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RIFT

Trion Worlds is slowly unleashing its new MMO, RIFT, onto the world and it’s shaping up to be quite a worthy experience. The third round of limited Read More

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The Magic of Early 90s 3D

Over twenty years ago, video games began taking their first painful steps into 3D spaces. This was a time when Atari's memory was fading fast and the Nintendo Entertainment System was becoming the kingpin of the gaming landscape. Console gaming would spend the next several years perfecting the art of 2D gaming goodness. Words such as “Project Reality” (the Nintendo 64) would be tossed around in magazines every so often, but the simple truth was that home-based polygon video games were years away, and most of the early stuff would be crude at best thanks to limited technology. If you wanted to see the latest and greatest mind blowing 3D gaming technology, you went to arcades. Familiar names like Atari Namco and Sega were in a silent arms race to develop the best, most powerful, most badass, and most boringly titled (“System 21” and “Model 2”... really guys?) custom video game hardware known to man. 3D games were a novelty in arcades for quite some time prior. While quarter munching 2D brawlers like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men or competitive V.S. fighters like Street Fighter II and Fatal Fury were the cheap, reliable workhorses of the floor, every serious arcade operator had at least one super expensive monster 3D machine sitting in a dark corner drawing glares from mystified onlookers more accustomed to the crusty and familiar blocky image of a late gen NES title. Most of the early 3D game designs were crude and blocky, but nobody cared in the late 80s. Moving around in a 3D space with solid 3D objects floating all around you like a Weird Al music video was enough to impress back then. The hardware often ran hot and unreliably, and the cabinets were often mammoth, but they guzzled quarters like nobody's business. These were the trailblazers that tore down the walls and eventually brought 3D home. In this far removed time, outside of more mainstream brand names like Star Fox, nobody remembers these crude, flat-shaded pioneers. Let's take a look at some of the early 3D games that time forgot about... Read More

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Star Wars in the Arcades

One of the few things Star Wars is never lauded enough for is its contributions to the world of arcade games. While people often talk about the amazing recent classic RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic or the killer old-school classics like the DOS/Windows 95 X-Wing and TIE Fighter simulations, rarely will you hear mention of the awesome arcade experiences that the franchise has bestowed upon us over the years.  Star Wars is essentially the godfather of the under appreciated "rail shooter" genre.  Let's take a look at some of the franchise's under-loved milestones. Read More

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Gears of War Slashes its Way Back into Xbox Live Top Ten

You just can't keep a good muscle-bound, armor-clad, vulgarity-spewing, chainsaw-wielding soldier of the future down. After months of laying low in the wake of major Xbox Live releases like Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 and Rainbow Six Vegas, Gears of War has chainsawed its way through the competition and back into the top five most-played Xbox Live titles. The title's re-emergence no doubt has something to do with the building hype for Gears of War 2, which was announced back at GDC with a stylish trailer and is now set to be unveiled to the world in a few short weeks. The size and force of the fanbase's reaction to the news certainly bodes well for Epic, its proof positive that there is a sizable contingent of gamers that are definitely excited for the game and, more importantly, that are willing to put Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4 aside to play Epic's brand of visceral, third-person action. Hell, if the mere thought of a new Gears of War is powerful enough to entice that many gamers to pick up a two year old game, imagine what the reaction to the real deal will be this November. As for that top spot we eluded to earlier, its probably no surprise to anyone that Call of Duty 4 retained the title this week, having just made history with the fastest-selling DLC package in the history of Xbox Live. Halo 3, to its credit, refuses to die and is still nipping at the heels of Infinity Ward's best. In other news, the Sun rose this morning, water is wet and often blue, and Halo 2 is still the most played Xbox game. Full lists after the break. Read More