Thursday, August 25, 2011

PSN Demo Showcase for 8/25/11

Some new demos came out on PSN this week and even though I rather play Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (review on that soon), I did take some time to play through these demos as I will briefly mention my thoughts of them.

First off is a demo of Bodycount, published by Codemasters and made by the creators of Black (Criterion). In a nutshell this first person shooter is pretty much Black 2.0 with a different storyline and setting. The gameplay premise is still similar to Black in which there are lots of destructible environments and you shoot at explosive barrels to kill enemies. As a shooter, Bodycount has some unique ideas such as leaning while aiming with your ironsights at any spot. This mechanic feels a little of sluggish when you're shooting as it should of been something done while in cover, which you can do as well. As a shooter, the core is unoriginal from a pointless scoring system, guns lacking that umph when it comes to sound, and unpolished graphics (then again, its a demo so who knows if the final game improved that). At the end of the day, Bodycount is just another FPS trying to be competitive with the other juggernauts, but you rather play those than this one, which is indeed the case.

The other demo of note to talk about is for Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, which comes out next week. Space Marine is one of the most unoriginal titles for a game yet, but it is not as bad as you think title alone. This is a third person action game with shooting and melee elements as it was known as "Gears of War without cover." Hordes of Orcs will come and attack you as you can easily die if you're not careful. As heavily armored as these space marines are, going guns blazing is a bad idea in this game. There are conventional weapons to choose from a pistol with infinite ammo, machine gun, shotgun, etc. The demo sections are pretty linear, but some areas can be really dark as I had to turn up the brightness to the maximum at one point to keep progressing. Other than that, it is a pretty standard third person game with mechanics seen in similar games such as the ability to go berserk (they called it Fury here) for a limited time, rechargeable health, but you gain lost health by executing enemies Gears style. The jetpack level in the demo is a nice touch allowing the main guy to rock a jetpack to pound on enemies from the air. Space Marine is not really doing anything new, but it is not that bad of a game people think at first.

Other than those two, there's a NHL 12 demo out this week as well, but there's nothing to note other than its hockey and the it is still gonna be the hockey game to get this year (well the only one basically since 2K Sports doesn't make NHL2K anymore). I have the Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 demo as well, which I still need to try out. That demo is also self-explanatory because its soccer and those games tend to control the same as it comes down to you preferring that or FIFA 12, which is arguably EA's best sports franchise now (you can argue for NHL 12 as well, but we'll also see with the Madden reviews tomorrow). Since I don't have Playstation Plus anymore, I didn't play the Resistance 3 multiplayer beta even though I heard bad things about it.

Mega Music Roundup for 8/25/11

I got a lot of albums to talk about, so I'm going to try to keep it short what I think of them.

Lil Wayne - The Carter IV

Weezy's latest album is finally out after numerous delays and after the crazy success of The Carter III, did magic strike again? I think so from a mainstream perspective as you're getting successful singles with "6 Foot 7 Foot," "John" featuring Rick Ross, and his latest one being his ballad "How to Love." The current ballad single can be easily hated since it is Wayne getting all poppy and of course you rather hear him rap in hard beats, which there are some. "She Will" featuring Drake (likely the next single), "President Carter," and the "Outro" are among the current favorites among the masses. Weezy will probably never bring back his earlier days before his mainstream success, but The Carter IV is an okay album with some hits and misses.

David Guetta - Nothing But The Beat

This is Guetta's second major US album after taking the country by storm with One Love. That album was filled with bangers from "Sexy Chick" with Akon, "Memories" with Kid Cudi, and others that found mainstream success. His new one is no different, but this time Guetta racked up more of today's stars rather than unknowns making the album more feature-filled. However, some songs feel like I heard them before in a different form such as the first single "Where Them Girls At?" featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj. That song pretty much is Sexy Chick 2.0 in a nutshell using similar sound effects. His current single "Little Bad Girl" featuring Taio Cruz and Ludacris is a little better than the unoriginal first one. Other high profile artists in the album are Usher, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Lil' Wayne, Afrojack (for a Daft Punk-y track called "Lunar"), Akon, and more. Not every song is a hit though as Guetta's song with Timbaland is a real disappointment as I expected something more with the two together. If you want more mainstream clubby stuff, Nothing But The Beat is worth blasting at parties and other places that pop off loud music.

Natalia Kills - Perfectionist

You probably heard of Natalia Kills with her feature in LMFAO's "Champagne Showers," but she has her own solo album out with some good old pop music. There is a lot of catchy stuff from "Wonderland," "Zombie," and "Mirrors." This album is longer than I thought with more of a hour of decent pop. She is not really making a big splash in the mainstream scene as I thought she would as her songs are pretty radio-friendly. It probably goes to show how radio stations play the same popular songs over and over again to the point they get annoying. Hopefully Natalia doesn't get the one hit wonder treatment as with most female pop artists in recent years.

The Game - R.E.D. Album

Another album that had numerous delays was The Game's latest. Personally, I'm not really that much of a Game fan other than his debut album The Documentary being a classic hip-hop album at its time. I didn't had any expectations for this one and ended up not caring after listening to it. You'll probably find some songs here and there in this album, but out of the high profile rap releases this month (Watch The Throne and Carter IV), Game's new album falls a bit short compared to those two.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back after a long hiatus and a new guitarist. Their signature sound is still intact in this album, which is not really a bad thing considering their age. The fact we have a new album by this band in 2011 is actually pretty crazy after delivering chart-topping singles for almost two decades.

That's it for the music roundup for now. There is MTV's Video Music Awards this Sunday if you wanna see another Britney Spears love fest with the tribute they're planning for, Lady Gaga going crazy as she always does when she opens the show (hope she performs a song that is not yet a single in Born This Way), Bruno Mars doing the same ballad YouTube wannabes have doing for over a year, and more. It is probably going to be another crappy show and a reminder that it had its glory days (mainly the late 90s and early 00s).