Jul 26, 2010

Cole McGrath

There's been a lot of controversy as of late with our hero from the inFamous series. With word of a 2011 release of a sequel set in what appears to be New Orleans, Sucker Punch decided to give Game Informer an exclusive first look. The first thing people noticed on the cover was the new look of Cole McGrath. I thought he was a new character to the series, but the article was sure it was Cole.

There were many things about this new Cole that irks me. The first thing was the blue electricity flowing around him. Blue electricity implies that Cole is going to be a good character. What's up with that? Being evil in the first inFamous was a lot more fun. It made the story more believable seeing as how Cole's luck didn't change either way you played it. Another thing that irked me was the look itself. It was hard to believe Cole was human in the first inFamous. He started to show black lines around his head and neck as he grew more evil. The grimy look Cole had combined with the dark nature of Empire City really brought out an apocalyptic feel of the game. Good Cole didn't look like he belonged in the sewers fighting off reapers. Let's look at cover of the July issue of Game Informer. There's a fire in the background, people are shooting at him, but Cole looks like he's on his way to the nearest Abercrombie and Fitch. Must be a sale or something. The developers would have had to explain where and when the former sewer rat got his queer eye makeover.

After a huge backlash from fans over the redesigned Cole, the developers at Sucker Punch decided to once again redesign Cole to make him look more like the Cole we met in the first inFamous. The picture to the left is the rumored final product. I probably wouldn't have minded the original redesign if they had presented him as evil. That way his electricity would be red, and he wouldn't look so ready to go to his hair appointment. 

Jul 19, 2010

Travis Touchdown

If Mario is the heart of the Nintendo Wii, Travis Touchdown is the brain with the dirty mind. No More Heroes is the series that reminds hardcore gamers that Nintendo still loves them. It's funny, violent, and sexually charged. If videogames were people No More Hero's would be in a sophomore in college. Your dorm would be your room at the No More Heroes Motel. Your roommate is a cat name Jeane. Your campus would be the city of Santa Destroy. The city's had a face lift since the first time we hung out with Travis. The once drivable streets have been taken over by skyscrapers and snowfall. Instead of using his motorcycle, Travis now uses a menu to get around the city.

Living in Santa Destroy isn't cheap, especially when Travis is hooked to buying expensive clothes. There is a solution. Various side jobs are available for Travis. Jobs include Getting Trashed, Manning the Meat and being a Coconut Grabber. The harder you work at your job the more you get paid. I found myself Laying The Pipe a lot as I went through my Desperate Struggle.

No More Heroes is supposed to bring Paradise to the Xbox 360 and the PS3 sometime this year. I guess Travis has to share his knowledge with the rest of the hardcore gamers. I'm curious to see how the game is going to play without motion controls. I think it's coming around the time of the release of the Kinect and the PlayStation Move, so I wouldn't be surprised if No More Heroes: Paradise was motion friendly. Travis Touchdown for the win.

Artwork by ImmortalSHI & Natsu88

Nathan Drake

Not to be confused with the Canadian superstar, Drake is the main character of the Uncharted series. His first adventure felt like a combination of different genres. Climbing and platforming from games like Tomb Raider combined with action from games such as Gears of War. It was a fun ride, but by the end it didn't feel as though the game had it's own identity. It just took the winning elements from different games and combined it into one.

Uncharted 2 gave Nathan Drake and the series it's own identity. The first Uncharted had moments where Drake felt superhuman. Things would go bad, but it never seemed like Drake broke a sweat during the first adventure. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves presented Drake as a guy that makes mistakes. He goes to jail, gets betrayed, and is motivated by love. Humanizing Drake is nothing compared to the actual adventure of Uncharted 2. Fall 2009 was the time to own a Playstation 3. Uncharted 2 stood out among the classics with it's amazing graphics, compelling story, and addictive gameplay.

I think this series is next in line to sell like Grand Theft Auto. It probably would already be there if it was also on the Xbox 360. Uncharted 2 has sold over 3 million units on the PS3. Multiplatform games are notorious for selling more on the 360. At the same time there's something about Uncharted that screams PlayStation. Maybe it's the style of the games graphics or the Drake Sackboy in LittleBigPlanet. Either way Drake makes the PlayStation 3 stronger.

Jul 13, 2010


Shepard is the last name of the main character in the Mass Effect series. You can be either male or female. On the first run I played as Errol Shepard. I had fun customizing my outfits to match his red hair. I didn't catch much of the story. I just wanted to shoot shit and reload. My attitude leaned more towards being a renegade which meant I was more inclined to shoot first and ask questions later. He's a member of the soldier class in case you were wondering.

Six months later I'm playing Mass Effect 2 as Tameka Shepard. I began to realize that a good amount of the people you interact with are female. I felt more connected to the characters as a result. The person I'm talking to could be an alien, but the bond of sisterhood is what connects us. I got engaged with characters I ignored the first time around. People in the game seemed to like Tameka more. I've decided to play Mass Effect 3 as her.

Super Mario

The undisputed king of the gaming world. Not only does he represent Nintendo, he represents generations of gamers. His games continue to define genres in videogames. He proves that a good story isn't as important as innovative gameplay. Mario's been saving the princess since 1981. That's almost 30 years.

Mario raises the bar every time he goes on a new adventure. The crazy part about it is there has yet to be a game that does it better. He defined the 3D platforming genre with Super Mario 64 which one could argue inspired the open world gameplay in the Grand Theft Auto series. The Mario Factory continues to innovate. Super Mario Galaxy showed how much fun a gamer can have playing with gravity. He inspires every game out there. Ever notice that most games that allow the character to jump feel very similar to Mario's jump. There's a reason for that.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Nintendo didn't hesitate at the chance to humiliate Sega when Sonic the Hedgehog went 3rd party. They ported the Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2, added some small changes, and made Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. I love how a game with the same story as the Dreamcast version has an "Only For" seal on the Gamecube cover. Sonic Adventure 2 was the last Sonic game that mattered. I remember being blown away by the demo as I surfed downhill on the wing of an airplane. The game wasn't without it's flaws, but overall was a fun experience.

Ever since Sonic lost his home it's been one bad game after the other. He manages to stay alive with a random hit every now and again. He's currently riding high with Mario in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. There's word that he's going back to his 2D roots with his upcoming game due later this year. I'm not really excited about it, but deep down I'm rooting for the guy. His adventures on the Sega Genesis will are a staple of my childhood. I'd play those games for hours. He's a superstar in the gaming industry. Many have come and gone, but Sonic is still standing. Let's hope this decade brings the glory back with some classic games starring Sonic the Hedgehog.

Jul 2, 2010