Writers for Playstation and PC content wanted. If interested, contact me HERE

Friday, June 27, 2014

Banjo & Kazooie Bundle

Xbox had announced they'd be introducing more bundles for Xbox, this is soon to be the first.


If you never played either, you should. Banjo and Kazooie and the sequel are both great platformers and pretty easy as well.

If you've yet to play either, stay tuned. We'll let you know when a release date is given to this great bundle.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

July Games with Gold

Are you ready for another helping of free games from Xbox? No? Too damn bad!!!!



On July 1st, Gotham City Impostors will be free through July 15th. I played the beta for this and it was quite wacky. GCI is a team vs team game where you can dress your character up as a hero or villain, earn experience and unlock new gadgets. Think of it as Team Fortress, but with 'superheroes'. It's pretty fun, so you should totally download it.




BattleBlock Theater will be free on July 16th, until the 31st. This is another wacky game by the folks who made Castle Crashers. The opening cutscene is hilarious, by the way. You're a prisoner on some island, betrayed by your dear friend, Mr. Hatty, but something isn't right, this isn't like him, NOT LIKE HIM AT ALL!!!! And what's with all these cats, so many darn cats.... Jump, skip and die your way to freedom!!!!




On Xbox One, gamers can download Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition for free from July 2nd onwards to the end if the month.




As an added bonus, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Xbox One) will also continue to be available free for another month, if you haven't downloaded it yet.

Get ready for some free game mayhem!!!!

Dead Island 2 Trailer

Because I haven't seen this shared nearly enough.


I honestly found the first one to get rather boring after several hours (although I am a sad person with few friends to play with, so that may be why), but this one , simply based on the trailer, has me quite interested. They do have a way with trailers, don't they?

Dead Island 2 is scheduled for release early-mid 2015 on Xbxo One, PS4 and PC.

Xbox Japan: Onigiri

I recently saw a list of games scheduled to release at the Xbox One launch in Japan, most of them games we are familiar with, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Dead Rising, Forza and more, one caught my attention though, one I hadn't heard of.

Onigiri.


I looked it up a bit and it turns out that it is a free to play (no monthly subs) MMO in Japan, not scheduled for an American release as of now. I also saw gameplay, everything was in English, so since the console IS NOT region locked, you could purchase it and import it. As I don't know much, and some of that what I just said could be wrong, I'll just throw some screens at'cha.

WHA-BAM!!!!








Oh, you'd rather have gameplay? Sorry, we don't have that.

Just kidding.


So, will you be importing this game? Waiting for a US/UK/WhereverOtherThanJapan release? Or skipping this altogether?

Personally, my interest is peaked.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Titanfall (plus next Update)

Your Titan is ready! The next update, almost.



For those interested in the update only, scroll to the 'Other' section

Story

The story is only playable, like the rest of the game, online. The story places you on the side of either the IMC or the Militia, two groups fighting a war over territory. The IMC seeks to seize control over various locations and the Militia are fighting back to try and keep their land and resources. The IMC are highly trained soldiers, where as the Militia is your run-of-the-mill assortment of hobos, mercs, farmers, etc.

Despite the clear difference in training and equipment, it doesn't matter who's side you are on, no one side is at an advantage over the other.


Graphics

This is the first retail game I've played on my Xbox One, if this game is what we have to look forward to, I cannot wait. The game is beautiful, and considering that it's basically designed for last gen (Xbox 360), when a truly next gen game comes out, boy-o, it will be amazing. The game looks very crisp and polished right out of the gate, textures are nice, effects are amazing and details only enhance the feel of the game. Here are some screens, but they don't really get the point across, you need to see it in action to appreciate the game.





Controls

If you've played ANY FPS, you'll grasp the controls quick, if not immediately. There's nothing out of the ordinary or new. Triggers aim and shoot, bumpers dash and use the Titans special ability, or throw grenades and use the players special ability if not in a Titan.


Voice/Sound/Audio

The game actually features amazing Voice acting, which is rare these days. Characters are varied and don't sound like they are reading from a script, so there's no need to worry you'll hear one actor doing several characters. Characters don't talk too much, only to update you on the teams performance, whether you are winning, losing or to give you instructions on what to do next.

