Games for Lunch: Alan Wake

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Games for Lunch chronicles the first hour of a different game every weekday. Each hour ends with the answer to the only question that matters at that point: Do I want to keep playing? For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.


Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: Being a writer takes you to some dark places.

0:00 The first and last time I saw a live demo of this game was way back at Microsoft's X06 event in Barcelona. Back then I called it "definitely one to watch for." Today, I guess we'll see if over three years of watching out have paid off.

0:01 A man with a flashlight looks around nervously. Zoom out as we see he's framed by the massive "A" in the "WAKE" of the brightly lit title. I press start and a lighthouse appears with ominous white smoke rising up to a bright moonlit sky.

0:02 Subtitles are disabled by default. Am I the only one who likes using them by default?

0:03 Selectable difficulties are Normal, Hard and Nightmare, the last of which is locked. If Normal is the lowest, doesn't that make it "Easy," technically? It's what I choose, anyway. 

0:04 "Stephen King once wrote that, 'nightmares exist outside of logic...'" Horror story characters always question why, but answers are not and should not be forthcoming, according to King. So I guess we shouldn't expect a lot of concrete explanations from this game, huh?

0:05 "My name is Alan Wake. I'm a writer. I've always had a vivid imagination, but this dream unsettled me... So yes, it began with a dream." He's driving on a coastal road, desperately trying to reach a lighthouse for some unremembered reason. He hits a hitchiker, who lies unmoving... unblinking. "He was dead," Wake self-narrates before the headlights go out and the man disappears. "Episode 1: Nightmare."

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Dead Space 2 Unmasked

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm

The official release of the first Dead Space 2 trailer is here,and along with lots of quick shots of drippy Necromorph monsters, it gives us our first-ever look at protagonist Isaac without his mask on. It's definitely a teaser so there's not a lot of solid info there, but give EA a pass for that, primarily because Dead Space was great and I can't wait to play the sequel.

Next Call of Duty Game Revealed Tomorrow

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 11:00 am
By Alexander Bevier


Just in case you weren't tired of hearing about the Call of Duty franchise and the going-ons about the company behind it, Activision announced that a new Call of Duty -developed by Treyarch- will be announced at Gametrailers this Friday. A teaser trailer will most likely be available then.

Through all the hustle and bustle around Infinity Ward, Respawn Entertainment, and the people leaving Infinity Ward to join Respawn Entertainment, it seems like odd timing to announce a new game in the franchise (although two are currently known to be in development). The game is speculated to take place during the Vietnam War. The other game in the works is an adventure title made by Sledgehammer games; a company forged by the former heads of Visceral Games.

Treyarch's new Call of Duty game will most likely come out in November. 

The Top Ten Sexiest Cosplayers on the Internet

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 9:32 am
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The Nerdiest Hotties
As conventions and gatherings crop up across the country, swarms of Cosplayers don intricate costumes of their favorite characters and come out to show off their efforts. Some of these people like to show off more than just their costumes, much to the delight of those around them. So, here at Joystick Division, we've decided to take on the nearly-unbearable task of finding, ranking, and presenting the sexiest ones out there on the internet. All for your enjoyment. So you'd better like it!

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Tecmo Bowl: Throwback Hits XBLA Today

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm
We're not big sports gamers 'round these parts, but there are some sports games that appeal to even non-sports guys like us. One of those games was the original Tecmo Bowl. The long-awaited update to said classic arrives on Xbox Live Arcade, and if you're like us you might wanna check it out. Go local sports squadron!

Hands-On: Alan Wake

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm
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I was pretty surprised this morning when a thin package on my doorstep was revealed to contain a final retail copy of the long-awaited thriller Alan Wake. Like many gamers, I've been eagerly anticipating the game for years, so obviously I dove right in. The embargo only allows me to talk about the first episode, so read on if you want to learn my spoiler-free take on how Alan Wake's story begins.
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Infographic: How Would Arizona Change Gaming?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:49 am
Arizona, my home state, has been making news lately - alas, not for our rugged and beautiful natural landscape, our amazing hotels and dining options, or even our uncommonly great freelance game bloggers. No, it's been for advancing wacky far-right political causes. 

While other concerned citizens were protesting at the capital, I decided to pull some Arizona legislators aside and ask them: What would they do if they got a chance to pass bills on gaming?

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(Click to embiggen)

Play Super Mario Bros With Other Classic NES Characters

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

Well, this is just awesome. Indie game developer "Exploding Rabbit" has recreated Super Mario Bros with one important twist - you can play through it with characters from The Legend of Zelda, Contra, Castlevania, and Metroid. In Super Mario Crossover, each character controls just like they do in their own game, so Bill from Contra can shoot in multiple directions, Link has both his sword and boomerang, etc. Each character feels pretty distinct - for example, Simon's double jump is helpful, yet tricky to master. In other words, you should totally check it out. It's available to play here.

Red Faction Movie Coming to SyFy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 10:22 am
By Alexander Bevier

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If anyone said that THQ's Red Faction was getting a television movie a year ago, I would have said "What's Red Faction?"* All of a sudden, Red Faction: Guerrilla is released in building-demolishing goodness and a TV movie makes perfect sense. The movie is intended to be a backdoor pilot (a stand-alone film that will hopefully turn into a full series) for Syfy.

Broadcasting & Cable spoke with Syfy's senior VP, Alan Seiffert who said that Red Faction "It is the kind of content that fits our genre". Considering that Red Faction takes place on Mars, and Syfy likes shows that take place in space, it seems that the two will work well together.

Syfy and THQ announced their partnership back in February, and a television version of de Blob will be made for the little nerdlings too young for Syfy's other programs.

*Editor's note: I, on the other hand, have very fond memories of the original Red Faction. Then again, I'm old.

The First Halo Reach TV Ad

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:37 am

I attempt in no way to hide my excitement for the Halo: Reach beta, so when Bungie rolls out one of their gorgeous live-action TV ads, you won't see me complaining. I will however question the necessity of it. Rarely do you ever see big money spent on promoting a beta build of a game -- and with the vast amount of mindshare that Reach already commands -- well, it seems unnecessary. 

I suppose the bottom-line is that it's not yours or my money being spent (discounting of course what we paid for their products over the years), so to hell with necessity -- keep those beauties coming!