Yep, more busyness to report -- last week we released our PC & Console Gamer Holiday Guide 2010 as you probably know (definitely check it out if you haven't though -- I enjoy it as a buying guide and a retrospective). Staff has been harder at work than ever, I think. This week is definitely a breath of fresh air, not that there's any shortage of interesting things happening or coming up.

Since it's been another while since the last report, I'll do my best to deliver only the essentials.

Upcoming reviews: Arcania, Gothic 4 (waiting on a performance patch), Gran Turismo 5, Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball 2, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (should get this early), Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3 review then PC-centric review), Beat Hazard Ultra (early next year), Donkey Kong Country, Marvel Superhero Squad, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Sonic Colors, Marvel stuff from Sega, Epic Mickey.

Making lots of progress with Konami (loved our Lords of Shadow review, big contest incoming), Capcom (loving my mod and tweak guides and also LP2 review -- very gratifying as a fan, fulfilling as a writer), Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony, MTV, Nintendo -- 2011 will be the year of Neoseeker!!! No really, it should be huge, though. :)

Upcoming features/contests: New Vegas playthrough -- I'll be documenting my playthrough accompanied by screenshots and gampelay videos. I'll make it fun, don't worry. Might pair it with a contest -- readers share their best stories for New Vegas swag. Besides that we've got six New Vegas Steam codes to give out, Lords of Shadow copies and maybe other stuff, Lost Planet 2 codes...and a bunch of other stuff I can't even keep track of at the moment. Also it's the last day for our Black Ops contest.

Wikis: The Fallout: New Vegas wiki is getting lots of love from user Paradox and myself, and will be getting even more this week. The entire staff basically is obsessed with the game, to be honest. If you have the PC version (or will be getting it from our upcoming contest..), you'll be very interested to check out the mod guide I've drawn up. I've seen every guide like it I think so far and I honestly believe it's the definitive resource for the community's best at the moment, and I intend to keep it that way by updating compulsively.

Highlights:

All of the really noteworthy reviews are in the holiday guide, so here's the news:


Hm, come to think of it, a monthly report seems best. What do you think?

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It's been almost a month since my last report -- rather busy, indeed. I'm going to make an effort to have these up weekly as originally planned.

Let's get to it.

Upcoming reviews: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Lost Planet 2 (PC), Medal of Honor (PC), Kirby's Epic Yarn (probably), Vanquish, God of War: Ghost of Sparta (should be published very early -- this is pleasing), Gran Turismo 5 (probably), Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Arcania. Unfortunately LucasArts has declined us again this year, but we're working on it.

Planned coverage: X-Men: Destiny (possibly)

Wikis: BioShock Infinite wiki is started. I'll be getting into the Dragon Age series and Bad Company 2 wikis after this big batch of reviews. Lydia won't be working on the Guild Wars 2 wiki for about a month (same for news) -- feel like helping out? Leo is going to be touching up the Phantasy Star Portable 2 wiki as the design is borked.

Highlights:

A lot since last time, so bear with me. Lastly, I'm proud to announce we can call Heath Flor a 'professional' reviewer now. He's not going anywhere. :)

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Another busy week and another belated report. :)

Upcoming reviews: Atelier Rorona, Phantasy Star Portable 2, F1 2010, Etrian Odyssey 3, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2 (hopefully), Civilization V (hopefully), Blade Kitten, RUSE, Top Gun, Valkyria Chronicles II, HAWX 2 -- and probably a few others!

Planned coverage: Section 8: Prejudice, Elemental post-mortem (not confirmed yet), NBA 2K11 feature, Vindictus preview.

Wikis: Gonna start up a Battlefield 3 wiki in addition to fleshing out the Bad Company 2 wiki and Dragon Age wiki (going to work on the gameplay tips guide -- can't wait!). Once Lydia isn't so busy with reviews she'll get back to Guild Wars 2 -- why not help out in the meantime? :) Leo is settled on the Valkyria Chronicles series wiki, especially with VC3 coming.

