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June 25, 2014

Helping Little Heroes Through the joy of Gaming

 

Please listen to the preamble before reading the article, thank you.

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Being in the hospital for any extended period of time is not an enjoyable experience. I was at the hospital with my wife twice last year, for a total of two weeks, and the only saving grace was my handheld gaming devices. Though my grievance with hospital stays is nothing compared to what children with childhood cancer endure. Imagine not being able to go to school, enjoy recess, the outdoors, or the carefree nature of childhood. Gamerosity is here to help make that experience better through gaming and generosity.

Gamerosity was founded by Manny Munoz, a childhood cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 15. He received a Game Boy Color from a family member to use during treatment. In 2011 he donated an Xbox 360 to child with Leukemia. From that experience Gamerosity was created. Gamerosity helps raise money for individual children with cancer. You can nominate a child or donate to one of the many that are already on the site. Once the child receives $600 in donations, either through the merchandise purchased via the online shop or through monetary donations, the child receives an iPad mini, an iTunes gift card, and some gifts from Gamerosity in what they have dubbed “the hero package”. Gamerosity has had huge success with this program making treatment for these kids, a better experience.

I caught wind of Gamerosity who helped a local child my wife knows through her church. Carolyn Hendrix was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma and has just recently ended her treatment. Carolyn was fully funded on Gamerosity and received her hero’s package. Talking to her father via Facebook, Carolyn has taken her iPad Mini with her to all of her appointments and hospital stays. She had a great experience through Gamerosity and the gifts she received have been a great help.

I am always looking for new ways to help people and promote the industry and hobby that has brought me years of joy. Through Gamerosity, I can help make a child’s life a bit brighter during a difficult time; and share the joy and excitement of video games with them. I hope that this information reaches out and touches at least one reader to help make a difference in a child’s life. While discussing the article last weekend with my friends and family during an online gaming session, it prompted my younger brother, who has a child, to put down the controller and help one of the children that needed funding. Head over to Gamerosity to help kids like Carolyn find hope and joy during what could be the most difficult time of their young lives. Help spread to the joy of gaming!

 

Photo credits – https://www.facebook.com/Gamerosity?ref=br_tf

June 10, 2014

Nintendo Digital Event Aftermath

 

Nintendo held their digital press event this morning and while there was a few surprises and some light shed on a few titles in development; it was lackluster over all. Don’t get me wrong I love Nintendo, but they had the same symptoms that both Sony and Microsoft had, the 2015 delay bug. They are coming off a hot title for the Wii U, if the event showed more titles that are coming this year, they could have made a difference in the Wii U’s fate. Though we are getting some good looking titles this fall, but they are scarce and the lack of third party support isn’t helping. But lets get to what they should because it is good, but it again needed to be sooner than later.

 

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS – Two new characters were announced, your Mii and Palutena (from Kid Icarus). The Mii’s will be able to take on three varieties; brawlers, sword fighters, and gunners. You can choose 4 special moves for your Mii from 12 different choices. The 3DS version of the game has been delayed from summer until October 3rd, 2014. The Wii U version is on track for holiday 2014 but I wouldn’t be surprised if it slipped to early next year.

Amiibo – A new line of NFC figures coming for the Wii U. The first title to implement this toys will be Super Smash Bros.

Yoshi’s Woolly World – The new Yoshi title that feels like a spiritual successor to KIrby’s Epic Yarn. There will be 2 player co-op and guess when it comes out, 2015.

Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker – Captain Toad’s great levels in Super Mario 3D World are getting their own title with Captain Toad finally getting the spotlight. The game will be out this holiday.

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) – The first video was revealed and the game is gorgeous. The game will also take an open world approach versus the typical formula. The visuals are somewhere between the original Wii U E3 demo and Skyward Sword. It will be out in 2015.

Bayonetta 2- Finally showed off gameplay and looks amazing! I was a big fan of the original and great news for those who never played the original; the original Bayonetta is being tossed into the box with Bayonetta 2. As another bonus, there are Nintendo themed costumes in the original game. The Bayonetta package will be released in October 2014.

Pokemon Omega Red and Alpha Sapphire – The remakes are coming this year and they are looking great with the new visuals in line with X and Y.

