New app for Skyrim Leaves Little to be Desired

So from time to time I head into the Apple app store and search video game titles to see what pops up, and this time it paid off in a big way. IGN recently released a new app for Skyrim. The app, which is free, gives you just about anything that you would want in a video game app. The app offers wallpapers, interactive maps, Wiki guides, videos, a skill tree planner, voice reference and social network connectivity and sharing.

Now, I probably should’ve popped in Skyrim today to test out things like the maps section and the walk through videos…but I got busy and didn’t. Never the less, this still seems to be a top notch app. It’s intuitive, simple, seemingly helpful and most of all everything can be accessed within the app. I really like this feature. In the past I’ve had apps that want to take you through your browser to get to certain features, especially videos, which can be bothersome.

I’ll be trying this app out in greater details and I hope it holds up to the initial impression. Either way though, it’s getting me back into Skyrim which I haven’t played in months…so it at least has that going for it.

My Issues with Bayonetta 2

 

So it’s been about a week and a half since it was first announced that Bayonetta 2 would be a Wii U exclusive. In that time, we’ve seen a fair amount of outrage from the fans directed primarily at Nintendo. To nobody’s surprise, we’ve also seen plenty of journalistic outcry against the fans who are against Nintendo. Plenty of arguments about the topic have popped up, so I thought I’d take a chance at analyzing a few.

 

F#$% You Nintendo for making Bayonetta a Wii Exclusive. I want the game for _________ (insert any system here)

 

Now, this argument does in fact make us look like spoiled babies, but look at it from the fans’ perspective.   Gamers (like myself) who once enjoyed Bayonetta on their system of choice (PS3 for me) are now forced into buying a system they may or may not want in order to play the sequel.  It would be not unlike buying a Nintendo system to play a Mario game and then find out that the next Mario game is being released for the Vita… which would totally suck.

 

Follow the game, not the system.  If you follow (insert an system here), you’re nothing but a sheep to a company.

This argument makes me laugh every time I see it.  You mostly only see arguments like this on Twitter or in Youtube comments.   Most of the same points from the previous argument I’ve made will also apply here, but a lot of us have our reasons for not liking Nintendo and NOT purchasing a Wii U is one of the few things we can do to let Nintendo just how much we distrust them.  I once owned a Wii, and it took about a year to realize just how little fun I was having with it.  I ended up selling it to buy a PS3 (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my gaming life) but I would have much rather avoided the hassle.

 

Bayonetta 2 wouldn’t even exist without Nintendo.  They are the only reason Bayonetta 2 is being made.

This is more of a rant on the industry, but nothing incites rage from a collective of gamers quite like exclusivity.  Exclusivity is never a good thing, and really only creates separation in the given industry.  What I hate most is how widespread and accepted it is becoming.  Yes Bayonetta 2 is being released because of Nintendo, and I know a lot of people will probably tell me I’m crazy, but would it be so weird if Nintendo were to publish a game and not make it exclusive to their own system?  Yes, I know they have a massive incentive to sell their system, but they do so to sell the software.  In fact, I would argue that most of the money is made from software… that or subscription-based services.  Bayonetta is a single player game that probably won’t offer any subscription-based services, so why not please the fans by offering it for all platforms while doubling, or maybe even tripling the sales of the product?

 

If you are a true Bayonetta fan, you would just buy the Wii U to play part 2.

I’m just going to come out and say it.   It’s NEVER worth investing in an entire system for one game.  I’ve done it before and I’ve regretted it every time.  I also love how some people think $300-$500 is money everyone can just throw around whenever new hardware is released.   I’ll purchase ONE of the three major systems, and I’ll think long and hard about which one I want before I do.

 

 

New PlayStation 3 Model: Hit Or Miss?

A couple of days ago, Sony unveiled its new PlayStation console. Or rather, a new update to it. The new PlayStation 3 is slimmer, sleeker, and lighter than ever before. This bad boy is given a boost from its seemingly minute capacity of 160GB and 320GB hard drive, it is now packing either the already big 250GB or the insane 500GB hard disk drive. A white version is said to be released in Japan and other regions afterwards according to Sony. No word yet on a white version for North America. Along with that, cheaper models with a 12GB flash storage will be released in different parts of Europe and Hong Kong. Again, it isn’t hinted whether this will appear in the North American Market. It will be available to the public on September 25th, Tuesday with a price tag of $269.99. Let’s talk about what little new features it has and it’s pricing.