Highlights:

Halo: Reach review - worthy of the hype, it seems!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent review - a must for horror fans
Shadows of the Damned - like Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, No More Heroes, and/or Silent Hill? Then you'll want to check this one out.
Witcher 2's nude woman torture scene being reconsidered - some English vs. North American drama :)

On a sidenote, our hardware side is in a bit of a state at the moment. If you didn't catch the notices on Twitter/FB, you should check out our affiliate Overclocker's Club for the next while until things get back to normal:

http://overclockersclub.com
http://twitter.com/occnews
http://facebook.com/OverclockersClub

They're good people!

If you're curious on the backstory, basically it's just the usual ebb and flow -- some folks are leaving because of school and whatnot, so our new guy Chris Ledenican is taking on pretty much all of the new hardware reviews, with no time for news. We hope to get sorted sooner than later.

Also, a great PC developer by the name of Arcen (AI War, Tidalis) is in financial trouble -- I strongly recommend you pick up their game or games, spread the word, etc. They're very community oriented and it'd be a shame to see them go under.

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Sorry I haven't been keeping up with these folks, it's been a very busy couple of weeks.

Here are the highlights of news and reviews you may have missed:

- Kane & Lynch 2 review (brutal, and not in a good way)

- Lara Croft & The Guardian of Light review (lovely)

- Mafia 2 featurette: The 50s and Beyond (a neat look at some of the features and behind the scenes design stuff)

- Atari + Wizards of the Coast make up, working on new Neverwinter Nights game, likely Planescape, Baldur's Gate re-releases coming soon

- CryEngine 3 can use up to 8 CPU cores

- Risen 2 announced (RPG fans, pay attention)

- Battlefield 1943 still coming to PC, 2142 patch coming soon (something to tide you over until Battlefield 3!)

- Microsoft declares return to PC

- StarCraft 2 multi monitor goodness

And what's coming this week/soonish:

- Mafia 2 tweak/performance guide today or tomorrow
- Mafia 2 review (2K sent the 360 version, need PC copy which should be here any day)
- Elemental review (lots of early impressions, but I'm waiting for the day 0 patch coming today to really start...lots of important stuff in there)
- Likely we'll have an Elemental contest next week
- Misc reviews: Ys Seven, Worms Reloaded (Thurs), Shank, Ivy the Kiwi, Sam & Max (Monday)
- Still working on new homepage design. Currently in the polishing stage.
We hope to have it ready within a month or two.

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Quite a bit of stuff happening this week and in the future in Neoseeker land.

- Dany and Lydia will be attending the Call of Duty: Black Ops preview event September 1.
- Mafia 2 feature/interview thing.
- Sega contest.
- Fable III interview.
- Razer + Nyko peripheral coverage.
- CPU cooler review.
- More Guild Wars 2 wiki love.
- Metroid: Other M preview.
- Alien Breed wiki has been canceled. :(
- Our news recruitment drive has been going okay. For now we've got Dom back on the team...we will see how that works out.
- Possible changes to our review score system. Feel free to leave feedback here on what you'd like to see.

Confirmed reviews: Ivy the Kiwi, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Mafia 2, Monday Night Combat, Sam & Max Season 3, Quake Live (probably), Kane & Lynch 2 (probably).

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In the second installment of what I'm calling the Neoseeker report, I'll again be going over what you can expect in the near future from the staff.

- Aksys reviews (BlazBlue, Deathsmiles, Record of Agarest War)
- More Elemental hands-on coverage (part one is here)
- Need for Speed World review tomorrow (sorry, numerous things have delayed it)
- Metroid: Other M preview (leochan and I will be heading to a hands-on event and chatting a bit with Nintendo about the game this week)
- Frictional Games interview about "unfun" games (they created the awesome, scary and upcoming Amnesia -- our preview)
- Mafia 2 feature/Q&A
- Guild Wars 2 wiki love
- Dragon Age 1 + 2 wiki love
- At least three hardware reviews this week
- Starcraft 2 features/editorials

We're also looking for a news writer on the east coast or in Europe/the UK. If you know somebody or are somebody, get on it. :)

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This is the first in a series of weekly updates I'll be doing, updating you on the latest Neoseeker happenings from the editorial staff. For those of you who don't know me, I'm the Managing Editor for Neoseeker. Let's get started. :)

Our staff has undergone some changes and rearrangements and whatnot lately, so everything is a lot more streamlined and efficient, and the quality of our news and reviews is I would say now standardized and of high quality. Very pleased about this. Besides higher quality and consistent writing, there will be more of everything happening: contests, reviews, giveaways on Facebook and Twitter and forums, and so on.

