2013 May

May 30, 2013

eShop Update: Mega Man and Zelda Galore

 

This week is one of most anticipated on eShop in quite a while. First we will start with the 3DS and the due of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons & Ages. Both titles are available at a great price for a limited time. The pinnacle of top down Zelda’s, each title is available for $4.99 until June 20th. Both titles still retain their connectivity, so by completing one, you gain special events in the other. These are two titles that I never had the pleasure of playing, but that is about to change. Also on the 3DS we get The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves. The Denpa Men are all around you, and you must use the 3DS camera to catch them. Once caught the Denpa Men help you across this lovable RPG. The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves will run you $11.99. Seeing all this great stuff coming to the 3DS just reminded me that the 2GB SD card that came with my handheld is pretty full, and I may want to invest in a larger one. Over on the Wii U we have another week of Virtual Console deals. The deal this week includes my favorite Mega Man title and favorite SNES title of all time, Mega Man X. That’s right, Mega Man X has hit the Wii U Virtual Console! The title is available for $7.99, but if you want there is a deal. If you but either Ghouls and Ghost (another awesome Capcom title) or Mega Man X, you get the other title 50% off. The best way to go about this deal is to buy Ghouls and Ghost, which will run you $4.99, then snag Mega Man X for 3.99, making it a great purchase of $9. If you do it the other way and purchase Mega Man first you come out a little under with the total being $10.50. Save the $1.50 and do it the first way, but what ever you do by Mega Man X, I can’t tell you how many times I have played that game and every time, I have loved it. One last thing, there will be a demo for the 3DS title Project X Zone: Imperial, which is an action, strategy RPG from Namco Bandai. What is interesting about Project X Zone is it’s cast of characters from different publishers. We have characters from Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter, Mega Man X, Devil May Cry, Tekken, Dead Rising, Xenosaga, Darkstalkers, Space Channel 5, Valkyria Chronicles, and more. It is a fusion of great characters from some stellar franchises, with some great looking sprites to boot. The demo will be hitting the 3DS eShop on June 4th. Check out the amazing trailer for Project X Zone: Imperial below.

 

 

How awesome was that video?!

May 29, 2013

PlayStation Store Update: Fused with Warriors

 

There is a decent bit of releases this week on the PlayStation store, including a much sought after PS2 classic and the latest from the people behind Ratchet & Clank. The full downloads kick off with Fuse, the latest from Insomniac. I started playing this last night and while a little generic, its quite a lot of fun with some co-op friends. Fuse is available now for $59.99. Grid 2, the sequel to one of my favorite racers of this generation and a product of those fine gear heads over at Codemasters. Grid 2 will also run you $59.99. You can pre-order Naughty Dog’s survival opus, The Last of Us now on the PlayStation Store. The pre-order comes with a free theme and the sights and sounds pack. A classic from my gaming hay day, Wolfenstein 3D has finally made it’s way over to the PSN. This classic will run you $4.99 and will entertain you for months. Funny enough my aunt and uncle still have the old 3 1/2 floppy copy of this game. The Warriors, the PS2 classic from Rockstar is now available for the low price of $9.99. For you Vita owners there is a huge title in the PlayStation Plus Instant Games collection being added this week Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extended. The awesome fighter is free to download if you are a PlayStation Plus member. If you are looking for something else that is free for the Vita, Imaginstruments is a free app that available now. I gave it a shot last night and it’s like having an instant drum machine any where you go. Speaking of Naughty Dog earlier, in honor of Memorial Day there are plenty of new “nation” shirts available to purchase for your multiplayer character in Uncharted 3. The multiplayer has been free to play for quite some time now, and has recently become my new multiplayer obsession, putting a couple hours in every night. Compared to some things on other consoles, it is just refreshing and so much verticality to the maps adds a great sense of platforming. For everything I mentioned and anything that I didn’t cover head over to the official PlayStation Blog.

May 29, 2013

Gears of War: Judgement Tournament This Weekend

 

The Grind eSports will be hosting a Gears of War: Judgment tournament this weekend, and you could win some money while doing so. The tournament will be held this Saturday, June 1st at 3 p.m. EST. The game type is in the flyer, as it will focus on the new Master at Arms game type, and will be played on 4 maps (Boneyard, Haven,Blood Drive, Streets). The sign up for the tournament has been extended to May 31st at midnight PST. There is a $5 dollar fee to enter, but you could walk away with $175 for first place. The tournament will be hosted on a separate US connection and cheaters or glitch exploits will not be tolerated. You can sign up for the tournament by sending the $5 and your correct gamertag over at Paypal to thegrindesports@gmail.com. The tournament will be streamed via Twitch TV, so even if you are not participating you can still check out the tournament action. For more information on the tournament and all the rules head over here  to check it out. I miss playing eSports, I was very much into Gears of War 2 and Halo 3 a couple years back when my brother and a couple of our friends had more time. I miss competing in things like this and MLG’s Game Battles, back when it wasn’t full of Call of Duty and screaming 12 year-olds. Despite my walk down memory lane,  you can check out more information at Epic’s Gears of War community page. I have no idea where I will be this weekend, but at the very least I can watch via my phone’s Twitch TV app.

