2013 November

November 22, 2013

Nintendo offering character driven deals on the eShop

 

Though I must apologize I am a week late, but there is still plenty of time to snag up some great games or fill up that 3DS (2DS) or Wii U you are giving as a gift. Last week, The Legend of Zelda was the theme, this week have the venerable blue bomber, Mega Man. This week until November 28th, you can grab Mega Man 1-4 for just $3.49 a piece. These games come in either the 3DS or Wii U flavor, and are easily downloaded via WiFi. Next week, starting on Thursday, Mario will be making his sale debut. Rounding out the sale in the last week will be Donkey Kong. I already have Mega Man 2 and 3 on my 3DS but will getting 1 and 4 for sure. Though I do like the Virtual Console on the Wii U, there is just something special about playing Mega Man on the 3DS. Plus during the holidays it is much easier to pull out a 3DS and ignore the family and in-laws and defeat the dreaded Dr. Wily. Again Mega Man 1-4 are $3.49 each till next Thursday, after that a Mario takes the spotlight. Check back next week as I update this and let you know what is on sale featuring the famous plumber.  Check out everything over at the Official Nintendo page.

November 22, 2013

John Carmack steps away from Id Software

 

Games Industry International is reporting  that id co-founder and Doom developer, John Carmack, has left the developer. Carmack recently became involved with Oculus VR, the company responsible for the Oculus Rift VR head set. With his departure from id software, he will be taking a full time position as Oculus VR’s CTO. Carmack has had a huge influence in the industry and technology. id’s latest title, Rage, may have lacked in the story and fun department, but there is no denying the tech behind the game was nothing short of impressive. id and Carmack have always pushed technology with each new title the studio has released. John Carmack is one of my favorite lecturers and hopefully he will make appearances at Quakecon going forward. We wish Mr. Carmack nothing but the best in this new endeavor and what will come from his time at Oculus VR.

November 18, 2013

Gamerchat is back, discussing what we want from Next Gen.

 

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Our podcast is back after a long hiatus, we are sorry for that. Real life can sometimes hinder our schedules is unpredictable ways. Brad (thesoundman) and I are talking about what we want from the next round of consoles, and what we would like to see disappear as well. We will be doing a series of these, with various people, taking about what we liked and disliked about the previous generation we are leaving  behind. Enjoy.

 

Intro Music – “Master D is for Dance (Rise of the Albatross)” by Gario from Bionic Commando Remixed – Ok, Let’s Grove (OverClocked Remix)

November 14, 2013

The Humble Store Opens!

humble

If you are anything like me, you have fallen in love with the indie gaming movement over the past few years. For me, it started with Minecraft. Before then I paid little to no attention to independent studios and their releases save for the occasional Behemoth project (Alien Hominid being a favorite of mine). But once Minecraft came out, I started paying attention. Now I can’t get enough. I buy up five dollar games like I want to be broke (contrary to popular belief, I don’t). Enter the Humble Indie Bundles.

A couple years back Humble Bundle started offering cheap deals for quality games while offering the option to send a percentage of the purchase price to a given charity.

“Lo!” I said, “I can pay a small amount of money for a bunch of games AND practice my armchair activism? What’s not to like?” *

And now, Humble Bundle has a new place to buy independent games. They have opened their own site to sell those games, and are offering awesome deals there (which are separate from steam).Check it out here and see what deals you can find.

Just on the first day alpha access for Prison Architect was only eight dollars, and Don’t Starve was ten. At this very moment one of my favorite games, Psychonauts, is on sale for just two bucks This website is going to be dangerous.

*I’m just kidding about the armchair activism, Humble Charity Bundle has done great things. Don’t be mad.

November 13, 2013

The Stanley Parable: A Game About Games

stanley parable

It is nearly impossible to explain what The Stanley Parable is about. It is a game about the nature of games, how a player interacts with the world, and what happens if the antagonist is the game itself.

At it’s core, The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. All of the interaction comes through choice. Choosing a door to walk through, choosing which button to press, or even choosing to do nothing at all. You play as Stanley, an office worker who may be asleep, crazy, bored, and everything in between.

To reveal anything about the gameplay experience is to ruin that experience for you. It is very much a narrative driven game, with the majority of the entertainment value coming from the narrator, given life by the incomparable Kevan Brighting, and his interactions with the player. If you are sensitive and can’t take constructive and not as constructive criticism, you may want to stay away. The narrator will hurt your feelings and make you feel worthless but, to be fair, you do the same to him multiple times.

In technical terms the game is fine, with serviceable graphics that never get in the way of the experience. The game is still based in Source, so the physics that come along with that engine work well (even with a dearth of interactive objects). The music is fantastic and hugely varied. It only shows up every so often but when it does the score will command your attention. The controls will be familiar to anyone who has played a first person game, save for the lack of one usual input variation that leads to a hilarious achievement.

I had issues starting up the game upon first install, but upon reinstallation the issues ceased. Besides that there were no bugs that I personally have noticed in my ten hours or so with the game.

