Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mortal Kombat

Mortal KombatFINISH HIM! My ears have been dying to hear those sweet words for quite some time now and my waiting has finally paid off. That's right, the brand new Mortal Kombat game was released today and I am happy to say it does not suck.

If you remember, the last few MK games have quite literally been total crap. Developers began to take everything that was great about the original arcade title and add cheap mechanics to entice other audiences. What is perfect about this game is that the fantastic folks over at the newly dubbed NetherRealm Studios have taken Mortal Kombat back to its roots, back to what made the original game attract thousands of fans and disgust hundreds of politicians.

One good thing about this new title is that it is a legitimate, competitive fighting game. It also has all the gore necessary to make the most hardcore Mortal Kombat fans screech with delight. The single-player modes in this game can be kind of imbalanced, however, most people play for the competitive aspects of the game. And it is in this mode that Mortal Kombat is engaging, enthralling, exciting and just downright fun.

The story line takes you back as you relive the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games, so newbies to the series will actually know what the hell is happening. To wrap it up in a nutshell, super d-bag Shao Kahn is trying to destroy the world and kills everybody at the end of the storyline. SPOILER?! No, because Raiden then sends a message back through time to prevent it giving you the chance to alter the future!

Like I said earlier, Mortal Kombat is going back the the basics, so the side scrolling 2D fighting style is back. No more 3D 360-degree cameras to contend with and no freaking multi-level arenas (screw you, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe). You can play one-on-one or tag-team allowing you to play with or against a friend. Each character in the game has a set of simple, basic moves and a bunch of special attacks (back, back, punch...'nuff said). Combos and special attacks are easy to figure out and execute but it may take you some time to master the art of stringing all those attacks together whilst simultaneously keeping your opponent stunned/juggled.

A new feature is the super gauge. This fills as you give and take damage and can be used in a variety of ways. There are three segments, so obviously using all three at once will give you better benefits. Using a single gauge will increase your special attacks. Two segments will allow you to break out of an opponent's combo, which is particularly useful when you fight some of the hardcore players. Unleashing all three segments will initiate an x-ray attack. This is a series of attacks that go into slow motion while an x-ray version of your opponent's insides is visible, showing you all the gruesome, internal damage you are dealing. This also deals hella damage to your opponent, just don't miss.

Mortal Kombat is a bit slower than most fighting games but that keeps pace with how the traditional game plays. It also makes executing combos oh so satisfying. There is also a ton of other stuff to love about this game. Fatalities are back and bloodier than ever. Babalities (the ability to finish off your opponent by transforming them into the baby version of themselves) is also back, which should please some of the more traditional fans.

Playing with friends is where most of the enjoyment will be received from this game. You can play either locally or online but locally is definitely the best. You don't suffer from any lag and you can personally deliver the smack talk directly to your buddy's face. Single player is a little more imbalanced and some of the boss fights are downright brutal and may make you want to hurl your console across the room (I suggest padding the walls with cushiony foam).

To put it bluntly, Mortal Kombat delivers. The game combines great visuals and extreme brutality with a terrific fighting engine. New features like the super gauge and new game modes, like a revamped King of the Hill mode, which allows you to choose your X-box or PlayStation home avatar and take him into the theater with a bunch of other players' avatars and watch actual fights until it is your turn and even interact by scoring the winner or throwing things at the screen, offer a lot of fun options to your experience.

If you were a fan of the original three games and have been dying for a good Mortal Kombat game, this is just what you have been looking for. It goes back to the basics and still makes one helluva game. Definitely one to try out.

Mortal Kombat is available now for the X-box 360 and PlayStation 3 and if you truly want an authentic Mortal Kombat experience, be sure to pick up the Mortal Kombat Fight Stick for that traditional arcade feeling.

Source: IGN - Mortal Kombat Review

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

GameStop ShopStore Soon on Facebook

GameStop is looking for a new, fresh way to pull in some revenue, so how do they do it? Via Facebook, of course! On Thursday, April 7 GameStop announced that it has decided to enter into a partnership with Adgregate Markets, a social-commerce company. The video game retailer plans to open a Facebook-based store that they will call ShopStore. Currently, the plan is for the ShopStore to function exactly like GameStop’s home page. Any customer will be able to view gaming hardware and software offered by GameStop, add items to their cart and purchase them all from the ShopStore Facebook app. "Social commerce on Facebook is a natural complement to our trusted store and online networks," Kelly Mulroney, vice president of ecommerce at GameStop, said in a statement. "We have millions of customers already engaging with us on Facebook, and ShopFans gives those loyal fans more reasons than ever to shop GameStop across multiple channels." This new store that is being constructed for GameStop is based off of Adgregate Markets’ ShopFans solutions. This allows retailers to create a marketplace on Facebook for their customers. GameStop isn’t the first company to begin offering their products via the social networking giant. Old Navy, Banana Republic and Nike all have moved forward with this new form of marketing. The marketplace that GameStop and Adgregate Markets are setting up is extremely similar to GameStop’s homepage. Customers will be able to see reviews, watch product videos, etc. The ShopStore will also allow customers to preorder games that they can then pick up at a GameStop store when they are released. The members of GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards program will also be able to earn and redeem points by making purchases at the Facebook store. I think this is an incredible, as well as practical, marketing move for GameStop. Everything these days is on Facebook, so why not have a marketplace? I believe that GameStop will definitely see an increase in revenues, but we’ll just have to wait to see how it all works out.

Find out what is going on in the Tech Army World. What are the Top 10 Money Making Missions? What other companies have joined and what do they do? How do I join the Tech Army Organization ?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rage's Campaign Completed in Only 15 Hours?

Rage gameplayUsually when you buy a video game, you get the box, an instruction manual and a single game disc that contains all the enjoyment you just paid for. However, there are the rare, yet incredible, occasions when a game is so massive that it needs to be put on more than one disc. With the advancements in modern gaming, a lot of stuff can be put on one disc, so if a game does come with more than one, you know it has a whole lot of content. There are a few games that come to mind when I think of multiple discs, Mass Effect 2, which required two discs, and Final Fantasy XIII which required three discs to play. Well, the upcoming Fallout/Borderland hybrid game from id Software, Rage, is said to be released with two discs. So, considering the games that Rage is compared to coupled with the fact that it has two discs, you would expect Rage to deliver a very long single player adventure. However, that may not be the reality we are faced with on release day. According to Tim Willits, creative director for Rage, the game's single player campaign will only take you around 15 hours to complete. In a recent interview with Official Xbox Magazine (OXM), Willits stated that the campaign only takes a lousy 15 hours to complete. Now, granted, this is long compared to your typical first-person shooter game but considering the nature of Rage's post-apocalyptic open world environment, we should have a lot more than 15 hours of gameplay. However, the report is vague. This could mean 15 hours of straight storyline main quest adventuring with no time calculated in for side quests. Fallout 3's campaign can be completed in around 20 hours if you do absolutely no side quests whatsoever. We are hoping this is the same thing here and that 15 hours will be stretched to somewhere between 50 to 100 hours. If Rage ends up being 15 hours total (including side quests), there are going to be a lot of disappointed gamers out there. Rage is one of the most highly anticipated games to come out soon and many are saying that it will be the best console game of our generation. You can read the interview in the May 2011 issue of Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) but to get the hard facts we will just have to wait until Rage is released on September 30th, 2011. Source: Examiner - Rage's 2 discs can be beaten in a day

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