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09th May2011

Cargo! – The Quest For Gravity

by Chris Maeurer

This year, we are lucky to be seeing many highly anticipated sequels, and exciting new IP’s jump into the foray, and vie for our gaming dollars.  While I already had my mental checklist of all the games I was looking forward to, in 2011, I had never heard of Cargo! – The Quest For Gravity.  Maybe I just missed the ads and trailers, but I am glad that it caught my eye, it’s an interesting blend of platforming and physics puzzling, sprinkled with some great laugh-out-loud inducing moments.

The Storyline

SHOTS 61 215x134 Cargo!   The Quest For Gravity

I think the gods must be crazy!

Cargo! takes place on Earth, but I like to think of it as an alternate universe Earth.  It seems the gods have become infuriated, by humans, and skipped over finding a Noah this time.  Humans are practically extinct, and, in addition to being mostly flooded, the world no longer has any gravity.  Walking, running, sailing, all of these things still are possible, but many heavy objects hover over the atmosphere–buildings, ice caps, etc.  In addition, the gods have created a race of munchkins, if you will, called Buddies, to help them on Earth.  You take the role of Flawkes, one of the last humans, and also an engineer.  The game’s opening sees Flawkes flying in with Captain Borkin, apparently under contract by the gods, to remedy Earth’s perilous situation.  The Buddies, in their excitement, crash your zepplin, and you are thrust into using your engineering skills to help keep the Buddies safe, and use them to obtain Fun, an in-game currency, that can be traded for more engineering parts, and, more importantly, restoring gravity to the Earth.

The Gameplay

cargo the quest for gravity screenshot 215x134 Cargo!   The Quest For Gravity

That's gonna hurt when they hit the water...

Once you crashland, you gain control of Flawkes, and get a feel for the controls and objectives.  You meet the gods, who will sell you engineering parts at a high premium for the Fun you collect.  Getting Fun turns out to be just as much fun as it sounds!  Your first path to getting Fun is finding Buddies and kicking them–yes, kicking them, watching them scream and fly away into the stratosphere!  You see, Buddies like to fly, and they like to be towed by the vehicles that you build, so the more fun that you provide them with, the more Fun you will get, in return!  In addition, you can find collectible music notes, that will allow Flawkes to trigger a song to play, which will attract nearby Buddies, and give you a good boost of Fun, for as long as they listen(30-60 seconds).  If you don’t mind a bit of creative editing, by chopping down some tunes in length, you can even import your own music, to play in these segments.  Building the vehicles is very interesting; you find blueprints scattered throughout the area, that can easily be used to create the vehicle of your choice.  Any missing parts, can be bought at the click of a button, provided you have enough Fun to pay for them.  However, if you don’t have the blueprints you want, you can enter the game’s build editor, and try your hand at making whatever your imagination, and your stockpile of parts, can come up with.  There are some parts of the game, where this is necessary, and even needs to be accomplished in a timed manner, other times it’s just an option to be used at your leisure.  Using the Fun you collect, you slowly restore gravity to the Earth, by purchasing the right to retrieve items floating in the Earth’s atmosphere, such as buildings, landmarks, etc.  As you progress, or with the purchase of something like a huge ice cap, the seasons will change and alter the way you progress through the game.  For example, purchasing the ice cap, that I mentioned, freezes all of the flooded areas, and with a majority of drivable ice, changes your vehicular tactics up from water based to forms of cars.  Also, new hazards can appear, like angry penguins, who kill your Buddies, when the ice cap is dropped down.  All of this, together, makes for an interesting experience, that seems to keep you on your toes, never knowing when you’ll be plucked from your relaxed exploration and parts collecting, into a timed rescue or event, that you must complete to save as many Buddies as possible.

The Verdict

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I believe I can touch the sky....

