Kinect: What’s Next?

I have had my Kinect for a little under a week now and I am loving it. It is a really powerful piece of hardware, but you have to ask yourself: What’s next when is comes to software. Of Course there are games like Kinect Sports and Dance Central that will tide gamers over for a while, but how long will these games keep us quiet. We have heard critics speak about how Kinect is not geared toward the hardcore gamer. With it’s current line up of games, this is completely true. The Playstation Move has been integrated into games already in the PS3′s library and all I see in the current Xbox library is Harry Potter (which had horrible reviews). With this being said, I am still extremely optimistic about what is to come with the Kinect. For now I am satisfied with my experience. What about you? How has your experience been with Microsoft’s entry into the motion gaming race?


New Batman: Arkham City Trailer featuring Hugo Strange

There’s a new Batman Arkham game coming out Fall 2011. I don’t have much to say about the games because I’ve never played them before. But this one looks pretty good and It’s got me thinking of getting the others so I’ll be caught up in the storyline. Maybe Hugo Strange will be the new villian in The Dark Knight Rises too!

Bioware’s New Game Confirmed: Mass Effect 3

Well everyone, our wildest dreams have come true. It has been confirmed that Bioware’s new game is (drum roll please)…….MASS EFFECT 3.

The teaser trailer showed the soldier from the infamous screen shot taking refuge in a clock tower. He is beaten up and wielding a sniper rifle. As the camera zooms out, we see that we are in England with alien spaceship raining down destruction. Wait….what did I just hear…did he say SHEPARD…..yes he did. Towards the end of this teaser trailer we see Shepard looking down upon earth. I know I am excited…how about you? I wonder if it will make it to the PS3. This game is set to release Holiday 2011.

Dead Space 2 Demo Coming to PSN, XBL

What more could you ask for for christmas than a Javelin gun and your trusty plasma cutter, and Zero-G!!!!!

EA and Visceral Games announced today that a demo for their new game Dead Space 2 will be available on Xbox Live December 21st worldwide, and on the Playstation Network December 22nd in North America. Europe will have to wait a day later, December 22nd, to enjoy The Sprawl.

Dead Space 2 will be released January 25, 2011 on the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Source: Press Release

First Impressions: Call of Duty: Black Ops

After a month of running through all of the modes, maps, weapons, attachments, party disconnects and overall carnage that is the Call of Duty Multiplayer, I finally decided to tear through the campaign.

My first thoughts were, “This is definitely a movie in game form.” At the time of this writing, I would presume I’m around ninety percent done with the campaign, and compared to other Call of Duty campaigns I actually have a better sense of what is going on. I haven’t had the big reveal of the plot twist, but I think I can come up with a pretty good estimate of what’s going to happen.

The game starts you, Alex Mason, being interrogated by an unknown person. The interrogator keeps asking you about your past escapades in secret operations and something about ‘numbers’ and a ‘number station’. This is how Treyarch goes about telling the story, placing you in a bunch of flashbacks as missions. You mainly play as Alex Mason and you’re sprinkled as a couple other people in the story later on.

Black Ops has the typical Call of Duty / Modern Warfare gameplay. On the Normal difficulty, enemies take about three shots and their accuracy is on par of a five year-old child. But if you dare turn up the heat to the Veteran difficulty, you’ll find that the enemy AI has the fortitude and accuracy of a T-1000. This is compared to your AI companions that will let enemies run a b-line straight at you from fifty yards and gun butt you in the forehead before they take a shot.

The game mechanics are also similar to past games from Treyarch and Infinity Ward. There are stealth missions that turn into the typical ‘go loud’ and shoot everything that moves missions, the air-supported missions, and TWO countdown missions that end in game-over if you don’t get out in time. So I’m not bored, the game is really good at keeping things fresh.

However, I have two issues with the game so far. The first one is part of a mission that started you off as one of the other main characters in the game trying to get some information out of a doctor. Things go wrong and you have to traverse through the upper levels and roofs of some buildings. About one-fourth through the mission you have to take a jump from the roof of one building to about the fourth or fifth floor from the top of another. I made the jump and so did one of my AI partners. But for some reason, the other AI partner never showed up. So I’m standing there waiting for the AI to move a refrigerator to move through the rest of the game. After a few restarts from checkpoint and a complete reboot of my system and I realized that I had to restart the mission.

