Monthly Archives: March 2012

[News] Indie Game Fez Finally Gets A Release Date

Polytron Corporation has finally revealed the release date for their indie platformer, Fez. The game will be released on Friday, April 13, granted luck stays on their side (pun totally intended).

The game is a simple 2D/3D platformer where you need to collect cubes in order to save the universe and prevent it from collapsing. The floating levels you hop through are built in 3D while the view is maintains a 2D view. You can adjust the camera to move to each side of the current floating island you’re traversing to continue through the level. The game will cost you 800 Microsoft Points to purchase.

Despite lead developer Phil Fish’s inflammatory statements about Japanese games, Fez still looks like an awesome indie game and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The levels look gorgeous and the music is incredibly ambient and ethereal. For those of you who haven’t seen the game in motion, feel free to follow the link below to Fish’s official website and a short trailer of its game play.

http://polytroncorporation.com/fez-trial-gameplay

Sources:

www.gameinformer.com

polytroncorporation.com

[Guide] Batman: Arkham City-Finding the Frozen Cops In The Museum

Once you open the door with your remote batarang, head down the open passageway you just opened up. Use your cryptographic sequencer to unlock the next door to your left. Head down the hall until you reach a set of stairs leading you up to the next floor. Once there head through the door. At the other end of the hallway is a frozen archway leading to the Iceberg Lounge. Simply spray some explosive gel onto the ice and turn it into icicles.

Walk into the open room. The area is covered in mostly ice with a few areas of water. As soon as you enter the room, you notice the Penguin firing Mister Freeze’s gun at one cops from Precinct 13. He manages to freeze the cop and make a few taunting remarks towards Batman before running back to the iceberg lounge.

Head down to the ice, but walk lightly. The ice is not particularly thick, so it cracks as you walk across. Tread carefully to the frozen officer and break him out of the ice. After landing safely at the entrance of the room, the cop lets you know that two more members of his unit are in the room and frozen as well.

Tip-toe across the frozen floor to the water’s edge and look towards the right. You’ll see a floating platform hanging from the ceiling. Use a batarang to cut it down and then use the batclaw to drag it across to the water to you. Also, near-by is one of the first frozen cops.

You’ll see him off to your left by one of the pillars with the giant rings. Guess how you get over there? Walk onto the platform and aim your batclaw at the pillar adorned with massive rings. Fire at it and bring yourself closer to him. Once you’re close enough to him, break him free.

With him on the platform, latch onto one the rings hanging from the east wall. You’ll find the last cop in the room behind you on the small dock. Drag your way across the water to reach him. Break him out of the ice and all the cops in this room will be saved. They inform you that more members of their unit are being held hostage Penguin’s men and the birdman himself.

Time to go save them.

Resident Evil 5 Strategy: Worship Area Guide Pt. 2

Careful now...

After facing the treacherous trials of the Worship Room, this next one should offer a small respite from fighting. However, you’ll need to put your problem solving skills to work in this area.

Walk down the long flight of stairs to the gold door with the turquoise jewel and head on in. The room contains an intense beam of light coming down from a hole in the sealing, into a tall pedestal. The beam is reflected off of four movable mirrors, with another absorbing pedestal isolated in the upper left hand corner of the room. Heed Sheva’s warning about the beam. If you touch it, you will die.

To solve this room simply move the mirror nearest to the absorbing pedestal to the left to place the beam right into the absorbing pedestal. Turns out the floor around the pedestal acts as an elevator once you activate it and it’s time to head down to the second floor.

Second Floor

The second floor offers a slightly more difficult puzzle to solve. The absorbing pedestal is now located in the lower left hand corner of the room. First, begin with knocking down the pillar blocking the path of the beam.

Next, move the mirror that is reflecting the beam into the wall to the right. This will make the beam bounce off the mirror closest to the elevator you came down on as well as the mirror in the upper right hand corner of the room. Turn this mirror to the left at the one next to the pillar.

Knock this pillar down and the beam will make its connection with the absorbing pedestal. Time to take the platform down to the next floor.

