Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Preview: Halo 4 (360)

Incredibly, it has been 5 years since Master Chief's last appearance in Halo 3. During those years, Halo-themed games, Halo Wars, Halo: ODST, and Halo: Reach were released but none of those were proper sequels. Rather, they fit elsewhere in the continuity of the storyline introduced by Master Chief's exploits involving the galaxy-destroying Halos. Halo 4 picks up where the original trilogy ended: Master Chief adrift in space with his buddy AI, Cortana.

Early Impressions: Kung-Fu Strike: The Warrior's Rise (PC)

It came out a while ago for XBLA, and has now made it's way to PC.  So, Mr. Nash takes a look at the latest version of this fast action martial arts brawler.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Random Game Talk: Strider (NES)

While the arcade / Genesis version of Strider gets the majority of the attention from this series, the NES installment is a game that is very good in its own right.  In this episode, Mr. Nash takes a look back at that game.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Weekly Checkpoint 18

It's the end of the week, and with that it's time for another news round-up.  This week we discuss Gabe Newell and Rob Pardo's concerns regarding Windows 8, Yoichi Wada confirming that Final Fantasy XIII Versus is still in production, and Nintendo's latest batch of financials.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Prototype 2 (PS3) Giveaway


This giveaway is now complete!

For the next little while, "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, press all them social media-type buttons, or leave a comment on one of our articles because with each of them you'll be entered to win a Playstation 3 copy of Prototype 2 (NTSC)!

For example, if you follow us on Twitter, re-Tweet a post, comment on a clip in AE's YouTube channel, and "Like" us on Facebook, you've just entered the giveaway four times!

The giveaway is open until Saturday, August 4, 2012 to those over 18 years of age.

Get going!

Random Game Talk: Dungeon Explorer (TG-16)

Mr. Nash takes a look back at one of Atlus' earliest releases to come to the West.  Dungeon Explorer is an action RPG that came to the TurboGrafx-16 in 1989.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Preview: MechWarrior Online (PC)

An opening paragraph of any Mech-whatever game invariably ends with a question mark and starts with a brief history of the franchise or series. Rather than do a disservice trying to recap MechWarrior -- its origins, the military machinations, the BattleTech universe -- which would only irritate fans and completely confuse newcomers, it's much better to sum things up with, "You pilot a giant mech and blow things up."

Oniken Early Impressions (PC)

Today we're taking a quick look at Oniken, an action game for the PC with an 8-bit retro shtick to it.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Gear: Omni from Sumolounge

Seems like a lifetime ago, but the Omni variety of Sumolounge's line of bean bag chairs was reviewed by The Armchair Empire way back in 2006. Six years later Sumolounge provided a "Fiery Red" review unit and the differences are negligible compared to the "old" model, which isn't a bad thing.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Weekly Checkpoint 17

It's once again time for our weekly gaming news round-up, and this go around we're talking about Borderlands 2 which just got sent for the console approval process, Ubisoft UPlay problems that cropped up this week, Awesomenauts heading to PC, the Vita struggling in Japan, Mike Morhaime speaking up on the state of Diablo III, and Dead Space 3 coop mode, among other things.  Enjoy! ^_^

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Top 10: Best Cleavage Part VI

Cleavage: the depression between a woman's breasts especially when made visible by the wearing of a low-cut dress.
Character designers and marketing folk have a particular prediliction for female breasts. (See Parts I, II, III, IV, and V if in doubt.) It's as if they're under the impression that if a female character doesn't feature cartoonish boobs and possibly a plunging neckline to reveal an over-generous amount of cleavage, there's no way the player will be able to clue into the fact the character is a woman. Very few women characters, no matter the genre, actually showcase more moderate mammary measurements.

Cover Elf (Silverfall)
If sex sells, Silverfall would have sold a bazillion copies. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Video: A Virus Named Tom Early Impressions (PC)

Mr. Nash takes an early look at upcoming PC puzzler A Virus Named Tom, and tells us a bit of what to expect from the game.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Preview: Dead or Alive 5 (360, PS3)

On the ladder of fighting games, the Dead or Alive series is often lumped in the middle of the pack, and in spite of that, or maybe because of it, it's a series that I'll choose to play over other "tournament level" series like Soul Calibur and Street Fighter. Plus, button mashing can work.

