Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.



Go Diego Go!

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 17 November 2010No Comments

Hydravision Entertainment has announced that is bringing colourful 2D puzzle platformer Funky Lab Rat to the PlayStation Network.

In a plot that recalls Twisted Pixel’s ‘Splosion Man, you’ll be playing a test subject desperate to break out of a research facility. However, instead of inhabiting the deranged mind of a pyromaniac, you’ll be stepping into the miniature shoes of a daring rodent named Diego.

You’ll be forced to meddle with time and gravity as you strive to survive 81 levels packed with diabolical traps. The announcement trailer actually provides a pretty decent snapshot of the gameplay, but only if you’re willing to endure more than 40 seconds of filler at the beginning.

Funky Lab Rat is compatible with Sony’s motion sensing Move peripheral. You do get the feeling however, that you’ll be better off with the good old DualShock 3. Thankfully, the game also supports that option.

Funky Lab Rat will be available on the US and European PlayStation Network store in late November 2010. An Australian release date is yet to be confirmed.



Gran Turismo 5 is real!

Posted by Erin Marcon On Tuesday 16 November 2010No Comments

More than 20 years ago, I sat at my mother’s knee as the Berlin Wall fell. She tousled my hair and said, “You know son, there are certain things that you just don’t expect to see in your lifetime.” While I didn’t really appreciate the enormity of the events at the time, I think I now finally understand what she was going through.

After five long years of development and numerous delays, Sony has brought the seemingly impossible within reach, announcing that Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 5 will be released on Thursday 25 November 2010. Even as we speak, the North Pole is being inundated with hastily revised Christmas lists.

The Gran Turismo series kicked off in 1997 and is considered by many to be the signature racing brand of the PlayStation era. Gran Turismo 5 will feature more than 70 track variations and over a thousand cars. Sadly, Mum’s old Austin Tasman does not appear to be one of them.


R.U.S.E. Review

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 15 November 2010No Comments

The first thing you’ll notice about R.U.S.E. is its daring presentation. The combat zone is depicted as a scale model sitting on a table in a murky war room. Units are represented by colourful poker chips and troop movements are illustrated by arrows sweeping from one end of the table to the other. You can then magnify your view to the extent required and once you’re close enough, the poker chips will be replaced by more realistic models of your soldiers, tanks and aeroplanes. Alas, the bold art design is undermined by frequent texture pop-in. This is probably to be expected when the camera is zooming, but it also occurs during lateral camera movement. The animation and special effects also have a distinctly budget feel. Read the rest of this entry »


New Media 1

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Sunday 14 November 2010No Comments

Presented in glorious alphabetical order, New Media: Retail Roundup is your indispensible checklist of the home console and handheld titles arriving in stores this week. What will you be playing?

MICROSOFT XBOX 360 Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood * Brunswick Pro Bowling * Crossboard 7 * Dance Central * Dance Evolution * EA Sports Active 2 * Fighters Uncaged * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows * Kinect Adventures * Kinectimals * Kinect Joy Ride * Kinect Sports * Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet * Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit * Sports Island Freedom * Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

NINTENDO Wii Disney Chanel All Star Party * Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure * Combat of Giants: Dinosaur Strike * EA Sports Active 2.0 * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows * Karaoke Revolution: Glee * Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet * Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit * Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 * U-Sing 2: Australian Edition * We Sing: Robbie Williams * Wheel of Fortune DS Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows * Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet * The Penguins of Madagascar

SONY PLAYSTATION 3 Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood * EA Sports Active 2 * Get Fit With Mel B * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows * Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet * Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit PSP Nothing

VARIOUS PC Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows * Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit * Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.

New Media: Downloadable Digest is your handy reminder of the downloadable titles released during the past week.

MICROSOFT XBLA Faery: Legends of Avalon * Guwange * The Undergarden

NINTENDO WiiWARE DSiWARE Legendary Wars: T-Rex Rumble * Robot Rescue

SONY PSN Nothing PSP MINIS 3, 2, 1… Supercrash! * Fort Commander II: Counterattack * Jewel Keepers: Easter Island

VALVE STEAM Call of Duty: Black Ops * Guardians of Graxia * The Undergarden