The unsure: Let's start off with the DVR game editing of footage. Will it be adobe premiere/after effects level editing or will it be windows movie maker level? Because if its the latter I'm better off using my capture card software. Will the DVR cache clear itself out automatically or will we have to do it ourselves? These are just a few things that were unclear on this one. The Windows 8 kernel interface. Now I'm not too keen on that interface since it really seems dumbed down from Win7 or WinXP, however it does run pretty smooth as an interface and OS. Hot-swapping windows. Now this can go both ways. It can be useful or it can bog down your system. I have a nice new Win8 laptop with 12 gigs of ram and sometimes (on rare occasions where I forget to close them down) all these apps will cause my powerhouse of a laptop to bog down and slow down. Now I'm sure they've thought of some genius way for the machine to manage the running and idle apps, but it is worth a mention. Voice controls. We all have that dick of a friend who intentionally screws with you on purpose just to make you mad at him/her so you'll pay attention to them. Now if they have a "push to talk" button like they do with Siri on idevices, but with the Xbox button on your controller, that would make it command proof against dicks.
At this point in time this is all I've gathered from this afternoon's reveal. I'll probably say something after I see the games reveal from E3 in a few weeks. Tell me your thoughts below about what you liked about the reveal, what you didn't, and what you are also unsure of at this point in time.
Xbox One reveal first impressions pt 1/2So as we all saw today, whether online on tv, we saw the Xbox reveal. Now I bet there's a bunch of journal entries filling up the site and chatrooms ablaze with topics on this, but I too am going to throw my 2ΒΆ in on this too. I'm going to split this up into three sections: the good, the bad, and the unsure. The good: We saw that the hardware specs are going to be a massive overhaul in comparison to the 360. 8gb RAM and a 500gb hard drive right out of the gate, it will be at LEAST 16x more powerful than its predecessor, which for graphics freaks is a good thing. The development software is more open. Since the closing down of the previous dev software, this new option may make it easier for indie game makers to get their games on the marketplace. DVR game recording. Now this can go both ways since a lot of people have capture cards like elgato and the like, but then there are people who don't. This will be a great option for people who want to upload little clips to say game fails. (I'll talk about the other side of this in the unsure section). Achievements and profiles will transfer over. For a site like ours that's a total relief. However they also mentioned a new feature to them which does make me wonder what it exactly means or what it'll be. 15 console exclusives in the first year, 8 of which are brand new ip's. This is fantastic to see right out of the gate. 8 brand new exclusives? That just sounds awesome, now the only issue will be which ones to pick right away and which to get later since even though I do make some good money, I like many others only have so much at one time. The controller layout is almost identical to the 360 other than the Xbox button being higher up. When you think about it the design is perfect since we all will know the control scheme right away and won't have to adapt to something abnormal that we don't know. The 360's design is so perfect that Nintendo and Sony have either first or third party controllers that mimic the 360's. if that doesn't say how good it is I don't know what else does. And the fact that this new one is only an internally updated version of which we already know, that makes it even better. A bluray drive. Now frankly the playstation folks won't be able to go all bluray fanboy on us anymore about their games being "more graphical" and the like. This will also even out the playing field when it comes to graphics as well in all multiple platform released games. The "always on" rumor debunked. They only meant that statement for online multiplayer games, as far as my knowledge of this is. So you'll still be able to play offline just like before. However it has been "confirmed" (the article was by kotaku so take it with a grain of salt) that you'll have to connect once daily if you intend to play offline. But if you're online most of the day (while the machine is on) then you'll have nothing to worry about. Runs virtually silent. I'm sure there'll be a sound here and there but as far as I've heard it's supposed to be as loud as a whisper. The bad: No backwards compatibility. This one's self explanatory, you won't be able to play your hard-copy Xbox 360 or original Xbox games on the new One; however it has been rumored that there'll be a hardware expansion, like there was during the whole HDDVD and bluray race, that you can attach to your console that'll render the software needed to run the discs, so don't sell your slim or old school 360 yet. It has also been hinted at that you'll be able to run the digital downloads of 360 and original games on the One, but right now that is unconfirmed. Needing the Kinnect. Now this is more of a "rumor vs rumor" scenario where some are saying that the One wont work without it and some are saying that it'll work without it but it'll "be less convenient." Now if it does need to be