Tuesday, June 30, 2009

News: Another 360 Exclusive: Dreamkiller Just Announced

Set to release sometime in September 2009, Aspyr and developer Mindware have come together to create this casual (and far fetched) FPS for the Xbox 360 and PC platforms.

Sounding a bit too familiar, like the premise of 2000's "The Cell," you play a psychologist named Alice Drake that possesses the ability to inhabit the worlds that are in her subject's mind. She goes after the malicious monstrosities that live there all with the help of some really big guns — I mean weapons portals — that her patients conveniently leave for her in the levels.

Team Xbox was given a tour that was limited to the sixth level, which was about a patient that had "maniaphobia," or the fear of going insane. Aspyr informed the guys that on top of the weapons portals, Alice Drake also comes equipped with "special powers" when she enters the level.


According to Team Xbox, these include, "a fireball attack via a dragon’s head tattoo, while the other is a telekinetic shock-wave blast that repels nearby enemies. In fact, every weapon has an “alt” fire. For instance, the Chain Gun has a secondary mode of slinging grenades, where as the Dream Cleaner spits out grenades as its primary, while having an alt-fire mode of a Power Wave blast."

Aspyr states that all weapons will have infinite ammo (I'm torn between joy and the sad frustration that this will be another plot less shoot 'em up), but the guns will also have usage delays that can only be remedied by gaining experience and leveling up.

Get crazy enough and you can enter the game's "Berserk Mode" and watch your TV get snowy and your enemies red and inflict more damage than necessary to gain even more experience points.


Alice is also given another weapon that aids in defense. It's a button that will transport you from the position you are currently at to a haphazard one nearby. (Which could very well be more dangerous than the one you are at.) The only restriction is that Alice is unable to teleport through walls. Hmmm... doesn't look like I'll be taking my chances with that. A random chance I'll teleport into a nightmarish beastie is a bit much for me, you know, with it being someone else's nightmare and all.

Finally, the objective to this game (there is one, I swear) is to clear each level by destroying enough of the nightmare residents' beds that are littered around the map to prompt an escape door that will allow Alice to get out — and hopefully her patient — in one piece. Just be careful, because at the end of every level is a miniboss who guards the door to your safe return.


There are 12 varied mindscapes in the single player mode as well as a rumored vast multiplayer modes (that Aspyr declines to elaborate on... hmmm... online perhaps?). Aspyr informed Team Xbox that they enabled Mindware to create each of the 12 mindscapes differently, complete with different artistic style, environment and even enemies. Maybe that could distract me from what seems to be mindless game play.

Thanks for the ping,

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Review: Games For Cheap Bastards

Recently, I've been directed toward a new free-to-play game by Electronic Arts called BattleForge. It is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game crossed with a Trading Card Game (TCG). BattleForge allows you to build your own custom card decks to use in PvP and PvE play and provides a "playground" area for testing your deck before taking it in to a game.

Tune in to Incoming Pull Live this coming Wednesday on Ultraworld Radio where I'll be talking about the game in more detail during our Games for Cheap Bastards segment. I've been playing the game for about a week now, and I have a decent grasp of the basics to be able to provide a solid first look review. Here's a gameplay vid that I found on YouTube to give you a taste of what the game looks like.



Feature Overview:
  • 'Probationary Period'
  • Great Graphics and Animations
  • Real-time Strategy
  • Resource Gathering (Power Wells)
  • Perspective Views
  • Trading Card Game
  • Nature, Frost, Fire, & Shadow Orbs
  • Card Auctions
  • BattleForge Points
  • Tome of Knowledge-like lore unlocks
  • 1, 2, 3, and 4-player PvE maps
  • Up to 120 units at your command
  • Card Upgrade Rewards
  • 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 6v6 PvP Maps
If you want to know more details about the features I've listed above, point your browser over to ultraworldradio.com on Wednesday night at 10PM EST and give a listen to Incoming Pull Live.

