2013 March

March 26, 2013

Signing Off to Visit Columbia

 

Today a little known game called Bioshock: Infinite was released. I am now heading off from my site duties to fire up the game and well, it maybe some time tomorrow before I sleep. Brad was playing the PC version of the game last night for a bit when it unlocked at 11pm Central time and did nothing but walk around and listened to the captivating score. Yesterday, in preparation, I popped in the original Bioshock, though the games story is completely unrelated, the game has aged well and seeing Rapture for the first time is still just as mind blowing. Bioshock was something fresh, new, and exciting. It was a FPS, but it made you use your surroundings, made you think outside of the box, and genuinely care about characters. I will never forget the time I accidently hit the wrong button and siphoned a Little Sister instead of saving her, I lost it. It was a game with deep, thought provoking material; more book smarts and less Michael Bay approved explosions. I am hoping Infinite is half of what it’s predecessor was, I am in for quite a mind blowing ride. Now I am off to find my Skyhook and save Elizabeth from the sprawl in the sky known as, Columbia.

March 26, 2013

Xbox Live Update: Huge Spring Sale

 

There is a huge spring sale that went live this morning on Xbox Live with some enticing deals. There isn’t much in the way of add-on’s or demos other than the Bioshock: Infinite season pass which will net you 3 future add-on’s at a discount, the pass will run you 1600 MP. Just a reminder, the next game from Behemoth, the creators of Castle Crashers, is out next week. Battle Block Theater will run you 1200 MP. There are two sales, the normal Deal of the Week which consist of Transformers, and then the Spring sale which consist of a lot more. Here are the details:

 

Deal of the Week:

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron varies by region
Transformers: FoC  Dinobot Destructor Pack 400 (50% off)
Transformers: FoC  Multiplayer Havoc Pack 400 (50% off)
Transformers: FoC  Massive Fury Pack 400 (50% off)
Transformers: FoC  G1 Retro Optimus Prime 160 (50% off)
Transformers: War for Cybertron varies by region
Transformers: WfC  Map and Character Pack #1 200 (50% off)
Transformers: WfC  Map and Character Pack #2 200 (50% off)

 

Spring Sale:

Assassin’s Creed III GonD $59.99 $39.99 33%
Walking Dead Ep 1 400 0 100%
Walking Dead Ep 2 400 200 50%
Walking Dead Ep 3 400 200 50%
Walking Dead Ep 4 400 200 50%
Walking Dead Ep 5 400 200 50%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dawnguard 1600 800 50%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Hearthfire 400 200 50%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dragonborn 1600 800 50%
Hitman Absolution $29.99 $19.99 33%
Hitman Blood Money $29.99 $9.99 67%
FIFA Soccer 13 GonD $59.99 $39.99 33%
Max Payne 3 Local Justice Pack 640 320 50%
Max Payne 3 Rockstar Pass 2400 1200 50%
Max Payne 3 Hostage Negotiation Pack 800 400 50%
Max Payne 3 Painful Memories 800 400 50%
Max Payne 3 Deathmatch Made in Heaven 800 400 50%
Resident Evil 6 Additional 3-Mode Pack 720 360 50%
Resident Evil 6 Survivors Game Mode 320 160 50%
Resdient Evil 6 Onslaught Game Mode 320 160 50%
Resident Evil 6 Predator Game Mode 320 160 50%
Resident Evil Operation Raccoon Echo Six Expansion Pack 1 800 400 50%
Resident Evil Operation Raccoon Echo Six Expansion Pack 2 800 400 50%
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade: SSFIV ARCADE EDITION Pack 1200 600 50%
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade: Arcade Challengers Pack 320 160 50%
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade: Ultra Complete Alternate Costume Pack 1440 720 50%
Just Cause 2 GonD $24.99 $9.99 60%
Dead Rising 2 GonD $29.99 $14.99 50%
Dead Rising 2 Skills Pack – Ninja 160 80 50%
Dead Rising 2 Skills Pack – Sports Fan 160 80 50%
Dead Rising 2 Skills Pack – Soldier 160 80 50%
Dead Rising 2 Skills Pack – Psycho 160 80 50%
Dead Rising 2 Case Zero 400 160 60%
Dead Rising 2 Case West 800 320 60%
Spider-Man 3 GonD $29.99 $14.99 50%
Spider-Man : Shattered Dimensions GonD $29.99 $14.99 50%
Midnight Club: LA GOND $14.99 $9.99 33%
Midnight Club: LA South Central Ultimate Content Pack 1000 480 52%
Midnight Club: LA South Central Vehicle Pack 1 240 120 50%
Midnight Club: LA South Central Vehicle Pack 2 240 120 50%
Midnight Club: LA South Central Premium Upgrade 800 400 50%
L.A. Noire GonD $29.99 $14.99 50%
L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass 960 480 50%
L.A. Noire Reefer Madness 320 160 50%
L.A. Noire Nicholson Electroplating 320 160 50%
L.A. Noire A Slip of the Tongue 320 160 50%
L.A. Noire Naked City 320 160 50%
L.A. Noire Badge Pursuit Challenge 160 80 50%

 

Once again the first episode of TellTale’s excellent The Walking Dead is free and the whole game is a paltry 800 MP, if you don’t have it yet, get it. Just Cause 2 is $10, and well worth it if you are looking for a game you can loose hours in just fooling around. There will be a deal next week on Microsoft Studio games, not sure what that entails yet, but as soon as I know you will.

