Plugged In

Reviews and delays, oh my!

First, the good news: I’ve posted reviews of “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” and “FIFA 11” over at the Video Games section of wvgazette.com. I’ve also been playing “Enslaved,” which releases this week. I should have a review soon, but allow me to offer these words of advice — DO NOT MISS THIS GAME!

And now for the bad news. “Gears of War 3” has been pushed back from early 2011 until the ’11 holiday season. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the guys at Epic Games could have wrapped up production and applied plenty of polish in time for the game to meet it’s previously announced spring release date, so this looks like purely a money-making move by Microsoft. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. I’m just sayin’ … Oh, “Two Worlds 2” has also been pushed back until next year. After playing the first “Two Worlds,” a little extra development time is probably a good thing for this sequel.

‘Halo: Reach’ review has landed

So I spent the weekend playing “Halo: Reach” and I have to say I’m really, really impressed. How impressed, you ask? Click here to read my full review over at the Video Games section wvgazette.com and find out. 

In their final go-round with the IP, the developers at Bungie definitely stepped up and delivered an experience that “Halo” fans everywhere should love. New caretakers 343 Studios will certainly have its work cut out for it when it comes time to  follow up “Halo: Reach.” The bar has most certainly been raised.

‘Duke Nukem Forever’ lives

The long-talked about yet seldom-seen “Duke Nukem Forever” is real — and it’s scheduled to be released next year by 2K.

Gearbox Studios, who most recently scored a big hit with “Borderlands,” is putting the final touches on the game, which is being demoed at this week’s Penny Arcade Expo.

“Duke Nukem Forever” is being developed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Nintendo dropping price of DSi, DSiXL

Nintendo announced Monday plans to cut the price of its two latest handheld devices, the DSi and DSi XL. Effective Sept. 12, the DSi will retail for $149.99 and the DSi XL will be available for $169.99. The DS Lite model will not see a price drop and remain at $129.99.

The Nintendo DSi currently retails for $169.99, while the DSi XL goes for $189.99. Nintendo is currently developing a new handheld device, the 3DS, which will support 3D gaming. No launch date has been announced for that system.

Lists, lists and more lists

We’re drawing ever closer to the release of “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock,” “Rock Band 3” and “DJ Hero 2.” To get you ready, here are the set lists for each game. I’m really looking forward to playing Rush’s “2112” on “Warriors of Rock” and Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” on “Rock Band 3.” But “DJ Hero 2” has some of my most anticipated tracks with Warren G’s “Regulate”, “Informer” by Snow and House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”  That’s right, 90’s hip-hop still rules on my Ipod. Scroll down to check out the complete set lists for yourself:

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OK, so I just wrapped up my review for “Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days” (read it here) and headed over to Metacritic.com to see what others thought of the game. A 1 out of 10? Really? I must have missed the memo telling me to hate this game because I can’t fathom how any honest reviewer could score this game that low. Does it have issues? Sure it does. What game doesn’t? But a 1 out of 10? I can’t even remember the last game I played that was so poorly developed and such utter garbage that it deserved a 1 out of 10. I had fun with “Dog Days” and would readily recommend it to anyone looking for a good third-person shooter.

‘Madden 11’ review online

Vacation’s over and it’s time to get back to work. To start off the week, I offer up my review of “Madden NFL 11.” Check it out here.

‘Limbo’ review online

Summers in the Gazette sports department aren’t supposed to be this busy. But the good news is it’s almost over, which means things will start getting back to normal and I can get back to posting here on a regular basis. In the meantime, here’s a link to my review of “Limbo” to hold you over.

Guys, it’s been hectic around here but I haven’t forgotten about the blog. I’ll be back on here later today with a more significant update, but in the meantime head here to check out my review of “NCAA Football 11,” which hits stores next week.

Well, Day 2 of E3 2010 is in the books and both Nintendo and Sony delivered the goods during their media presentations.

Nintendo kicked off the day by giving gamers a taste of something old and a glimpse of something new. As I predicted in this very space two days ago, Nintendo did unveil the next installment in the “Legend of Zelda” franchise, titled “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.” The first “Zelda” game developed exclusively for Wii, “Skyward Sword” utilizes the MotionPlus add-on to offer true 1-to-1 control over Link’s weapons and shield. Of course, you couldn’t tell that by watching legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto attempt to demo the game live during the press conference, but I’ll take Nintendo at its word that the control scheme actually works.

 Of course, “Zelda” wasn’t the only classic Nintendo franchise to receive a makeover Tuesday. The developer also announced new versions of “Kirby, “Donkey Kong Country,” and a new sports game featuring company mascot Mario for Wii and “Kid Icarus” for the 3DS, the new 3D handheld also unveiled Tuesday. Nintendo fans have been clamoring for fresh takes of classic franchises and Nintendo absolutely delivered.

Not to be outdone was Sony, which showed off its Wii-esque Move controller and several new games, including the long-awaited “Twisted Metal” and “Portal 2” for PS3. In the battle to capture the casual audience with its new peripheral, I give the edge to Microsoft with its Kinect motion-sensing controller. But Sony impressed me more by showcasing mainstream titles are incorporating Move, like “SOCOM 4,” “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11” and “LittleBigPlanet 2.” Sony also scored high marks for its exclusive deal with EA that will bring added content to the PS3 versions of “Medal of Honor” and “Dead Space 2.”

There are still a few days left before the doors close on E3 2010, so I’ll hold off on declaring a winner. But it’s clearly a two-horse race between Nintendo and Sony. Check back later this week for my final wrapup.