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Bionic expectations and the E3 Podcast prep

Expectations are an important issue to deal with for anyone, but doubly so for a critic. After all, we are supposed to be "neutral and unbiased" when we evaluate, right? Of course, it's absolutely impossible to be without some sort of penchant or leaning—we wouldn't be human, otherwise. But, although it's not realistic to sit down with a game and approach it as a completely blank slate, managing expectations is something that could, and should be done.


Take, for example, GRIN's reimagining of Bionic Commando.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Bioshock 2 trailer

Bioshock still stands as one of my favorite games of this generation. Its creepy atmosphere coupled with some excellent writing and narrative design make it stand out as one of those games that should be mentioned whenever the tired discussion of "games as art" pops up. To say I'm excited about the sequel is an understatement.

Here's a look at a new trailer for the game. This year's E3 has seemed to focus on great looking games that aren’t coming out until 2010, but Bioshock 2 remains on course for a November 3rd 2009 release on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Saw Game demo

I'll be brutally honest—I didn't expect much from a videogame tie-in to the Saw movies. You know the drill…movie tie-ins suck, blah blah blah. Even news of the project winding up in the capable hands of Konami (who seem to have a pretty keen understanding of horror games) wasn't enough to sell me on the idea that navigating an avatar through a maze of Jigsaw traps would actually be fun.

I'm not sure what it is (maybe the lowered expectations, or maybe that game actually looks decent), but I'm warming up to the idea of a Saw game after viewing this demo footage of the title in action at E3. One of the game's associate producers took GameTrailers on a guided tour and things seem to be shaping up nicely.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow trailer

Oh Konami, when will you learn? How many times have you guys tried to take Castlevania from its classic 2D origins and bring it into the 3D realm now? I've seriously lost count. It never works. That doesn't stop them from trying, though.

Yesterday, at the company's press conference, they unveiled the latest attempt: Castlevania: Lords of Shadows. I get the feeling this is probably Konami's most serious attempt to finally branch out beyond the successful Nintendo DS "Metroid-Vania" styled games. They've lined up an impressive voice cast (Patrick Stewart, Robert Carlyle, Natasha McElhone) and the real kicker is that the project is being overseen by Konami's golden boy Hideo Kojima (and it should be noted that he's overseeing—Kojima Productions is not producing the actual game).

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Dante's Inferno trailer

E3 2009 madness continues, now with a new look at Electronic Arts' highly anticipated horror game, Dante’s Inferno.

The new trailer for the game (which is being developed by EA's Visceral Studios—which is the new name for EA's Redwood Shores Studios) will do little to dispel the whole "God of War in Hell" vibe that's come to surround the title, but gamers who feel that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery should still find much to like in this roughly two-and-a-half minute preview.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Alan Wake trailer

Seems like we've been hearing about Alan Wake for years now…oh, it's because we have. Doesn't matter to me, though—when games look this good, you almost don't mind the wait if it means they're getting it right.

The title (developed by Remedy Entertainment—the guys who gave us the Max Payne games) made an appearance at E3 yesterday, and it looks incredible. Alan Wake is being billed as more of a "psychological thriller" than a survival horror title, but it looks to feature enough creepy visuals to keep even the most discerning genre fans looking over their shoulder as they clutch their 360 controllers with sweaty fists.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: Left 4 Dead 2 teaser trailer

Good news for gamers who love the zombie apocalypse. Valve has announced that Left 4 Dead 2 will be available on the Xbox 360 and PC on November 17th.

The sequel ups the ante from the original game, moving to a new locale with a new cast of survivors and features melee combat (the chainsaws look fun…), boss zombies, and like all sequels, is said to be bigger than the game that started it all.

The Horror Geek presents E3 2009: New Dead Rising 2 trailer with lots of zombies

Swine Flu guaranteed that Dead Rising 2 won't be shown at this year's E3, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything new to see when it comes to the highly-anticipated, zombie-killing simulator.

Check out the new trailer below for a look at the game. There's no gameplay footage here, but that's a whole lot of zombies.

I have my problems with the first Dead Rising, but I'm still looking forward to this sequel. Hopefully, Capcom has learned from their mistakes in the first game—and would it be too much to ask that it actually be playable on a standard definition television this time around? I'd love to have a nicer TV, but I choose to spend my paltry income on games—not television sets.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 15: Project Trico, InFamous, Broken Steel, UFC, Dead Space, XBL Community Games

We're back! With Brad's and Tim's new sons safely extracted, the team reunites to discuss all the games they've been playing during the break: InFamous, Broken Steel, UFC Undisputed, Dead Space, Trino, CaveIn, Mithra and the Project Trico teaser. With Chi Kong "North/South" Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
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Topic and Game References:

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

Quick bits

After getting about 2/3rds of the way through inFamous, if not more, I basically wrote my entire review in about forty minutes.

inFamous SreenshotI'm going to keep pushing forward and finish it off, but I'd be very surprised if anything in this last section really changes my opinion.

Besides inFamous, I'm putting the finishing touches on my upcoming Crimson Gem Saga review, I've got a few more entries to do for my "Best of Community" feature, and as if all that wasn't enough, I've been toying with the idea of doing the main review for Fallout 3.

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