The sound and audio is, again, very well done. Sound effects are varied and not used repetitively (and to understand my definition of repetitive, play any old Resident Evil game, there are literally 3 sounds for walking).


Other

The game features a customization feature, to allow you to somewhat alter your character, although it's limited but I suspect this will be expanded later. You can upgrade weapons slightly to give your weapon a boost, things such as heavier hammers for more power, more accurate scopes, stocks to make the gun suffer less from recoil, larger clips and the like.

There are a few type of Titans to choose from and customize as well, you can choose between a fast but weak Titan, a slow and powerful Titan or one in between. Again, they can be customized much like the player character.

Character customization
Titan customization
The game allows you to hack AI characters in game to act as your body guards, or turrets to take out other players and Titans. Make sure to take advantage of these when you can, as they can help you greatly when in a tight spot.

You can 'rodeo' friendly and enemy Titans as well. When you rodeo and enemy Titan, you will jump on to it and expose its core, allowing you to directly attack it and bypass shields, as well as inflicting more damage than you normally would, the enemy is alerted to this though and will usually try to kill you, so watch out!

In the center, the enemy Titan's core
When you rodeo a friendly, you simply jump on it and use the Titan as transport and extra defense, you will be protected as long as the Titan has a shield and the attack isn't a physical attack (i.e. a Titan punching you WILL kill you).

When you request your Titan, you can kill enemies with the drop, if you're lucky. This is a good way to kill other enemy Titans, but is hard to execute unless they are preoccupied with something else, as they usually move around a bit.

If you'd like to see some gameplay in action, you can view some of my Twitch broadcasts (yes, shameless plug, I know) to get an idea of the game. http://www.twitch.tv/leo_ascendent/profile

The game offers 'Burn Cards' that can be earned by completing challenges. These cards are temporary boosts that can be activated in-game that vary, you may use a card that gives you quicker speed, a stronger gun, a better radar and much more. These cards only last one game OR until you die. The only downside is that you can only hold 26, and they add up fast.

For those just interested in the next update, here's a bit of a sneak peek:

The update will be applied to the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows PC versions of the game. The Featured Game Modes playlist will be added to the playlist rotation and will cycle through modes regularly. The first playlist will feature the new mode Marked For Death, in which a player on each team will be marked as the target. Players must kill all opponents while protecting their marked teammate.
Players will also gain access to 14 new Burn Cards adding new "amped" Titan weapons and abilities. These cards won't be lost when Pilots die, but rather when you die as a Titan. Titans with Burn Cards will be highlighted in orange and those with active cards will be marked on the HUD. Burn Cards will also now have an overflow protection feature that will prevent players from losing the opportunity to earn rare burn cards when a deck is full. Players' Burn Cards can now exceed the maximum deck size but before arming a new Burn Card, players have to discard enough cards to go back down to the max requirement. Max deck size is now 46, up from the previous 26 cards.

The game also has the standard Multiplayer games. Kill enemies to get points, first team to reach the limit wins. Capture the flag. King of the Hill. Last Titan Standing. So you don't need to just replay the story over and over.

The game uses prestige as well, once you hit level 50, you can basically prestige to the next generation. I've yet to hit the cap yet, so I don't know what benefits it provides, apart from achievements.


Overall

Titanfall is a great, fun and addicting game to get in to, there's a lot of variety and the game is well-balanced and friendly to newbies, yet rewarding for those more skilled.

9.0/10.0

Pros
- Looks Amazing
- Sounds Amazing
- Plays Amazing

Cons
- Burn Cards add up and you lose them if you don't have room
- Not a huge variety of game types and maps right now
- Would like more Titan types

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Games with Gold and Charlie Murder [UPDATE]

[UPDATE]

It's been reported that Charlie Murder's patch has gone live making a few changes:

*I’m Thorough Achievement – collect all the relics ~ The Jeweled Cross has been removed and the player requires the 54 unique relics to complete this achievement
*Private Matches can no longer be joined by public players
*Players no longer have to fight Circe and Tepes again once they have already been defeated
*Remote players can no longer pause everyone’s game – Just the host 
*Rex heals more viable, Charlie heals no longer as overpowered

So have at it and enjoy the game.


[ORIGINAL POST]

If you haven't heard, this month marks 1 year of Games with Gold on Xbox, if you haven't yet downloaded your games, you should. Xbox is offering two games instead of one. You can pick up Charlie Murder (arcade) and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (also arcade). Both available until the end of the month.

