Daily Archives: April 21, 2009

Brutal Legend Ships October 13


Electronic Arts today announced it will ship Double Fine’s Brutal Legend October 13 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It will ship in Europe October 16.

Have you ever taken a good look at that lead character? Yes, he looks a little like Jack Black, but doesn’t he also look like Tim Schafer?timschafer_11

Ah, yes. Now you see it.

“Wooo! Having an official release date is awesome!” said Tim Schafer, President of Double Fine Productions. “And how cool is it that EA threw down the dough to have the name of an entire month changed to Rocktober?”

I’m not going to re-write this game description for you because I just ate lunch and I’m feeling slow. So here is what EA says this game is…

“Brütal Legend tells the tale of Eddie Riggs, played by Jack Black. The ultimate roadie, Eddie is the first person anyone calls when they need guitars tuned or stages rigged, and has a love for hot rods and a photographic memory for every Heavy Metal album cover, and the lyrics those albums contained. One night, a stage accident knocks Eddie unconscious, and he awakens in a world that looks very strange yet oddly familiar, a world where every Heavy Metal album cover and lyric Eddie knows has come to life, and where the evil emperor Doviculus and his demon army, The Tainted Coil, have enslaved the last remaining humans. When an oppressed people request Eddie’s knowledge of modern warfare, he pulls from his own experience in the only occupation he’s ever had, a roadie for a Heavy Metal band, and under his command, this barbaric force of hot-rods, Marshall stacks, leather, and chrome will bring this ancient world into the age of Metal.”

Go to Brutal Legend’s newly re-done Website to get free stuff–images, movies, concept art and “exclusive blogs” (Huh? Do those two words together make any sense??!!). Then check GDC 09: The Brutal Art of a Legend for images and a story on Lee Petty’s GDC session on the game’s art designs.


Filed under Music, Video Games

Halo Wars Reflections


After several nights of intermittently playing and ignoring Halo Wars, I finally hurled myself, like a body against a door, at the last and 15th mission of the game and finished it.

Since I don’t have any deadlines per say, I traded in a few games for Halo Wars for two reasons: 1) it’s another addition to the Halo universe, which I am obsessed with, and 2) I would love to see RTS games make it on consoles, despite their fateful lack of a keyboard and mouse and the unlikelihood of them ever succeeding.  Call me crazy (you won’t be the first), but I just feel like taking the underdog position on this one. One day RTS games will do well on consoles, I swear!

With my inner wishes now in plain view, I return to face reality. Halo Wars doesn’t succeed very well as an RTS, making little headway into creating an equivalent control system like the PC and crushing my basic hopes with a pair of brass knuckles. But what Halo Wars does well is give gamers another Halo game to enjoy. It’s pure fanfare; it will neither recruit PC RTS fans to play it nor does it cast a wide enough net to grab casual console gamers. No sirree.  This is pure fan service, but for the record I like it better than EA’s Lord of the Rings RTS endeavors, which weren’t half bad.


The engine and systems behind the game are rock solid, and it’s incredibly fun to see the creatures, spartans, soldiers, and Flood appear as mini versions of themselves and control them in vast armies. Similarly, it’s great fun to control Warthogs and Grizzlies and Scorpions and mini-scarabs. Every chance I got to use a Spartan to jack enemy Covenent vehicle, I took it. They’ll jump onto the vehicle hoods, bang on the door and eventually throw out the Covenent driver to its death. Just like old times.

The only real hard levels in the game are level 10 and level 15. Level 10, Shield World, is a Floody mess. The mission is timed against a Flood army that never really dies, and at the end if you don’t place your army exactly on the right spot, at the right time, even if they’re generally in close vacinity of the rally point, you’ll have to start over (and you will do this multiple times, I swear it). The best thing I can say about this level is that in being frustratingly, you will increase your skills through repetition and be better off for it. But the pain and annoyance might turn less determined players away.

Level 15, Escape, is also timed and tough. In Escape, you’ll have to use a narrower technique than in other levels, which is building up ODST troops to swarm across the circular map and beat down both Flood and Covenant forces, while fending off three scarabs, while opening doors in the correct order. Building up your tech in this level is the key, not only with troops, but with the MAC Cannon, too. You know you’ve done well if you beat the level before the timer runs outs, but you’ll have done especially well if you beat the level and wiped out all of the Scarabs, too. Good luck.

So yeah, Halo fans rejoice in all of Halo Wars’ fun little intricacies and inherent scripting problems and lack of control. It’s a bit of a headache but it’ll will satisfy your inner Halo fan.


Filed under Video Games