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Friday, August 26, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - "Back in the Saddle" Gameplay



Mahervin Slick, Dave Tadros, and Lipari take a look at an early level from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is now available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.



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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Countdown to Gears of War 3!: Week One

Round 1


Round 2


Round 3


Join the 4H Crew in some Gears of War 2 multiplayer as we count down to the release of Gears of War 3! Gears of War 3 will be available exclusively for Xbox 360 September 20, 2011.



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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Demo Gameplay






Mahervin Slick, Dave Tadros, and Andy Nighthorse take a look at the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine demo!  Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 6, 2011!


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NHL 12 Demo Gameplay





The EA Sports Hockey League's (EASHL) own 'The Four Horseman' or simply '4H' - the team that amassed a record of 736 (wins) - 177 (regulation losses) - 61 (overtime losses) in NHL 11 - take a look at the demo for NHL 12 ... and get their butts handed to them by the A.I. on Superstar difficulty. Mahervin Slick (center, red), Andy Nighthorse (right wing, blue), Lipari (left defense, green), Christopher Slick (right defense, yellow), and Dave Tadros (commentary), take a look at the new NHL 12 Demo! NHL 12 will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 13, 2011!


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Bodycount Demo Gameplay






Mahervin Slick checks out Bodycount, while Dave and Lipari wish they were never born! Bodycount will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August 30, 2011!


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THROWBACK - Quick Review: Castle Crashers

Gameplay – 9.5

Castle Crashers is your classic side-scrolling beat-em-up arcade game. The game is simple & fun, offering some RPG elements such as leveling up character abilities (strength, magic, defense, & agility). At the start of the game you are required to select one of four similarly-looking characters; there is the blue, red, green, & orange knight. Each knight comes with his own unique blend of magic, such as the blue knight’s ice and the red knight’s lightning. There are also additional characters that, once unlocked, can be used to go back and replay the game with. Controls are straight forward with buttons for weak & strong attacks, jumping, and magic. Combo attacks will also become available as your character levels up and can be learned via on-screen prompts that appear automatically once certain levels are reached. There are different weapons you can obtain that will either boost or reduce your skills depending on type, i.e. a staff will increase your magic but lower your defense. Animal companions are also introduced from the get-go. Ranging from a ram that will attack enemies to a seahorse that will help you move through water faster, the animal companions add a unique element to the game.



Story – 8.5
Each of the King’s four daughters are kidnapped and you are appointed to rescue them. That’s … about … it. Despite the typically weak beat-em-up story, the journey to rescue the daughters is entertaining to say the least. You will encounter a giant bat, animals defecating in fear, and a knight that plays a bomb-shooting organ to name a few of the more amusing moments. Levels vary often enough to stay interesting; one level you will be in the water fighting and the next you may find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a chase sequence.

Game Modes/Presentation – 8.0
There are 3 game modes within Castle Crashers. Story mode, as stated above, follows you on your quest to save the King’s kidnapped daughters. ”All You Can Quaff” is a button-mashing mini-game pitting characters against one another in order to see who can eat the most food. Unless you enjoy mashing buttons & want an achievement, there is not much of a point to this mode. Last but not least is Arena mode in which the characters attempt to survive through several waves of enemies.

Graphics – 8.5
Castle Crashers has a look of its own thanks to its use of unique cartoon graphics. The colors are vibrant and the game runs very smoothly. My only gripe with the graphics is that during spell-casting, specifically during fire spells, the screen becomes very cluttered and it can be difficult to see anything. Aside from that, the game is visually appealing.

Sound – 9.0
I was not expecting much in the sound department of Castle Crashers seeing as how it is an Xbox Live Aracde title but I was surprised to discover an awesome soundtrack that has some epic tracks starting right at the main menu. The music is well orchestrated and goes great with the game.

Online – 8.5
All game modes are available both locally and online. There are no added features when venturing into the online world, only the ability to play with or against your friends from the comfort of your own home. I did not experience any issues with lag during my time playing online.

Final Score - 9.0

Available via the Xbox Live Marketplace, Castle Crashers is a worthy download for any fan that enjoys old school beat-em-up classics such as the ‘Streets of Rage’ series.


