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   Official Five-Hole: The Day Off
by ehamilton on Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:37 am
As bandied about in the POST THE GOSH DARNED VIDEO thread, eham pondered about a scenario where every devoted member of the Five-Hole posse took the same day off. During this day off, after sleeping in to a reasonable time, we would all converge online and pwn the day away.

I haven't really had much time to put into video games these past 4 years, and it hurts my heart. Crying or Very sad

When I do pop online once a month or so, I seem to never, EVER, time it so that I can play with my beloved homies. If everyone took the day off, essentially we would have the best fucking day that Five-Hole has ever seen. People getting tea-bagged, cross-crease slappered, looted, having karaoke duets, catching up on old times, asking random girls for their myspace.... just sounds like a lot of win to me.

Now that everybody is on board, we need to discuss a date where we could maximize participation and have a good common game where we could get a giant room going.

Some ideas:

-Halo ODST release date: A majority of five-holers love teh haloz, this is a no brainer.

-NHL '10 release date: We could have a one day league where we play every game, OR, some awesome 6 v 6, OR, some straight up play whatever the fuck you want.

-Gears of War 2: We could do this any day and still have a blast.

-Halo 3: See above.

What are your ideas? My problem with doing it on the release date, is that it seems to be hit or miss when these games come out in stores for purchase. I would probably go with having the Day Off about a week after release, so everyone has time to get the game.

I also think the day off should be somewhere in the middle of the week, to maximize participation, and to break up a fucking brutal week with some fun.


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   Eham Saves the NHL
by ehamilton on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:44 pm
I know what you guys are thinking... c'mon eham, what teh heck are you talkin aboot?

But srsly, I have a vision for the NHL's re-alignment. It's such a genius plan, that I think I'm going to change my middle name to "Gifted".

We all know that major sports leagues have the weirdest divisional alignments (and schedules as a result). Somehow Minnesota is Northwest? Are they even north? Are they even relevant (a bit off topic)?

Here is my new breakdown:

Los Angeles
San Jose

St. Louis


Great Lakes



New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey

Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Nashville Predators
Atlanta Thrashers

Interconference: 16 (16 teams x 1 game)
Intraconference: 48 (12 teams x 4 games)
Intradivision: 18 (3 teams x 6 games)
Total: 82 games

As in the NFL, interconference home/away dates will cycle each year between divisions.

I want to cock block you homos on a few topics:

Q: But eham, teh nhl should be retracting, not expandingzors
A: No. Hockey is entertaining to watch at every level up to and including the NHL. Ask Yeti how much he loves junior hockey. Seriously. As much as it's fun to think of Phoenix, Atlanta, Nashville... etc. disappearing and their talent being dispersed, they are fine. The NHL will need these markets to grow into. It won't take 2 years, it might take 15.

Q: Why Portland?
A: Portland is a very good hockey market, believe it or not, and the Canucks have priced out the average fan from being able to attend games. The Pacific northwest would be absolutely ideal, trust me.

Q: Isn't Phoenix as good as gone?
A: The NHL board of directors will now do whatever it possibly takes to keep this team in Phoenix now. If they leave, the NHL BoG looks like a bunch of fucking ninnies (which they probably are).

Q: Buffalo in the west?
A: Don't think of it as west, think of it as "Great Lakes", and its farther away from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal... than Hamilton.

Q: What is this NHL you speak of?
A: Fuck off.

Q: Why did you make a blog?
A: If it feels good, do it.

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   THE GAMERS' EYE - November 2008
by Slestak on Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:07 pm

November is here, and it is HUGE. Seriously -- Astronaut Bread and I have delivered to you previews of 12 games due out in this eleventh month, and we still managed to skip some solid entries. Shaun White Snowboarding, Need for Speed Undercover, Smackdown vs. Raw 09, and Sonic Unleashed look to be not complete wastes of your time, but quite frankly, we're more stoked about the delectable dozen below. Save your pennies, kids, because this month is gonna cost you!

For those of you that may be new, each month THE GAMERS' EYE takes a look ahead to the impending future and examines upcoming game releases. Without further ado, let's begin . . . THE GAMERS' EYE!

November 4

Quantum of Solace (Activision)

Hey Treyarch! Why don't you take this Call of Duty 4 engine and wrap it around the relaunched James Bond movie franchise? You can't possibly fail! I say you throw in the story and action from the "Casino Royale" movie while you're at it, considering QoS is actually it's sequel and you can have twice the game for one low price. It sounds to good to be true! While you are at it, why don't you tweak the gameplay a little bit? People love it when you mess with success. Look at how much money the "Star Wars Special Editions" made! Add a broken cover system and make sure the story can be beaten in one sitting. Awesome.

The Bread Line: Goldeneye 007 was a miracle. It was the first great console shooter and the only quality "based-on-the-film" game ever made. The subsequent Bond games never came close to catching the magic that Rare had with Goldeneye. Can Quantum of Solace break the cycle of disapointment and do for the Bond game franchise what Daniel Craig has done for the movies? I'd like to think so, but Treyarch has the uncanny ability to miss handle the most obvious of winning hands. If Treyarch was running unopposed for city clerk it would lose to write-in candidate "Masster Cheeef."

Tom Clancy's EndWar (Ubisoft)

World War 3 erupts in your living room! Ubisoft slaps the name of everyone's favorite military fetishist on this MMMORTS set in the very near future. All the oil has run out, and President Joseph T. Plumber will have his hand forced to engage in a massive ground war on every continent. EndWar features persistent online battles, hundreds of players, and a fully customizable army. For gamers who hate getting Cheeto dust all over their controllers, EndWar offers voice command of units. Despite the title, it's not a plea for peace -- it's the be-all, end-all mother of all virtual war sims. It's EndWar!

