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Found 94 results

  1. Xbox Live Rewards has been around for a while and allows users chances to get free points through taking surveys, renewing Gold membership, and various other things. Today, Major Nelson revealed a new offshoot of this program which is called Play to Earn. Starting in April, this new program will track player purchases and play to reward them accordingly. Users are still able to participate in the standard Xbox Live Rewards tasks, but Play to Earn gives back to players who simply make a lot of purchases or play their games. For the month of April, playing four XBLA games for 20 hours or more gives back an avatar item. If four XBLA games are purchased at 400 Microsoft Points or more, then you'll be gifted a month of Xbox Live Gold. Finally, if you spend 3200 Points, you'll get back 800. So far, it seems that Microsoft is heading in the right direction although they may want to amp up the prize for being a dedicated Xbox player. Either way, the incentive of giving players something back for contributing to Microsoft's economy is a smart one.
  2. At this year's GDC, Hideo Kojima hosted a panel which drew massive lines of attendees. Many expected to finally hear the truth of The Phantom Pain, a game which had previously been announced at the Spike Video Game Awards by an otherwise unheard of Moby **** Studios. Nearly immediately people speculated it as the next Metal Gear Solid game and more hints were dropped supporting this position. During Kojima's panel he finally revealed that The Phantom Pain is totally Metal Gear Solid V. Previously, the next MGS game was known as Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. According to Kojima, that title as well as The Phantom Pain are one in the same as the fifth numbered title. A GameSpot livestream of the event was captured meaning the trailer is currently available for all (not just GDC attendees) to watch. Check it out and see if Metal Gear Solid V is the kind of game you're looking forward to. It is coming to PS3 and 360.
  3. We“re all familiar with how crowdsourcing projects work by now. An idea is put up with the amount of funding needed, and people can back it with however much money they wish to donate. Oftentimes, there are some pretty cool perks and prizes depending on how much you put towards the project. While many crowdsourcing projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other sites have been incredibly successful, it seems like some still need a bit of advice and example of what a really good crowdsourcing project looks like. A perfect model of this would be the ongoing Skullgirls Indiegogo project. The campaign, dubbed “Keep Skullgirls Growingâ€, is exactly what it sounds like. It“s an effort to have more content created and added to the almost 1-year-old fighting game; to keep players continually interested in the game and have new ones join in. By using a crowdsourcing site to fund their future downloadable content, Lab Zero Games claims that Skullgirls is “truly the only fighting game made by fighting game fans for fighting game fans.†Another great incentive to having this project done through crowdsourcing is that all the DLC will be available free for all platforms for a limited time. This basic idea behind the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project isn“t all that makes it great, though. How things are formatted and explained on Indiegogo for the project; that“s the other half of this impeccable example of a crowdsourcing campaign. First off is why Lab Zero Games needs the amount of money that they“re requesting and a look behind the development process of this DLC. The initial goal for the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project was $150,000. This was just for the cost of Squigly (a DLC character) alone. They also make it clear that this sum is actually cheap for a fighting game character, and that the reason for that is that she“s already been partially completed. So why do they need your help? Well, Lab Zero Games tells us that as well. Hit with layoffs and having their financial support cut off, continued support for Skullgirls was pretty much prevented. Even with a patch and PC version on the way, there“s just not enough pay to go around or money to go towards future DLC. Lab Zero Games tells you exactly how things have been in regards to Skullgirls and how everything will work out in the future in regards to this project. So what about the overflow amount of money that the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project should get (and already certainly has)? Crowdsourcing projects often have stretch goals if they anticipate that it might shoot past the initial amount. This one is no exception, and Lab Zero Games make it extremely clear what they will do with the overflow amount should there be any. The amounts for each goal are as follows: $175,000 for a Squigly stage and story mode, $375,000 for another DLC character called Big Band, $400,000 for a Big Band stage and story mode, $600,000 for a mystery DLC character chosen by fan vote, and $625,000 for the mystery character“s stage and story. There are also bonus voice packs throughout and in-between these amounts for already existing Skullgirls characters. We are let in on who Squigly and Big Band are, and how Squigly will play. And even though Big Band is brand new and has only just started to be worked on (unlike Squigly), Lab Zero Games is already sharing his backstory and promises progress on his play-style soon. Now that“s some dedication to keep their funders