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What Would Curiosity Get You?

A lot of very talented and independent game developers spend their time trying to amass enough creativity and ideas to work on something big but starting off in the app business. We’ve got billions of apps just waiting to be downloaded and be played with. Well, one guy thought of making an app that’s a social experiment, something that will have everyone playing the game together. How is this game different from Angry Birds or Temple Run? First off, this game won’t use any birds nor any running at all. What you will be doing is collectively trying to chip off every bit of the surface of a massive cube, all the while trying to get inside the cube, because that’s your goal. That’s the entirety of this social experiment. It’s to see how far people are willing to know something that’s being kept from them and the only way to get to it is to hack away surfaces of smaller cubes within this huge black cube. This is the creativity Peter Molyneux has put into his game called “Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube?” 

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Oh, Now I Remember

 

As I sat in front of my computer trying desperately to come up with something to write about this week I found myself without any ideas. There was no real news I was excited about. There aren’t any games coming out in the near future that I’m all that excited about. The WiiU is right around the corner, but seeing how I abhor EVERYTHING Nintendo…that was out too.

 

Then I tried to think of why I even like video games, and one memory came to mind. It was the day that, after more than a dozen years of playing games, I feel I actually became a “gamer”. But let me start with a bit of background info…

 

I’m a huge fan of the show Chuck. One day I was searching some YouTube videos and I came across a video featuring Adam Baldwin (John Casey) and Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah Walker) doing voice overs for a game titled Mass Effect 2. I instantly looked on Steam and found a demo. After playing through the demo about a half-dozen times I bought the game. It almost instantly started gettin every spare moment I had, but really never more than 1-2 hours at a time, that is, until a snow-day kept me out of class one day.

 

I was going to school fulltime, so after driving my wife to work I came home and sat down in front of my computer, cup of coffee beside me, and started in on my usual 1-2 hours. Before I knew it I looked at the clock and I had been playing for 4 hours. I refilled the coffee and sat back down. I clocked a total of about 8 1/2 hours that day…way more than I had ever spent in one day playing video games. I experimented with new weapons and new powers. Got in a grove with certain squad mates (usually Miranda and Thane or Miranda and Garrus). Went further and further than I’d ever gone. Developed an affinity for sniping, which I had previously hated in games, and developed my most defining quality as a gamer…sitting there all by myself saving the universe.

 

 

Now this is a relatively boring story, I’ll admit it, but for me it was the day that I picked up the gamer tag and haven’t put it down since. No, I didn’t grow up loving a lot of the older games, nor do I own dozens of different games…but I’m a gamer none the less. Gamers come in all shapes and bends.

 

So what’s your story? When did you pick up that gamer tag? Let us know in the comments.

Kiip: Play Games, Get Free Stuff.

Kiip, sounds like a new candy bar; with twice the taste and half-the-fat. Fortunately for us, “GameVainers” this isn’t the case.

They are a start-up rewards company that is giving out prizes for simply playing games on mobile devices. To break it down to it’s bare essentials; the more you game, the more points you are awarded. You can cash those points out for prizes. Sounds like the digital Chuck E. Cheese? Well because it is, since so many game companies have been getting into the rewards business(i.e. GameStop), it makes perfect sense that App. moguls would want their piece of the pie. Today’s statistics show that more than 4 out of 10 adults actively play games on their mobile device(with this figure in constant growth). Since mobile gaming is on the rise, a rewards system makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you try and earn those points? All I know is Kiip is definitely a bellwether in the market of social games.

Check out the video below. Or link to them direct here.

Kiip – Everyday Victories from kiip on Vimeo.

Considering Derek van Vliet, from Mega Jump, supports this new company means GameVain is on board.

Side note: Just because MC Hammer is in the Kiip video doesn’t mean Kiip will B.K. Although it is highly plausible.

Mortal Kombat Needs To Step Up Their Game

It’s been hinted that there will be sequel to the 2011′s Mortal Kombat. The thing is, NeatherRealm, the developer of Mortal Kombat hasn’t started yet. I’ve got a few issues in mind, something very specific. First of all, they’ve gotta’ mix things up. It’s hard already that the game just progresses through the plot without having any variation that’s worth notable from the previous Mortal Kombats. Second, adding new characters is not enough for a game franchise that has been around a little over than a decade. And lastly, I raise a question. Do we really need another Mortal Kombat Game?