Slestak's Take: Confession: save Splinter Cell, I'm not a big fan of the Clancy games. Though the massively online multiplayer aspects are intriguing, and the production values seem top-notch, I just can't get excited over the wholesale destruction of real cities like Washington DC and Paris. And I don't need my dog staring at me like an idiot while I'm barking orders at my television. This one's for armchair generals only.

November 7

Gears of War 2 (Microsoft)

Cliff Bleszinski and Epic Games promised that this sequel to the 2005 Game of the Year would be "Bigger, better, and more badass." A deeper, emotional storyline, action that really makes you feel part of a massive war for humanity's survival, a zillion enemies, bigger and better boss battles, new multiplayer modes, and chainsaw bayonets. Sounds pretty badass to me.

The Bread Line: You can't miss out on this game. It's going to be the event of the season! Playing the campaign co-op style, diving into endless waves of locusts in multiplayer's Horde Mode, and being chainsawed in half by eham will be the thing to do for the next 6 months. Only two things spoiled the fun with the original: the story was weak and you couldn't play ranked games with your Friends. Well, they are delivering the story this time around, so now it's just a question of if the party system can work as well as HALO's does. I'm betting it will.

November 11

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Microsoft)

Rare's most famous duo returns! Work your way through a series of challenges using your wits as well as your workshop! Nuts & Bolts offers gamers a way to create their own abilities by constructing all manner of vehicles out of parts they gather up as they progress. The possibilities are limitless! And you can show off your rides to your Xbox Live friends, too. If your imagination is stunted or you're in a hurry, there are dozens of prebuilt vehicles available as well.

Slestak's Take: I've never played the original -- it was one of those games that passed me by. Folks ten years younger than me seem to harbor fond memories of the franchise, but I harbor similar feelings towards the shitty Land of the Lost, so what the hell do I know? Demo's up on XBLM, and it's only $40 -- your kids will probably like it. Pick it up if they are already bored with LEGO Batman and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise.

Call of Duty: World at War (Activision)

Not willing follow the blueprint for success Infinity Ward layed out with last year's game of the year candidate (and part time HALO killer) Call of Duty 4, Treyarch, developer of World at War, is going to stubbornly take the Call of Duty franchise down another path. They've brought it back to WWII, because nobody's tired of that yet. They've tweaked with the game's engine, because nobody likes a flawless game engine. They've even added just the right amount of Treyarchiness, because nobody likes a fun game.

The Bread Line: Everybody knows that the even numbered CoD games, just like the Star Trek movies, are the only ones worth checking out. I think that's why World at War doesn't get to use "5" in it's title. I'm interested in the game's "Pacific Theater" setting, would love to revisit the Russian front that CoD2 delivered, and I am really anxious to get my hands on the flamethrower weapon, but I know Treyarch is going to foul it up. Even though this game might sound intriguing, I don't have to play it to know I should pass on it.

Mirror's Edge (Electronic Arts)

Step into the split-toed shoes of Faith, a "runner" who couriers information beneath the radar of an oppressive government. Specially-trained to traverse the city's skyline with sweet parkour skills (the urban landscape-climbing method on display in the opening chase of the movie "Casino Royale") Faith must run, leap, evade, outwit, and puzzle her way through a journey to find out who framed her sister for murder. Online leaderboards let you race your friends' "ghosts" in time trials.

Slestak's Take: Combine two parts of breathless parkour action, one part near-future fascist society, and add a dash of hot Asian chick who kicks ass, and you've got a recipe guaranteed to win my heart. The demo available on XBLM proves that DICE was able to nail the controls -- a make-or-break quality for a game like this. It might not be perfect, but give EA credit for putting a bold new IP out there. I'll be picking this one up, and I hope I'll be spending the rest of the year trying to catch your ghosts.

November 16

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Midway)

Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, promised to kompletely shake things up when his legendary fighting franchise, and scourge of ratings boards and koncerned parents everwhere, finally hit next generation konsoles. Last April, but unfortunately not April 1st, the shocking announcement happened: the new game would feature the biggest DC comic heroes battling the best MK fighters. That wasn't the only news. New gameplay tweaks like Klose Kombat and Free Fall Kombat would further muddy up the mix. Oh, and you can forget about the one thing that makes a MK game a MK game, the Fatalities, because this one is rated "T-for Teen."

The Bread Line: I want to play this game, but purely in a kar krash kuriosity kind of way. How will they destroy a once great franchise? The "Phantom Menace" rape-my-childhood route? The "Cousin Oliver" path because Tina Yothers and Gary Coleman aren't cute anymore? Maybe they are "pulling a Soulcalibur," because there are tons of fanboys who'll buy a game just because it has Yoda in it. Whatever the reason, mission accomplished! The Mortal Kombat franchise is indeed shaken up. So much that I can barely recognize it. At least adding Yoda and Vader to Soulcalibur IV doesn't look so damn stupid anymore.

November 17

Left 4 Dead (Valve)

It's a premise both familiar and uncomplicated, but one that has stood the test of time. Four strangers must team up and work together to battle through hordes of zombies and escape to safety. Teamwork is imperative -- splitting up will lead to certain death, so keep an eye on your buddy's six and he's certain to toss you some ammo when you run low. You'll need to think fast and flawlessly to make it out alive!

Slestak's Take: Though surely weak in the storyline department, Left 4 Dead more than makes up for it by delivering 4-player online co-op, gratuitous gore, scalable difficulty, an online versus mode, and, oh yeah, ZOMBIES -- all on top of the rock solid Source engine (Half-Life 2, Portal). Does a group of random Five-Holers have what it takes to put aside differences and work as a team to escape the zombie legion? We'll find out in just a couple of weeks!

November 18

Lips (Microsoft)

Take a good in-game song list with lots of variety, include two, well designed, wireless microphones, and allow you to sing along to all your (unprotected) songs from your mp3 player and your game has the foundation to become the next party sensation. Lips is about to do to the karaoke game genre what HALO did to first person shooters- make all other games in the genre irrelevant and become the reason for the party, not just something to do at one and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than Rock Band 2.

