2013 September

September 30, 2013

Holy Downloadable Tuesday Batman!

 

There is plenty to be excited for tomorrow coming down the downloadable pipe. The Battlefield 4 beta launches tomorrow for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Tomorrow will be early access for those who have pre-ordered the digital deluxe version on the PC, or have Battlefield Premium for BF3, or still have a dusty, moldy copy of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. For those of you on the PC, you can start to preload the beta now, 360 and PS3 owners, it will be available to you when the respective stores update tomorrow.

For those of you looking for something a bit different, Quantic Dream’s fall release, Beyond: Two Souls, will be getting a demo tomorrow. The Heavy Rain developers new title will be out on October 8th here in the States, and you can try it out for yourself starting tomorrow.

On both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, a new month rolls around and more free games are headed your way. Starting tomorrow, with your subscription to PlayStation Plus or Live Gold, you can download Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on the PlayStation 3 and Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes for free. There is plenty more coming to you in October for PS+ members including Shadow of the Colossus, Hotline Miami, Poker Night 2, and Sine Mora. There isn’t a game in the line up I wouldn’t recommend, if you have the hard drive space grab them all if you can. On the Xbox 360, starting on the 16th you will be able to grab Halo 3 for free. Though this isn’t the latest title in the series, it is certainly one of the best entries. Hopefully we see a revival in the multiplayer numbers when the game is free later in October.

There is plenty for all of you out there tomorrow coming down the virtual pipeline, even if you have a Wii U. The Wii U right now is enjoying The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD on the eShop service. The retail copy hits stores this Friday. Rain, a very interesting looking indie title coming to the PS3 this Tuesday is worth checking out as well. If you have a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto is to launch tomorrow as well. This is include with every retail and downloadable copy of the game. Rockstar has warned that there maybe a few bugs/glitches, and that some of the content will coming shortly after launch. Hopefully there is something here for everyone, I will be very busy tomorrow with Battlefield 4, GTA Online, Beyond: Two Souls demo and checking out Rain.

September 27, 2013

Valve Announces the Steam Controller

 

Valve will be finally making a dedicated PC controller in the form of the Steam Controller. The controller having a concave, symmetrical look seems to be missing something dedicated controller people are used to, analog sticks. There are two touch pads with new Haptic feedback that replace the analog sticks. There is a small touch screen in the center that you can bind certain actions to, and the controller will be hackable. The controller being hackable allows the community to come up with new ways of controlling games. While the controller has some interesting features and a unique layout, there are a few things keeping me from being on board. First is the analog sticks. Mouse and keyboard have the precision, but there is something immersive about the analog stick that I can’t get from a keyboard and mouse, there is just that physical resistance that does something for me. Second is the button layout. If you want to use this for games like Arkham City or any game that requires two button inputs is going to be a stretch. There are a few other issues I have, but will hold judgement until I get a hands on with the controller and can make a better judgement. There will be a beta for the controller which you can sign up for here and get more information on the controller and its features.

September 27, 2013

Get Over Here…And Check Out Season Two of Mortal Kombat: Legacy

 

 

Warner Brothers Digital released the entire second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, the web series that spawned from the film pitch Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Mortal Kombat: Legacy is directed and co-written by Kevin Tancharoen, who developed and directed the film pitch. Mortal Kombat: Legacy season 2 spans 10 episodes culminating in over an hour and half worth of fun entertainment. The second season is more of a straight narrative, versus the segmented first season. This season we see the inclusion of Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kenshi, and Ermac. There were some casting drops and pick ups. Michael Jai White and Jeri Ryan did not return due to scheduling conflicts, Johnny Cage, Raiden, and Mileena all had actor changes as well. Casper Van Dien made a better Johnny Cage from a dialog standpoint, at least in my opinion. The best move and the highlight of season two has to be the triple threat of Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Shang Tsung. Liu Kang is handled very differently and is played by Brian Tee (Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift Fame), and I like the change. Liu is a bit more brooding, but makes his fight for the tournament more interesting than just he is the chosen one from Earthrealm. Kung Lao is handled by the awesome Mark Dacascos (Iron Chef and Double Dragon fame) and is a great counter piece to the brooding Liu Kang. Returning to the role of Shang Tsung after a 18 year absence is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who still owns the role. This season is a step up and in my opinion, more entertaining than the last season, though I did enjoy it. The only complaint I have is the run time, all ten episodes cap out at hour  and thirty eight minutes. With a third season planned, I am curious where this series will head next, and hope a third season comes sooner than later. You can watch the first episode below and you can watch the entire series here on Machinima’s YouTube channel.

