Crispy Gamer

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  • EA recently announced that this Fall we’ll see the release of the 3rd expansion pack for The Sims 3, Nightlife, Late Night.

    According to the press release, this expansion will allow sims the opportunity to hang out at a variety of clubs, from dive bars to dance clubs. Sims can join bands, mix tracks, direct or even become a local celebrity. Late Night will also give sims the opportunity to become vampires and lounge about in hot tubs. There will also be a selection of new cars for sims to…buy…

    Wait...

  • The always incredible PopCap Games has announced that their hit, Plants Vs. Zombies, will sprout on XBLA this fall (probably September). This console iteration will contain more content than any other version of the game, with seven game modes, including two never-before-seen co-op and versus modes, 12 unique achievements, online progress tracking, a higher resolution, and 21 mini-games. 

    PopCap games released a statement by studio head Ed Allard with their news announcement. “With a ton of new features and content exclusive to the XBLA version, we’ve pulled out all the stops to both expand and optimize this adaptation for a hard core gaming audience,” he said. “The two new multiplayer modes allow gamers to work cooperatively to defeat hordes of invading zombies, or go head-to-head in a true ‘plants vs. zombies’ challenge. We’re also featuring a customized ‘house’ for tracking and sharing progress as well as...

  • Somewhere in the world Celstrians have fallen from their invisible castle in the sky. Now mortal, it is up to you to and your recruits to protect the humans in place of your now missing guardian angel race and discover why their sky city was destroyed.

    Being new to the 24-year-old Dragon Quest series, I had no trouble jumping into Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. The newest portable iteration seems built for all ages and any type of RPG gamer, from the gamer who enjoys speaking to every villager in existence to those who simply want to grind and battle over and over again until they overpower each area. Dragon Quest IX does a great job of appealing to both the casual and hardcore, as the story takes the player through an hour of exploration and exposition with only one battle in between before throwing your custom-made character into the world. From there, you can choose to help the townsfolk or battle it out and raise your level. It...

  • InteraXon is the next device promising to let users control computers, and everything else, with their brains.  Similar to other devices, the InteraXon can only get a general reading of your EEG level and, as their website explains, translate your thoughts "to geek." 

    We'll have to wait and see how well the device actually performs, but their site claims that the experience is "so seamless, the connected technology seems like an extension of your own body."

  • Video games may or may not be capable of being art, but the Game Play Festival currently running at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is making some great art out of video games.  Reimagine Donkey Kong as an abusive boyfriend, watch Mario and Luigi hallucinate giant turtles and evil plants while high on shrooms, and witness the spectacle that is "Grand Theft Ovid."  Four different transmedial pieces are running at the theater through July 25th.

    Read the NY Times article here and get tickets here.

  • Rumors are emerging of the firing of a "significant" number Rockstar San Diego employees who worked on the immensely popular and critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption.  Rockstar has noted that this is a normal part of their development process, but skeptics point to previous reports by employees of "unfair working conditions" during the game's development.

    Read Rockstar's full response

  • OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!

    If you haven't seen it yet, then do yourself a favor, log out of WoW, and take a peek.  You'll be glad you did, and you'll know what the heck your friends are talking about.  Maybe if you watch real close, you'll even be able to figure out "what does this mean??"

    IT'S STARTING TO LOOK LIKE A TRIPLE RAINBOW!!

    OH MY GOD, IT'S FULL ON!!

  • Zynga-branded products have taken over my local 7-Eleven.  Watch out for FarmVille food invading a snack aisle near you!

    Zynga is in the middle of a massive promotional campaign with 7-Eleven.  Zynga games are advertised on the packaging of a whole spectrum of the convenience chain's eatables, and in some cases they even have their own products - FarmVille ice cream for example.

    That's all well and good, but on to the real question - how long until my Slurpee is ready to harvest??

  • Madden 11 recently released trailers for each division in the AFC, highlighting the coaches of each team and certain high stats of individual players. All four trailers can be seen after the break.

    The videos don't show a ton of gameplay but honestly, if you really want to know how Madden 11 is going to play, I suggest picking up a copy of Madden 10; I guarantee you it will be similar.

    With each new Madden game however, the player's stats are updated to reflect their performance in the previous season. For example, the AFC East video shows that Randy Moss has a Jump stat of 99, so make sure you run Fade routes with him as your target when you're at striking distance for a touchdown. (He might have had a Jump rating of 99 in Madden 10, I really don't memorize these things).

    When I saw Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan however, I wish they had a Fat stat, cause he would definitely max that out. Sorry, I'm a...

  • NCAA Football 11 released yesterday for the PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360. The game promises deeper AI integration that should lead to better blocking and more dynamic defensive and offensive plays. Be sure to check out the video trailer after the break.

    I love sports games but sadly, I've never been into the NCAA Football series. I've been a Madden fan ever since I played Madden '93 on the Sega Genesis, where I swear to players say "cuaderno" (which is Spanish for notebook) every time they get tackled. And while I like Madden, I simply don't see a point of having two Football games.

    It's always been difficult for me to get involved with Football on the college level as I grew up in NYC and went to New York University for undergrad; both places are not known for a deep college football history.

    Crispy Gamer won't be covering NCAA Football 11 for a full review, but if you have played it, please feel...

  • I finally sat down to take APB for a spin today. The intro video did a good job of setting up the premise of the game: rampant crime in the fictional city of San Paro has led the mayor to enact measures by which regular citizens can become "enforcers" (read: vigilantes), which in turn has led to an increase in crime, bordering on a civil war between lawmen and outlaws.

    In a modern wild west type scenario such as this, going with anyone BUT Shaft would be a gross error. So while I've never actually seen any of the movies and working solely off of cultural memes of the character, I endeavored to make my best Shaft (named "Shafft" of course, because "Shaft" was already taken).