My second issue is where the game saves. I wanted to finish this mission before signing off for the night. So I turned off the system halfway through the end-of-mission cut scene, waiting until after I got my achievement but before I saw any details about the next part of the story. Unfortunately when I started up the game again, I started from the beginning of the previous mission. Now before you say anything, I know the number one rule is to ‘save and quit’, but so many games do an automatic save during cut scenes that I have gotten used to that. So you can call that user error, but it was an annoyance to me; especially since I had to do that darn exploding barrel mission over again on veteran.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how the campaign is. Look for more after I finish the Medal of Honor campaign and the DigitalDpad team does their game vs. game discussion that EA wanted so many people to do.

First Impressions: Enslaved

Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down and spend some time with the Enslaved demo. Now for a quick and dirty synopsis of what I think so far.

Story: There wasn’t too much that I could get about the story from the demo. I do know that it is based off of the Chinese novel “Journey to the West” just like many other stories in video games and anime (Dragon Ball). What I got from my short time with the game is that you play as two characters throughout the story (Monkey and Trip) that were captured to become slaves and you need to get the hell out of dodge. The demo takes place as you attempt to escape this air ship before it’s too late. Everything else you can find out for yourselves.

Visuals: The first thing you notice when you start this game is the way it looks. The world that it’s set in is beautiful and full of color. It definitely shows that the current gen systems are not yet at the end of their life spans. In some ways it visually resembles Heavenly Sword (take a look at the main female protagonist). The character designs are very detailed and unique. The visuals in the game will definitely  keep your attention.

Controls: Once you take control of Monkey you will notice that the controls are a little touchy. They weren’t horrible, but they will take some getting used to. I’m sure that there were some game settings that I could have tweaked to make the experience more enjoyable but I didn’t feel that they took that much from the game. Sensitive controls aside, traversing through the world is very fluid. The controls are overall simple and easy to understand.

Game Play: As far as the demo goes you won’t see anything new here. At it’s base level it can be considered a hack and slash. I would compare it to Devil May Cry (with brighter colors). I was not allowed to go to deep into the combo system but it all felt really intuitive. Outside of the combat system there is some Prince of Persia like game play. Although you don’t play get a chance to take control of Trip in the demo, it is shown in game play videos that she tags along with Monkey throughout the story.

Overall I can say that I am excited to play more of this game. Now I just need someone to buy it for me :).

Gears of War 3 Pushed To Holiday 2011

Many triple-A titles have moved out of the congestion of the holiday season to the first and second quarter of the next year over the past two years. This time we see a game that purposefully had a release date in the second quarter get pushed back into the holiday rush.

Epic Games, along with Microsoft Game Studios, have announced that the third installment in the Gears of War series will now have a Holiday 2011 realese window. Fortunately, this is not because the game needs more time to finish. Don’t believe me? Well here is a statement from Executive Producer Rod Fergusson:

I know fans are going to be disappointed with the new release date, but rest assured that this is a business decision between partners, and not a quality issue. Gears 3 was on track to be the most polished Gears of War game ever when it released in April, and this additional time allows us to polish it that much more before it hits shelves next fall. Next week we have a major multiplayer press visit at Epic HQ, and I’m really looking forward to the fans seeing and hearing about Gears 3 versus multiplayer for the first time. Lots more exciting news to come.

From a business perspective, I can see why the decision was made. Since Microsoft is publishing the title, I’m sure they would love to give Halo: Reach and their upcoming motion camera Kinect the spotlight that they deserve. But let’s not forget that there could be a few key titles exclusive to the Playstation 3 next fall that Microsoft would want to keep an eye on. One might think that Uncharted 3 could be announced for a fall 2011 release since there development cycle ran two years from their first to their second Uncharted title. However, Insomniac Game’s Resistance 3 is currently set for fall 2011. Resistance and Gears of War went head-to-head back in holiday 2008 with both of their second games in their respective series. Gears of War 2 sold over two million units through its first weekend available while Resistance 2 sold about 900,000 units from November through December. I’m sure Microsoft would love for history to repeat itself.