That's not all, you can also pick up Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault if you own an Xbox One. These are also available until the end of the month.

See Xbox Policy Change: What It Means For You for a little more on Max and Halo.

Charlie Murder does currently posses a glitch preventing gamers from earning all the achievements in the game right now, however Ska Studios has presented a patch to fix this to MS for certification, so now we just need to play the waiting game until that get pushed out. I asked both and got these replies:


So as you can see, Ska is quite hopeful that it will release during the free period, but as long as long as they've presented one, I don't care how long it takes.


Charlie Murder, like The Dishwasher series by Ska, is a side scrolling, beat 'em up with RPG elements that lets you play as one of five characters in solo, or online co-op to stop and slay an army of demons. Scary.



Street Fighter is.... well, Street Fighter. If you don't know much about SF, you've been living under a rock since the 90's. There are numerous balance adjustments to the characters as well as a few characters playable immediately, instead of needing to unlock them. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hitman: Absolution

Lies and Deceit 


Story

Absolution starts out with Agent 47 being given the Kill Order on Diana Burnwood, an ex-Agency ‘handler’; a person who handles jobs, clients and information for an assigned agent. Diana had exposed the agents around world, resulting in the deaths of many agents, purging the systems and bringing the Agency to the brink of destruction. 47 soon learns the truth behind Diana’s betrayal and sets out to fulfill her last request.


Graphics

Graphically, Absolution is, at the time of its release, a very well made game with polished cutscenes and character animations. Light will often reflect off of 47’s signature Silverballer pistols (this however does not affect the players ability to hide), when exiting caves or places where long exposure to artificial lighting is made (by lamps, ceiling lights, etc) and going to the natural lighting of the outdoors (sun), you’ll get ‘flash blindness’, the inability to see momentarily after sustaining a blast of bright light (the change in lighting from fake to sun).


Controls

Controllers are a bit complicated at first, but through several tutorial missions, you learn them (the first 2 story missions, comprising of several smaller missions teach them to you). The shoulder buttons allow you to run, aim, shoot, reload and use instinct (the latter being a skill 47 has that allows him to see people and items of interest, the path those people will take, hiding spots and other various objects).

Pressing down on the D-Pad allows you to hide your weapon, holding it allows you to remove/attach a silencer if applicable and Left, Up and Right allow you to switch weapons.

A/X, X/Square, Y/Triangle and B/O all have various commands depending on the situation, which are displayed on screen (assuming you are not playing on the ‘Purist’ difficulty, which offers no prompts).


Voice/Music/Sound

The voicing for the main characters in the game is well done, 47’s low, rasping British accent suits the ‘Hitman’ persona well. Many of the other characters you’ll meet sound very well done and the voicing suits their character model. The downside is that common grunts have 1 of 3 voice actors on most occasions, the most notable being Steven Blum, who’s done many, many, MANY voices, my favorite being Spike from Cowboy Bebop (just a random tid-bit), or the one guy who has a very Midwestern accent (hello Minnesota).

The music tends to be low and ambient, not really picking up unless you are spotted and a full blown chase ensues. This suits the game well though, and it didn’t detract from any core gameplay. It’s probably for the best, as a big part is relying on enemy communications to help navigate the areas effectively.


Other

Enemies are always o the prowl for 47, but are somehow oblivious to the giant bald guy wearing a guard outfit (momentarily anyways). Disguises play a key part in the series, so I’m sure you’re well aware of the need to either stealth, or the ability to blend in with your surroundings. Most enemies can be stripped of their clothing and used to enter areas that would normally be impossible to access (without bloodshed anyways).

Seems perfectly normal, no one will ever know

The game offers another style of play aside from the story called ‘Contracts’. This game mode uses locations from the main game (EXACT replicas, including enemy placement, weapon placement, etc) and the player creates a contract on one of the AI’s in the area. You kill that person and all the things you did are recorded and you can then put that up for other players to try. So if you killed the store clerk, with a wrench while dressed like a chicken, you can require other players to do the exact same. Anything you do can be put up for bonus money (which is used to upgrade weapons in ‘Contract Mode’), the other player isn’t required to mimic your kill exactly, but the closer they get, the more money they earn.

