Nintendo Improves Miiverse!

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My favorite part of being a Wii U owner is the Miiverse community. Always awesome, always fun, and always posting the most brilliant and random art. Thanks to popular demand, Nintendo has decided to up the character limit on Miiverse posts from 100 to 200. Also added is new filtering options, but the main attraction is the ability to post with more flexibility than twitter. This is exciting news indeed if you love talking games in Nintendo’s specialized fan communities. Look for me on Miiverse and friend Tomcast! Mention gamevain.com in your request!

A Good Week to be a Vita Owner

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If you’re like me, you love your Vita, but sometimes feel like it doesn’t love you back. Well, the one way melodrama ends this week with two hot releases and one hot free game for plus owners. First and foremost, previously Wii exclusive title, Muramasa hits Vita. If you haven’t played it, get ready for some of the most beautiful visuals ever with odd control mechanics that take some time to master. Speaking of difficult, Hotline Miami hits with a cross buy promotion. Finally, Playstation Plus owners will get Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward for free. I, for one, and turbo excite.

Hotline Miami Confirmed for PSN Next Week!

Pixels, because it would be rated AO otherwise

Pixels, because it would be rated AO otherwise

One of the best PC indie releases is getting the red carpet treatment on PSN next week. Cross buy enabled (buy it once for PS3 and Vita), get ready for some great action, puzzle-like design, music engineered to play with your senses, and a beautifully surrealist story all in one drug induced bloody great package.

Hopefully this means the Vita edition of Lone Survivor isn’t far off!!

Watch Jimmy Fallon’s Video Game Week on Hulu!

Fuck off Spencer, I'm driving!

Fuck off Spencer, I’m driving!

If you’re like me and don’t give a crap about television, then you may not have known Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has been having a whole video game week and showing sneak peeks at the next generation of gaming. Definitely worth checking out on Hulu or any other television streaming service. Unlike most celebrities who only seem to show lip service to games when they absolutely have to, Fallon has a genuine love for games and it shows when he plays Phil Spencer in Killer Instinct.

Worth noting that if you only want to watch Fallon talk about games, you have to deal with the typical celebrity bullshit anyway. Still great to see video games shown in a positive light on network television instead of only being the subject of debate after guns are fired.

Microsoft Reverses Xbox One DRM Policy

More like XBox FUN!

More like XBox FUN!

Today, Microsoft announced the following:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

This is possibly the biggest control – z I’ve ever seen someone do. After weeks of twitter arguments where select developers risked their reputations defending Microsoft, this is quiet shocking. My reaction after the jump.

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3DS Firmware Update Fixes Biggest Problem With eShop (or at least one of them)

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Since the inception of the eShop, Nintendo seems to have always been a step behind on its internet strategy. The biggest flaw of the 3DS was if you downloaded an eShop game, your save was tied to that game file. Meaning, if you ran out of room on your SD Card, and you wanted to delete a game file, your save was dead too presuming you can’t back up the entire game to a PC.

Thanks to a new update, the 3DS eShop full games can now have a local save backup in the event you have to delete your game to make room for Animal Crossing! This is huge news for the 3DS owners who still use their default 2GB stick. This still does not resolve the fact that if your 3DS gets stolen, you’re shit out of luck, back up or not, since all your eShop titles are fucking bound to hardware instead of account wide, but baby steps Nintendo. It’ll come someday, and when it does, so will I.

Sony Sucks and Microsoft Burns — E3 2013 & Surgeon Simulator in SPACE!

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Well, it’s that time again! Where I talk about stuff no one cares about. Today I played Surgeon Simulator 2013 Steam Edition and talked about how awesome Sony and Microsoft are and how well E3 went this year. Topics included are: Wii U sucks, Xbox One sucks, and PS4 sucks despite it sucking the least.

Just check out the video below.

My Thoughts On Nintendos E3 Stance

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If you have been following all the E3 news, and let’s face it who hasn’t. You know that Nintendo decided not to have a presentation as in previous years. They instead decided to make all of their announcements in a Nintendo Direct video on the morning of the 2nd day of the conference. When this was announced a lot of reports were saying that Nintendo was finished. The same could be said for the poor sales numbers for the WiiU. As I watched the “presentation” I couldn’t help but think how brilliant the plan actually was. You had Mr. Iwata doing what he does every month in Nintendo Direct videos, giving news and information on what we can look forward to from Nintendo. Only this time it was Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros 4. Not Super Luigi U and EarthBound on the Virtual Console. This is E3 damnit!! While Microsoft and Sony were spending a shit ton of cash to have their presentations Nintendo used the money that they saved on having a video presentation and spent it on a huge booth. I believe that Mr. Iwata said that they had 71 WiiU kiosks in the booth. Along with having the same demo kiosks at Best Buy locations all over North America.

DISCLAIMER: I have no clue what the cost of a booth bigger than my house is, or what the deal between Best Buy and Nintendo is and what it costs. I’m pretty sure that Nintendos “presentation” cost a fraction of what Microsoft and Sony spent on theirs.

I don’t think that this means that Nintendo won E3. They certainly won the “Thinking outside the box” award. For more on this and all the E3 shit that’s worth talking about make sure you listen to GameVain:The Podcast and GameVain Direct this week.