Dead or Alive seems to revel in its spectacle and with each new title finds a different way to wriggle around in a wading pool of jello trying to find some other way to create even more spectacle.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Raving Rant: The Outsider

It sits there on Metacritic's page like a baleful and accusing eye.  It's the only one of its kind on that page, as of the time of this writing, a red square with a number "45" on it, and the name "Armchair Empire" next to that.  It is the review I submitted for Diablo III.  Right now, it's probably the most viewed page on our site.  I remember the email that Jeff Nash sent me after the review went up while I was at E3.  "Should be interesting to see how people react to the score. I suspect some hilarious comments will be forthcoming."

In this respect, our fearless leader was not wrong.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Weekly Checkpoint 16

It's time for Mr. Nash's weekly round-up of some of the bigger game news stories to emerge in the last little bit, and this go around he talks Steam sales, Bioware taking over the Ultima series, and the Ouya, among other things.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Review: DiRT Showdown Hoonigan Exclusive Edition (360)

From its beginnings as a pure rally car simulation in Colin McRae Rally, after the untimely death of the game's namesake endorser in 2007, the series has evolved into the DiRT franchise, which still has that rally car heart but has transformed into an entertainingly diverse racing/demolition derby game with the newest release, DiRT Showdown on the Xbox 360.

Preview: Rayman Legends (Wii U) Hands-On

On display at a recent hands-on event at Nintendo Canada was Ubisoft's gorgeous Rayman Legends, which is set for launch alongside the Wii U console.

Assisting me during the play session was my 3-year old son. With the Wii U Pro Controller, which feels remarkably like the Xbox 360 controller, my son controlled Rayman, while I controlled Murfy with the Wii U Gamepad.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Video: Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition Gameplay Impressions (PC)

It's a game that probably slipped under a lot of people's radars, but Mr. Nash seems to like it.  Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition combines the competitive versus element of fighting games with the speedy blasty action of a shmup.

Preview: P-100 (Wii U) Hands-On

P-100 is one of those games I stared at for a full five minutes and didn't understand what the hell was going on. It was inscrutable to me. It's obviously a sign of age because my 12-year old son didn't seem to have any problems navigating the world or blowing up the giant anime robots that plagued him and his group of citizens gathered throughout the isometric level.

Review: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (360)

Nearly every LEGO game released builds on previous LEGO titles and righting wrongs and adding bricks where necessary to create an even better experience than the one before it. On the surface, that's exactly what happened with LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Retro Review: Final Fantasy I (NES)

After a bit of a hiatus, Retro Reviews are back, and Mr. Nash kicks things off with a look back at one of his favorite RPGs as a kid, Squaresoft's Final Fantasy on the NES.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Review: Inversion (360)

All Davis Russel wanted to do on a sunny, tranquil day is visit his wife and daughter as a noon respite from his tough and demanding job as a police officer. However, as he and his partner, Leo Delgado, head off to Russel's apartment, their world and lives and everybody else's gets turned upside down, literally, in the new third-person shooter on the Xbox 360, Inversion.

Borrowing heavily from the Gears of War franchise for its style, substance and gameplay (including "roadie running") Inversion plays like a Gears of War game, with one signature difference: the Zero G "flying" and offensive abilities as well as the inversion of the gaming environment, twisting and turning it in a manner reminiscent of an M.C. Escher work.

Monday, 9 July 2012

News: Phantasy Star Online 2 Coming to US and Europe in 2013

After much wondering if they'd announce a Western release for the game, it looks like Sega will be making an official announcement today for a US and European release for Phantasy Star Online 2 according to PSO World.  PSO2 is a free to play sci-fi online RPG, and sequel to Phantasy Star Online, which debuted on the Dreamcast over a decade ago.

The game takes a much more action oriented approach to combat with three classes to choose from including the melee fighting hunter, gun toting ranger, and magic using force.  If you haven't already, be sure to check out our gameplay impressions of the Japanese version of the game.

