Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LavaElks.com Levels Up

I finally updated the site, although it still looks like it was created in the 90s. Here is a list of most of the updates:

-Right column on homepage has personal updates (twitter, twitpic, and flickr)
-Link to LavaElks.com YouTube channel has been added to the homepage
-Cut out a whole page of useless Fire Pro stuff
-Contact button goes right to your default e-mail
-Fire Pro main page lists number of edits in each organization under org. image
-Newest edits links have been added to Fire Pro main page and each organization page


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Monthly Overview: September 08

September, Spore, Star Wars, and Samba. It is the month of the 'S' apparently. On the other hand I could say Hockey, Horstachio, and Homicide. But if I said that you might think a hockey player committed homicide while riding a horse, so let’s stick with the S’s. Either way, this month is providing the gaming public with quite a few worthy-of-your-money titles. Hit the jump for the main three you should be playing all of September (plus some honorable mentions).

1. NHL 09 ($59.99 – Xbox360/PS3 – Sept. 11th)

If you somehow read my article in The Keystone last year you got a chance to read about how I told everyone to trust EA for once. Just like last year, trust EA again. If you happened to play the NHL 09 demo you might think we are getting more of the same. You have to look a little harder to see the differences, but they are there.

For one, the hitting is completely revamped, defensemen have a few new weapons for their arsenal (updated pokecheck and all new stick lift), and forwards can play dump and chase with the puck, as well as do a one-handed deke. The star of the show is the Be A Pro mode, which can be played online like an MMO (a first in the sports world). Yet again, EA’s NHL series looks to be the sports game of the year.

2. Spore (Galactic Edition - $79.99, Regular Edition - $49.99 – PC – Sept. 5th)
Spore looks to recreate the wheel. Well, more like recreate civilization. You build a creature and start out in the cell phase, working your way up to walking on land, building a civilization, and eventually traveling through and taking over the whole galaxy.

The main draw is the creation mode, where you customize the creatures from the ground up. You can also import creatures that others have made and they will inhabit other planets throughout the game. I rarely, if ever, suggest the purchase of a PC game. Buy Spore.

3. TNA Impact! ($59.99 – Xbox360/PS3 – Sept. 9th)

Just like in real life, WWE is finally seeing the rise of a competitor in the videogame market. TNA Impact! looks to bring the fast paced action from TNA wrestling to your Xbox 360 or PS3 with their first videogame release.

While it might not have all of the flashy features of a Smackdown Vs. Raw, Impact! looks to welcome back old wrestling fans with their old school control scheme Think of this game as No Mercy with updated graphics, the Ultimate X match, and the ability to bring your created character into storymode. It might not be the best wrestling game ever made, but it gives wrestling fans options besides the same old WWE game.

Honorable Mentions:
-Star Wars: The Force Unleashed ($59.99 – Xbox 360/PS3 – Sept. 16th)
A Star Wars action adventure game where you play as the apprentice of Darth Vader and lets you throw Stormtroopers and Tie Fighters about with ease? Yes, please.

-Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise ($39.99 – Xbox 360 – Out Now)
The follow-up to the piƱatafest that was Viva Pinata. More Pinatas, online co-op, and taking snapshots of your candy filled friends is what you can expect in this worthy sequel.


Monday, August 25, 2008

FPWR: Crash the wrestling ring

This Wednesday will see the release of the best Xbox Live Arcade game to date with Castle Crashers. So to celebrate, I have posted four Castle Crasher edits for Fire Pro Wrestling Returns on my site. For those of you who have no clue what the hell Castle Crashers is (shame on you), below is a comparison picture between the knights from the game and the Fire Pro edits.

Castle Crasher knights

Fire Pro Crashers


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

E3 Nintendo: Animal Crossing: City Folk

While the Nintendo press conference was quite disappointing, one decent thing we got out of it was a Wii Animal Crossing game. Better yet, it is coming out this year (Nov. 16th to be exact). Keep reading to see an interview with Animal Crossing creator, Katsuya Eguchi, gameplay footage, and learn about visiting the big city and looking like your Mii.

The city aspect of the game looks enjoyable even though it isn't a completely new feature since it houses some old shops from past Animal Crossing games. The addition of changing your characters head into that of your Mii is a nice touch. The thing is, it just seems like an "EA upgrade" to me. There isn't anything that catches my eye and makes me go, "Wow, I never thought they could add that into the game." It is only slight enhancements to what is already a stellar game series.


Gameplay (in town 1)
Gameplay (in town 2)
Gameplay (entering city)
AC at Nintendo press conference
Official Nintendo AC gameplay


Monday, July 14, 2008

E3 Microsoft: Resident Evil 5

Being the large Resident Evil enthusiast that I am, it is surprising that it took me this long to make a post about the footage and information released about Resident Evil 5. Hit the jump for some screen caps, analysis, and links to co-op demo footage, an interview, and a new trailer.

The zombie is out of the bag. Resident Evil 5 will have co-op play both online and off. Everyone rejoice! From what the linked interview at the bottom of the page mentions, you can play co-op on or offline. Also, if you play by yourself, you won't be switching ala Resident Evil 0 between Chris Redfield and RE newcomer Captain Sheva Olimar. You play as Redfield the whole game, while Olimar throws Pikmin gives you health items, provides cover fire, and helps you reach unreachable places.

Sheva Olimar, your new best friend.

There will be times when Olimar helps you...

