Xbox Live House Party 2012

Ok, I’m a sucker for these Xbox Live big events. The House Party releases seem like they’re Summer of Arcade style big releases, and I can’t wait to try them out.

Here’s the schedule:

Feb 15 - Warp ($10)
Feb 22 - Alan Wake’s American Nightmare ($15)
Feb 29 - Nexuiz ($10)
Mar 7 - I Am Alive ($15)

And if you get all 4, you get $10 back in MS points.

These are a LOT more appealing to me personally compared to last year’s House Party titles (Full House Poker, Bejeweled Blitz, Hard Corps: Uprising, Torchlight and Beyond Good & Evil HD).

Warp is already out, but I haven’t tried it yet. Any impressions yet?

I put some time in Warp.

First impression: Hey, this looks like a cute little game, I wonder what it’s about?
Wait, wait, wait: Rated M for Mature? What the hell?

So the game is a combination of a action/stealth game with some RPG elements like stats and leveling up skills and abilities. By the time I got to the end of the demo, and I was trying to avoid guards by a combination of stealth and brute force by warping into objects and enemies, I was pretty enamored with the gameplay. So I bought the full game. I’m really enjoying the moment-to-moment experiences in the game so far, with one big exception: Holy hell this game is gory.

This is the first game in a long time that actually made me want to throw up because of the gore. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition between the cute and gory that’s so jarring, but the overall effect really made my stomach churn at times.

I’ll continue to report back, but until then, I do recommend that everyone at least try out the demo. The opening cutscene and scenario that the game presents is something I knew nothing about and going in cold was quite cool; which is why I haven’t mentioned anything about it in this post. So check it out.

I played a bit of Warp at PAX, and I’ll agree that the aesthetic is pretty weird. One minute it’s super cute and goofy looking, and the next minute it’s all blood and entrails. That said, the gameplay seemed pretty solid.

keep the reviews on Warp coming… I am still considering if I should buy

I have been watching the Youtube gameplay movies… I have 100+ games like this already bought on XBL (implusively) and haven’t touched… have to shelf this one unfortunately.

I tried the Warp demo on xbox and love it, it’s right up my alley. When I locate enough time, I’ll definitely be buying it on PS3.

I thought the demo was pretty fun up until the point where the guy throws the door at you, and you apparently have a tiny fraction of a second to push the button to avoid it. Tried it about six times, then gave up. Saved me $10 there, thanks Microsoft!

I’m always down for more Alan Wake.

The rest I have never heard of.

Here’s a trailer for Nexuiz. Looks like Unreal Tournament to me. Hopefully the bot support will be as strong as in that game. Otherwise, I’m not interested at all.

I think it’s going to wind up like Section 8: Prejudice. Well-reviewed, but MP will die quickly.

If the bots are good enough, it won’t matter to me.

/me glowers at Twisted Metal

what’s the appeal to Alan Wake? I don’t get it… it is so darn repetitive…

I’m really enjoying Alan Wake: American Nightmare. I never finished the original, but this one manages to be more open and more directed at the same time. The areas you explore are more open than the tight tunnels you ran down in Alan Wake. This time you explore fairly decent sized areas, but within those areas, it’s perfectly clear at all times where you should go next for the next bit of story progression. I played the demo, bought the full game, and before I knew it, I had finished the areas in a major 3 hour session.

Again, I’d recommend checking out the demo. It will either hook you or it won’t. I got pulled in a lot more than I did with the original game.

Oh, one negative point: The lady who voices the doctor in the second area is horrible. What a terrible voice actress. It pulls me out of the game every time she speaks. Luckily, she’s the only weak link in an otherwise nice cast.

I did check out the demo and it’s wonderful! This is my first experience with Alan Awake and I’m interested in the original now too. But did you say you finished it in 3hrs?

How odd. American Nightmare turned me off completely even though I enjoyed Alan Wake and dlc. Maybe I’m just burned out on it. I am, however, really interested in I Am Alive.

No, I finished one act in 3 hours and say the areas in the game. Without any spoilers, you later back track to those same areas later in the game. It’s done pretty well.

Anyone tried Nexiuz yet? It’s coming to PC someday, but I suspect it’s going to be DOA. Reviews aren’t great so far.

I downloaded the demo and thought it was awful. Took a good 5 minutes to find a lobby and when it started the game filled the first team and put me on the other team by myself. There’s very little feedback to firing the weapons, their netcode is terrible, their spawn system doesn’t check for nearby enemies, and I found a noticeable delay when trying to melee or switch weapons. I played two matches and deleted it.

My impressions from trying the Nexiuz demo yesterday:

When you first load it up, the intro movie plays, which not only sets up the scenario, but also shows some gameplay footage. The game is giving me a lot of Unreal Tournament vibes from looking at that footage. After the intro movie, I was taken to the Start Screen where it says “Nexiuz” and then a pulsing “Press Start” that’s pulsing from white to orange.

So I tried pressing Start. Nothing. I pressed Start again. Nothing. I pressed it again really emphatically! Nothing. Now, before I played Braid, this would have been a real turn off. A puzzle on the start screen? Really guys? But playing Braid has altered my sensibility as a video gamer completely. Now I see a puzzle on the start screen and I think “ooooooh, this is interesting, I wonder how Microsoft let them get away with this”.

So here were my clues: Every time I pressed the start button, I got a sound effect. Plus, as I said, the “Press Start” words were pulsing orange to White, White to orange. Maybe I needed to press Start in a rhythm with the pulsing? Start, pause, Start, pause, Start, pause. Hmmm, that didn’t work. Maybe if I tried the other way, press it when it turned white instead of when it turned orange? Start, pause, Start, pause, Start, pause.

Nothing. Now I was really intrigued. What kind of game was this, that had such a hard puzzle on the Start Screen? Especially in a Unreal Tournament type game, what could possibly be the purpose of it. My next clue was that the sound effect didn’t play when I pressed the Start button, it only played when I LET GO of the Start button. So I thought, well, maybe I need to keep it pressed through either the orange or the white parts of the pulsing, and only let go at certain times.

Right then, the game suddenly put up a message box telling me it couldn’t connect to the servers and to try again later. It took me to a menu, where my only play options were to play online, and bot training mode was grayed out for the demo. So wait, there was no puzzle? That whole time I was in the start menu, it was just trying to connect to server with no feedback to me as the player whatsoever? And they launched this game today without making sure that their servers were up and running?

I tried getting into a match a couple of times, but I got the same error again. Shrug. Oh well, it was interesting while it was a puzzle game. As a multiplayer-only demo with no multiplayer, it’s pretty horrible.