Urgent Frequency Ep. #76 The Tester Season 2 Update with Sam “Doc” Castannon III

Back by popular demand…Sam”Doc” Castannon III stops by to talk about his new podcast, and to update us on The Tester (Season 2).

Plus, Urgent Fury Command passes along hard dates regarding Urgent Fury:Cold War. And confirms the launch of  a TACMAP tournament event for Call Of Duty:Black Ops for both PS3 & XBox.

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Urgent Frequency Episode 70 – What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Since this is a family podcast…we can’t show you what really happened in Los Angeles during E3. But, PSNation.org’s Glenn Percival tells everything!

FEATURING Linkin Park’s “The Catalyst”. Available on iTunes.

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Urgent Frequency Episode 69 – Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3 Tester

This week we feature a special guest as Inadub prepares to try and Test the waters:

  • Sam “Doc” Castanon III from Season One of the Tester tells how it is
  • Prize Packs prepare to ship
  • Sit Rep
  • and so much more…
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Urgent Frequency Episode 68 – E3 The Debrief – Part Two and More

Part 2 is loaded with info about the South Hall at E3 including:

  • An exclusive interview with Craig Owens of EA
  • An exclusive interview with “Doc” of the Tester Season1
  • A round table with Owners Shane, AC and John along with special guest Bill F’kn Murray
  • How I owned the Devs of Medal of Honor
  • And a Prize Pack beyond any ever done with the new command at Urgent Fury
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Commander Fury reviews SOCOM 4

It was August 27, 2002. The day that changed my life as a gamer. The day that my mysterious lady was born.
She was so mysterious in fact, that her name was an abbreviation. Special Operations COMmand or SOCOM, as I like to call her, was magnificent. And, she had everything.

Thanks to the PS2’s nifty Network Adapter, I could play online with 15 of my closest friends (that I’d never met). Her COMs featured a fancy-schmancy voice command system, that was so unique, she came with her very own USB headset. Her COMs also allowed me to voice chat with my team mates during the game, and in the lobby (the first game on the PS2, to do so).

I’m talking complete clan support. I could create, and name my clan. And could actually manage my clan (and my Socom friends) online, all with the press of a few buttons.

I could even create, customize, and name private rooms. All that, and her crazy third person POV, which allowed me to see how cool I looked as a Navy SeAL, was a match made in Heaven.

Every night, for hours at a time. Sometimes until daybreak. I would become a US Navy SeAL. One of the most elite war fighters in military history. And I would hang out with people from all over the world, and play a game that would eventually, become a part of my life.

Then, as the years passed, she changed. My mysterious lady had become something else. And, the more she changed, the further I felt from her. Eventually, she became impossible to enjoy.  And our relationship became a string of broken promises. It was over (or so it seemed), and I was heart broken.

Don’t get me wrong, I tried to forget her. To just move on.

Like others, I was tempted by Modern Warfare. I mean, let’s face it…she was beautiful, with a control scheme & Singleplayer story to die for. But, no matter how great she was….she was no SOCOM.

Then, in June, I went to Los Angeles to see her (SOCOM 4 @ E3). I had heard that she was back in good hands (Zipper Interactive), and that she was looking much better. But, I had to see for myself.

As soon as I grabbed the DualShock, it was obvious that this was not the SOCOM that I’d grown to hate over the last 2 years.  This was familiar to me. Very close to the game that I fell in love with. The controls just felt like SOCOM.

Gone was that #[email protected]%* circle menu. I wasn’t tripping over propane tanks. And there weren’t 9000 birds flying around in a circle (BTW…I never did get that Slant 6…you went through alot of trouble to make those birds, and to make them destructible…but why?). There were stealth kills, air strikes, and “iron sights“. Yes, I said  “iron sights” (finally) in SOCOM 4.

In the Singleplayer campaign, you play as Commander Cullen Gray, a NATO Spec Ops officer in command of a 4 person fireteam. The team is comprised of 2 American operators named Schweitzer and Wells. And 2 South Korean operators named Chung and Forty Five. Veteran SOCOM players will recall that Forty Five is one of the original female combatants from the original SOCOM. And, Zipper was sure to point out, that the character is “vital to the story“. The plot of the Singleplayer story plays out over a 6 day period, somewhere in southeastern Asia.

With a revamped reticle/crosshair, and a more natural gameplay mechanic, I felt like I had more control over my commando. And, with all-new squad commands (via a very simple D-pad configuration), I felt like I was actually in control of my team, as well.

