PAX East

The Friday Fix March 18th

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The Friday Fix March 18th

Hello everybody!  Another week has passed and what a week it was.  Last week PAX East barreled through and we did our best to bring you all the news we could from Boston.  Some big games have dropped as well, as I’m sure many of you have been playing through Dragon Age 2 to the point where you are having trouble not dividing your speech in real like to three easy choices.  If you are new to The Fix it is really very easy to figure out.  I pick a band for your enjoyment, and then I gather up all the newsiest news from around the site.  Got it?

The band for this week is going to be Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.  I don’t care if they are so hip it hurts, their music is just plain fun.  If you don’t beleive me be sure to check them out here.

Now on to the news!

 

 

 

 

That’s all for this week!  Be sure to check back next week for more of The Friday Fix!

Star Wars: The Old Republic First Impressions

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Star Wars: The Old Republic First Impressions

If you’ve been following the site for the past few days, you have probably noticed all of the SW: TOR content that we discovered at PAX East.  I wanted to give you some quick first impressions of the game.  In short, the game has resurrected my interest in MMOs.  I know for sure I will purchase this game upon release (whenever that may be, BioWare) and sink many otherwise unproductive hours into it.  The controls are standard MMO fare with absolutely no surprises.  The graphics are what you would expect from BioWare: realistic facial expressions, sharply intriguing camera angles, and fully developed worlds and environments.  What is going to set this MMO apart, however, is the story-driven landscape.  Naturally, it is at its heart a BioWare game set in the Star Wars universe; even though a community rep admitted that it is an MMO first, SW: TOR will feature an intricately woven plot into intense MMO gameplay.  One unique feature displayed (and unfortunately during a tutorial screen and thus, un-filmed) involved how BioWare reconciled its phenomenal role-playing features with that of the combat-driven MMO.  When raid members are asked questions by NPCs, they are given choices (the good ol’ response wheel), and dice are rolled to determine who gets to speak when.  It rolled smoothly and added multiple characters’ opinions and attitudes toward story features and events.  While maintaining classic MMO tendencies, BioWare concentrates heavily on the “RPG” half of the game-changing genre.  Read on to catch an official release date from a rep from BioWare Austin.

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[PAX East 2011] – Gunstringer

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[PAX East 2011] – Gunstringer

Twisted Pixel, the company that brought you Splosion Man, The Maw, and Comic Jumper, takes away the controller with its new ambitious title, The Gunstringer and turns you into the weapon.  The Gunstringer utilizes Microsoft’s Kinect in its upcoming Xbox Live Arcade game. It is a third person shooter which has you controlling a marionette gunman. It is set on a stage in the Wild West, and the stringed protagonist is out for revenge.

The controls are fairly simple: you can make the marionette move left or right by moving your left hand left and right. Pulling your hand up causes him to jump. With your right hand, you target or mark up to six enemies. To shoot, you pull your hand back in a shooting motion; this fires the gun. This works fairly well and is great fun to do.

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[PAX East 2011] – Star Wars: The Old Republic Gameplay

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[PAX East 2011] – Star Wars: The Old Republic Gameplay

Saturday morning at PAX East, those involved with the media (and cleared for access) were allowed a one-hour preview of the show floor before opening to all others at 11 AM.  I had two objectives: 1) get in line for SW: TOR and 2) play SW: TOR.  After waiting in line for nearly an hour (and the previously mentioned incident occurred), I was ushered into the gameplay area with the other members of the press.  We sat in a briefing room and received a tutorial and preview of our mission and gameplay options.  We were divided into teams of four (a Tank, an AOE expert, a Healer, and a secondary Tank) and placed into a level 32 instance.  The team from BioWare wanted us to experience the game at a higher level so we could learn and understand more powers and sophistications of the game.  I assigned myself to the Tank and leapt into a world a really, REALLY long time ago.  Read on to see the video and footage of the gameplay and a brief review.

