Mass Effect 2 @ GDC

If you haven't heard, some early development footage of Mass Effect 2 was shown at GDC last week. This video shows how much of an improvement has been made already in terms of combat. The cover system seems to be more efficient, and the HUD changes look awesome as well. The game already looks great for such an early build. Can't wait to play it!

Matt (MWG)

Midwest Gamer Podcast Episode 7 - "The RE5 Show"

Episode 7 is here! Thanks again everyone for listening. If you enjoy the show and have a moment, help us out by rating us or writing a review on Itunes. Enjoy!

Show Notes

News - L4D DLC Release Date, Max Payne 3, New Behemoth Trailer, Star Wars: Old Republic

Now Playing - Resident Evil 5, Halo Wars

Looking Forward To - Army of Two: The 40th Day, DS goodness

Matt (MWG)

Is Gaming as We Know It Coming to an End?

Well, it seems that the talk so far at GDC this year is Playcast Media System's service called OnLive. To many analysts, this service is said to be the future of gaming and the end to consoles that we know today. Even Michael Pachter is getting into the argument saying that current gen systems will be the last consoles that we ever see. Now this has me worried, because if OnLive does what its supposed to do then we very well could be on the verge of consoles being a thing of the past.

If you don't know already, OnLive is supposed to be a service dedicated to bringing you live streams of games that you can play on any computer meeting basic requirements, provided you have a decent internet connection. You can also drop the PC altogether and buy a hub that connects directly into your TV and play straight from that if you wanted. Now, there are services out there that already do this type of thing but Playcast just seems to be taking it to the next level.

Sure this all sounds great but there is a pretty big downfall that Playcast is going to have to hurdle through to become king of gaming. OnLive requires an internet connection to be at all functional and according to Sony and Microsoft, a majority of gamers that own systems, are not even online. I can't remember the exact numbers but I know its a pretty big margin. I know more and more users are getting online everyday but could something like OnLive survive today? Another thing is, could consoles and OnLive both coincide together or is this actually the last gen we see consoles? Or could OnLive just be a gimmick and actually never take foot in the gaming forefront? To tell you the truth, I love my consoles and the idea of having to be online all the time just doesn't sit well with me. Well GDC is still going on this week and we can only find out more from Playcast. I'm curious to see what else they bring to the table.
For more information about OnLive, here's the link to the official site.

Travis (MWG)

Boulder Punching: To punch, or to double punch? - A Resident Evil 5 Review-ish

It's hard to complain about any installment within a series that's been wow-ing me since I was a wee lad. Despite the few complaints I have (generic story, forced gears-esque action sequences, and some mentally insulting puzzles), this is a really great installment in the Resident Evil Series.

While the story isn't all that entertaining, it does wrap a few things up that we've all been wondering about since the earlier games. The summation of the general RE story-line means that the possibilities are endless as far as what new characters and story will be introduced in the next game. It will be interesting to see where they go with it.

The controls are even more fun and user-friendly than Resident Evil 4. While I'm a die-hard fan of the old-school tank controls, the new control scheme makes for a more accessible game. A more accessible game means more gamers playing Resident Evil 5, which makes me happy.

Speaking of more gamers. The best way to play Resident Evil 5 is with another human player. While the AI is competent when it comes to technical tasks (aiming, shooting, collecting), it is completely useless as far as strategy, survival, and item management goes. And it's these aspects of the game that make the co-op experience so much fun.

The game is full of replayability as well. Along with the unlock-able weapons and costumes that Resident Evil fans will be familiar with, comes a shload of unlockables including history files, figurines, and game modes that will have you coming back for a second and third play-through.

Resident Evil 5 is a well-polished action/horror game that is well worth the money. Grab a friend, brace yourself, and "enter survival horror".......kind of.

Matt (MWG)

Episode 7, it does the body good.