Review: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition (360)

Getting weak in the knees thinking about a video game character is 100% ridiculous and a sure sign that the person experiencing such feelings is an emotionally unstable weirdo, who you'd more likely see lining up at City Hall for a marriage license to wed their body pillow than reaching for a bar of soap and having a damn shower

Well, that's what I used to believe.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Weekly Checkpoint 15

It's the weekend once more, and with that Mr. Nash discusses some of the bigger gaming news stories to come up over the last few days. This week we look at the EU's recent ruling on the resale of digitally distributed software, Final Fantasy VII getting re-released on the PC after all these years, and Sony deciding to team up with Gaikai.

Video: Phantasy Star Online 2 Gameplay Impressions (PC)

With the free to play MMORPG recently having come out of beta in Japan, Mr. Nash tells us a bit of what to expect while playing it.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Review: Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)

If you easily get seasick, this horror zombie adventure from Capcom is unlikely to go over well. If you are sensitive to 3D at all, it will just make the experience that much worse.

First, a little background. Revelations is set in the year 2005 (between Resident Evil 4 and 5). The story revolves around Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, who you might remember from the first game. Jill and Parker are sent to search for Chris and Jessica on the “SS Queen Zenobia”, which is a cruise ship that serves as the main setting for the game. The typical storytelling crutches such as flashbacks are used to “flesh out” the story (sorry for that pun) which is told via a third-person perspective (although you can switch to first person if you wish).

Friday, 6 July 2012

Review: Out of the Park 13 (PC)

This is certainly not MLB The Show
Baseball simulations like Out of the Park Baseball 13 are perhaps the most anachronistic of all video games. In an era when the focus of most developers is on realistic graphics and physics, it is amazing a game can not only survive, but actually thrive, with no graphics or physics (to speak of). Instead, games like Out of the Park 13 and its competitors focus on being the most detailed, accurate simulation of all aspects of professional baseball. Out of the Park has changed a lot since I last played it (apparently OOTP 2012 was a major overhaul), but the core simulation engine remains the games focus and its strength.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Review: The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved for Help (PC)

As the time between the first episode and the second episode of The Walking Dead dragged on, hopes that the end result would be worth the wait were unreasonably high for this reviewer. And even though the story of Episode 2 plays out predictably, especially if you have any familiarity with the graphic novels or The Donner Party, it's still a good experience and worth the wait.

"Good" being an entirely subjective word here.

News: Final Fantasy VII Coming to the PC...Again

Years and years ago Final Fantasy VII came to the PC (and so did VIII for that matter).  The game wasn't terribly well received because the thing was a terribly half-assed port, and left gamers of the time with the feeling that if they want to play a Final Fantasy game, they might as well get the console version.  Now Square-Enix is taking another kick at the can for a PC version of FFVII.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

News: Neon Alley To Deliver Anime and Otaku News On Console

Viz Media, known for producing anime such as "Inuyasha" and "Naruto" announced a couple days back they would be creating a new 24-hour video channel called Neon Alley.  Today, at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, more details have been revealed.

The first is the price point, a monthly subscription of fee of $6.99, which puts it in line with other paid VOD services currently out there.  Anime News Network will be providing a dedicated forum channel as part of the effort to build the community and will also serve as the official news outlet for the new channel.  Most interesting is the announcement that the channel will be available through "a major game console," as yet unannounced, but there is a strong possibility the console will be the PlayStation 3.

More as this story develops.

- Axel Cushing

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Weekly Checkpoint 14

This week we discuss Radical Entertainment going under, Battlefield 3's premium service, and Diablo III dropping the 3 day trial mode for digital copies, among other things.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Hardware: Zotac GeForce GTX 560Ti

There's nothing quite like a new graphics card to provide a quick and very obvious boost to games experienced on a PC.

That's precisely what the Zotac GeForce GTX 560Ti supplied.

After the easiest installation and set-up I've ever experienced -- I had the card up and running in what felt like a matter of minutes -- I had the Zotac GeForce GTX 560Ti chewing on games like Batman: Arkham City. And over the last number of months, I've had the opportunity to play many current and older games (2-3 years older) with no issues whatsoever (provided I stayed on top of ensuring I always had the latest drivers installed).