The Bread Line: You have got to give Microsoft credit. They are really going out of their way to make the Xbox 360 accessible to everyone. This holiday particularly there are tons of party and music games, but the hard core crowd is still being catered to better than ever. With Lips, the Xbox 360 seems to have the most accessible, attractive karaoke/party game ever released. You know you are looking at a top seller if my game-hating wife wants this one under the tree.

Tomb Raider Underworld (Eidos)

Lara Croft and her giant bosoms return- and this time they will be wet and glistening. Tomb Raider Underworld marks the next installment of the platforming, puzzle solving, action-adventure game franchise. This time it's a quest to find Thor's hammer, kill a bunch of thugs and bugs, and look good in a skintight wetsuit.

The Bread Line: The Xbox 360 version is getting two exclusive downloadable chapters before April 09, with the first one arriving before the end of the year. These downloads will feature new characters to play as, enemies to fight, and secrets to unlock. If you want more Lara Croft, you'll have plenty of chances this holiday season and beyond.

You're in the Movies (Codemasters)

Time to unpack that Xbox Live Vision camera that your wife made you put away after she saw you playing Uno with a pair of asymmetrical boobs! You're in the Movies puts you (wait for it ...) IN THE MOVIES! Attempt to film yourself and up to three of your friends acting out movies with the super-shitty quality Vision camera, and interact with a bunch of pre-rendered scenes and backgrounds. Download your masterpiece to your computer to share with all your MySpace friends! Unlike Lips, this stab at the casual Xbox gamer market seems destined to UBER FAIL.

Slestak's Take: Don't be mistaken - it's not a sequel to "2 Girls, 1 Cup." Get it? "You're In ..." "urine"... hehehehehe *cough* Well then, moving on ... This looks like it might be fun. Twice. And drunk. Not tipsy drunk, but "Should we call an ambulance for Steve? I can't wake him up" drunk. If debauched coed parties are a regular occurrence at your pad, Urine: The Movies might be a wise purchase. Chances are, though, you'd have more fun shooting home porno movies with your cell phone.

November 20

The Last Remnant (Square Enix)

RPG giants Square Enix have created what it calls an "RPG for the world." In ancient times, people used artifacts called Remnants to gain badass superpowers. Naturally, the world goes to hell in a handbasket as folks abused their powers and enslaved the world, so it's kinda like the super-shitty Volume 3 of Heroes. Your dude has his sister kindapped by a mysterious group of soldiers, so naturally you have to rescue her, and while you're at it could you figure out how to stop all these evil motherfuckers? Thanks!

Slestak's Take: Has Squeenix jummped the shark? Call me a hater if you must, but I honestly can't tell much difference between these JRPGs anymore. Hey, I loved Final Fantasy VII. Parasite Eve, too. The game looks gorgeous, but I just can't get excited over the umpteenth iteration of "pouty young man with spiky hair and metal elbow pads randomly beats on lame creatures to build his stats so he can save his world and rescue his sister/girlfriend/wife/grandmother/pet in the process." The sad part is that The Last Remnant makes a stab at some Western flair and it still looks like the same old shit. But if you like this shit, have at it.

See you next month!

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   THE GAMERS' EYE - October 2008
by Slestak on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:09 pm

Ah, memories. It's been eleven long months since we've put release lists under our microscope. Why so long? Dunno. Life? Lack of interest? 30 Rock reruns?

It's not important. This fall, each of us will be asked to make a choice which will affect future generations of consoles. Let's not waste any more time discussing the causes and focus on the solution. My friends, once it became clear that we were facing a videogame crisis of historic proportions, we suspended our GTA3* campaigns and rushed straight back to xbox360.ign.com to examine the list of upcoming relases. Upon inspection, I can assure you that the fundamentals of our console are strong!

For those of you that may be new, each month THE GAMERS' EYE takes a look ahead to the impending future and examines upcoming game releases. Without further ado, let's begin . . . THE GAMERS' EYE!

*seriously, we still haven't finished that goddamn game.

October 7

Fracture (LucasArts)

It's the year 2161 and mankind is in the throes of a massive civil war between genetically and cybernetically enhanced societies. (I prefer to side with the chemically enhanced- amirte? Smoke ) The future is as bleak as always and we seem to have yet another space marine 3rd-person shooter on our hands. No so fast, Chief! To shake things up (literally), Developer Day 1 Studios tossed in some kind of crazy earthquake gun- useful for offense, defense, puzzle solving, or just to give the earth a serious acne problem.

The Bread Line: Seems like a pretty fast paced, original shooter, and Day 1 brought us the Mech Assualt franchise so they have a solid track record, but if I'm going to be stuck in an apocalyptic future why wouldn't I just make it FALLOUT 3? Sure, this one has multiplayer, but what good is multiplayer if nobodys playing it? Luckily theres a demo on the Marketplace, so you can decide for yourself if you are ready to rumble or not.

October 14

Dead Space (Electronic Arts)
Its the Third-Person Shooter Space Marine game with a Survival Horror twist- just in time for Halloween! Stuck on a derelict space ship filled with bloodthirsty aliens, you must find out what happened to the crew, rescue the girl, and get out alive. A completely single player affair, youll battle a variety of baddies as they leap out at you from the dark to give you a fright. Nearly unstoppable, theyll keep crawling at you until find and destroy their weak spots and blast off their arms, legs, or faces. Perfect for the violence and gore fan!

The Bread Line: I bet you a hundred space bucks you cant guess what happened to the crew? If you guessed, "They are the aliens", then you must read "No Shit Magazine" too. If you want a good horror game, get your hands on one of the Condemned games. If you want space marines, well get a game of HALO going on Tuesday.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider (Sega)

SEGA resurrects its D&D-themed franchise for the new milennium! Use steel and magic to defeat evil across a fantasy world filled with epic steeds and ferocious combat, and save your world from devling in to an age of darkness and woe. Or some shit like that. As Tyris Flare (the chick from the original), you'll traverse a desperate landscape on your approximately 12-hour-long single player quest.

