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Posts with tag microsoft-gamers-day

X3F Impressions - Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise


The first Viva Piñata was a somewhat divisive game. The visual look turned off many initial players, but those who stayed found an engaging and deep sim. Unfortunately, those two things were usually at odds with one another and given that it was a new IP it perhaps wasn't best to turn away the player base that was most likely to get into the deeper side of the game. So for Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, Rare is looking to somehow split the bar, raising it for the hardcore and lowering it for those who are in fact pulled in by the game's look.

Like many sequels, VP2 isn't much different in its basic mechanics and most of its changes consist of refinements and streamlining that allows for the gameplay to pass much faster and in many new ways. Things like co-op, the camera support, and the UI refinement all make the rest of the game's additions that much easier to use.

Hit the Pinata after the break. Get it? We're a scream.

Continue reading X3F Impressions - Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

X3F Impressions - Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts


Alright fanboys, time to get the difficult news out of the way first. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is not much like its predecessors at all. The main gameplay focus is still on platforming, only it's now platforming with vehicles too. Like most platformers, the specific objectives you have to complete are slightly varied, but are mostly different takes on collecting items.

To do so, you'll have a massive tool kit at your fingertips. The vehicles seen in the gallery can all be broken down into various pieces, and a large portion of the gameplay stems from mixing and matching vehicle parts to suit the task at hand. Or y'know, to just suit messing around with infinitely customizable vehicles in a physics playground. That playground can be taken online as well, and the game's multiplayer is very physics-focused and custom-content heavy.

Hit the break for more on Banjo.

Continue reading X3F Impressions - Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

X3F Impressions - Penny Arcade Adventures


While the visual look of the game has been well known for some time now, the details of the long winded Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness have been a bit sketchy. Admittedly, we are Penny Arcade fans, but we were skeptical of the game, mostly because we didn't know of what it consisted. Turns out the game is a meld of Japanese RPG and old-school adventure.

The exploration, battle setup, and nested menus are straight out of traditional RPGs, but the cutscenes (if they can be called such) consist of a partly animated Penny Arcade comic. Albeit a Penny Arcade comic set in (*checks press release*) the deranged 1920's universe of New Arcadia. While the RPG elements have been updated for the times and are designed not be be slow, there isn't much here to hold you if you don't enjoy the Penny Arcade style of writing and humor. If you like the writing and are looking for something a little deeper and more involved, but just as funny and wrapped in a good RPG, give this a shot.

More details and impressions after the break.

Continue reading X3F Impressions - Penny Arcade Adventures

X3F Impressions - Ninja Gaiden 2


At an event in which the majority of the games were continuing franchises, Ninja Gaiden 2 didn't appear at first glance to be the game which had changed the most from its predecessors. From afar and to an untrained eye, the game appears to be exactly the same as the first, but the closer you get (right up to and including sitting down and playing the game) the more you notice, and the more you see how crazy over the top that Tomonobu Itagaki and Team Ninja have gone with their latest game.

Upon picking up the controller the first thing we noticed was just how much faster the entire experience was. The increased responsiveness, the increased enemy speed, the replacement of the roll with the dash and many other little things all work together to make NG2 a much more fast paced, relentless game than the original.

Much, much, more after the break, and be sure to read the rest of our impressions from Microsoft's Spring Showcase as they go live over the course of the day.

Continue reading X3F Impressions - Ninja Gaiden 2

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