attached at all times this will be annoying for people like me (and most likely the guys in the AH office) who have their console in a less than optimal space to use a Kinnect in (bedroom sized area). Now if you can use it without ever using any of the motion features and it's included instead of a separate purchase, good; if not, not good. Forced hard drive installation of games. Now this also plays into the next paragraph as well. In theory is isn't a bad thing, you install your game and it runs and loads faster, not a bad thing right? Not when you're forced to install every game you'll buy and play on your console's 500 gig hard drive. On one upside though you'll never have to put in the disc again after installation. Now please more that this next part contains some guesstimated math. Now your average dual layer Blu-ray Disc holds around a max of 50 gigs, and if we have a 500 gig drive then we can only have 10 games max on the console at any time, less if they partition off some data for system and game updates as well as a copy of your cloud game saves. This becomes even smaller with data partitioned off for the system's game DVR. Now will they have "hot swap-able" hard drives, I don't know. Will they be using a compression method that will use up less space when not being used, I hope so. And most importantly I hope that they have larger hard drives in the future. No playing used games freely anymore. This one was unexpected to see considering that there's a used market out there. Now as far as I know there'll be a one time fee if you play a used game, but that price is unknown as of now. It deals with the hard drive install directly. Now for new game buyers this won't be an issue, but for those of us who buy used games this will be a pain in our ass. Hopefully they'll either get rid of that or make the price less than $5. This also raises the question for multiple profiles on one console, will those extra profiles also have to pay extra or just the owner of the machine that it's installed in. The character limit was reached, the second part will contain the "unsure" part of this.
The "Walking Dead: Survival Instinct" ReviewMarathon of reviews, part two. I'm onto the most regrettable game made this year, and it's only the end of April! Of course I'm talking about the new Walking Dead FPS game. You may be asking yourself, "Phil for the love of God, why did you play that piece of shit game?" Well I was really hoping that it would be just that. Was developed by Terminal Reality and published by Activision (not a big surprise, am I right?) what I'll be reviewing are the story, gameplay, graphics, things I liked, gripes, and the final word. the story begins as you play as the father of Merle and Deryl Dixion. He's out hunting with his son (Deryl) and his brother out in the boonies when a swarm of walkers kills him and Deryl and the uncle find his father dying from blood loss. Deryl's uncle shoots him in the head to give him a quick death. You then travel into town, or at least the closest one, and find it overrun with walkers. You, with the help of a pharmacist hiding out in the gas station who then tags along, refuel the car and leave. After some shenanigans that occur with your uncle an you have to kill him because he turns, you then head to the place that Merle was incarcerated and find out he's the one terrorizing the town's surviving folk and the walkers within. After collecting him you then go on your way to get as far away as possible from the walkers. the gameplay if summed up can be as little as "pathetic," "stupid," or "no. just... no." What do I mean? Well the way that the inventory is set up is just... clanky. It just doesn't work right. As for the weapons we have three types: firearm, melee, and the crossbow. All of which all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, but no matter what you have, if you have a horde on your ass you're screwed. On the topic of screwed, the health system will screw you over every time. If you get into a melee fight with a walker, you're going to lose every time. You can launch "surprise attacks" on walkers if you manage to get behind them and it is always an instant kill. All if the road sequences are line watching a very poorly made remake of Oregon Trail. The AI of the walkers are as dumb as doornails. What do I mean? Well whenever you throw a distraction item the walkers are supposed to go check wherever it landed right? Well sometimes they wouldn't at all and it would take multiple whatevers just to make them go where you wanted. the graphics, my response to them: my eyes they burn. They were just absolutely dreadful. I have seen better graphics in an indie game on XBL, on second thought Slender had better graphics than this game. That's all I'm going to touch on that. things I liked... that I only rented it from redbox and didn't waste my money on it. gripes... well you can just read pretty much anything beyond the gameplay that I've written and that would be pretty sufficient on the amount of fail in this game. The thing I really wanted to see was how Daryl changed into how he ended up in the show since that's a pretty big grey zone. This is just the tip of the iceberg but il not going to waste your time reading all of them. the final word is pass on it. This is the biggest disappointment this year in gaming. This is an even bigger disappointment than Mass Effect 3's ending last year. So yeah, your money is well spent elsewhere.
