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.

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

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.

E3 2012 Summary

Where to begin… I’ve seen so much in the past 3 days. I guess I’ll just start by saying that I’ve never been to anything quite like E3 before. The whole atmosphere is just mesmerizing. I’ve had multiple celebrities walk right by me, and I’m pretty sure I was on national television at one point. It’s a shame that it’s not open to the public anymore, but I do understand why. Even though E3 only for the workers in the gaming industry, it’s already packed with people. When some people have to wait in line for 4 hours to see a 15 minute preview of a game, I can understand why companies wouldn’t want any more bodies at the even. That being said, I was extremely lucky to be able to attend.

Outside the LA Convention Center. What a beautiful sight!

My first day was basically a scouting day. I wanted to at least see where everything was, and take lots of pictures. That way, I didn’t have to worry about taking pictures/getting lost during the next 2 days. I walked around the whole event multiple times (and this is a LARGE event), and played some games as well. I played some of the smaller games with shorter lines because I didn’t want to waste my whole first day waiting in a line. I did, however, stand in line for Call of Duty: Black Ops II because at the time, the line was fairly short and I knew it was going to be much longer later in the day. I also checked out G4 while they were filming, because that was one thing that I definitely wanted to see while I was there. On my second day, I waited in the lines for the bigger games, like Assassins Creed III and Halo 4, which took a lot of the time out of my day (about 2 hours per line!). On the last day, I stood in a couple more long lines, including Gears of War: Judgement, and checked out some other smaller games again. I also tried to grab as much swag on the last day as I possibly could.

I think the best way to go about describing all of the games I saw is by putting them all as separate subheadings and putting a description after each one. That way, if your looking for a specific game that I saw, you can easily find it. Oh, and just to clarify, these games are in no particular order. I’m just typing them out as I think of them. Continue reading

Microsoft’s Press Briefing At E3 2012

From Usher performing, to Master Chief making a comeback, today had a lot of cool content displayed at the Microsoft press briefing. I’m sure you’ve already heard TONS of news about E3 from TV and other websites, so I’m just going to take this time to talk about what my favorite moments were at the Microsoft press briefing. If you think I missed something important, post a comment below!

Microsoft started of their show with a demo of Halo 4 gameplay footage. They showed some significant changes, including new weapons and an all new enemy. The next game shown was Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It seems like the Splinter Cell franchise is slowly getting more and more action-oriented, instead of just stealthy. We saw that a bit with the last game, and it looks like we’re getting even more action in this one. The only thing I didn’t like was the Kinect integration into the game. Once again, it feels like they stuck in Kinect integration after-the-fact. I mean, do we really need to yell out “hey you!” to our Kinect in order to get someone’s attention in the game? It just feels unnecessary. Another game filled with action was Gears of War: Judgement, based on the Gears character Baird’s past. We still don’t know a whole lot about gameplay, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out at E3. Continue reading

E3 Wish List

E3 is coming up incredibly fast, and I (along with the whole gaming community) can’t wait to see what games are going to be on display. Today I figured I’d make a list of the top 10 Xbox games that I’d like to see more of, or for the first time if that’s the case. Enjoy!

1. Assassin’s creed III
2. Halo 4
3. GTA V
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
5. Resident Evil 6
6. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
7. Skyrim DLC
8. Mass Effect DLC (new ending?)
9. Diablo III for Xbox
10. A Kinect game that will actually make me want to buy a Kinect

I also figured I’d throw in a couple games that, although they most likely won’t be talked about at E3 (or anywhere for that matter), I’d LOVE to see them. However, if they did happen to be there, I would be quite happy (and by quite happy, I mean I would go pretty much go insane).

1. Mirror’s Edge 2
2. Half-Life 3
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3
4. Bioshock: Infinite (This one just won’t be at E3. I’d still love to see it though…)
5. A Kinect game that will actually make me want to buy a Kinect

Do you have any games you’d like to see at E3? If so, post them in the comments section below! Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. for updates on my latest posts as well as posts on what I see at E3 next week! Just search for “xboxopinions” or click the symbols at the top right of this page!

Where’s My DLC?!

DLC, or downloadable content, is a hot topic right now. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But DLC has been happening for a long time, Ian!” Well you’re right, it has! But now, more than ever, DLC is something that game developers feel like they have an obligation to put out. If Call of Duty didn’t have any DLC after its release, fans would be absolutely furious, but is it really their place to be angry? That’s up for debate. Also, many games are now being shipped with DLC already on them, and then a developer with “sell” you the digital content for 10 dollars, when really all they’re doing is unlocking it on the disc (Mass Effect 3 had this happen. They sold the first piece of DLC right when the game came out) Once again, the matter of whether this is right to do is up for debate, and I see myself on both sides.

I do believe that DLC is a fantastic thing. It lets the developers satisfy its fans with a bunch of extra content for a smaller price than what they paid for the original game (and it also provides the developer a heap of extra cash, which helps them stay in business). However, when a company sets aside a DLC team to start developing extra content before the game is even released, I start to get offended. Continue reading

Diablo 3 Coming To Xbox?

There were rumors a while ago about the just-released PC game Diablo 3 coming to Xbox, and there have been mixed opinions on whether or not it’s a good decision. After all, PC games are laid out completely differently when compared to a console game. PCs have a whole keyboard, while we only have a controller. Controls will have to be simplified, and the gameplay will be very different than it’s original format.

Recently, Blizzard has confirmed suspicions by saying that although they are planning an Xbox release, they are going to take a while. They said that they don’t want a straight port onto consoles. They actually want a console version with it’s own unique controls that have been designed specifically for controllers. They’re taking it very seriously, and are saying that they are in no rush to release it alongside it’s PC version. I’m very glad they’re taking this approach because it’s annoying when you can tell a game has been rushed just to get it released.

I personally don’t know much about the game, besides the fact that it’s a dungeon-crawler and a huge hit on PC. I’ve actually gotten more and more curious about it, to the point where I almost considered buying it, but if it’s coming out on Xbox I might just wait to pick it up then. If this game is pulled off successfully, this is going to be a huge story in the PC and console community. If you’ve played any Diablo games, including Diablo 3, you will definitely want to keep an eye on Blizzard, because they might be the next huge console game developer. Any thoughts? Post them below!