Gaming Newsletter 3/24/10

Hello people of the internet! My gaming newsletters are now going to be split into sections to improve ease of reading. Reviews, News, Miscellaneous, Games to Watch out For, Game Trailer, and Failure! Reviews will be reviews of games with links to site’s reviews as well as a gameplay video. News will be all else that is gaming related, whether news or a gaming article. GtWoF will be games coming out in the recent future or that have just come out, Game Trailer will be a trailer for an upcoming or new game, and Failure! will be a gaming related fail. I hope you guys like the new setup! So read on.

*Sorry about some of the videos guys, I don’t know why they aren’t embedding.

::Review Section::

Command and Conquer 4
Platform: PC

I have played C&C 3 myself, so I do have a pretty good grasp of the series, but beside keeping along the same general story and the same general RTS system, C&C4 concentrates IMMENSELY on co-operative playing between teammates, and doesn’t do an awesome job on anything else. Even throwing out the old style of play completely. That means if you don’t like playing with other people, move on the the next game because this one isn’t worth the money. The campaign is incredibly linear and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Multiplayer is as I said very co-op based, with you now choosing from “Attack, defense, or support” and getting different units and abilities accordingly. There is no base building or use of tiberium as currency to buy units. Since you have to pick between a specialty until you die this leaves you at a disadvantage if you are playing alone. There are better graphics and effects overall, and it depends very highly on your playing style. If you are a diehard RTS player, then you probably want to pick this up, but don’t judge it off of the other C&C games, because this might as well be a different game for how it plays.

Gameinformer 7.75
Gamespot 7.0
IGN 7.0
Gamesradar 7.0

Metro 2033
Platform: PC and Xbox 360

*Gasp* A completely new game that isn’t a sequel and doesn’t rip off of some other game’s story/playing system!? I like it already. Having almost no information about it released before it’s debut, Metro 2033 is certainly a pleasant surprise. Many will not remember when campaign was the only thing considered when buying a game (Heck I sure don’t)  but there occasionally comes a game that is worth buying just for the campaign, even in the day and age where multiplayer is considered as a huge factor before everything else. Metro 2033 puts you into the dark, foreboding tunnels below Moscow after some kind of nuclear disaster. Communities are ramshakle outposts and villages, which are your havens compared to the dark tunnels you normally traverse throughout the game. You fight both normal humans “Nazis, bandits” as well as various types of mutants throughout the beautifully detailed underworld. Graphics aren’t top of the line, but the story and detail makes up for it. Paying attention to those details pays off during the adventure, and you even go aboveground into Moscow proper for a part of the campaign. Why? I suggest buying the game and figuring it out for yourself :)

(Really well written review) Gamesradar 9.0
Gameinformer 9.0
Gamespot 8.0
IGN 6.9 

Toy Soldiers
Platform: Downloadable from Xbox LIVE Arcade

I remember back when Halo Wars came out. I was talking to my friend and brought up an idea on how to mix an RTS with the fun of an FPS. It would be like a typical RTS game, but you could make yourself become a soldier that you commanded, to turn the tide of a battle one way or another at the cost of not seeing all your units any more. Toy Soldiers does exactly that. With a tower defense feel, but even so. You control “Toy Soldiers” as well as other units such as tanks and planes with a WWI style to them. The battles take place in a toybox, and you can see parts of a typical room beyond the box. You have the typical, if difficult, RTS/TD experience while also allowing you to enter the battlefield yourself as one of your soldiers if you so choose. The campaign is difficult on it’s lowest difficulty setting, and the higher levels are truly a test of your skills in the game. After completing the first British campaign you will then have access to the German campaign. The campaigns aren’t very long, but they are both fun and challenging. Including online and multiplayer games it is a lot of game for your money, especially as a downloadable XBL arcade game. If you have some microsoft points and don’t know what to do with them, Toy Soldiers is probably a good use to put them to.

TeamXbox 8.7
Gamespot 8.5
Gameinformer 8.25
Gamesradar 8.0



[Halo: Reach] Multiplayer Features

Because of the immense ammount of information that we were given in the past week concerning the new multiplayer features, I am going to break it down into a bullet system to make it easier and keep you away from a wall of text.

  • When you enter the matchmaking lobby you will be able to see what your friends are doing on Halo: Reach, without having to go to the Xbox Live Guide.
  • You can set it so that you will join a friend’s game as soon as it is available. Qeue joining.
  • Now instead of a veto system, you will be given 4 choices to choose from with different maps and gametypes, including a “None of the above” option occasionally as well, keeping you from vetoeing a map only to get one that was worse.
  • Arena will be an area for the hardcore players, and rankings are divided monthly between 5 different divisions. This is part of matchmaking, not all of it.
  • Options for matchmaking searching like “Good connection” “Fastest” and more will play a bigger roll in finding games.
  • Another criteria is added in hopes of partying up like-minded people. With options like chatty or qiuet, team player or lone wolf, and more.
  • The scoring system is drastically improved over the Halo 3 system.

