Exploring the corners of entertainment you never even knew existed

Games

Battlefield 3 PC Beta Initial Impressions

2011 has been an interesting year for games. Not only to we have almost every major franchise throwing their latest, greatest entry into the meat grinder, but we have the mother of all first person shooter grudge matches brewing: Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3.

While the Bad Company games were certainly good, they were overshadowed by the growing phenomenon of the Call of Duty franchise. For the last two years, in fact, the winter release schedules have been rather barren in order to avoid the CoD juggernaut, but not so in 2011. EA and Dice are here to play and they go a long way in proving it with their Battlefield 3 beta. While not perfect, it’s enough to give a gamer hope. (more…)

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Half Life Fan Film Double Feature

Fan Films can either be wonderful or just plain horrible.  Luckily, two shorts came out that are pretty damn good. There’s some great special effects at work here. Escape From City 17 Part 2 in particular has been in the making for years. Check them out:

Escape From City 17 Part 2

Portal: No Escape

 


New Ocarina of Time 3DS Commercial is Adorable

While it may or may not be true if Williams named his daughter after the game character, the commercial has a lot more heart than that Helen Mirren ad for Wii Fit.

It’s nice to see Robin Williams do something that isn’t total crap these days…


E3 2011: Who Had The Best Press Conference?

E3 2011 is over.  We got lots of great game coverage and peeks at distant titles. But the real meat of the event came from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s press conferences. How did they do? Well, let’s take a look at the good, bad, ugly, and then tally it up. Before we go any further… these articles are about the press conferences only, not the meetings going on behind closed doors or the demos on the show floor. (more…)


E3 2011: Nintendo

2011 is an exciting year for E3, though to be fair most of that has to do with the hype surrounding Nintendo’s next console. Wii 2, Project Café, or even Stream – whatever it’s called, holds both great promise for the company and its followers. 2011 is going to be the start of a minor reinvention for Nintendo that comes with a new console cycle. If the rumors are true and Nintendo is trying to recapture the hardcore market, then they have a great deal of work to do in reshaping themselves. The battle for the new Nintendo will start at their press conference. Their first impression will be crucial. (more…)


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…)


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…)