informed! Another fantastic aspect of the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project is that Lab Zero Games lets you know exactly how the money will be broken down. $48,000 for staff salaries, $30,000 for animation and clean-up contracting, $4,000 for voice recording, $2,000 for hit-box contracting, $5,000 for audio implementation contracting, $20,000 for QA testing, $10,000 for 1st party certification, $10,500 for Indiegogo and payment processing fees, and $20,500 for manufacturing and shipping physical rewards. They also mention extra money would be put towards game elements such as extra taunts or win/lose animations should any of those aforementioned fees be cheaper than expected. Rewards are probably the part of crowdsourcing projects that everyone looks forward to most. The “Keep Skullgirls Growing†campaign doesn“t slack in this aspect; the prizes are actually pretty nice and inventive. Posters, t-shirts, custom drawings, Skype with the team, and voice actress voicemails are just a few prizes of what is offered. While most of the early rewards are digital (which isn“t a bad thing), most fans contributing will feel like they“re getting their money“s worth with these rewards on top of having this fabulous DLC completed. Lastly, this crowdsourcing project is one done by an already established developer. Lab Zero Games has already released Skullgirls; the Indiegogo project is for DLC for the game. Backers can be rest assured and confident that the team will be able to complete the “Keep Skullgirls Going†project! It“s not a surprise that the $150,000 for Squigly was funded in less than 24 hours into the campaign. Lab Zero Games did a phenomenal job laying out everything for the “Keep Skullgirls Going†project: why they need the money, the development process, stretch goals, budget breakdown, and rewards. Lab Zero Games is also confident and approachable. The effort is a fine example of how a crowdsourcing project should be, and others should take note for future projects. If you haven't played played Skullgirls yet, be sure to check out our official review. Thanks for reading!
  4. As promised a few days ago, Ubisoft has delivered some more information and whatnot regarding Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. And it seems we don't just get one trailer, but TWO. Oooooh. The first, and main, trailer features the legendary Blackbeard. He's not the focus, though. Rather, he tells the tale of a fearsome pirate assassin... Edward Kenway (yes, Haytham's father and Connor's grandfather). We catch glimpses of Edward in action, including some hints towards the possibility of underwater swimming in the game. The next trailer is short and gives you a closer look at the newest protagonist. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be coming to PS3, 360, PC, Wii U, and also PS4. The game will be available for purchase for the former four systems on October 29th. The PS4 version's release date has yet to be announced. Also, pre-order Assassin's Creed IV at GameStop and you'll nab an awesome looking poster!
  5. Although we just got Assassin's Creed III in October of last year, it seems that Ubisoft is pushing out another main entry for the series. Looks like poor Connor won't be getting a multitude of side games like Ezio! Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag appears to be themed around the exuberant era of bloodthirsty pirates. However, all Ubisoft has decided to make known so far is the setting, the title of the game, and the appearance of our protagonist. You can expect more info this upcoming Monday. The PS3 version will also include "60 minutes of exclusive gameplay." Are you excited for Assassin's Creed IV? Or are you tuckered out on the series?
  6. Have you ever been annoyed by all the accounts you have across websites and services that don't connect in any way? If you have hoped for more connectivity between your web presence then EA has been working on just the thing for you. For nearly two years, the company has been working on a way to connect various online identified together for a more streamlined service as a "single identity". This was all discussed exclusively with VentureBeat by EA's chief technology officer Rajat Taneja. The hope is that this single identity shall follow players across PS3, 360, Facebook, Origin, and other places. With it, gamers would be able to see their friends regardless of whether or not they have them added to that particular service. From there, they could initiate a multiplayer game or chat. Of course, EA doesn't have control of Sony, Microsoft, or Facebook, so it is a feature that will only exist with EA games themselves. Taneja explained the plans as such: “All of our games will enable types of experiences that are congruent and consistent on the PC, consoles, smartphones, and tablets. We have a complete re-architecture of our data systems that gives us a single view of the data. It used to take one or two days before we could make a recommendation, but now we can do so on an hourly basis and are moving to real time. We can do better custom offers, promotion, and reaction to gamer feedback.” There is no intent to obscure the benefits that such a restructuring of architecture will do to benefit EA. Obviously having information on users across multiple platforms and networks grants EA more access to your consumer profile of sorts. With this information they will attempt to target players with special offers. More is probably in the works but has yet to be discussed. Do you need to have unified friend networks or are things fine just the way they are?
