Archive for June 18th, 2012

, | Game diaries

A super jump in Marvel vs Capcom 3 is accomplished by tapping the joystick down before jumping normally. Done properly, it launches you flying into the air, scrolling the screen upwards to follow you. The rules change a little in the air. All your normal attacks have different animations. Some special moves will still work, most won’t, and some new ones become available. And of course, you’re always falling. In many fighting games, it isn’t possible to block while jumping, leaving you particularly vulnerable. In Marvel vs Capcom 3, air-blocking is allowed. Combined with the super-jump, it’s possible to spend a lot more time in the air, a fitting place for the Marvel super heroes. Air blocking is actually one of the signature features of the Versus series. And it all starts with a super jump. But I couldn’t do it.

After the jump, I’m a bad carpenter Continue reading →

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, | Games

If you’ve been holding off for Age of Empires Online to finally gel, now’s as good a time as any to try it. The latest update, dubbed the Summer Update, just went live, completely revising the game’s long-term economy and tech tree, and introducing its new endgame stuff. This is the last step in a dramatic overhaul the game has gotten over the last few months.

After the jump, some hands-on time with the particulars Continue reading →

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, | Game reviews

This isn’t really the place to revisit my unhappiness with Civilization V, but I’m sorry to discover the game hasn’t gotten better a year and a half after I reviewed it. Instead of addressing the problems with the game’s AI, interface, and design, Firaxis has been nickel and diming you with DLC maps and civilizations. Now that they’re selling a full add-on, what better time to give it the overhaul it needs?

But no such thing happens in Gods & Kings. This is the same disappointing strategy game it was a year and a half ago, except that it now has two finicky and mostly unimpressive systems shoehorned in.

After the jump, gods & spies doesn’t sound quite as snappy Continue reading →

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, | Games

Quantum Conundrum is from Kim Swift, one of the designers of Narbacular Drop, the puzzle game that inspired Portal and eventually led to Portal when Valve hired her. She has since left Valve. Quantum Conundrum is her first post-Valve game. As someone who didn’t play Portal for the puzzles — the genius of Portal is in the writing wrapped around a serviceable puzzle game — I’ll be curious to see what happens when you take a Portal designer out of Valve. Wallet threat level yellow.

Civilization V: Gods & Kings is the expansion for Civilization V. I’ve been playing it. Wallet threat level green.

A new version of Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers is out this week, giving folks a digital look at cards that won’t be out for reals until later this summer. Given how good the Magic videogames have been, and given how they’ve added gimmicky but effective new ways to play, this escalates the wallet threat level to yellow.

Pokemon Conquest for the Nintendo DS is a Pokemon strategy game from Koei. Let me write that again: a Pokemon strategy game from Koei. I’ve been playing it a bit, and it’s exactly what you’d expect. It reminds me a bit of the Devil Survivor games on the DS, but with squealing chirping Pokemons instead of devils, and with kidding Japanese warlords instead of Japanese school kids. Wallet threat level uhhh.

I heartily recommend half of the table in the Avengers Chronicles pinball tables from Zen Studios. Tune in tomorrow morning for specifics. And good luck trying to beat my high score on the Avengers table. I had one of those “OMG I Will Never Get This Lucky Again” balls in which the Avengers and I rocked that helicarrier. Suck it, Loki! Wallet threat level yellow.

Steel Battalion 2, also known as Steel Battalion Kinect, also also known as Steel Battalion No Thanks, is out this week. Wallet threat level green.

I haven’t played a Lego game since dinking around with one of the Harry Potters, but Traveller’s Tales sure knows how to get the most out of the formula. You might think Lego Batman 2 is just Arkham City for kids, but it looks like more of an open-world playground for DC Comics’ cast of superheroes. Wallet threat level yellow.

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, | Movie podcasts

Just like actual critics, we’re split on Snow White and the Huntsman. But then the split is reversed when we compare it to John Carter. Join us for some high-falutin’ compare and contrast action. Then stick around for this week’s 3×3, which starts at the 54-minute mark. We talk about our favorite audience reactions.

Next week: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

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