Third Floor

The third floor ups the complexity even more. You have five mirror pedestals to work with a single chest in the room. Opening the chest, which is empty, will cause the two closed doors to open allowing for a swarm of angry mutant insects to attack you. Keep the chest closed if you want to avoid wasting bullets.

Begin by turning the last mirror the beam is hitting to the right. The beam will reflect into the mirror across from the one you turned. Turn this one to the right as well to the mirror closest to the source of the beam. Finally, turn this one to the right as well to complete the circuit. The two closed golden doors will open up for you to explore. They’re filled with treasure so it’s highly recommended you search them.

Now it’s time to leave. Moving the mirror in the center on its own will activate the absorption pedestal, but will leave you trapped by the sun beam perimeter. To finally solve the room and leave move the mirror pedestal closest to the beam source again, this time to the left. Then, adjust the central mirror to the right. Finally, turn the beam to the right and it will reflect down the hallway. Head on down to the last floor and the end of the chapter

Resident Evil 5 Strategy: 4-2 Worship Area Guide

After making your miraculous escape from the flying bat-bug, you find yourself on the other side at the end of a long hallway. Time to keep moving. Walk up the path, after smashing a few jars to your left closer to the open area of the ruins. The path splits going straight ahead and to your right. Keep walking forward to find a door with three open circular slots. It looks like you’ll have to go key hunting once again.

Earth Emblem

Walk back and take the path that diverged right. As soon as you reach the turn at the other end angry villagers start putting a beautiful (and deadly) death-ray using the sun, to use. After the laser is fired off for the first time it was run across to the small hallway tucked behind the lone wall that will separate you from the lasers pathway. The diverged path way comes to a quick end and you’ll need to bolt across to the balcony jutting out. Wait for the next laser blast, to run to one of the small outlets on the wall across from you. If you get caught in its path, quickly press the action button that pops up on your screen to press against the wall.

A doorway at the end of the path leads you to safety as well as some more upset villagers. Fight through the hallway to the room with the burning totem. There you’ll find the Earth Emblem and even more angry villagers. Take these goons out and don’t forget the one shooting at you above the rooms entrance . Grab the tablet and head back to the central room, while still avoiding the active laser beam.

Sea Emblem

Place the tablet into the door and now head west from the emblem door. The other path is also guarded by a laser beam. Run to the doorway directly across from you when the laser beam shot is paused and you’ll find yourself in the second emblem room.

You’ll see another burning totem at the top of a small flight of stairs up to a ruined room. Head across the wood panel bridge and be prepared for a fight. Archers will rain explosive arrows down on you so keep moving or take cover when possible. Fight your way up the steps and take the tablet. As you head back down the steps more angry tribes man attack you led by one of the large head armored goons. If you have the bullets put your magnum to use. If not, stick with a shotgun, or another powerful weapon, to take him on. Or just run from him to the central room while fighting the rest of his men.

Once you’re back in the central room insert the Sea tablet into its rightful place. Now for the final emblem.

Sky Emblem

Head west once again, this time running further up the laser path. Much like the east wing run from inlet to inlet to reach the small path jutting from your left. You’ll find another path, which is also protected by the same laser that’s been harassing you. Plan your timing with this one since there aren’t many inlets to duck into.

At the other end you’ll reach a path running horizontally to your position. And guess what? There’s another laser blasting along it. Use careful timing once again, running west along the path. Safely at the other, you’ll find a dead end path with a couple of jars and a spot for an assist jump. Smash the jars on the path to find some supplies then head back to the gap and assist jump Sheva across.

Once she’s across villagers start attacking. Cover Sheva until she reaches the top of the steps and takes the last tablet. Another silver headed guardian attacks Sheva, who will ultimately lead him to you when she comes down. Kill him if you can, if you can’t run. Return to the central room and place the final emblem into the door.

Once the door opens, head up the steps to the large pair of doors. Shoot the diamond stuck above the doors, then head on through.

Pt. 2 Laser Beam Puzzle Tomorrow.

Maxis Shows Off New Glassbox Game Engine For SimCity

I remember the first time I played a SimCity game and having the opportunity of exploring every aspect an ever growing metropolis. Granted, I wasn’t always particularly good at it, I had still had a blast setting up some fairly mediocre, normal cities, or take a less peaceful route, unleashing terrible disasters on my citizens and destroying my city. With a new SimCity on the horizon of 2013 Maxis is finally releasing a few trailers showing some of the games new mechanics.