May 29, 2013

Sonic Lost World Looks….Promising

 

After the warmly received Sonic Generations, I was curious were the blue hedgehog would go. His past has been sketchy at best, for every Colors or Generations, we get a Sonic (2006), Sonic and the Black Knight, or Sonic Unleashed. After the most recent Nintendo Direct we learned that the next couple of Sonic titles were going to be exclusive to Nintendo’s console and handheld offerings. Today we get a look at what Sega has in store for Lost Worlds, and I am happy to say, this looks promising. It looks like a collaboration between the Mario Galaxy series and what Sonic Generations brought to the blue hedgehogs table. They are adding a new trick to Sonic’s repertoire, the wall run. The Price of Persia like move looks like it could add some new platforming challenges and keep the fast gameplay flowing better than ever. The game is coming to the Wii U as well as the 3DS and if the 3DS replicates what we see in the video, the 3D effect could be used to make some stunning visuals. There is a new group of villains, but doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary for the Sonic universe, at least there isn’t no black and red hedgehogs or signs of Dr. Eggman hatching some chaotic monster. The game will be released sometime this year, and I have to admit, I am looking forward to it. I am sure we will get more info in the coming weeks at E3. Anyone else notice there isn’t a single Sonic “friend” in site, this could a good thing.

 

May 28, 2013

Xbox Live Update: The Lull of Summer

 

With the passing of Memorial Day yesterday here in the States, it is considered to officially be summer. With summer comes the great lull in the gaming industry until the end of August. The lull extends to the digital platforms as well and while there is a decent sell this week, the rest of the content is a bit lacking. There are several packs for the newly released GRID 2, each featuring a different theme like the Mclaren F1 Racing pack or an Indy Car Pack, each will run you 560 MP. The Arkham City skins are available for Injustice: Gods Among Us. The pack will run you 240 MP and I could imagine that the rest of the pre-order bonuses are on their way. Gears of War: Judgement’s Dreadnought pack is no longer free and will now run you 160 MP, hopefully if you wanted it you grabbed it during the free period. The Deal of the Week has some huge steals in it, including Dark Souls for a huge discount. If you like action/RPG’s and a crushing difficulty of the NES era, than it can be yours for $9.99. There are some awesome sales on the DLC packs for Tom Clany’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier as well, check out the list below:

 

Ghost Recon Future Soldier GonD $14.99
Ghost Recon Future Soldier Khyber Strike 320 (60% off)
Ghost Recon Future Soldier Raven Strike 400 (67% off)
Ghost Recon Future Soldier Arctic Strike 320 (60% off)
Darkstalkers Resurrection 800 (33% off)
Dark Souls GonD $9.99
Dark Souls Artorias of the Abyss 600 (50% off)

 

Both games on demand titles are a great deal, I paid $60 for Ghost Recon and $20 for Dark Souls, both of which are well worth this sale price. For everything here and anything that I didn’t cover head over to the Official Xbox page.

May 24, 2013

Achievement Tips Day One

 

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Still working on a title for this little project Brad and I have been discussing but the content will be the same. We wanted to do some helpful articles, him doing PC bits, and me on the console side of things. The first thing I wanted to do was hand off some of my Xbox 360 Achievement hunting tips that has helped me garner a 102,684 gamer score in just a few short years. The little sound you hear above have kept me playing games that I would have normally shelved after a play through and while replaying, found new ways to enjoy titles. Granted I have played quite a bit of games to achieve this score, but to have a score like this does not require tons of games. If you think about it over the course of 5 years, 102,000 is not that complicated if you 1000 point games. 102 games over the course of that time would require 20 games per year. But enough with the numbers here is some tips to help you get the most gamer score from your games.