The "Gears of War: Judgement" ReviewSo for the last month I've been pretty quiet, why? Well I've been doing a lot of things. One is that ie been playing Bioshock Infinite (review is soon to come), I've just finished playing that new Stsr Trek game, I've been finishing up my game recording in Medal of Honor Warfighter, and I've just gotten a new powerhouse of a laptop so I've been getting that all taken care of. Now that we've caught up, why don't I get on this review? What I'll be covering is the story, gameplay, multiplayer, things I liked, gripes, and the final word. the story takes place 30 days after E-Day, what started the whole Locust vs. humans war. It stats off with Baird, Cole, and two others in the middle of a military tribunal telling their side of a story concerning why they are now on trial. In each chapter one of the characters tells what they did. Baird, then that one girl, then the Eastern European guy, and then Cole before coming back to the present where you play again as Baird to finish up the game. There's not much else to be stated about the story. the gameplay played just like the previous Gears games but with a little twist added; the weapons are now limited to 2 plus 2 grenades of any type. This shocked me considering that all the previous Gears games had two primaries, one pistol, and grenades. Another thing that they added were "declassified missions," missions in which you can activate that present a new challenge to you that will accelerate the rate at which you will gain stars in each checkpoint. They can range from reduced visibility to the inability to regenerate health at all. Other than those main two things not much has changed at all. the multiplayer can be divvied up into two segments: co-op campaign and actual multiplayer. In co-op I was disappointed that you could not choose what chapter checkpoint that you wanted and were at the mercy of whomever was the host of that lobby. In other situations I was put into the "idiot control" situation where I would have to boot people that were inactive or died 20+ times at the same checkpoint. As for the actual multiplayer it has actually improved from Gears 3's. it's a lot more balanced in most circumstances and most game types were quite fun assuming that you didn't get lopped into a unbalanced interns of skill game. things I liked were that the multiplayer was much more streamlined than in Gears 3. A other thing that I liked was the bonus mission that takes place during acts 4 and 5 in the Gears 3 campaign. That was a nice little touch that they threw in there. I also liked the distance revive grenades which hanged up the gameplay in both campaign and in multiplayer modes.another thing that I liked was the fact that your co-op partners could collect a collectible and it also counts towards you as well, which for achievement hunting is a big bonus for us. gripes that I had are with how they changed it from less Gears 3 feeling and more into a Call of Duty-ized version of Gears. Another thing that I had a problem with was the story; to be honest, it was a snore-fest. I mean I know what happened but I can't remember specifics. Let's use Deus Sx: HR as a comparison, I can remember every single thing about that game because they made the story interesting and memorable. But this one though, I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot it in a few months and have absolutely no memory of it. the final word is to rent it. Don't get me wrong, this is a fun game, it just doesn't have that story that will really make an impact that will make you remember it years from now. I will say that Gears fans that have been around from the beginning will be saddened while newer people may be more receptive towards this game. Well that's it from me, I'm going to start working on the Walking Dead: Survival Instinct review now, laters.
The "Tomb Raider" Reviewso i was playing this game about a week or so ago, ok more like 2 weeks, and i've put down Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds, the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, and my attempt to finish Dead Space 2 (yeah i know i'm behind on the series, but hey i got it for $20 and i can decide when i play it) to write this review for the newest installment, and prequel to the Tomb Raider series, Tomb Raider. this game was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX and if it's published by SQUARE, it's got to be of good quality. so in this review i'll be covering the story, the gameplay, the multiplayer, things i liked, gripes, and the final word. ready to do some adventuring? no? too bad! the story takes place an unknown number of years prior to Lara's first adventure, game or movie, but i suspect either late teens (18-19) or early 20's (20-24). in the game young Lara is trying to find the lost empire belonging to Himeko, the Sun Queen. after venturing into the Dragon's Triangle with her friends (the Dragon's Triangle is like Japan's version of the North American Bermuda Triangle, weird shit happens there all the time) they get into more than they bargain for. one of which being shipwrecked on an uncharted island, the other being a hostile group of natives (if you could call them that) chasing them down for no apparent reason (well at the time). as you venture deeper within the island, the shit gets weirder and the story hundreds of years in the making (well in mythology) comes disclosed both unto you, the player and to Lara. if i said any more about the story in terms of summary i can't say much more without spoiling it, but what i can say is that this story is the evolution of Lara from being the squeamish archaeologist girl to the badass that we know from the other movies and games. the gameplay is pretty simple, some buttons are used multiple times depending on your current action, ie fighting or exploring. there are two types of fighting styles: run and gun (you know, Battlefield, Halo, CoD) or the silent type (Crysis 1-3 stealth hunting or the multiple other games that use stealth). under most circumstances you can choose what you want to do in that regard, but there are a few forced stealth and forced shootout situations, of which are understandable