March 26, 2013

Borderlands 2 newest playable class

If you’ve been grinding along in Borderlands 2 and Thought to yourself the game simply didn’t have enough variety for your taste then perhaps the latest playable character class will quench your thirst for more.

Krieg the Psycho has been introduced based on the delightful psychos present throughout the game. He wields a large home made axe and will specialize in crazy. This particular class will benefit from running into horded of enemies head on with no regard for self preservation. His special skill will be “Blood Axe Rampage” and will cause you to run into the middle of a blood bath and regain health for plowing through baddies. Krieg is a bit larger than your average psycho and dawns a bit more gear. This addition should make for highly interesting game play.

I gotta hand it to Gearbox for keeping the game fresh through golden keys and periodically adding content. Not many games these days maintain their playable value as well the borderlands series does.

 

March 25, 2013

Gaming in Stereo: Weekly Releases

 

I apologize again for missing last week, I caught something that had me incapacitated last week and even posting headlines was a feat; but this week I am back and so is my regularly scheduled articles. This week on Gaming in Stereo we will listen to two tracks from games that had or have released this week. They are both renditions from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, though both are very close to their original compositions. This week Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon saw release on Sunday and Bioshock: Infinite makes it along waited debut tomorrow. The tracks are from their predecessors. If I wasn’t broke and had to chose which game I got this week, I would have been playing Luigi’s Mansion already while waiting in line tomorrow for Bioshock: Infinite. Both are great series and seeing both back after such a long hiatus is a welcome site. Enjoy!

 

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Luigi’s Mansion: Main Theme – London Philharmonic Orchestra

The original theme was composed by Kazumi Totaka, who also voices Professor E. Gadd in the game. Totaka has provided soundtracks to other Nintendo games such as Yoshi’s Story and Animal Corssing, but those are nothing like the fun yet haunting tracks of Luigi’s Mansion. The Main Theme has that classic Mario magic feel to it, but it also feels like it fell out of a Tim Burton film that was scored by Danny Elfman. It’s light heartened but has enough villainous, dark tones to feel like it properly fits in a haunted mansion. Just listening to this over an over again makes me want Halloween to be every day. I, for one, and very happy they finally made a sequel to one of my favorite GameCube games.

 

Bioshock: The Ocean on his Shoulders – London Philharmonic Orchestra

Bioshock was not only a revelation in the FPS genre, but it gave new meaning to the term “atmosphere”. The shrill of the muted brass at the beginning gives way to the terrors that await you in Rapture, though slowly taper off to the beautiful violin showing the beauty of this once great city on the ocean floor. Irrational Games has a knack for creating beautiful, realized worlds; Rapture was full of promise, scientific genius, and yet, full of maniacal men driven mad by greed and power. Gary Schyman did the original score for Bioshock and Bioshock 2, he has returned for Bioshock: Infinite. It just so happens his musical genius was also heard in the depths of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, another favorite game of mine from this generation. Enjoy!

March 25, 2013

Infinite Crisis coming to the moba Scene

 

Today, Warner Brothers Interactive announced that the DC Universe will be making its way to the MOBA scene this year with Infinite Crisis. Infinite Crisis will be a free to play MOBA produced by Turbine, the people behind Lord of the Rings Online. The game will feature characters from across the DC Universe like Gaslight Batman, Green Lantern, and Doomsday. Here is the roster so far:

 

Nightmare Batman

Doomsday

The Flash

Gaslight Batman

Gaslight Catwoman

Gaslight Joker

Green Lantern

Poison Ivy

Shazam

The Joker

Wonder Woman

Zatanna

There will be more champions announced at later dates until the game is released, but the roster is looking good so far; I love the inclusion of the Gaslight Batman series, fighting Steampunk crime never looked so good. Infinite Crisis is still in alpha, but you can sign up to join in on the beta right here. WB Interactive dabbled a little with licensed MOBA’s with Guardians of Middle Earth; while I enjoyed the game, there was some balance issues and some horrific connection issues that pretty much killed it. Hopefully we will get to test the game out later this year. The official announcement trailer is below and some shots from the alpha build. Is there room for another MOBA? Will the community be world better than the LoL community? Does this logo for Batman completely rock?!