Hyrule Warriors – The smash up between Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda is coming to our shores! It will be out on September 26th, 2014.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse – A sequel to the DS cult hit Kirby Canvas Curse and it is coming to the Wii U, next year. 2015

Xenoblade Chronicles X – The Monolith soft’s long awaited game formally known as X, looks to be wrapping up development and will be out in 2015.

Mario Maker – A game in which you can build your own Mario courses. The layout is very simple, like a new age Mario Paint. The game will be able to play the levels in both classic Mario and “New” 2-D Mario form. The title will be out in 2015.

Splatoon – A new IP and a game I am legitimately excited for this title. It is a 8 player, 4 vs 4, territory based shooter. Yes, Nintendo is making a shooter; but like Nintendo fashion it is colorful and looks like a massive load of fun. The trailer is below and it looks fun. This was the height of the NIntendo Press event for me, though it won’t be out until 2015.

June 10, 2014

Sony Press Event Aftermath

 

Being very entertained by Microsoft this morning, Sony had to bring their A game to the table tonight, and they didn’t disappoint; well mostly didn’t. There was plenty of games, a movie trailer, and some new hardware (at least coming to America). Lets to the announcements because there is plenty to cover.

 

Destiny – a new gameplay trailer kicked off the press event with several details coming about the summer beta. PlayStation users will be able to join the beta on July 17th. There is a special alpha preview that you can register for at greatnessawaits.com/destiny that will run for this upcoming weekend. If you are selected you will be notified via email and your PlayStation 4. When Destiny launches, it will launch with a bundle featuring a white PlayStation 4 with white DS4, Destiny and 30 days of PlayStation Plus.

The Order 1866: A new gameplay trailer was shown and the game was shown with a much darker tone. It looks like what Resident Evil should have been. This game was pushed to next year, but I am still really intrigued by it.

Infamous First Light – The first DLC expansion for Infamous: Second Son. The DLC will focus on Fetch, the conduit you received the neon powers from.

Little Big Planet 3 – This came out of left field and I am happy that it did. The Little Big Planet series has been fantastic on every Sony platform the series has graced and now its taking another evolutionary step. There are three new characters that will accompany Sackboy, each with their own special abilities. There is Oddsock, a dog like character that is all about speed; Toggle, who has the ability to shrink and grow; and finally, Swoop, a bird that has flight. The best news is all the creations from both Little Big Planet and Little Big Planet 2 will be playable in LBP 3. The game will release in November of 2014.

Bloodborne – a new game being developed by From Software and being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki of Dark Souls fame. The game will release in 2015.

FarCry 4 – A gameplay trailer was shown off with many improvements over 3, though 3 was great in its own right. The game will release this fall.

Dead Island 2 – Just a pre-rendered trailer was shown, but the game looks like it will be set in the states some where. The trailer has a humorous attitude compared the to original Dead Island trailer.

Paradox Entertainment – Paradox is developing 4 different PS4 titles, and Magicka 2 will hit the console. It also was one of the funniest trailers of the show so far.

Grim Fandango – The Tim Schafer classic point and click adventure is getting an overhaul for the PS4 and PS Vita.

Devolver Digital – The publisher had a sizzle reel showing off some of its upcoming titles coming to the PSN including Broforce, Titan Souls, Hotline Miami 2, Not a Hero, and The Talos Principle.

Let It Die – A new game from one of my favorite dev’s Suda 51.

Abzu – A game by Giant Squid (comprised of former Journey devs)

No Man’s Sky – The game that captivated the Spike VGA’s last year is debuting on the PlayStation 4. The gameplay shown was impressive and I can not wait for this title.

Project Morpheus – the Sony VR headset is at the show.

Youtube is coming to the PS4’s share capabilities

Guns up, Kingdom Under Fire 2, and Planetside 2 are all Free to Play and are all coming to the PS4 in the next 12 months.

PlayStation Now will hold an open beta on the PlayStion 4 with PS3 titles. The beta opens on July 31st and will move to the PS3 and Vita shortly after.

Four new titles are coming to the Vita – Child of Light, Tales of Heart R, Tales from Borderlands and Minecraft.