I mentioned the addition of  “iron sights” (classic FPS view, where you actually look down the sights of your weapon while aiming) to SOCOM 4. With this very basic addition, my aim was almost flawless.

The cover system took me a second to figure out, but once I did, it was quite helpful overall. While in cover, you can peek and fire, which really helps when you encounter more than one enemy. There was also a noticeable improvement in the accuracy & hit detection departments. For instance, if I shot a tango in the foot, he fell to the ground, holding his foot. If I shot him in the arm, he lost use of that arm. If I scored a headshot, he didn’t do anything else, ever.

A new “single button” grenade mechanic (again…finally), with an improved “arc” & blast radius, make frag grenades user friendly again.
And of course, Sprint & Melee’ are still part of the control scheme, with the buttons mapped out a la’ COD/MW (L3/R3 respectively) .

Visually, the game looks wonderful. While COD/Modern Warfare still wears the GFX crown, SOCOM 4 gives the franchise a noticeable (and much needed) face-lift. The lighting seemed much more natural. Textures & backgrounds looked much deeper, and the cutscenes came off like “reality television“, complete with the live feel of a “shaky” cam.

Sonically speaking, the audio in the demo was spectacular. Authentic “battle chatter“, and combat SFX only add to the robust gunplay.

Apart from the single-player mode, the game will also feature an online mode which supports up to 32 players, and has been described as an “an all new experience” by Zipper. But, we’ll just have to wait, as no further details about the Multiplayer mode were made available by Zipper @ E3.

All in all, I know that there will be SOCOM purists, who will still try to find eveything wrong with SOCOM 4. But, the one thing I took from this brief encounter with my old flame, is that she seems to be back, and maybe…just maybe…a little better. And, while any intel regarding Multiplayer is still tightly under wraps, if the Singleplayer mode is any indication….there just might be a future for me & my beloved SOCOM after all.


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Urgent Frequency Episode 67 – E3 The Debrief – Part One

Commander Fury and Travis Steiner

So as many have been waiting for, we spent E3 gathering intel for all of you guys and well instead of spoiling it for you, I just will let you start with Part 1 of our 2 part series for the E3 Debrief…

Audrey Cleo with Commander Fury and Shane Bell of Urgent Fury
Audrey Cleo with Commander Fury and Shane Bell of Urgent Fury
Commander Fury and Kevin discover the pleasure of the Move
Commander Fury and Kevin discover the pleasure of the Move
The Urgent Fury Crew with Travis Steiner
The Urgent Fury Crew with Travis Steiner
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E3 2010 Wrap Up, so much to do, so little time to do it all

As many know this is the first time that Urgent Fury has atteneded the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This is a major step for Urgent Fury. In attendance were William Murray (FW’s Wolf Dog), Patrick Gross (Commander Claymore Fury) and myself, Shane Bell, CIO Urgent Fury. As you can imagine this was a major step for Urgent Fury. We spent time meeting with the major players in the industry with full acceptance as well as being snuffed by a major player as well.

Of course one of the most anticipated games for Urgent Fury is Socom 4 and yes we spent quite a bit of time with Zipper discussing this… we cannot reveal most of our discussions, but needless to say “WOW”. You will hear more in the podcasts coming up. I will say from my perspective (playing since S1) Socom is back with a Vengeance.

We also spent some much needed time with EA and DICE as they presented Medal of Honor’s Multiplayer to us. I will have to say that this is a great looking FPS for UF to add to our line up for 2010 – 2011.

Also in the mix we took a look at Brink from Bethesda which includes an intense Multiplayer as well. Though it is delayed for release in 2011 we will keep this in our scopes for some tournament play.

So of the biggest things, I will say that the debut of 3D gaming by PS3 and the 3DS are the leaders. Though many say it is a trend, I tend to disagree. Microsoft is still lagging behind in my opinion. They finally have added the built in wireless (about time) but still no Blu-Ray support, so you got to get that separate. And well no 3D either…

Patrick, WIll and Shane with Travis Steiner, Socom 4 Lead Designer Zipper Interactive

Everyone will be happy to know that you do not have to purchase a new PS3 to get 3D, it will come in the firmware updates. Also the addition of Playstation Plus for only $49.99 a year made its appearance at the Playstation Press Conference. Great price for lots of goodies, I recommend everyone gets it.

So this is a very short wrap up to the many things that came out of E3, be sure to listen to the upcoming Podcasts as we go into detail about all that was E3 and UF.

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