Action RPG


Why am I not a bigger fan of role-playing games?  Because outside of team aspects or any given new features, they mostly play the same.  Cast an attack, prepare for a counter-attack, use a special attack to finish the battle, repeat.  Yeah, there’s story too, but it seems built more for folks that are fans rather than the ones that aren’t.  That said, there are exceptions to the rule, and I’m happy to report that Namco’s Tales of the Abyss remains a good one.


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.


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.


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.


Usually, when Square Enix announces a launch title for a new system, it’s something that’s from their storied library of role-playing games or, as of late, a resurrection of a franchise from Eidos, like Tomb Raider.  But with the PlayStation Vita, it turned to an unlikely source for inspiration with its debut title – hell.  Yep, in Army Corps of Hell, you’re a demonic overlord who’s been wrongfully unseated from his throne – and it’s up to you and your goblin horde to reclaim it.


Dungeon Hunter has had a successful run of releases across various platforms, and why not?  Gameloft effectively channels in the classic Gauntlet vibe with this game, providing hours worth of hack and slash fun, whether alone or with friends.  But the main appealing factor was the game’s price.  Up till this point, you could get your skill set on for no more than $13.  But with the PlayStation Vita version of the game, titled Dungeon Hunter: Alliance, you get the same old dungeon crawling action for a startlingly hiked price.  Worth it?  Not really.


The second we laid eyes on the first gameplay footage of Borderlands 2 last August at PAX Prime, we knew we were in for something special.  Gearbox Software not only includes all the components that made the original “role-playing shooter” such a vast success, but also made incredible pushes forward in other areas.  Along with literally a “bazillioner” guns included (they even stacked them up in one part of the demo to show us how much was in there), they threw in new characters, bigger outdoor environments and a whole lot of trouble.  And the best part, we’re gonna be partaking in this madness during the first month of fall.

Yesterday, EA released a new trailer for Mass Effect 3, and if that wasn't enough, released an extended version of the trailer earlier today. Amongst all of the trailers, a little bit of news snuck in regarding the highly-anticipated 3rd entry in the franchise. On March 6, PS3 owners will have the option of buying the game on Blu-ray or download it directly to their console.
No matter what we may do to try to prevent something from happening, sometimes there is just nothing we can do. Commander Shepard has put so much effort into fighting off the Reapers, even going so far as having to be resurrected for round 2. However, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable will happen, and gamers will put their best efforts forth in preventing the universe from being taken over by them. To give us a glimpse of just what this final battle will look like, EA has released this new trailer for the upcoming Mass Effect 3.

Before I started up Kingdom of Amalur Reckoning, I was completely skeptical about what 38 studios was promising to bring to the table. Even though 38 studios was founded by Curt Schilling, a former Boston Red Sox’s pitcher. It has some impressive talent behind the game, which drew my interest towards the game. Ken Rolston, who is mostly known for being the lead designer for Elder Scrolls “Morrowind” and “Oblivion”. Todd Mcfalane, who was the creator of spawn and lastly R.A Salvatore, who is a well known scifi writer. This trio of talent dose many rights then wrongs, but it lacks a strong identity and the game suffers because of it.


I wasn’t the biggest fan in the world of Final Fantasy XIII.  Number one, role-playing games aren’t my bread and butter anyway, though good ones, like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, still find a way to suck up all my time.  Number two, the game just wasn’t nearly as engaging to me as previous chapters in the series, nor some of my favorite Square Enix RPG’s, like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana.  (Maybe I’m SNES spoiled.)  That said, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a step in the right direction, and a little more involving than its predecessor…despite a few hiccups.


Every Tuesday, Sony brings its PlayStation faithful new content, add-ons for your favorite games, Themes and avatars for your PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. Again another standard week of PSN goods you can get, but for the most part the main draw are going to be demos. Twisted Metal is finally going to hit store shelves and the fans of  the series will be eager to get their hands on the multiplayer demo now available.