Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dracozombie's last three weeks in gaming: August 22-September 11

Holy shit, I haven't been here in a good while! I've been busy with all manner of personal issues. Over the last few weeks, my parents' marriage has hit a very rocky point, my ex-girlfriend was in town, I got the flu, my fathers family (my grandmother and uncle) came up to visit (i.e. take up space), and I've been writing. It has been hectic, and very draining.

Fortunately, that shit is over now. Almost. My parents are still getting their shit together, but I'd imagine they'll sort it all out by weeks end.

As you can imagine, though, I haven't really gotten the chance to sit down and write in my blog, so I am very behind with my updates.

In any case, here are the last three weeks of my writing for Examiner and Multiplayer Games.

Mafia II his shelves recently, and I wrote a review of the game, which you can read here. It is not a bad title at all: the story is great, and the gameplay is very enjoyable. It is a bit bare-bones, mind you, as in there isn't much in the way of optional content.

With Mafia II's release, 2K and Gamertag Radio set up a very badass NYC release party at the 92nd Street Y's Tribecca Center. Protesters whined about the stereotyping of the Italian mafioso, but no one payed them any mind. Read more on the event here.

Konami held a sexy little event called the NYC Gamer's Night, showcasing some upcoming Konami titles. I got my hands on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which has shaped up to be an great title, and an excellent addition to the Castlevania series. Check out my preview for details on this title.

Among the titles showcased at the NYC Gamer's Night was an interesting wrestling game called Lucha Libre AAA: Héroes del Ring. I thought it looked cheesy at first glance, but it was surprisingly fun and well-designed. What threw me was that it is being developed by spanish developer Immersion Software. Read more on Héroes del Ring if wrestling is your thing.

Ys Seven is the newest incarnation of the Ys series from Japanese developer Falcom. Publisher XSeed localized the title for North America, and it is out now. The verdict? Buy the game. Seriously. If you like Action RPGs and old-school, Zelda-style exploration and dungeon crawling, you need to pick this title up. Read my review if you're on the fence.

Dissidia is the over-the-top, nonsensical Final Fantasy fighting game from Square-Enix that finally let us beat the shit out of Sephiroth with Squall. An S-E has announced the sequel, which is being developed on the PSP just like its predecessor. Called Dissidia Doudecim, you can read all about the title and the new characters in my reveal article.

I only wrote one article for this column in three weeks. That's... pretty fucking bad. Anyway, the action-crazy geniuses at Platinum Games have rolled out a brand-new trailer for their upcoming third-person-shooter-on-crack, Vanquish. A demo is out, if you are interested, but definitely check out the trailer too.

"Wired" and several other sources reported that a negligence lawsuit had been filed against the publisher of the popular MMORPG Lineage II, NCSoft. A Hawaiian man alleges that he has developed an addiction to the game so ridiculously strong that he can no longer function normally. Game addiction is a sticky subject, so read my thoughts on it in my article.

NCSoft and ArenaNet were at GamesCom, showing off Guild Wars 2 in playable from. A storm of recorded videos were uploaded to Youtube since the event opened, and the biggest surprise of the event was the inclusion of the unannounced playable profession: the Necromancer.

The Guild Wars 2 official website officially unveiled the necromancer on it's professions page a few days later, giving it's readers a wealth of details about the new class.

Game site "Glimpse Dog" published it's five-part video hands-on experience with TERA, which gives it's viewers an enticing glimpse of what the game hopes to achieve. The videos are actually very fun to watch because they players discuss all sorts of subjects (particularly politics) as they interview the developers.

The official TERA website released two new screenshots for the city of Allemantheia, the elven capital in the heart of Southern Shara, and also updated with a rich history of the city and it's people. I love a game with a good backstory, and it's nice to know En Masse is putting effort in to translating and westernizing the story to make it more appealing.

Final Fantasy XIV has been in and out of beta for some time now. Websites all over were collaborating with Square-Enix to offer eager gamers a chance to win closed beta keys for the game. Square-Enix announced that Final Fantasy XIV would enter open beta on August 31st, and released a nice new trailer to compliment the announcement.

News of a fatigue system in Final Fantasy XIV hit the internet recently, and the response was fucking atrocious. Fortunately, an official translation explains in detail just how the fatigue system will work in the game. Plenty of people are still crying over the issue, but at least you can properly read how it works now.

It was recently announced via the official website forums that TERA would not be implementing IP blocking or any other territorial restrictions within Europe and North America. Korea wasn't mentioned. This means that players can freely choose which of the two territories they can play TERA in. Sweet.

Fansite "Rift Nexus" has released an exclusive preview of Stonefield, an early Defiant faction zone in Rift: Planes of Telara. This region pits players against assloads of the undead and the ex-servants of the Titans as they complete quests and gain some crucial early levels.

Nobuo Uematsu is considered by many to be a crucial part of the Final Fantasy experience. In the "Making of Eorzea" Final Fantasy XIV video, he discusses the direction he received from the development team regarding music, the composing process and more as well as details on the theme song of the game, which was sung by Susan Calloway at Uematsu's request.

Fansite FFXIVCore has provided a near complete list of the Guildleve Quests, which has been added on their Final Fantasy XIV wiki page. The fansite has also come across some unused/unreleased model data in the game, as well as some as-of-yet unused miscellaneous models.

EverDream Studio has revealed details on the latest instance for its 2D, turn-based, browser-based fantasy MMORPG Dragon's Call. Yes, the same Dragon's Call that a player threatened to sue for banning/flagging the word 'gay" in world chat, not that this fact has any bearing on the instance at hand.

And that does it!

Holy epic shit, this is a long post. But then again, it's three weeks worth of writing. That's what happens when I slack, I suppose.