As time has marched on and the World Wide Web has gradually replaced magazines as a source of video game reviews, many people seem to have lost touch with the reason why video game reviews really exist. Reviews are no longer the informative tool that they once were. It's a big business now. Sites like Metacritic actually influence the direction of the industry, and it's been documented that there's a very tense relationship between reviewers and publishers. If a reviewer is overly critical of a game, especially if it's a higher profile game, it can cause unnecessary shockwaves.
UFC Undisputed 2010 is set to be released May 25, but I was fortunate to get an early hands-on preview as part of a THQ media event out in Las Vegas. After getting a crash course in Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Kickboxing as part of a mini-bootcamp, all of the attending journalists were given extensive time to play through the enhanced Career mode with latter part of the evening devoted to an elimination style tournament between the journalists. How did yours truly do in that tournament? I'll get back to that later, but first let me give my impressions of the gameplay changes and new features.
Although it's currently still under review embargo, Microsoft's PR reps have said that talking about and previewing the first episode of Alan Wake (360) is fair game. So, although certain elements of it have been labeled "hush-hush", I can still spill a little...
Game Description: Featuring the sexy female characters from the Dead or Alive series, your two-week Vacation Mode starts at the getaway resort, New Zack Island. Select a favorite from nine playable characters and you are free to mingle, flirt, play, take snapshots and challenge them in mini-games found throughout the island. Store the snaps in your one-of-a-kind private album along with teasing "venus clips" for viewing and editing or share an intimate experience with your girls by buying gifts and having them model your favorite bathing suits. You are in full control to create your own private paradise, in the palm of your hand. It's all on-the-go. Take your girls anywhere, and play with them anytime.
Working in video game retail opens your eyes to a lot of things. You realize that you probably don't agree with a lot of corporate policies. You find that the majority of gaming consumers don't know how to put a disc back in its case. You also see that, despite its good intentions, the ESRB rating system simply does not work when it comes to trying to protect minors from controversial or explicit content. With the recent news that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to review a violent video game law in California that was struck down by the state's 9th Circuit Court, the argument about violent video games has reared its ugly head once again, and it's time for me to throw my hat in the ring on this subject.
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