Let The Games Begin!

As much as I love Xbox, there is no way I can dismiss what is going on with the other gaming consoles. I figured it would only be right to go over some quick points on what my opinions are towards Sony’s latest announcements regarding the future of Playstation.

If this venue doesn't yell "Playstation," then I don't know what does. I really think they should get some other colors in their color palette.

If this venue doesn’t yell “Playstation,” then I don’t know what does. I really think they should get some other colors in their color palette.

After boring me with their Playstation Vita news, they finally grabbed my attention when they officially announced the PS4. They began going over the specs for it’s GPU, CPU, RAM, and other main features within the console (although they weren’t showing the actual console). I was quite impressed, but not really surprised, by what I heard. It really isn’t that surprising that the PS4 will be able to do vastly more powerful things than its predecessor. That being said, there were a few curveballs that I found intriguing. Continue reading

Revolution DLC Pack For Black Ops 2 Preview

If you pay attention of Call of Duty news, you are about to be bombarded with information regarding the upcoming DLC pack entitled “Revolution.” Why? Because a new trailer was just released, with information regarding 4 new multiplayer maps, a new zombies map, a new zombies game mode, and a new online weapon. Because you’re going to want to watch the video anyways, I’ll just show it to you instead of summarize the whole damn thing. So here ya go!

I think this first pack is looking fantastic. The maps all look very original, and I like it when they include pieces of the map that change as the game progresses, such as the water in the dam on Hydro, or the gondolas moving through the Downhill map. I think little nuances like these give the map life, and are just enough to keep player on their toes. As for the new additions to zombies, I’m very pleased with what they’ve added. I always like new zombie maps, and I think we’ve all been wanting to play as zombies for quite a while (at least I have). The zombie maps in this game are already my favorite out of any other COD game, so the fact that they’re adding to that list is very exciting.

I think the new gun addition could either go very good, or very bad. COD players are known for being whiny. They’re always complaining about guns  being overpowered/underpowered/etc. With that in mind, I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be complaining that the gun is either too strong/weak, OR they’ll be complaining that they don’t get to use it because they didn’t purchase the DLC. Whatever it is, I’m sure they’ll find some way to complain.

Also, if you bought the 50 dollar season pass, not only will you be saving money on this DLC pack, but the rest as well. There are 4 projected packs at 15 dollars each, so do the math and you’ll be saving 10 dollars in total.

Overall, I think this is a great looking initial DLC pack, and I can’t wait to check it out for myself on January 29th! If you have any opinions on this, make sure to post them below! Do you like what you see? Do you think it’s worth the money? Let me know!

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.

Halo 4 Lanyard Giveaway!!!

This contest is now over! Thank you all for playing and hopefully I’ll have another one soon. Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch and find out about any giveaways I have!

Since Halo 4 just came out, I figured I would have a little giveaway! I have a Halo 4 lanyard that was only given out at E3 (as far as I know), and I thought it would be a nice prize to give away since everyone has been so excited about the game’s release! How do you win you ask? Well, there are two ways to enter. First, you can follow me on Twitter and retweet my official giveaway tweet, or you can like my page on Facebook and comment on my official giveaway status on there! If you do both, you will be entered into the contest twice, but two entries is the limit. Again, you have to have my page liked or follow me on Twitter to win, so be sure to do that! Thank you all for checking out my site, and good luck!

You could win this!!!

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.

Dishonored: The Good, The Bad, And The Stealthy

With practically every new and upcoming game having some sort of affiliation with a series (COD, Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, Halo, Borderlands, Medal of Honor, Resident Evil, etc.), it seems as if the popularity and media attention concerning new titles has almost completely vanished. However, among this sea of remakes and sequels, a brand new title has found its way onto store shelves. Dishonored is a stealth game much different than any other stealth game to date.

Coming out of Arkane Studios (who contributed to Bioshock 2 and COD: World at War) and Bethesda (Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, etc.), this game has a very familiar feel that gamers will recognize if they have played some of these developers’ previously mentioned games. As Soon as I started playing, I felt like I was stuck in limbo between the world of Bioshock, and the world of the Elder Scrolls games. It is something that is hard to describe, yet once you experience it for yourself, you will surely understand. Maybe it is the way the first-person gameplay is utilized, or maybe it is how the areas are mapped. I couldn’t really say. Continue reading

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Review

When I think of skateboarding legends, I think of Tony Hawk. When I think of legendary skateboarding video games, Tony’s first game comes to mind (Coincidence? I think not). Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater originally released on the Playstation in 1999, and was released shortly thereafter on the Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color, and a few other platforms. I never owned a Playstation, but I definitely had an N64, and I played this game to death. It was the first game in my own lifetime that brought my gaming love to a whole new level. Mario, as well as other signature Nintendo games, never grabbed my attention the way THPS did. The difference? This game felt real. After all, I was skating just like Tony did! What more could a child ask for.