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Next Batman Arkham Game Outed

    Earlier, media conglomerate Time Warner had a Q4 2012 earnings call with investors. After the call transcript was posted on Yahoo! Finance, gaming sites quickly caught wind of something which was revealed during it. That information was simple confirmation of a new game in the Batman Arkham series coming this year. Here is the exact statement: "And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise. So all in all, we expect Warners to post another very strong year in 2013." With that said, it was not like gamers didn't expect more games in the series. What is currently unknown is whether developer Rocksteady Studios will be behind this latest game or not. They developed both 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum and 2011's Batman: Arkham City. Would you be excited to play another Batman game this year?
  8. Konami is hyping up Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's upcoming release with three different global events! The producers of the game, Yuji Korekado from Kojima Productions and Atsushi Inaba from Platinum Games, will be at all three of these events to sign autographs. United States WHAT: Korekado and Inaba will be signing autographs at GameStop. The first 150 fans there will be invited to a launch party at the Hard Rock Caféwhere there will be a live performance by Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance composer, Jamie Christopherson, and orchestra WHERE: GameStop at Universal City Walk (1000 Universal Studios Blvd Universal City, CA 91608) WHEN: February 18, 2013 from 8-10pm Mexico WHAT: A chance to demo the game and get an autograph from Korekado and Inaba WHERE: Museum Britanico Americano (#134 Colonia Centro Mexico D.F.) WHEN: February 20, 2013 from 6pm-12am Argentina WHAT: An opportunity to take Metal Gear-theme photos that will be printed on postcards and a chance to get an autograph from Korekado and Inaba WHERE: Sony Style Cabildo (Cabildo 2070 Ciudad de Buenos Aires) WHEN: February 22, 2013 from 8pm-12am Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance releases on February 19th for both PS3 and Xbox 360. Will you be going to any of these events?
  9. Earlier today, Square Enix sent out emails which had gamers, as well as journalists, scratching their heads. The company sent out emails which contained only a partial image addressed from "ronan@murdered.com". A twitter by the name of @murdered also showed a torn image. There were clues everywhere, and it took only a little bit of time for it to all be pieced together. Since then, Square Enix has gone on to confirm that all this was for the upcoming game Murdered: Soul Suspect. The game will be coming to 360, PS3, and PC. There's little known about the title right now aside from this. However, there are still some bits of information available through the site Murdered.com. By visiting the page and typing in the password "ronan" you gain access to a description and photo. It's apparent that Square Enix isn't trying to make their content difficult to discover at all, considering the name Ronan was listed in the initial email address. Either way, the download grants users access to a screenshot of what appears to be a dead body lying on a rainy street. It also comes with this text: O“Connor, male, mid- 30s, 170lbs, 5“ 11” Detectives aren“t supposed to get bloody knuckles, but I“ve done a lot of things I wasn“t supposed to do. I lived through it all, the beat-downs, the back-stabbing, disrespect most people wouldn“t see in ten lifetimes and I never lost a fight… until now. There will probably be more hints coming to the site and Twitter accounts in the future to reveal more game information. Until then, you're free to come to your own conclusions about what kind of game Murdered: Soul Suspect will be. What do you think Murdered: Soul Suspect will be about?
  10. While The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct did already debut its first gameplay trailer, that was soon deemed as "fake" (as in not something Activision themselves put together). But now we finally do have an official one! This trailer showcases a better look at the protagonists, Merle and Daryl Dixon (characters from the AMC TV series). Both are voiced by the actors, Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus, that play their respective characters in the show. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct comes to PS3, 360, and PC on March 19th and to Wii U on March 26th. Are you a fan of The Walking Dead franchise? Will you be purchasing Survival Instinct?
  11. Rayman Legends has been one of the games that Wii U fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately, it didn't make it to launch day and was previously pushed back to Spring. Interestingly, Nintendo's recent announcement of dates pegged the game for February 26th, but that is no longer the case. The game is being pushed back further and definitely out of "launch window" range. There's a reason for this, though. Although Rayman Legends now has a tenuous release month of September, we are now given a reason as to why there is such a long delay. Ubisoft announced today that the game is coming to PS3 and 360 alongside Wii U. The ports will be worked on by the same team as Wii U, which hopefully means the games will be comparable experiences (GamePad control notwithstanding). Why did Ubisoft decide to bring the game to other systems? Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Geoffroy Sardin said that they heard from many fans who wanted to see the game on their current consoles. It will also definitely help the game see more purchases to be on multiple systems simultaneously. Are you glad to see Rayman Legends being made available to more players? What system will you get it for?