So what's on the plate this week?

Confirmed/upcoming content: Fallout: New Vegas review, Crysis 2 review, Arc Rise Fantasia review, Elemental beta coverage and interview, Hydro Thunder XBLA review (and possibly giveaway), Guild Wars 2 interview, Move preview, Dead Rising 2 preview.

There's also the usual hardware reviews (a big mouse review and an SSD review this time).

On the wiki front, we'll be working on Guild Wars 2 and Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2. Of course, these are community-fueled, so you are more than welcome to contribute.

As you may have heard, we're also working on a radical redesign of the homepage to make everything more pleasant and efficient. It's still in the early stages, but already we're pleased with it.

That's all for this week. Feel free to leave questions, feedback, or ideas for coverage we may not have thought of (keep in mind we have a pretty good eye on everything, but there's always that underground gem we'll happen to miss).

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After far too many 3-6 hour play sessions, I've finally completed my review of Risen for the site:



If you don't know about it, it's a PC RPG (coming to Xbox 360 in a few months), and is a spiritual successor to the Gothic games, which are simply fantastic.

The more attentive of you will notice it's my second review, when I said the first (for The Path) would be my only one. This was due to me being a stubborn arse that refused to score games. I still hate scores but I figured to heck with it, I would quit being a jerk and take one for the team. ;)

I don't plan to ever think very hard about the scores, or even take them remotely seriously; the intelligent folks will know from reading the review whether or not it's something they want to play, I think. But you know, Metacritic yadda yadda. :P

As I mention in the review, I didn't get time to complete the game, unfortunately. It would've taken another week at least for that, I'm guessing, so I cut myself off at an appropriate time and came out with what I feel is a pretty solid review. Hard work for that one, and I'm proud. :)



Basically if you like RPGs I encourage you to read the review, and if it's something you think you might like, try the demo. And if that does it for you, buy Gothic and Gothic II on GOG! Currently the second game is on sale for $7, until Monday. I swear we're not affiliated (though that'd be nice), I just have a healthy obsession for that site.

When I'm not tired as shit, I'll upload the Risen review notes. In the meantime, feel free to click on the images here to go to the gallery I made for the game. I've a bit of a screenshot fetish you may have noticed...

Next up I'll be reviewing another PC RPG: Torchlight. Looks quite promising; I hope it exceeds my expectations, preconceptions, etc. And then another RPG, this one for DS. It's called Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. It should be relaxing compared to what reviewing Risen has been like (Risen is relaxing, just not to review). The packaging is pretty...

After that, well, just read some excerpts from this week's meeting notes, if you're curious (these are for all reviewers):

Reviews expected this week:
- JU-ON: The Grudge -- Oct. 23
- Kenka Bancho

Next week:
- Shank preview/interview/giveaway -- Oct. 26
- Obscure

Future:
- Need for Speed NITRO (DS)
- EA DS shovelware
- Dragon Age: Origins -- Nov. 3
- Assassin's Creed II -- Nov. 17
- Fort Zombie preview/review


If I'm not mistaken we're also going to be giving away a copy of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and that Mario DS RPG soon, too.

Happy trails!

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quote
Q. Will the hero have a consistent appearance or will you be able to customize your own? Will he be able to bat his eyelids?

The hero will keep a consistent appearance. Yes, he will be able to bat his eyelids.

Q. Will the trees have leaves or pine needles?

They will have a mixture of both.
(via)

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Something cool I came across whilst obsessing over Prince of Persia:

quote
1. Concept
The first thing decided upon for any trailer we make is the overall concept of the trailer, what’s the purpose behind it, what we want to show and how we want to show it. In order to fit with the game’s artistic mood, it was clear from the beginning that we needed to have beautiful trailers with strong music to really move people when they watch it.
And so on. :)

Re: So what does Japan think of Faith from Mirror's Edge?

Lydia says:
oh my God I wanna go over there
and seriously find those people
and kill them
YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO LIVE ON THIS EARTH WITH NORMAL PEOPLE
that would be my words



:)

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Sean Ridgeley

  • CA
  • Joined Mar 6, 2008
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  • Writer for Neoseeker and elsewhere
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