E3 Day 1 Wrap Up: Games and Press Conferences

It’s heeere! The most exciting week in gaming, where some of the biggest announcement are made and the newest games shown off. Kick starting the week were 4 pressers from Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony. Here’s our thoughts on the big moments (and upsets) of E3 2012: Continue reading “E3 Day 1 Wrap Up: Games and Press Conferences”


Apparently videogames are just as bad as porn.

Or at least, that’s what CNN says.

In a recent article written by Psychologists Dr. Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan states,  “guys are wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women,” citing porn and videogames as the major contributing factors to this “phenomenon.” Surprisingly, the article doesn’t equate the content so much as the effects both forms of media (if you can really call porn a medium) have on males — turning us into socially awkward, inept and unsatisfactory members of the human race, in a nut shell.

I’m not going to get too into rebutting every point laid out in the article, because I feel IGN’s Colin Campbell does an excellent job of countering the ridiculous and sensationalist arguments the article puts forth. However as a member of the audience and press of the videogame industry, I feel the need to express my point of view on the matter. Continue reading “Apparently videogames are just as bad as porn.”

Saying goodbye to MCA.

There’s not a lot to say here that hasn’t already been said. MCA lost his near-three year battle with cancer last Friday.

It was an odd day. I was home visiting my Mother for her birthday, enjoying being around my family and taking a break from classes and work. I had been spinning my new copy of Sleep’s Dopesmoker reissue, and just relaxing. Got on twitter, and perhaps fittingly, read a Tweet from Elijah Wood offering words and well wishes for Adam Yauch and his family. MCA had passed.

My weekend took a sudden and sharp turn.

I grew up in the ’90s; I never got to see The Beasties live (a dream of mine which had only grown in recent years), never listened to their records on vinyl, and never watched their videos on MTV at the height of their career. I didn’t grow up in Brooklyn or immerse myself in hip-hop growing up. Yet, despite being a die-hard metal head, I can say with absolute certainty that The Beastie Boys were the first group I ever knew by name; “Intergalactic” was the first music video I really got into; and Licensed to Ill was the first rap CD I ever owned. The Beastie Boys, for all intents and purposes, were my first favorite band, and played a heavy roll in my teenage years. To this day, no group has been more listened to or remained in my library longer than them. Even as I grew up and discovered new music, The Beasties were always a band I counted on — whether their rap verses, instrumental music, or early punk tunes, there is no era of the group I don’t enjoy.

To hear MCA is no longer with us was one of the hardest things to swallow. I never thought I’d be living in a world without all three Beastie Boys, yet for every day forward, that’s exactly the world I’ll be waking up to every morning. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but for every fan of MCA and the Beasties, the world will just never be quite the same. We’ve lost a hip-hop legend, a creative mastermind, and just an awesome dude.

Adam ‘ MCA’ Yauch, being a practicing Buddhist, spread the word of compassion and patience through some of the best music made throughout the last few decades. I hope that he gets to party as hard in his next life as he did in this one.

Rest in peace MCA.

Thoughts on Rayman Legends Wii-U leak.

leaked  internal Ubisoft development video showing off early gameplay for the yet-unannounced new Rayman game, Rayman Legends, being played on a Wii-U dev kit, appeared on the internet today.

The trailer shows off Legends’ side-scrolling gameplay, featuring 2- and 4-player co-op, tablet controls, and lush graphics — even exceeding the high standards set by last year’s Rayman Origins. It’s unclear just how powerful the system will be, but it certainly looks capable.

The controller in the video is wired, which Ubisoft says is due to only having access to wired dev kits at this time, but I hope maybe we’ll see some sort of charging wire for the tablet as well.

At the end of the video, we see players using small figurines, placing them on the tablet controller’s screen, causing changes to the game. A rabid is placed on the screen, and suddenly Raymna is shown beating up hordes of the little, demented rabbits. They also tease the possibility of an Ezio figure being used. In a statement released after the video leaked, Ubi said this feature is not final — nor is the game — so things may be much different at launch.

However, Ubisoft did confirm that Rayman Legends is in development, headed by Rayman-series mastermind Michel Ancel.

I’m very excited for a new Rayman game, especially if it’s building off of Rayman: Origins — one of the best games of 2011, and my favorite 2D-platformer is years.

As far as the displayed Wii-U footage and prospective feature, I’m curious and cautiously intruiged. I love Nintendo, I grew up on the stuff, and I love Rayman, so I came away awfully excited by this leaked footage. But with word that we won’t hear about a release date or price point at E3 regarding this year’s Wii-U launch, I still feel twinges of apprehension about the new system. Knowing Nintendo will be showing a new Super Mario Bros. and Pikmin helps, but I really hope Nintendo hit it out of the park this year — they need it.

The internet is divided between praise and pessimism for the Wii-U, but seeing Rayman Legends has helped ease some of my concerns, at least for now. E3 is just around the corner, so I’m sure we’ll see plenty more announcements and rumors leading up to Nintendo’s press conference.

Hey-o! Double Fine concept video leaked online.

Have the first images of Double Fine’s newest project been leaked online?

The Verge’s gaming site, Polygon.com, has reported that a new video appeared on Vimeo today under Double Fine game studio’s account, then mysteriously vanished. It showed.. well not much at all. A lumberjack-like character walks through the woods, then enters a cabin. That’s about it. There have been images dismissing it as nothing more than a test, but I’d like to hope the character will appear in the game.