As you can probably tell, by now, I have had a ton of fun, or Fun, as it were, with Cargo.  The fact that the game is budget priced, just makes it that much better.  I did play this game, with my kids, who loved it very much.  However, I feel compelled to mentioned the pictured buttocks of the Buddies, and the frequent use of the word ‘arse’, in the game.  If that’s a deal-breaker, for letting your kids play, depending on their ages, just be aware that it is in there, and there are no options to turn that off.  I found it negligible, and there was nothing else questionable in the game.  If for some reason, you get bored with the campaign, have finished it, or you just tire of the timed events, there is a great Sandbox mode, within the game.  There, you can simply roam the Earth, collecting Fun, and keeping your Buddies safe, using whatever parts and vehicles you can find.  If you have ever enjoyed a platforming game, or you like physics puzzles, than look no further than Cargo! – The Quest for Gravity.  Not being much of a fan of some other franchise that had portal based puzzles, Cargo! was a much better option, for a fraction of the price, and I definitely recommend it.  Now go out there and get some Fun!

09th May2011

Fish Food – Episode #29

by Jordan de Boer

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Listen in as Patrick Adams and Jordan de Boer talk about the Red Faction demo, PSN issues, The Fighter, Unstoppable, and more!

Fish Food – Episode #29

1:40 – GAMING

-What we’ve been playing
-Gaming News
-Game Releases
-Budget Bin – Skate 2 $16.49 New on Amazon, Infamous $25.00 New on Amazon

31:50 – MOVIES AND TV

-What we’ve been watching
-News

43:16 – MUSIC

-Jordan – “Consoler of the Lonely” by The Raconteurs
-Patrick – “Living in America” by Dom

50:23 – AROUND THE WEB

-Patrick – Phoster, Half-Tone (iPhone apps)
-Fish Food Five – Top 5 90’s toys you now realize suck, Top 5 kids shows from the 90’s

06th May2011

EDG Podcast Ep. #107 – A Little Used

by Eric Bouchard

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So, the publishers are all arguing Used Games are ruining the industry. Well, Eric Bouchard, Chris Maeurer and John Danforth decide to tackle this topic head on, discussing some of the issues with the used games market, and they come up with some ideas on how to fix some of the issues.

EDG Podcast Ep. #107

Music:

Intro – “Metal Gear Solid Theme” by Tappy Iwase

Break – “Send Me/Represent” by 116 Clique off of Amped

End – “Cash or Chris/Fanatics” by 116 Clique off of Amped

Time Stamps:

Our Weeks – 6:30

What We’ve Been Playing – 26:51

Used Games Discussion – 1:08:44

Questions from Twitter – 2:07:00

02nd May2011

Super Street Fighter IV 3DS

by Eric Bouchard

When I first saw the 3DS at E3 last year, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted one. The sleek design and impressive 3D graphics had me hooked. As it came closer to time to order it, however, I found myself facing a bit of a dilemma: I had know idea what game I should buy first.

While the 3DS impressed me, the list of launch titles did not. Not being a huge fan of racers, I was not really looking forward to Ridge Racer or Asphalt 5. The Pro Evolution Soccer games had a good reputation, but sports games have not generally done well on handhelds. Pilot Wings was of no interest to me, and most of the others were just not really aimed at me.

With my other options not really wowing me, that pretty much left me choosing Super Street Fighter IV 3DS by default. Now I really enjoyed Street Fighter IV on the 360, and the reviews for the game were good, but I was a little concerned with how Capcom’s fighting series was really going to translate to Nintendo’s latest portable gaming device.

Turns out I had no need to worry. Super Street Fighter IV is the equivalent of the killer app for the 3DS.

Here Comes a New Challenger

ssfiv graphic Super Street Fighter IV 3DS

The game looks even better than this when you see it in 3D.

The first thing you will notice when you start up Super Street Fighter IV 3DS is it looks amazing. The graphics on the 3DS are so far above and beyond anything the original DS can do. While you will notice some pixelation if you look closely, you will be impressed with how far Nintendo has come. The characters, the moves, the stages…. They all look fantastic. Granted, you do not judge a game on graphics alone, but seeing they actually do look good on this system helps.

The 3D effects are rather nice as well. All of the stages have 3D effects in both background and foreground, and they manage to add a nice touch to the game while not distracting from the fights themselves. There is a 3D versus mode which uses a dynamic camera behind the characters to add even more 3D effects, but seeing characters battle 2D with this 3D dynamic camera actually does not really work.