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Is Half Life 3 Just Around the Corner?

Big news dropped last week from one of the industries fan-favorite developers, and it came in the form of a recent job listing. Valve Corporation is looking for an industrial designer with a background in “product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing,” according to a report released from Gameindustry International. In the past rumors have frequently surfaced about the company moving into the hardware market, including a rumor about working with Apple to develop a console, but this job posting seems to be a little too specific to have nothing to do with that end.

Most would assume that a console from Valve would utilize its popular Steam format, but that’s not the rumor that sparked the most amount of interest when I learned of this job listing. Just a few short hours after the news released I started hearing rumors that this may be what Valve has been waiting for in regards to releasing the long (very, very long) awaited Half Life 3. The Half Life series really helped to cement Valve as one of the majors hitters in the gaming market and fans have been clamoring for more Gordon Freeman for nearly a decade since the franchises second game dropped in November of 2004. To add a little more fuel to this rumor, official Half Life 3 shirts have been reported popping up in several game and comic conventions this year.

So what do you think? Would you want a Valve console, or are you happy with Steam for PC and Mac? Is this rumored console the vehicle for the next Half Life game? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

I Hate Lightning

 
Let it be clear that I do not hate the sudden flashes of light that brilliantly fill the sky on a stormy night. Those are actually pretty sick, especially the giant forked ones that tear through  a cloudless sky…  I enjoy those quite a bit.  What I have recently come to despise is Lightning the character from the Final Fantasy series.

 


 

I didn’t always hate Lightning the character.  There was actually a point in time before the original Final Fantasy 13 when I was actually really, really pumped to get my hands on the game with the sylish and sexy new FF character.  I was just coming from Final Fantasy 12 (which I absolutely loved) so my interest in the series was at an all-time high… and then I played the game.

 

I couldn’t believe how incredibly boring the game was.  I know it sometimes takes a Final Fantasy game to get going, but this one easily beat out the rest in that aspect.  I played about half the game, and then stopped never to return to that world.

 

A couple years later, I find out a sequel to 13 is to be released, and I’ll be honest… I was a bit surprised and a tad excited.  They eventually started releasing those slick, FF high-res screenshots, you know, the ones from  the opening CG cutscenes.  I found it shocking that they could Lightning look even sicker than she already did from the first game. and for that I was immediately pulled back in.   I’ll always give Square Enix the benefit of the doubt. and I knew I would give 13-2 a chance.

 

This time I ended up playing the entire game.  It wasn’t that I was particularly enjoying the game, but I was willing to trudge through the story in hopes the ending would make it all worth-while.  In short, it was not, and it actually made me incredibly angry.  Not only was the Finale incredibly predictable, but the game actually tells you how it ends about  midway through .  SPOILERS AHEAD.  It’s as if you were watching The Dark Knight Rises, and Bain would break character midway through the movie to tell the audience that he not only fails twice to defeat Batman, but he is defeated by Catwomen, his partner in crime dies in a car crash, and Batman neutralizes his nuclear bomb ‘Angels and Demons” style.  Terrible idea, right?  It was.

 

 

This past Saturday, they announced the new spinoff Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. and this probably goes without saying, but I will not play the game.  I will not rent the game.  I will not buy the game.  I will not borrow the game.  I wouldn’t even try the game if it were given to me for free.  The ONLY instance where I would even consider giving it a semblance of a chance is it receives critical acclaim while addressing and fixing the problems from the first two games.  Oh, and please, please Square Enix…. please take it easy with those over-the-top story lines.  The crazier the story line, the more likely it won’t translate very well, which just screws over the English-speaking audience; and we can’t enjoy the game if we have no clue what’s happening.

 

As of now, I’ll probably ignore any and every FF game with XIII in the title, but I’m also getting closer and closer to simply ignoring every FF game altogether.

Mashfest – Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Do you guys even remember the 1st Tekken game? Because I sure can’t, what with all the years that have passed. Actually, you know what, I didn’t even get to play the first two Tekken games. I only remember playing Tekken 3. Which, by the way, was such an overly awesome game! The first Tekken game was released back in 1994, and it has been over 18 years for its latest sequel to come out. A spinoff from the main title and the sequel to the 1999 Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is coming out for September 11 here in the United States. This article is targeted for those living in and around New York. But if you’re not from New York, you’re still welcome to read this post.