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Incoming Changes To Incoming Pull

Incoming Pull is about to undergo some changes that will hopefully allow you, the reader, to be more informed of the things that encapsulate the video game industry.

We have a few writers that have decided to join our team, so feel free to send them a welcome in the comments section of their flagship stories.

This means more reviews, more analysis and more opinions.

The site has already grown from a Warhammer Online site, to a general gaming news site. Then, with the addition of our new banner came a weekly live radio show on UltraWorld Radio.

Now we have increased our stable of writers to bring readers even more engaging content.

Who knows what's next?

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Commentary: The truth behind Warhammer Online's recent developments

We Internet geeks are a fickle and presumptuous lot.

We are the judge, jury and executioner of all things, be them on-line or off-line, for no matter the topic, we have the "right" point of view.

A lot has happened in the MMOsphere this past week, but the thing that has a lot of people throwing their opinions out like yesterday's fried bologna sandwich is Electronic Arts placing Mythic and Bioware under the same umbrella. Note: they aren't merging, even though Mythic employees will in essence report to a Bioware exec. Tomato — Tomaato.

The other big news that came about from all of this is the departure of Mark Jacobs from Mythic.

While we discussed this topic briefly on Wednesday's live broadcast of the Incoming Pull radio show, I wanted to go into a little more analysis here on our site.

While many people (and I'm too lazy to dig up all of the links) are touting the inevitable failure of WAR due to Jacobs' departure, others are sending grandiose messages of thanks and applause at a job well done.

I fall under the thought that Mark Jacobs is a developer that has been responsible for some of the more creative experiences in the MMOsphere, such as RvR, public quests and the Tome of Knowledge. While it probably wasn't solely Jacobs who came up with these ideas, it was his nod that made them a reality.

In saying that, Jacobs' legacy in the genre is in place.

But let's talk about the doomsday writers.

Most of these writers have already written WAR off before this news hit. Despite holding strong at 300,000 subscribers, these writers just can't seem to admit that WAR — as much as it must pain them to see — is actually doing very well as far as success.

"But Mark Jacobs said that WAR should have, at a minimum, 500,000 subs. But Mark Jacobs said that server mergers are a bad sign."

I shouldn't even have to waste my time commenting on these statements. So, I'm not. I'm only going to say that it is (was) Mark Jacobs' job to sell his product to the best of his ability. It was also his job to have as much faith as possible that his product was the best in the genre.

Three-hundred thousand subscribers is nothing to scoff at. It took Eve Online six years to earn 300,000 subscribers. Mythic had more — and sustained that many — at and post launch.

I think something interesting to note is the fact that WAR has not launched in the Asian market as of yet. Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan will all see WAR on their shores later this year. What sort of impact will that have on the subscriber base?

You can place your money on one thing, WAR's not dropping from 300,000 subscribers anytime soon.

So, as to the doomsday writers who feel like the departure of Mark Jacobs justifies their angst towards Mythic's newest title, think again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but WAR is a success for one fact alone — it's making money.

And the stinger in all of this — and my main point that I want to make — is that I'm not a paying subscriber, yet I can still see a game for its strengths and weaknesses. My blinding loyalty to one developer or another doesn't mask the truth that "my game" isn't the only successful game out there.

At its prime, Everquest had approximately 430,000 subscribers. Take into account that this was in 2002, when Everquest was one of the mmos that you could count on one hand. Now, look at that in comparison to WAR which is holding at 300,000, hasn't reached the Asian market yet, and has more competition in the MMOsphere (which is made up of a multitude of subscription-based and free mmos) and maybe you can see why WAR is not failing, but actually succeeding.

Perspective and objectivity is a hell of a thing.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

ICP wants you!

Things have changed here at Incoming Pull the past six or so months.

The site has gone from covering news and commentary for Warhammer Online to general gaming. Now, in its next iteration, Incoming Pull has become an anchor for the live radio show that happens each and every Wednesday night on UltraWorld Radio.