As good as the graphics are, it is the gameplay that determines whether or not a fighter is worth playing. Many people, myself included, wondered just how the controls would translate to Nintendo’s new handheld. The answer: magnificently. The thumb circle works great for moving characters, much better than the thumbsticks on console controllers do, making pulling off special moves much easier than anticipated. The button layout is the same as the old

ssfiv dynamic 3d Super Street Fighter IV 3DS

3D Versus may look good, but I find it hard to play this way.

games on the SNES, so anyone who played Street Fighter II on that console will have no trouble adjusting. On top of that, 4 moves for each player can be mapped to the touch screen in four separate quadrants. By default, they have a super combo, an ultra combo and two special moves set up, but you can actually customize that for each one. If you feel like that is cheating, you can turn that feature off. Personally, I like having them there.

So, the game has excellent graphics and tight controls. What else might you be worried about when it comes to porting a fighter to the 3DS? Ah yes; you might be concerned it is a stripped down version of the game.

That could not be further from the truth.

A Worthy Opponent

The console editions of Super Street Fighter IV are known for their various game modes, and the 3DS version includes the overwhelming majority of them. Along with the standard arcade and 3D versus modes, you have the challenge mode including trials and the bonus rounds (car destruction and barrel smashing), training and internet battles. The arcade mode has all the battles, characters and rounds you would expect. Challenge modes give you a chance to not

SSFIV Figure Super Street Fighter IV 3DS

Figurine collection may not be for everyone, but it is good to see Capcom using the StreetPass.

only unlock more player titles, but they teach you many of the combos the various characters can perform. Training lets you pick specific enemies to battle and characters to play to learn how they control. Internet battles let you take you fights online, and thanks to the combination of the one friend code per console and Capcom’s ability to actually make fighting game battles over internet work, battling online has never felt better on a handheld device. The only thing missing from the online experience is the ability to set up tournaments.

On top of these modes, Capcom has thrown in a nod to Nintendo’s StreetPass with figure collecting. As you play the game, you receive player points which can be used on the equivalent of a Street Fighter figurine roulette wheel to earn different characters at different levels. You then select five of these figurines to make up your StreetPass team. With the team set and StreetPass turned on for the game, if you pass someone else with the game, your teams will do battle. While I have many different figurines from this mode, I have not run across anyone else with  the game yet, so I do not know exactly what affect this will have. Even with no real way to test it, however, I appreciate the fact Capcom included it in the game.

The Future of Fighting Games?

By now, I am sure you have caught onto the fact that I am very impressed with the port of Super Street Fighter IV on the 3DS. So impressed, in fact, that I want to see more fighting games brought to the platform. I am really looking forward to trying out both Dead or Alive Dimensions and the Blaz Blue games which are being made for the system. This game has shown me that the 3DS could easily become my favorite platform for fighting games, something I never expected to be saying. Think I am overstating things a bit? If so, do yourself a favor: go to a GameStop where they have the game setup on their in store 3DS and try it for yourself. I think you will be impressed as well.

Super Street Fighter IV 3DS gets a 5 out of 5.

 

29th Apr2011

Fish Food – Episode #28

by Patrick Adams

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Listen in as Patrick Adams and Jordan de Boer talk about Portal 2, Nintendo’s new console, cool things from the 90′s, Mark Whalberg and Justin Beiber, and more!

Fish Food – Episode #28

fish food 250x250 Fish Food   Episode #283:28 – GAMING

-What we’ve been playing
-Gaming News
-Game Releases
-Budget Bin – Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 on GOG.com and GTA: Chinatown Wars (DS) on Amazon

26:22 – MOVIES AND TV

-What we’ve been watching
-News

37:01 – MUSIC

-Jordan -“Fragile Bird” by City and Colour
-Patrick – “It’s All I Have” by Blindside

45:47 – AROUND THE WEB

-Patrick – Uncrate.com, Obol – obol.co, Crackle iPhone app
-Jordan – Youtube Hall of Fame – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVlEmyR29-Y
-Fish Food Five

Intro music – “Monster on the Radio” by Blindside
Outro music – “Bloodstained Hollywood Ending” by Blindside

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