Slestak's Take: If you are expecting to relive some of the arcade thrills of your past with this title, think again. Who is the goddamned genius that thought it was a good idea to bring back Golden Axe without co-op play? The reason the original was so popular had little to do with its setting -- it was all about co-op gameplay, well-balanced characters, and kicking the shit out of elves. The hooks of this latest chapter seems to be saddling up animals, realistic dismemberment, and boobs. Also, Golden Axe: Beast Rider is about 6 typos away from a plethora of imaginary porno flick titles. Fuck this game.

October 20

Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Rockstar)

Get behind the wheel and tear ass through a open-ended, digitally realized LA! With more than 40 licensed vehicles, a huge array of customization options, more than a dozen types of races, no load times, arcade-flavored special moves, and online multiplayer, MCLA looks to be the finest racing title of the year. If you spot a fellow racer out on the street, just flash your lights at him and start racing!

Slestak's Take: Though the title sounds like a gay porn film, MCLA looks hot, fast, and action-packed. Though that description sounds like a gay porn film, this racer looks like it might hit that sweet spot of variety, customization, and arcadey fun that I find most pleasing in a racing game. If you are jonesing for some asphalt action, give this one a spin.

October 21

Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft)
Shaking things up for this installment of Far Cry, Ubisoft tosses out overdone, impressive water effects, with overdone, impressive fire effects! Now set in dry, barren Africa, this first person shooter has the perfect environment for you to go wild with a match, a torch, or a flamethrower. Offering a challenging, open-ended campaign, and a rich multiplayer mode, this could be one of the biggest shooters of the fall season.

The Bread Line: Far Cry has always been one of the most visually impressive shooters on the market, but its gameplay always seemed a little off to me. Enemies wearing only a t-shirt for protection can take an entire clip of ammo before going down, but youre worm food in seconds. Ubisoft Montreal has taken over development and built the game engine from the ground up, but only hands on time will tell if this keeps the same faults. Online multiplayer with a robust map creator will add replay value, but not enough if they havent tweaked the resiliency of the bad guys.

Legendary (Gamecock) (lolz)

As an international art theif, you've been hired to swipe Pandora's Box. Your curiousity gets the better of you, and you decide to take a peek inside. Of course, this unleashes all matter of demons, monsters, and evil fantasy creatures upon New York City, who quickly reduce the city to ruins. Since you opened it, you're the only one that can close it, and a secret society gives you the tools and the manpower to take on the beasts and save the world.

Slestak's Take: Legendary could well prove to be one of the sleeper titles of this holiday season. While its first-person shooter gameplay isn't as revolutionary as, say, Bioshock's, its scale is staggeringly epic. The bosses are huge, the destruction is massive, and the story is straight out of a summer blockbuster movie. There's also online multiplayer, but I'd wager it's unecessary and tacked on. Nevertheless, Legendary is looking to be at its least a solid rental title.

Fable II (Microsoft)

Fable is a third-person action RPG from legendary game designer Peter Molyneux and Lionhead studios, but this sequel set 500 years later is bigger (potentially 100 hours of game play) and better in every way. It features simple, but deep one button combat, the coolest dog in gaming history, and an impressive drop-in, drop-out co-op ability that allows you to share your world with your friends. Your world will be worth showing off too, because both you and your world will evolve based on how you choose to play.

The Bread Line: The original Fable was one of the Xboxs last great games- or would have been if creator Peter Molyneux had kept his mouth shut. He aired brain storming sessions in public and made the game he was trying to develop completely outshine and outclass the game he could develop. Despite it having a lot of great stuff, most gamers dwelled on what it didnt have. This time, Molyneux didnt talk about anything unless it was being delivered- which sounds an awful lot like the game he tried to make 4 years ago. Molyneux is delivering everything this time. That means youre looking at a serious Game of the Year contender.[/quote]

October 28

Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)

From the time of the global atomic wars, humanity has been living the past 200 years in vault deep beneath Washington, DC. One morning, you wake up and discover your father has disobeyed the rules and left the vault. It's your duty to venture out in the Wastelands, facing mutants, giant bugs, slavers, and bands of raiders, to find him. This highly anticipated title is brought to you by the good people who gave us Oblivion, which should tell you this game will be massive, immersive, and a complete timesuck.

Slestak's Take: My most anticipated game of the year, even though I never seem to finish these sprawling RPGs. The graphics are beautiful, and the assisted targeting system, which lets you target individual body parts and remove them from enemies in spectacular fashion, looks like great fun. I'll be spending tons of time this fall adventuring through a bombed-out DC with my faithful dog by my side and a Pip-Boy 3000 strapped to my wrist. It's an early favorite for Game of the Year honors, so don't miss it!

All month long

Rock Revolution (Konami)
Rock Band 2 (EA)
Dance Dance Revolution 3 (Konami)
Disney Sing It (Disney)
Guitar Hero World Tour (Activision)
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance (Disney)

For the console enthusiast who doesn't have enough cheap plastic crap piled up in the corner of their living room. Which one to choose? Stay away from dancing and Disney. Konami's band game looks ridiculously stupid. RB2 has improved instruments, but World Tour seems to be the most ambitious title on the list (expect to see Rock Band 3 include song creation). My advice: Buy NHL 09 and join Five-Hole: The Team!

See you next month! srsly!1

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   Boom Blox Creation Demonstration
by Joe Dirt on Sat May 24, 2008 5:32 am
If you own a wii, and decided to buy "Wii FIt" instead of "Boom Blox" you've made a huge mistake. "Boom Blox" is by far the best use of the Wii Remote since Wii Sports. This game is a lot of fun in multiplayer, and the single player is the most innovative game I've played since "Portal".

The creation tools are very deep and I've only scratched the surface of everything it can do. I did however whip up the video below to show you a small sample of the cool stuff you can make.

