Like a lot of you, I watched NVIDIA's press conference with my jaw firmly on the floor when Project Shield was unveiled. It's a true Android gaming portable, built from the ground up to make a great gaming experience - not a phone or a tablet that also plays games, with varying degrees of efficiency, like Sony's now outdated Xperia Play or Archos' Gamepad. And it's made by NVIDIA, the company with the most to gain by expanding the platform's gaming horizons.
The middle class is disappearing. The national debt is big enough to fill Cowboys Stadium with hundred dollar bills. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo gets 2.5 million viewers an episode. The future of America looks bleak, folks - so let's celebrate it in point-and-click form. The Great Fusion is an old-school point-and-click adventure in the vein of Leisure Suit Larry, Monkey Island et al. It paints a worrisome picture of the year 2022, when the United States has collapsed and hope for the future is lost.
Well, that didn't take that long at all. Less than a month after we first heard about Shaquille O'Neal starring in a post-apocalyptic game that features mutant zombies (yes, you read that right), it's already released! The not-quite-sequel to Shaq Fu, a game so bad that people devote actual time and money to liberating it from existence, brandishes an entirely different gameplay style. Whereas the original was a fighting game along the lines of Mortal Kombat, this game is closer to the second week of Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World.
Of course it wouldn't be a new month without a roundup of last month's very best games. December, like most months, saw the launch of plenty of great titles. Checking out every last game that debuted in a month can take a long time, though (besides racking up a pretty hefty total). To that end, we have – as always – compiled a short list comprised of six of December's best offerings.
Time to grab the closest energy drink, sit down at your biggest, baddest, multi-monitoriest coding rig and get cracking on some game ideas, devs! Ouya has announced a 10-day competition that will challenge contestants to come up with an Ouya-compatible app from scratch. The shindig gets started on January 14th and from that point, participants will have until January 23rd to submit a playable demo of their original game.
The contest is being put on in partnership with Kill Screen, which will be reviewing the entries.
NVIDIA slipped a surprise into their CES press conference this evening: a short and sweet look at Dead Trigger 2. As the only technical demo for the screaming Tegra 4 platform, it looked mighty impressive - based on the streaming video, the graphics look just a little behind the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 level. The short demo video showed live game video of the player wielding an M4 machine gun to dispatch an enormous building-sized zombie.
The comings and going of ants are rarely fodder for a good strategy game, but when you think about it, they're tailor made. Ants have lots of natural enemies, a hive-mind social structure for you to command, and ants don't take crap from anyone (ever step on an anthill?). In Ant Raid, you take command of a group of anthropomorphized ants under attack from all sides. Snails, wasps, and all manner of other small-stature troublemakers are out to destroy the colony, and you're the only one that can stop them.
NVIDIA's jaw-dropping Tegra 4 and Project Shield demos showed off a lot of impressive hardware, but any gamer will tell you: it's all about the games themselves. To that end, they've revealed a few of the games currently in development and set to take advantage of both the Tegra 4 and Shield's console-style controls. We've already seen Madfinger's Dead Trigger 2, but on the shiny new Shield website, there are brief glimpses of other titles.
If you've been following PC gaming, you know that Valve has big plans for its Steam platform. NVIDIA wants to leverage the new "Big Picture" mode (a TV user interface, designed to make a gaming PC work more like a game console) with the brand-spanking new Project
Thor Shield mobile gaming device. At the CES press conference, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed off the Shield Hardware streaming live PC games from a local machine running a high-end GTX 680 graphics card.
If you've got fond memories of spending Saturday morning watching the antics of Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, and Dick Dastardly (themselves based on The Great Race from 1965), then you should check out Steampunk Racing 3D. While it doesn't have the same abundance of personality as the Hanna Barbara classic, it's definitely got the cartoonish exaggeration down pat. In this full polygonal racer, you're tasked with navigating your steam-powered contraption through an Industrial Revolution setting while dealing with other racers, with varying degrees of prejudice.