The game also offers over 200 challenges, there are various challenges per level, which generally consist of not using any disguises, not alerting anyone, finding all ‘evidence’ and many others. When completed, these challenges increase your score for the level (and any later plays of the level, so once you beat a challenge, the score boost will always be in effect for that level). You can also replay any level, at any time to try and complete more challenges (yay ‘Level Select’).

As you may know, or maybe not, this was my first Hitman game, so I don’t know how the others played, you can kill your targets in numerous ways, accident, poisoning, stealth, outright, there are a lot of fun ways to achieve your goals, so explore the level and make note of points of interest.

Enemies are always o the prowl for 47, but are somehow oblivious to the giant bald guy wearing a guard outfit (momentarily anyways). Disguises play a key part in the series, so I’m sure you’re well aware of the need to either stealth, or the ability to blend in with your surroundings. Most enemies can be stripped of their clothing and used to enter areas that would normally be impossible to access (without bloodshed anyways).


Overall

Hitman Absolution offers a lot of fun ways to dispose of targets, as well as lots of replay for the challenges (and simply trying something new). The great characters and interesting story make it hard to not suggest to stealth fans. With the only downside being the lack of voices for the lower soldiers and the occasional difficulty spike, even on low difficulties, this is still a fun game that many people would enjoy.


9.0/10.0

Pros
- Great cast of characters
- Fun ways to kill your target (poison the fish, push them in to the sewer? Yes)
- Plenty of replayability

Cons
- Lack of voice actors for the lower rank soldiers
- Infrequent difficulty spike in a few missions

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Coming to Xbox One and PS4


Square has recently announced they will be bring FF Type-0 HD to the Xbox One and PS4. Not much is known about this game just yet, other than it being set in the same world as Final Fantasy Agito, a mobile game. You can check out the trailer for Agito below.



Sunset Overdrive Preview

What do you get when you combine excessive parkour, large orange explosions, wacky characters and more orange? Sunset Overdrive is the demon spawn of Insomniac Games, makers of the Spyro, and Ratchet and Clank games (as well as a few others). 

Based on first impressions, the game appears to be a mutant crossbreed of games such as Crackdown (insane, over the top play style), Dead Rising (quirky, odd weapons and characters) and a bit of Ratchet and Clank (more over the top weaponry, color environments and odd characters).


Like Crackdown, the game is an open world, do as you please style game, leaving it up to the player if they want to do the story, or spend countless hours killing mutants or side missions.

The story, from what we can grasp, is that a new energy drink has been released in Sunset City circa year 2027 and you, as an employee of the company who released said beverage among the unsuspecting civis, must clean up the streets. Why, you ask? Well your drink has caused severe mutations in the human DNA, if that wasn't bad enough, people are already bananas in this community. From bad to worse, as they say.

Multiplayer will be "unique", as said by the Sunset Overdrive Twitter account, @SunsetOverdrive.
"there is a multiplayer mode as well that will have some unique things"
Sunset Overdrive is set to launch this fall, exclusively on the Xbox One.

Oh, and to give you an idea of how crazy the game is, per the Wikipedia on Sunset Overdrive, describes the pitch to Microsoft.
The "main pitch" began with the playing of "Kick Out the Jams" by MC5, and ended with Smith "on top of a chair, mimicking how the game was going to play, and the last minute heroics." Microsoft ultimately agreed to publish the game.
So yeah, these guys are crazy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

E3


So with E3 on everyone's lips, what games caught your eye? Were any more impressive than you thought? Some lackluster? Did anything catch you by surprise? Happy? Giddy? Angry? Constipated? WE WANT TO KNOW!!

(well, maybe not constipated, keep that to yourself, thanks ;p)

My personal favorites are Zelda Wii U, I love the combination of realism and cartoony.

Link, with his fancy lightsaber-esque arrow
Trailer Boss

But seriously, pics do no justice, just watch the trailer, if you've somehow not yet done so.

Also, there's Star Fox (hello old friend), so that will be fun. Nintendo knocked it out of the park, in my opinion.

The new Assassin's Creed game looked nice too.



Plenty more nice games, Halo, Rainbow Six, Smash Brothers, but these two made me pretty excited.

What about you? 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Extra Life Group and PRIZES!!!!