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[PAX East 2011] – Lord of the Rings Online

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[PAX East 2011] – Lord of the Rings Online

While at the WB booth I was able to check out some of Lord of The Rings Online.  The game went free-to-play last year, and has since tripled the company’s revenue.  The people working on Lord of the Rings Online believe the reason they have been so successful since becoming free-to-play is that they offer a premium MMO without the premium price tag.  They ran through several quests to show off what they are working on for the year.  One quest that was mentioned would involve a bit of time traveling and will take players back to before Isildur cut off Sauron’s ring.  Another quest that was shown involved some ice caves and one giant mamma polar bear.

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[PAX EAST 2011] – Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

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[PAX EAST 2011] – Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Is there anything more satisfying than killing a stupid annoying wasp? How about blowing up a giant wasp with a rocket while flying around in an armored mech suit?  Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon lets you do just that, while also letting you blow up other giant insects, robots, buildings, and even hot dog stands.  Check out the video as well as JJ’s impressions and let us know what you think!

JJ’s Impressions: one my guilty gaming pleasures has to be Earth Defense Force 2017 for the Xbox 360. When a sequel was announced, I could only imagine destroying giant bugs.  The newest improvement that I enjoyed the most had to be the jetpack. Being able to get the drop on the big bad bugs and smashing them to bits with the rocket launcher is just way too satisfying. Finally, the addition of online co-op play really provides the final touches: EDF 2017 was a great game to play with a friend on the sofa, but now with EDF: Insect Armageddon, you can take that great co-op game play online. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy when it hits store shelves.

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[PAX East 2011] – SW: TOR Play Footage Forthcoming and Release Date Drama

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[PAX East 2011] – SW: TOR Play Footage Forthcoming and Release Date Drama

Hello faithful readers.  Earlier today, we tried to livestream our team’s play footage of Star Wars: The Old Republic from BioWare.  We had lined up at 9 AM with the rest of the media.  We were allowed over-the-shoulder footage of the live demo (which I played, which was PHEnomenal).  While in line — and this is the honest truth — a community rep was discussing the future of the game and dropped the words, “fourth quarter, twenty-eleven.”  This was the source of the release date bomb that occurred earlier from our humble site.  Now maybe the rep just likes those three numbers and the American monetary denomination for twenty-rive cents.  Pay no attention to it if you wish (after all it is only hearsay), but I assure you, these words were both heard and said.  In a follow-up interview I did on the fly with one of the higher-ups, he recited those glorious corporate words, “BioWare will release the game when it’s ready.”  So.  There you have it.

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[PAX East 2011] – Star Wars The Old Republic Live Gameplay

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[PAX East 2011] – Star Wars The Old Republic Live Gameplay

Really no more substance here than a sweet, sweet live capture of some people playing SW: TOR at PAX East.  The game looks absolutely phenomenal and will probably give WoW a run for its money.  Check out anything and everything SW: TOR related here and at the main website here.

Update: Tomorrow morning (3/12), we’ll be doing our best to live stream an exclusive press only preview. Stay tuned!

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[PAX East 2011] – N-Control AVENGER Hands-On Demo

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[PAX East 2011] – N-Control AVENGER Hands-On Demo

Debuting at CES back in January, the N-Control AVENGER controller mod makes gaming that much easier for you.  The basic product is a clam shell that affixes to your XBox 360 or PS3 controller (forthcoming).  Essentially, it adds simple levers and pressure pieces for your fingers to manipulate so you never have to remove your thumbs from the movement and camera sticks.  The mod allows for continuous, unbroken movement as you reload, hurl a grenade, strafe, or whatever action fills you with the most pleasure.

We spoke with Brandon Leidel, Director of Marketing for N-Control, and he provided a hands-on demo of the AVENGER here at PAX East 2011.  The device is smooth, ergonomic, and makes all kinds of practical sense for gamers of any level, novice to hardcore.  You can check out pricing and purchasing options at N-Control’s main website.  Check it out today and revolutionize your gaming experience.  Read on to see the live demo.

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