despair

The only thing better than controlling an awesome character in a game is making that character ride an awesome mount. The years have been filled with many to remember, and we've selected some of our favorites (from giant shoes to undead horses) to share with you after the break!
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Image source: Johnny D. Iles

Because no one will love you as much as a sassy brain in a jar.

Sure, we could talk about the iconic villainess from "Metroid," but in honor of the holiday, we thought it would be better to focus on her animated counterpart from "Captain N." Voiced by former Four Tops singer and "Little Shop of Horrors" actor Levi Stubbs, the animated Mother Brain was just the right mix of cleverness, pettiness, and eternal exasperation necessary to make a good foil for the Saturday morning heroes of "Captain N."

If you're thinking about showing your Mother (Brain) some love this year, why not send her a bouquet of flowers, or Captain N's light gun, or some fish flakes for her tank?

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Image source: Wikimedia

This weekend, as we prepare to honor our wonderful mothers and mother figures, let's not forget the unsung Father-Mothers out there doing the good work of raising odd babies in a hellish wasteland. The hermaphroditic bird creature from "Zeno Clash" may not have necessarily given birth to Ghat and the rest of its misshapen brood, but it did "love" them after a fashion.

So if you have a Father-Mother in your life, be sure to send he/she a box of chocolates or an odd bundle of sticks covered in pig hearts (they're impossible to buy for).

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We've had a day to digest the news that EA now has the exclusive rights to make games based on the "Star Wars" universe, and that they've, in turn, tapped Visceral and DICE to make new titles with all-new story and gameplay (with BioWare doing... something).

And predictably, we all groaned and fretted about what this would mean for the gaming future of our beloved franchise--"how badly will EA mess this up," we asked. Honestly, though, I'm looking forward to whatever comes out of EA, good or bad. For all their less-than-savory business practices, they've made a habit of assembling great studios and allowing interesting ideas to germinate in them (even if that means we bafflingly have three "Army of Two" games.

So after the jump, check out five reasons to look forward to EA's taking over "Star Wars" along with five reasons to keep that excitement in check.

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With the recent announcement of intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo coming to "Injustice" as the first DLC character, we got to thinking about others who would be a great fit for developer Netherrealm Studios' DC Universe fighting game.

After the jump, we've got a list of ten characters who would be essential picks (and maybe should have been in the game at release), offering Batman, Lex Luthor, and the rest of the "Injustice" heroes and villains some formidable challenges while mining the legacy of the DC Universe.

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Poor Mega Man, he can't seem to catch a break, and despite generating some heat a few years back with the excellent retro love letter of "Mega Man 9" (and 10), Capcom has done nothing to appease diehard fans of the Blue Bomber. Cancellation after cancellation of future projects such as "Mega Man Legends 3" and "Mega Man Online" provided a bleak outlook and hopes were dashed when Keiji Inafune, the IRL Dr. Light, departed Capcom. In another twist, Polygon has uncovered one more shuttered project to reignite the flailing franchise.

Their in-depth article about Armature Studios' Mega Man X reboot codenamed "Maverick Hunter" is a virtual window into something that could have been. As a developer that spawned from Retro Studios, there are more than a few connections to the fantastic "Metroid Prime" - a game which proved that you could convert a traditional side-scrolling platformer into a first person shooter. Similarly, Armature would take the classic jump-n-shoot gameplay of the X series and update it for "Doom"-space. In a clear effort to appeal to the elusive Western market, Capcom was willing to dismantle my favorite robot and reassemble him into something wholly different. The full story is worth a read as you'll learn a little about what the devs were hoping would launch a new Mega Man game as well as see some shaky pre-alpha proof-of-concept video.

I'm here to tell you why an FPS Mega Man would have been a terrible mistake... while also performing a little armchair game deving. Read More...

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By Kevin Kelly

Fuse Key Art

As a video game journalist, it isn't often that you get to sit down with the head of a studio and co-op through a video game with just the two of you. Often, the events we attend feature a big group of writers, all jockeying for sound bites and hands-on time with games, so imagine our surprise when we stepped into a small meeting room and were presented with two gaming setups, and were introduced to Ted Price, the president and CEO of Insomniac Games. He was there to show off "Fuse," the newest game from his company.

Just in case you didn't know, Insomniac has been a powerhouse development studio for Sony, creating games that turned into franchises like "Spyro the Dragon," "Ratchet & Clank," and "Resistance: Fall of Man." But "Fuse," which was originally introduced as "Overstrike"  back in 2010, marks the first time the studio has developed a title for multiple consoles, and it will be out for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this May. It's a third-person shooter, grounded more in the "realistic" universe of the Resistance games. That is, it's not cartoonish, although it is frequently over-the-top. Which is what you will love about it.
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Eidos Montreal's 2014 release of "Thief" has the misfortune (arguably) to arrive after the well-received "Dishonored," a game whose look and feel was inspired by the Eidos franchise and is fresher in gamers' minds. And look, conceptually, I've admired the stealth game more than I've actually wanted to play it. Give me a game like Ubisoft's first few "Splinter Cell" games, and I'll politely acknowledge the intricacies of the level design which are driven by deliberate, cautious encounters (or non-encounters) with trigger-happy, heavily-scripted enemies. Looking at something like "Tenchu" it was about limited input for an over-matched player character in tightly-controlled game worlds of trial-and-error survival and typically, I've hated every minute of them.

But 2012 saw the release of four titles that took the lessons of their predecessors and evolved the genre in smart ways. Consider the exquisite art and sound design of Klei's "Mark of the Ninja" which made its world one of the deliberate, clever audio/visual feedback, which the game's Lead Designer Nels Anderson described to me as "player-centric."

Anderson joined IO Interactive Game Director Tore Blystad ("Hitman Absolution), along with "Hotline Miami" co-creators Jonatan Soderstrom and Dennis Wedin, and Arkane Studios' ("Dishonored") Creative Co-directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith to talk about keeping the tension, empowering the player, and building a better stealth game--concepts I hope the next "Thief" takes to heart.

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First of all, thanks to Square Enix for stopping at MTV HQ to show off Lara's new adventure. Also, thanks to Patty Tenicela who helped me keep me cool through the whole process that otherwise would have been sorta embarassing for me (I'm not such a great public speaker '~'). Ok, so with that out of the way, we're taking a few shakey baby steps with a (hopefully) recurring video series about the latest big game releases. First up is 'Tomb Raider.'

All in all, we had about an hour and change to run through the violent and mysterious island, solve a few puzzles, eat a deer or two, threaten a rat, and tear our way through several psychotic bad guys. I'll let the video speak for itself but there's a quick mini-impression after the break. Hope you enjoy!
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IndieCade East

The West Coast has been having all the fun since 2009. Sure, they have the sun and the surf (if you like that kind of thing), but up until last weekend, they had independent games as well. IndieCade, the internationally recognized festival of indie games had been staked out exclusively in Los Angeles for the last four years, leaving the East Coast gamers and devs to play by themselves. However, that all changed last weekend when IndieCade kicked off their inaugural East Coast expansion at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. The three-day affair included many of the staples of the West Coast conference, including expert panels, workshops, keynotes, and most importantly games.
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