WHEN:  October 25th, 2014 @ 8am (Or pick a date that works for you!)

WHERE:  Anywhere you like to game (Most people play from home!)

GAME/PLATFORM:  Play any games on any platforms you want including mobile devices or board games!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:  There are many ways you can help us raise money for our kids, you can directly donate, this is the easiest way you can help (REMINDER: All donations are tax-exempt and most companies will MATCH your donation). You can join the event and raise funds yourself, or even create your own team and recruit others! Or simply spread the word and get more people to check out the event, the more people who are aware, the greater chance of donations!

GET INVOLVED:  If you are interested in helping out, I’ve already started. You can join the group “Minnesotans Gaming for Good” (http://www.extra-life.org/team/minnesota), which will be supporting and raising funds for the Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare Hospital in St. Paul (http://www.gillettechildrens.org/), or the Hospital of your choice.

NOTICE: YOU DON'T NEED TO BE FROM MINNESOTA TO JOIN, THAT'S JUST THE GROUP NAME

If you’re not much of a gamer (of board, card or video origins), you can donate as well! Any amount is appreciated by both me and the kids who will benefit from your donation.

NEED ANOTHER REASON:  In an attempt to get more people to take part, I’m going to giving away game related gifts and prizes for those on the team (see ‘GET INVOLVED’) who raise the most. Prizes are up to the recipients, the only limitations are dollar values (since I’ll be personally buying them). To give you an idea of what prizes may be awarded: new release games, gaming accessories, other gaming gear (clothing), Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions (1 year), PlayStation Plus Memberships (1 year), Facebook Gift Cards (for Facebook games) and so much more!

So if you know a gamer, have them sign up for our team! More details will be posted on the team blog (also located on the team page) as they are decided on.

QUESTIONS:  Any questions about the event itself can be directed to the event staff (simply head to http://www.extra-life.org and click ‘Contact’ on the bottom). Questions about this promotion, or if you just want me to ask your questions, can be messaged to me on G+ or posted in the comments.

TIERS: As of now, I'm proposing the current tier, but will improve it once we get more members and the amount raised increases.

Honorary Tier
- If none of the below tiers are met, I will award the highest earner a game, LIVE/PS+ or other gaming item valued at $20 or less

Tier One
- 5 Members Minimum
- Highest Earner over $50 will receive a game, LIVE/PS+ or other gaming item valued at $60 or less

Tier Two
- 10 Members Minimum
- Highest Earner over $100 will receive a game, LIVE/PS+ or other gaming item valued at $60 or less and a game of their choice from my personal collection
- 2nd Highest Earner over $50 will receive a game of their choice from my personal collection


I will add more tiers as we get closer to reaching them.*

*Tiers are subject to change

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wordament Unlocking Leaderboard Achievement



Hello all,

If any of you are mobile gamers, or maybe Facebook gamers, you may have heard of Wordament, a word finding game not unlike Boggle. Well, if you're an achievement hunter, like my friend +Andrew Mulligan is (HINT HINT), you may be interested in this bit of news. Here is the basic outline of their 'proposal'

So you’ve been playing Wordament for years now but you still haven’t unlocked that World Champ achievement… How about we strike a little deal? If we all work together and get our Facebook page up to 100K likes in the month of June, then we award World Champ to anyone that plays a full round of Wordament on July 4th. It’s that simple, get the page to 100K likes, and you can get that coveted World Champ achievement.
How you can help:
•Step 1: Go Like our Facebook page.
•Step 2: Ask others in your own social circles to like our page. You can do that by sharing this blog post.
•Step 3: Spread the word in any other communities you participate in.
Then on July 4th, come play a round of Wordament.
Please note, we have to hit 100K likes in the month of June or we won’t be able to do this.



A small price to pay to help out friends and fellow gamers who've been playing the Afghan language to try and earn this achievement. If you're interested, you just need to 'Like' their Facebook page (which is linked to in the 'sources' below) and help them reach 100,000 Likes. Why not help out, takes less than a second (not including load times to bring the page up, sign in, etc).

It should also be noted, that upon unlocking this achievement, any other device you play Wordament on that supports achievements will also cause it to unlock on THAT device as well. FREE POINTS!


Sources:
http://www.wordament.com/unlock-world-champ-in-wordament/
https://www.facebook.com/wordament