 

1. Multiplayer – First and foremost, if there is multiplayer achievements try to hit those first. Some communities do not last forever despite how much we like a games multiplayer. I jumped on Lost Planet last night, a game that was released in 2006 and a multiplayer I really enjoyed, and it was a ghost town. I found one game that had one person in it, that was it. Turok is another example, I tried playing the multiplayer 8 months after it’s release to get some achievements and 3 people on a Saturday were playing. The last example is Full Auto, I will never 1000 point the game. I have every single player achievement but because less than a year after it’s release the gaming community died and I will never get those. So tip number one, if there is multiplayer achievements and the game does not have Battlefield, Gears of War, Halo, or Call of Duty in the title, do those first. You should do these preferably with in the first few weeks of a games launch, that is when games have been typically the most active.

 

2. Have fun the first play through – Most of my achievements have come after the first play through. What ever I managed to tag on my first play through was just icing on what ever treat the campaign held for me. Enjoy the first play through. Most games, at least the well written ones, have a story to tell and some times achievement hunting through that story can break the experience. So if you just broke the seal on a new game, sit back, relax, and enjoy it. Achievements can bring out the best in a game, like a completing  a stealth run on Deus Ex or Dishonored, but I feel playing the game the way you want to on the first try to enjoy the story is key. Enjoy the game, achievement hunt later.

 

3. If the servers are going to close, jump on those games – just like tip number one, if a company decides to close down shop and take it’s servers with it, hope on those games quickly. I am losing out on some Homefront and Army of Two achievements because of this deal. Homefront’s multiplayer was still active up until the day THQ filed for bankruptcy, that wasn’t the issue. What was the issue is that the servers closed up on that day as well rendering the multiplayer inoperative. EA has been notorious for shutting down their servers rendering some modes inert. I wanted to play through Army of Two (the first title) co-op with a friend over Xbox Live only to find out the serves had been shut down and that I could no longer play the game over Xbox Live, which is a shame. Previous year sports titles are notorious for being shut down as well. If you want some achievements for something like FIFA Soccer 10, you are out of luck. Like the multiplayer tip from above, if you find in the gaming press that servers are about to be shut down and you want those achievements, pop that game in and get hunting.

 

4. Don’t let Achievement hunting be a chore – Achievements should be fun. Most developers, not all, try to make achievements fun and make you play games in interesting ways. Some are pretty straight forward and if the game is fun can be fun as well. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) is a good example. The game is very easy to achieve the 1,000 point max, just simply play through the game. The game though is one of the best Need for Speeds in the past decade and made getting those points very enjoyable. Then there are games that are the opposite like Perfect Dark: Zero that are number hungry and expect you to play several hours of bot matches to get points that are not really worth it. Achievement hunting is a meta game over the base game, the game should be fun. Two of the best times I had in getting achievements were Bastion and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. They are games I adore, but the achievements were fun and really drove some skill into nabbing the 100% completion, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) was another I had such enjoyment finishing to completion. Achievements are work but if you enjoy getting them, they should be fun, not a chore.

 

5. Be proud of your achievements, don’t farm just to farm – Sure there are games out there like Avatar: The Burning Earth that can net you 1,000 points with in 20 minutes. I have never exploited a game for achievements, I am proud of what I have accomplished, you should be to. Yes I know it is just a number, but it’s a meta game I can’t put down. Enjoy the sound of getting achievements, enjoy playing games in a new light, enjoy seeing your score increase. Games are about experiences and having fun, it’s why we play. Achievements can be fun be proud of the fun you have had.

 

I have more tips to give and may include specific games in future articles. I hope some of these tips help in your achievement hunting. If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share that I could include in future articles post them below. I want to do this with PSN Trophies as well as I am starting to garner those as well.

May 24, 2013

A Look at Xbox One’s Attractive Cases

 

I am a big fan of game cases that have more style than function. The Xbox and Xbox 360 had simple DVD cases that were green and that was about it. Starting with the PSP tiny cases, I fell in love with cases that were different from the norm. The DS brought in a a neat and useful package that was trimmed down for the 3DS while adding these neat windows for art inside the cases. The Vita has to have the smallest cases of all time, but they have ample space for some beautiful art. The Xbox One cases seem similar to a Blu-Ray/PS3 cases with its shorter height and ample cover space. By the Forza 5 mock up, we can see that art is the name of these cases, with minimal logo coverage. If the cases will feature something Sony started doing with the PS3 cover sleeves and having unaltered art on the reverse side, these cases could be a real thing of beauty. The only thing missing from this case, which even through the PS3 cases redesign Sony kept, is a “only on Xbox” logo. These were prominent during the early days of the 360, but when the case redesign came, it disappeared. Outside of the new controller I feel this is one of the best things to come out of the debacle of Tuesday’s announcement. The Wii U has already showed it can do cases that focus on art and covering the case in a bath of great looking blue, and now the Xbox one has a tasteful green to complement the great cover art. I am curious to see what the PS4 cases will be like. This, outside of the endangered instruction manual, is one of the reasons I prefer physical media. Having a bookshelf full of beautiful cases with some awesome artwork, is like having a small art museum in your home. Hopefully we will get to see more of the launch title are at E3 in just a few short weeks.

