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The Horror Geek presents: Dante's Inferno wants you to go to Hell

I've been paying close attention to Electronic Arts' new IP, Dante's Inferno, since it was rumored a few months ago. A video game based on a classic piece of literature is intriguing enough (although I'm hoping Pride & Prejudice & Zombies never makes the jump to game-dom, even if it features Nazi zombies…), but one that's not only based on literature but set in Hell and looks like a God of War clone sets my geek-o-meter buzzing well into the red-zone.

Here's the first trailer for the game. Obviously, someone on the development team played and loved God of War—but is that a bad thing? If you're going to imitate something, you probably should imitate something really good—and it's hard to get much cooler than God of War when it comes to action games featuring giant set-pieces. The only real negative I see here is the giant multi-headed hellhound things looked cheesy to me. Maybe they'll fix them—or maybe I’ll like them more when I see them in the actual game. Too early to tell.

No word on a release date yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Mass Effect Second Opinion

For those of you who don't feel like reading the whole thing: it's awesome.

Mass Effect Screenshot

HIGH Wonderful narrative from beginning to end.

LOW Inventory management.

WTF Twenty minutes into the game where I accidentally chose the dialog option to punch out a hapless NPC.

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Review

"Remember kids, licensed video games are NEVER good." - Strong Bad

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People

HIGH Teen Girl Squad choose-your-own adventure mini-games.

LOW Metal detector use gets a little tedious.

WTF All the WTFs are acknowledged and made fun of by Strong Bad at some point.

A bunch of random stuff! Attack!

Although I haven't had a ton of game time lately, I took advantage of the extended weekend and spent some time with two download titles, Lit and Flower.

Lit is from Way Fordward (Shantae, Contra 4) and makes its home on the Wii. An intriguing mix of Puzzle and Horror genres, the game’s hook is that touching darkness or shadows is instantly fatal. Naturally, the player must make his way through twenty-five rooms (and five boss battles) by taking advantage of paths and safe zones created by lamps, televisions, broken windows, and so on. My review is in the can already and should be making an appearance soon, but in a nutshell I'd say buy it if the subject matter appeals to you, just be prepared for some frustration due to a few poor design choices.

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage Review

Bringing the fight to a much colder, less radioactive wasteland

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage Screenshot

HIGH It's more Fallout, for players like me who couldn't get enough.

LOW Getting warped out of an area before I was done searching.

WTF The battle near the end could have been a bit more epic.

Game accessibility news roundup: 2/10/09

Since this past weekend was my birthday (I got several games, including one I'm ashamed to have taken so long to get to), this week's post is another trilogy of disability-related gaming news.

A woman with long dark hair stands in front of a factory wearing a white, backless, sleeveless dress. She is facing right, looking off into the distance.

Heather Kuzmich, a finalist on cycle nine of America's Next Top Model who won nine CoverGirl of the Week awards and has a form of autism called Asperger Syndrome, is studying video game-art design at the Illinois Institute of Art. In an interview with founder of Voodoo PC Rahul Snood, she said:

To be honest, I always wanted to do something that included art and creating stuff with my hands. At first I wanted to get into costume design, but that soon changed to game design, especially since I frigging love games and love doing weird designs for characters.

The Horror Geek presents: Saw videogame rises from the grave

billy-saw

Variety is reporting that the video game version of the Saw films isn’t as dead as we thought it was.

Brash Entertainment had been originally handling Jigsaw’s first foray into the digital universe when the company abruptly closed up shop a few months back. The game appeared all but dead at that point, with the rights winding up in Lionsgate’s hands. Things have now changed though, with Lionsgate teaming up with Konami to resurrect the title. The game is still slated for a fall release (keeping it in line to appear around the same time as the sixth film in the franchise).

I wasn’t particularly interested in a Saw game prior to this point (it seems like its ripe with the potential to suck balls), but Konami stepping in gives me a slightly more positive outlook. Konami has a decent track record with horror games (they’re the guys behind Silent Hill and Castlevania) and maybe they can bring some interesting elements to the project. My area of concern, though, remains the fact that the release date is still this fall–meaning they’re probably taking what Brash had already created and just finishing the project as opposed to building a game from the ground up.

I guess we’ll all find out if the game is worth playing before the end of 2009.

NEC Foundation awards grant for therapeutic video games

The NEC Foundation of America has awarded a $32,000 grant to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) "to support the dissemination and use of therapeutic video games to serve children with severe sensory and motor disabilities," according to NJIT's press release.

The website for NJIT's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) says that:

The video game platform contains games with programmable graphics objects. Each game piece behaves in a preprogrammed fashion, following specified rules. These rules may alter movement pattern, changing shape, color or size and even disappearing altogether. Each game piece is capable of assessing its environment and calculating its distance from the nearest object in a specified direction.

Video: Mirror's Edge modded to play in third-person perspective

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Someone or someones decided he or she or they didn't like playing Mirror's Edge in the first-person and hacked the game (PC version) so that it could be played from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint. That's all well and good as long additional steps were taken to fix any side-effects of the switch. But none were. Instead, we see a character model that was never made to be seen during normal gameplay instances and as a result looks pretty laughable.

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