Most of my time is now focused on programming the radio show, which means I don't have the time to write articles like I previously did.

This is where you come in.

Incoming Pull is inviting any and all writers that have a love of video games to join our team of correspondents. With a few more writers, Incoming Pull could be updated multiple times throughout the day with fresh and exciting content.

If you are interested, please contact me at t.w.youngblood@gmail.com. Please include any writing experience you may have and a sample clip(s) of your work. Samples can be anything relating to video games and need not to have been published. The more unique approach you can bring, the better.
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ICP Live: Episode 5


It's official, we finally agreed on both the Bestest and Worstest Power-Ups for the first time on Episode 5 of Incoming Pull Live. Mark it on your calendars, scream it from the highest towers, or just update your twitter status to let everyone know that you were listening to the show LIVE when it happened for the first time. This week's show contained everything from games to movies to music, and maybe in the next week or two, we'll be able to post up our new T-Shirt design(s).

After a laid back show that once again ran over the intended time slot (there's something of a pattern evolving here... maybe we all just talk to damn much), we've put another weekly episode in the books for all of eternity, or at least until December of 2012 if you happen to be Mayan.

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click one of the download links under the player to save them to your hard drive for eternity.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 5


Download: [Full Podcast] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Tune in next week. Same Time. Same Channel. On UltraWorldRadio.com.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We are live, tonight!

Incoming Pull is going live again tonight at 10 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:

• World of Warcraft is now more gay than ever,

• More weekly headlines,

• Weekly "Bestest and Worstest Power-Ups" (*hint* It's one of the items in Link's arsenal that you probably didn't think of),

• Video game music from the SNES era,

• We review Ghostbusters: The Video Game and explore other great games that will never make it onto the big screen.


If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on Yahoo instant messenger @ incomingpull.

The only way to resist worshippers of Gozer is to listen to Incoming Pull.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ICP's New Hottness (Banner Revamp)

Introducing the new Incoming Pull Blog banner. I put this together from various graphics that I found all over the place. Youngblood came up with the idea of using an NES controller, and I thought that having some old-school characters hanging out around it would make it feel right at home. Yes, I do realize that Pacman was pre-NES, but I thought it fit in there really nicely anyway, with him gobbling up all those Konami code arrows on his way to the blue ghost.

There is still one more minor update for it waiting in the wings, but we thought that it was complete enough to unleash upon public eyes.

Love it? Hate it? Let us know about it in the comments.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Soapbox: boycott Batman: Arkham Asylum

Three weeks ago, I announced live on the Incoming Pull radio show that all gamers should boycott Rocksteady Studios' upcoming Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game is set to release on Aug. 25 of this year.

The reasoning for the boycott is simple: gamers — worldwide — need to stand up and force developers to change the way they deal with non-exclusive titles.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is being released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Windows PC (and for the record, I play and enjoy all three platforms). However, Xbox 360 and PC owners get left out in the cold due to the fact that PS3 owners will get the exclusive chance to play as the Joker in Challenge mode.

This is another example of video game developers creating exclusive content for non-exclusive games.

So, what's all of this mean?

We as gamers need to realize the blatant injustice in all of this. Why would a developer cater to one console's player base when the game isn't exclusive? Simple: money. I'm assuming Rocksteady Studios received a nice, fat wad of cash from Sony to provide their console's version with exclusive content.

What this means is that the developer is no longer developing a game for you and I — the gamers. They are shelling it out to help boost, not only the notoriety of the PS3, but sales of the console. Rocksteady Studios has stopped being a video game developer and has entered into the realm of corporate salesman, peddling one console over the other platforms.

Now, to be fair, Rocksteady Studios isn't the only developer to do this, but they are the latest and therefore the target of this video game boycott.

Even if you own a PS3, you should stand against this sort of corporate shenanigans. If you don't boycott, then you forfeit your right to complain once the next title comes out and it is your platform that is left in the dark.

