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Square Enix’s Latest Action-RPG Surprises Reviewers With Story and Depth

We’ve been really excited for the past few months as we continued to work on NIER with Square Enix.  The game had so many spoilers and so much content to hide it presented quite a challenge when it came time to demo and show it off.  It was so fun to take it on tour twice and never mention key plot points like the Shadowlord, multiple books and critical story arcs.  The goal?  To leave people wanting more and create some suspense during review playthroughs.

And we couldn’t be happier to see that the reviewers have enjoyed it as well.  While some express consternation over not being fully briefed prior to review, others have embraced what the game has to offer – namely an engaging story, multiple endings (one of which is truly epic), and unique characters.

As with any game, it has its strong points and weak points, but the overall experience has proven to be more than the sum of its parts for most reviewers.  As a result, it’s fair to say that NIER is rolling into “sleeper” territory.  Just check out some of the reviews:  Strategy Informer, GamingUnion, Bitbag, and PSXExtreme all weigh in with 8/10 scores.  Other outlets like Zeitgeist apply no score but talk about the amazing story and characters.

If you haven’t checked out NIER, you really should!

We Pwn Media and Show Off DLC FPS Awesomeness in San Francisco…

We just completed a nice preview event in San Francisco with our partners at Ignition Entertainment for their upcoming FPS Blacklight: Tango Down. It’s always fun doing hands-on with competitive shooters – me loves to pwn media. 🙂

So, what’s BLTD, you ask?  The short of it is this — a multiplayer-focused, Unreal Engine 3-powered, near-future FPS that will available only through digital download for an expected price of $15.

Yes – Unreal tech, tons of modes and maps PLUS co-op, for a quick $15.  My nephew is pretty stoked about this one already.  And rightfully so.

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Nothing Comes Between Us and Our Coverage

There is a good looking man in this photo. Unfortunately, he's the one IN the GAME.

So, we’ve been working with Square Enix on their upcoming Action-RPG NIER for quite a while now, releasing cool videos, feature assets packs and providing product demos.  Sure, we haven’t said SQUAT about the story details… but we’ve been setting the stage for some big reveals.

But you know what?  That wasn’t enough.  Oh, no, we had to go all the way, and put a public face on the game.  And that face?  None other than MavPR Partner, Matt Frary.

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BREAKING NEWS: PR Firm Finds Client’s Product to be “Awesome”

Ya ya… but in this case, it happens to be TRUE.  If you haven’t seen the news and review pouring in about the ASTRO Gaming A30 Cross-Gaming Headsets, you’re missing out.  Especially if you happen to be one of the following people on this earth:

  • Xbox360 or PS3 Gamer
  • PC Gamer
  • DS, PSP Gamer
  • iPod/iPhone, Blackberry User and Gamer
  • Skype User
  • Music Listener
  • Movie Watcher

OK, so I know you’re covered in that list. And if you are, than you already know how hard it is to find headphones that can let you listen and talk through Xbox Live, move to your PC, and then still be cool looking enough and flexible enough to plug into your iPhone and take out on the streets.

This is what the A30 does.  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out IGN’s review, where the A30s receive the highest headset rating to date. Take that Tritton and Turtle Beach.  🙂

I use mine every day to Skype, talk on my Berry, listen to music, and to kill YOU in Left 4 Dead 2 PC.

Last week it was the First Look Previews and GameSpot’s accompanying exclusive... this week, it’s a first look for everyone else as NIER‘s very first gameplay trailer broke exclusively on GameSpot last night, hitting on the top of the Xbox 360 and PS3 pages.

Head over to GameSpot to take a peek at some of the secrets in store in this very mysterious game, and keep an eye out elsewhere as the video spreads later today!  [if embedding is malfunctioning, CLICK HERE]

Video Game Media Take First Real Look at cavia Inc and Square Enix’s Upcoming Action-RPG

We already talked about GameSpot’s first preview that hit as the lead story on the site (and eventually propelled the game to the most popular game overall on GameSpot – nice!), but shortly thereafter, previews sprung up around the web on other outlets as well.

We’ve seen previews hitting on 1UP, TeamXbox, IGN, Destructoid, and GameRevolution and we haven’t even taken the wraps off the story quite yet.

Congrats again to the NIER team at Square Enix!