Just today they released the first trailer of their new Glassbox Simulation Engine. The engine allows for buildings, which are referred to as “simulation units”, actively creating beginnings and outcomes for gathering or using resources. Pedestrians and vehicles referred to as “agents” transport resources to other locations. The engine is expected to be able ” to put out tens of thousands of these agents”. You just as confused as I am? Well, to help you better understand it I’ve attached the link to the video below. Even if it doesn’t fully help you understand it, seeing it in action will still make much more sense.

Needless to say this has me excited after such a long wait.

More Speculation On When The Next Micrsoft Console Will Be Announced

According to a report from business news website, Bloomberg.com, the new Xbox system would be announced in the summer of 2013. This information was relayed by two anonymous employees from within Microsoft. This points to signs that it could be unveiled at the 2013 E3 conference, destroying any hope of seeing at this years conference.

Given that the $300 Xbox 360 is still creating a $115 profit for the computer software company, it doesn’t feel the  need to rush a new game console model to the market. Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., told Bloomberg that Microsoft will attempt to release the console by the end of 2013 0r the start of 2014.

While this is all fine and dandy this is still just a matter of speculation, instead of concrete answers. Also, I’m not particularly inclined to believe anonymous sources. But, regardless, it seems Microsoft is starting to get the ball rolling in the next-gen department and hopefully we’ll see some kind of a legitimate announcement soon.

Resident Evil 5: Marshlands

If you thought traveling to the marshlands was dark and intense, well the bleak gray skies that hover over them isn’t particularly inviting either. Here’s how to get through them alive.

You land on a small patch of land with several tribal shields and masks surrounding a dead BSAA agent whom, by the looks of things, did not go quietly or peacefully. Next to the dead agent you’ll find the first of four slates you’ll need to unlock the next area. Pick up some of the treasure items and head out. It’s time to find the other three.

Warrior Slate

Head slightly north and then west, down the narrow waterway towards a small group of huts sitting in the midst of the marshes. Drive around the huts to reach the dock and get off your boat search the first few huts for items and ammo. As approach the hut in the northwest corner infected tribes men begin attacking you. Fight or run your way through them to get inside the hut. There you’ll find a chest that contains the warrior slate. With slate in hand either kill the remaining tribes people or run past them to return to the boat.

Raptor Slate

Now begin working your way east to another dock. Take a pit stop at the solitary hut across the way to fill up on supplies and find a few treasure items. The next dock area has a single raised hut surrounded by crocodile infested water.  The crocodiles are tough and dangerous foes with instant kill attacks so don’t waste your ammo fighting them. Run around them and avoid them at all costs. This may provoke an attack, but should they miss it will slow them down. Climb up to the hut and take out the four tribesman and work your way to a small hut nearby wear you’ll find the raptor slate. Head back to the boat, while still avoiding the crocs and head north to find the last slate.

Shaman Slate

Approach the northern most dock to find a village tucked away on the shore. Search the village for supplies and continue down the road an enclosed area. Here you’ll find two small towers in which you can assist jump Sheva up to.  In the first you’ll find a silver idol and the second the final slate. Don’t rejoice just, yet. A slew of the infected tribes man will begin attacking you. Kill the first five that enter the area. Once this group is taken out make a run for the boat. You can attempt to kill the next wave, but most of them are armored and one may unleash a deadly armored las plagas from his head. It’s probably just best to get the hell out of there.

With all four pieces of the slate in hand head west to the flashing point on your map. Once you get on shore head to the door and place each one into place and move to the next area of the chapter.

Minecraft Duds Available In Xbox Marketplace Before Game

According to a tweet by Markus “Notch” Perrson, Xbox Marketplace will now be offering Minecraft avatar clothes as we all wait for it to finally be available on console. If your looking for a nice set of pseudo-8-bit attire you can find a creeper t-shirt, an awesome looking cape and even Notch’s nifty hat (if you always wanted to look like a lead indie-game designer) all in the Xbox Marketplace starting today.