So in honor of "Boom Blox" and the "Stanley Cup Finals" click the image below, crank up the volume and enjoy!

(Yoko Ono should really enjoy this)

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   Rock Band Rocks Canada
by Joe Dirt on Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:45 am

(Click the image above)

Sure it's been out for weeks in the USA, but the release date isn't even solidified for our friends north of the border. This didn't stop Five-Hole's Joe Dirt from making a run for the border where he enjoyed a Taco Bell Grande, oh, and picked up a copy of Rock Band as well. Video of the Canadian Debut is a click away.

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   Five-Hole Podcast Episode 19
by Slestak on Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:57 am
<a href="http://five-hole.com/forum/podcast/five_hole_podcast_november_06_07.mp3">.</a>
This episode Joe Dirt sits down with Malliabu for a little one-on-one. Oh, and fuck you, too, Joe!

Subscribe with iTunes here.

Subscribe using the podcast-catcher of your choice here.

Download Here


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   THE GAMERS' EYE - November 2007
by Slestak on Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:03 am

Holy moley! THE GAMERS' EYE is late again! Must be that pesky writers' strike. Or just blame the mountain of work on my desk, the new set of germs from my kid's new school, or, hell, just blame Halo 3. Enough apologies -- chances that between H3 and COD3, your gaming minutes are well-spent. But hold on a second! There are plenty of great games coming out this month, games you shouldn't give the cold shoulder to. There's an RPG that may seize Oblivion's crown; a stealth-action game set in a huge open world; a bloody, foul-mouthed crime game that hopes to make GTA look more like the PTA; and a giant box full of cheap Chinese plastics!

For those of you that may be new, each month THE GAMERS' EYE takes a look ahead to the impending future and examines upcoming game releases. Without further ado, let's begin . . . THE GAMERS' EYE!

November 5

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision)

Infinity Ward has seized the reins back from Treyarch (developer of the stop-gap Call of Duty 3) and brought this series into the modern day. The campaign pits you against terrorists in that wonderful, hyper-real, intense way that COD fans have grown to love. Multiplayer is deep and layered, with a pile of maps and modes, an experience-based levelling system, and customizeable weapon load-outs.

Slestak's Take: This game came out like two days ago and you STILL don't have it? Stop reading this and go get it right now! Take it from me -- I played the beta -- this game is HOT. The multiplayer is fast and fun, and the three maps from the beta were top-notch. As soon as this TGE is published, I'm going to go pick it up.

November 6

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (LucasArts)

LEGO Star Wars, both of them, are really fun. Now you can play through both games without changing discs! Sweet! But theres more! You can even play co-op online this time! What a novel concept! And theyve added a few crappy levels that werent fun enough to make it in the first time around. Fantastic!

The Bread Line: In a world where the Detroit Lions can be 6-2 and the Red Sox can be World Series Champions, its nice to see Lucas still can sell us the same product multiple times (and the Cubs still reek). I loved this game when it was just LEGO Star Wars, even though it was the shitty trilogy, and really enjoyed what they did a few months ago with this game when I thought they completed the saga by releasing LEGO Star Wars: The Original Trilogy. Now it's the even more completed saga, and even though I love the added online co-op feature it should have been here before! This is only good enough if somebody else is hot to play through the same game a third time. Ill need peer pressure, a price drop, or a Christmas present to get this one again.

Scene It? (Microsoft)

The popular movie trivia game ditches the board for your TV! Buzz in to answer one of over 1800 questions based on film clips of your favorite flicks. Sixty bucks nets you not only the game, but four jumbo button buzzer controllers so you and three friends you wish you had can play together!

Slestak's Take: Hey, I gotta give props to Microsoft for trying to horn in on some of that Wii action by publishing a high-profile casual game. If you regularly entertain a variety of people in your home, Scene It? is probably a pretty good investment. But if you're not into casual gaming, you don't need to bother with this one at all.

November 13

Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft)

Is there anyone that hasnt heard about Assassins Creed? Ubisoft has been showing off its hot graphics and hotter producer since before E3 2006. Its been billed as the first true next gen action game and all signs point to their product delivering on all points. As a 12th century assassin during the Third Crusade you sneak and stroll through the crowds, climb over walls, and leap across any rooftops you desire on your way towards bloody, sword swinging conflict.

The Bread Line: Its Splinter Cell meets Prince of Persia while they rip off Hitman. If that combination doesnt make you poop yourself you need to stop eating so much cheese. There is no denying that this game will be one for the ages! Get it pre-ordered and paid off immediately!

Need for Speed ProStreet (Electronic Arts)

The hot street racing franchise from EA is back for a fourth time (or does it just feel like it?) and this could be the finest yet. This addition features a new online system that allows you to race on your own schedule. Finish your challenges and match them up against your friends. Collect cars, tune, race, crash, repeat. Its everything you want in a racing game- and more!

The Bread Line: The aptly titled Need For Speed Most Wanted was one of the great Xbox 360 launch games. It was fast, fun, and an early top vote getter as the gamerscore whores game of choice. That momentum meant nothing as NFS Carbon passed by completely unnoticed. I think the chances are good NFS ProStreet shares Carbon's fate.

November 20

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Eidos Interactive)

Meet Kane: a former mercenary with a troubled past who's now on a prison bus to death row. Across the aisle is Lynch, a heavily medicated schizophrenic, also sentenced to death. One is cool as ice; the other can go off the deep end at any second. A mysterious group has hijakced said prison bus and kidnapped Kane's wife and daughter, blackmailing him into recovering their lost fortune. The mentally unstable Lynch has been hired to keep tabs on Kane. This new IP from the folks that brought you the Hitman series promises to be a bloody good time.

Slestak's Take: K&L has "sleeper" written all over it. Boasting an imaginative storyline that places gamers right in the middle of a hyper-violent crime movie, as well as an innovative online mulitplayer mode that puts your loyalty to the test, Dead Men is the title folks will be buzzing about this winter. Don't miss out on it!