for storytelling. many of the achievements are things that you'll do during the course of your playthrough, only one achievement states that you've actually completed the game's story unlike most games that will have a few saying that you've reached some point in the campaign/single player mode. other than that the controls come to you pretty fast (phrasing, boom!) and are easy to remember. the multiplayer honestly wasn't too great, but i'll talk about it anyway. you have multiple modes ranging from TDM to a CTF type mode. you can choose what type of character avatar you want to play as, i personally played the starter character Jonah because honestly he's the only one i liked out of the group of starting characters. you can pick loadouts for each type of encounter for both factions (survivors and solarii). there are many online achievements, some easy while others are a pain in the ass to get. not much else to say about this other than there's ranked and casual so keep that in mind if you play. things i liked were the story, it was well written and deserves the publisher SQUARE publishing it. second was the controls, they were streamlined to work, under most circumstances, flawlessly. third was the game not needing to be completed under the hardest difficulty in order to get a specific achievement or challenge completed, which is nice for once. most of the single player only achievements were pretty easy in terms of how long they took. only two were a little confusing to get and/or challenging to do. gripes i have with the game are not many, one was the conversation achievement, if you miss one and don't do it then you have to start the game all over to get 5 measly gamerscore. second are the challenges in single player, they're not really all that well explained and don't really show you on the map what they are unless you really look for them. honestly the multiplayer seemed tacked on like it was with BioShock 2, now i'm not saying it's bad, but that's how it seems. you're always on your own, you never have another person like Roth at times who can give you a hand with enemies. i didn't like how there was only one dedicated single player achievement for game completion. one final thing is the quick time events, there were times where i'd swear that i'd gotten it perfectly but hadn't for some odd reason. the final word is to buy the game. it's great and will last quite a while even after the main game is completed. there's collectibles that help tell the story of the island both recent and ancient histories. all in all i enjoyed the game and would be willing to do another run inside it, or just collect the collectibles, either or.
The "Crysis 3" ReviewSo last week I was playing Crysis 3 on Xbox renting it through redbox and I've finally gotten around to writing this review for the game. This game was developed by Crytek and published by EA. the hinge I'll cover are the story, the gameplay, the multiplayer, things I liked, gripes, and the final word. the story takes place 24 years after the events in Crysis 2. The body of Alcatraz but mind of Prophet has been in stasis for all that time and finally gets released by a bunch of rebels against CELL who have seized control of the whole world via using a very powerful power source in a sort of scam like way. And no other than Michael Sykes aka "Psycho" is leading them. You escape with him and venture into the nano-dome of the remains of New York City. As you get further and further you discover more about what CELL's been up to these last few years, all of it nefarious. Prophet's personal objective is to stop the Alpha Ceph from rising and opening a portal to their home world and therefore wiping out ours. If I revealed any more I'd be really spoiling some good story there. the gameplay is more or less the same from both previous Crysis games in terms of controls. The one big personal change was that they changed sprinting from not taking away any of your suit's power, you do at a time do run out of "breath" and have to not sprint for a short time for it to regenerate. The story missions range for close quarters fighting in a building to all out ground vehicle war. Not much else has changed since Crysis 2 in terms of what made it a good game. the multiplayer has a plethora of game modes for you to both play in and enjoy. We have classic deathmatch and team deathmatch, a CTF type mode, a Halo: Reach invasion type game mode, and many many others. There is the cod style loadouts while also having the Halo styled power weapons that show up on the maps that can be picked up by anyone and respawn after a set amount of time. It is fun and lasts for hours. things I liked were things such as the tutorial mode introduces new playrs to the game's tactics and controls very well. All of the collectables show up on your visor and can even be tagged. The facial animation looks fantastic. The single player and multiplayer achievements are specified in the discription of each one. Hack able turrets do your dirty work when hacked. There are customizable weapons for every kind of encounter. The background music is quite good. Can make sets of nano suit perks that can be swapped at moments notice. It is quite amusin to pin your enemies to the wall with your bow. Psycho is very useful at the end of chapter 6. This is the end of Prophet's story. And the menu music was enjoyable as well. gripes I had were these: audio bug early in mission 2. There are only 7 missions for you to play. Paycho almost never helps you, except for the time mentioned in mission 6. Never stealth assassinate while jumping a ceph stalker, you will cause a glitch that will force you to restart the checkpoint. Nomad's death was unspecified. Does not specify what happened to Psycho or Alcatraz (mentally). Certain things such as how to rip someone out of a pinger isn't well explained. And you never hear about happened to Alcatraz's Delta team whether they're all dead or still living. the final word is to buy the game. It has not a lot of hours inside the single player story but has many hours of enjoyable combat in the multiplayer. Hopefully if there is another Crysis game they don't use Prophet but another character instead.