PlayStation TV, which was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2013 and has been on sale in Japan for some time is coming to the US. The unit will run $99 for the standalone, and a $139 bundle that will come with a DualShock 3, 8GB memory card, and a copy of The Lego Movie video game. They are now available for pre-order.

Mortal Kombat X – The newly announced title was given its first gameplay footage, and it looks awesome. Scorpion faced off against Sub-Zero, and two new fighters were pitted against each other. The title will launch next year.

The Last of Us: Remastered – The phenomenal PS3 title from Naughty Dog hits the PS4 with beefed up visuals on July 29th, 2014.

Grand Theft Auto V – After all the speculation, it is coming to next gen via the PlayStation 4. The new version will be able to take your GTA Online character and money via transfer, so you can pick up where you left off. The game will release this fall.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – A new trailer showcasing the upcoming Kojima Productions opus was shown. The game is looking fantastic and having recently playing through Ground Zeroes, I can not wait for this title.

Batman: Arkham Night – New gameplay footage was shown off and it broke my heart. This game is looking incredible and I have to wait until next year.

Uncharted 4 – To close out the show, Naughty Dog showed off the first official trailer and title for Uncharted 4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will hit the PlayStation 4 next year. I am really sad to see this franchise end, it has been truly a great ride.

June 9, 2014

Microsoft Press event aftermath

 

Microsoft had quite a showing, lots of games, some exclusives, a MASSIVE Halo collection, and a huge lack of Kinect (which was for the better). There could have been a few more surprises but over all, it was one of Microsoft’s press events in recent memory. Games was the theme of the event, no mention of Kinect, NFL apps, TV, and the celebrities were turned down to minimum.  Let gets to the games and like the press event I will break them up into things you will be playing this year and things you will be playing net year and in the future. Here we go!

 

What you will be playing on Xbox One in 2014

 

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare –  11/4/2014 – There was a live gamplay demo given like there is every year. While it looking very nice, it did not pull the a wow factor. The game still looks incredibly scripted, it did not appear to have the signature 60 FPS (though it could have just been the stream), and it looked bland. Everything just looked like gaming Sci-Fi tropes. Microsoft, as always, will have the DLC first on the Xbox One.

Forza Horizon 2 –  9/30/2014 – This is where the press event picked up and never let go. I loved the first Horizon and I am stoked it garnered enough for a sequel. The drivatars from Forza 5 will be transferable to Horizon 2, there will 200+ cars, and you can create clubs with up to 1,000 other players. The game will be 1080p, but 30 FPS like the previous Horizon title.

Evolve – The new title from Turtle Rock studios is looking like a blast and the Xbox One version is getting exclusive content and beta.

Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft’s venerable franchise is back in 18th century France during the height of the French Revolution. There will be a new lead character and the edition of 4-player co-op.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition – 10/07/2014 – The game is looking beautiful running on Frostbite 3 and the Xbox One has snagged content first.

Sunset Overdrive – 10/28/2014 – The Insomniac developed exclusive looks like a massive load of fun. A third person shooter, with an emphasis on traversing the terrain in fun ways, the game will have a solo mode as well as a 8 player co-op mode. The game will have  day one edition.

Dance Central Spotlight – There will be a new Dance Central game, it will be download only, and was the only hint at Kinect during the event.

Project Spark – the create a game, game has hit 1 million creations. There will be Conker (Conker’s Bad Fur Day) content coming to Project Spark soon.

Fable Legends – The game will not release this year, but there will be a beta this year. The game has 4 heroes teaming up to fight the threats of Albion. There will be playable villains, which works more like a level editor, where you are working against the heroes. You can sign up for the beta and more at Fablelegends.com

Ori and the Blind Forest – a new game from Moon Studios that looks incredibly beautiful and touching.

Halo: The Master Chief Saga – 11/11/2014 – This game garnered a huge applause from the crowd at the event and with good reason. For $59.99 you get Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4; all four titles on their original engines but running at 60 FPS and at 1080p. The games will feel the way they did when they were released, all the nuances, fun, and secrets will be there. All 4 games will have their respective multiplayer as well, over 100 maps will be available. The collection will also debut the Ridley Scott produced series, Halo Nightfall, which ties into the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. But that is not all, Halo 5: Guardians will have a beta this fall as well.