Hey super friends,

The end of March is crawling nearer, and it's time for some good old MWG to light up your life. I apologize for the late notice, but we just made plans to record Episode 7 tomorrow morning. As always, we'd love to hear any comments/questions you guys have. Leave your comments or questions here, send us an email at or post on the Episode 7 Feedback thread in the forums.

Resident Evil 5 will be our main topic of discussion. So if anyone has any comments or complaints about the game, be sure to send them in!

Matt (MWG)

New Stuff from Behemoth!

Is that co-op platforming I see? Huzzah!

Matt (MWG)

Groov Thoughts.

I spoke a little bit about a shnazzy little game called Groov during Midwest Gamer Podcast Episode 6. I wanted to re-visit my thoughts on it before it's long forgotten within my laundry list of '09 games.

Groov is a twin stick, music based space shooter from Funkmasonry Industries. As far as I can tell, this is Funkmasonry's only game project thus far. The game will set you back 200 Microsoft points and consists of three different modes, two of which are unlockable. The initial playable mode "Original Mix", is by far the most satisfying way to play the game. "Original Mix" grants the player several lives and pits you up against waves of enemies, each of which behaves in a different way. Upon death, these enemies add a single musical note to a constantly evolving soundtrack. Subsequent modes are unlocked by achieving a preset high score. Beating the "Original Mix" high score unlocks "Expert Remix", a single life survival mode, and after beating the "Expert Remix" high score, players unlock a extraordinarily useless "Jam Session" mode.

I've heard alot of talk about how this game is a Geometry Wars ripoff, and to be honest, upon first playing Groov, I had never played a Geometry Wars game. After hearing this, I downloaded the trial version of Geometry Wars Evolved and gave it a try. I can definitely see where people are coming from, there are plenty of similarities, and Geometry Wars is a far more polished game in many ways. In spite of this, I still feel like Groov sets itself apart and proves it's worth, even in the shadow of the more popular Geometry Wars.

The way the player is able to actively take part in the manipulation of the soundtrack is incredibly satisfying. This creates a completely different experience each session and makes up for the lack of gametype variety found within the rest of the game. Groov kindly introduced me to this music creation type of gameplay and I have since sought out and found games with similar mechanics (ex. Lumines). I mentioned the enemy behavior earlier and I feel like this is one area where Groov really shines. Each enemy has it's own unique behavior, movement pattern, and respective sound/musical note for quick identification. All of these mechanics combined create a considerably difficult gaming experience, but somehow Groov manages to be one of the most relaxing games I've ever played. If for nothing else, Groov should be required playing material after a grueling N+ session. (Please consult with your family physician before using Groov to combat any unpleasant N+ side effects)

Matt (MWG)

Its Official. I've Been Killzoned

Two days ago I decided I couldn't wait any longer to pick up Killzone 2. So I decided to gather up some games and make a deal with the devil to get what I wanted. I ended up traded in The Orange Box, Enchanted Arms, Ratchet and Clank, Folklore and GeoW to get Killzone 2. Being how Gamestop is I thought that I was probably only going to get $5 for each game but to my amazement, the total came out to $64. Turns out Gamestop was running some kind of deal where you get more credit if you turn in 4 or more games. I thought it was great, so I grabbed Killzone 2, a sealed copy of course. I never trade in games. I usually just let them sit and collect dust, even if I know I'll never play them again. I was low on money though and like I said, I couldn't wait any longer.

Anyways, to the point, Killzone 2 is awesome. I haven't even jumped into the single player yet. Its nothing against the single player but the multiplayer just seems so satisfying. Now the controls do take some time to get used to and theirs times I wish it moved more like COD4 but its nothing to stop me from coming back for more. The ranking system is awesome. You don't gain ranks as fast as you would in games like other games but their isn't as many ranks either so it evens out plus you can gain badges which grant you new abilities in between ranks. I don't know, I'm liking the ranking system a lot though. I find myself playing for about 2 hours at a time trying to get up the the next rank.

