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The Rumble Pack Posts

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Review

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So here’s the deal, Mr. Gerstmann, I’m comin’ to join ya. But here’s what I’m gonna say, I feel as though even Gerstmann gave Kane & Lynch a little too much credit. This game not only fails to live up to hype and expectations, but I feel it even fails to live up to some things I would find standard in this new age of quality shooters.

The story, first of all, is atrocious. While some of it may seem fresh at the start (you are rescued from a death sentence only to find you have to work for a mercenary group you once “betrayed”) it eventually turns into another tepid tale of revenge. That’s it…the only reason you continue on, revenge at all costs. Oh yeah, and your character is a despicable human being. Real bad. So bad that you really don’t care about your character or his well being at all. In fact, most of the main “protagonists” are so vile that you may end up hating them more than your villains. This game is also killed by the fact that there are major holes left in the story after completion, and all of these holes lie within character development. You wonder things like “Why does Kane have a Scar?”, “What is the story with that Japanese guy?” and “What did happen on that fateful day that you betrayed your group?”. None of these question are ever really answered, leaving your characters as superficial and loathsome as before. After experiencing rich stories like CoD 4’s or being immersed in an environment and scenario of grandiose proportion like in Bioshock, the story of Kane and Lynch is so banal it makes it makes The Great Muppet Caper seem like an epic Heist and revenge story by comparison. I’m sorry that was mean of me…The Great Muppet Caper deserves much better treatment than that.

Episode 21: To Stoop That Low

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The full crew is back again, Tom, Nick, Kaz and Justin delve into the great unknown. Tom talks about finishing Portal and Zack and Wiki. Nick is continuing the quest of pain in Ninja Gaiden. Justin finished Metroid Prime 3 and found more gems in the Chinese arcades. Kaz hasn’t played much in anticipation of a week heavy with gaming goodness, like game fasting or something. Then the whole bunch talk about NPDs as a spring board into a greater discussion of the console market at large. Healthy doses of news and more than a passing reference to old Nickelodeon shows round out a laughter filled episode.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Review

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Have you ever wanted to go on a journey through overgrown jungles in search for hidden treasure? Have you ever had a desire to be an everyman so extraordinary that you wonder how he still feels like an everyman? Have you been aching to play a video game that really makes you feel that you are like an Indiana Jones or Dirk Pitt? Have you wanted to play a really good video game on your PS3? If you’ve said yes to any or all of these, then you MUST try Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

You are Nathan Drake, unknown descendant of Sir Francis Drake, and you have just exhumed your great great great great something or other from his watery grave. That’s how the game starts and it only gets more exciting from there. The story-telling in this game is easily the best part, and it is phenomenal. It is set up like any other treasure hunting/salvage story (you’re out to find a treasure but some dirty playing jerk is out to get it first) but has plot twists and surprises that make it fresh and exciting (if not a little cheesy). Character development and interactions provide such a rich cast that you are sad to see anyone go, even some of the “bad guys.” To add to this were amazing environments that would change through out the game. While you would generally find yourself in a jungle setting, you could at any moment be thrust into a (mildly) raging river or dropped into a dank cave. These environments have been put together so beautifully that more than once did I find myself stopping everything to just stand and move around the camera to take in the glorious view. To tell you how great it is would be to ruin the story, so now about the gameplay.

Ace Attorney: Justice for All Review

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Only a developer like Capcom – whose published game history includes an eccentric combination of mega-men, street fighters, and zombie hunters – would think that putting players into the role of a defense attorney for a court-simulation would be a good idea. Aside from the role of a politician, one would be hard-pressed to find a more ridiculed, unexciting profession on which to base a largely text-driven game. Only a developer like Capcom would be crazy enough to step away from the gun-happy, attention-deficit shooters and fighters that it’s famous for creating, to make a trilogy revolving around investigations, interrogations and incriminations. And indeed only Capcom, with their extremely talented writers and localization teams, could pull it off with such style.

Such style in fact, that you won’t even have a hard time convincing your friends that a game which has you shouting “objection!” at your DS is probably one of the most entertaining experiences you’ve had in awhile. After all, how could that sheepish smile on your face be a lie? In Ace Attorney: Justice for All, you’ll spend hours searching for clues, interviewing witnesses, and cross-examining suspects for the sake of absolving your client, the defendant, of guilt for committing a crime he or she did not commit. And you can’t lose, because you’re Phoenix Wright, the brazen, passionate, yet still inexperienced defense lawyer who made a name for himself by winning trials against san francisco dui attorneys it was impossible odds in the prequel: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.