 

Here comes the games you will be playing next year and beyond.

 

Playdead Studios project – A new title from the Limbo creators was shown off and will be exclusive to the Xbox One.

Rise of the Tomb Raider – A sequel to the excellent Crystal Dynamics reboot. Only a promotional video was shown.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – new gameplay was shown off. The combat still looks deep and complicated (that being a good thing).

Phantom Dust – An original Xbox title is getting the reboot treatment just like Killer Instinct.

The Division – Showed us a bit more gameplay, Xbox One will snag new content first.

Scalebound – A new game coming from Platinum Games being published by Microsoft.

Crackdown – the venerable franchise is coming back, with series creator David Jones heading up the project.

June 9, 2014

Here is the E3 Schedule

 

Here is the times and dates for the big E# press events. Microsoft kicks off here in just 15 minutes which you will be able to watch right here on The Gamers Blog. If you would like to catch Microsoft’s and Sony’s press event, you can on their respective consoles. The Xbox Live Event Player and PS@E3 app are available to download and you can watch all the press events live. Hopefully we will see plenty of new titles and some very good reasons to own these new consoles this year.

June 3, 2014

And the Delays keep coming…

 

2014 was looking like a great year for games. We had big hitters such as Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Tom Clancy’s: The Division. The Order:1866, The Elder Scrolls Online (console version), and many others. The latest title slipping in to 2015 is Batman: Arkham Knight. Thought this makes my fall release schedule a tad easier on the wallet, this was my most anticipated title of the year. So now I have Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Evolve, Smash Brothers Wii U, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor, and the recently announced Forza Horizon 2 to look forward too. Not a bad line up of games to get me though the cold winter, but the Dark Knight will sadly be missed. I agree that game creators should take their time, more time could mean a better, more finished product. Here is a list of everything that has been pushed back so far.

 

-Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4/One/PC) – 2015

– The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4/One) – atleast 6 months, could be December, my money is on early next year.

– Tom Clancy’s: The Division (PS4/One/PC) – 2015

– The Witcher 3 (PS4/One/PC) – February 2015

– The Order:1866 (PS4) – 2015

– Steam Controller (PC) – 2015

– Mad Max (being developed by Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios) – 2015

– Half-Life 3 – 2054

 

Hopefully with E3 a week away, we see some more concrete titles coming this fall, and more reason to put money down on a new console. Even if 2014 does end up on the weaker side, 2015 should be a smashing year for gaming. If any other delays are announced I will update the article.

May 21, 2014

New Arkham Knight Gameplay Trailer Ignites!

 

The gloves are off as Rocksteady takes one last knockout punch to the Batman franchise before moving on, and the new gameplay trailers made my inner fanboy scream with glee. The game is scheduled to be released this fall on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This will not be a cross generation game and the visuals show, the visuals are gorgeous. The batmobile makes a huge presence in the trailer, as I stated in my first preview, it will play a major roll in the game, both for combat and traversing the environment. The trailer does hint at the villains that will take center stage; Two-face, the Penguin, Scarecrow, and the mysterious Arkham Knight. Also shown in the trailer is Oracle, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon. She was in the previous two titles but only in voice, and I am glad we are seeing her character even more fleshed out in Knight. I am still trying to figure out who’s behind the Arkham Knight mask. At the ending of Arkham City we had several villains fall, and for the sake of repetition, I hope they stay that way. They did hint at a Talia al Ghul, Bruce Wayne relationship in Arkham City. Could Damian Wayne make an appearance? We also have Hush and Azrael (Michael Lane) that are unaccounted for after City. I hope you enjoy the trailer as much as I did, and it is very nice to have Kevin Conroy back as the Dark Knight.

 

May 19, 2014

Diablo III Patch 2.0.5

Full patch notes are available here: Blizzard Patch Notes 2.0.5

Patch 2.0.5 was released on the 13th May 2014 and there is a lot of stuff in this latest release. Of particular interest was the issue of class balance, although the patch wasn’t intended to focus too much on class balance when it first was scheduled. The Crusader ended up with quite a lot of changes, not only because it is the newest class in Diablo III, but because Blizzard also felt that it needed some fine tuning. If you are playing a crusader it’s definitely worth taking a look at these patch notes to see how this affects you.