Now I've just touched the surface of Killzone 2 multiplayer and I'm sure the single player is going to be amazing as well. Anyways, I'd like to find some people to play multiplayer with so if you want to add me, my PSN is G3NK1E. I should be on quite a bit so hit me up if you wanna play a game or two. Looking forward to it!

Travis (MWG)

Midwest Gamer Podcast Episode 6 - "Boned Chicken"

So, is still down, but I've secured some super secret webspace to upload Episode 6. Go here to stream or download the episode. In addition to this, I will post the episode on Mypodcast as soon as I'm able to. There's a bit of an audio issue for the first 10 or 15 minutes of the show, but it's not too terrible. Make sure to continue listening, I think this is one of our best shows yet. Enjoy! Don't forget to Subscribe to us on Itunes and join the forums. And now check out our live broadcasts on!

Show Notes

News - RE: Code Veronica Remake Rumors, Behemoth's New Project, Ninja Blade Demo, RE5 Competitive Multiplayer Modes

Now Playing - Bioshock, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Groov, Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, Halo 3 Mythic Maps, Megaman X

Looking Forward To - Resident Evil 5!

Matt (MWG)

Sad News....but not totally.

I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but show #6 may be a little late this week. The show is all ready to upload but it appears that is "upgrading server software". I will upload the episode as soon as I can but who knows how long the site will be down. Look on the bright side though, maybe will be less glitchy after the upgrade? Let's hope so.

Matt (MWG)

To Madworld or not to Madworld…

Ok, it’s been a while since anything coming out on the Wii has sparked my interest. I still very much like the Wii and I don’t think I could ever sell it but the last thing I played on it was Super Mario Galaxy and that came out, what, a couple years ago? After seeing Nintendo’s E3 conference last year, I’m almost embarrassed to say I own a Wii. I didn’t really pay any attention to this game when it was announced. I thought it was going to be another developers’ take on bringing “hardcore” to the Wii, but it crazy to say that Madworld actually looks like it might be good. The reviews for it are now out and its getting good marks all across the board so its crazy to say, but I might actually try Madworld out.

I’m curious to see what everybody else’s take on Madworld are. I really want more games like this to come out for the Wii. Not so much of the over the top viloence but just more games for an older audience. I’m just curious now to what sites like IGN, Gamespot, and 1UP are raving about. They all gave the game a high ranking so I think it should warrant some attention. What about you guys though, is anyone else interested in Madworld?

Travis (MWG)

Resident Evil Retrospective Episodes 4 & 5

I'm a little late on posting these, but as the excitement builds towards the release of Resident Evil 5 later this week, let's get all nostalgic and take a look at Episodes 4 and 5 of Gametrailer's Resident Evil Retrospective. Enjoy!

Matt (MWG)

Batten down your freaking hatches, and prepare for Show #6.

Hey space cadets,

I hope March, and your growing pile of games you need to play, is treating you well. For your enjoyment, as well as ours, we will be recording Midwest Gamer Podcast Episode 6 in a few short 24 hour cycles. As always, we'd love to hear any comments/questions you guys have. Leave your comments or questions here, send us an email at or post on the Episode 6 Feedback thread in the forums.

Here's a list of the games we'll be talking about:

Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Halo 3 Mythic Maps
Halo Wars
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix

PS - Take note of the Podcast Alley Player on the sidebar, hopefully this helps out anyone who has been having trouble downloading the show.

Matt (MWG)

L4D Survival Mode Video

So, the details behind Left 4 Dead's survival mode were easily predictable, but it's still awesome to see some gameplay video. Can't wait!

Matt (MWG)

Podcast Download Issues?

So I've heard from a few listeners who are having problems downloading the podcast. We can start posting the show to a separate location if we need to. Before we do that though, I kind of wanted to know how many people are having issues. It could just be Mypodcast acting up again, but, if you're having problems downloading, could you leave a comment and let me know how your trying to listen to the show (ex. Itunes, Downloading off Mypodcast, using player on Mypodcast)? That would help out a ton.

