Monday, November 21, 2011

WTF: So yeah...

Any of you who follow the twitter feed connected to this blog may have been noticing some odd posts recently.

I might as well explain whats going on!

I am in the process of moving Pixelated Palace to another blog service and platform. The good news is that I've purchased a domain name and already started the process of getting things set up. From what I've been told by my #1 Blog Adviser Terry using the domain name and moving to this blog to another platform will really only help me get the word out and simply be seen be more like-minded people.

This is a pretty sweet gain, right?

The bad news is I seem to be unable to import any existing posts into this new platform. These posts will live on at the current url pretty much until I can either import them into the new blog, or Google suddenly decides it's cleaning out blogger/blogspot blogs.

Does anyone actually think that 2nd option will happen any time soon? Yeah... I didn't think so.

SO! Anyone who'd like to get a jump on things, and take a sneak peek over at the VERY STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION blog - Feel free to take a look, update your bookmarks and RSS feeds... whatever! The design right now is 100% temporary as I get a feel for this new set up (I think it's safe to say, we're going to tumblr). With any luck, it'll be looking awesome in no time. Then we will officially launch and posting here will stop.

(If by chance you're reading this and not someone inside my whole social/social media circle - Please follow me to the new site! I will not be changing the sorts of things I post - just where I post them! I'd love to have you continue to read!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

VIDEO: Touch My Katamari

Well, what can i say? It's a new video trailer for Touch My Katamari.

You either like this series, or well... you're the sort of person who punches babies. Let's have a look:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Video Games, Recovery & Where the hell I've been

Well now. It's been some time since I last wrote about what I have been playing - and to be more direct, I've been kind of slacking off on the blog.

There's a perfectly valid excuse though - I spent some time in the hospital at the end of September and have been recovering from some silly medical crap. (To the handful of people who do read this blog regularly - DON'T WORRY! I'm fine now and ultimately will recovery 100%)

The previously mentioned medical silliness has required that I go to some out patient physical therapy in order to regain some motor skills. Early on I discovered that playing video games made some drastic improvements to my finer motor skills, so of course I ran this all past my wonderful Physical Therapist who seemed thrilled with the idea. I must say, it's actually kind of rad to be told playing video games is HELPFUL.

So, again - I am fine, and will continue to get better with each day, so DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME! Now, that said... Let's talk about what I've been playing recently!

First up - immediately upon being discharged from the hospital, I picked up a copy of Gears of War 3. I then proceeded to play through the entire game (a large chunk of it with a good pal of mine, co-op), and found it to be the best and most satisfying Gears game yet. As always, Gears is a sort of interactive sci-fi/action movie - and really any fan of the prior games in the series will enjoy this outing. The gameplay was super smooth and the graphics were pretty top notch. While Gears 3 seems to end the Gears of War trilogy - I hope this is not the last game we get within this universe. It's just too great of a game engine and style of play to let it collect dust. I'd even be fine with a whole new cast of characters!

But - as I said, played this one straight to the end, mostly on co-op. Once it was over, my pal and I decided it would be a good idea to co-op our way through Gears 2 and then 1. So we did. All in the name of helping me get better. (Big big big shout out to CH. Can't thank you enough for our "Lunchtime Gears".)

It was actually very cool to see how the games had progressed technically by playing them in this order. It's actually kind of jarring how stiff and unforgiving the original Gears of War was. Some of the refinements made with Gears 2 were really rather key to not getting overly frustrated with the game (like the addition of the ability to be revived. The lack of the revival mechanic in Gears 1 made it quite a bit harder than 2 or 3. No matter - we pressed on.

Was it just me, or did Gears 2's final stages just seem like a breeze? I actually said to my pal when Gears 2 ended "Did we just beat the game?!"

Anyway! Not long after this little Gears of War adventure ended, a copy of Batman Arkham City (PS3) arrived at my door (thanks to some VERY kind people who heard video games had been helpful and wanted to ensure I had something to play).

Holy Crap!

I am really unsure how deep into this game I am at this point, but I am well along the main storyline. There are so many side-quests it's not even funny. Batman, in an open world, with these kinds of graphics is simply amazing. I find myself having so much fun just moving around the city, shooting from building to building - sometimes getting the drop on some roaming bad guys. This very well may be both the best Batman game created to date AND the best super hero game made to date.

It's kind of crazy because this game wasn't really on my radar until it landed in my lap, so I feel I must spread the word. Sure, it's gotten a ton of hype (and rightfully so!), but DO NOT PASS THIS ONE UP! Even people who may not be fans of Batman or super heroes - this is just a fantastic video game. Add it to your Christmas/Holiday wish list at the least!

(PS- Batman Arkham City has easily earned the Pixelated Palace Seal of Approval:



What can I say? The Multiplayer is exactly what you'd expect from Call of Duty. It was really nice to see a game launch with no server or game issues on Day 1. My friends and I had no trouble playing and joining games that first day. In terms of the campaign, it's epic as always and again feels like you're playing an interactive military themed action movie.

If you enjoy CoD, you'll dig it - but I feel MW3 won't win any new fans to the series.

Last, and certainly not least (just simply the most current) - Super Mario 3D Land has come out and I am so happy to have something fresh and new to play on my 3DS.

To me, Super Mario 3D Land feels like the logical place to take Mario post-New Super Mario Brothers. It's got a fantastic hybrid of old and new school game mechanics and really should make any Mario fan smile (even the old ones!). The levels themselves seem to really be in the same vein as Super Mario Brothers 3/Super Mario World. There is loads of classic Mario Brothers music through the game so far. The first boss encounter is a total throwback to your run ins with Bowser in Super Mario Brothers 1. The 2nd boss encounter is a throwback to the ship boss/mini boss stages from Mario 3. I anticipate later levels following suit in being throwbacks to prior Mario adventures (I wonder if there will be anything from Mario 2/Mario USA...).

I look forward to playing this game quite a bit more.

And with that - we're current. There are several huge games I've not played or talked about as of yet, but with any luck I'll find myself with several gift cards over the holidays to help me catch up (Uncharted 3 i'm looking at you!).

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So about that #GTAV trailer...

What a tease.

At least we know it'll be set in San Andreas, which could be very rad. It looks liked a fairly modern era, and it seems the main character is a little older than we're use to.

I hope Rockstar doesn't hold back on the details in the coming weeks/months!

HEADS UP: Grand Theft Auto V Trailer incoming! #GTAV

...and the final countdown begins! As of this writing, we are T minus 3 hours till this trailer goes live. Rockstar has been kind enough to provide this embeddable version you see below, countdown and everything! I'll follow up with my reactions once this goes live and I've viewed it several times

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UH OH: Here comes GTA5

Rockstar has announced Grand Theft Auto 5.

I do hope the use of the "V" is a hint that we're headed back to Vice City... in High Def...

Can't wait to see this trailer!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PS2 titles coming to PSN/PS3

Well, so much for the slim PS3 being unable to run PS2 software!

In a move expected by well... pretty much everyone... Sony has announced the first batch of downloadable PS2 titles for the PS3. Odin Sphere, God Hand, GrimGrimoire, Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, and Ring of Red will all be available starting today (10/4/2011). PSN+ members will see a 20% discount on these titles.

First off, I'm glad Sony is opting to go for some of the hidden gems of the PS2 library. These titles simply never got the attention they deserved, and with any luck they now have a shot at gaining a bunch of attention.

Second - C'mon, wtf Sony? Would it really kill you to push this PS2 software out to all slim consoles via a firmware update so I could say... slip one of my many PS2 dvds into my slim and have a go? Anyone with half a clue realized the "no PS2 on slim PS3" was an artificial limitation, and I'm sure a lot of good will from the user base could be gained by adding this to a firmware update.

C'mon Sony... do the right thing and make it happen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Super MBTA World!


VIDEO: A Game of Thrones: Genesis Trailer

So as some of you know, I've been hacking and slashing my way through the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I'm on the 3rd book now, A Storm of Swords) after really enjoying the first season of the HBO series.

I'm not alone in my enjoyment of this series and universe, and a result of that is this game - A Game of Thrones: Genesis. Let's have a look at the trailer:

I gotta say, apart from seeing some key locations from the books and show, this trailer doesn't really get me hyped up. RTS titles have never fully clicked with me and unless there is some major shift in the core gameplay, I am unsure I'll enjoy this.

What is interesting is how this seems to be a prequel to the books and show. It would be pretty cool to play out the battles we've only read and heard about from other characters, but again.. it's an RTS.

Who knows - if the price is right and it's on Steam, maybe i'll give it a shot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Payday: The Heist (aka Shut Up and Take My Money!)

Holy crap!

The fine people over at Kotaku just posted a preview of this upcoming PS3/PC title I hadn't heard of called Payday: The Heist. What hooked me was the article title "Payday: The Heist Blends Left 4 Dead With Hardboiled Crime Cinema" - Left 4 Dead? "Hardboiled Crime Cinema"?!

This has my name all over it.

Anyway - of course I had to dig up some video footage. And here we are!

So between Kotaku's crazy preview, and this trailer - I *GOTTA* have this game.

$20, Steam/PSN, 10/04/2011.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

VIDEO: Starhawk space combat trailer!

Here's a fresh new video for Starhawk. This time we're treated to some space combat action!

Let's have a look:


I've said this a bunch in the past - but this is a day 1 purchase!
(Thanks Terry!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

3DS: Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 release dates!

It's official - Super Mario 3D Land will hit NA shelves on November 13th, and Mario Kart 7 will arrive Dec. 4!

3DS: 3d Video capture update expected in November

Here's another hot bit of news from the 3DS event last night - It's been announced that an update is coming this November to add 3D video capture functionality, as well as some added bonuses for those who've completed the StreetPass games:

This update will allow individuals to capture 3D footage and view it on their 3DS handhelds. The November update will apparently also include new experiences for 3DS owners who have completed all the StreetPass challenges in StreetPass.

I am very glad I replaced the 2gig SD card with an 8gig card in my 3DS.

3DS: Monster Hunter 4 announced!

More news from the 3DS event - Seems Capcom is already hard at work on Monster Hunter 4... for the 3DS. Infact, things are already far enough along to where Capcom has released a "concept clip".

Let's have a look:

So now this is 2 MH titles coming for the 3DS, and so far, none have been announced for the PS Vita (I do expect that to change down the line). This should give the 3DS a pretty hefty boost in Japan.

Meanwhile, I keep telling myself I really need to re-visit this series. I haven't really touched MH since beta-testing the original on the PS2.

HEADS UP: Zelda: Four Swords Adventure dated!

Hot from Nintendo's 3DS event over night, we've got a release date for the free DSi Ware game The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure

Between Sept. 28 and Feb. 20, 2012, players can download a DSiWare version of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition, free of charge.

Right around the corner! Now if only I could find someone locally to play this with...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WOOT: Guardian Heroes XBLA release date!

At last!

Guardian Heroes will be available on 10/12 for 800ms points on the Xbox Marketplace. I can't wait!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

COOL: Game of Thrones chiptune remix

Well hey, look at this! A chiptune remix of the Game of Thrones theme music. This is relevant to my interests.

(Thanks Joe!!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

VIDEO: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Trailer

Here's the latest trailer for Modern Warfare 3, showing off some elements of the multiplayer game. Let's have a look:

Holy crap, that was *BAD ASS*. Can't wait for November!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The 3DS Virtual Console

...or "How I was reminded how much I love Nintendo" & Current Gaming

Ahh the 3DS Ambassador Program... Feels good, doesn't it? I'm still kind of soaking it all in, but holy crap Nintendo dropped a pile of games in our laps! Sure, they aren't new, and most of us "old folks" have probably played most of them countless times. But I just had a realization. For the first time ever - I'm able to play the pillars of the NES game library, on the go, *LEGALLY*. (I'm also going to argue that they were also free. Some may say they had paid for these games already with the original launch price, but I disagree. Launching with an amazing port of Super Street Fighter 4 made me a *very* happy camper, and I still have no regrets in buying the system at launch.)

Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Zelda... I think it's fair to say that Nintendo really tried to make an effort for the fans. They had to have realized that most of the early launch purchases were made by the die hard, long term Nintendo loyalists. And what better way to make sure there was minimal butthurt with the early price drop? Nice work, Nintendo.

Anyway, now that I've gotten that out of my system... WINTER IS COMING... *cough*choke*... sorry... (Yeah, I'm a little late to the game but I've just finished both watching the first season of Game of Thrones, and reading the book. Holy crap. I'll leave it at that.) ... Let's talk about what I'm playing right now.

Once again, Target loves putting Xbox 360 games on sale or in the hidden discount bin, and as such I've picked up Dragon Age 2 and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 for cheap.

DA2 has been pretty damn fun, and my wife also really enjoys just watching it. The long and the short of it is - Mass Effect with dragons and swords (and that's not a bad thing!). I'm starting to really warm up to Western RPGs which has been an interesting change from the tried and true JRPG formula.

Naruto has been one of my favorite ongoing anime series for some time, and honestly - the North American versions of the games have sucked ass. In the past they've removed characters, and limited you to the English Dubbed voices - But with Ultimate Storm 2 that's a thing of the past. At last - Japanese voices with English Subs! Found this little bad boy deep in the discount bin with a price I couldn't pass up. This game pretty much plays like an interactive version of the series up to the whole Pain and destruction of Konoha arc. If you're a fan, you'll probably love it.

Anyway, Time to dive into A Clash of Kings...

VIDEO: Super Mario Brothers X Portal

Are you ready for something simply awesome this morning? Yeah, i thought so. Here is an amazing video (thanks Greg!) showing a hack of Super Mario Brothers with elements of Portal mixed in. Enough talk - LOOK! Way too cool...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HEADS UP: Nintendo 3DS Ambassador rewards start tomorrow!

Hey everyone - just wanted to give you all a quick reminder that tomorrow (9/1/2011) 3DS early adopters will be able to download the free NES titles.

Here is how to claim them:

1. From the Nintendo 3DS HOME menu, select the Nintendo eShop icon.

2. Scroll left and select "Settings / Other."

3. Scroll down and select "Account Activity" to view a list of transactions.

4. The NES game will be listed here once it is available to download. Tap "Software Info," and then "Redownload" to begin the download process.

I can't wait!

VIDEO: Rage "Gearhead Vault" Gameplay

Can this game look any cooler?!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

VIDEO: Aliens: Colonial Marines

Oh HELL yes!

*This* is the Alien/Aliens based game i've been waiting for.

Let's have a look:

WOOT: Sonic the Hedghog 4 Episode 2 announced for 2012

About damn time!

From Eurogamer:

The second episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 won't be launching until 2012 - well over a year after the first installment of SEGA's episodic series launched in 2010.

"This year, 2011, is the anniversary, so we're focusing on the celebration title," Sonic Team's Takashi Iikuza told Eurogamer, "But moving forward to 2012, Sonic will still be going, so I'd hope to provide Episode 2 then."

Make it happen Sega! Sonic 4 Episode 1 was a massive step in the right direction for the Sonic franchise.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New PSP Model coming to Europe

Who saw THIS coming?! Sony has announced a new model of PSP that strips out WiFi but also drops the price (not to mention a kinda nice redesign).

While most attendees to the SCEE press conference at gamescom will have anticipated some announcements around PlayStation Vita, our upcoming next generation portable, few would have predicted the unveil of the brand new PSP-E1000.

Value for money is the goal with this new model that will retail at just €99.99 (RRP), accompanied by an exciting range of PSP Essentials titles that will retail at only €9.99 (RRP) and will include Invizimals: The Lost Tribe, EyePet Adventures, FIFA 12 and many more.

Interesting, if not confusing. UMD is back in - WiFi is out. Come to think of it, I've only done multiplayer or online gaming on the PSP a hand full of times, so the lack of WiFi in that aspect doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the requirement to use another device to purchase and download non-UMD PSP Software.


PS3 Price drop!

Sony has announced price cuts on both the 160gig and the 320gig PS3 models.

I’m excited to share with you that effective immediately at retailers throughout North America, the 160 GB PS3 and the 320GB PS3 are now available for $249 and $299, respectively.

While I'd really like to see the PS3 hit $199 sooner rather than later, this is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

VIDEO: DMC: Devil May Cry gameplay

Here's yet another fresh video from Gamescon - This time for the upcoming reboot of Devil May Cry (which i guess is being called DMC: Devil May Cry officially):

VIDEO: Street Fighter X Tekken (Gamescon 2011 trailer)

Check this out! Here is the latest video for Street Fighter x Tekken - giving us a great overview of the new fighting system! Let's have a look:

I am *so* looking forward to this!

VIDEO: Lollipop Chainsaw trailer

Where did THIS come from?! Holy crap.

Lollipop Chainsaw should arrive here in North America sometime next year - Let's hope it's nearly as cool and crazy as this trailer!

VIDEO: Soul Calibur V (Gamescom 2011 Trailer)

Here is the latest trailer for Soul Calibur V, hot from Gamescom 2011:

VIDEO: Borderlands 2 teaser!!!!!!

At last, a teaser video for Borderlands 2! The first game was really cool in my opinion - a nice hybrid of FPS and MMO game styles with a massive world. I hope the sequel can live up to the original.

In any case, let's have a look:

Boo no actual gameplay. Boo!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

HELL YES: Valve Announces Counter Strike: Global Offensive

I know this headline is going to give some people a cold sweat... But Counter Strike is coming back, and *everyone* wins. No matter your gaming platform of choice, be it PC, Mac, PS3 or Xbox 360 - CS:GO is coming early next year.

In a press release, Valve said that "CS: GO features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more."

Valve has also been kind enough to go ahead and put a listing on Steam, so might as well add it to your wish list.

Just when you think you have that Counter Strike habit kicked...

(I can't wait!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

TRAILER: Beyond the Game

Here is a slick trailer for an upcoming documentary about video game culture - let's have a look:

Beyond the Game: the EVO 2011 Trailer. from AnimatronicAckbar on Vimeo.

(Thanks Terry!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PS3 Update v3.70 incoming!

"Soon" is all Sony has said, but they've updated the PlayStation blog with some of the new features!

-A new auto upload function for online save data back-up will be added to make it easier to back-up your game save data. Under (Game), select the game for which you want to automatically upload saved data, and then press the Triangle button.

-Also, Trophies will now sync automatically at the timing of Auto Download.

Due to the increase in video applications being offered on PS3, we are adding a new category on the XMB called TV/Video Services. This category will include video applications such as Netflix, Hulu PLUS, and VUDU.

You’ll be able to find and download all of the video applications available on PS3 directly from this new XMB category.
A folder labeled “My Channels” within this category will allow you to easily access your downloaded applications.
Any videos downloaded from the PlayStation store will continue to be placed in the existing Video category on the XMB

The automatic cloud save is a very nice touch, but I'm puzzled about the automatic trophy sync (i thought this was automatic already?).

Hey, at least it's not just another update with "security fixes".

VIDEO: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Spec Ops

Hot off the "presses", here is the latest MW3 trailer. Let's have a look:

Monday, August 8, 2011

WTF: Diablo 3 to require internet connection for play

Recently it was announced that Blizzard's upcoming Diablo 3 would require players to have internet access in order to play, which has caused strong reactions from a divided user base.

Before we go any further, I must admit that the Diablo series was something I never really got into (this is primarily due to the fact that Diablo 1 and 2 were never available for the Macintosh, which was my family's computer back in those days), so I am rather neutral about this issue personally. However, Several friends of mine have expressed everything from "meh" to flat out anger at this move - and so I was nudged to comment on this issue.

To start, here is why Blizzard feels this is a good move:

Executive vice president of game design Rob Pardo notes that the wealth of improvements and features Diablo 3 brings to necessitate the always-online requirement. Specific additions that he refers to include:

A persistent friends list.
Cross-game chat via the RealID system.
Persistent characters that are stored server-side (no more having to play online once every 90 days, nor item duplication cheats).
Persistent party system.
Player-versus-player and public game matchmaking.
Dynamic drop-in/out for co-op
Larger item stash that gets shared among all of your characters (at the moment, up to 10)
The auction house, outlined here.
The Achievement system and detailed stat-tracking, both of which feed into the final point:
The Banner system, a visual way to display your prowess in the game. Banners start out like emblems, where you can choose from an array of symbols, patterns, and overall shape/design. Then, you can tweak its appearance through Achievements and other accomplishments. Examples Pardo cites include whether the character is in Hardcore mode, how many Achievements have been earned, how many PVP victories, and so forth. Additionally, the Banners also have gameplay features; in-game, rather than use Town Portal, you can click on a player's Banner to instantly teleport over to said player.

But at the same time...

While Pardo recognizes that people sometimes want or need to play offline (such as internet outages, or playing on a laptop during an airplane flight), he notes that the increased security, plus benefits like the above, outweigh those other concerns. "I want to play Diablo 3 on my laptop in a plane, but, well, there are other games to play for times like that."

Really? "Hey thanks for spending $60 on our software, now go play something else".

On one hand, Blizzard makes a good case with it's list of reasons to keep the game online, but on the other - Why should a single player title *require* 24/7 internet access?

VIDEO: New Sonic Generations footage!

Here is the latest video from November's Sonic Generations showing us 5 minutes of gameplay showing us the Chemical Plant and City Escape levels. Let's have a look:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

UHH OK: Modern Warfare 3 confirmed for Wii

Up until now, there had been no sign of Modern Warfare 3 coming to the Wii, but here we go!

Today on a financial conference call, the company cleared up what had previously been a murky issue, but rest assured Modern Warfare 3 is hitting the Wii. No release date specifics were given, so we don't know if the game will be hitting simultaneously when the other versions come out on November 8.

Good news for Wii gamers who love shooters, however I do wonder if MW3 will make a later appearance on the Wii U.

PlayStation Vita on sale early 2012 in NA/EU, Holiday 2011 in JPN

As per the AP:

Sony's next-generation portable game machine, the PlayStation Vita, won't be going on sale in the U.S. or Europe in time for Christmas — a key sales period for game console makers.

Expectations had been high the machine would be ready worldwide for the year-end holiday shopping season. Sony earlier promised a "phased global rollout" starting late this year.

Sony Corp. Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai said Thursday the PlayStation Vita will go on sale by the end of the year in Japan, and early next year in the U.S. and Europe.

Well, this is rather unfortunate, however I'd much rather Sony avoid rushing anything out the door. On the flip side, this may end up causing the Vita to get off to a slow start depending on how close to the end of the holiday season it ends up launching in North America (I don't know about you, but my gaming budget gets awful tight around and after the holidays due to gifts and travel).

On a more positive note, this also may allow developers a bit of extra time to ensure the launch software is as polished as possible (not to mention allowing the 3DS some more time to grow).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BREAKING: Sony acquires Sucker Punch

Overnight it was announced that Sony would be acquiring Sly Cooper/inFamous developers Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch had previously been an independent studio, but has focused on PlayStation titles since 2000.

"Sucker Punch Productions is one of the most highly acclaimed development studios in the industry and we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the company for over 12 years. We are delighted to officially welcome them to the SCE family," said Sony's Shuhei Yoshida in an official release.

Sucker Punch is now officially a part of the Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, which is comprised of 16 studios across the globe and responsible for titles ranging from Twisted Metal to Uncharted, Gran Turismo to LittleBigPlanet.

I don't anticipate this causing any sort of radical change with Sucker Punch. This could be a rather good move for them, as it will probably give them access to new Sony hardware and software sooner, and may help them to make their titles shine even brighter on the PS3 and Sony handhelds. get to work on inFamous 3!

Friday, July 29, 2011

OLD SCHOOL: Super Mario Brothers speed run

Check THIS out!

Super Mario Brothers speed run - where only 600 points are earned (this seems to be the lowest score you can beat the game with):

Hardcore, eh?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WTF: Nintendo 3DS to drop to $170 8/12/2011

Overnight Nintendo made some rather large 3DS announcements. First, as of August 12st 2011, the 3DS will retail for $169.99. Second, NES and GBA games are confirmed to be added to the Virtual Console.

Early 3DS adopters who purchase before August 12th, will be entitled to *20* free games from the eShop.

That offer comes in the form of ten NES Virtual Console games (including classics like Zelda and Super Mario Bros.), which will be available after September 1, and ten Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games (like Yoshi's Island and Metroid Fusion), which will be available a little later.

Wow, this sure came out of nowhere. A price cut this soon in the system's life cycle has me rather worried, but maybe it will provide the 3DS with a big shot in the arm (not to mention some distance between itself and the PS Vita price-wise).

While I am overjoyed at the free titles and the NES/GBA addition to the VC library, I fear that Nintendo expected an instant hit with the 3DS and has yet to see the results they desire. I just hope this doesn't lead to the 3DS "failing" and being withdrawn from the market. This system has loads of potential that has yet to be fully tapped, and it would be a shame to see such a nice bit of compact hardware be rushed off the market so soon.

There seems to be a catch 22 in place with the 3DS. Hardware sales have been slow due to the limited software out there, and software has been slow to appear due to sluggish hardware sales. Maybe this price drop is just what the 3DS needs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

VIDEO: NBA Jam On Fire Edition

Well this didn't take long! Seems we've got a new edition of NBA Jam to look forward to this fall on PS3 and Xbox. Let's have a look:

I guess it was a good thing I dragged my feet on getting the last NBA Jam title!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

VIDEO: Warhammer 40k (comic con 2011)

I was just directed to this really rad video (thanks Terry!) of the upcoming Warhammer 40k Space Marine game - let's have a look:

Looks kind of like a hybrid of Gears of War and Tribes to me! Space Marine will be released in September.

Friday, July 22, 2011

WHOA: Freddy Kruger is coming to Mortal Kombat!

Whoa! Check this out!

This is way cool, and I think Freddy really fits well into the MK universe!

(Thanks for the tip Terry!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

VIDEO: Sonic Through the Ages

Sega has just posted a slick new video celebrating Sonic's 20th Anniversary giving you a tour through all the major games thus far. It leads up to some new footage from Sonic Generations, which at this point in the Sonic Cycle is looking rad.

Let's have a look:

UPDATE: Star Fox 64 3D released in NA 9/9/11

Previously it was announced that Star Fox 64 3D would be released in North America on 9/11/11 (fitting into the usual Nintendo Sunday release cycle), however - it now seems the date has been bumped up a few days to 9/9/11.

From GamePro:

In the case of Star Fox 64 3D, the game will be arriving on a Friday: September 9, to be exact. This means that the game will be releasing in the US and Europe simultaneously.

Sounds good to me!

VIDEO: New Zelda: Skyward Sword trailer!

Nintendo has released a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword just before the start of this year's Comic-Con. Let's have a look:

The visual style of this game strikes me as almost being half Wind Waker, half OoT. And of course we get a good look at some gnarly looking bosses. All in all, this is looking like a proper Zelda title.

I guess it's time I actually get a Motion Plus WiiMote, eh?

Monday, July 18, 2011

RUMOR: Next-gen Xbox hardware "to deliver computer graphics to match those in James Cameron's movie Avatar"

The Register has a small piece about the rumored power of the next Xbox system:

Chip maker AMD has hinted that the Xbox 360's successor will be able to deliver computer graphics to match those in James Cameron's movie Avatar.

Robison claims the AI and physics capabilities of the net-gen console would pave the way for every pedestrian in games such as Grand Theft Auto to have an individual mentality.

AMD hasn't confirm it is actually working on Microsoft's eagerly anticipated follow-up, but as Robison is director of independent software vendor relationships at AMD, it's probable that has been extensively speaking with games developers.

So... is Avatar the new Toy Story within the gaming world? If you recall, back before the PS2 launched Sony claimed it would produce Toy Story level graphics... and well we know how that turned out, so color me mildly skeptical any time a game system is compared to a high end cgi/3d movie.

In any case, I look forward to learning more!

Friday, July 15, 2011

WOOT: Aliens: Infestation rated by ESRB

So it seems Sega has another Aliens themed title coming, this time for the Nintendo DS.

According to Joystiq:

Aliens: Infestation, the long-gestating xenomorph game for the Nintendo DS, has been rated by the ESRB. The classification board describes the teen-rated title as an action game, in which "players run and jump through side-scrolling levels, they use rifles, pistols, flamethrowers, and explosives to kill enemy soldiers and aliens (i.e., 'xenomorphs')."

My first reaction is - This sounds quite a bit like the SNES/Genesis Alien 3 game. I may be in the minority here, but I recall actually really enjoying the Alien 3 game (far more than the movie) back in the day.

With any luck we'll know more about Aliens: Infestation soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

AWESOME: Netflix app comes to the Nintendo 3DS *TODAY*

Wooo! Kotaku just let this news slip - the 3DS Netflix application hits the US eShop today!

Starting today, Nintendo 3DS owners across the United States and Canada can download a free application that allows Netflix members to watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix with an Internet connection.

The 3DS will also also soon have access to "an additional library of select movies" that can be viewed in 3D movies, Nintendo says.

The new Netflix application, available for free on Nintendo's eShop, displays movies and TV episodes in 2D on the system's upper screen. "Users will soon have access to an additional library of select movies that can be viewed in 3D without the need for special glasses," according to the press release.

This is REALLY cool news - As far as I knew, Netflix had yet to give us anything more specific than "this summer", but here we are.

I cannot wait to try this out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

EA has purchased PopCap

Well, it's official - EA has purchased casual gaming giant PopCap for approx. $750 million USD. Here are some details via GamePro:

EA confirmed the acquisition in a press release, which has been rumored for a few weeks now. The price is $650 million plus $100 million in stock and a multi-year earn-out.

With this acquisition, EA adds popular casual gaming titles Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle to their lineup, which should make them even more formidable on the mobile and social media front.

So when can we expect Bejeweled: Modern Warfare? ;)

Herp. *facepalm*

Friday, July 8, 2011

VIDEO: New PS Vita trailer

Sony has just released a new and updated trailer(?) for the upcoming PS Vita handheld:

With the wi-fi model retailing for $249, this will be hard to resist...

VIDEO: Planetside 2 trailer!

Here's the hot new trailer for the SOE Shooter MMO - Planetside 2 - let's have a look:

Uh whoa... this looks kind of rad, right? Looks like some really MASSIVE online battles with some rather sharp graphics. Can't wait to see more!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

COOL: Fully working Mini Street Fighter II arcade cabinet!

Ok, this is just TOO cool to not share:

Oh how i want one....

Here is another - this time Space Invaders:

I would happily re-use one of my GBAs to build one of these...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

COOL: Star Wars Total Conversion mod for COD4

So since it seems like we won't be seeing a new Star Wars: Battlefront title any time soon, a group of German game modders have spent the past 2 years working on a total conversion of COD4: Modern Warfare.

They have finally completed this mod, slapped a nice 1.0 version number on it, and now it's available for all to enjoy. Let's have a look!

This mod is only for the PC build of COD4, but seems like a great reason to dig out the disks and reinstall!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

VIDEO: Resident Evil 4/Code Veronica HD trailer!

Here is the new trailer for the HD revamps of RE4 and Code Veronica which will be coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360:

I'm not really interested in playing RE4 yet again, but a revamp of Code Veronica could be really wicked!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

COOL: Nintendo fan site "idrawnintendo"

I was just directed to this neat fanart blog called idrawnintendo by a gent named Zac Gorman.

He's created several really fun and cool Nintendo-related drawings that will totally appeal to the older Nintendo fans. Here's a great example:

Here is another fun one:

Please check out the rest of his blog! I think you all may really enjoy it!
(Thanks for the tip @eliza_evans!)

FUNNY: NMA takes on video game ruling

Ok, who doesn't love these flat out insane videos that NMA cranks out about current news? I really think they are doing these just for kicks, but who cares! I love 'em!

Anyway, here is their spin on this week's court ruling that video games are protected by the 1st Amendment:

VIDEO: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon gameplay footage!

Here's 10 minutes of gameplay footage from the upcoming Ace Combat title:

This looks *SICK*. Arcade style dog fighting... October can't come fast enough. I'e not read or heard - but I do hope this has some sort of online mode. Seems like it would hit all the same spots WarHawk does.

Wii Dragon Quest collection to include DQX footage!

According to Kotaku:

This DQ compilation has more than spiffy box art. It also includes Dragon Quest X bonus footage.

As a recent convert to the DQ series, I can't wait to see what is in store with Dragon Quest X. I'm also hoping that somehow we will be lucky enough to get this compilation here in the States...

Monday, June 27, 2011

JUST IN: Video Games are protected by the 1st Amendment!

Hey gang - Look, I'm sorry, I really never expected to have a reason to talk about anything relating to politics here. But this is rather large news. From my inbox:

Just moments ago, the Supreme Court in a 7 to 2 decision, has decided that, like music, books and movies, video games are First Amendment protected speech in the case Brown v. EMA. So many people took action signing the gamer petition and directly filing briefs with the Court.

The decision has been a long time coming, and we're so pleased by today's news. We're sure this isn't the end of the fight. One decision doesn't mean that we won't see elected officials attempted to test these new parameters. You better believe the ECA will continue to fight for the rights of the entertainment consumers and we hope you'll stand with us and add your voice.

But today, we can hold our heads up a little higher knowing that we won this fight. We'll be following up later in greater detail once we've read the complete decision.

Happy gaming,

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)

As soon as I have more I will share, but this is pretty big news.

UPDATE: Kotaku has a great breakdown of the details.

INTRODUCING: The Pixelated Palace Seal of Approval

So after my last post, I figured I would reach out to a good pal of mine and beg for a few minutes of his graphics design talent to whip up a proper Seal of Approval.

So, with a BIG thanks to da4 - here it is:

I look forward to using this in the future!

Friday, June 24, 2011

REVIEW: Custom Nintendo 3DS case by whataboutki

So earlier in the month, I was alerted to these nifty custom (and hand made!) Nintendo 3DS cases made by a gent in New Zealand by the handle of whataboutki. He's set up a little shop on Etsy (here is a link to his shop - go look!!!).

As soon as I set eyes on one that was fashioned after a NES control pad, I knew that I needed to quickly part with my $20usd plus $5usd for shipping for it.

So, after placing my order and waiting patiently (coming from half way around the world, I could NOT complain), my 3DS case arrived today.

And let me tell you, I really couldn't be happier. It's simple, it's unique, and best of all - it went towards a worthy cause. As I came to understand after i placed my order, whataboutki was making and selling these cases as a means to bring in some income after the major earthquake in Christchurch, NZ caused him some hardship.

I'm really impressed with the fine stitching, not to mention the quality of the design on the actual cloth. There's even a pouch for your AR cards in the case! And of course, whataboutki has *many* super nerdy designs in his shop - you'd be hard pressed to run into someone else with the exact same case.

Overall, this case is easily on par with, and in many ways surpasses any commercial 3DS case on the market today. It's not the sort of item you should expect to arrive overnight, but I feel it's well worth the wait to stand out among the crowd. Please visit whataboutki's Etsy shop, and if you find something that tickles your fancy - BUY IT!

This is the first product to officially get the Pixelated Palace Seal of Approval:

It's a 10/10 - 5 stars - A+ - however you like your ratings, this is the best of the best. Do not hesitate to buy one!

UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that whataboutki's girlfriend has a large part in making these cases as well. Fantastic work, the both of you! I know my friends will be super jealous!

RUMOR: Sony to drop PS3 price?

Found this over at The Register:

Sony is expected to drop the price of the PlayStation 3 this August, keeping the console within affordable reach of its rivals.

Industry experts and publishers have come forth with predictions that the price drop will bring the PS3 down to £200 and will probably be announced at Gamescom in August, MCV reports.

This is an interesting move - and if true, it should put the PS3 within reach of far more gamers. I am all for it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

HOT: LA Noire coming to PC!

Hot off the presses from Rockstar - LA Noire will come to the PC this fall! Here's the scoop:

PC gaming aficionados, we hear you. And today, we are very happy to announce that L.A. Noire will be arriving on the PC platform this fall.

Developed by Rockstar Leeds and built to run on a wide range of PCs, L.A. Noire's robust feature customization includes keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality to both optimize and customize performance and user experience. Along with increased fidelity and improved graphical enhancements, the PC version will also feature 3D support for an even greater sense of interaction and immersion within a painstakingly detailed 1940s Los Angeles.

RUMOR: EA to aquire PopCap

TechCrunch has the story:

Possible logic behind the deal: Electronic Arts has some successful franchises that cater to casual users (including The Sims), but many of its successful properties appeal to the hardcore crowd. This is problematic on mobile, where iOS’s top grossing apps are dominated by Angry Birds, Zynga, Pocket Gems, and other casual games. PopCap could help with that — their arsenal of games includes Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies, each of which is a powerhouse in mobile and casual gaming.

It's rumored that EA is looking to spend over $1 billion on this deal. If the casual gaming market continues to grow, I would be shocked if this didn't pay off in the long run.

Is there any area of gaming that EA *doesn't* have it's fingers in?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AWESOME: Dragon Quest X a possible Wii U title?

Kotaku is running an interesting story right now - It seems SquareEnix is pondering releasing Dragon Quest X on both the Wii and Wii U:

Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada answered questions about the game at an investors' meeting today in Tokyo.

When asked if Dragon Quest X will be released on the Wii U, Wada reportedly replied, "We are thinking that we must release the game for both the Wii and Wii U. We're currently at the point of looking at how we can make it a Wii U launch title."

A move like this would ensure the Wii U sells like crazy in Japan from the get go (and if it's anything like Dragon Quest IX, it'll keep rpg fans busy for some time).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OFFICIAL: Star Fox 64 3D to hit retail 9/11/2011

According to Eurogamer:

The 3DS remake of Nintendo's classic Star Fox 64 barrel rolls into UK stores on 9th September.

That's two days before US gamers get it, but a couple of months after its 17th July Japan date.

I wonder why there's such a lag time between the Japanese release and the NA/EU release. My first reaction was that it may be due to localization, but it's a port of StarFox 64 which i figure already has localized scripts - so who knows. At least this gives me plenty of time to get through Zelda: OoT 3D.

Monday, June 20, 2011

VIDEO: Uncharted: Golden Abyss trailer!

Here's a fresh trailer for the upcoming PS Vita game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss.

Let's have a look!

Zelda: OoT 3D and other things

So Zelda: OoT 3D has been released at last - and I think it was worth the wait. I picked up my copy Sunday morning as my local Target opened (more on this later), and have been making my way through the early stages of the game. While the core game itself should hold no surprises for anyone who's played it in the past, the graphical and audio overhauls made to this title are very impressive (here is a link with some pictures comparing the original release to the 3DS release. pretty sweet, eh?)

The touch screen makes dealing with your inventory a snap (not to mention the persistent map - VERY handy). Basically this may be an old title, but if you own a 3DS this is a must-have.

Zelda: OoT 3D brings with it a small discussion about video game street dates. Prior to 6/19/2011, my local target had the game on the shelf with a price tag. When I saw this I thought to myself "my what good luck!", however I was denied the sale and the copies were pulled and set aside for the 19th.

However - I find it awful curious that my Target had a small handful of copies (5-7 if i remember correctly) prior to the Sunday release, but when it came to open on 6/19/2011 - they only had a single copy on the shelf. At the end of the day I got my copy, but I really feel bad for anyone who got to the store after me looking for a copy. It seems pretty clear to me that Target was willing to break the street date for it's employees, thus giving them first crack at the stock.

Oh well... onto the next Temple!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OFFICIAL: Wii U will not play DVD/BluRay

Direct from Nintendo - The Wii U will not support playback of DVD or BluRay disks.

Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities.

The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies.

Makes perfect sense to me. Nintendo has always been out to create a game machine, not a home video player. Why bother with the added expense of licensing DVD and BluRay technologies when everyone should already have a device to do just that already?

VIDEO: Pokemon crossed with Street Fighter

As the video's title says - "This is how Pokemon should be". Let's take a look:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wii U will not use friend codes!

Oh this is fantastic news - MTV has the story:

Blunt was on hand at E3, demonstrating "Ghost Recon Online" for the Wii U. The game is definitely focused on the multiplayer experience, so I asked him why he thought the Wii U would be a good fit, since Nintendo consoles traditionally aren't very online capable.

There's a few things on that. The first is the ability for individuals to make accounts. Rather than a machine having an account, each individual user has an account."

So I asked him, "Equivilent to a gamertag on Xbox Live?" "Yeah, exactly," he said.

He continued, saying that friend codes are no longer required for adding friends:

"Also the ability to easily find friends. Rather than using friend codes, which we've had in the past, we're able to connect players in a much easier way, which allows us to have a community that's playing together in the game."

This is fantastic news!

VIDEO: Forza Motorsports 4 E3 2011 trailer

Oh hell yes! My 2nd favorite "CarPG" is back this October!

FACEPALM: Sony may never know what hackers stole

Wow, great timing. Everyone is hyped and distracted by E3, and Sony lets this slip ... Kotaku has the full story, but here's the important bit:

"We do know that the information was accessed," Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai said in an recent BBC interview. "We don't know what part of the accounts were taken from our servers." The hackers might have stolen first names or just the last four digits of telephone numbers.

"It could be the entire account information," Hirai added. "We just don't know."

That's not all Sony doesn't know. Hirai said that the intruders were "very good" at covering their tracks on their way out of Sony's servers.


VIDEO: Dark Souls E3 2011 trailer

Hadn't heard of this game till now - but here's the E3 trailer for the upcoming RPG, Dark Souls:

VIDEO: Mario Party 9 E3 2011 trailer

Oh good, it looks like Mario APrty 9 (unlike 8) will actually have a proper 16:9 mode!

VIDEO: Animal Crossing (3DS) E3 2011 trailer

Here's the E3 trailer for the latest entry in the Animal Crossing series for the 3DS.

Dear Nintendo - If this title doesn't leverage the 3DS' online capabilities, there will be many angry fans. That said... I think my wife suddenly needs a 3DS.

VIDEO: Armored Core V E3 2011 trailer!

Here's the E3 trailer for the upcoming Armored Core V. Who doesn't enjoy some crazy Mech action?

Too bad we're not seeing any gameplay here, but I do hope this has some sweet online modes. I'll be watching this one very closely!

VIDEO: Awesomenauts E3 2011 trailer

Ok, with a name like Awesomenauts, how could I NOT share this with you all?

This looks like an attempt to cater to my nostalgia for 80s video games and cartoons... and I wish to know more!

VIDEO: Zelda Wii U Tech Demo

To be crystal clear - this is only a tech demo. Nintendo has not as of yet announced a Zelda title for the Wii U. This video clip is only to demonstrate how powerful the Wii U is and it's potential with a Zelda title.

Let's have a look!

VIDEO: Super Mario (3DS) E3 2011 trailer!

This cannot come out soon enough!

I love it - looks like a hybrid of old school and new school Mario. Graphically it looks to me to be on par with Super Mario Galaxy - which i think is amazing!

VIDEO: Hitman: Absolution E3 2011 trailer

Agent 47 returns!

VIDEO: Sonic Generations E3 2011 Trailer

Here's the latest trailer for Sonic Generations. I'm trying to avoid getting sucked into the so-called "Sonic Cycle", but let's have a look anyway:

Please please don't suck...

VIDEO: Killer Freaks from Outer Space debut trailer!

Here's the debut trailer for the Wii U exclusive title form Ubisoft, Killer Freaks from Outer Space:

I'm assuming this is not in-game footage.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

VIDEO: Street Fighter X Tekken E3 2011 Trailer

Here's the latest Street Fighter X Tekken trailer from E3!

E3 2011: Nintendo Press Conference Digest

So let's get the big news out of the way - What was known as "Project Cafe" is officially the Wii U. Nintendo has created a high definition, online enabled home console with yet another innovation in terms of how the player controls the system. The Wii U uses an almost tablet style controller with a 16:9 high def touch screen square in the middle (surrounded by classic style controls). As was rumored, Wii U is fully backwards compatible with all existing Wii software and peripherals (Wiimotes, Wii Balance Board, etc).

Now aside from the very pleasing HD graphics, the Wii U will actually allow you to play games via the Wii U tablet controller - thus allowing you to enjoy your gaming anywhere in your home with or without a TV. The example Nintendo gave of one person wanting to game while the other wants to watch a baseball game really hit home for me in particular. As anyone with a significant other can attest, sometimes you just gotta let them watch American Idol - but with the Wii U there will be no reason to fall back on a portable gaming system to get your gaming fix. I mean seriously - you're at home, why should you "settle" for a portable system?

The tech and graphical demos that were shown were impressive for such early code. To the casual outsider, this first pass may not look any more impressive than any current PS3 or 360 game, but one must remember that the developers are just now learning to code for this system. As time goes on I expect the Wii U to easily surpass the 360 and the PS3 graphically (it's also rumored that the Wii U has 1.5gigs of RAM on board, compared to the 512 in the 360 and PS3 - so that's a clear edge). The Wii U will hit retail in 2012.

In any case, let's talk about the rest of Nintendo's press event!

To kick things off, Nintendo presented a Legend of Zelda retrospective to celebrate the game's 25th Anniversary. Clips of every Zelda title were shown (except those terrible CDi games thank goodness...) leading up to some new footage of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary, Nintendo announced there would be Zelda titles for each platform, starting off with Link's Awakening DX being immediately available for purchase on the 3DS eShop. We were then reminded (as if we needed to be!) that Zelda: OoT 3D would hit retail next week for the 3DS. Nintendo also announced a free DSiWare version of Zelda: Four Swords to be released in September. Skyward Sword is set for release This holiday season, and a gold Wiimote will be available alongside Skyward Sword.

Nintendo also announced that there would be 25th Anniversary symphonic concerts in each reagon to celebrate. The final bit of Zelda news was that the OoT soundtrack would be given as a gift to Club Nintendo members who register their purchase early.

At this point, Nintendo shifted into 3DS mode, giving us a montage of titles along with short descriptions. For the most part, the 3DS titles were nothing surprising, except one - Luigi's Mansion 2! Mario Kart, Super Mario, Kid Icarus and Star Fox were also shown in detail.

Mario Kart will hit retail this Holiday season, while Star Fox 64 3D is set for release in September. Nintendo got a bit vague with the release dates for Super Mario and Kid Icarus (end of/later this year).

Nintendo went on to announced Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Resident Evil Revelations, and Driver Renegade for the 3DS, along with reminding us about Cave Story 3D and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

Demos for 3DS software will be coming to the eShop (horray!)

Nintendo then shifted gears, and focused on Wii U and it's software. It was announced that a Super Smash Bros title was in the works for both Wii U and the 3DS, and that both titles would somehow work together. New Super Mario Bros. Mii was also demonstrated (Think New Super Mario Bros Wii, with the ability to use your Mii as characters).

Some other titles shown and mentioned include:

- Lego City Stories
- Darksiders 2
- Batman: Arkham City
- Ghost Recon Online
- Assassin's Creed
- EA Sports titles
- Aliens: Colonial Marines(!!!!!!!!)
- Tekken(!!!!)
- Ninja Gaiden 3(!!!!!!!)

...and this is "just the first pass"

Anyone else on nerd overdrive yet?!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HOLY CRAP: Battlefeild 3 E3 trailer

My jaw dropped when i saw this:

MW3 is going to have some stiff competition!

VIDEO: Sly Cooper is back! Sly Cooper: Theives in Time E3 trailer!

After a long break, Sly Cooper is back and headed to the PS3. Here's the trailer:


Day 1 purchase for me - no doubt about that. I really loved WarHawk and cannot wait to sink many hours into StarHawk.

VIDEO: Bioshock Infinite E3 trailer!

Here's that impressive BioShock Infinite trailer from last night:

honestly, I wish they hadn't bothered with the BioShock name for this game - it seems so radically different than the prior titles.

VIDEO: Final Fantast XIII-2 E3 trailer

I really had a great time with Final Fantasy 13, so here's hoping SquareEnix has resolved the fan nitpicks for 13-2 to deliver us another amazing game:

VIDEO: Street fighter III Third Strike Online trailer!

Here's the E3 trailer for the upcoming Street Fighter III Third Strike remake:

Yes please!!!

VIDEO: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 gameplay footage

Here's that great MW3 footage from yesterday:

VIDEO: Dead Island E3 2011 trailer

Whoa, intense! This game just keeps looking better with each trailer that comes out.

HURRY UP AND TAKE MY MONEY: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon E3 Trailer

Looks like someone got a little Modern Warfare in my Ace Combat... Bring it on!!!!

E3 2011: Sony Press Conference Digest

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I was not thrilled with Sony's E3 press event being held at the same time as my beloved Bruins were playing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup. But thanks to modern technology, I was able to watch the live internet stream while cheering for the Bruins.

Right off the bat it's worth mentioning Sony Computer Entertainment's Jack Tretton got up in front of everyone at E3 and personally apologized for the PSN outage. Here's what he had to say to gamers like you and I:

To PS3 players, Tretton said, "You are the lifeblood of the company. Without you there is no PlayStation. And I want to apologize personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety we've caused.

"I know we've taken you away from what you really enjoy doing," said Tretton. "It's you who cause us to be humble and amazed at the amount of support you give to the PlayStation brand."

Moving on from that, there werent many surprised in terms of games from Sony, but the biggest news was the official naming of the NGP - It's PSVita as was rumored not so long ago. While the name hasn't really settled with me yet, the $249 price tag has. Way to go Sony - seriously. This is going to result in an impressive generation of handheld gaming with both major players priced at $249 for wifi only devices. Honestly I am not interested in the 3G PSVita as AT&T already gets enough out of my paycheck every month as it is. I was convinced this system wouldn't retail for less than $399, and I am happy to eat crow.

The other big hardware announcement was a PlayStation branded 24inch 3DTV that is said to make the entry into 3D quite a bit more affordable. I look forward to seeing the retail price for this unit, as I'm in the market for a bedroom HDTV. Sony also announced matching active shutter glasses for this set (and for any 3dTV that supports those style of glasses), again said to have a good price point to make it easy to get into 3D.

Sony announced a new God of War collection - God of War Origins - which are PS3 ports of the PSP GOW games. This is most welcome - more Kratos is ALWAYS a good thing. Sony also mentioned the US release of the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD pack - both collections will hit retail in September. ("Hurry up and take my money!")

The people behind EVE Online announced it's shooter title Dust 514 would be a PS3 exclusive and somehow tie into the existing MMO game. To be blunt, this game didn't seem to bring anything new to the table based on the footage we saw, but I will keep my eye on this to see what is in store.

Irrational Games then hit the stage to show off a gameplay trailer for Bioshock Infinite and to announce a Bioshock title was coming to the PSVita. It was also announced that the original Bioshock would be included on the Bioshock Infinite disk for PS3.

Was it me or did it seem like the PSVita was getting party/cross game chat? I do hope that if this is the case we also get this long-overdue functionality on the PS3.

(Up next - Nintendo!)

VIDEO: Halo 4 teaser

And here's the Halo 4 teaser!

E3 2011: Microsoft Press Conference Digest

Wow, Microsoft really seemed to have something for everyone at their E3 press event!

To kick things off, we were treated to some in-depth live gameplay of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This looked rather good, and if you've played any recent COD title you know what to expect, but that submarine level they played looked flat out CRAZY! I know this is a redundant statement, but I am really excited for MW3.

Next up, Microsoft showed us the first ever gameplay footage from the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. Tomb Raider lost my interest many years ago, so I was very pleased with the direction the new Tomb Raider is taking. Clearly there's been some influence by the Uncharted series, as well as less focus on Lara Croft as a sex symbol.

From this point, Microsoft was sharing with us the future of Kinect with lots of "core" titles with interesting Kinect support. First up was Mass Effect 3, which allows you to speak your dialog choices instead of inputting them via the control pad. Then we got a look at the upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Gears of Recon anyone?) - which seems to have had quite a bit work done since last year. After seeing GR:FS in action, it's become a must-have for me. It was announced at this point that all future Tom Clancy games will have Kinect support in some way.

Next, Microsoft shared with us whats to come with the Xbox 360's system software and additional apps. The 360 UI is getting a slight overhaul that really reminds me of Windows Mobile 7. Microsoft also informed us that YouTube and Bing search would be coming to the 360. I'm very excited for this YouTube support as it will provide me with easy means to view YouTube on my TV. I'm not so excited for Bing, as I can't imagine a situation where I'll need to do an internet search on my 360, but hey, whatever!

UFC events will also be coming to Xbox Live. I am unsure if this will be live current events or a back catalog of on-demand events, but it should be rather fun for the UFC/MMA fans out there.

From here Microsoft announced that the rest of the titles shown were Xbox 360 exclusives. They kicked this part off with an on-stage demo of Gears of War 3 co-op.... with Ice-T on hand! Body Count is reuniting and has done some music for Gears of War 3. CryTek then hit the stage and showed off a new title called Ryse. This will be a title to keep your eyes on for sure. Then a most welcome title was show - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - the long rumored High Def revamp of the original Halo. They've redone the entire game and added Xbox Live support for multiplayer AND co-op! While this is a 10 year old title, I won't be shocked when it sells like crazy in November. My guess is it will be an XBLA title.

Next, Forza 4 was demonstrated, with Kinect support. Turn 10 really impresses me with how quickly they produce quality work. Forza 4 will be a must-have for me. A new Fable title was then show - Fable: The Journey. It's an on-rails first person adventure game that uses Kinect.

After all this - out of nowhere it was announced that the indie darling of the PC gaming world, Mincraft, was coming to the 360 with Kinect support. I have a feeling Mincraft is about to go mainstream in a big way! Next up was Kinect Disneyland Adventures, which has a very detailed rendition of the amusement park and a VERY Disney art style.

At last, we got a good look at the Kinect Star Wars title. As a Star Wars fanboy my interest in piqued, and I look forward to trying this game in person.

The next few titles were very family friendly - Once Upon a Monster (Seasame Street Kinect title), Kinect Fun Labs (which is live *now*), Kinect Sports Season 2, and Harmonix's bgi game this year, Dance Central 2.

However... the very last title Microsoft showed off may have been the biggest...

Halo 4!

We were only shown a quick teaser and no actual gameplay, but I know this has many of you beyond excited. I hope 383 is up to the task, this is one of the biggest names on Xbox and the fans will not settle for anything less than awesome.

So there you have it, my digest of Microsoft's press conference. Up next is Sony and Nintendo!

Monday, June 6, 2011

OOPS: Microsoft's US E3 site outs Halo 4, Halo HD

According to VG247:

Big oops. Xbox US’s E3 site just outed Halo 4, as well as a ton of other titles.

Dance Central 2, Halo: Combat Evolved HD and more are listed.

It's E3 week!

Excited yet?! I know I am.

Please do not be surprised at an influx of posts regarding the latest news from E3. We've got Microsoft and Sony press conferences today (and the 3DS eShop update tonight), and Nintendo's press conference tomorrow.

It's like video game christmas!

Friday, June 3, 2011

WOOT: PlayStation Welcome Back package available now!

Sony just sent out this update:

Today, we’re excited to launch the Welcome Back program to thank you for your loyalty, and below, we’ve got what you need in order to get access to the included content. So, here’s a list of questions about the program. If you don’t see your question below, mention it in the comments and we’ll do our best to provide an answer. Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we restored the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services – your support has meant a lot to us and is greatly appreciated.

What are YOU planning to grab?!

VIDEO: NeverDead E3 2011 trailer

Wow, this one sort of came out of nowhere - but here's the E3 trailer from Konami's upcoming 3rd person action/horror title NeverDead:

Looks to me like Konami is taking a hint from Western developers. I also really appreciate an English language trailer with Japanese subtitles (for once!). Nice work Konami, I can't wait to see more.

VIDEO: XCOM E3 2011 trailer!

Wow, lots of fresh videos to share this morning! Here's the E3 trailer for the upcoming revamp of XCOM. Let's take a look:

I have a feeling this will be the sort of title that people will either love, or hate based on if they've played the originals or not. I must say, the trailer certainly has caught my attention!

VIDEO: Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD trailer!

Here's the Japanese trailer for the HD revamps of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus:

If you've missed out on these titles on the PS2, this will be a great opportunity to experience these amazing games. I am looking forward to a US release date!

VIDEO: Tomb Raider "Turning Point" Trailer

Hot off the presses, here is the new trailer for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. Let's have a look:

I'm sad at the lack of any proper gameplay footage, but the entire mood of the trailer makes me think there's been some heavy influence from the likes of Uncharted.
I hope we learn more at E3!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

VIDEO: Alice: Madness Returns Launch Trailer!

I've been waiting to see more about this title! Let's have a look:

The original game was rather twisted, and I loved it. Alice: Madness Returns hits June 14th.

VIDEO: Duke Nukem Forever Launch Trailer!

Here's the latest trailer for this month's Duke Nukem Forever (kinda feels weird to be typing that, eh?)

Anyway, let's have a look:

Fingers are crossed this isn't just a rad looking trailer, and this game actually ends up being solid.

PlayStation Store is back, but with a catch...

At last! Er wait... no Welcome Back package yet? They need to "test" content? This makes no sense. Here's the word from Sony:

The PlayStation Store is back online and thank you everyone for your patience. You will notice a huge lineup of new downloadable games, demos, add-on content, themes, avatars and videos. Also, PlayStation Plus has been updated with new full game trials, free games and DLC, free avatars and even more discounts.

You may have noticed that the content promised as part of the Welcome Back offer is not yet live. It is currently in the final stages of testing and will be available to download soon; we’ll be sure to let you know when.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

VIDEO: Seg'a Aliens: Colonial Marines - FIRST TRAILER!

At last! Our first look at the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines from Sega:

Oh yeah, that's the ticket. I am a huge Alien fanboy, and have been waiting for any news of this game. This teaser really nails the look and feel of Aliens, and I have very high hopes for this title. The fact that Gearbox is involved with this leads me to think we're going to be in for one hell of a treat.

Here's Sega's press release:

SEGA Europe Ltd. and SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that the highly-anticipated first-person shooter, Aliens: Colonial Marines™, will be launching in spring 2012 on PC, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. In partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and developed by critically acclaimed studio Gearbox Software, Aliens: Colonial Marines will bring new levels of bone-chilling suspense and adrenaline-filled action to the renowned franchise. The game pits players against the universe’s ultimate alien killing machines, the Xenomorphs, in claustrophobic environments guaranteed to produce blood curdling thrills that the movie is renowned for. A first look of the game is presented in the South Hall at SEGA’s booth #2023, at this week’s E3 in Los Angeles.

“To Gearbox Software and its peers throughout the industry, ALIENS is one of the most influential science fiction properties of all time,” said Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software. “Aliens: Colonial Marines, designed as an interactive successor to the landmark films from Twentieth Century Fox, is a dream project about which our studio is deeply committed and passionate.”

“Aliens: Colonial Marines will be THE definitive ALIENS gaming experience,” said Gary Knight, Senior Vice President of Marketing at SEGA Europe and SEGA of America. “Gearbox Software are doing a brilliant job translating the thrill and horror that ALIENS stands for into an action-packed shooter experience with co-operative gameplay at its core.”

Gary Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President of New Media for Fox Consumer Products added, “It’s no easy task to take on one of the most influential films of all-time, but SEGA and Gearbox are not going to disappoint. This game will be a must-have for fans of the ALIENS franchise and gamers around the globe.”

Aliens: Colonial Marines begins with an ostensibly abandoned ship, the U.S.S. Sulaco, recovered in orbit around LV-426. Players lead a group of highly trained United States Colonial Marines as they board the deserted craft to uncover the fate of the crew. They will have to fight to survive unspeakable horrors and their own anxieties as they chase down the truth behind a galaxy-spanning deception that places humanity at the mercy of the most murderous and deadly species in the universe. Aliens: Colonial Marines features authentic environments, such as the surface of LV-426 and Hadley’s Hope, weapons inspired by the film series and is designed to provide an exhilarating and engaging new chapter in the Aliens universe.

Aliens: Colonial Marines will be available spring 2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game is also on display in the South Hall at SEGA’s booth #2032, at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

ALERT: PSN Maintenance today

Direct from Sony's Blog:

Starting soon, the PlayStation Network will be inaccessible for several hours for maintenance. The server maintenance performed at this time represents a crucial step in the full restoration for PSN, including the PlayStation Store.

During this maintenance period, users will be unable to sign in to PSN, though those that are already logged in should be able to remain online.

Resumption of full PlayStation Network service is still on track for this week in most regions.

Thank you once again for your patience as we work to return PSN to the highest level of service.

I've got my fingers crossed the PlayStation Store will return as a result of this.

WOOT: Carmageddon: Reincarnation

Well it's official - Carmageddon will return! Here's what Kotaku has to say:

Vintage car combat series Carmageddon is making a comeback, with original developers Stainless Games having quietly re-acquired the rights to its old property.

The new game is called Carmageddon: Reincarnation, and will be a downloadable title due sometime next year. No platforms or any more tangible information are available than that.

No platforms were announced, but I'd guess this will be an XBLA/PSN title. Can't wait!!!

VIDEO: Forza 4 Kinect head tracking demo!

Here's a quick video with a demonstration of how the head tracking in Forza 4 will work with Kinect:

This is really cool - but not "run out and spend $150 on Kinect" cool in my opinion. It will be interesting to see what Kinect has to offer for the hard core gamers at E3 this year.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Activision decides it's not making enough money off Call of Duty fans

In what I can only describe as a "stupid move", Activision has released details of the new Call of Duty: Elite system. Unhappy with only being able to squeeze ~$90 ($60 retail game disk, plus ~$30 in DLC maps) from it's audience per year, they've decided to roll out a premium social networking type service for Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to launch an online service called Call of Duty Elite this fall that will work with the next major edition of the game, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," and future installments of the hyper-realistic combat-simulation game. In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new "Call of Duty" levels to play.

Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let "Call of Duty" players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.

Activision has not announced any sort of pricing for this service, but i'd expect at least $8-10 a month.

Various people within Activision have taken to twitter to defend this move, as well as to confirm there will be a free tier of service (how limited it will end up is anyone's guess).

At this rate I'm expecting COD to go the way of Guitar Hero shortly.

PlayStation Store to return "this week"

Well, so much for full PSN restoration by May 31st. Sony's PlayStation blog has shared the latest press release:

Tokyo, May 31, 2011 – Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced today that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will fully restore all PlayStation®Network services in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea by the end of this week.

I really do hope this will be the last delay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RUMOR TIME: Sony's NGP to be called "PS Vita"?

Well the rumors are flying regarding the NGP's official retail name. Seems some crafty people have been digging around some domain registrars and have uncovered the domain name, not to mention some pictures of the hardware with this new name - PS Vita.

This could be a Photoshop job, or it may not - we'll undoubtedly know more in a little over a week.

PS Vita... I'm not feeling the name honestly. If given the choice, I'd have advised Sony to stick with NGP over PS Vita. For those curious - Vita is latin for life, as well as another name for the second letter in the Greek alphabet (Beta). Either one of these definitions make sense as I'm assuming Sony does want this portable to be a key part of your mobile life - as well as the fact it's the 2nd portable they've come up with.

At the end of the day, again, if this beast of a handheld has a retail price below $399 I will be shocked.

(Please take this post as rumor and speculation - more official information will undoubtedly come to light at E3)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

VIDEO: Gears of War 3 (gameplay trailer!)

Nice use of War Pigs, eh? Gears of War 3 comes out in September, which I am pretty thankful for (as I review my backlog of games...).

Friday, May 27, 2011

VIDEO: "Link to the Future"

Here's a really rad little fan made film, mixing Zelda with Back to the Future...

...and remember - the CDi games don't count!

Happy Friday!

COOL: Mario Zombies!

Here's a fun picture to kick off the long weekend:


Thursday, May 26, 2011

VIDEO: Shinobi 3DS trailer!

Well, it's official, Shinobi is headed to the 3DS! Let's have a look:

While parts of this trailer look really good - the bulk of it doesn't really jump out and grab me. I'm going to hold off and read some reviews before i decide on this one.

Radiant Silvergun XBLA to include arcade and Saturn modes

Check this out!

Players can select to play the game in Arcade and Saturn modes, representing the two platforms the original first appeared on. All the gameplay systems are in tact, of course, as is the background music from Hitoshi Sakimoto.

New features for the XLA version include:

Two player cooperative play via Xbox Live.
Online score rankings.
Upload and download player data. This will let you watch high quality play from around the world.
Greatly improved visuals. You can also play using the original graphics, though.
As a hidden bonus, an Ikaruga shooting style mode.

Wicked! Radiant Silvergun is one of the more rare Sega Saturn titles, and is highly sought after by collectors. It's one of the more hard core shoot-em-up titles I've ever played (same goes for the semi-sequel, Ikaruga) - so be ready for a challenge.

VIDEO: Zelda OoT 3D "New Features" trailer

Here's a new trailer for Zelda OoT 3D showing off the new features:

Yeah, this doesn't make the wait any easier for me either.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VIDEO: The Legend of Zelda OoT 3D - 5/25/11 trailer

Like pretty much everyone else - this is my currently most anticipated upcoming 3DS title. New video is always welcome!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VIDEO: inFAMOUS 2 "The Beast is Coming"


inFAMOUS was a blast to play; I really enjoyed how original Cole was, and appreciated the fact that it wasn't tied to any existing super hero story. The free roaming aspect was killer, but the game's missions did get a little repetitive towards the end. In any case, this looks sick and I'm really looking forward to see what Sucker Punch has done.

(PS- if you don't own it already, inFAMOUS is one of the free titles Sony will be offering PSN users once the store is back online. The game gets a solid \m/ \m/ out of \m/ \m/ from me and would be a wise choice as a free game)