There is no feasible reason why these platforms shouldn't carry the exact same content. After all, isn't that why developers create games for multiple platforms; to reach a greater audience. Anyone can see why multi-platform titles are radically changed for the Nintendo Wii, but titles should be the same when they are carried over to the other three gaming platforms.

There is only one way to ensure that developers stop catering to this corporate malfeasance and that is if gamers boycott the games. Is sacrificing your principles really worth a few hours of fun?

Boycott Batman: Arkham Asylum. The ball is in your court, gamer nation. Let's lay down our console loyalty and do what's best for us — as gamers — and send a strong message to developers and console developers that creating exclusive content for non-exclusive games is wrong.

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Incoming Pull Live: Episode 4

Tonight's show ran over, as usual, but we sure did fill out the time with a lot of GREAT conversation. We hope that everyone was able to hang on for the extra half hour with us to hear Nate take his first turn on the Soapbox, but if not, we'd like to think that we at least got your gears turning with our "morality in gaming" conversation that lasted longer than I think any of us expected it to. Either way, Episode 4 of the Incoming Pull Live radio show has wrapped and the podcast files have been recorded.

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click one of the download links under the player to save them to your hard drive for eternity.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 4


Download: [Full Podcast] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Tune in next week. Same Time. Same Channel. On UltraWorldRadio.com.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We are live, tonight!

Incoming Pull is going live again tonight at 10 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:

Xbox 720 rumors and Gamestop screws their customers with Wii MotionPlus.

• More weekly headlines.

• Weekly "Bestest and Worstest Power-Ups" *hint* One of those topics involves Wizards & Warriors.

• Video game music this time with LYRICS!

• We review Prototype and explore morality in video games,

• And Gothic 4 looks to be full of fail.

If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on instant messenger @ incomingpull.

The only way to stop the voices in your head is to listen to Incoming Pull.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

The lull and drudgery of being in limbo

Yesterday, I did something that even surprised me, I cancelled my subscription to WAR.

Granted, I haven't really been playing it since the middle of May, but quitting the game wasn't an easy decision. While some real life issues have gotten in the way of enjoying the game, those pale in comparison to the real reasons why I am packing up shop and leaving. WAR — more or less — is just too zergy for my taste.

I love RvR and I love the "concept" behind WAR, but the constant zerging has worn me down. If only there were more incentives that would compliment and entice players to run 6-mans. If open world RvR was more group-based, then I think I could overlook the issues with overpowered AoEs and lackluster server performance.

So here I am stuck in limbo. For the record, I hate limbo. There is something about not being a part of an mmo that leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. However, what's my alternative.


I can join some friends in Dark Age of Camelot, where group PvP is more utilized, but that game belongs in a retirement home. There's just something about playing dated mmos that doesn't appeal to me.

Then there's WoW and EQ2. Both of these suffer the same affliction for me. I need to be playing with a good group of friends who don't mind doing lots of dungeon runs. As of right now, my options just aren't there.

I'm not really interested in venturing back into City of Heroes/Villains since Champions Online will be launching in a couple of months.

Lord of the Rings Online definitely needs that group of friends for me to enjoy it.

Free mmos, no matter how you paint them, are still free mmos and not something that I'm all that interested in sinking time in.

So I guess I will just float for a while and see what shiny object catches my eye. Oh look, I think my Xbox 360 just winked at me.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Still looks good


Set to release early 2010, Dante's Inferno is shaping up to be one hell of a ride through the 9 Circles.

Plus, bonus points goes to anyone who can name the circle/canto shown in this video where the two souls are trapped in stone.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Incoming Pull Live: Episode 3

Last night's show went off without a hitch — well, unless you count a half second of strange feedback and a kick-ass echo at one point.
As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click one of the download links under the player to save them to your hard drive for eternity.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 3


Download: [Full Podcast] [Part 1] [Part 2]

Tune in next week. Same Time. Same Channel. On UltraWorldRadio.com.