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Snikt!

 

I’m sure many of you are like me and have been insanely busy these last few weeks as summer wound down and school started back. Whether you have kids in school, are in school yourself or have a job that has anything to do with school, you’ve been busy. My job keeps me busy working with the local schools during the first few weeks on top of being in school myself. As such, my console/PC gaming time has dropped to a near extinct level, and yours may have too. But have no fear, I bring you glad tidings in the form of a classic game many of us grew up with and can be played on the go…X-Men Arcade for iPhone.

I really can’t count the number of hours, or quarters, I spent playing this game when I was a kid. I loved it and was pretty bummed when they started discontinuing the machine. So when I read about it a little over a month ago I downloaded it. I played it a few times but didn’t really get caught up in it until two weeks ago when school started in my area. I found myself playing every chance I got just to get my gaming fix. This game is the purest kind of fun I’ve ever had iGaming.

The game is pretty much exactly how I remembered it. Walk in a straight line and beat ‘em up. What more could you want? Even today I still almost exclusively play as Wolverine or Night Crawler, just like I did more than 20 years ago when I was a five year old at the bowling alley or pizzeria or grocery store or any other place that had this machine.

Even as I sit here writing this I went into the game to check on something and ended up playing through a level.

Go buy this game today. It’s only .99 and worth every last one of those pennies. You can find it in the iPhone App Store.

Is Guild Wars 2 Good?

I mentioned it last week on my last article and thought I’d give it a week before I really got into what the game is like, you know, let it marinate in my mind and in the minds of others before delving into the nitty gritty.

So: is it good?

It’s different. It has its goods, it has its bads, and coming into the game as a casual player of GW1 without even touching the beta or looking at gameplay videos I felt like I was playing a completely different game and this is true. The game is COMPLETELY different compared to the old one. It is a lot faster paced in regards to traditional questing and leveling but the time it takes to level seems about right for a casual gamer.

What I mean by fast-paced questing is that there is no “!” or “?”. Just “<3″. And if you’ve played it, the joke should make sense.

Basically you don’t pick up quests, you run into “events” that just so happen to spawn while you’re wandering the world. Anyone can step into an event and start one or join one that’s already happening. It enhances the experience, making a world feel more “alive” in that these people aren’t going to wait for you, the hero, to start a quest before shit goes down, no, if an army of ghosts attack a camp, you better be there or else the mission is failed. And when this happens, you have something like 5-20 other players doing this quest so it turns into this whole giant group quest where the reward is experience and karma. Pretty cool if you ask me but at the same time, you may miss a lot of mini-stories just jumping into events like this.

The map is very nicely detailed. You can zoom in and out and see all the important markers as well as the not-so-important ones. This was one of my peeves about the game. It was really nice to see all this detail and stuff on the screen but at the same time, there’s just so much stuff you miss what you’re looking for. That is, until you notice that tiny eyeball on the lower left of the screen which you eventually find out is the filter. The map is really user friendly though and isn’t limited so much on the area you’re loaded into. Navigating from one way point to another is as simple as clicking and paying the toll, no need to run to a way point first to be able to use it.

The skill system is also a little strange. Each set for the skills is limited to the weapon you and to be able to use that skill you’d have to first level up the weapon and learn it. This can get annoying when you got that really nice weapon upgrade but you can’t use it right away because you’d get rid of four of your five weapon abilities. At the same time, though, it forces you to change up your fighting style, try new things, etc. I mean, a mesmer, (the illusionist class) was basically a ranged support mage in GW1, now you have them in the front lines with detonating clones. Also, the healer class is completely gone. Every class has their own healing spell that works differently depending on their class.

The environments are beautiful. A lot of work was put into it and I guess this is the only real part of GuildWars 1 that carried over to the new game. Its nice to be able to see some mountain in the distance and actually run over to climb it (and actually jump… yes you can jump and fall of ledges in this game).

And what’s really really nice is that you have a lot of different starting areas. Five different races + different factions within each race = a lot of different story lines. The Charr alone have three with different heroes as mentors depending on who you pick.

All in all: The game sucks because you can’t draw penises on the party map anymore.