Games With Gold

This isn't my photo. Go here for the original: http://www.videogamesblogger.com/2013/06/18/2-free-xbox-360-games-a-month-for-gold-subscribers.htm

If “Games with Gold” doesn’t sound familiar to you, it will now. This is the name of Microsoft’s newest Xbox Live program, and it benefits every single Xbox Live Gold user. Basically, throughout the rest of the year, they will be giving away 2 free games per month. The first game of each month will be given out on the 1st through the 16th, and then the 2nd will be given out during the 2nd half of the month.

The first game currently being given away is called Defense Grid, and it’s an Xbox Live Arcade game. It’s a tower defense game that can be surprisingly difficult at times. I played through the story mode for a couple days and I actually had some trouble beating some of the levels. So if you like tower defense games, I would definitely recommend it, and even if you don’t like tower defense games, download it anyways!!! It’s absolutely free. If anything you’ll get some free gamerscore out of it.

This is not my photo. Go here for the original: http://nukoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/defense-grid-logo.png

Not the greatest game in the world, but it’s free, so you definitely won’t hear me complaining.

Not all of the games being released will be XBLA titles. For instance, they’ve stated that some of the games being released down the line include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3. Sure, they’re older games, but you can’t really complain when they’re free.

So, if you haven’t turned on your Xbox in a while, go ahead and turn it on and start downloading! Clear some old games off of your hard drive and make room for some new ones. You should see an advertisement for it right on your main dashboard, but if you don’t, go to the games tab and look at the featured section. It should be there.

For more information, go here.

Bioshock Infinite Review

Bioshock Infinite is a game like no other. Yes, it’s not a completely original work, as there are other Bioshocks that came before it, but it sets itself so far apart from the others that it may as well be. Before giving you my thought on the game, I should probably give you a brief summary of what it’s about.

This is not my photo, go here for the original: http://hypeup.net/engine/images/uploads/1118/bioshock-infinite.jpg

Bioshock Infinite takes place in Columbia, a floating city high above the clouds. You play as Booker DeWitt, an investigator from the Earth’s surface sent to the city to rescue a girl and bring her back in order to wipe away a personal debt. When you first arrive in Columbia, it seems to be a utopian society filled with early 1900s American Patriotism. Barbershop quartets sing along the streets while American flags wave in front of every store. It all seems perfect at first glance, but then you begin to look closer… Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Even Zombies Love This Game

This is not my photo. Go here for the original: http://www.bifuteki.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/walkingdead_ep2.jpg

If you’re reading this article right now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Walking Dead TV show. Hell, I can’t go two minutes online without seeing something posted about it. If you haven’t heard, there is also a walking dead game for Xbox by the developer Telltale Games. It has been receiving fantastic reviews across the board, and even though I haven’t played it yet, I’m going to very soon.

I’ve been waiting to play the series because I’ve been playing other titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3, so I haven’t had much time for other games. However, I’ve just been informed that the first episode (there are five in total) is being given away for free right now! That means you can go on Xbox Live (or xbox.com) and download it for yourself at no cost! And as of right now, the rest of the episodes are also half off! They are usually 400 Microsoft points each, or 5 dollars, but now they are only 200 points, or $2.50. I’m not sure how long this deal will last, but from what I’ve heard about this game, it is DEFINITELY worth your money.

EDIT: So apparently the half-off deal was only for a day, however I have now played the first episode and I can definitely say this is a great game. It took me a little under 2 hours to complete, so that means with all 5 episodes, the series will be almost 10 hours in total (if they’re all the same length). This is a FANTASTIC deal, considering it’s only 25 dollars for all 5 (if you didn’t get the first episode free), where most games are now sold for 60. A typical console game still only takes about 10 hours to beat, so this is a lot of bang for your buck.

I won’t give much away in terms of the story, but one thing that I want to make clear is that if you have never seen the TV show, your experience WILL NOT be affected. I have never watched a single episode on TV and I still loved playing the game. They insert several hugely intense sequences in the story that affect the episodes later on down the road, and it really feels like I’m getting a unique experience. The last time I experienced anything like this was when I played Mass Effect. This is exactly the experience I was hoping to get out of it. I can’t wait to play the rest of the episodes. If you’ve played the game at all, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Laziness Never Felt So Good

If you happen to have the Xbox Live app on a smart phone or tablet, chances are fairly good that you’ve noticed the need for a recent update. Microsoft has just released an update completely overhauling the previous version of the app. The app’s new name is “SmartGlass.” If you payed attention to E3 news a while ago, you’ll remember that Microsoft unveiled SmartGlass, an app that let’s you control your Xbox from a smart phone or tablet. Here are some of my initial opinions on it:

The new logo for the SmartGlass app.