Mass Effect (Microsoft)

Kicking off an Xbox 360 exclusive trilogy, RPG masters Bioware say that mankind is the butthole of the galaxy- flexing their newfound, stolen alien technological muscle to make them the new powerhouse in a diverse galactic community. This doesnt sit well with a renegade, alien Jack Bauer, so he joins forces with a dangerous AI race that isnt the cylons and means to end (or dominate) all life in the universe. You have to stop him!

The Bread Line: Its all here -- unmatched graphics, real-time third person shooter combat, vast open worlds, and a killer story with a revolutionary dialogue system that will actually have you following it! Downloadable post game missions are even promised to keep the story fresh as we wait for part two. Its the one game RPG lovers must have and haters should play!

Rock Band (Electronic Arts)

Tired of getting laughed at by your girlfriend for holding that plastic ukelele? Teach her a lesson with some plastic drum pads! Rock Band gives you everything you need to "rock out" with your friends by including a drum set, guitar, and microphone controllers in this big ol' box (not to be confused with your mom's big ol' box). Stocked with piles of master recordings and the promise of megatons of future downloadable content, Rock Band is your ticket to the Hairway to Steven!

Slestak's Take: If you are going to litter your living room with junky, plastic toy instruments, you might as well sell out completely and buy enough to start a fake band. In the never-ending GH3 vs. Rock Band debate, it seems to me that it boils down to a question of whether you should support the publisher or the developer. As for me, I'll pick developer. If you can only afford one, pick up Rock Band. If you can afford Rock Band, spend that money on Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, and Assassin's Creed instead, you dork.

Also coming in November

Cabela's Big Game Hunter (11/6)
Is there anything better than shooting animals from the comfort of your living room couch? Especially when you can't even use a light gun? The answer is EVERYTHING is better than this. (Bread)

F.E.A.R. Files (11/6)
Its the expansion packish sequel to the best FPS nobody played. You are part of a crack team of commandos to basically shoot ghosts and people possessed by ghosts. Boooo! (Bread)

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War (11/6)
From the title I was hoping this was some "nonsensical Japanese history" game. Turns out it's just a "nonsensical Japanese take on European history" game.(Slestak)

PopCap Arcade Volume 1 (11/6)
It's Bejeweled 2, AstroPop, Feeding Frenzy and Zuma all on one handy disc. Perfect if you don't have internet, but if you didn't have internet you wouldn't be reading this anyway. (Slestak)

Beowulf (11/13)
Remember when you had to read this in ninth grade and all the words were spelled wrong? For fans of sweaty shirtless men only.(Slestak)

BlackSite: Area 51(11/12)
In a fall full of shooters, this one is the low man on the totem poll. Might be worth a rental if it was set in a Black Angus Steak House. (Slestak)

WWWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 (11/13)
It's the biggest and best wrestling game ever- or would be if you could fix the matches like they do in real pro wrestling. Anyways, my money is on SmackDown! to win, because while Raw was hilarious, Eddie Murphy isn't a very intimidating guy. (Bread)

College Hoops 2K8 (11/19) and NCAA March Madness 08 (12/1Cool
Two college basketball games are hitting this holiday. One uses the NBA 2K engine, the other is lame. Both have all the big and small college teams, an NCAA tournament mode, online play, and "point guard #11" throwing perfect passes to "power forward #4." (Bread)

Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection 2008 and Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess (11/20)
People play this? WotG is the latest expansion of the long-running MMORPG, and the Vana'diel Collection contains every single FFXI release for X360 to date. Anyone who spends time playing this needs to date. (Slestak)

History Channel: Battle for the Pacific (11/20)
Just like the Civil War game nobody played, Battle For The Pacific is another "bargain" FPS title that isn't much of a bargain. I'm not saying the game isn't cheap, but it's still priced way too high! Watching Ken Burns' documentary, "The War" on PBS is a much better way to spend your time. (Bread)

Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus (11/20)
Unlike the previous installments, this one is strictly a single-player affair. But you can customize your avatar!(Slestak)

The Golden Compass (12/4)
You didn't read the book, you didn't see the movie, now don't play the game! (Bread)

MX vs. ATV Untamed (12/17)
I thought MX and ATV were emo bands. As for pitting them against each other, my prediction is that NOBODY wins.(Slestak)

Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom (12/1Cool
It's a hack and slash action role-playing game for people that still can't get enough of swords and sorcery from Overlord, Conan, and the 100 other games available. Except this one has 4 player online play going for it. (Bread)

See you next month!

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   THE GAMERS' EYE - October 2007
by Slestak on Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:14 am

Blame the Flood. I do. You see, if Earth hadn't needed saving last month, we could have published THE GAMERS' EYE in a more timely fashion. But, no -- the Brutes decided to raise hell on our planet, and then that infected ship crash landed right in the middle of everything, and ever since then we've been leaving no stone unturned looking for an extra plasma grenade or clip for our battle rifles. Nevertheless, we hunkered down and swore to each other that we would FINISH THE EYE. And holy moley what an EYE it is -- thirty games previewed for you pleasure. Some will suck, some will be awesome, but all will cost you money.

For those of you that may be new, each month THE GAMERS' EYE takes a look ahead to the impending future and examines upcoming game releases. Without further ado, let's begin . . . THE GAMERS' EYE!

October 2

NBA 2K8 (2K Sports)

The NBA 2K series has been the best franchise in sports for years. Whether it's the graphics, gameplay mechanics and features, AI, or the online play, 2K has always made their NBA game the class of the sporting video game genre. This year they've made improvements to the franchise mode and finally taken Shaq off the front of the box, however they also tweaked the defensive controls to allow slow plodding centers defend even the quickest point guards out on the perimeter.

The Bread Line: New defensive blunders aside, there is no reason to believe this still isn't the finest sports title out there. If you are looking to hoop it up you should only be looking here.

