Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mario is presented with a Power Star.
    Hello! PureCascade here with the next Gaming News. In the wake of E3, there wasn’t anything new to tell, but I’m happy to say, I’ve got some nice little nuggets of info for you all today, and we will be returning to our normal schedule. So let’s get right to it.

    First in News, May sales in the video game industry was poor, and analysts are responding in kind. While software sales were up 4 percent, revenues were down 5. Analysts were expecting good growth, near 15 percent, for the month due to big title releases like Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and many others; and were also looking forward to a good year in sales. Now with sales being down, Analysts are rethinking their previous optimism. They’ve lowered their expectations to about 5 percent for the year, not too good. But at least it is growth instead of loss. As for the reason, experts are saying that the sharp decline in Wii software sales, rhythm game sales, and annual sports title sales. All of which saw double digit losses in the beginning of this year. Here’s to hoping that the blockbusters that will be coming out later in the year will turn things around.

    Next, some interesting and news that should excite Miyamoto fans; the creator of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and all of the other well known and beloved Nintendo characters has shown interest in releasing a new character to add to his already impressive repertoire. Unfortunately, he was mute on any details at all, saying that the upcoming release of the 3DS and his new Pikmen title are consuming his time and creativity. But, he also said that working on projects like these with tight deadlines will generally inspire him, and it’s about time for something new.
    And lastly, the new Xbox 360 is a hit in Japan. Previously a very difficult place for Microsoft, the new 360 is selling like there’s no tomorrow, hitting 17,370 units sold in its first week. That’s up from the usual, and dismal, 2,060 units the week before. Still not quite meeting Sony’s 19,578 PS3’s, or Nintendo’s 19,115 Wii’s, it’s still an amazing 800% boost to sales. And with the promising Kinect and upcoming titles, it looks as if Xbox will have a good year in Japan.
    And now for a Review! This week, Transformers, War for Cybertron.
    Starting on a positive note, this game is actually very good. For many years, transformers games have disappointed fans and hopefuls, and have left a hole that’s been begging to be filled. And this game finally does it. While certainly not perfect, it’s definitely the best Transformers game to date. The single player campaign is officially canon, as per Hasbro, multiplayer is fun and engaging, and there are even a few surprises along the way.
    Set near the end of the Cybertronian Civil War, The story takes place sometime before the Transformers make it to Earth. It tells the story of how Optimus and Bumblebee first meet, Megatron and Starscream’s meeting, how Optimus became Prime, and so-on. Unfortunately, the story telling is a little lackluster, in that there are a few plot holes and it’s a little too jumpy. They didn’t smooth it out and show in-between parts, but instead simply cut ahead to the next part. It’s just good to see that while, yes, the story is a little sloppy; it’s nonetheless true to transformers and doesn’t stray.As for the visual side of the game I must say I do really like it. It takes the realism of the Micheal Bay flicks and mixes it with the recognizable, 80’s look of the G1 cartoon. In short, it’s cool and modern, yet still definitely transformers. Every one of the main characters are instantly recognized and yet are very cool to look at.
    The gameplay itself is very robust, essentially using the Modern Warfare control scheme (with a few changes of course). Transforming between Robot and Vehicle modes is a one button push, and knowing when to optimally use either form is pretty much a requirement. The 4 different classes are customizable with different chassis, paintjobs, and so-on, and each class also plays a different strategic role in the game. The “car” transformers are fast scouts and come with the weapons to supplement that. The “tank” transformers are pretty much just that. They are the shock troops with heavy armor and big powerful weapons.  The “truck” transformers are the leaders, with many abilities to boost and strengthen their allies. The “jet” transformers are called scientists. They manipulate the field, weakening and flanking the enemies. I personally enjoy using the scout transformers, especially if I can find a gatling gun (The scout doesn’t start with it unfortunately, but you can pick them up if another transformer drops one for whatever reason). If I happen across one, I do quick hit and run tactics, letting my teammates mop up. If I take damage, I quickly transform and drive off to a health pack.
    So to sum it all up, I give this game 4.5 out of 5. With strong mechanics and easy control scheme, this game is fun for any shooter fan. And with a story that any transformers fan will enjoy, it’s sure to satisfy. The only real downside is the jumpy and slightly sloppy way they tell the story. But that is easily overshadowed by the strengths of the game.
    That wraps it up for this week, please come back next week! Got anything to say or add? Questions about anything at all video game related? Just feel like saying hi? Send me an email to, or leave a comment below! To everyone on the Franklin and Springboro sites, I apologize for the lack of comments and updates as I did not realize that I was only posting on the Carlisle site. I’ll see you later!

The Springboro Voice
Springboro, Ohio 45066
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