Stargate game excitementPeople (mainly friends) have know me for the longest time as the biggest Stargate fan in their circle of friends. One of the main reasons being that I've been watching the show ever since I was about 8 years old. It captured my imagination in ways that I'll at times never be able to comprehend. It showed me worlds of which I will never get to see (because it is a work of fiction); it showed the heroism and tales of heroes who will never exist. The original series, SG-1 started almost 18 years ago and ended about 6 years ago (feel free to correct me on that). The branch off series Atlantis went on for about 5-6 years before being canned. And the most recent installment Universe got one and a half seasons before it too got canned. Why all this history? Because it was announced not too long ago that iOS and android were going to get a Stargate game, one of which I'm excited for because it sort of sets the stage for a kind of a reboot of the series in general to bring back a wonderful true and honest to God science-fiction story. How I would like to see this go farther is by having a console game based of the Stargate universe (the series in general not Universe in particular). Either a fps or a third person game whether it be Mass Effect like where you can evolve your character in the way you like or being able to pick a classification of a character to play as. The possibilities are endless! Hence the reason for my excitement.
The "Mass Effect: Paragon Lost" Reviewnow you may be asking yourself "why is he reviewing an anime on a video game based website?" well the reasoning behind it is that this anime is based off one of my favorite video game franchises Mass Effect. now i'm going to keep this thing pretty simple just because i don't want to get into any specifics about the production or animation or anything like that. just a basic overview of the story, what i liked, what i didn't like, and the final word. the story basically goes as this: James Vega is deployed to a planet with his squad to get it back from some Blood Pack mercs, after some fighting they win and James finds a love interest in an asari named Treeya (no that's not a mistake in spelling). he likes her but she doesn't act the same way towards him. anyway two years pass and this is during the time that Shepard has already gone down with the original Normandy and this is several months before his resurrection and reappearance in the galaxy. James is still stationed with his squad on that planet and that asari returns to check out some prothean relics nearby and somewhere in the middle of it all the collectors attack the colony and they're forced to both survive and fight back. any more and i'll be revealing the entire story of the project. things i liked were that funimation with the help of BioWare did a wonderful job in exploring the gap in between Mass Effect 1 and 2 and telling what happened with James and his squad. it was bloody for an Americanized anime, which is pretty rare considering that most are pretty toned down for distribution here in the US which considering the series that it is based on is a good thing. the other thing that i liked is that considering that my Shepard was a maleShep the animation and story teams gave James a love interest. the things i didn't like were only a few, some were pretty obvious and stood out like a sore thumb while others sort of went under the radar. one of the big ones was that they didn't use the same voice actors for Anderson and Hackett as they did in the game series, which really disappointed me. the other thing that i didn't like was that the weapons in ME don't shoot lasers, unless of course they do in the case of the prothean particle rifle. i mean they were like Star Wars laser rifles, those kind of lasers. i wished they had looked in on that more instead of just assuming they were all lasers. the only other thing that they really could have touched on more was how Treeya and James do or don't get along relationshipally (i know it's not a word); you know whether they get together or not, or at least hinting on it. the final word is to watch this anime/cartoon. it gives you a look at James since he's a pretty bland character inside of ME3 that really doesn't reveal much about himself, and this is one of those rare things that allows us to see a character that we really don't know much about. you can find it on Xbox Video if you want to watch it, i dunno if you can rent it but it is available for purchase.