...and there will be times when you help Olimar.

A new chainsaw enemy.

Resident Evil 5 will see worldwide release on Friday, March 13th, 2009.

Link - Microsoft press conference walkthrough
Link - NEW Resident Evil 5 trailer
Link - Resident Evil 5 Interview, pt 1
Link - Resident Evil 5 Interview, pt 2


E3 Microsoft: Gears of War 2

The gameplay showed off at the Microsoft press conference for Gears of War 2 was from the co-op campaign mode. The whole demo itself was short and sweet, as Microsoft didn't give much time for the big games (Fallout 3, Gears 2, Fable 2) to be demoed. Hit the jump to read about some new Locust enemies and see pictures of them.

(UPDATE: Gametrailers has a new gameplay montage up. Watch it now.)

A couple of new baddies (at least from what I know about Gears 2) showed up. One is a mace-wielding Locust with a shield (pictured below). It didn’t look like a tough battle, although it was basically two-on-one against the poor guy.

Afterward, Marcus picked up the Locust’s dropped shield and planted it into the ground to protect himself from a second new enemy, a huge spider-like transportation service (pictured below) for a single Locust (although I could be wrong and that is just one of those flying Locust enemies). From what was shown, it looked like only the Locust located on top of the spider monster could attack.

After the beast was brought down with the Hammer of Dawn, Marcus continued forward where he ran into what can only be described as those little crab monsters from Cloverfield. I swear they make the same exact noise as those little buggers from the film. The only difference here is that the Gears 2 version (pictured below) explodes.

At the end of the demo, Marcus and Dom take down a Locust that was driving the Brumak that was attacking them and Marcus makes mention that if the Locust can drive them why can't they. So, we now expect to be able to drive/ride Brumaks come November 7th.

Besides the release date being announced, Cliff Bleszinski (not Cliffy B. anymore) told us about a new game mode called "Horde." It consists of five players trying to survive as long as possible against a continuous swarm of Locust scum. Sounds delicious. This could potentially replace the deathmatch mode for some people, myself included. November 7th can't come soon enough.


E3 2008: Christmas in July

E3 is off to an explosive start this year as Microsoft finished their press conference a little while ago. I know it can be hectic trying to keep up with all of the news, videos, and what nots, so here are some links for you to browse and keep updated with all of the happenings at this year's E3.

I will post my impressions of the Microsoft press conference later on.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Finish Line: Portal (XBox 360)

So, after months of sitting on the shelf, The Orange Box found its way back into my Xbox 360 and I beat Portal. I stopped playing Portal back in the fall, where I was apparently two or three levels away from finishing the game. Good job, me.

Anyway, I think I enjoyed playing those last few levels as much as I enjoyed the game back when I first started playing. Which was a lot. In-between the long period of not playing, I purchased a Weighted Companion Cube plush and listened to the game's send-off song, "Still Alive." There are still a few advanced levels to finish. I will eventually get to those.

Oh, you might be wondering why I pulled The Orange Box off my shelf. Well, I purchased Top Spin 3 and I couldn't get by the character select screen. It would freeze every time I tried to either advance or browse athletes. I sent Microsoft an e-mail, so hopefully I will be sending in my Xbox 360 pretty soon. I can't wait to be on 360 number four.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good times with TNA

I have been on quite the wrestling binge as of late. I have been playing Fire Pro Wrestling Returns like it's my job, I watched WWE Raw (live) for the first time in months, and I can't get enough of this video showcasing the new TNA impact! game being released this fall.

Samoa Joe and AJ Styles lend their expert commentary skills to this virtual match-up between the two (they aren't the ones playing). While Styles takes most of the beating in the ring, he dishes out some pretty funny comments throughout the exhibition.

Keep reading to see the video.

While this isn't an astonishingly realistic wrestling simulator, it just looks like a lot of fun and is a nice alternative to the yearly let's-update-like-EA Smackdown Vs. Raw series. Also, I wouldn't judge the game solely on this video. The people controlling the characters seem to use just a handful of moves. And is it me or does this game remind you of WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game?


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spore Creature Creator released, ridiculous amounts of fun

Last night I downloaded the trial version of Spore Creature Creator and have had a blast messing around in it. Yes, I only have two creatures created, but I have been tweaking them like crazy. Also, the more I see other people's creatures, the more I am thinking this isn't such a kid's game. Tomorrow, I will be sure to pick up the full version of the creature creator. In the meantime, take a look at my two creatures after the jump.


A double-mouthed monster that waddles like a duck. It likes to play tug o' war with itself, leaving it with no friends but itself.

Lava Elk
Experimented on by scientists and badly burned while escaping an erupting volcano, the Lava Elk in impervious to any form of fire. It looks out for the other animals in the forest and acts as a superhero to us humans.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Finish Line: God of War (PS2)

Although I play a lot of games, I rarely finish them due to new ones coming out all the time. Back in the day I used to buy games, play them for about 15 minutes (if that), and throw them to the curb for either a new game or a steady favorite. So, as of right now, I am basking in the glory of beating God of War (only about three years late).

The ending left me a little disappointed. I mean I expected what happened, but the last scene just seemed anti-climatic.

Besides that, the story kept me intrigued during a few annoying sections of the game. One that comes to mind is the platforming before you head into The Architect's Tomb. For some reason I could not get a handle on my jumps, and I wound up being asked by the game if I wanted to try changing the difficulty to easy. Screw you, God of War.