Your Yakuza: Dead Souls Swag Contest Winners!

Yakuza Dead Souls Swag Contest Winners
Greetings Sugarfiends!

I’d like to thank everyone who entered our swag contest last week, few things make me happier than hearing people talk about their experiences with games, and I earnestly enjoyed reading through responses that reminded me how lucky Sega is to have the fans it does. The downside is there can only be three winners this time around.

Earlier this morning I fed all your names into our RandomTron 5000, which harnesses the power of science to give us our winners.

Congratulations go to Xenoguard, Allie Ramstad, and Win Umali – please check your inboxes today.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, we’ll try to do something like this again soon.

Gamesugar’s Yakuza: Dead Souls Swag Contest!

Yakuza Dead Souls Contest
Hey there kids!

This week I’m catching up with the zombie filled streets of Sega’s latest Yakuza game, and though I’m not quite finished grinding through the horde, I do have a chance to offer fans an opportunity to score some Dead Souls swag, courtesy of Sega of America.

Sega’s gone a little cosplay crazed, so three lucky people have the chance to win a prize pack consisting of Goro’s signature eye-patch, Shun Akiyama’s necklace, a dragoon tattoo sleeve, and a pack of Yakuza playing cards.

All you have to do to enter is hit up the comment section of this post between now and 11:59pm est on Sunday April 1st, 2012 – and tell me why you’re a fan of the series. If you’ve never played a Yakuza game before but find yourself curious now, you can alternatively tell me what sparked your interest. On Monday April 2nd I’ll pick three of you at random, so please make sure to use a valid email address when leaving your comment.

Good luck!

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Audio Bits – The Darkness II

The Darkness II Developer Interview
Earlier today I had a chance to sit in on a developer call for 2K’s The Darkness II. Digital Extremes’ Sheldon Carter and 2K’s Dan Schmittou answered a variety of questions, including a few of mine, discussing the game mechanics, co-operative play, Jackie’s quad-wielding ability, and the comic book inspired art direction for the sequel, which hits shelves next week.

Since I always enjoy listening to the people who make games discuss their work, you can catch the full audio recording of the discussion below, which runs about fifty minutes.

 

Be A Cat

ChatChat
VVVVVV creator, Terry Cavanagh has offered a curious distraction recently with ChatChat, which has replaced my daily requirement of cat memes by giving me the opportunity to live and play as a cat in a free-to-play space with others, all within my browser window. The ready availability makes it easy to push work aside and return to find a little more each time.

It all begins with naming yourself, and being assigned a random cat color while materializing at the doorstep of a house that has no entrance, but does provide a doormat where you can place the trophy mice found throughout the single map.

I’d only just started exploring the different areas when another cat ran up and asked me to follow, leading me through one of the game’s secret passages that hid a series of piano keys – the other cat began walking over them to produce notes while I purred approvingly, having already learned that typing /purr would produce the imagined action. You can also try /meow, /nap, and /screech.

Today’s cat adventure revolved entirely around the matter of dogs – being bit by one had the curious effect of turning me into one. Biting another cat or leaving a mouse offering on the doorstep returned me to cat form, and wanting to get to the bottom of this dog business led me to a hidden dog statue where players were making mice offerings in order to become dogs – strange religious animal activities are afoot.

The game’s only instruction is “be a cat”, and as you might have guessed, it’s a very strange bit of business being a cat in this space. Naturally, that’s all the excuse I need to recommend you check it out via this handy link.

Cats, Unicorns, and Other Games of Interest

The Difference Engine
Back in December I was fortunate enough to attend the Women in Film, Games and New Media Conference at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Along with a keynote from journalist Leigh Alexander and an afternoon of talks on media, technology, and the gaming space, the event also featured games from the second round of the Difference Engine Initiative.

The DEI brought together women from different disciplinary backgrounds for a series of sessions that saw each produce their own games, and I’ve recently been informed that these projects are now available online, you can find them right here in fact.

On that note, I’d like to give two thumbs up to TypeCat, a game that uses cat memes to teach players how to spell like an Internet champion, and Unicorn Justice Fighter / Unicorn Robber Baron, a game I believe merges my love of both Unicorns and Tron – those two games have certainly succeeded in robbing me of time this week.

Definitely consider taking some time to check out all the projects, once again by clicking right here.

You can also watch video from the conference, including Leigh’s keynote, by means of this handy link right here.

Lenin’s Pigeon, and Other Tales of Interest

Lenins Pidgeon
With the tide of Holiday releases unleashed and digested, fragments of info for other gaming destinations have begun surfacing once again, making a pleasant excuse for grab bag posts with misleading headlines.

My itchy trigger fingers got a tease with Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture announcing that their co-developed shooter, Sine Mora, will be exclusively hitting Xbox LIVE Arcade courtesy of Microsoft – the tease of course being the lack of any date or pricing. If you’re unfamiliar with the “diesel-punk shoot ’em up,” I shall again attempt to point your interest in the proper direction – namely here.

And not to be left out of the bullet party, G.Rev released video for their HD release of Under Defeat, which is currently set to hit Japanese Xbox 360’s and PlayStation 3’s next Spring. The buzz so far is that the 360 version will not be region-free, so catch the video below and then commence harassing your publisher of choice. Perhaps we can organize some sort of letter and signal flare campaign…

And finally, Nintendo fans should be made aware that Club Nintendo Rewards will now be offering the chance to trade reward coins for downloadable titles, at least for a little while. I was able to log in briefly to the site, which has since imploded for the day, but the rewards section showed the WiiWare title Fluidity, 3D Classics: Xevious, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! and the original Super Mario Kart.

Trading coins for digital titles sounds good to me, and wondering how far Nintendo will expand the offering of titles is a pleasant distraction from the debate over what Miyamoto’s interview with Wired does or does not mean.

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X’11 – Hands On With Dead Island

dead island
In the latest installment of our 254-part series “Games Sugar Played at X’11” we have Dead Island, much-anticipated co-op zombie masher.

This particular demo was timed, so I quickly set about grabbing my weapon—a wooden paddle—and getting down to business. The business of zombie-murder, that is—and as several franchises can attest, business is good.

The beach I stepped out onto seemed safe enough, until a zombie came up at my flank and grabbed a hold of me. A prompt informed me that I should pull the left trigger, setting the zombie up for a pull of the right trigger that socked him directly in the face, staggering him away.

This was actually one of the more satisfying moments in the demo, so intuitive that I didn’t actually need to see the second prompt to know what the game wanted me to do.

Now the zombie was down, but he wasn’t out—he was climbing back to his feet. I swung the paddle and he crunched nicely, but to my surprise, he endured.

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