There are also some undocumented patch 2.0.5 changes that came out in the community following the release which are listed below. However, all these items are based on community observations and are not official Blizzard patch notes:

  • Stash doesn’t close when a rift closes.
  • Female Barbarian Leap animation slowed to match male animation.
  • Significantly reduced hitch when opening inventory.
  • Witch Doctors are now limited to 15 fetishes. New ones replace older ones.
  • Items that cannot be salvaged are greyed out.
  • Spiderling egg sacks and a pack of spiders are between Wortham Chapel and Caverns of Araneae
  • Illusory Boots now allow you to pass through wallers’ walls.
  • Bul-Kathos’s Whirlwind can now crit.
  • Rift guardians can now drop more than one pile of Blood Shards.
  • Horadric Hamburger transmute now works.
  • Wizards can now only have 1 Slow Time bubble out at a time
  • Shields and Crusader shields have 3000-5000 more block amount.
  • Piranhas: Wave of Mutilation now knocks up enemies it hits.
  • Monsters with the Knock-back effect seem to knock you back significantly further.

May 19, 2014

Reaper of Souls is coming to a console near you

On the 19th August 2014 Diablo III’s Ultimate Evil Edition will be available to play on your console, that’s PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You will be able to battle the Angel of Death either solo or with a team of four players ia PlayStation Network or Xbox Live and it includes all the content from the latest expansion ‘Reaper of Souls’ as well as Acts I to IV from the original Diablo III. This is a great release for console players, the price comes in at 69.99 EUR/59.99 USD for the PS4 or Xbox One and 39.99 EUR/39.99 USD for the PS3 or Xbox 360.

Additionally, if you pre-order you also get the ‘Infernal Pauldrons’, this piece of shoulder armour provides vitality, life per second and cooldown reduction bonuses and can also be transmogged.

The good news for those who played the original PS3 or Xbox 360 versions of Diablo III is that they will be able to continue their journey without starting again. PS3 characters from the original game can be transferred to either the PS3 or PS4 Ultimate Evil Edition, and Xbox 360 characters can be transferred to the Xbox 360 or Xbox One version.

For anyone who hasn’t played the PC version of Diablo III this is a must have for the console, it really is full of fast-paced action, awesome heroes (crusader, barbarian, witch doctor, demon hunter, monk, or wizard) and legendary drops and unlike the PC version, you get all this from the comfort of your couch.

For more information about the world of Diablo III visit the Blizzard website: http://www.battle.net/d3.

May 16, 2014

343 Industries Announces Halo 5: Guardians

 

While sifting though emails and press releases this morning, I came across one from Microsoft and almost spit my coffee at my monitor. The Halo game that was teased last year at E3 finally has a name and release window. The game is titled Halo 5: Guardians and will be released fall of 2015 on the Xbox One. The game will feature a brand new engine running at 60 FPS (whether it is native 1080p was not stated). Halo 4 showed off a fantastic tweak to the art style showing a natural evolution to the Spartans and their program. The announced box art (shown above) shows off the venerable Master Chief, but down played to who ever is standing right side up. It will be interesting to see if this is a new protagonist, the end of Master Chief, and what became of the UNSC Infinity. The Steven Spielberg collaborated Halo live action series will also debut next year, presumably to lead up to the release of Guardians. 343 Industries is calling this the “Halo Journey” and that the journey will start this year, possibly with a Halo title launching this year, a Halo 2 anniversary edition maybe (Please, yes!)? Details surrounding this “Halo Journey” will be announced during Microsoft’s E3 briefing on June 9th. As a rather rabid Halo fan I am quite excited by this announcement. I am hesitant on the multiplayer side of things to be honest. While Halo 4’s multiplayer was fun, it felt like they were trying to copy the Call of Duty mold and offer loadouts and slightly faster game play. Halo has never been about that, it was about map memorization, weapon hierarchy, and fun vehicle combat. I hope 343 take the multiplayer to the series roots while continuing to evolve the campaign. Halo 4 was a video and audio splendor, while bringing out lore from the books and encompassing the universe as a whole. I am excited to see what 343 will show off at E3 and if we will get our first glimpse of Halo 5: Guardians in real time.