 

September 26, 2013

PlayStation 3 gets Exclusive Arkham Origins Content, Season Pass for All

 

 

The PlayStation 3 version of Batman Arkham Origins will be getting a few added extras. These extras will come in the form of two exclusive skins 3 combat maps and 2 predator maps dubbed the Knightfall Pack. The Knightfall Pack skins bring Adam West’s 1966 Batman costume and the Azrael outfit from Knightfall. Azrael stepped in for Bruce when Bane broke his back, though his methods were far more brutal and braking Bruce’s “one rule”, his enhanced costume is still one of my favorites. You can see all you will get in the video below, no work if this will ever come to the PC, Wii U or Xbox 360 versions of the title.

 

 

For everyone else, Arkham Origins will be getting a Season Pass filled with content. More than a $30 worth of content, the Season pass can be had for a discounted price of $19.99. The Season Pass includes two exclusive skins, Gaslight Batman and Brightest Day Batman, two costume packs (New Millennium and Infinite Earth’s) for a total of 12 new costumes, new story missions, as well as “Initiation” challenge maps featuring one of Batman’s greatest teachers, Kirigi. Check out the flyer below for everything that you get with the season pass, interestingly enough, there is no mention of multiplayer outside of the skin sets. I guess take that hint with a grain of salt. On another note, the artwork for the flyer and the shot above is awesome in its own right. It is available on the Arkham Origins site as a wallpaper, your welcome.

 

September 25, 2013

Some Interesting Tidbits from Around the Web

 

What a weekend, that culminated into a very sad day yesterday. Personally I have had a very rough weekend and start to the week, but I still want to sit here and write about games and discuss games, because games and the games industry make me happy. I am going to link a couple of articles that I feel are important that I have found around the web, while I went to and from the hospital this weekend. Here we go!

 

Games Industry International – This article was just posted today, but I still find it very important, though I have not had ample time to mull over the subject. The article is on the decline of mobile gaming and devs finding it easier and more cost effective to head to PC’s and consoles, now that they are offering self publishing. The other thing I find interesting is a few years ago, everyone was on the mobile bandwagon, and that your iPhone was going to replace your portable and console gaming. I remember Rovio, the developer behind Angry Birds, saying mobile will rule the market and that Angry Birds is better than some AAA titles, or something along those lines. Please don’t quote me, I am paraphrasing from memory. Anyway, the mobile space is now in decline, with devs jumping ship, and 3DS sales are very strong and has a great library making it very competitive. Check it out, let me know how you feel about the mobile segment.

 

Game Trailers- Annoyed Gamer – Marcus Beer is either loved or despised, but he brings up plenty of good points. Personally, I like the guy and we need more people to question the industry we work in. His latest rant is on the subject of Grand Theft Auto V, not the game but on mature rated games getting into the hands of kids. Marcus can be a bit brash, but he has a very good point. Enjoy and hopefully it provokes your thoughts.

September 21, 2013

Noobcamp reaches its $25,000 Kickstarter goal

noobcamp trailer logo

13 hours ago project Noobcamp successfully reached it’s goal of raising $25,000, reaching a total of $25,305 with 166 backers. But what is Noobcamp?

“Noobcamp is a story about an ex-professional gamer who is forced to teach a video game camp for kids. Johnny7, as he was once known, was among the top pro gamers in the world and made millions in endorsements. The show picks up several years after his downfall. Johnny, now mid-20s, reckless and jaded from his fame and fortune, is probably the worst person for the job, but he may be exactly what they need.” Noobcamp by Mayview.

Reading through all the information on the Kickstarter page together with the video these guys have put together I find that I get drawn more and more into this idea and it becomes more fascinating. If you have an interest in gaming, film-making or you just like to watch shows that challenge your perceptions and provide a challenge then I think you are definitely going to be interested in this.

It interests us here at The Gamers Blog for two main reasons:

We respect what these guys are trying to do and it falls in-line with what we try to achieve on The Gamers Blog, we are all about getting information out there, inspiring people and helping to promote the industry and everything that it can achieve, we believe that we can make a difference and we do that by bringing forward new ideas and getting people to think differently.