Now calm down Gearheads, this is not a bad thing. Yes, you’ll have to wait a few more months to chainsaw lambent drones just to toss them off before they explode. However, this will give the developer time to ‘polish’ the game. Hopefully Epic Games would be able to fix some of the multiplayer issues that usually hamper the online experience of past Gears games around launch.

Source: Epic Games

Does your wife or girlfriend hate it when you game??

Hello all, I wrote this in 2007 but the facts remain the same today.

When you and the fellas get going on some Gears of War, NBA Live, Madden. . . people just need to understand, WE NEED THIS.
Ladies we love you but sometimes we need to sit back and be men… so understand we need our time.

In Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s Little Girls” Gabriel Union’s character says she’s looking for “a black man with good credit, who speaks grammatical English and who doesn’t play video games.”

Ok, wow….What’s the problem? That’s like saying I’m looking for a black woman who doesn’t like shopping and/or fashion. Don’t get me wrong I know it can get bad… fellas if you want to play XBOX360, PS3 or Wii more than you want to be with your lady then you need to take a look at your life and get your priorities together. A form of affection should be higher priority than beating the Heat on your NBA Live Season. Please ladies AND men give your loved ones just a few hours to get some gamage in . . .

Yes, ladies game too.

The average age for a video game player is about 30, a number slowly increasing as people that were kids playing the first arcade, console and home computer games continue playing now on current systems. The gender distribution of gamers is reaching equilibrium, according to a 2003 study showing that 57% of gamers are male and 43% female. (ESA report on the sales, demographics and usage data of the industry)

Wow 43 percent, that’s a lot of women. If you’re out there reading this ladies… Will You Marry Me? Haha, I’m just kidding I’m married,  but seriously its just a sign of the times… 20 years ago men got together and had poker night. Now . . . we game. It’s not just another night of the week… it is the very fabric that keeps man sane… the comraderie and competition mends all wounds of the world and act as catalysts to propell the patrons of gamage toward a better mood… a better state of mind so we can deal with the weight of life, work and relationship.

To all my gamers out there, men and women alike, keep gaming. . . Maybe I’ll see u out there on XBOX|Live


NBA Elite 11….errr 12??????

September 27th signified a shift in the world of NBA basketball games that has been inevitable (in some eyes) for the past few years. NBA Elite (previously NBA Live since 1995) has been delayed indefinitely by Peter Moore, President of EASports.

Unfortunately, NBA ELITE 11 is not yet ready and we have made a decision to delay next month’s launch. We are going to keep working until we’re certain we can deliver a breakthrough basketball experience.

EA Sports has put out a NBA product since their 1995 release on the Super Nintendo and Genesis and has had an athlete on the cover since Mitch Richmond was on the cover in 1997. EA has been struggling with product stability over the past few years. EA Sport’s Madden NFL franchise has seen feature cuts in Madden NFL 06 (hear my thoughts about that release), frame rate issues on the PS3 version in ’08, and now these development hiccups have sneaked their way over to their Live, now known as Elite, NBA franchise.

The announcement of the delay comes less than a week before the game’s scheduled release. This just happens to be the same day that 2K Sports’s Michael Jordan covered NBA 2K11 is releasing. Could EA Sports be feeling the pressure of the Jordan clad game? In a word, DEFINITELY. From the minority, possibly becoming the majority soon, 2K’s NBA franchise has been on EA’s heels since the early 2000’s. The only complaint I’ve heard about NBA 2K was its annoying TNT Gatorade .jpg that covered the screen after a highlight. Yes, EA has stated that rosters and their DNA feature will be updated for free for the NBA Live ’10 users that still have their disc (if you don’t have the disc then you will be charged $10 to play online via EA’s Online Pass), but who wants to play last year’s game when they have the chance of playing as Michael Jordan? Yeah, this is the same Jordan who hasn’t been playable, to my knowledge, by other than #23 for years.

Because of their past mishaps I feel somewhat relieved that EASports decided not to put out a broken game. At the same time, I do think they deserve it for previous greed. So tell me NBA fanatics, do you still think that NBA Live is FANTASTIC, or are you hoping to play the ’90s Bulls versus the behemoth known as the 2010-11 Miami Heat in 2K11? Let me know in the comments below.

Source: NBA Elite Delayed