2012 May

May 31, 2012

New Dishonored Screenshot

Dishonored by Bethesda is starting to sound like one of the upcoming behemoths, next to Bioshock: Infinite. The concept of the game is interesting, especially since it is a completely different direction from the other games Bethesda has recently produced (huge sandbox style) but maybe Dishonored will hold true to that pattern. As I keep an eye on the new content that is coming out for this game, I can’t help think of two different things: Bioshock, and steampunk. Steampunk is a ‘hell yeah’ in my book, but the game as far as the lighting and the style looks a lot more like Bioshock than a typical Bethesda game. One theory for this is that Bethesda typically designs game with huge outdoor gameplay. Think Skyrim, Morrowind, RAGE and the list goes on. I am excited to see this game as it develops, I just hope it doesn’t end up being a remake of a different game. Bethesda in the past has proved they are great at coming up with something unique and exciting, so lets hope that Dishonored is something different and not another RAGE in the steampunk dark ages.

May 30, 2012

Premium Game Services?

I got to thinking earlier today with the news about Battlefield 3 Premium and Call of Duty Elite that a new trend is starting to happen in the gaming industry among larger game developers and publishers and that is the availability of Premium Game services to gamers.  Currently I’ve only seen this with modern FPS but I’m suspecting it’s going to start being a trend coming shortly as Call of Duty Elite already has 2 million subscribers.

 

I come from a PC gaming background so I find these services to be a bit comical because the majority of their offerings are things the PC gaming community has had for over a decade and they have traditionally been free.  Call of Duty Elite primarily allows you to compare your stats other fellow gamers.  It also gives you access to DLC early and for free most of the time.  This in itself isn’t a bad thing but it’s something thats been traditionally ‘gratis’.  Additionally I remember getting made fun of for paying 12.99 for a subscription to EVE Online, World War II Online, and others for games that have a massive amount of content and huge expansions.  Games that are much larger and more in depth then the two heavy hitter FPS but suddenly it is now ok because it’s Call of Duty Elite or Battlefield 3 Premium?  The Xbox Live + Call of Duty Elite and/or Battlefield 3 Premium cost well over what any monthly subscription will cost you playing WoW.

 

 

My biggest concern with premium game services isn’t that you get all the DLC for free that in itself is kind of cool actually.  My biggest concern is that you can’t get a refund or choose not to get a less then stellar product.  Lets take Modern Warfare 2 for example.  The map packs were basically rehashes of maps released in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and I didn’t personally consider them worth $4 let alone the $15 buy in price.  If gamers have already paid for the map packs it means they can basically release several quickly hobbled together products and call it a wrap and Activision has already proven they are more than willing to do that.

 

I sadly think that the days of being able to choose which expansions you want, at least on the console, are coming to an end.  If you can require a customer to purchase a $75 yearly subscription in addtion to the game vs enticing them with four $15 map packs which are you going to choose?

 

What do you guys think of premium game services?  Do any of our readers currently use Call of Duty Elite or going to be purchasing Battlefield 3 Premium?  What are your thoughts?

 

May 30, 2012

Price and Date of Battlefield 3 Premium Service Leaked

Reportedly a PSN EU update has revealed a price and date for the Battlefield 3 Premium service.  According to that the Battlefield 3 Premium will cost gamers £39.99/€49.99/AU$79.95  anually and will be available for all on June 4, 2012

 

Eurogamer spotted this but has since been removed.  A formal reveal is expected at an E3 press conference next Monday.

 

Similar to Call of Duty Elite, paying customers of the Premium Battlefield 3 service will have access to DLC early and for no further cost.  Call of Duty Elite has 10 million registered users and two million of those are paying customers.

 

According to IGN “An alleged English fact sheet for Battlefield 3 Premium, also leaked out of Europe (via German site gamersunity.de), claims Battlefield 3 Premium subscribers will also have access to a unique in-game knife, a variety of exclusive soldier and weapon camos and other perks, like “queue priority into servers” and exclusive double XP weekends.”

 

– Source Eurogamer and IGN

 

May 29, 2012

Diablo III cracked regardless of the Blizzard countermeasures

Well Blizzard FAILS. Blizzards attempt at security by requiring always on DRM, and screwing legit players in the process, has failed. The game has been cracked and people are now playing for free. But not only are they playing for free, offline cracks are emerging so not only is Blizzards baby being stolen, its being played offline without Blizzard server and client issues. Currently I cant play because the servers are down. OK, maintenance I get it, but Im feeling a little shafted by the fact that someone who has stolen the game can play problem free without Blizzard interruption while I, a legit paying consumer, cant play due to down time because of an ill prepared launch and disconnects when the game is up and live.