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

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Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Marvelous Interactive Software
Released: February 23, 2012 (Japan)
November 6, 2012 (North America)
Available On: 3DS

Every Harvest Moon that comes out, I purchase. Not because I’m totally in love with the game, I am, but because I love to see what they do with each game and the ease of the user interface for the series. In A New Beginning (we’ll shorten this long title to ANB) your character moves into a small town that is losing people at a rather rapid pace courtesy of the failing economy in the town. Your job, as is trending with the current wave of HM games, is to save the town with your farm by growing crops, collecting items all over the area, and shipping as much as possible. You also end up building up this town, all the buildings you need minus the blacksmith’s building you build with blue prints you must purchase. As you build, they move in and the town and starts to hustle and bustle again. You’ll also meet with some Harvest Sprites and the Harvest Goddess, and a varied array of suitors eligible for you to win, marry, and raise a family with.

You get to pick your character; boy or girl, shade of skin (which is a first they give you 4 options; white, pale, tanned, or brown), eye color, hair color and cut, and clothing. Then you move in and they start the tutorials after you save your teacher and mentor, Dunhill. Unlike past HM games, you don’t actually plant your crops during the tutorial, they just show you pictures so you won’t be able to use them as a starting point. Everything you learn in the tutorials has a back up reminder in your bookcase. ANB does not require the use of the touch pad, its an optional piece for everything. A and B buttons are used to confirm or cancel options, the joystick for movement.

The newest feature of ANB is the online features, which you can play with friends or people you don’t even know. Finally you can go online, go to other people’s farms, and interact with the world to see how they have set up their farms and such. I haven’t fully explored and opened this section of the game, there may be more than I am posting but it is a very nice feature added into the game. I can’t wait to see the future games and if they can interact with past games like this one.

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has followed the path of its predecessors in being an adorable and all around happy game. Even the worst events in these games are performed to allow the player to feel sadness for the event but still enjoy the game overall. It’s always been a highly recommended series, especially for new gamers, children, and hardcore gamers who need a break from the mainstream games.

Tom’s Shorts Thoughts: sdrawkcaB eb ot duorP

Tom's Shorts Thoughts are based on only a loose understanding of facts or reality. They are not in any way journalism.

Tom’s Shorts Thoughts are based on only a loose understanding of facts or reality. They are not in any way journalism.

Both Microsoft and Sony have made it clear with their latest consoles that backward compatibility is not on the docket. Microsoft took things one step too far though. When asked about why the Xbox One will not feature it, Don Mattrick – head of interactive entertainment business – said to The Wall Street Journal, “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards,” and justifying that statement with the statistic of only 5% of users take advantage of backwards compatibility.

I want to take a second and let that one stew; according to Microsoft, users who are the most loyal to their console and brand are the ones who are truly backwards. Your users, who gladly go and purchase copies of original Xbox titles because they love your games and console, and that quote is basically taking a shit on their collective faces from the puckered, hemroid infested, red ringed anus of Microsoft.

I very often hear the argument that backwards compatibility is a non issue since no one will care in about 4 years. I may have agreed with that in the past, but I definitely do not agree with it now. In an age where I can invest hundreds of dollars into non physical media and have those games bound to an account (or in Nintendo’s case, hardware) and be flat out told that not only can I not use those games anymore, but I can’t even sell them for trade in credit to help offset the cost of a next generation console is heartbreaking.

So with that in mind, fuck off to everyone with the attitude that backwards compatibility is for backwards people. I have a PC that can still proudly play Diablo II. There are no goddamn excuses.

Major E3 Predictions

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E3 is upon us again and people have been itching to know what new detail about the next-gen console or the new game is going to be announced since the last E3 the year before. Wait, what’s E3 you ask? For all you gamers not getting with the lingo here, E3 or Electronic Entertainment Expo is an annual video game convention/fair where all the major game developers and publishers show off their new product. Unlike other video game conventions, E3 is exclusive to the industry and many of its facets. So the public will have to make do with internet articles, facebook photos, and live tweets from the fair. The next E3 won’t be until June 11th of this year, running for two more days through the 13th, so here’s a rundown of things I think, and hopefully for the greater good of the video game community, will be announced.

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Less Excited Than Ever For New Consoles

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This week, we have given Microsoft a lot of shit for not being clear about their stance on used games, and rightfully so. Any company that treats their users like criminals deserves every bit of contempt they receieve, but everyone seems to be forgetting that Sony hasn’t exactly been crystal clear on this issue either. With the new console generation filing out at the end of the year, E3 around the corner, and everyone dodging the same questions, I have never been less excited for the next consoles.

Gamers need to be aware of two things, one of them they should already know, but frequently forget; you do not own games, you own a license to play them. This has been creative wording for a long time, but now that publishers seem very excited to make use of those words against us, we need to be aware of something else. A game publisher reserves the rights to change anything about our license ownership at any time. Sounds bullshit right? On a small scale, this is already effecting us.

Take Sony Entertainment Network for example. When you download a Sony published movie on iTunes, you own that digital copy period. You can download it again after you delete it. If you download that same film on Sony Entertainment Network; however, you only have purchased the license to a single download. What happens if you need to delete it to make more room on your HD? Not Sony’s problem, you should have read the fine print. Way back in the day, I purchased DJ MAX Fever on PSN. Since then Sony has delisted it. In a completely different problem, I can still download it, but I have to manually navigate my list of over 800 downloads on my PSP to find it and download it there.

So, allow me to make something very clear, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s digital strategy does not aim to benefit us. It is there to benefit them, and the temporary convienence of instant downloads until one of them decides to pull the plug is a side effect. Microsoft’s press event has already proven they do not give a shit about gamers or games. Sony has convinced me they care about developers, which is a massive step ahead of Microsoft, but they have not convinced me that they are willing to abandon shit practices that harm the paying customer. As far as Nintendo is concerned, most of their fuckabouts seem to demonstrate too much stupidity to be evil. Not sure if that’s a good thing yet.