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Which long-running franchise is most in need of an overhaul?

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 32: Lost Planet 2, Final Fantasy XIII and how to keep old franchises fresh

Did you miss us? We missed you. After a tearful reunion, Brad tells us about his trip to see Lost Planet 2, Mike offers his unique take on Final Fantasy XIII (finally!), and we examine the challenges faced by decades-old franchises. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Tim Spaeth, and Tingle.

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Topics discussed:

  • Lost Planet 2
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

The Consumer's Seven Laws of DLC

Street Fighter 4 Screenshot

With the advent of online connectivity for consoles, developers and publishers alike have been exploring new opportunities for new creative and financial endeavors. While some people may have initially had doubts about the viability of Downloaded Content (DLC), it's become quite clear that this new business/development model has been wildly successful. Without question, all sides agree that DLC is here to stay. However, proper utilization of DLC is still in its infancy, and has much potential for going astray.

Blue Toad Murder Files, Aaaaaafrikaaaaaaa, and 2 upcoming contests

Afrika Screenshot

For those who may not remember (or for those who missed it the first time… Afrika had ZERO presence) the player takes on the role of a photographer in a relatively unexplored region of Africa. After setting up base camp, requests come in via PC for things like "head-on shot of a zebra" or "monkey in a tree" and so on. At that point, it's up to the player to drive out into the savanna and get the required shots.

Lost Planet 2: Hands-On Multiplayer preview

Lost Planet 2 Screenshot

So, Capcom was gracious enough to invite me in to get a sneak peek of Lost Planet 2's multiplayer the other day. I'd never been to Capcom before and there were a ton of great review/journo people as well, so it was truly a double treat to attend the event.

Heavy Rain: To the bitter end (Part 4)

Heavy Rain  Screenshot

Well, I finally finished Heavy Rain, and was startled by a lot of things about the last few chapters. The identity of the killer, the lack of resolution offered to many parts of the story, and a certain twist that invalidates nearly everything that occurred.

Hopefully, Heavy Rain gets better from here (Part 3)

Heavy Rain Screenshot

Welcome to part 3 of my SPOILER-intensive analysis of Heavy Rain's story!

Somehow Heavy Rain continues to worsen (Part 2)

Heavy Rain Screenshot

Look, we all know that this is basically just another Saw game, and given how bad the actual Saw game was, I understand why hopes were high for Heavy Rain, and why we'd want to give it a pass for its unoriginality. But I thought I'd take a moment to acknowledge just how similar the premises are. They're both stories about a crazed killer who kidnaps people and then creates elaborate traps inside crumbling edifices deep within America's post-industrial wastelands, designed to test how much a victim will sacrifice to save a life.

Get Lost Planet 2 Multiplayer Demo Codes

UPDATE #2: The Xbox 360 codes are ALL GONE!

However, we do have a small number of PlayStation 3 codes left. If you have a PS3 and want a code, there's still time!

What do you need to do?

Post a message in the GameCritics.com forums and tell me who/what your favorite big robot/mecha/android/mechanized thing of all time is. Comics, cartoons, anime, games, WHATEVER. Also, tell me why.

When you post, tell me you want the code for PS3 version. Winners will be picked tonight at random.

Heavy Rain is, in many ways, not well written (Part 1)

Heavy Rain Screenshot

It's fair to say that I don't have the greatest confidence in David Cage's ability to create something that makes sense. Still, I decided to delve into Heavy Rain and see what he'd produced this time around. Now, four hours in, just having completed "The Bear" I'm ready with some initial comments—and these are just going to be plot things, since this isn't an official "review" of the game. Also, unless it gets really egregious I'm not going to comment on the awkward phrasing caused by the game's sometimes iffy translation.

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