  12. Marcus Estrada

    Microsoft XNA Being Discontinued

    The Microsoft XNA toolset has been a way for independent developers to get their games on Xbox 360s for years. XNA Game Studio made it easy to create games on a PC and then have them be fully playable on 360 without the need of development kits. Through this set of tools, many great games were developed and launched digitally through the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) market, as well as main Xbox Marketplace. With a great deal of new Microsoft products shipping with Windows 8, and an upcoming system, it has been deemed that XNA is no longer going to be supported. XNA Game Studio 4 will be the last rendition of the toolset. Here is what the Microsoft rep had to say: "XNA Game Studio remains a supported toolset for developing games for Xbox 360, Windows and Windows Phone. Many developers have found financial success creating Xbox LIVE Indie Games using XNA. However, there are no plans for future versions of the XNA product." XNA games can still be developed and played on 360s. However, they are not immediately supported by the likes of Windows 8's Metro interface mode. Companies such as MonoGames have already stepped in to make XNA games playable on the newest OS. In regards to the future, this means will probably see no more games using XNA. After all, who would want to learn a now defunct technology? It remains to be seen if the next Xbox system will be able to run XNA-developed games. If not, then that means many gamers shall be mad about lack of digital game compatibility. With that said, they are probably working to make sure XBLIG games still run on the system. We'll find out about that once information is revealed about the upcoming system. Some of the popular games created with XNA are as follows: Bastion, Fez, Magicka, and Terraria.
  13. Defiance is looking to be one of the stranger experiments in recent gaming history. The game, developed by Trion Worlds, is not only a shooter MMO, although that would be enough to attract an audience, but part of a transmedia endeavor. This means that the game inhabits the same universe as an upcoming TV series. What this all entails hasn't been fully explained, but basically the show and game will take place in the same time, but in different locations. The show takes place in St. Louis while the game is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically, events that play out in one will also have ramifications in the other. It's certainly ambitious but time will tell if Defiance's gambit proves successful. Although the game itself isn't free, there will be no monthly fee associated with it. This may not be as popular as the free to play model currently, but at least there is no intent to require subscriptions. Defiance is set to hit PC, PS3, and 360 at the base price of $60 on April 2nd. Then there are the more expensive editions which might just interest a few players. The live action trailer promoting Defiance that was released today can be viewed right here:
  14. Crysis 3 is the latest in an ongoing series of first person shooters which first saw their start in 2007. Over those few years, Crytek has managed to build up quite the fanbase for these games which is making the 3rd pretty anticipated. If you're one of the fans who wishes to give the multiplayer as hot before launch, then you might want to turn on your system. The multiplayer beta went live today for 360, PS3, and PC with some caveats. In the case of PC you can only play the game through Origin, as the game is published through EA. As for 360, only Gold members get access to the beta right now. All PSN users should be able to access it with or without a subscription to PS Plus. There are two multiplayer modes available to test which should be enough to get a taste of what the game has to offer. Crysis 3's multiplayer open beta will run from now until February 12th. This is just a few days before the game launches on all three platforms come February 19th.