I was extremely skeptical at first, because SmartGlass seemed very gimmicky. Honestly, am I really that lazy that I can’t just use a controller with my Xbox? I just figured it was something that you’d use once or twice to show off to your friends, and then you’d never use it again. However, this app definitely proved me wrong. First, it’s extremely easy to use. After I logged in, it immediately took control of my Xbox. I was flipping between menus like a pro, playing music/movies (It shows you all sorts of info on any media you are playing), and even typing messages, all without using a controller. I can’t believe I can finally type a message in a reasonable amount of time, instead of taking a year to type one sentence. As unimportant as it might sound, that was one problem I always had. I never wanted to buy those stupid qwerty keyboard attachments or use a full keyboard, but I also hated typing messages with the controller. Bottom line: as lazy as it made me feel, I was really enjoying it.

Once I finished messing around in the dashboard, I wanted to see it’s integration with an actual game. I loaded Halo 4 and my phone IMMEDIATELY came up with a Halo 4 screen and displayed all of my profile info. My campaign history, previously played online games, favorite weapons, and pretty much everything you can possibly think of was immediately available. I never would’ve expected for it to be such a seamless integration, but it was. I also wanted to see what it looked like on a tablet, so I loaded it up on my iPad, and it was just as great. It isn’t simply a larger iPhone version. It is a whole separate layout specifically for tablets, and it ran just as smoothly.

This could definitely be a competitor to the Wii U, with it’s touchscreen-toting controller. It no longer has that competitive edge, because it’s one key difference, the separate screen, is no longer unique to their console. If game developers start utilizing this app, we could be seeing a whole new wave of innovative games in the market.

As fun as it is on your own, SmartGlass has great potential when you are among friends. Navigating the menus is quick and easy, searching for movies only takes seconds (pausing/playing movies will be easier as well), and if your friends have never used a controller before, they’ll feel much more comfortable being able to use a phone to go through the menus.

I’m very pleased with how SmartGlass turned out, and I haven’t seen a single problem yet. If I find any, I’ll be sure to post them up here. Oh, and if anyone uses it with some other games, comment below on whether or not it is integrated with the game or not. I’m interested to see how many games are supported already.

Not Just Another Gaming Website

I’ve been in talks with a friend (the one who is getting me into E3) and he’s been telling me about this company called shifted2u.com. It’s an entertainment & news site, with a section dedicated to video games. Apparently the company is really starting to get big. If I remember correctly, I was told that they received over 9 million hits in their first year (which is pretty darn good). They have a lot of connections to the gaming industry, and they were compared to the next IGN or G4. As crazy as that sounds, I’m excited to see what they do in the near future. I was asked to potentially do some writing for them, so I’m in the process of checking that out. They are also the ones hosting the E3 after-party this year, and so I’ll probably go to that as well and hopefully make some connections. I know that doesn’t really affect anybody reading this, but I figured I’d still share my story as to how I got to know who they are, and then recommend that you all go and check them out for yourselves. They’ve got a pretty awesome website, and I think they’re going to be doing some pretty big things in the future. Just click the link at the beginning of this post and it will take you there. If you aren’t interested in gaming news, they have plenty of news on other topics as well, so don’t be discouraged because you think it’s all games.

I’m telling you, these guys might just be the next big thing in gaming, so you might as well go check them out! Also, if anyone reading this has his or her own favorite places to receive gaming news, feel free to post about them in the comments section below!

BLaK xEntertainmentx: MW3 Infection Spots

Do you play MW3 infection? If you do, then you should check out my cousin’s latest post on his youtube channel, BLaK xEntertainmentx. He’s going over the best and latest infections spots that have, as of right now, not been patched yet. This video will definitely help you survive longer, so I highly recommend watching it!!!

BLaK xEntertainmentx youtube channel

On a side note, if anyone would like me to review a game I’ve played, check out my profile (BLaK xASSAULTx) on Xbox Live to see what I’ve played (I’ve played a lot). I’d be more than happy to let you know if a certain game is worth playing or not!

New Addition To The Site!!!