 

March 25, 2013

Burning Debate: Next Gen and Used Games

 

The PS4 will not block used games. There has been a lot of speculation about the next generation of consoles and if they will indeed, block used games. Now, if you are not familiar with the debate, if you buy a used game from a retailer like Game Stop, the developer and publisher get nothing for it, the money you spend goes into Game Stop’s pocket. Games are becoming more expensive to make and market, rumor has it tomorrow’s release of Bioshock: Infinite was around 100 Million to make and 100 million to market. In theory the game would have to sell 4 million new copies to come out on top, for a game that is as deep as Bioshock, it can be kind of hard in the post Call of Duty era. Now, I am not against used games to an extent. Some times there are titles out there that leave print and the only way to obtain them is through the used market and you can typically get them on the cheap. Now Sony and Microsoft have been doing things like Games on Demand and full digital downloads of games, but the prices never reflect the current market or the age of the title. Lets look at an example, Rainbow Six: Vegas. I purchased this title with the very first 360 I bought back in 2006. On Amazon you could have the game new for $13.71 plus shipping, Game Stop has the game for $2.99 used and is with in 4 miles of my house, and Xbox Live have the game for download for $19.99. The most attractive is the $2.99 and that I can have it today. There was an article on Forbes recently, via a hint from Joe “ScrotusKilmystr”, about how the blocking of used games could alienate gamers into one console or another, or leaving for the PC. I agree, we could see a very divided console cycle if one blocks and the other doesn’t. Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network have done a lot to get games available for download but the prices are ridiculous. If they want people to shy away from used games, but don’t want to alienate them from their consoles, there needs to be Steam like sales and pricing. This goes not only for games but DLC as well. DLC prices need to age accordingly, it is absurd that I still have to pay 800 MP ($10) for a Call of Duty 2 map pack that was released back in 2006. If the game has been on the market for more than 3 years, the DLC should roll over and be free. It is content that already has had its audience, and now is taking up space on the marketplace servers waiting to rot by it’s over inflated price tag. I do want to see the developer get its due for the DLC but how many people buy DLC for a game that is over 3 years old and are willing to pay the full price for it? It will be interesting to see how, closer to their launch, the new consoles will handle this issue with Steam and the mighty deal busting PC looming over head.

March 25, 2013

MMORPG Update: PAX East 2013 Round-up

TK MMORPG Update PictureLast weekend saw the spectacle that is PAX East 2013 in Boston. If you were lucky enough to go we hope you had a fantastic time, if like me you watched from afar, perhaps not as far as the UK though, I thought I’d do a quick update on the MMO side of things at this years event. Blizzard Entertainment promised us something new would be announced and they didn’t disappoint, there was plenty of speculation before hand about them perhaps revealing more information about Titan or some new content relating to Diablo III, but instead they gave us Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft which is billed to be a new digital card game where players build card decks based around one of nine WoW character classes. With all the excitement it definitely warranted a bigger piece on the blog and you can find the full story about Hearthstone here: http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft/. If you were at PAX East you would have been able to try out the game now and reports coming back are positive from gamers – although they don’t see anything particularly groundbreaking it’s perfect for your ‘off-wow time’. For the rest of us the beta should be coming soon – there is currently no set date at present.

PAX East Logo

On the MMO expansions side a few interesting ones were announced: CCP Games announced EVE Online’s next expansion, Odyssey, due for release on June 4th 2013; and Cryptic announced the first expansion for Star Trek Online, Legacy of Romulus, due for release on May 21st, this gives players the ability to play as a Romulan and captain a Warbird-class vessel. On the flip side ArenaNet confirmed that we won’t be getting an expansion for Guild Wars 2 anytime soon, the game’s developers are focusing instead on more immediate content releases to make the game as good as it can be.

We recently also had a piece on the blog about Runescape and Jagex announced Runescape 3 at PAX East 2013 which improves on the last 12 years of the original game’s development. You can check out why you might want to play Runescape in our MMORPG Update piece titled ‘Discovering Runescape’: http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-discovering-runescape/. The release takes advantage of a new game engine and will run faster and look better, although you will still be able to use the old Java client if you want.

Newcomer to my world of MMOs was F2P MMO City of Steam from Mechanist Games, described as an “industrial age fantasy in a fallen world” the game mixes fantasy with industrialism. Good reports are coming out from the PAX East weekend about this game and it will be going into beta sometime soon, the developers tell us that they are hoping to launch sometime in the next few months.

Blizzard were also showcasing their Diablo III’s console edition and hinted that it might not stop at just the PlayStation 3 and 4. Check out the trailer shown to gamers at the Blizzard booth here:

There was of course tons more information available over the weekend and if you are interested in what else happened or other PAX events a good starting point is the website here at: http://east.paxsite.com/.