 

However as much as I hate to say it the cracking and piracy of DIII is a two sided coin. Do I condone the theft of the game? No, absolutely not. But I also get that Blizzard may have sparked a piracy movement against themselves with their always on DRM tactics. Of course there are always gonna be those who are pirating and stealing simply due to douche baggery. But I think a large portion of any DIII piracy will be in response to Blizzard’s always on DRM. EA did the always on DRM thing with SPORE and that game broke records for piracy the year it was released, all because EA wanted to shove DRM down our throats with an always on policy. This will very likely get worse before it gets better and its a damn shame this has to happen like this. Both the consumer and the publisher/devs get screwed. That said, if you know a hacker punch them in their fucking face because its their fault we have to deal with this shit.

May 27, 2012

Inside the voices of Batman: Arkham City

 

Rocksteady has released an inside look at the voice overs for Batman: Arkham City. The game is getting a Game of the Year Edition and this video is to coincide with that release. The Game of the Year edition is to be released this coming Tuesday in North America and will include the the core game plus all the DLC that has been released including a new piece of DLC centering around Harley Quinn. Now the box art has some huge issues, not with the art itself, but the all the accolades around it. It’s just plain hideous. The video below is impressive as we get to see Mark Hamill take to the recording studio in what would be his last performance as the Joker. To see him and Kevin Conroy do their lines back and forth brings a tears to the eyes. I grew up with Batman: The animated series, to me there is no one else that can take their spots as these characters in the animated realm, so getting to see this video was a real treat for me. I reviewed the game last year and it received a perfect score and I still stand by that score, the game is the perfect Batman experience. With Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog set their bar for a sequel incredibly high, as did Rocksteady with Arkham City. I have faith in Rocksteady to bring us a sequel, though unannounced but come on you know it’s being developed, that will rival Arkham City’s greatness. Enjoy the video and if have yet to play the game, you owe it to yourself to do so.

 

May 27, 2012

Dump Bin Diving: Stranglehold

                                                                                                  

 

With the recent release of Max Payne 3, bullet time is back in the spot light; though some may not be at an opportunity to pick the game up due to family vacations, summer college courses, and real life getting in the way of precious gaming time. Well, I dove into the dump bin and pulled out one of my favorite games from 2007 that emulates the 3rd person, bullet time action of the Max Payne series with surprising results and is light on the price tag. Enter Stranglehold, a Hong Kong action film disguised as a game that is fueled by Mr. Bullet time himself, John Woo. Stranglehold was a sequel of sorts to John Woo’s Hard Boiled. You played detective Tequila, modeled and voiced by Chun Yun-fat as he tracks down a cop killer and dispenses justice with his two “friends”. Tequila goes through various locations, from a market, to a penthouse, to a shanty drug town dispersing gangs and crime syndicates with a symphony of bullets and explosions. This is where the games magic comes through; watching the carnage you bring to life in glorious slow-mo is like nothing else. Yes, Max Payne did bullet time first, but Hard Boiled was the inspiration for the gun play in Max Payne series. Max Payne does do story telling better by leaps and bounds, but Strangleholds concerto of slow motion, bullets, and explosions holds its own in the game play department. Speaking of explosions, the games levels has destructive elements that would make Michael Bay happy. The game is a little on the short side you could fly through it on an easy difficulty over a weekend but replaying the game finding new ways to take out enemies is great fun. I found the game at my local GameStop, used with a perfect case for $3.99! The game runs new for around $12.99, but even at that price it’s a steal. There is a demo available on XBL and the PSN so you can at least give it a try. If you don’t have the funds to grab up Max Payne 3 (which is fantastic I might add), Stranglehold is a great alternative.

 

+ Great game play that holds strong though out the game

+ Bullet time is great

+ It really feels like a John Woo action flick

+ Destructible environments that is impressive even to this day

+ A cavalcade of great looking explosions

– Story is paper thin

– The game is a little on the short side

– Unreal 3 can rear its ugly head with texture pop-in

– There is a multiplayer mode, but no one plays it anymore

 

Verdict: Cheaper than a movie ticket and better than most of what’s out in theaters.

 

May 27, 2012

Congratulations to Witcher 2 giveaway winner!