Mind Control

What really stuck out to me was how The Stanley Parable reflects on the absurdity of game mechanics and storytelling. We do it all for a weird sense of self gratification, the accomplishment of the objective. Be it an actual scripted objective like every mission based game, or the “I’m going to steal a helicopter and try to jump out onto a bus” self generating objectives in an open world game, it’s all there to give the player a sense of accomplishment. The Stanley Parable deconstructs this to the point where one second the objective could be to press a button so that some booming voice will say “Eight!” over and over and the next the objective is to figure out what the game wants you to do. In the end, the game doesn’t want you to do anything. It’s a game. And The Stanley Parable knows that.

You can complete The Stanley Parable in about 15 minutes. Your first play through will probably take about half an hour. But there is so much to explore within the crazy world that Galactic Cafe thrusts you into that it could easily eat up much more. Not for twitch gamers or people who want to get to the top of the leaderboards, but if you value narrative then I implore you to check this one out. At least get the demo off of Steam. If anything, you’ll get a chuckle out of just how ridiculous it all is.

In its purest essence, The Stanley Parable is a commentary on routine, achievement, the government, video games, and life itself. I love getting lost in it’s world and losing myself within it. Everyone needs to play this.

November 13, 2013

The 3ds To Receive Miiverse, A Link Between Worlds gets New Trailer

 

 

A new update is on the way for for Nintendo’s dominant handheld and will add one of the greatest features of the Wii U, the Miiverse. The Miiverse is Nintendo’s own social media for talking about games, showing off hand drawn art, and finding help when you are stuck in a certain game. I am not one for social media. I am on Facebook, because I have to be. The Miiverse has been one social media outlet, that I have thoroughly enjoyed. There is more to the update than just the Miiverse, if you have a Wii U and a 3DS you will be able to share the monetary balances you have between the two consoles. This is great and wish it was implemented a while ago when I had some left over currency on my Wii U account and wanted to buy two games off the 3DS eShop. The Update will go live next month. Nintendo this morning also released a new trailer for the upcoming game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. This is a sequel to the Super Nintendo classic, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The game will hit the 3DS and 2DS on November 22nd, and Nintendo will be offering a special branded 3DS XL as well. If you want to catch up on that leg of the Zelda series, Nintendo is offering the SNES classic on its Club Nintendo program. Register some games and take some surveys and you can have the game on the Wii or Wii U (via the Wii app), it is only 150 coins, luckily I had

November 8, 2013

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor Revealed

“When past and present collide, the fate of all worlds hangs in the balance.” The Prophet Valen, Blizzard.

warlords of draenor graphic

Day one reveals the fifth World of Warcraft expansion ‘Warlords of Draenor’ and with this comes some big changes to the game, not to mention the ability to explore Warcraft history by going to Draenor and living that time of the Draenei and the Orcs that up to now has only been possible through the Warcraft lore. There we find that a merciless new Iron Horde has been forged from the historic orc clans and heroes from Azeroth will be called to save their own world from impending invasion. There is so much on offer from this expansion, aside from the opportunity to go back in time, Blizzard has taken onboard feedback from the community and implemented a whole host of upgrades to the game (upgraded character models, better organisation of bags, no quest items held in bags to save space, new in-game guide based on your character, etc) the following was announced at BlizzCon 2013 for Warlords of Draenor:

  • New level cap of 100
  • New level 100 talents
  • The ability to construct your own garrison
  • The ability to customise your garrison
  • The ability to recruit followers and base them at your garrison
  • Your followers can be sent on missions and use their skill to assist your cause
  • Instantly boost one character to level 90 to join the battle for Draenor
  • New dungeons and raids
  • Flexible scaling for raids
  • Upgrades to existing dungeons
  • New monsters
  • New quests
old character models new character models

The expansion is available to play on the floor at BlizzCon 2013, but there is no release date as yet.

When I’m not stuck to the live feed via my Virtual Ticket I’ll post updates on what’s going on as it happens, please do follow us on Twitter @gamersblogbytes. And to everyone at BlizzCon 2013 – enjoy it!

November 6, 2013

New Vita Update Prepares for Impending Launch

 

If you have downloaded the new system update for the PlayStation Vita you will notice that there are some new features, including one for the upcoming launch of the PlayStation 4. If you check out the picture above of my home screen (yes that is Fall of Cybertron artwork as my wallpaper), you will notice there is a new app, the PS4 Link. Tab the bubble and you will be taken to a screen that has the options of Remote Play and Second Screen. Second Screen will be used for titles that have the ability to display information on a second screen like a tablet or smart phone. What titles and how they will use this has yet to be determined, hopefully DICE makes a Battlefield 4 commander app for the Vita. Remote Play works similar to how remote play with the PS3 works, the benefit of the PS4 however, is that most games (outside of utilizing peripherals like the camera) will be supported. The feature works best if you have the PS4 connected with an Ethernet cable and the Vita is on the same Wi-Fi the PS4 is connected to. There are other features to be excited for as well. The content manager can now access your PS3 via Wi-Fi, so you no longer have to hard wire your Vita to transfer data back and forth. There is a new panorama feature to the camera that lets you take 360 degree photos, and new parental controls were added as well. One last feature I want to hit upon is the new update to the friends app, that lets you sort, add, and accept friend request with ease. For more of the features and descriptions head over to the official PlayStation Blog or check out the video below. I am excited to see the PS4 application in action, only just over a week and the PlayStation 4 will be on store shelves. The PlayStation 4 will launch on November 15th.

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