish direction with the title than EA did with their LOTR movie tie-in titles, and to its benefit.”
Make sure to chck out Gaskill’s complete preview of Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 may be the driving game you're looking for... if you're the kind of person who likes driving around in expensive cars in a tropical paradise. Surprisingly, G4's Stephen Johnson is not such a person. In his E3 2010 preview, Johnson says:
"Test Drive Unlimited 2 offers thousands of miles of roads and trails on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza and Oahu, Hawaii as a free-roam worlds, open to multiple players, as well as a ton of licensed cars including exotic vehicles like the Gumpert Apollo hypercar and your standard issue Lamborghinis and Ferraris. There's a cool weather effects, a day and night cycle and even vehicle damage. You basically drive around, sightseeing, issuing instant racing challenges to your pals, or competing against AI cars. If you'd rather a story, there's a whole plot mode as well. You can even own and decorate a home and invite your pals over. Pretty much a car-lifestyle MMO."
Make sure to check out our updated Test Drive Unlimited 2 preview from E3 2010.
Excited about Brink but not a hardcore gamer? According to Stephen Johnson, you've got nothing to worry about in immersive shooter.
"Brink aspires to make multiplayer shooting fun for everyone, not just dudes who can headshot you from across the map with a hipshot from a sniper rifle. The game's various tools and levels teach you how to play as you go; it's a like training wheels for your FPS."
Find out what else he discovered in our E3 2010 Brink preview.
We all know Adam's opinion of 3-D gaming by now. He's not a fan. But wait, what's that? He may have changed his mind? Yes that is the magic of the Nintendo 3DS ladies and gentlemen. It has even warmed the cockles of The Sess's heart. After last week's E3 and his hands-on time with the impressive new handheld device, he has softened on the concept of 3-D gaming and is willing to give it a shot and see how game developers will take us into the third dimension.
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