November 2006

Buy a 360, get 2 XLA Games

November 30, 2006

Microsoft has been in a giving mood this week, first the free Vista and Office software at [url=http://www.powertogether]PowerTogether[/url] and now [url=]this[/url]. Simply head over to the site to [url=]register[/url] and enter this code to get your 2 games: XBXNG104

I haven’t confirmed if there are restrictions to where you have to buy the 360 from, but the code you get in the end is always the same.

Epic’s Mark Rein dropped into the Epic Forums last night to let gamers know that they think they have fixed the GoW VGA aspect ratio bug. The fix has to go through testing and certification and since a few other features are being rolled into this update, there is no ETA on when you can expect the update. Good news to hear that Epic is working out those bugs though.

Source: [url=]Epic Forums[/url]

The Warhammer 40k universe is one brutal melting pot, filled to the brim with warlike alien races and militant humans, each bubbling with their own particularly violent agendas that they would love to A

[i][b]”Some mountains are scaled. Others are slain.”[/b][/i]

And you’ll be slaying quite a few mountains here in 16 boss-style fights. That’s what makes [i]Shadow of the Colossus[/i] so unique.

Canon-wise, [i]SotC[/i] is a prequel to the events of [i]Ico[/i], another interesting platform game released four years prior to the release of [i]SotC[/i]. The nameless hero in the story has stolen a special sword and brought his dead wife/girlfriend/lover/unrequited object of affection (the game isn’t really clear on their relationship) Mono to a forbidden temple in a desperate attempt to revive her. The ancient god of the temple is all too happy to do the task, but the hero must first destroy all 16 idols in the temple to prove his worth.

Well, if it was that easy, we would have a rather short, boring game. The only way to destroy the idols is to kill the colossi that wander the island. When a colossus is dead, its corresponding idol will be destroyed.

So that’s your task for the next 15 hours: The god gives you a hint about your next colossus. You use your sword to catch the sunlight and pinpoint its location. Then you somehow kill the monster.

Visually, the game is as gorgeous as its predecessor. The landscape ranges from deserts to lush forests, and all is beautifully rendered without the designs repeating or becoming boring. The buildings have the same architecture as [i]Ico[/i], albeit brighter and sunnier. And the characters have similar designs to the [i]Ico[/i] characters, all the way down to both heroes having horns on their heads. The colossi that you climb all over are amazing to look at as they rumble over the landscape. (Try not to get killed as you take a moment to gawk at them.)

The movements of the hero and his faithful steed are very fluid and realistic. The hero is not a superman by any means. If he runs too fast you will see him stumble over rocks in his path. He also tumbles and scrambles all over the colossus when it tries to shake you off. The horse also moves like a real life horse and is about as capricious as one.

Whether you are exploring the landscape or climbing on the colossi, the sound is always appropriate. You can hear birds chirp, the horse’s clops on the rocky terrain, and arrows hit things with a resounding thwack. The colossus fights bring in epic-sounding orchestral music that makes you truly feel as if you are attempting the impossible.

No. Really. At some points, you feel like you are attempting the impossible. Life isn’t too much of a concern, since it replenishes itself pretty quickly if you stay still long enough. However, you have to keep your eye on the circular grip strength meter, which slowly depletes over time the longer you cling for dear life on a colossus’s furry skin. As you explore the landscape, the game is kind enough to provide you with white-tailed lizards and fruit that you can shoot down and eat to help you with the later colossi.

While you A

Who wouldn’t want to own the world? Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant, worked very hard (which means killing, stealing, lying, dealing drugs, and all that fun stuff), to own what was the world to him: Miami. That is, until he was killed at the end of Brian De Palma’s classic film from the 1980s, [i]Scarface[/i]. How is it possible to make a game from a movie where the main character was shot to death at the end? It’s simple.

Instead of basing the game on the movie (meaning, have the game feature how Tony built his empire and how he died, which in my opinion would have made more sense), the game takes place as if Tony did not die at the end of the film. He lost his empire, and he needs to re-build it from scratch. He goes out to get revenge on the cock-a-roaches that made him lose everything.

The gameplay is pretty fun- better than your standard [i]GTA[/i] clone. The map is huge, and there are plenty of things to do. You can do missions, which include protecting people, killing people (gee, this is a surprise!), driving around, selling drugs, and taking over territories. You also need to increase your reputation, and with purchasing exotics, it’s quite fun.

Exotics range from small house decorations, to henchmen, from luxury cars and boats, to owning firms and enterprises. Obviously, if you purchase a multi-million dollar business, your reputation will be increased more so than if you just buy a small house decoration. More and more exotics will be unlocked once your reputation reaches a certain level.

There is a pretty fun mini-game incorporated when you are buying/selling drugs, laundering your money, fast talking cops, and so on. You press and hold T, until a red line goes a full circle. You need to do this quite often, and depending on your reflexes (at times, the line goes faster than at other times) you can score much better deals with drug dealers or laundering your money. For example, if you let go of T at the right time, you will be able to sell 100 grams of coke for 10,000 dollars instead of 6,000 or make no deal at all. In banks, the bank takes a certain amount of your dirty cash when you go and deposit it. If your reflexes are good, the bank takes only 1% of your cash instead of 13%. These rates go up as you progress. Depending on your reflexes, you can be filthy rich, with very low gang and police heat (which I will get to soon), or extremely poor and wanted by pretty much everyone.

Heat from cops as well as rival gangs plays a big part in the game. You gain heat from gangs very easily. Killing gang members from rival gangs raises the heat from them. To lower it, take over their territories, deal drugs, or pay big bucks in the A