Last week, THPS was re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade for $15. My initial thought was to say no. Did I really want to spend 15 bucks on an N64 game? Eventually I said yes. The child inside of me just couldn’t resist, and I gave in. Now to present to you my review of THPS HD: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Continue reading

My Thoughts On The New Mass Effect 3 Ending

I finally got around to playing the new ME3 ending a while ago, and I was quite impressed. Although I still don’t fully agree that Bioware should’ve made a new ending in the first place, I do think they did an excellent job given the circumstances. If you want the condensed version without any spoilers, here it is:

Bioware did an excellent job answering most of the questions that the community had. For example, they explained how Commander Shepard’s comrades miraculously got onto the Normandy at the end of the game, as well as the “indoctrination theory” that was discussed all around the internet (even here!). They even included a cutscene at the end of the game that explained what the consequences of your last decision were. All of these added up to a much more complete and though-provoking ending. I was much more emotionally satisfied with my actions once the game finished, whereas I definitely wasn’t before. Okay…. That’s pretty much it for the spoiler free edition. Here’s the rest of my thoughts: Continue reading

Power To The People

If you haven’t heard yet, the new ending for Mass Effect 3 has been released. This was due to a public outcry regarding the original ending of the game. Admittedly, it was pretty bad, but I didn’t think it was so bad that I needed to file a complaint to the FCC (which someone actually did). The whole situation was out of control. Instead of sticking to their guns in the name of artistic integrity, Bioware gave in and told their fans that they were going to release an all new DLC (Downloadable Content) pack that would change the ending. This DLC pack was released earlier this week, and I’m surprised at the number of people NOT talking about it.

I have not played it yet (I’m too focused on finishing everything in Dawnguard), although I’m dying to see what they’ve changed. However, I’m sure a lot of people have, especially since they were so pissed off to begin with. I thought I’d be hearing a new outcry of “Hooray! A new, better ending! Thanks, Bioware!” Instead, the DLC was met with relative silence. Is that really what gamers have turned into? Whiny spoiled brats who cry if they don’t get what they want, but then go about with their day like nothing happened once they get their original wish granted? These people just slaved over a whole new ending, and not once did I see a post online about how good (or bad) they thought the new ending was. Granted, I haven’t been looking very hard, but I wasn’t looking that hard before, and I still stumbled across hundreds of complaints about the ending.

Maybe the majority of gamers still haven’t finished the DLC yet. Maybe they’re still working on Skyrim like me. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I will certainly write another post about it once I finished the new ending. If anybody reading this has played the ending, have you been vocal about it? If not, why? And if so, who did you tell? I’m curious to know. This is a very interesting time in gaming history, and I’m sure these moments will be talked about for a long time down the road.

Skyrim: Dawnguard Review

It’s been way too long since I’ve written a post on here. Now that I’m back, let me tell you about what I’ve been playing lately! If you have any friends that play Skyrim, then you’ve probably heard about a little DLC pack that just came out called Dawnguard. It’s the first DLC that has come out for Skyrim, and it doesn’t disappoint.

If you don’t know what Dawnguard is about, I’ll give you a quick summary. While wandering through Skyrim, your character is approached by a member of the Dawnguard, a group of vampire hunters. They have chosen to recruit more soldiers in an attempt to wipe out the spreading vampire problem, and naturally, you’re chosen to join them. You are asked to speak to their leader, and when you do, you are given a task to show your usefulness. While on this quest, you meet another character who has a certain fancy for blood (I won’t give away too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for you). They have a different goal on their agenda, and instead, want you to meet their vampire lord and work for them instead. This is when you get to choose: join the hunters? Or the Hunted?

Personally, I wanted to see what it would be like to become a vampire lord, so I joined the vampires (although I’m going to go back and try the other side too). One thing that they’ve done in this DLC that I thought was quite brilliant is the fact that they’ve acknowledged that most players at this point are fairly high levels. Well, since they’ve given us a brand new perk tree, which differs depending on which side you choose (in my case, it was vampire-specific perks), one would assume that it would be hard to access these perks if we are already high levels. Well luckily, Bethesda has some pretty smart workers, so they’ve thought of a way around the problem. Instead of unlocking these perks via leveling up, you unlock them by using your faction specific abilities, like the vampire lord’s “life drain” ability, or a good ol’ fashioned blood sucking. The more you use your powers, the quicker you unlock the perks.

Now that I’ve finished the DLC quests (at least one faction’s side of it), I can truly say that you will get your money out of this DLC. It gives the player hours and hours of extra play time, and even more so if you consider the fact that you can go back and play the other faction’s quests as well. After all, if you want all of the extra achievements (which I do), you HAVE to play through both sides of the story. This was a great piece of content for Skyrim. Once you see the vast worlds that they’ve created just for this DLC pack, you’ll understand why they’ve taken so long to release it. I would definitely give this pack a 10 out of 10.