Reviewed by Andy Nighthorse




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Madden NFL 12 Demo







Mahervin Slick and Lipari face off in the new Madden NFL 12 Demo while Dave watches in horror! Madden NFL 12 will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, PSP and PlayStation 2 on August 30, 2011.


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Monday, August 8, 2011

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Gameplay








Dave and Mondo check out the newest edition to the 2011 Summer of Arcade - Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet!  Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is now on sale only on Xbox Live for 1200 MS Points!



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Friday, August 5, 2011

Quick Review: Bastion

Gameplay - 8.5

Supergiant games’ releases their debut title “Bastion,” a story driven action RPG adventure available as part of XBL’s 2011 “Summer of Arcade.” In Bastion you take control of a post apocalyptic survivor known only as “The Kid.” As you trudge through the remains of Caelondia you’ll slowly piece together an arsenal of both melee and projectile combat weapons. After acquiring these tools of the trade you’re able to hack, slash, and shoot a path through anything standing in your way. Doing so will net you experience points as well as fragments which act as currency. You can use the fragments to purchase materials to upgrade your weapons at an “Forge,” or buy various perk granting spirits available at the “Lost and Found.” Your main purpose in all of this is to locate the “Cores” and “Shards” which enable you to re-build and upgrade the safe haven known as “Bastion.” Here you are able to erect your own distillery, armory, forge, and a variety of other buildings that can be put to use in your quest for survival. You will also have the option to evoke the wrath of one of the worlds many deities from within the “Shrine.” This will increase a enemy attributes, or grant them special perks that raise the game’s difficulty level. This doesn’t go without merit though as you will receive more experience points and fragments for defeating enemies than normally. It’s a smart feature that takes away the mundane task of navigating menus and interjects difficulty customization into the story. The gameplay as a whole is your typical hack and slash action/adventure RPG affair. However, it’s fast paced action and bevy of enemies and obstacles render the repetitive “beat-em-up” elements fresh and new every time you play. Bastion is certainly an enjoyable experience that forces your hand in the strategy department, but also keeps button mashers happy.

Story – 9.0

Bastion’s story element is unique, in that it’s being told as you progress further into the game. To an extent, what you do shapes the tale. It’s unique storytelling quality comes in the form of an in game narrator not bound exclusively to cut scenes. He narrates everything from getting up and walking around to killing enemies and destroying scenery. Despite suspicions that consistent narration might become annoying, players will find that it was done within reason. The person telling the story, who is little more then a voice from the start, becomes a character the kid interacts with further down the line. His character eventually identifies himself as Rucks and his spoken account of the kid’s adventure evolves as you move forward. More of the how and why is revealed by Rucks with the retrieval of each core and the discovery of wary survivors not taken by the calamity. The stories overall tone of sadness and regret is especially shown through with character backstories. This is central to the games success and embellishes the already solid gameplay.


Game Modes/Presentation – 8.5

Bastion boasts a very lush and colorful display showcasing stunning landscapes in the wake of destruction, flowing action sequences, and a melting pot of unique enemies. With that said, Bastion retains the feel of an old-school action RPG while maintaining an impressive environment. However, it does lack a separate mini game mode, but that’s neither here nor there because the developers seamlessly incorporate the mini game within the story. Bastions mini-game manifests itself in the form of “Proving Grounds” which require you to engage in various challenges for each weapon acquired. Eleven Proving Ground mini games are scattered throughout the world, each testing you in different ways, for example, one requires you to obtain a specific score with your pistol against stationary targets in a timely manner, another tests your ability to crush every inanimate object in sight with your hammer, each Proving Ground plays to the strengths of the specific weapon.. Your success rate determines if you will unlock one, two, or all three of the possible rewards.


Graphics – 8.5

Most graphics today are on point with the advancement of technology, unless your talking about “Duke Nukem: Forever. Bastion feels like playing a comic book painted on canvas, without any annoying glitches or slow loading screens. It’s a smooth ride from start to finish.


