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Posts with tag THQ

DS Fanboy Review: Lock's Quest


I hate tower defense. I've tried to play tower defense games numerous times, giving it my best try after MTV's Stephen Totilo's nomination of Desktop Tower Defense as his Game of the Year, and failed to clear even a single round every time -- or to have any fun trying. There's nothing fun (to me) about running out of money trying to build reinforcements and then sitting by helpless as entropy, in the form of enemy soldiers, destroys all of the work I just did.

Lock's Quest solves my tower defense problem, creating something that is playable by even non-crazy people. In the process, developer 5th Cell has added something that seems rather difficult to add to this kind of game: a story, and a good one at that.

Gallery: Lock's Quest

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Lock's Quest

Metareview: Lock's Quest

We've been waiting since last week to pull together a collection of reviews for 5th Cell's Lock's Quest, but until roughly today, that collection would have consisted of IGN and nobody else. That is an insufficient amount of meta-ness for a Metareview! We're not just running "IGNreview" posts here!

Now that there are multiple reviews out there, we can scoop them up and present them to you as individual tiles in a mosaic titled "how good some different reviewers think Lock's Quest is." Preview: quite good.

It's really hard to pick out just one excerpt from this glowing 1UP (91%) writeup. It's pretty clear that Phillip Kollar likes the game, at least: "The game effectively straddles the line between traditional tower defense and full-on real-time strategy, requiring the more fast-paced, on-the-fly tactics of the latter without ditching the addictive, pick-up-and-play nature of the former."

WorthPlaying (90%) found it, well, worth playing: "Lock's Quest is the sort of game for which the DS was made. It's quick and easy to pick up and play, makes great use of the touch-screen, and is just an overall delightful game. It isn't perfect, and there are plenty of places for a sequel to improve on, but it's charming, fun and one of the best titles to hit the DS this year."

IGN (86%) completely fell for the game's charms: "Lock's Quest is by far one of the most original, inspired, and entertaining experiences we've had on DS this year. Everything from the unique build mode to the impressive audio/visual offering, the immersion found in cinematic intros and story-developing cut scenes throughout, and even the random tongue-in-cheek dialogue lines thrown in to remind players that this is a game, made by gamers, are very welcome."

Gallery: Lock's Quest

The Lock's Quest DS revealed!


5th Cell sent us these lovely pictures of the custom Lock's Quest DS Lite that will serve as the prize in the contest held on their website. Somebody will get this for free, as a result of playing a cool Flash game. The one-of-a-kind DS appears exactly as the previous description, uh, described. We'll outline its features:
  • Shiny, gunmetal grey system
  • Illuminated buttons
  • Hella illuminated stylized flame emblem
  • 5th Cell and Lock's Quest logos
  • Holy crap it's awesome
  • Seriously
This DS is so cool that it may inspire someone to go out and buy Lock's Quest whether they like the idea of the action-strategy game or not (we're sure more like it than don't), just because it has the words on it that are also on this. Those blazing shoulder buttons call out to us. "Wiiiiiiin meeeeee. Plaaaay the Flaaaash gaaaame."

Gallery: Lock's Quest Custom DS Lite

Metareview -- Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise


With Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise having released on September 2nd here in North America (and September 5th in Europe), you've all had some time to play the game. There aren't many reviews out there right now, but the ones that are available seem to generally laud the game's ambitious efforts. After we check in with the critics, toss your two cents in.