March 24, 2013

Preview: Bioshock Infinite

 

In the world of Bioshock Infinite you are a Pinkerton agent (an early 20th century mercenary) named Booker DeWitt hired to find a woman namedElizabeth who has been imprisoned in, literally a city in the sky, namedColumbia.Columbia was a city at the pinnacle of American culture until things inColumbia went drastically wrong and the city disappeared mysteriously into the clouds.

After you meetElizabethyou find that the only way you can get her out of the city is to augment you own abilities with hers and escape before the city in the clouds falls to the ground. You will have to surviveColumbia’s inhabitants who are in the throws of a full on class war and will try to stop you from takingElizabethfrom them.

The pedigree of the Bioshock franchise is very good and the first installment was ground breaking in a world of mindless FPSs it brought intelligent, engaging story telling to an otherwise run n gun genre. Bioshock II was more or less a mega-sized DLC pack that continued the story of Rapture and added some cool new mechanics to the game play. Let us not forget a multiplayer component that was fun for a time, really lacked the polish that the campaigns of Bioshock 1 and 2 possessed. In other words it needed more time in the oven to fix all the issues that crippled game play, at least for me, from day one.

It seems that 2k and Irrational Games are going all out with a budget busting advertising campaign and an off the chart developing budget I hope this game is going to live up to its predecessors and pays off for companies! They are also offering a season pass for around $19.99(1600MSP) that will include 3 add-on packs that they promise will add hours of more game play in the cloud city ofColumbia. When you purchase the season pass you get, at no additional charge, the Early Bird Special Pack, that will give you special gun skins, damage upgrades, infusion bottles that you can upgrade health and shield durability through the use of “vigors” found through out the game.

Bioshock Infinite releases world wide on March 26th 2013 for the PC, XBOX 360, and PS3! I for one am ready to explore the world of Bioshock once again and can’t wait until the 26th!

If your looking for the story of Columbia before the events of the game look on Amazon for the E-book Bioshock Infinite: Mind in Revolt check it out here!

 

If your looking for more information on Bioshock hit the official page at the link and don’t forget to leave a comment after you check out the videos and screen shots below..

 

 

 

March 22, 2013

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone wallpaper

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft wallpaper available at: http://eu.battle.net/hearthstone/en/media/#wallpaper

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the the upcoming release of a new free-to-play strategy card game for PC, Mac and iPad which will be called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There will be a hands-on demo at PAX East this weekend, but beta testing is coming soon. To make sure you are ready for the beta just make sure that you sign up for this in your beta profile settings on battle.net.

In the game, players build card decks baed around one of nine WoW character classes (we don’t know what the nine will be as yet out of the available classes here: warrior, paladin, hunter, rogue, priest, death knight, shaman, mage, warlock, monk or druid) and play each other for the chance to win new cards… oh, and for the win, we can’t forget about that! The game is designed so that all players, even if they have never played WoW before, will be able to pick it up and start playing straight away. You will be able to play against the computer in practice matches, pitting your wits against some of the great strategists of Azeroth, and take on your friends via your battle.net friends list. You will also be able to play in two competitive game modes:

Play Mode
A typical head-to-head with a chance to increase your ranking and earn new cards.

The Forge
Players start with a new deck of cards and use that to play other Forge challengers. Players will not only be able to win new cards but add to their collections by buying new card packs or disenchanting existing cards to craft ones that they might be missing.

There will be hundreds of different cards to choose from featuring all your favourite characters from WoW, their spells and weapons, but it will be up to you to build your deck and create winning strategies.

March 22, 2013

Capcom is Bringing Back an 8-Bit Classic: DuckTales

 

Announced to day at Capcom’s PAX East panel, they are bringing back one of the greatest titles to grace the NES, DuckTales.  DuckTales is getting it’s makeover courtesy of WayForward, the great people that brought us Mighty Switch Force, A boy and His Blob, and Double Dragon Neon. I had the original cartridge and have found childhood memories of both the game and show, it’s a shame Disney doesn’t make quality shows like this anymore. The game will have a few upgrades like leaderboards and a tutorial level on how to learn the pogo, and digitally enhanced soundtrack; which is fine as long as the “Moon” soundtrack stays intact. “The Moon” is still considered one of the best Chiptunes of all time and as I write this I am listening to it, and it is awesome! This remake screams nostalgia and I will be picking it up day 1, which it is coming this summer. It will release on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U. I can’t wait to revisit Duckburg with Scrooge McDuck, and catch up with Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The official trailer is below and the quote from Tim Schafer is priceless. This made my day, weekend, month, and year; and yes, I did sing along with the trailer.

 

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