Reckoning Demo Impressions

Reckoning PC vs. Console Image
Keen's Xbox360 (left) and PC (right) Reckoning setup.

The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo released today for all platforms!  In a surprise twist, it’s even available for STEAM.  This is an exciting moment for us.  Reckoning is on my personal list of most anticipated games releasing this year and I’m stoked to see the 38 Studios’ first product.

Is Reckoning as good as expected?  What platform should I get it on?  What are some important details worth knowing?  We hope to answer those questions for you by comparing the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the demo.

Before we get into too much detail, let me just say that both of us enjoyed the demo enough to pre-order.  The world really captured our imaginations and the experience as a whole, all things considered, was positive.  It’s nice playing a western RPG with some color!

Read on for our look at the console and PC versions. (more…)


Nintendo 3DS Starter’s Guide

Nintendo 3DS Flame RedWe’ve been owners and fans of the Nintendo 3DS since it came out in March. As early adopters who have never once regretted our decision to buy a 3DS, we decided to create a quick Nintendo 3DS Starter’s Guide to highlight some of the great features on the system and point you towards some of the best, and our favorite, games for the system.

The Nintendo 3DS is extremely user friendly and reaches out to a wider audience than any previous Nintendo hand-held device.  The main menu system, as pictured in the image to the right, is extremely quick and easy to use.  Games are opened like apps, and you can go back to the Home screen at any time where you’ll be able to open a different application immediately.

The circle pad or slide pad on the left, is a new addition to Nintendo hand-helds and functions like a D-Pad but smoother and easier on the thumb.  It works so well that Nintendo is releasing an accessory which adds another circle pad and attaches to the right side of the 3DS.

Nintendo has made a quality product that, despite early criticism, is quickly coming into its own providing interesting, useful apps, and great games both old and new.

Read on to find out which games we recommend and learn about some neat features on the 3DS. (more…)

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SWTOR Beta Impressions

Below you’ll find my feelings about SWTOR based on the beta testing I have participated in for ~1 month.  I have no experience with the end-game, crafting, PvP (if you can’t predict the PvP you need to play more of these games) or much at all beyond the level 20 gameplay.  I felt no need to spoil the game for myself any further.  You’ll glean this from what I have to say later, but SWTOR is a predictable game and I am confident that I have judged it accurately, even with my limited experience.   I’ll be honest up front with you guys and tell you that I offer nothing ground-breaking by way of new information.  If you find my opinion helpful (whether it be we think alike or you know to think the opposite of me), then read on.

Note: I’ll break down individual mechanics, features and theorycraft about what they can improve upon after launch.


Overview (Read this, if nothing else)

SWTOR is a themepark through and through.  If you hate WoW for the kind of game that it is, don’t bother with SWTOR; however, if you simply hate WoW because it’s cool to hate WoW or you’re simply tired of playing in Azeroth, then you might want to give SWTOR a chance.

As a new game being released, SWTOR does nothing to change what we’re all familiar with in games.  It’s the same RPG story-telling we expect from Bioware and it’s the same WoW-clone we expect from MMO’s.  SWTOR does it well, though, and that’s where I justify wanting to play.

A line I have used in the past is, “If [MMO] is like WoW, but not better in any way, why not just play WoW?”  I like to use Rift as an example.  Rift is not a terrible game, but it does nothing better than WoW; content was boring, combat was stiff, etc.  That’s why I saw no reason to keep playing Rift.   SWTOR has fun and interesting PvE content that keeps me interested and wanting to see what happens next.  I’m confident that I will feel the drive to see every area and encounter the game offers.