Hey everyone! I’m proud to announce a new addition to my posts on XboxOpinions.com. I’m in a clan (the BLaK clan) on Xbox Live, and my cousin, one of the members, just started up a youtube channel for Xbox. It’s called BLaK xEntertainmentx, and he’s going to be posting up, tips, tricks, how-to’s and more. It’s mainly going to be about Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he’s going to have some other stuff up on there as well. Although he’s not actually a part of XboxOpinions, I will be sharing his videos on here for discussions, as well as helpful sources of information for those of you who would like to learn some tips & tricks in various games. So please check out this video, because it’s his first one, and I hope you like it!!!

Oh, and if you’re curious, his gamertag is BLaK xLaVenDeRx. Also, I never posted my gamertag, so mine is BLaK xASSAULTx. If you want, you can check my profile and see what games I’ve played, and if you want me to review any of the games on my list of played games, just contact me and let me know!

BLaK xEntertainmentx’s channel

Social Networking And Gaming

Now that I have this blog, I’ve been following more and more  individuals from gaming industries on various social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and I’m really glad I have. It’s truly amazing to think of how communication has advanced. I can now personally contact my favorite game developers and have them immediately message me back with their response. I’ve already talked to multiple people involved in the games industry, and without these sites, I doubt I ever would have been able to. This type of communication, although it leads to a lot of trolling and flame wars, has helped a lot of businesses improve. There is no better way to get immediate feedback on a product/issue. I just felt like I’d pass this thought along, because if you’ve ever had a problem with a game or just wanted to contact a developer to tell them how good of a job they did, I recommend going for it. Send them a message and tell them how you feel. They might not always message you back, but at least you have a chance, and if they do, it’s such a gratifying feeling. It feels like you’ve personally made a difference (depending on what you said, of course), and at least for me, that feels really good. If you’d like a couple names of individuals to follow within the gaming industry, check out my Twitter because I’m basically only following people who are involved with games.

Mass Effect 3 Review (Updated)

I’ve played ME3 some more, so I thought I’d add some more to this review. If you’ve already read what I have so far, just skip to the bottom and you’ll see what I’ve added.

Mass Effect 3 is finally here!!! I really do hope that everyone is going out and buying this game because it is SO incredible. I’ve only played it for a day now, but I’m definitely hooked already. If you’re still curious about what the whole game is about, I’ll give a quick synopsis. The main character in Mass Effect is Commander Shepard. You can choose to make Shepard a male or female, and fully customize his/her appearance. Without going too deep into the past games, Shepard is basically a hero who has saved the universe several times from oncoming threats (the typical kind of hero story one would find in any sort of video game of this magnitude). In the third game, Shepard must save everyone from the biggest threat they have ever seen: the reapers. The reapers are an incredibly powerful race of beings, whose powers cannot be matched by any other living creature (as far as we know). They are not simply biological creatures, but rather something greater. As discovered in Mass Effect 2, (*SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t played the other games!!!) these reapers come about every 50,000 years and wipe out all living organisms. They kill all powerful civilizations and then have all of the others start from scratch (This whole concept vaguely reminded me of the end of The Matrix, where Neo finds out that there are many cycles of life, and he is just one of many. He then goes on to try and change his fate, just like Shepard does). However, humanity has never known about any of this until Commander Shepard found traces of a previous civilization, known as the Protheans. He now uses their knowledge in an attempt to discover a way to defeat the reapers, instead of having humanity die once again.

Continue reading

Passing The Time

Is there a game coming out in the near future that you just can’t wait to play? Would you like to get your mind off of it until it comes out? Or would you even just like to play an incredibly awesome arcade game that will literally keep you hooked for hours on end? If so, then I highly recommend you pick up Trials HD. It’s not new, but it sure is good. With the sequel coming out some time in the future (there was a release date, but then the developer pulled it down, so we don’t really know when it’s coming out), this would be a great time to see what the hype is all about. Trials HD is a side-scrolling motorcycle game, where time and precision are the key factors to completing each level. For any old-school gamers, this is basically a new-age version of Excitebike. It can get extremely difficult at times, but it is extremely satisfying after each and every level is completed. And once you beat the main courses, don’t think that the game’s over. The game then unlocks harder challenges, and there are also a lot of crazy mini games to play. This was one of my all-time favorite XBLA games, and I would recommend it to any gamer out there, no matter what skill level they are.