 

Congratulations to The Mesanoic on being our Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition giveaway winner! The Mesanoic will receive a brand new copy of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition complete with all the great goodies in that package. Thanks to everyone that submitted comments for the contest and there will always be another contest here at TheGamersBlog. The Mesanoic, you will be contacted via email on how to redeem your prize. Thanks to everyone again!

May 24, 2012

Capcom celebrates 25 years of Street Fighter and my wallet becomes a bit thinner

 

Yesterday Capcom announced this awesome package celebrating 25 wonderful years of Street Fighter. Say what you will about Capcom as of late, but this package screams greatness. Unlike the Mario and Legend of Zelda 25th anniversary packages or lack thereof, Capcom is delivering this amazing package that will be out on September 18th. The collector’s edition will run you $150 but as an insane amount of content. Here is everything the set includes.

 

  • Past and Present Street Fighter Games – Playable on current gen PS3™ and Xbox 360 console systems, the four critically-acclaimed titles selected from the star-studded catalog are: Super Street Fighter® II Turbo HD RemixStreet Fighter® III 3rd Strike Online EditionSuper Street Fighter® IV Arcade Edition with all costume DLC, and Street Fighter® X Tekken® including all character and Swap Costume DLC.
  • Exclusive Video – The two-disc Blu-Ray set includes a documentary that highlights the profound influence the franchise has had on fans – and vice versa – throughout the years. The collection of videos also includes Street Fighter®IV and Super Street Fighter®IV Anime movies as well as all episodes of the Street Fighter animated series and Street Fighter®II: The Animated Movie.
  • Light-up Ryu Statue – A specially commissioned and highly-detailed collectable Ryu statue stands prominently at 8” tall and features the iconic character in mid-Shoryuken, with flames lit from below.
  • 11-Disc Soundtrack – Street Fighter game music spanning the past 25 years, in addition to remixes and fan-created music inspired by pastStreet Fighter games .
  • 64-page Hardcover Art Book – A tribute to Street Fighter game fans from all over the world, the art book includes fan pieces submitted by professional and aspiring artists alike.
  • Ryu’s Belt – Created to regulation specs, the full-size martial arts black belt is a replica of the one Ryu wears and even includes his classic “Fūrinkazan” in kanji!
  • Certificate of Authenticity – Each Collector’s Set comes individually numbered complete with a certificate of authenticity.

 

I am glad that I held off on buying Street Fighter X Tekken because I will be putting up the money for this collection. Pre orders are now being accepted through the Capcom store, I don’t know if it will be available at any other retailer. What do you think, pretty impressive for milestone celebration?

 

May 24, 2012

Ticket to Ride now on Steam!

The digital version of the board game Ticket to Ride is FINALLY available on Steam after being on XBLA for nearly four years. As a HUGE fan of the actual board game, I cannot recommend this game enough. It’s a game lighthearted and fun so that people who don’t want a super serious game can play it, but it has enough long-term strategy and planning as well as the ability to disrupt your opponents’ plans so that people looking for a higher-level board game can easily enjoy it as well.   Maybe shamelessly stolen from Steam's own page...   The Steam version even has all the expansions that the actual board game received, Europe, Switzerland, and America 1910 available as separate DLC for two to four dollars. If you purchase this week before Thursday the 31st you can get the first one, Europe for absolutely free! And again, I cannot speak high enough praises to this game, so for a paltry ten bucks (compared to the forty the actual board game costs) you get a fantastic game you can play with friends and family.

May 23, 2012

Going Out of Business Sale Win

Game stores are closing left and right, and that saddens us all. That being said, there are some great things to be found at those final clearance sales. Today, I got a copy of Star Wars Episode I: Racer for Nintendo 64 for $6. Cool, right? Well… I also kinda got a custom-made, locally printed, colossal Gears of War 3 Poster

Couch and guitar present for scale... and use.

There are many things that label me a nerd, though that geeky coffin got another nail in it today. If posters in general are a tad juvenile, game posters must be puerile. So what about one that’s bigger than the 40″ HDTV on the opposite wall? Bad social stigma comes with such a thing being in ones private residence, I’m sure… But you know what? I don’t care. In the words of Jim Belushi, if you gotta eat it, don’t nibble. My media room deserves nothing less than whole-hog nerd decor. (I’ll just have to break that room to women gently…)

Side note: I’m a graphic designer. I even designed the logo for this very site. I randomly stumbled upon a sale that had a one-of-a-kind poster for one of my favorite games designed and printed at a local shop. Coincidence? Absolutely. But it’s still how I justify buying this asinine thing.

-BlackRift-

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