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We are live, tonight!

Incoming Pull is going live again tonight at 10 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:

• E3 overload.

• Weekly headlines (special violence edition).

• Weekly "Bestest and Worstest Power-Ups."

• Video game music

• Where do mmos go when they die?

• And Nintendo doesn't love you anymore.


If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on instant messenger @ incomingpull.

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Incoming Pull.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WAR update: lost in translation



My time in WAR has dwindled to the point where people have begun questioning whether or not Tulane will be returning. As a guild leader, it's not the best situation to leave my friends and guild mates in. No one thrives in Limbo.

I have been taking a well-needed break from the game. I've been playing for 8 months straight and was overdue for some good ol' fashioned unwinding.

However, in my absence, guild mates have left and our alliance — the Twilight Alliance — is on shaky ground. It seems that I wasn't the only one who needed a break. Apparently everyone in one of our allying guilds left for Dark Age of Camelot.

I informed my officers that I would be returning for Land of the Dead, but that my continuation may not stay long after. WAR — for more or less — has just lost its appeal to me. So in the meantime, guild mates of Ira Deorum are beginning to waiver under their banner. Why shouldn't they, considering other guilds are more active.

So, the days of Ira Deorum may be coming to an end. Well, not for me at least. I came into WAR under the banner and I will leave WAR in the same fashion. There's a sort of poetic calmness in it all. The rise and fall — so to speak — of a band of warriors who lived and died in harmony.
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'd choose a whip any day of the week



At last, someone over at Konami realized that if you combine the gameplay of Devil May Cry and God of War, add a dash of Kojima Productions and top it off with the setting of Castlevania, that you have one tasty looking game.

Here's to hoping that Castlevania: Lord of Shadows truly is a "rebirth" for the series.
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Incoming Pull Live: Episode 2 - E3


I thought last night's show went very well, and we covered a lot of great information from E3 in just over an hour. We'll continue to work on getting our content to fit in that hour-long time slot, but we hope you don't mind the extended broadcasts and enjoy listening to our show no matter how long it runs.

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click one of the download links under the player to save them to your hard drive for eternity.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 2 - E3


Download:  [Full Podcast]  [Part 1]  [Part 2]

Tune in next week. Same Time. Same Channel. On UltraWorldRadio.com.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LIVE BROADCAST 6/3/09

Incoming Pull is going live again tonight at UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:

• A little thing called E3.

• Weekly headlines.

• Weekly "Bestest and Worstest Power-Ups."

• Video game music

• And I tear into developers who give exclusive content to non-exclusive games.

If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air.

Remember, Milo is watching.

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THERE WILL BE CHOCOBOS


Square Enix surprised us all Tuesday at Sony's E3 press conference by revealing, not one Final Fantasy title, but two.

Final Fantasy XIV Online looks to be the franchise's next step into the mmos sphere. As a die-hard fan of the franchise, this is both pleasing and unsettling to me.

Final Fantasy XI was a let down for me.

It lacked the epic feeling that the other games in the series had. Replacing that feeling was a Korean-esque grind. I loved the job system, but leveling was too much of a pain.

But overall, the thing that was the most difficult for me to get past was the control scheme. Square Enix designed that game with the PS2 in mind. Therefore, the control scheme was perfect if you were holding a PS2 controller. For mouse and keyboard, however, it just felt awkward and unintuitive, especially for this generation of mmos.

I have high hopes that Square Enix makes the controls more apt for keyboard and mouse. After all, more potential subscribers own PCs than PS3s.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

SUDA 51 IS GOD



Suda 51 is a god.

No More Heroes = no more shovelware for the Wii.

Time to dust off my trusty beam katana and get to kicking ass, Travis Touchdown-style.
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IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY

"
Here's the newest trailer - straight out of E3 - of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the new MMORPG from Bioware.
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