This is by no means everything, so head over to Shacknews with the below links and read about it for yourself!

Main Reach Article
More on Arena and the Scoring System

[Modern Warfare 2] Stimulus Map Pack, Priced & Dated

After getting bored (Or not) of MW2 by now, Activision/Infinity Ward is/are coming out with a map pack for Modern Warfare 2. It will contain 5 new maps, no new spec ops or other features though, and it has been priced at a whopping 1200 MS Points ($15). I already know many people that aren’t going to buy it, but it is ultimately up to you whether you want to or not. The maps are 3 new, and 2 remade from CoD4.

Bailout- A multi level apartment complex.

Storm- Open and rainy industrial park littered with machinery.

Salvage- Snowy junkward with lots of cover (Snowy version of Rust?)

Remakes of Crash and Overgrown CoD4 maps.

So yeah. I am liking the apartment complex, but not the others nearly as much :/ plus $15 is a LOT to pay for 5 new maps to play on and nothing else. Oh yeah, a video or two featuring a couple of the new maps has been leaked. >.> below…decide whether they’re real for yourself…I think they are :P

Three New [Mass Effect 2] DLC Packs

Details have been released about 3 different pieces of Mass Effect 2 DLC. Both prices and a release date for one of them. Yeah that’s right, Cerberus guys aren’t getting them all free, just the first set.

(3/23/10) [Free w Cerberus] Firewalker Pack- Featuring five all new missions, Hammerhead Assault Hovercraft. Available free to Cerberus access members.

(3/23/10) [160 MSP or $2] Alternate Appearance Pack- Featuring new outfit choices for Thane, Garrus, and Jack.

(?/?/10) [560 MSP or $7] Kasumi’s Stolen Memory- Featuring a new female thief character, a Locust SMG weapon, and the flash bang grenade as a loyalty power.

Is it worth it for you to pay for them? Also up to you, but a new character and mission is looking pretty darn good (And for half the price of MW2’s map pack DLC)

Gamers’ Time to hit on Girls…

So your friends are talking about the girls they hit on at the bar last night, both their triumphs and their overly cold rejections, while you sit there and think about that sweet double kill splatter you got with the Mongoose on Valhalla. Well no worries gamers! You now have a way to buy yourself a game with a (hot?) girl! Whether it be Halo 3 or another game, even checkers, you can have a game or a video chat while you play a casual game with a girl. IGN showcases the new GameCrush system. The first “Adult Gamer Site”. Frankly I don’t see how this isn’t just going to turn into a porn site for gamers, but that’s just me. Up to you what you think. If you want to do it yourself…well that is your choice too…

The Price You Pay to Play

Rus McLaughlin over at IGN wrote something very interesting on the pricing of modern video games. I would put what I thought about it here, but I want you to go in with a clear mind and see what you think of it.

What do you think?

Post a comment about your opinion on what he said!

Discounts for All!

Discounts to be had for both Xbox and PS3 fans! Both Wal-Mart and Amazon have announced that with every pre-order of Halo: Reach, you will get a $20 card to use! Amazon’s can only be used on future video game purchases, and will be delivered 2 business days after the game ships, you get Wal-Mart’s immediately when the game ships, and it can be used on anything. Normally the choice would be clear, but it depends on what you use more, plus Amazon has a reputation of getting you games on time. Certainly not a bad deal either way, 1/3 the price of the game isn’t too chabby to get back after paying for it.

Sony is having their annual “Spring Fever” discout event. Throughout Spring various games, bundles, packages, and downloadables for the PS3 and PSP will be discounted at pretty good percentages. Keep checking to see if you’re game is in there!

Games to Watch out For

  • God of War III
  • Splinter Cell Conviction
  • Just Cause 2

Teaser Video

You may have seen this already, or maybe not, but it is one of the best game trailers I have seen recently :)


I hope you guys enjoyed the newsletter! Subscribe to the right —-> to get an email when I post up new ones!

Till next time.




About Dominic Ricci

Dominic has worked in the industry as both a producer and designer, absorbing many skill sets and branching out as much as he can with his experience to be as competitive as possible. He feels video games are the premier medium for thoughts and expressions in the world, and he wants to help make those experiences as successful as possible. Outside of work, health and fitness are also passions that Dominic holds, and nothing is more fun than going to the gym and then crashing at home to play a game with some friends.
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