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Vertigo Review

Rolling the Ball (Rolling!). Them Heavy People...

Vertigo Screenshot

HIGH I was really happy to see a bowling mode included; this was a ton of fun for me in Super Monkey Ball.

LOW Why isn't the camera following my Xorb?

WTF What the hell kind of name is a Xorb, anyways?

The Horror Geek presents: Two new Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles videos from Penny Arcade Expo

The Penny Arcade Expo is in full swing (I'd love to go one year…) and Capcom is on hand showing off not one, but two new gameplay videos from their upcoming on-rails zombie shooter Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.

I've been hard on on-rails shooters over the past few years, and I'm absolutely awful at containing my contempt for the Wii, but I'm still looking forward to checking this title out when it hits shelves this December. Check out the first clip below, then jump past the break for the second.

The Games of PAX - Day One

The Games of PAX - Day One - Dark Void Screenshot

Today was the first day of PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) 2009. I have to admit that I hadn't really been paying attention to many of the press materials prior to the show, and I was a little taken aback when the family unit and I arrived on-site to find that the place was an even larger, more spread-out roil of gamers than it was last year. I think the expo may be reaching its critical mass at the Washington State Trade & Convention Center, honestly. I certainly don't want it to leave, but I have a hard time imagining more people being able to cram into that space.

Motion control: Boon or bane for gamers with disabilities?

With all the studies on therapeutic uses for Nintendo's Wiimote, a deaf school's innovative use of PlayStation Portables and the potential for Microsoft's Project Natal to make games accessible to players with disabilities thanks to its ability to recognize objects, voices, gestures and facial expressions, it's easy to think that motion-sensing technology is an unequivocal boon to players with disabilities everywhere. But is it? It's certainly easier for some people with disabilities to move an arm than to push a small button (or six). But what about those players with disabilities who are attracted to video games partly because pushing buttons allows them to do things they cannot otherwise do? Will the move toward motion control realism bar some players from their hobby?

Disabilities, Nintendo's Demo Play and a wishlist

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Screenshot

While I think Nintendo's Demo Play feature would be great for skipping the boring or poorly-designed bits of a mostly-good game, some people wonder if games getting their own players "unstuck" is the end of gaming as we know it. Others point out that this feature may be very useful for players with disabilities, who may find parts of a game completely impossible.

Wiimote hacked to help people with disabilities

Nintendo Wii Nunchuck

At this month's DEFCON hackers' conference, engineering students Josh Marks, Rob Rehrig and Larry Aiello did a demonstration of their project WiiAssist, (PDF here) which allows people with disabilities to use the Nintendo Wiimote as a head-pointer and the Wii Balance Board as a mouse. VultureBeat's Dean Takashi writes:

"[T]he project adapts the infrared sensors in the Wii controller, which detects a Wii game player’s motion and position, so that it can be attached to someone’s head. The sensor is then used to track head movements, which can control a mouse in a computer application."

The University of Delaware students chose the Wiimote in part because it can track up to four infrared sources and it has Bluetooth capabilities, as well as an open-source library for Windows and Linux machines called Wiiuse, which supports "motion sensiong, IR tracking, nunchuck, classic controller, and the Guitar Hero 3 controller."

Long-term goals for WiiAssist include sign language recognition and a design that uses less power and fewer wires.

The Horror Geek presents: New Silent Hill: Shattered Memories trailer from GamesCom

Ah Sunday, a day for rest and relaxation–and apparently a day for no horror news.

I saved this clip of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for a day just like today. The Wii-updating (I'm hesitant to call it a remake—it is technically a remaking of the first game, but it's bringing a lot of new elements to the table as well) of the classic survival horror game is looking pretty good. Don’t take my word for it, though, have a look at this new trailer for the title that appeared at GamesCom earlier this month.

Expect Silent Hill to hit retailers on October 13th for the Wii, PS2, and PSP—just in time to creep you out for Halloween.

Real Heroes: Firefighter Review

The chinchillas are on fire!

Real Heroes: Firefighter Screenshot

HIGH It's a natural fit for the Wiimote, and a great concept.

LOW The graphics are going to be hard to get past for some gamers.

WTF You expect me to risk my life for some chinchillas?

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