David Ellis of 343 Industries, who are currently working on Halo 4, Tweeted about the curious video, and Tim Schafer of Double Fine suspiciously Tweeted back “You imagined it!”

Is that so, Mr. Schafer? Then what is THIS!?

This news of course begs one simple questions: is this the first of Double Fine’s new Kickstarter-Funded adventure game? Only time will tell. I could most certainly get behind a lumberjack-themed game. I have an affinity for beards and flannel — it’s in my blood.

Be sure to let us know what you think of these happenings in the comments!

Tupac at Coachella. How I felt about his return from the dead.

After 16 years, tupac made a appearance to sing two songs next to his old friends Dr.dre and Snoop Dogg. Digital domain is the production company that brought Pac to life, which is the same company that was responsible for creating a young Jeff Bridges in the new “Tron” movie (which after hearing that makes perfect sense).  Although digital domain wont release information about how the hologram is created they did say a hologram of this caliber could range anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 to create.

Not being the biggest tupac fan to begin with, I wasn’t as moved by his return as I’m sure others were. If it were up to me John Bonham would have made a ghostly reappearance to play “Moby Dick” with the other members of Zeppelin one last time, or maybe “A Whole Lotta Love.” But I digress. Though gangster rap isn’t typically on my list of music in my zune library, the amazing realism they were able to put on stage is mind blowing. Not only was this an all new performance from Mr.Shakur, he also said “whats up coachella?!” and was able to converse back and forth at Snoop gesturing to him like he was there in the flesh.

But just as quickly as he came back, he vanished in a white light and faded back into our memory. If you guys could have a artist come back from the grave to do a concert, who would you choose and why? Also go ahead and look at the performance below!

Halo 4 coming November 6th

It’s confirmed.

After rumors abound that the next installment of the sci-fi shooter series would be releasing this fall, major gaming news outlets are confirming a November 6th release for Halo 4 via a press release for the game.

According to the press release, Halo 4 aims to set the bar high with “a new standard for blockbuster interactive entertainment.”

It’ll be fun to see what 343 Industries will bring to the Halo series. As a fan of the original Halo: Combat Evolved, I’m curious what direction the new studio will take the series.

Are you ready for the return of Master Chief? Sound off in the comments.

Crysis 3?

So you’ve probably heard  about Crysis 3 listings being leaked on Origin, and rumors that CVG and Swedish gaming mag Games Reactor will soon be unveiling big news on the Crysis franchise, so it’s only safe to assume it means Crysis 3.

For those who don’t know, Crysis is a FPS series made by Crytek, the same studio who made the original Far Cry (one of my personal favorites).

The leaked box art certainly looks Crysis-y:  the nano suit, what looks like a city in the back ground…

… AND A  BOW!?

HOLD THE PHONE. The game has a bow? Forget what we’d like to see in Crysis 3, somebody get a Kickstarter going for a new Turok game! GO! GO! GO! But in all seriousness, I’m excited to see more from Crysis 3. But I really hope they go back to the jungle (though the box art seems to depecit yet another city, rumored to be london). I just prefered the jungle setting, I mean think about it:

Stalking dinosaurs the enemy faction in dense, beautiful Crytek Engine jungles. Sneaking behind a patrol unawares, drawing back your bow and landing a perfectly shot arrow into a raptor your target, you turn on stealth and super speed and book it out.

How could that not but awesome? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. But as far as the gameplay goes, I’m sure the upgrades to the formula and gameplay mechanics of Crysis 2 will show up in 3 (if not expanded upon), and they’v probably figured out yet another way to get better graphics out of lower requirements — good news for everyone.

Bring this back!

I just worry that the series has gone permanently urban. Makes sense from a marketing perspective, but I’d be disappointed. Crysis 2 had strong gunplay and great set pieces, but I miss the openness of the jungle, and the odd juxtaposition of death and war against the picturesque paradise. As much as I hate to pidgeon hole Crytek, they’re good at jungles, open environments, and stealth gameplay — I’d love to see more of that!

But why am I worrying? The game has a bow! Bows make everything better…

… I miss Turok.

How about you guys? Stoked for Crysis 3? What’d you like to see in the rumored sequel? Cool with the urban setting, or do you want a return to the jungle –or something else entirely? And while we’re at it, who else totally wants to see a new Turok game??

Sin City 2 is Finally Happening

After seven years since the release of Sin City and countless rumors and murmurings of a sequel it looks like we are now finally getting one. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriquez officially announced yesterday that the film will begin production later this summer. The title of the upcoming film is Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For so we know we will be definitely seeing the return of Dwight McCarthy and his colorful shoes once again. Since the first movie was a compilation of several stories from the series I think it is safe to assume the sequel will follow this format so there is a pretty good chance we are going to be seeing a good amount of Wallace in it too.

Wallace from Hell and Back

Official details are being kept on the hush hush for right now but we know that most of the original cast will be returning as well as casting for the new roles will be starting next so hopefully we will soon get an idea of what characters we should be expecting from the sequel.

So what would you guys like to see out of A Dame to Kill For? Who were some of your favorite characters and stories that you are hoping show up in the sequel? Leave your thoughts in comments below!