Archive for April, 2010

Hands-On Preview: Shank (PAX East)

If there’s anything I love to see combined, it’s flashy animation and gratuitous violence. Happy Tree Friends makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. There’s nothing quite like the juxtaposition of kid-friendly caricatures rife with color and oozing style, wacky personalities, and copious amounts of blood. Entrails do an animated character good. The upcoming 2D side-scrolling Xbox Live Arcade/PSN/PC title Shank, brought to us by the good fellows at Klei Entertainment, delivers all of this and more in full force. If Quentin Tarantino, Penny Arcade, and slasher film junkies had a meeting of the minds, they’d likely submit this game for our gaming pleasure. Forget the delicate worlds of Braid or P.B. Winterbottom. Shank is hardcore. And if you don’t believe it, he’s got a Head-On chainsaw — to be applied directly to your forehead.
Continue Reading →

Hands-On Preview: Mafia II (PAX East)

In the wake of Grand Theft Auto and the inherently similar titles we all like to compare to Rockstar’s powerhouse, we tend to forget that many of those titles that are cut from the same cloth are veritable great choices to turn to if you’re not feeling the Tommy Vercetti or Niko Bellic vibe. It’s the God of War phenomena. Sure, Dante’s Inferno was largely inferior, but it could stand on its own as a decent alternative. I’d liken Mafia, released on the PC back in 2002 via Gathering of Developers, to the Bayonetta position in the great God of War/Devil May Cry-styled game wars.  While it shares the same elements that its “parent” games possess, it makes a name for itself through its finesse and campaign that’s an absolute blast to play.
Continue Reading →