So let's get to the scores!
  • IGN (85/100) thinks it's quite the game: "Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise takes the original 360 effort as a template, and brings the 'go at your own pace,' free-form design to the Nintendo DS, beautifully. The visuals are crisp and colorful, the audio is a mix of in-game animal sounds and VO taken from the TV show, and its easy to control the world with a quick swipe or tap of a stylus. There are some basic changes to be had, such as the lack of camera control, the removal of the somewhat pesky mini-games for mating, and the general spectacle of watching your Piñatas move around in beautiful HD, but the core gameplay more than survives in its conversion to the pocket platform, and Viva Piñata is left with just as much magic on DS as it has on 360."
  • Eurogamer (80/100) says the game isn't for kids, but good nonetheless: "However, what Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise loses in coming second, and not having a triple-core PowerPC chip to drive its graphics, it makes up with its new, much better stylus-based interface, and Rare's impressive feat of retaining the vast majority of the original game's best features, in roughly the same measures. It's still a bit too complex to work as a kids' game (for that you might be better with the 360 sequel's co-op mode, where you can pick up a second pad and offer a helping hand), but for everybody else it comes highly recommended."
  • Edge Magazine (70/100) said: "If Pocket Paradise makes you want to throw it against something, though, it's only because it succeeds in making gardening compulsive." [Oct 2008, p.96]

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

Lock's Quest to give you a custom DS Lite


The Lock's Quest website has opened, providing such content as a really cool animated comic, screens, and trailers, as well as a Lock's Quest-themed Flash game that is best described as an isometric take on Defend Your Castle. Basically, you huck stuff at invading soldiers, archers, and others looking to breach your castle; you can upgrade and repair your fortress after each round. You get the option to submit your score after the game ends, and every submission enters you in a sweepstakes. A severely awesome sweepstakes.

What's at, uh, stake? Only a custom, extremely limited-edition (as in, an edition of one) gunmetal grey Lock's Quest DS Lite with translucent, illuminated buttons and a blue flame emblem on the back. And, of course, copies of the game. We'll have to see the real thing to be sure, but based on the concept alone, the Warhammer 40K Squad Command DS just got served in the publisher-made custom DS arena.

Age Of Mythical Creatures All Up In This Piece


THQ wasn't exaggerating when it promised giant mythological beasts for Age of Empires: Mythologies, the turn-based strategy follow-up to 2006's DS sleeper hit The Age of Kings. The only legendary creature missing from the above trailer is the elusive Phelddagrif.

Gone are the days of filling your army's ranks with pikemen and samurai; now you're more likely to rely on sphinxes and centaurs. Personally, we would have preferred to stick with more traditional units, but we understand that there are a bunch of you out there who prefer to play with pegasi!

Are you a strategy nut? Check out our coverage on titles like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars! We even put together a collection of strategy recommendations for crazies like you!

Latest Lock's Quest trailer shows off build, battle phases


For those of you that got a kick out of Drawn to Life, you've likely been watching Lock's Quest. Following up the video that was released back at E3, we've been sent a new trailer which details the premise of the game and shows off some of the things you can do in it. It's a really interesting title, if we may say so. What do you all think?

Gallery: Lock's Quest



[Via press release]

Sweet, delicious release date and teaser for Viva Pinata



One of Rare's overworked carrier pigeons just landed on our windowsill, bringing with it some candy crucial news: Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise will be launching across North America on September 2nd, in Europe on September 5th, and in the rest of the world beginning September 11th. That's exciting enough (and hey: really soon), but that's not where the happy news ends: Rare also took the time to film a second spoof video for its game, again poking fun at the terribly serious Halo 3 teasers from 2007. You can watch the first after the break (and please do watch it if you haven't already).

Release dates here
"Museum" video here
Our Rare interview here

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

Continue reading Sweet, delicious release date and teaser for Viva Pinata

E308: DS Fanboy summons Gods in Age of Mythologies



I was always a big fan of the first Age of Empires game on the DS (remember when we did these?). When a sequel was revealed, I nearly wet myself with excitement (luckily, nobody can confirm or deny the wetting). Then, E3 hit and my cohort in crime, JC, informed me the game was available for play at THQ's booth.

I immediately called "dibs."

Continue reading E308: DS Fanboy summons Gods in Age of Mythologies

E308: Viva Pinata was an Xbox game?

Okay, confession time: I never played Viva Piñata the first time around. The allure of festive animal husbandry was insufficient to entice me into the console purchase required. I've researched the original (by, uh, watching some YouTube videos and such), but I went into my quick demo of Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise without a real preconceived notion of how Viva Piñata is supposed to look or play.