Sound - 8.5

In keeping up with it’s solid graphics, Bastion is also proficient in the sound department. Melee and ranged weapon attacks, gulping down health potions, grunts and dialogue (executed mostly by Rucks the narrator) are all covered here. What’s more though, the game’s music is an attractive element, making the frenzy of action even more fun and exciting then it would be with just a wall of sound.


Online - N/A


Final Score: 9.0

Every year that XBL cranks out “Summer of Arcade” titles, there is always one game that stands above the rest. This years diamond in the rough is “Bastion” hands down. It takes repetitive RPG elements and keeps it interesting with difficulty customization and multiple enemies that make you think before rushing blindly into battle. It’s graphics and sound are also admirable for a downloadable title. If anything though, you should play this game for it’s story. It allows you to create your own tale through cause and effect which will then be narrated as if you handed Rucks the script yourself. One of the few games that’s worth 1200 Microsoft points.


Reviewed by Mondo



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Monday, August 1, 2011

Quick Review: From Dust

Gameplay - 7.5
Ubisoft takes a crack at attempting to revive the “God-game” genre with it’s latest XBL release “From Dust.” In From Dust you play as a God-like figure, “The Breath,” that must assist a tribe in exploring new areas of a desolate world and populating it. As “The Breath” you are exactly that, an invisible figure that can manipulate most of the environments of the world. On screen “The Breath” is presented as a cursor, which can be moved over sand, water, and lava with the ability to absorb and drop the aforementioned substances anywhere on the map. If there is a river that your tribe must cross, for example, you may build a bridge made out of lava or sand in order to allow safe passage. The only major complaint with this style of gameplay is, many times you will be stuck in a dire situation where time is of the essence, you build a bridge to have your tribe cross to a different section of the map and, low and behold, you’re one pixel of lava off! Adding to the lava makes the bridge taller so they still can’t move across it, and there is no way to take the lava away. So your tribe dies - time to start over. Throughout the game your tribe will gain memories. Collecting all the memories will not only give you a history of your tribe but you will also be rewarded with an achievement. Adding sand close to your tribes will add grasslands that spread to every piece of sand on the map as long as they are connected. Filling half of the map and the entire map with greenery will reward more tribe memories but will also put your tribes in danger of wild fires if a volcano is near by. Each totem pole you find will create village on the map, making multitasking a must. The tribe is also very music oriented and finding “knowledge of…” stones will teach the tribe compositions to hold off natural disasters such as tsunamis and wildfires. Overall, the game play is tedious at points, but overall enjoyable.

Story – 5.0
Sadly, From Dust is lacking any kind of compelling story. The tribe is a musically oriented tribe that worships “The Breath,” whom you control, in hopes of populating the lands and controlling the various elements. The idea is pretty straightforward, and extremely repetitive. The game is so repetitive that at the conclusion of each stage the same cut scene replays again, and again, just in case you missed it the first time. Worst of all a narrator speaks in an unknown language that is translated into English subtitles, why? The narrator reveals that the tribe is following the path of their ancestors who have left totems and stones of power throughout the land. What happened to the ancestors, and how they gained these powers is very unclear and you will quickly find yourself ignoring the story all together.

Game Modes/Presentation – 7.5
Aside from the story mode, From Dust offers up challenge modes with a variety of different environmental disasters that you must work around while being timed. This adds to the game-time but is not compelling enough to play more than a few times. Unless you completely loved the story mode, this may be a mode that is skipped all together.

Graphics – 8.5
The environments of From Dust are beautiful and the sand, water, and lava movements all look life-like. It’s graphical downfall is when the map is filled with activity. The game will continue to clip and chop leaving you worried of the possibility of the game freezing and losing all your current progress.

Sound - 6.0
Not much to say in the sound department, airy breezes, rushing water, and erupting volcano fill the sound scape with an occasional tribal beat. I can see how the developers wanted to be realistic, but there is a fine line between realism and boredom.

Online - N/A

Final Score: 7.0
For a downloadable title at a value of on $15, From Dust is worth a shot, but is definitely not the “must have” title of this Summer of Arcade.


Reviewed by David Tadros



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