T - Teen


The Tekken series has been brawling for years now, but over the last few months, Namco Bandai has really been pushing the series hardcore.  Last year’s Tekken Hybrid turned out to be a cool little collection of stuff, including Tekken Tag Tournament HD and a demo for Tekken Tag Tournament 2; and this past week’s release of Street Fighter x Tekken has gone over moderately well with the hardcore crowd.  But let’s not forget the portable front, where Tekken 3D Prime Edition has left a little dent as well.


Jennifer Hale is a long time voice actress, who has appeared on more mediums than you probably thought. From voicing big roles like Commander Shepard in the “Mass Effect” series to voicing Naomi Hunter in the “Metal Gear” Solid franchise. Her voice has made multiple jumps to TV and movies playing such roles like Disney’s "Cinderella" and Cartoon Network's "Powerpuff Girls". I recently got the chance to ask her a few questions about her time with the “Mass Effect” series and what the future lies ahead for voice acting.


Seeing this game from the outset I know what you are thinking, an underwater Gears of War that is “reloaded” with features that you have already seen before. You would happily be mistaken as “Deep Black Reloaded” has successfully found its way to develop its own nitch off the developmental work that the team at Biart did.


I remember the first time I checked out Shoot Many Robots.  Demiurge Studios had invited me up for a beer in their suite at GDC last year, and there introduced me to P. Walter Tugnut, a Southern shooter with a severe robot issue on his hands.  Just with the introduction of a beer and the main hero’s name, I knew that the team was going for a different kind of run-and-gun title with Shoot Many Robots.  Now that the final game is here, under the watchful care of Ubisoft, it’s still got the same charm that won me over last year.  (And no, that wasn’t the alcohol.)


There are a lot of influences that Capcom can easily say it drew from when it was putting together Asura’s Wrath alongside the team at CyberConnect 2.  Dragon Ball Z definitely comes to mind, especially with all the rage bursts that seem all Vegeta-like.  For that matter, we also spotted a little God of War, Panzer Dragoon, the Incredible Hulk and even a little Mr. Furious from the Mystery Men films (though obviously that’s a small percentage – Ben Stiller this guy ain’t).  But somehow it all blends together into a gaming experience that’s more style than substance, yet it’s something that shouldn’t be missed.


Last night’s Square Enix get-together event at the Game Developers Conference provided plenty of opportunity to hobnob with fellow journalists and some great Square Enix PR folk.  But it also provided the chance to check out what was coming up from the company.  And while we would’ve killed to give the new Tomb Raider a go, we did get a few other upcoming titles in its place.  Among them, some new downloadable content for the company’s top-notch role-playing game, Final Fantasy XIII-2.


Real life rarely plays an effect in a video game.  Sure, you can be “killed” by certain characters, but only after taking so many shots and not actually recovering by taking cover.  Very rarely do real-life damages play a part in games.  So when they do, players could be startled.  “I died from climbing up a wall?!”  Ubisoft’s I Am Alive takes these life-like physics into heavy consideration, putting you in an apocalyptic world where survival comes first, then finding your scattered family.


It’s been nearly five years since fans last saw Master Chief helm the "Halo" saga, but things have sure changed since then. Bungie, the original creators of the franchise, are no longer working on the game. 343 Industries is now helming the project and is shaping the next generation of "Halo" saga with all the games shifting from the Forerunner saga to the Reclaimer saga.


It’s been ages since we’ve run across a really good arena shooter.  I can still remember sitting around PC gaming centers a few years back, playing Unreal Tournament to my heart’s content and showing people who’s boss with Quake III Arena on the Dreamcast.  Now, outside of a Quake re-release on Xbox Live Arcade, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the genre in modern day gaming.  Fortunately, Illfonic Studios is here to shake things up with Nexuiz, a game that happily reminds us of those good ol’ days while providing a fresh ingredient to keep things lively.


Though it would’ve been nice to see a new Guilty Gear game by now, I’m rather overcome by the amount of effort Arc System Works has put into its latest fighting series, BlazBlue.  Sure, there have only been two really complete games to the series, but both of them come with the kind of presentation that resembles an anime being brought to life in a video game, and controls that a true fighting fanatic can certainly appreciate.  To help build the series even further, Arc, along with Aksys Games, has opted to release a portable version of its fighting phenomenon with BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend.


Say what you will about Capcom’s practice of releasing a fighting game, and then releasing an improved version of that game months later, but it’s quite effective, giving them time to add characters that make a difference to fighting fans, or adding the key features that will bring in an even bigger audience.  Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 easily fits into this business pathos, and after creating havoc on consoles a few months back, it’s making its handheld debut on the PlayStation Vita, along with a couple of extra features.  So, is it still good?