    The character creator is extremely detailed and comprehensive, though the interface is a bit cumbersome. Once I got my guy as close to Shaft...

  • My favorite part of the first Crackdown was jumping from building to building, collecting agility orbs that let me jump higher and higher.  I was some sort of frog-themed superhero—frogman, perhaps—who could leap out of the sky, punch a dude, and then spring away again into aerial oblivion, arms cartwheeling in glee.  “Oh god,” the gang-members would say, “it’s frogman, defender of no one in particular, puncher of dudes.”

    So I was playing Crackdown 2: The Return of Frogman today.  The bad news is that C2:RoF is still in Pacific City.  As in, they recycled all of the old assets.  The other bad news is that Pacific City seems to have rolled around in the mud a bit, and now it’s brown and boring.  Still more bad news includes that the story makes no sense at all, the writing is beyond miserable, and there are  few detectible gameplay improvements.  But hey....

  •  

    NASA: Moon Base Alpha was released today on Steam and I was instantly curious to see what this "free" game was all about. The presentation is simple and straightforward and your missions include things like fixing broken equipment and restoring oxygen to living quarters...sort of a space handyman.
     
    The graphics are adequate and the controls feel appropriately sluggish, what with it being the moon and all. The game can also be played with friends, both competitively and cooperatively. But let's face it, the game is very boring. I was ready to turn it off after about five minutes and as I pondered just who the hell this game was aimed at, I was glad that I hadn't paid anything for it.
     
    Instantly, I realized that, "Of course I paid for it. We all paid for it. And we all wasted our money." America's Army...
  • In news that I'm sure will surprise no one (least of all, people that bought the game), Sega has decided that Alpha Protocol will not recieve the sequel treatment. In an interview with CVG, Sega West president Mike Hayes talks about AP's poor metacritic showing but also remains proud of the core concept that the game tried for, and failed to reach:

    "The concept was brilliant, though," he added. "You know this whole thing with Metacritic where you have to be in the high 70s to mid-80s minimum [to have any success] - well, with RPGs you have got to be in the late 80s."

    Given Obsidian's development track record, combined with partnering with financially prickly publishers (Atari, Sega), I wouldn...

  • Last night, I went with a group of friends to see a belated 4th of July fireworks display. My girlfriend and I were of very different minds on whether it was worth going as she seemed very excited by the prospect and I was very much of the "been there, done that" mindset. But I decided, "what the hell" and tagged along.

    After an interminable walk from where we parked to the open field that we just had to see the show from (I was under the impression that we could have set up camp anywhere nearby and simply looked up), we settled in for what promised to be an orgy of color and sound.

    The display was, as fireworks displays go, fairly good; an adequate variety and a suitably rapid-fire finale. And it left me entirely bored, so much so that I began falling asleep half way through.

    Afterwards, I began to wonder if...

  • Summer has come to the east coast and with it millions have joined together, united in the sentiment of 'oh, !?@$% this I'm not working!' - I mean, when it's this gorgeous out, when the sun is shinning and the cities are absolutely a-hum with the monotone vibrations of billions of air conditioners, who can possibly sit down and do the requisite and boring office work, studying, and filing necessary to the maintenance of everyday life. What better to do then during these brilliant days when the sun is bright and the wind is warm and breezy than to sit in-doors in a clammy room and play video games for hours on end?

    Okay, cynicism aside, I've been very guilty of this very behavior quite recently while trying to brush up on my indie game vocabulary. I've been letting absolutely stunning days go to waste playing titles like eufloria,...

  • Singularity is a sci-fi shooter that’s part Bioshock, part Call of Duty 4, and part Dead Space, but it’s missing the pieces that made each of those games special. Plus it has Nolan North.

    Bioshock was a wonderful game in an even more wonderful setting.  Half of the fun of it was wandering from room to abandoned room, just soaking in the atmosphere.  Singularity is Bioshock without the atmosphere.  The rooms are similarly littered with notes and cassette tapes, but the writing is so bad that I hardly want to listen to them.  Remember those weird phase-out moments in Bioshock where you saw ghostly visions?  Singularity has those too.  Lots of them....

  • Neptune’s Pride is a long-form browser-based space-battle strategy game.  In it, between 4 and 12 players fight to control at least half of the stars on the map.  Everything happens in real time, and everything moves very slowly.  It takes many hours to travel even to neighboring star systems.  Entire games can take many weeks.  The game is awesome.

    And it is consuming my mind.  I think about it all the time.  I can’t go for a walk, take a shower, or watch a movie without wondering who is going to betray me, whose fleets are slowly inching towards my stars, whether my defensive line is sufficient, whether I really should have sprung for that science upgrade.  Just an hour ago I was lying in bed trying to get back to sleep and considering whether I really should have sprung for that science facility.  Whenever I get back to my computer the first thing I do is check Neptune’s Pride.  I...

  • The new Medal of Honor game is expected to release on October 15, 2010. Naturally, EA is slowly pumping out new trailers, screenshots and other related media to build hype for their game. If you want to just see the new videos, feel free to click after the break and watch.

    The Medal of Honor series has been dormant for long time now, with other shooters such as Call of Duty, Battlefield and Killzone taking its place. One has to wonder whether the market can handle having another shooter, because I know at least for me, I'm not going to buy all of the new iterations for each shooter series; there are just too many.

    Mike Gonzalez convinced me to buy Medal of Honor: Frontline, for the PS2 ($5 at Gamestop), and for whatever reason, I never get tired of shooting Nazis. I can't tell you how many times I've taken down Germany with just an M1 Garand. I bought Frontline about a month ago too, and then EA announces that the special...