  15. Marcus Estrada

    Review: The Cave

    Developer: Double Fine Productions Publisher: SEGA Platforms: PC (Steam), PS3 (PSN), 360 (XBLA), Wii U (eShop)Release Date: January 23, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen This review is based on the 360 version of the game A download code was supplied by the publisher for this review Those who played adventure games in their heyday are probably mighty familiar with the work of Ron Gilbert, even if they“ve never heard his name before. He produced popular LucasArts titles such as Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island series. Since those days, he kicked an idea around in his mind about a cave exploration game. However, nothing came of it for some 20 years. As you might expect, The Cave is Gilbert“s dream finally realized. Does it manage to enthrall modern gamers, though, or is it stuck within antiquated adventure game trappings? When it comes right down to it, The Cave excels at having a witty narrative, attractive visuals, and a great deal of puzzles. These hallmarks are definitely expected of an adventure gaming master, but it also seems as though the team was unsure how to cobble it into a modern gaming experience. Regardless, let“s speak to all that The Cave does right first. It is so easy to create a middling experience, but thankfully there is a lot in the game that makes it stand out among the once again bustling genre. The narrative, or should I say "the narrator," is cruel but hilarious. It is actually the cave which is being explored that offers most conversation points. He laughs at the deaths of explorers, offers hints disguised with snide remarks, and is generally one of the most entertaining aspects of the game. The characters you play as are mute, but NPCs also pepper the game with similarly amusing conversation. Great writing does not dominate the game, though, as in fact much of it is a quiet experience. This helps to make dialogue stand out as more worth listening to. What of the playable characters? There are seven to choose from, and each has their own use. Interestingly, the game does not grant you access to all the characters in any one playthrough. Instead you select three of the cast and play a game through with that group. The characters chosen also affect the game you end up playing. There are only so many levels overall, but players will see levels specific to each character they have selected. Ones who were not chosen have their level segments left out. Playthroughs don“t feel disjointed because of this mechanic at all. Instead they feel just as if the game was made with that exact cast in mind. The fact that it ended up working so well is a testament to the developer“s creativity and is very cool to discover. Players also see small stories about each of their chosen characters as they play through the game. Although other characters may seem interesting, it will require other playthroughs to see exactly what they“re all about. The seven selectable characters include the likes of a hillbilly, scientist, knight, time traveller, and others. Each has their own special ability which somewhat relates to their role. The time traveller, for example, can phase through solid barriers. Others, like the hillbilly, can hold their breath for a really long time for some reason. Regardless, each team member“s skills come into use when exploring. Some unnecessary sections of levels will be unavailable though if you lack a character with the right skill to check it out. Because of the cast, you may find yourself playing this 4-5 hour game more than once. Each story is very distinct for the character in question and they play out in ways people might not expect. That, paired with extra explorable areas should prove a tempting reason to give it another go. Then there is even the ability to have other players take control of the team members. Although the same game is still at the core, single versus co-op experiences change the feel of this adventure. Playing The Cave is an unusual experience for both adventure fans and gamers who have never tried them before. The adventure roots are obvious in how many puzzles there are to solve with the likes of various objects. However, it plays out more like a 2D platformer than anything else. Each character must run, jump, climb, and fall often to make their way through expansive levels. Typical adventure games feel more compact in comparison to the sprawling cave systems found here. However, this may be more of a detriment than anything else. You are never provided with a map, which means knowing where things are is fully dependent on your memory. The screen pulls out at key puzzle moments, but otherwise, is fairly close to the chosen character at the time. With that said, it is hard to get a feel of the landscape without fully exploring every direction. There also appears to be no way to manipulate the camera either, which have quelled this complaint. It seems as though the platforming from location to location will either pull players in or push them away. This certainly isn“t what would be expected of an adventure game, and it isn“t perfectly implemented either. Beyond what was just said, the controls are not as responsive as they could be which leads to some missed jumps or other annoyances. Then, with such large levels, it draws out the time between solving puzzles because it takes awhile to get from point A to point B. Simply having an expansive world to explore does not make puzzles more difficult, and as such, this is another annoyance with the design. Are the puzzles themselves worth writing home about? They range from easy to fairly difficult with little warning. Although the more complex puzzles come later in the game, there is no hint system included to aid struggling players. In this age, such help is expected as most players are not familiar with truly tough puzzles. Still, if you look beyond that, some are pretty creative. Figuring out what to do feels great, although the feeling may become more fleeting as the player becomes exhausted from facing one challenge after another. One other detriment of puzzles is that, due to the design, certain levels will have the same puzzles no matter how many times you play. There is so much exciting about The Cave that it is unfortunate to see the game become encumbered by its own lofty ideals. A large landscape to adventure across is cool in theory but navigating it becomes a chore more than anything else. The game is visually appealing, witty, and weird but would probably have done better with a different gameplay mechanic. Regardless, those who want to play an adventure game that doesn“t mesh with expectations of the genre will find an interesting experience with The Cave. Pros: + A ton of puzzles + Replayability is high due to multiple characters + Fantastic writing Cons: - 2D platformer play style doesn“t suit the game - Little means of aiding player (no map or hint system) - Some puzzles/sections remain static through all playthroughs Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent The Cave is an ambitious title which succeeds with wit and puzzles but is held back by other gameplay decisions.
  16. From the album: Marcus's Album

  17. From the album: Marcus's Album

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