How was this ever anything but a DS game? The tasks involved in playing Viva -- watering and planting plants, clearing land, building structures for critters -- make so much sense in the top-down perspective of Pocket Paradise that it's hard to imagine this game in a different perspective on a different system. It would be so much harder, I think, to manage a large-scale garden in a more zoomed-in view. Having a larger, wider look at the goings-on in the garden makes the game seem more natural and easier.

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

Continue reading E308: Viva Pinata was an Xbox game?

E308: Fresh Viva Pinata screens hunted down

Hacking our way through the undergrowth that surrounds our local press site, we located ten new wild and untamed Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise screenshots! Like the heartless types we are, we instantly clubbed them, bagged them, removed them from their natural habitat, and dropped them in our gallery for the rest of the world to gawk at.

Disappointingly, a quick inspection reveals no new species (there are seven fresh piñatas in this remake), but there's a bright side, reader: the most cheerful DS boxart of 2008 so far.

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise


[Via press release]

E308: Age of Empires trailer, now with less developer



If you feel a twinge of déjà vu while watching this Age of Empires: Mythologies trailer, then let us explain -- this "new" presentation actually contains the exact same commentary from Project Manager George Collins as in the developer diary that we previously posted. This time, however, there's a lot less Gordon on camera, and a lot more game footage, which is how we prefer it. No offence intended, Gordon. You're perfectly presentable! A fine figure of a man. We'd much rather look at the game than watch you talking is all.

We're just going to shut up now.

E308: U.S. to gobble Prey the Stars this October



Koei has just confirmed a North American release for quirky eat-'em-up Prey the Stars. The game is due to appear this October, and stars four ravenous alien dogs (Gabu, Bari, Chuchu, and Pero), each with an overwhelming desire to outeat the others. The levels they nom through are almost entirely edible -- even whole buildings can be scoffed. Precisely why they're so hellbent on ingesting their world is never explained, though we suppose there was never a substantial story behind the Prince rolling that katamari of his.

If that sounds like it may have limited appeal (it did to us), then the multiplayer modes at least sound extensive, offering both local wireless and WiFi play for up to four players.

Gallery: Prey the Stars


[Via press release]

IGN and 5th Cell boss construct Lock's Quest interview

5th Cell co-founder and creative director Jeremiah Slaczka has taken time out from working on Lock's Quest to chat to IGN's Matt Bozon about the forthcoming construction/Tower Defense game.

In the resulting interview, there's plenty of discussion about 5th Cell's commitment to innovative games (something we can totally believe, considering 5th Cell created Drawn to Life), and also some concrete details passed on. Slaczka reveals that Lock's Quest's story mode should last for around 20 hours, and also clarifies the game's multiplayer for us: apparently, there'll be no Wi-Fi play, but wireless local play for two players, in the form of a Vs. mode.

On an unrelated-to-Lock's-Quest note, Slaczka also appears fairly keen to distance 5th Cell from THQ's licensed Drawn to Life spin-off, Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition. "With SpongeBob for example, that's our IP, but we didn't make it," he points out. "That's cool that THQ wants to move in that direction, and that's fine, but that's not something we're interested in personally."

Gallery: Lock's Quest

DS Daily: Viva Remakes

The DS version of Viva Piñata looks really great -- for a DS game. A lot of what made the original Xbox 360 game appeal to the Xbox 360 audience was in the amazing high-def graphics, with the weird paper "fur" visible on every character. But the new game is for a different audience -- the DS audience (which probably includes the entire 360 audience anyway). Graphics don't matter as much, and this kind of game actually seems more in line with the Animal Crossing-loving DS crowd.

Do you think Viva Piñata will end up more popular on the DS due to meshing well with the DS audience? Or will it lose the sales that were generated mostly by shader-hungry 360 fanboys? Alternately, will some sort of fanboy vendetta on either side hurt sales?

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

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