We think that the concept of the show is brilliant and that the goal of integrating gamers and non-gamers is something that could really work well here, there can be a cross-over and it can be a happy medium, not a them and us. I personally love when they say that “Gamers don’t just play games. They laugh, they fail, they love, they search for adventure, they search for who they are.” – for me, that’s really key.

Look out for this one, I think it’s going to be a success! Let’s start with the trailer.

September 21, 2013

Diablo III Planned Auction House Closure

D3 Auction House Image

Earlier this week Blizzard announced the news that it would be closing the Diablo III Auction House after strong pressure from the community had made it clear that the auction house was in fact undermining the core gameplay. Many players felt that the ability to log in and buy upgraded items both in the gold and real money auction houses had killed the essence of the game, leaving you unable to upgrade your character without using the AH facility, after all what was the point in grinding away and working at a profession when it didn’t actually pay off, you could make more gold selling items, and you could get better upgrades in the AH. Also, when you do reach a challenging level, all you had to do is buy some more gear in the AH and then blitz through it, but that misses an essential part of the game, learning how to exploit your abilities and working out the tactics required for success. Not to mention the feeling you get when you get that drop from a mob. To be honest, the AH has made it less enjoyable for me to play Diablo III and so I’m personally looking forward to the shutdown date of March 18, 2014.

There are of course players whose gameplay is based on the AH integration and feel that Blizzard are taking away a part of the game that means that their style of play will be affected and feel that this will reduce the number of players once the AH is removed since that is what some players signed up for when they bought the game. Although I don’t agree with this sentiment, I do understand it, and understand that the removal of the AH will have an effect on trading perhaps leading to an increase in scamming. But I hope that the majority of gamers will play the game for the features that make it the great game that I know it to be and will get the most out of the experience by fighting for every level and gear upgrade. Also, the planned roll out the new Loot 2.0 system, being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls, should mean that drops will be that much better and go some way to offset the loss of the AH.

Blizzard is currently working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down and have said that they will keep us informed as they work through the process, the video clip below provides more information from Blizzard on the reasoning behind their decision. Blizzard have also stated that “We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.” RPS.

September 20, 2013

Crimson Dragon is looking Great at Tokyo Game Show

 

I am a big fan of rail shooters like Sin & Punishment, Panzer Dragoon, and I would even say titles like Star Fox fit that description. Toyko Game Show is in full swing, and Microsoft is showing off some new screens and footage for the upcoming downloadable title, Crimson Dragon. Crimson Dragon is being developed as a spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series and is being headed by series creator Yukio Futatsugi. As I stated above the game will be available in downloadable form on the day of the Xbox One’s launch for $19.99. The game, was previously, going to be Kinect controlled, but has since moved back to the controller with some unique voice commands that you can choose to use. I am all for this title and hope that it really takes off to show Nintendo that games like Star Fox still have an audience. I can’t help but see, at the 0:41 second mark in the trailer, a copy of a promotion shot from Factor 5’s failed PS3 game Lair. I am as excited for this title as I am Titanfall, two games that I hope to play by spring of next year. Check out the screens and the video below from the Tokyo Game Show. Remember, that with these new consoles, there will be plenty of surprises in the downloadable sector on day one as well as packaged games. If you do pick up an Xbox One, be sure to give Crimson Dragon a go. If you have a 360 and can find a copy of Panzer Dragoon Orta (Amazon has some used copies going for $5-$6, plus shipping), the game does work on the console and includes the original Panzer Dragoon (Saturn/PC) as an unlockable, both are worth checking out.

 

 

September 19, 2013

Hiroshi Yamauchi, Former Head of Nintendo, dead at 85

 

Today is a sad day for the industry as we have lost one of the most influential people to jump start the modern industry. Nintendo of Japan has confirmed that the former head of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, has passed away at the age of 85. Yamauchi was instrumental in the early changes at Nintendo that propelled them to the video game empire they are today. Yamauchi brought in talent like Gunpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto and launched products like the Game and Watch, NES, SNES, the Nintendo 64, and the Nintendo GameCube. Yamauchi also purchased the Seattle Mariner, a Major League Baseball club, in the early 1990’s. Yamauchi was hugely influential in the industry propelling the Japanese market as well as jump starting the industry from the crash in 1983. Yamauchi was succeeded by Satoru Iwata in 2002 and remained on the board until 2005. We have lost one of the greats today, hopefully his outlook and confidence in products will invigorate the industry as we enter 8th console generation.  名誉と尊敬で、我々は山内を覚えています。

 

* Image from Nintendolife.com

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