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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 E3 Trailer

Ok, this trailer is pretty badass and I’m not a big Castelvania fan. It’s rare when the trailer for a sequel makes me want to play the original, but if you can do that awesome smoke hawk thingy in the original, count me in. Castelvania: Lords of Shadow 2 is being developed by Mercury Steam for the PS3 and Xbox 360 with a companion game, Castelvania: Mirror of Fate for the 3DS.

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The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind from Bethesda is a prime example of a game that would have been better with less content

Less Content, More Game

The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind from Bethesda is a prime example of a game that would have been better with less content

Last weekend, I had the enormous pleasure of gathering up all my old Xbox stuff and passing it on to a friend for his children to enjoy. Pulling my old games off the shelf, I encountered Morrowind and quite suddenly was struck by what an enormous waste the game represented. A fantastically detailed, living, breathing fantasy world over which you could walk or fly in its entirety, exploring to your hearts content. And yet, in spite of running several characters over many hours of play, I never finished it because the game was fundamentally flawed.

Some of those flaws are well documented. The character building system was fatally undermined by the ease with which you could build super-powerful characters, and by the way it sidelined mages. A senseless economic system that forced players to either beggar themselves or utilise built-in Easter Eggs. But those, surely, should be nothing more than a minor annoyances in a game that’s defined largely by its immense scope and story. As I stood there gazing down at the box it occurred to me that the game was in fact simply crushed under the weight of its own ambition.

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New E3 Tomb Raider Trailer

This new E3 trailer for Tomb Raider gives us a pretty good idea of what we can expect when the game launches on March 5th, 2013. I’m looking forward to getting some hands on time with the game at E3 next week, mostly because it means that Todd doesn’t. Nyah, nyah, nyah. Given how much Lara gets beaten up in this trailer, the game should make for some interesting conversations regarding violence against women and what is considered appropriate and what starts looking misogynistic when you have a female protagonist in a game about shooting and killing things. I know that the point is to put Lara through the ringer so that she can come out the other side as the Lara Croft we’ve come to know, but I don’t remember Nathan Drake getting the piss beaten out of him this much.

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Friday Morning News Brief

Man, you try to watch a little tv, do a podcast, maybe play some Witcher 2 and the whole goddamned internet blows up with gaming news. Come on, people! Can’t a dude have a life? No? Ok.

First up, Activision settled the case brought against them by Jason West and Vince Zampella for an undisclosed amount of money. Man, I bet that is one incredibly interesting settlement document. Unfortunately the terms of the settlement are confidential but maybe someone can get Jason or Vince drunk at E3 and learn something. Yeah, probably not.

If you’re like us and were wondering what LucasArts was going to be showing at E3, wonder no more. Star Wars 1313 is a mature, third person action game set in the criminal underground of Coruscant. Given the setting, it’s not surprising you play a bounty hunter, using all manner of guile and trickery to take down your prey. I’m going go to out on a limb and say that at some point in the game, all is not what it seems and your ruthless bounty hunter ends up turning into a good guy. If past E3s are any indication, LucasArts will have a trailer for this game running 24/7 at sound levels so high they give your unborn children permanent hearing loss. (more…)

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Cracked LCD- Omen: A Reign of War 2nd Edition/Hemloch in Review

The full disclosure part of the review is that I know, have played games with, and like game designer John Clowdus and in the event of an apocalypse he would be welcome in my survivors’ compound. His DIY company Small Box Games has been turning out exactly those for the past couple of years. Small Box Games are all made in the USA and in limited quantities, hand-packed by he and his wife, and almost all feature very unique “outsider” kinds of designs and unusual themes. A new edition of his best game to date and its follow-up are under the Cracked LCD lens this week. (more…)

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Bioshock Install Fail

How DRM Killed My Bioshock

Here at No High Scores we’ve, rather justly, beaten the topic of DRM in games into the ground, and I’d imagine we’ll continue to do so. In most cases, like in talking about Diablo 3, we’re talking in the relative abstract about the way in which stringent online authentication demands can cause real problems for gamers. It’s a real concern, but in the here and now, it’s largely nuisance issues. Sure, Diablo 3 servers go down, but they go back up. You can have DLC headaches with Bioware games, but they generally get cleared up eventually. There’s a lot of frustration, but no impassable roadblocks to speak of. Mostly, we talk about and live in fear of the potential for nightmare scenarios that could permanently block you from playing a game you’ve purchase. This past weekend, I hit on exactly that…

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Skyrim Dawnguard Trailer

This morning brings us the first trailer for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim DLC, Dawnguard. Looks like we’ve got vamps in the hizzy, and from the sound of the narration you’ll have the option of joining them or suiting up with the Dawnguard to stop them. This one actually interests me a bit; probably not enough to actually play more Skyrim, but it looks rather cool.

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Thursday Morning News Brief

I’m going to pull an Abner here and list a couple of news briefs for things that went down last night or yesterday. I could turn this into several posts, but I have things to do. And by “things” I mean absolutely nothing of consequence.

Above is the new Quantum Conundrum trailer. Quantum Conundrum is the physics puzzler helmed by Kim Swift, she of Portal fame. Square Enix is one of my last appointments at E3 and if this trailer is any indication, my already meager brainpower, further sapped by three days of E3, probably will not be enough to handle this game. That being said, that fuzzy dude looks rad.

More news after the break…

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calendar man 5-25 dragon's dogma 2

Dragon’s Dogma in Review

Had Dragon’s Dogma presented itself as a Japanese-style action game with light RPG trappings, I might be writing today about one of my favorite games of 2012. With a development team including alumni from some of the better Resident Evil and Devil May Cry titles, it’s a game with a great pedigree and huge ambition. Brilliant ideas abound like the Pawn concept, which essentially simulates playing a MMORPG asynchronously with vaguely intelligent party members that learn how to fight more effectively over time and speak incessantly in a faux archaic patois. If your main Pawn gets hired by another player, he or she comes back with items or knowledge about quests or how to deal with certain monsters. There’s an excellent item enhancement system that’s as streamlined and straightforward as any I’ve seen, there are well-designed dungeons rich with atmosphere, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting video game moment than scaling a hydra wound around a watchtower to lop off its head. (more…)

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Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault Incoming

It’s been quite some time since we’ve had a proper Ratchet & Clank game on the PS3. Sure, All 4 One was technically a Ratchet & Clank game, but so was that weird gladiator game and I had no interest in either. Yes, folks, I am hereby classifying Ratchet & Clank games as real or unreal based on my interest. My ego, it is large.

Any way, Insomniac hasn’t forgotten about everyone’s favorite space faring duo announcing today that they’re working on Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault a “fun sized” entry into the series, releasing this fall to coincide with Ratchet & Clank’s 10th Anniversary celebration. I have no idea what “fun sized” actually means, if it will be roughly on par with Quest for Booty, but given that Full Frontal will be downloadable only, same as Quest for Booty was, I’m assuming yes. I quite enjoyed Quest for Booty and the ten dollar price point lined up well with what the game offered. Plus, I haven’t played a proper R&C game in ages, so I’m anxious to get back to it.

First seen on the PlayStation Blog.

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