Crash of the Titans (Sierra)

Every console needs a mascot, right? At least that's what Sony thought when they started shoving Crash Bandicoot down our throats about ten years ago. And though the games were pretty decent, Crash failed to capture the imaginations of gamers in the way that Mario or, to a lesser extent, Sonic the Hedgehog were able to do. Well, Crash is back, and this time he's platforming his way through an island of giant mutated monsters in a quest to stop the mefarious Neo Cortex.

Slestak's Take: Why not resurrect the Crash Team Racing series? How would that not be fun on Xbox Live? Anyway, Crash of the Titans is getting a wide platform release, but strangely it's not making it's way to PS3. So, yeah, it's a port, and though I like platformers, this one is for acheivement whores and Crash cosplayers only.

October 9

The Orange Box (Electronic Arts)
If this were a podcast I would cue up the ending of Se7en and play the line "what's in the box?" Well you don't need to be the severed head of Gwyneth Paltrow* to know you are getting the gaming world's best value: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. That's 5 amazing games with killer multiplayer and tons of variety for only $60.

The Bread Line: PC snobs- sorry, enthusiasts- will be quick to tell you that they have already been playing these games for years and will snicker at you and your mouseless control scheme. Don't let them spoil your fun. Whether you're late to the party or a longtime fan of the series you should jump on this deal without hesitation.

*It's been 12 years. If you haven't seen it by now you deserve to have the movie spoiled!

FIFA Soccer 08 (EA Sports)

EA Sports' latest soccer game is like an international soccer fan's orgy: 30 leagues, 620 teams, and 15,000 players. Oh, and that dreamy Ronaldinho is the coverstar! What sets this one apart from the 12 other soccer games on the Xbox 360 is their new "Be a Pro" mode. This will lock you into one player and you'll be hassled by coaches, players, and fans depending on how well you perform.

The Bread Line: Does the irony of the soccer video game controls bother anyone else? Hands are illegal in soccer but I can only use them to control my videogame. Even the Wii doesn't give you a footstrap for the Wiimote. Anyways, if you dig on international soccer and think having only 27 leagues in FIFA 07 was lame then you should give this version a try.

October 15

Beautiful Katamari (Namco Bandai)

The King of All Cosmos needs your help! To set things right in the universe, you need to start rolling up everything you see into giant balls of ... stuff! Start off small, picking up flowers and magazines and such. As you grow larger, you'll pick up people, cars, buildings, even mountains, and all the action is set to an infectious J-pop soundtrack.

Slestak's Take: I've gushed plenty over the demo, so my feelings aren't exactly secret here. Beautiful Katamari seems like the perfect antidote to the gravity hammer/plasma grenade/battle rifle overdose most of us are subjecting ourselves to. It's unique, it's fun, it has online multiplayer, and it's only forty bones. Would you kindly buy this game?

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Activision)

After last year's under-appreciated Project 8, the Hawkman returns with Proving Ground, one that appears to be less jokey and more focused on customization. Equipped with a Create-A-Skater mode, a video editor, a Skate Lounge (customizeable online pad), and a promise of seamless integreation between online and single player modes, the crew at Neversoft is doing it's damndest to keep the Tony Hawk series not only relevant, but vital.

Slestak's Take: For all its steps in the right direction, this series still has a foot planted firmly in the outrageous. For instance, one area is set in the Air & Space Museum and has you grinding space shuttles and tricking off of moon craters. Hey, I love the Hawk games, and you should too, but I have a feeling that the dastardly EA may have seized the throne this year with the innovative, realistic, and satisfying Skate.

October 23

Clive Barker's Jericho (Codemasters)

This is a story (true storeeeee) of seven members of a supernatural Special Forces squad, picked to assault an evil-infested lost city that mysteriously reappears in the desert, and have their lives risked, to see what happens when Satan stops being polite and starts being real. The Real World - Jericho!

Slestak's Take: By letting you swap between your squad members, who each have different abilities, strenghts, and weaknesses, you could think of this game as Kameo in Hell. The graphics look hot, the gameplay seems interesting, and Clive Barker's name on the box guarantees a gruesome time. Horror junkies should give this one a spin.

Conan (THQ)

Finally, gamers will have a chance to crush their enemies, see those enemies driven before them, and hear the lamentations of the women! Conan is a hyper-violent, no holds barred beat-em-up that puts you in the shoes of the blood-thirsty Cimmerian on a quest to reclaim your magic armor from an evil wizard.

Slestak's Take: Hi, kids! Do you like violence? Conan hopes to raise the bar in both the arterial spray and dismemberment departments. Gameplay is a mashup of God of War and the newer Prince of Persia games, with tons of combat moves and combos and humongous boss battles. Throw in a handful of naked maidens to rescue and it sounds like a perfect recipe for 10-12 hours of over the top, button mashing fun.

October 28

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Red Octane)

Oh my god it's a new Guitar Hero game!!! I think I'm going to trash my hotel room in giddy anticipation!!! This time I can even play online multiplayer with a wireless, miniature plastic toy guitar. Damn that's hot! Maybe they'll even resell me the songs I enjoyed on Guitar Hero II at an inflated price! Awesome! I can't wait for my first boss battle against digital fabrications of formerly relevant rock stars. It's going to rock!

The Bread Line: Nobody cares what I think. Billions of people think it's the greatest game ever, you're going to buy it, and I obviously just don't know what I'm missing. All I know is this is that game where you rhythmically press multicolored buttons on a plastic, child-sized toy guitar to the tunes of Kiss, Heart, and Bachman Turner Overdrive. Doesn't sound so glamorous anymore, does it? True Legends of Rock get laid, you get carpal tunnel.

October 30

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (Ubisoft)

RED ALERT! RED ALERT! Licensed game approaching and heading directly towards your Xbox! "Sir, it appears to be based on a popular anime series!" Redirect all power to front shields! Brace for impact! "But sir, it appears to be coming from Ubisoft, and it features crazy-fast combat and cel-shaded graphics!" Hmmmm ... cel-shaded graphics, you say?