Thanks guys,

Matt (MWG)

A deal that cannot be resisted.

So I talked about wanting to pick up Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts several shows ago. I've put if off not because of the price, but because I've had soooo many other games to play. Well, if there was ever a day to buy Nuts and Bolts. Today is that day, Amazon is selling the game brand new for $19.98. I just placed my order, you should do the same.

Matt (MWG)

Beautiful things take time.......lots of it.

So I've been playing some Castle Crashers recently, and I came across a few boss and level development videos that Behemoth posted on Vimeo. It's really awesome to get a glimpse of the time and care that went into the project. The first video is a time lapse of Dan Paladin developing the Frost King boss, and the second is a time lapse of him working on the "Tall Grass Field" level.

Also, I've talked to a few people recently who are into Castle Crashers but haven't checked out Alien Hominid. I definitely suggest playing it out if you enjoyed Castle Crashers. It may be more challening and a little different as far as gameplay goes, but it's full of the same polish and charm. It's fairly cheap on XBL, and you can find it extremely cheap for PS2 and Gamecube.

Have a good week guys,

Matt (MWG)

Official PSP2 News Coming Soon?

With new details of the PSP2 or PSP-4000 emerging, is their an guaranteed unveiling for the handheld for this years E3? I would like to think so at least. In my opinion it seems like the PSP is going downhill and Sony isn't really doing much to keep the system alive these days. Nintendo just launched their DSi not too long ago and its flying off the shelves in Japan whilst the PSP is slowly falling off the handheld bandwagon. I'm not trying to disown my PSP, in fact, it angers me that many games are not being developed for it but what does Sony exactly have in store for the current iteration of the PSP?

Just recently Sony announced games like Assassin's Creed and LBP for the PSP and theirs also talk about a new GTA and a new GOW but is it too late? I haven't touched my PSP since FFVII: Crisis Core came out and I always tell myself that I'm going to get back into some PSP gaming but I never do. I always seem to turn to my DS. Now that could be just because the fact that I am a RPG nut and the DS is literally littered with them but even when I played Crisis Core I fealt that the PSP was just too bulky to carry around. Now again, thats just my opinion but I really don't see anything bringing me back to the PSP.

Now the rumors are that the new PSP will be UMD-less and have some sort of a slidable screen. Nothing was mentioned about touch screen or an added analog stick but both additions would be greatly appreciated. I really can't imagine Sony not taking advantage of touch screen features and incorporating them into the PSP2. It seems like everything is going that way these days and the second analog stick would get rid of a lot of peoples complaints about the original PSP. Now everything mentioned so far is just rumors but the job posting from Sony for new hardware testers is pretty high for speculation.

I don't know, I would like to believe that the rumors are true. I'm ready for a new PSP. If Sony can solve the hardware faults of the original and put a better front up against the piracy issue, they can defiantly put up a fight against the DS and now the iPhone. I believe that Sony will unveil the new PSP at E3. I think its time and it would defiantly give Sony the talk of the show this year if nothing else. Anyways, what do you guys think? Is it time for a new PSP or should Sony keep pushing the original?

Travis (MWG)

Midwest Gamer Podcast Live on!

Hey peoples,

I've already mentioned it quite a bit during episode 5, but I wanted to make a post about our live broadcast project over at JTV. So far, I've played the majority of REmake, some Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Halo 3, Castle Crashers and Bioshock all live on JustinTv. It's been alot of fun, I've gotten to know and even played some games with people from chat. I wanted to give a shout out to some new friends who've made JTV super awesome for me so far.

I'm sure there are others that I've missed, and I apologize. We've had alot of fun so far, so check it out if you haven't! Special thanks to Fan for being the raddest mod ever and making a shload of highlights for me.

I want to get some people together to play L4D one night too, so send me a message over XBL if you're interested in playing or let me know in chat sometime.

Happy March!

Matt (MWG)