January 2009

I shared my thoughts on the following anticipated games of 2009 with Crispy Gamer (click the links for out entire spiel):

  • Tekken 6: “What I would like to see is some more robust artificial intelligence — maybe something akin to Virtua Fighter‘s system of player rankings and AI characters with distinct personalities and fighting styles. As it stands, the solo play is getting a bit stale for me…”
  • Street Fighter IV: “I’m glad that Capcom’s going back to basics and paring down much of the over-designed detritus (parrying, air-blocking, double jumping, tag-teaming, etc.) that’s made most of its recent fighters way too complicated for me.”
  • Wii Sports Resort: “For me, Wii Sports Resort represents nothing less than the final fulfillment of the promise of the Wii, circa 2005.”
  • Brutal Legend: “Yeah, the Psychonauts controls did go a little button-crazy, but try and tell me that bouncing around on a thought bubble wasn’t pure fun on a bun. I’m hoping for the same basic thrill of movement from Brütal Legend, along with some more visceral, nonstop action — a pinch of Dead Rising, if you will.”
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game: “Based on what I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty standard, relatively clunky third-person shooter that happens to be set in the Ghostbusters universe. Even if that gameplay is fast-paced and fun, it’s unlikely to really feel like the movie, which was all about some wacky characters running around in the big city and struggling to be taken seriously.”

Dark Void is about to make gamers lose their lunch all over again. Kyle Orland gets a sneak peek at the shooter’s vertiginous flight combat.

(full article)

Nintendo Wii Buyer's GuideWelcome to the bandwagon. You’ve just purchased what’s far and away the most popular system of this console generation, with over 45 million systems sold worldwide.

Why has it been such a success? Simple: Nintendo designed the Wii not just for the stereotypical core gamer demographic (teenaged to middle-aged males), but for everybody — parents, grandparents, your little sister, your Uncle Ralph who still thinks Pong is the bee’s knees (he really says stuff like that!) — everybody! The key is the intuitive Wii Remote, which acts as a pointer to select from menus and also as a motion-sensitive controller to make in-game characters mimic your actions. So hold on tight to that Remote, and let’s look at what the Nintendo Wii has to offer.

(full article)

I’ve just completed my first (and possibly last) trip out to Las Vegas to cover the Consumer Electronics Show for Crispy Gamer. Here’s what I wrote about the experience:

  • CES 2009 Report, Day 1: Ideas, Predictions and Statistics — Taking a break from the casino, Kyle Orland reports on the very smart things being said at CES 2009 in Las Vegas. Read on for thoughts, predictions and interesting tidbits on gaming from industry insiders and experts.
  • CES 2009 Report, Days 2 & 3: So Close and Yet So Far — Kyle Orland wanders the winding halls of the Consumer Electronics Show in search of hidden gaming gold, but instead finds a wealth of missed opportunities. Read on for his report.
  • CES 2009 Report: Special Awards Division — CES is where gadgets of all shapes and sizes try to find a mate. It’ll be harder for some of them. Kyle Orland surveys the scene.
  • CES 2009 Report: Peripheral Vision — Amid the truckloads of peripherals destined for hall closets and landfills, the Consumer Electronics Show had some interesting accessories for gamers, after all. Kyle Orland runs you through the standouts.

Alex Mercer consumes the bodies of his enemies to gain their superpowers. But will Prototype consume you? Kyle Orland gets an early look.

(full article)

Personally, I find gaming podcasts compelling because they’re the only type of game journalism you can consume WHILE playing a game. In a world where every second spent reading about a game is a second you could be PLAYING a game, this is just efficient time usage. In fact, why are you reading this? Go play a game or something!

On the downside, listening to podcasts while gaming means you can’t listen to the in-game music/sound effects. On the plus side, most game music and sound effects are pretty bad!

(full article)

It’s a bird; it’s a plane — no, it’s just some random guy’s avatar. You can’t be Superman in DC Universe Online, but that’s no reason to write off the upcoming MMO. Kyle Orland has the details from CES 2009.

(full article)

Avoid Video Game News for High Score

In this issue:

  • Ubisoft announces Prince of Persia: Big Red Button Edition
  • Nintendo ups revenue forecast to “infinity billion dollars”
  • Nintendo offers game-based solution to videogame addiction
  • Sony reaches out to indigents with “Home for the Homeless” charity program

(full article)

I wrote for this consumer-focused video game site, first as a freelancer then as a Staff Writer starting in January of 2009. I continued contributing regular reviews, previews, features, videos and blog posts to the site through Jan. 2010. Regular features included The Fryer, Press Pass and The Week in Gaming,