Saturday, September 27, 2008

Soul Calibur IV: This One's for Your Permanent Collection

What's within your soul?

If you're a fan of the first three Soul Calibur versions (and who isn't?) and you're ready for another action-packed fighting game with glorious visuals, new attacks and customizable characters, you'll want to add this infinitely re-playable game to your collection. (You can, by the way, chose an easy or tough road through the bosses in single-mode play, so there is a campaign challenge for those who want it.)

For those familiar with the earlier versions of Soul Calibur, you won't be disappointed. New in this latest edition to the winning franchise: in addition to the standard I-fight-because-I-have-something-to-prove characters with their built-in storylines, you can also play, in the Xbox 360 version, as Yoda of Star Wars fame. Get the game for PS3, and instead of Yoda you'll fight as the Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader. Playing under arcade mode as either of the two lets you earn the right to unlock "The Apprentice," a sith-in-training who uses Force Lightning to shock his opponents in battle.

As fun as the fighting in the game in, let's face it, the best part of fighting games is facing off against online opponents and kicking some serious butt. Once you've worked your way through the bosses in Soul Calibur IV, you can start making your own guys (and girls), customizing their looks and choosing their style of attacks until at last you have created the perfect fighting machine, thus effectively smashing your enemies into a bloody pulp.

In theory.

In practice, it's not so easy to create one winning fighter. In online battle, it's not uncommon for a player who loses pathetically in one match to then find supreme victory in his very next fight. And more than one match is won by a judicious use of a grapple for a surprising Ring Out just when the battle seems lost.

In fact, that's where the real fun comes in. It's not all about brawn. Winning takes some brains, or at least some strategy. Designing your own army of characters with vastly different fighting tactics and then matching them appropriately to your opponent's fighter is the key to emerging triumphant in fight after fight.

Or you can be cheap, choose Cervantes or Algol and just teleport all over the place.

Your call.

Check this Out

If you haven't seen Spippo's deviantART Gallery, you'll want to give it a look.

We love his modded "My Little Ponies" like the one below.

Our faves?

"My Little Cthulhu" and "My Little Alien".

Pictured, obviously, "My Little Joker." Love the 'do.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fuel the Rebellion Wordle Word Cloud

Monday, September 8, 2008

PAX-The worst of times

We here at Fuel the Rebellion touched briefly on the best of PAX.

Now here's the worst, without question:

Waiting in the interminable lines.

And there were miles of 'em.

First, there was the long long long long long (did we mention long?) line to get into the Expo hall at the beginning of the day on Friday. As members of the media, we were allowed in two hours early to conduct interviews, but we still stopped by to talk to some of you who were waiting in line to get your thoughts on the huge "waiting area". Milling about in long queues, with chained-off lines running about the length of a football field, some gamers couldn't help but make the comparison to a herd unwittingly on its way to the slaughter ("You see people coming in, but you never really see anyone coming out." "They can fit more in there if they grind them up real small...").

We asked one gamer, camped out on the floor near the front of the line for the Expo hall and playing board games with friends while passing the time, why he chose to get to the Expo so early, well before the Expo hall was open, and wait in line for hours just for the moment he could walk through the door.

His response, simply: "I've never been here before, and my friends said this is the way to do it."

Though arguably some events were worth the wait, some who spent as much as an hour in line still didn't make it into major events, like the keynote address on Friday, the Fallout 3 play-through, or the discussion on Sex in Videogames. Note to PAX organizers: why was this last in a tiny conference room? Did you seriously think that SEX IN VIDEOGAMES wasn't going to get any comers? (excuse the pun).

To their credit, even those who waited patiently and still didn't make it into the above talks didn't whine and complain much. Other than an understandable, "I waited here when I could have been playing something inside!", the gamers we talked to not only took it in stride but were very positive about the entire PAX experience. Gamers, quick to become enraged and decapitate an opponent over the merest slight in the virtual world, are an amazingly gracious bunch in real life.

In fact, the only time I ever heard anyone even threaten violence was when one little weasel in a pony-tail (you know who you are!) snaked his way up towards the front of the line, butting in front of several patiently waiting gamers, who were heard to remark to one another, "I will give you good money to yank him back here by that pony tail."

The easy-going nature and acceptance of the gamers (many of whom were younger and not yet hardened into jaded cynicism like yours truly) may have lulled the organizers of PAX into keeping the status quo.

But we hope not.

So, PAX guys, thoughts for making PAX even better next year:

Consider having more than one showing of the talks you just know are going to be most popular. For that matter, why not have monitors set up in the waiting area so that people who couldn't make it into the room could still watch the show on the screens?

This is PAX, after all.

Surely* we have the technology.

*Yeah, yeah, we know, don't call you Shirley.

Friday, September 5, 2008

PAX Highlights: Costumes!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Resistance 2 Release Date! Straight from Insomniac Games

Here's the notice as it came to us: Insomniac has announced a release date for Resistance!

Mark your calendars: November 4th is Resistance 2 day!

Pre-order it from Gamestop and join in the online beta later this month, or choose a special skin when you get the game from Amazon. Circuit City will give you a ten dollar giftcard with pre-order.

The Collector's Edition, complete with mini Chimeran, will run you $79.99 and is loaded with extras, including artwork and an additional "making of" DVD.

Monday, September 1, 2008

PAX Highlights: Videos

Rayman Dance Video

They were doing this for the chance to win a prize, given out by the fabulous Frag Dolls, so we award these guys major points for courage for their improv dance routine.

Gears of War II Gameplay