GameSpot Is First Outlet To Go Live With New Preview of Square Enix and cavia Inc’s Action-RPG NIER

We’ve been working somewhat behind the scenes on NIER for a while now, methodically plotting and executing its reintroduction to the world like Dr. Evil in his underground lair.  While it’s slated to release in Spring 2010, nobody has really seen what the game truly is.  Until now.

GameSpot is the first media outlet to start taking the wraps off of NIER, posting their exclusive first-look preview tonight that reveals the game’s RPG gameplay and features, Nier’s powerful magic and the twisting storyline of a father trying desperately to save his daughter.

There will be more previews coming up tomorrow, but in the meantime, grab a piece of a really thorough and informative preview over on GameSpot right now.

We’re really excited to be working on the game, and even moreso to see the previous months of work starting to pay off for the game, and the team!  Congrats everyone!

And you can keep up to date on NIER news and assets by checking out the game’s bran-new Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NIERgame

Our friends over at Destructoid picked up on our release about Matt Hazard hitting 1,000 friends over on his epic, badass (and such) Facebook Page.

First of all, let’s all acknowledge that nabbing 1,000 friends is a pretty solid achievement for a classic video game character.  For reference, we are now only about 350 fans behind the much-ballyhooed and uber-hyped “Master Chief.”  Clearly that guy’s fame is all smoke and mirrors!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we dove deep into the Hazard archives and found other major achievements in Hazard’s history that involve the number 1,000.

My favorite?  The reference to the lost game Corona and its repetitive Bungie-jump Gameplay design… you can check all the fun facts out right here on the Facebook Page, or hit the Destructoid link and read them there!

Meanwhile, we totally love the commendation offered up from Destructoid, as they open their story thusly:

You really ought to commend the folks at Maverick PR (and Vicious Cycle Software) for their work on Matt Hazard. They’ve done a tremendous job of creating a back-story for the videogame character who’s got a fictional past, both in and outside of the games.

Hazard rolls on as Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond gets closer to ship.  Remember, the Facebook Page is the official online home for all things Hazard, so you can check him out and keep up to date there.  Also, Hazard is running his own Twitter account – which is interesting to say the least – which you can find over at @HowHazardRollz

Follow him… OR DIE! 🙂 (that’s a joke, by the wayOR IS IT?!?!?! (it is).

We’re happy to report that Just Cause 2 looks awesome and is showing off its grapple + parachute stunt-filled combat explosion open-world hijinx.  Can we make that its own genre?

Recently we had a chance to set-up some in-person, hands-on showings of the game for some sites here in North America, and we’re really excited to see some great coverage hitting from the visits.

But, rather than us telling you JC2 is a great game – which I’m sure you kind of expect us to do — why don’t you take a peek for yourself at what the professionals have to say about it:

Kotaku | Joystiq | Destructoid | Game Revolution | Gaming Target


OOW Multiplayer Mode Gets a Hands-On Showcase in San Francisco to Online Outlets

We love going to San Francisco.  Really we do.  We’re there quite a bit.  In fact, besides cities that I’ve lived in, I would say I have spent most of my time in San Francisco.  To be fair, the entirety of my knowledge of SanFran revolves around a small, 5-block cluster centered on the W Hotel, The Palomar, The Argent (now Westin), 1UP and GameSpot… and then a tiny peninsula in South San Francisco.  So… I’m no tour guide.

This, the view from the Westin, is all I ever see of SF. If you look hard, you can see Alcatraz back there.  I've never been there.

View from the Westin: all I ever see of SF. If you squint, you can see Alcatraz . I've never been there.

However, I do know where everyone works.  So when Maverick was tasked with whisking Order of War up to San Francisco for a showcase of the game’s cool multiplayer mode, we had a pretty good idea of what we needed to do.  So off we went!  And, we had a great time talking about the game and facing off head-to-head with some of the industry’s top PC journalists in the two maps we were showing.  I can’t say I was victorious often, but it was a blast either way.

Take a minute to check out some of the coverage that has hit online since our tour.  You can find it here on IGN, GameSpot, Kotaku, GamesRadar, 1UP and Worthplaying.

I utilized my rocket artillery with much ballyhoo, but alas, most editors shamed me anyway.

I utilized my rocket artillery with much ballyhoo, but alas, most editors shamed me anyway.

And keep an eye out for the multiplayer demo – 2 levels of WWII strategy action are going to drop on your head this coming Tuesday – 9/15!!