Alternatives to Split Screen Multiplayer, Plants vs Zombies, and Centipede making a comeback? – Welcome to the column that would like to know what happened to their parachute pants known as Dare to Play the Game.
As of Saturday morning, I am officially done with World of Warcraft until Cataclysm drops. I’m played my priest mostly, completing some last minute heroics which included exalted status with the Kirin Tor as well as enough marks to get an epic neck piece. I actually finished every heroic with the exception of Gundrak and Occulus. The last of which was no loss at all. Yes, boys and girls, flying around on a drake has no business being the main part of a 5 player dungeon.
I did play with my warlock some and actually got him to 45. He’s at an interesting crossroads. I certainly like the character enough to get him to 80, but he probably won’t get near that point until I’ve played Cataclysm for a while. So hence, it was a bit bitter sweet when I dinged his last level for a while. I just hope that they don’t change the class too much so that when I do have a chance to play ole undead head, I still recognize what to do with him.
A rocking picture of Lita Ford from her glory days so to speak. The heavy metal queen is on focus this week since she was part of a famous band called the Runaways. The Runaways were dramatized in a movie of the same name which drops this week on DVD and Blu-Ray. Lita Ford is played by Scout Taylor-Compton. Lita herself has also been in video games from an achievement (Guitar Hero II) to lending her appearance and likeness to Brutal Legend. Homework this week, go watch her video “Hungry”. You’re welcome.
Earlier this week, Atari revealed an unexpected retro-revival, a new game based on the original Haunted House for the Atari 2600. Atari’s plans for breathing new life into old brands may not stop there.
Siliconera spotted two more Atari throwbacks, Centipede and Star Raiders, at online rental outlet Gamefly, listed as future releases on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The former game, a frantic shoot ’em up against a series of centipedes and other bugs, is probably better known than the latter, but Star Raiders was a late 70s/early 80s predecessor to Wing Commander and Elite.
Both Centipede and Star Raiders have been re-released in their Atari 2600 form on Microsoft’s Game Room for Xbox Live Arcade and Games for Windows. Looks like
Atari won’t be stopping there.
Actually, Centipede in its 2600 form has not made it to Game Room. The arcade form is the only one that is playable for Game Room. Anyway, I have zero problem with any franchise getting revived as long as they do something worthy with the revival. This doesn’t mean slapping the name Centipede or Star Raiders on a game that has barely anything to do with the base game. (I’m looking at you X-Com).
It must stay true to the core game. People who pick it up would like a reminder of what made the game so great and see the series moved forward. But at the same time, you don’t want a situation where the game is locked in a technological time period, i.e. it shouldn’t scream 1980’s. Perhaps it should be just a whimper. But chances are that no matter what they do, they won’t be able to live up to the original.
Furthermore, Star Raiders wasn’t exactly the most amazing game of all time. Its influence and breakthroughs were more important than the title itself. Clearly if a title does eventually come out for either one of these, it needs to do some serious business and be innovative without forgetting their roots. Or else, it will be simply another remake that will sit around the bottom of a bargain bin.
Plants vs Zombies
If Plants Vs. Zombies has Xbox Live Achievements, surely there must be a video game to go along with it, right? Yes, of course. PopCap’s gardening of the dead smash hit will become an Xbox Live Arcade game in September. The maker of Peggle and Bejeweled made it official today, revealing an XBLA version of the real-time strategy game that has already hit the PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad. Plants Vs. Zombies for Xbox Live Arcade should arrive in the fall, bringing with it seven game modes, two all-new multiplayer modes (co-op and versus), 12 unique achievements and 21 mini-games.
PopCap also promises:
* A goofy new way to track and share progress online, where players create
their own custom house and cruise down the street to see their friends’ cribs!
* The highest resolution of any Plants vs. Zombies adaptation to date at 1920
The XBLA version will cost 1200 Microsoft Points or $15 in real world bucks.
Later this year, PopCap will also a retail version of Plants vs. Zombies, including Zuma and Peggle for the Xbox 360, along with a new “Game of The Year” edition of the PC/Mac original, a limited number of which will include a zombie figurine.
This game has been in plans for a XBLA release for quite some time. PopCap is very proud of it and it could be the next great tower defense hit for the platform. 1500 Points unfortunately seems to be the going rate for most XBLA games these days. However, I’ve only bought a few with that price tag. Two games I’ve really had my eye on, Puzzle Quest 2 and Deathspank have not been bought for that very reason. (I was hoping to buy both with one 1600 points card)
However, I am more interested in the mention of a disc version of this game. The only part that is confusing though is that it will be packaged in with Peggle and Zuma. These are great games sure, except Peggle was included in Volume 2 of Popcap Arcade and Zuma was in Volume 1. My only thought is that perhaps Peggle will also include the Nights DLC. If that is the case, I am more than willing to dump my copy of Volume 2 since I never touched Freeding Frenzy 2 or Heavy Weapon.
The XBLA version should drop in September and logic would have the disc version ready in time for the Christmas rush. I typically steer away from Tower Defense games but given my track record with Popcap, this might change my tune.
Unfortunately, it is still a tower defense game by the looks of it. However, there does seem to be the room for more things to do and some very good looking graphics. We’ll certainly give it a shot.
A couple of patents published recently show that Sony’s looking at stereoscopic video for more than just 3D gaming; it could take the place of split-screen local multiplayer.