Some new, but mostly old friends.

Pipe-dreams come true

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It all started on my 5th birthday, when my Uncle Frank made that fateful decision to put a Nintendo Entertainment system into my little, unknowing, kindergarten hands. I really wish I could go back and watch that moment — to see that look in my eyes when I got to hold that huge NES box for the first time…and have absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.


I hate this kid.

Episode 20: Space Is Getting Tight

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Nick, Kaz and Justin convene to discuss their feelings and get in touch with their inner child. Which sounds a lot like Justin dropping a boat load of thoughts on everything handheld and even Metroid Prime 3 (Wii Trouble in China?). A little like Nick and Kaz going ballistic about the Uncharted demo and the Rock Band demo. And whole lot like all three being shocked by the avalanche of interesting titles starting to come out. Also included: sending games to retailers to die, a long discussion of Super Mario Galaxy sales numbers, DLC for guitar games, 90’s sitcom theme humming, abusing Toad’s voice and much, much more. Come for the fun, stay for the discourse!

How about a general update?

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“What’s crackin’, lil’ bitches?”

Jazz, Transformers, 2007

I’m sure many of you have been wondering why the hell I haven’t been updating my blog recently. To those two people, I must apologize. It’s not as if I didn’t realize that I haven’t been keeping up, but things have been getting kind of busy recently, both socially and professionally. So, in an effort to not seem like other lazy members of the podcast who never update their blogs, ::COUGH COUGH::, I’ve decided that I’ll be posting about twice a week from here on out. A little ambitious you say? Well dear reader, just know that I care about you and want to provide you with a bit more content than what’s available on the podcast.

That, and I always have a little bit more I’d like to say.

Plus, I want to develop my writing skills.

Oh, and be funny too, I want to do that.

And have something else to do at work.

You could say it’s a little self-serving, and you just might be right.
You also might be completely wrong, but hey, you’re taking that chance, not me.

So what’s been going on? Let’s see…

Episode 19: John Karma-ack

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This intro brought to you buy Justin’s massive vocal cords. 

Nick, Tom, Justin and Kaz raid the internet airwaves to bring you their thoughts on all things gaming. Justin has been hacking away at his PSP titles while Tom has been hacking away his should while trying to best Guitar Hero III at its own game. Nick has been giving love to his PS3 in the form of punishing himself with Ninja Gaiden while Kaz busies himself by trying to play every game that releases on the Xbox360. Conversation turns to contemplating Mario’s previous outings in preparation for Galaxy. No discussion of Mario is complete this week without talking about the lackluster Japanese sales and the crew doesn’t hold back. Heaps of news rundown to follow. Enjoy!

Note: Some audio glitches occur during our recording with our overseas correspondent. Usually they are removed, this week they resulted in Tom using the worst possible pun imaginable and have been left in to preserve his shame forever.

Phase Review

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Considering how Apple’s ubiquitous iPod has dominated the music industry for the better half of the past decade, it seems only natural that the trend-setting giant would turn its resources to video gaming. After all, MP3s sell well enough, but gaming is supposedly where the bigger bucks are. However, the vast majority of games in the early catalog have been token puzzlers such as Tetris and Zuma, completely inoffensive but not really enticing to your average gamer. Up until a month ago, the only really noteworthy release was NanaOn-Sha’s musika, a game that sounded cool on paper but amounted to little more than a spelling bee with dance club visuals. These games only seemed to highlight the fundamental limitations of the iPod, in terms of control and horsepower. But then Harmonix, fresh off their Rock Band revolution, quietly released Phase, a game that shows plenty of untapped potential from Apple’s handheld phenomenon.

If you’ve played any music game in recent years, particularly of the notes-on-a-track variety popularized by Guitar Hero, then the gameplay in Phase won’t really surprise you. Since you’re working with a touch wheel instead of a plastic Stratocaster, Harmonix returned to its simpler Frequency/Amplitude series for inspiration. Gone are the 4th and 5th notes, chords, star power – much of what defines the current crop of music games, but the remaining core is still fun. New to Phase are long chains that require you to slide your finger across the wheel. This mechanic feels great and helps give this game a bit of an identity.