 

 

May 23, 2013

eShop Update: Buy 2 get 1 Kirby’s

 

The deals keep on rolling this week on the Wii U Virtual Console, with a buy 2 get one 1 free deal on the newly released Kirby titles. This week Kirby’s Dream Course, Kirby Superstar, and Kirby’s Dreamland 3 are all available on the Wii U Virtual Console for $7.99 each. But just like the Mario deal last week, there is a special this week. As I mentioned, if you buy two of these Kirby titles, you will get the third one free. That is a an awesome deal, too bad I already have two of the three games with the Kirby Anniversary collection on the Wii I bought last year. Superstar and Dreamworld 3 are both awesome titles, but Dream Course is something I never got to play but has always held my interest. I do have $5 in Nintendo credit, maybe I’ll double dip. On the 3DS we have the return of Donkey Kong, with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D that will be available for download or retail purchase on the 24th. The game will run you $39.99. Unfortunately  that is about it for this week. Next week though we have the double dose of Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. There will be a deal on those next week as they will be priced at $4.99 a piece for a limited time so that you can grab both for under $10. The 30 cent Trial is still going on for two and a half more months, this month Super Metroid is still available for 30 cents. Starting on June 12th, Yoshi (NES) will be available for 30 cents and then the following month starting on July 15th Donkey Kong will rap up the promotion. For everything here and more check out the Official Nintendo page.

May 22, 2013

PlayStation Network Update: Ratchet hits the Vita (Finally!)

 

It has been a long time waiting, and for those of you that were waiting for the Vita version of Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault, it is finally here. The game was available with cross buy if you bought the PS3 version of FFA, but it had been delayed for may months.  Full Frontal Assault is free if you bought the PS3 version through the disc benefits icon. If you were also one of the ones patiently waiting for this like I was, you get Ratchet: Deadlocked free of charge when you start the FFA Vita download. For everyone else the Vita version of Full Frontal Assault will run you $19.99 and the PS3 version of Ratchet: Deadlocked will run you $9.99. Also this week there are tons of new ultimate bundles that include the core game plus all the DLC at a discount. Some of those titles include DC Universe Online, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, Starhawk, and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. The ultimate bundles will only be discounted until next Tuesday, so if you see something you like, I recommend nabbing it. There is a new Mass Effect costume bundle for Little Big Planet and has maybe the most adorable Garrus ever. I mentioned this the other day, if they would ever make these costumes into plushies, I would buy 100 of each. Are you listening Media Molecule? There are plenty of more add-on’s and sales going on, for everything that I did cover and things I didn’t head over to The Official PlayStation Blog.

May 22, 2013

Xbox Live Update: Xbox One Fallout

 

I was going to post this yesterday, but with the huge amount of Xbox One content to take in, I just decided to hold off. There are however, plenty of deals this week. Aside from the normal deals of the week, there is a Disney sale featuring games like Epic Mickey 2, Tron Evolution, and Split Second. On top of this there is an Alan Wake sale where you can snag the awesome Alan Wake for $4.99! Also hitting this week is the second add-on character for Injustice: Gods Among us in the form of Barbra Gordon herself, Batgirl. The character is free with the season pass or $4.99. Also available for Injustice this week is the GameStop pre-order bonus the Red Son Pack. The Red Son pack will run you 240 MP and will include skins for Superman, Wonder Woman, and Solomon Grundy, and include 20 special S.T.A.R. Lab missions. One last thing for Injustice, to go along with the release of Batgirl, The Killing Joke Skin Pack is now available as well. One of the most legendary Dark Knight graphic novels, The Killing Joke pack will run you 240 MP and will include 3 skins for the Joker, including his infamous Red Hood costume. Here is a list of the deals of the week, some pretty good prices on the Puzzle Quest series, they look tempting:

 

Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury 400 (50% off)
Jeremy McGrath 400 (50% off)
Karateka 400 (50% off)
Mad Tracks 400 (50% off)
Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond 400 (50% off)
Pid 400 (50% off)
Puzzle Quest 2 400 (50% off)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords 400 (50% off)
Puzzle Quest: Galactrix 600 (50% off)
RocketBowl 200 (50% off)
Texas Cheat’em 400 (50% off)

 

Next Week we will get to see a deal on some Dark Souls add-on’s and a sale on the Ghost Recon: Future Solider add-on’s as well.

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