Broke My Controller noticed the patents, filed a year ago and published on Thursday, that show a method for rendering separate images on the same screen, which are then filtered by glasses worn by player 1 and player 2. The glasses also look like they have earbuds, meaning players get a separate audio feed, too.
Ideally, this would allow both players the view of an entire screen, without either the distraction of their opponent’s activity to the side, or the ability to cheat by looking at his screen to see where he is.
The drawback, of course, is you need a 3DTV. And you have to wear the glasses. But as something that’s more functional than cosmetic, I could dig it.
Now this is an area of 3d that actually has some merit. For the longest time, that is one of the main things that keeps me from playing local multiplayer on almost any FPS, absolutely crappy split screens. You can never make out what you are supposed to be killing and a truly gifted player can watch both screens at once to kick your butt. I’m not that gifted player.
Anyway, this is the first brilliant idea I’ve heard that doesn’t sound like a gimmick. The technology escapes me to some degree, but the idea that you could play like that is nothing short of entertaining. The only drawback is that this had to come out of 3d technology which currently still hurts my eyes. Furthermore, I don’t own a 3dtv and have no plans to buy one in the near future. If my plasma were to burn out in the next couple of years, I’d replace with a higher resolution plasma (or lcd) and nothing more.
A picture of the 3d glasses in drawing form. These always remind me of the X-Ray specs in the back of some old comic. All we need is some dude’s skeletal hand.
This certainly qualifies as one of the strangest in recent XBLA history to make a release and it is also the first game in this Summer of Arcade. The story involves a boy trying to find his sister in the edge of Hell, or what most of us know as Limbo. The game is done entirely in black and white and sound is only included when absolutely necessary.
It’s about solving environmental puzzles and avoiding traps. It certainly looks eerie. I have also heard that the game is very short and can be completed in roughly three hours or less. It’s hard to recommend that sort of game at 1200 points but it does look like something you should certainly give a try.
*reads description*, it’s a *beep beep* virtual aquarium. I shouldn’t even continue at this point. Your Mii however will be able to dive into the ocean and be able to inspect the fish first hand. There are eight aquarium themes and dozens of different fish to choose from. Supposedly, new things happen each day when you visit your aquarium, fish grow and new fish might even appear. This even happens when you turn off your Wii Console. Considering I turn on my Wii console about once every couple of months, these are going to be some dead ass fish.
Furry Legends boasts a lot of fur. That’s what they said about my ex-wife. *rim shot* Here you get to solve a bunch of physics based puzzle in a 3d world. There are plenty of odd creatures including crabs, rabbits and of course Furballs. They all have many different types of skills as they try to save the species from certain doom at the clutches of Lord Squarie. Save Furland today!
I’ve played a ton of basketball games in my past, both of the licensed variety and the non-licensed variety. This game looks to be feeding off the fire of NBA Jam. 3 on 3 basketball is the flavor here. There are unique characters and plenty of locations. Fighting is common and so are the random power-ups. Plenty of teams to choose from and you’ll be battling across the globe to become the undisputed world champions of Hoopworld.
Little League World Series 2010
Dark Star One – Broken Alliance
Little League World Series 2010
Little League World Series Double Play
Samantha Swift DS Collection
Little League World Series Double Play
Animal Planet: Vet Collection
Honestly, I don’t even know if there is a game worth mentioning this week in retail releases. I guess I could mention Little League World Series 2010 which includes a World Series mode and an exhibition mode. There are 16 different regions that exist in the game from various U.S. regions to Canada, Japan and Mexico. That is honestly all there is to the game and probably why it is selling for $40.
There is also a game called Dark Star One – Broken Alliance for the 360. The problem is that even though it is listed for this week, Amazon isn’t technically selling it either. So it could be delayed. From what I can find, it’s an old pc game from 2006 that involved space warfare and was hailed more for the robust graphics than decent gameplay. So this week looks like a complete wash. Stay tuned next week when we hope it will get a little bit better.
As mentioned last week, I am certainly starting to get more involved with my Xbox 360. I’m still playing some Poker Smash and my score is within striking distance of the 200k mark. Still ways shy of a million or anything that crazy, but pretty good nevertheless. Screwing around and trying bizarre combinations was actually the best way to learn the game and the key to completing challenges.
I have also gone on a little bargain game buying spree as of late. Best Buy was the victim of 2 recent purchases, Bioshock 2 and Final Fantasy XIII at $20 a piece. I do own Bioshock 1 as well as just about every Final Fantasy in existence, so these were pretty easy buys at the price. I just hope I can get to them in the near future. If I had to be a betting man, I would say FF13 has a better chance of going first. There is something about Final Fantasy that will bring me to the pay window every time regardless of whether it is good or not.
Gamestop also had one of their frequent buy 2 used, get 1 free sales. Among the titles I purchased was Odin Sphere for PS2, Last Remnant and Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for the Xbox 360. After the sale and my discount, I basically owned each of them for about $10 a piece. Yeah, I said Onechanbara, stop looking at me funny. I blame this column for that purchase. I mean it was just last week where I had to feature them in the Girl Gamer spot. It was only a matter of time before I purchased it. The sad part is that based on pure curiosity, this might get played in the upcoming weeks.
In fact, I told my wife that we should play multiplayer together. I probably should have not mentioned the part about multiple costumes. I suppose that’s like playing DOA Volleyball for the sport or Rumble Roses for the wrestling (however, in the latter’s defense, it is a decent wrestling engine). Anyhow, it does look like I’ll have something to talk about related to 360 front and center next week. Enjoy your week kiddoes and I’ll certainly try to do the same.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)