Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every Thursday.
In this week's Video Games Plus, we've got a brand new Transformers trailer, rumors of the PlayStation 4, a review of the excellent "Ridge Racer: Unbounded" and finally a way to win a million dollars by playing video games.
New Transformers Trailer Brings the Noise
Lots of giant robots. Check. Shots of said robots engaging in armor-to-armor combat and transforming into cars or jets. Check. Tons of explosions everywhere. Check. That about covers the first official gameplay trailer of “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron,” which was released this week by Activision.
We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention a cameo appearance (at the 1:24 mark) of Grimlock, the powerful Dinobot, who can change into a cyber T-Rex.
Overall, it looks like “Fall of Cybertron” is shaping up nicely. Last year’s movie-inspired “Dark of the Moon” was perceived as a bit of a letdown, so Activision is emphasizing that this new game is a revisit of the critically-acclaimed “Rise of Cybertron,” which was also set on the Transformers’ home planet of Cybertron.
“Fall of Cybertron” promises to take fans through the darkest hours of the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons as they fight for control of their dying home world, ultimately leading to their exodus from home.
“Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” is expected to be released on console and PC in the fall of 2012.
MLB 2K’s Million-Dollar Challenge
It may not be the kind of money Albert Pujols makes, but gamers can win a cool million dollars for tossing a perfect game in “Major League Baseball 2K12.” 2K Sports started a competition Wednesday that runs through the end of April called the Perfect Game Challenge.
Here’s how it works: Players who manage to throw a perfect game -- allowing no hits or walks -- in “MLB 2K12” are entered into a pool, from which eight finalists are selected, determined by a dynamic leaderboard that ranks the most perfect games thrown.
The final eight will then earn an all-expense-paid trip to New York City in May to compete in a live, single-elimination tournament at the MLB FanCave to see who walks away with the $1 million grand prize.
Not that getting a perfect game in “MLB 2K12” is easy. Just ask the game’s cover boy Justin Verlander, who, in this new video promoting the contest above, gets a little upset by a Jay Bruce bloop single to break up his no-no.
PlayStation 4 Rumors Heat Up
Although the PlayStation 4 is likely more than a year and a half away, the rumor mill is churning fast.
Many news outlets are reporting that the codename for the next generation Sony gaming console is Orbis, and it will be released sometime during the 2013 holiday season.
Few specifics have been leaked, but here’s a roundup of what’s been circulating about the so-called Orbis:
- This isn’t a shocker, but the system is expected to have better graphics and a super-high resolution better than most current HD TV sets. It will also be able to show full 3D games in 1080p resolution.
- No backwards compatibility with PlayStation 3, meaning you’ll have to keep your PS3 around if you want to play your old games.
- The Orbis may have an anti-used game measure built in that will lock your disc in with a single PSN account. If you decide to trade the game in to GameStop or sell it on Craigslist, the disc might then be limited to a sort of trial mode.
“Ridge Racer: Unbounded” Video Game Review
This under-the-radar version of “Ridge Racer” might be a big departure from previous iterations of the classic PlayStation One-era racing game, but it’s one hell of a ride.
The game is set in the fictional city of Shatter Bay. The goal of the game is to engage in some high-speed destruction to impress the leader of the so-called Unbounded gang, Kara Shindo, and grow your street cred.
The game’s emphasis is on an amped-up version of street racing, in which you drift around corners and tail opponents to increase a “power” meter. Once filled with power, your car gets a speed boost and gains the power to “frag” other cars – crashing them into a fiery piece of wreckage. There’s also a new City Creator mode that lets players design their own tracks, and better yet, upload the tracks, and race people online in their own creations.
The extreme difficulty of “Ridge Racer: Unbounded” may annoy casual gearheads, but the racing experience remains pure adrenaline-pumping goodness.
For more from Ryan Smith, follow him on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter