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Archive for May, 2011

E3 2011: Microsoft

Originally posted here.

Last time, we discussed Sony’s position coming into E3. In the interim, their “Welcome Back” program will hopefully improve their standing going into the conference. With Sony’s hand tipped, we know precious little about what Microsoft has in store for us – even less than Nintendo.

Unlike Sony, Microsoft has a very small list of established exclusives this year. Gears of War and Forza are certainly popular franchises, but they won’t carry a holiday season. However, several multi-platform games such as Arkham City, Skyrim, and Modern Warfare 3 will sell in numbers favoring the X-Box. Unfortunately, bragging on how multi-platform games sell better on their system isn’t going to help Microsoft with their press conference. No… they need something to wow their audience… so what could it be? (more…)

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Bane from The Dark Knight Rises revealed!

Normally, I hate re-posting news I found on other sites, so I’m going to give Garth Edwards at darkhorizons.com a thanks for posting this up… but we have our first official image of Tom Hardy as Bane in the next Batman movie:

Well… they certainly made him more in line with the Nolan universe, even if he looks a little heightened for it. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting the mask… especially one so frightening and modern. I suppose I should have, given what Nolan did with the Joker. I’m actually a fan of the look, even if does stray a bit from the Mexican wrestler look of the comics (which doesn’t have to be a bad thing). All the evidence seems to point to Bane being a disciple of the League of Shadows, so the look fits quite well. More as the story develops, but I for one am impressed. He looks like he’ll be quite a match for the the dark knight.


Mass Effect 2’s Jacob Taylor is Creepy

For anyone who’s played Mass Effect 2, you’ll know that the cast of characters are an expertly written and very relatable bunch… with one exception.

Jacob Taylor.

Bioware seems to have this need to put a bland, straight arrow character in their games. Likewise, their fans also have a need to hate that character and make them the brunt of jokes.  Knights of the Old Republic had Carth, Mass Effect had Kaidan… and Mass Effect 2 has Jacob. If you play as a male… he’s pretty bland, but if you’re a female… he’s plain creepy. I recently found a bunch of videos that make a very compelling case for his deranged mental state. (more…)


The PSN Is Back With Gifts

If you’re a PS3 owner, I’m sure you’ve noticed the PSN is back up after the whole hacking debacle. What’s really interesting is Sony’s awesome apology:

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/05/16/details-for-playstation-network-and-qriocity-customer-appreciation-program-in-north-america/

So, the PS3 options for your free game are:

  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

And the PSP options are:

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

Great choices all around. For the PS3, I’d say inFAMOUS is the best out of the bunch, with LittleBigPlanet and Wipeout in second place. Really, any of those choices are fantastic. As for the PSP, I’m a little less sure, but they all seem like pretty good options. Overall, this is a great move by Sony and will go a long way to keeping it’s install base. The apology will also smooth their position for E3. Nice job, guys!


E3 2011: Sony

Originally posted here.

It’s that time again… Christmas in June for gamers and geeks alike. E3, when the big gaming companies pull back their curtains and let us know what exciting projects they’ve been working on. The event is capitalism at its finest.

At the beginning of the year, it seemed as though 2011 belonged to Sony. Nintendo’s sales have been flagging while Microsoft doesn’t really have much to show on the horizon except for Gears of War 3. Sony’s machine had finally gained the momentum it needed, as well as a reasonable price tag. With blu-ray and an army of exclusives including Twisted Metal, inFAMOUS 2, and Uncharted 3, Sony was to be the dominate force in gaming for the foreseeable future.

Then hackers broke into the PSN and the SOE servers, resulting in a massive theft of personal information and a questionable PR reaction from Sony.

And now, with the PSN and SOE servers still down, millions of dollars have been lost over several companies. In addition, exclusives such as Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4 haven’t received the best reviews.

Sony’s position going into E3 is… awkward to say the least. (more…)


How Japan Can Win the West

Remember the times growing up with the Super Nintendo, the N64, or Playstation? The best games were always Japanese, right? Final Fantasy, Mario, Zelda, those were the ones that got you excited. Now, think about it… when’s the last time you got excited for a Final Fantasy? Now what games are everyone looking forward to? The next Call of Duty? Uncharted 3? Final Fantasy XIII was met with general apathy and disappointment, the same of which have come with Metroid: Other M (which has been disparaged for its character assassination of Samus Aran and simplistic game play) and Donkey Kong Country Returns (which has been criticized for difficult game play and strange jump mechanics). JRPG’s as a whole have been losing steam in the United States. The Last Remnant and Lost Odyssey are two RPG’s from Square Enix that have been all but forgotten. It seems with each new Japanese game, the more resistance builds up against them. Where Squaresoft would be the premier RPG developer, Bioware has taken the mantle. Where the Metal Gear Solid games were once known for their stories, their overly convoluted nature has allowed more tightly written games such as Uncharted to come along and grip the hearts of  western gamers.

(more…)


Fringe Review: “The Day We Died”

Posted here.


Summer Movie Guide Part 1: May

Here we are, friends. The dawn of another (hopefully) glorious summer movie season. Unlike last summer, 2011 will have some returning properties but also a lot of untested material. Tested franchises such as X-Men and Planet of the Apes have new spins to them or fresh faces to help them along. It’s a rather crowded season where a massive blockbuster is there for us every weekend. We’re about to experience the summer movie equivalent of Omaha beach. It’s gonna be a box office blood bath. So, let’s break down what we have and see what’s really worth seeing? (more…)


Nine Things Nintendo Needs To Do With Wii 2

Originally posted here.

For the last console generation, the Wii has stood apart from its competition. Where Microsoft and Sony pushed the boundaries of graphics and processing power, Nintendo stuck with a simple but noble motto: game play comes first. As a result, we received the Wii: a console with power just above that of the Gamecube and a motion controller. At first, the gaming community met the Wii with a reserved marvel at the prospects of motion controlled gaming. But now… Nintendo’s console is often met with eye rolls and weary sighs. Despite its reputation, the Wii has become an enormous success and helped shape the generation as we know it. Nintendo’s affordable hardware and family friendly approach have captured a market though unreachable en masse: the casual market. Grandparents and non gamers bought Wii’s for Wii Sports and Wii Fit… and little else. Still, as far as console sales go, the Wii has had almost unprecedented success in the current generation. (more…)


Fringe Review: “The Last Sam Weiss”

Posted here.