Slestak's Take: I doubt most Fivers will bother with this title, but after viewing some gameplay, I must admit I am intrigued. The combat looks pretty nuts, and the game seems to be pretty adventure-based without being mired in typical JRPG nonsense. The graphics are beautiful, and gamers will almost feel like they've stepped inside their television sets and into an episode of Naruto. It looks fun. Did I really just type that?

The Simpsons Game (Electronic Arts)

Games developed from beloved movies and television shows rarely succeed and the various Simpsons games haven't done much to shatter that perception. While each one has never been as bad as the Superman games, the Simpsons have never had a big critical hit either. EA looks to break the family out of a rut by breaking them into more successful franchises, spoofing on Medal of Honor, Everquest, Grand Theft Auto, and more!

The Bread Line: EA doesn't have far to go to make the best Simpsons game ever, but if the premise of mixing crazy video game powers, video game cliches, video game levels, and Simpsons humor works then they might have made one of better games of all time- period.

TimeShift (Vivendi Games)

For a long time it's been a GAMERS' EYE punchline, but it appears that somebody at Vivendi finally had enough and threw a bunch of cash at developers Saber Interactive and told them to fix this mess. Suprisingly, it looks like Saber may have accomplished something here -- by improving the graphics considerably, altering the story, and tightening up the controls, Timeshift is no longer the ugly duckling of FPS games.

Slestak's Take: What a difference time and money make. The game looks and feels nothing like the craptastic demo that was foisted upon us nearly two years ago. The online multiplayer actually looks pretty weak, but as a single player experience Timeshift might acutally be worth your, uh, time.

Virtua Fighter 5 (SEGA)

Sega's popular fighting franchise goes online on Xbox Live. They've had 8 months since it's offline PS3 release to polish the game, add more items to dress up custom players, and prepare downloads for the microtransaction avalanche. It's ported from the latest arcade build which makes me wonder why there are still arcades- and where the Hell are they?!

The Bread Line: Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter have always been the Coke and Pepsi of the 3-D fighting game genre. You prefer one but you'll reluctantly take what their serving at the time. Since Def Jam Icon is undrinkable and it's going to be many months before Soul Calibur IV releases this one is the only water in the Xbox desert if you want to get your fight on.

Viva Pinata: Party Animals (Microsoft Game Studios)

If the title didn't clue you in, Party Animals is a party game set in the Viva Pinata series universe. If you've ever suffered through the horribly obnoxious television program, you'll be displeased to learn that the game is set in the TV world, and all the characters will behave and be voiced as they are on the Saturday morning stinker. There are mini-games and more mini-games.

Slestak's Take: I hate to play this card, but there's no reason you should be playing this unless you are seven years old. It looks pretty, as Rare handed over all their assets to developers Krome Studios to poop out this game for them, and while I doubt the game will be completely terrible, it is a kiddie game and even Tupacolyte has better things to do than waste his time with this one.

Also coming in October

Mobile Ops: The One Year War (10/1)
It's some first person shooter mech battling type game that I swear has come out twice already. You don't care and neither do I. It would go big in Japan, but they don't like FPS or Xbox 360s. If you are interested just get LOST PLANET instead.

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage (10/2)
It's Full Auto without guns, but with ragdoll physics thrown in. This game has a flat tire. (Slestak)

NBA Live 08 (10/2)
The only reason to play this game is for some quick, cheap achievement points. You may debate on the better soccer, hockey, and football games, but when it comes to the Association, 2K is in a league all by itself. (Bread)

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (10/2)
I don't even have to play the demo to be able to answer this question -- FOE. (Slestak)

SEGA Rally Revo (10/9)
Race around the world over all kinds of terrian because it's some sort of rally type race game. It probably offers online multiplayer and a bunch of different cars. (Bread)

Avatar: The Last Airbender -- The Burning Earth (10/16)
When I was hunting last month I ate nothing but hot and spicy brats wrapped in tortillas. Unfortunately, this game is not about this earth-scorching dump I took in the woods. (Slestak)

Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles (10/16)
It's that huge $30 Oblivion expansion that can now be bought retail for $30. Since it also comes with the $20 Knights of the Nine quest this is cheaper than the Marketplace, but you'll need a copy of the game too- so just grab the Game of the Year edition of Oblivion and get it all for $60. (Bread)

Thrillville: Off the Rails (10/16)
Theme park sims are usually pretty tedious, even when you throw in XTREME COASTARZ. No thanks. (Slestak)

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (10/23)
Fly around in supersonic jets and blow the hell out of everything. For only $149 you can buy the version bundled with the flight stick controller. No living room should be without a toy jet cockpit, toy guitar, and toy drum set. (Bread)

America's Army: True Soldiers (10/23)
Instead of paying $60 for an interactive recruitment video, just head down to the recruitment office next to the comic book store. They'll pay YOU instead! (Slestak)

Cars Mater-National (10/23)
It's another game based on that movie "Cars," because there were too many questions left over from the last one. Apparently with all new international characters this time. (Bread)

Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition (10/23)
Yo, poopie! It's tha illest chess joint in da world! Bobby Fischer 4 life! This shit is off tha hook! (Slestak)

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary (10/23)
It's a 10th anniversary release of the first Tomb Raider game rebuilt from the Tomb Raider: Legend engine. You can download the game as 4 separate episodes from the Marketplace or raid the whole thing from a store for only $30. (Bread)

Bee Movie Game (10/30)
Cutesy licensed platforming pap, based on the movie you will be dragging the shorties to see this fall. (Slestak)

See you next month!

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   Joe Dirt's Halo 3 Midnight Launch Experience
by Joe Dirt on Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:24 am

Clicky on the image to take you straight to the video.

Video above tells the story. Typing is overrated.

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