Beware of wolves. Just kidding you’ll be fine.

[Sources: Markus “Notch” Perrson Twitter Feed, xbox.com]

Batman: Arkham City Review

At least once in every person’s life they wanted to be a superhero. When video game developers finally decided to put these licenses to work our child hood dreams finally came true. But the team at Rocksteady has finally put us into the tights of the Dark Knight himself: Batman with Arkham Asylum. And now the sequel has taken it from being that persona to the bliss of embodying everything that’s cool about being Batman.

Batman: Arkham City begins a few years after Arkham Asylum. Hugo Strange has been able to take a portion of Gotham and turn the Asylum into a sprawling super prison. The now deteriorating city is completely open to exploration from the beginning and it’s worth delving into every back alley. Failing infrastructure, the massive build up of waste and snowy back drop has actually manages to make the rest of Gotham City seem like it’s full of flowers and sunshine. Rocksteady didn’t spare a single dark detail for the creation of the prison city.

The fluid combat system shines through with the timed use of attacking and counters. Countering moves can vicious, especially if you are next a wall or ledge for head bashing. While direct combat has its excitement, stealth has you terrorizing thugs from the dark. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a whole group of goons slowly becoming more terrified as you take them out one by one.

Side missions are rarely pointless, offering, if not worthwhile rewards, at least a fun glimpse at some of Batmans other nemesis’. Riddler, Zasz, Deadshot and several surprising ones that I won’t ruin on this post make their appearance as you fight your way to Strange.

To merely call this game great is an understatement. I’ve never found an action game, a superhero one at that, more enthralling and immersive than Arkham City. The game has some odd collision effects and a few glitches, but they are nothing more than tiny nuisances amongst the towering feats this game has been able to accomplish.

Peter Molyneux Leaves Lionhead and Microsoft

I woke up Wednesday morning to find that one of my favorite designers, Peter Molyneux, will be leaving Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own development company. While he admits the departure is amicable, Molyneux has decided to remain quiet about the specifics of the issue. He’ll be leaving once he has completed Fable: The Journey.

Molyneux has created a long list of innovative games over his 30 years of developing them. His first was the 1989 PC game Populous, broke new grounds as one of the first god-games for PC and a template for many other real-time strategy games. He soon moved on to Lionhead Studios where he developed both the God game Black and White and, most recently, the RPG turned morality tale series, Fable.

For all of his talented creation skills the 52 year old game designer has always had on fatal flaw: over hyping his games. The man is one of my favorite developers, but his over-hyping had me walking away from the first Fable in mild disappointment. It was still fun and a completely new experience in gaming for me. But when I hear I’ll be playing in an open-world, Molyneux, I want to be playing in an open world not narrow zones.

Molyneux has done this with most of his games, the Fable series, as mentioned above, being one of his bigger offenders. While he personally admitted that he over-hyped both Fable and Fable II, he instead learned a different lesson about game journalists. In an interview a couple of years ago originally in Retro Gamer Magazine he had made the following statement:

“When I did Fable I learnt a real lesson about talking to journalists. With Fable and with Black & White I really was just actually being a designer at this point. Saying ‘imagine we’re going to have this game feature, and it’s going to do this and this is why we’re going to have it and why it’s important’.

 And of course the poor games journalist writes down all these things and it comes across as ‘oh my god, it’s going to be amazing’ but really they were just words because a lot of the time with Fable and with Black & White I was actually talking I wasn’t really demoing.”

 Now to me this sounds mildly like he thought that journalists were misinterpreting him. While this definitely does happen, for the most part we report those bits information because, well, we’re journalists. We report that info because it’s useful for the game were reporting on. If he honestly wasn’t demoing those features than he shouldn’t have said anything about those features in the first place.

But as of the past few years Molyneux has been holding his tongue a little more on the new games he’s been working on. So far. His new company, 22 Cans will be independently run by him so maybe he’ll be able to produce more legitimate games that won’t be over hyped. Despite my complaint, I can’t wait to see what he has in store next.

Sources:

Joystickdivision.com

Abandonia.com

Kotaku.com