Indie Film ‘Pulp’ to be released on Xbox Video in US & Canada

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Movies, Xbox

The indie comedy, Pulp, made history last year by becoming the first film to be released on Xbox Video in the UK. Since its initial release, the film has gone on to find audiences in Australia and New Zealand, as well as garner attention in the London Comedy scene. With a nomination for the London Comedy Film Festival Discovery Award and selection for the Just for Laughs Comedy Film Festival, you can be sure Pulp will tickle the funny bone.

Courtesy of Pulp Official Website

Looking to capitalize on the successful partnership again, Pulp seeks to expand their audience when it releases on Xbox Video in the US and Canada on January 14th, 2014. On the upcoming expanded release, Pulp co-director and producer, Adam Hamdy, had this to say:

Xbox Video did a great job of helping us find an audience for the film in the UK, Australia & New Zealand and we’re excited to be launching the film with Xbox Video in the US and Canada.”

It is good to see content providers enjoying their partnership with Xbox as the platform has the potential to reach so many households. Xbox Video is embracing the deal as well. Paul Davidson, Director of Xbox Video, stated:

Bringing Pulp to new audiences around the world enhances our offering for Xbox Live customers, who crave new and exciting content. We’re incredibly honored to introduce Pulp to new audiences around the world on Xbox Video.”

Pulp will be available for purchase at a special promotional price of $3.99 for SD and $4.99 for HD during the first 2 weeks following the January 14th release.

Below, you will find a synopsis as well as the official trailer. Included after the trailer is a scene from the film.

Synopsis: Infinite Finity. Thunder Racers. Rat Warriors. Junk Comics’s library of titles has been referred to as the ‘worst material printed since Mein Kampf’.  Tony Leary, the nice-guy owner of Junk Comics, is gearing up for one last roll of the dice. His new superhero title, The Sodomizer, launches at the British International Comic Show, and nothing will stop Tony from making it a success.  Nothing except a gang of Geordie criminals who are using another comic company to launder their dirty money. Tony is drafted by the police to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.  Aided by his trusty geek sidekicks, Rick and Keith, Tony must defy the odds if he is to become a real life hero.

Disclosure: Video contains foul language which may not be appropriate for work or small children. You have been warned.

For more information about Pulp, you can find them online at:

Official Website: http://www.pulpthemovie.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pulpthemovie
Twitter: @pulpthemovie

GRID 2: Pushing The Envelope For Racing Games!

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Category : Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, Steam, Xbox

Courtesy of Codemasters

Courtesy of Codemasters

The long anticipated wait for GRID 2 is almost over! With its release date rapidly approaching (May 31st) fans of the GRID series of racing games are in for a well-deserved treat. Game development has built upon the original American themed GRID and now game play expands through 40 years of motor sport heritage and across three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia. Of course, the objective of GRID 2 is to develop your driving skills and become one of the top-ranked drivers in the world. There are also many new features, vehicles, and courses added that will allow game-play to be sensational for the PS3, XBOX 360 and PC platforms.

GRID 2 offers a multitude of vehicles, all separated by tier levels. Tier 1 being the introductory – the place where your race career begins. Vehicles in this tier include boosted Japanese sports cars, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, American hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus ST, or classic European tuners, like the BMW 1 series. As game-play goes along, the 2nd Tier vehicles improve in quality. These vehicles include the Mercedes C63 AMG and Ford Mustang Boss 302. The final and most exotic stage of vehicles, Tier 3, includes dream-like machines of the highest class. The vehicles in this group include the McLaren MP4-12C, Subaru BRZ and the Super Touring Class Volvo S60.

Along with the vehicles, styles and locations of game-play have been upgraded for GRID 2. Certain game modes include time attack, world-series racing, and elimination to test your mettle as a driver. The most exciting attribute to these modes are the venues selected by developers for racing. Tracks include the beaches of Miami, the skyline of Chicago, the nightlife of Los Angeles, a run around the Eiffel Tower in the streets of Paris and, of course, the beautiful Cote d’Azur in the advanced levels of game-play. Other European circuits include Brands Hatch and the Red Bull Ring raceway. Many more tracks and road courses throughout the world with great scenery and attention to detail show how GRID 2 pushes the envelope for racing platform games.

The updates to innovations in the game set GRID 2 apart from the competition. The amount and degree of damage a car experiences has been intensified with realistic effects if you decide to trade paint with your opponents. Artificial Intelligence is no longer a standard push over; it marginally increases its level of difficulty according to how well you perform in your races, thus always allowing you to develop properly as a racer. A feature that is becoming more popular in racing games, the flashback and rewind feature, has been added to game-play in GRID 2. This feature allows you to correct any major mistake and focus on what is most important: driving at the limit. One final feature that was an interesting add to game-play was the True Feel Handling System, which offers real-life physics application to simulate the realistic drive ability of any vehicle, making game-play approachable, yet challenging to master overnight.

Sebastian is an amateur blogger, car affectionado and casual gamer. Driving and racing simulations have always been his go-to games after a hard days work.

 

Humble Bundle Weekly Sale Offers Pay What You Want DRM-Free Games Every Week

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Category : Featured, Game On, Indie, Linux, Mac, PC, Steam, Windows, Xbox

Gamers who appreciate a good deal, DRM-free gameplay or indie games are already familiar with Humble Bundle. The Humble Indie Bundle was created as a way to feature independent games and offer consumers a way to purchase games while doing good. Arguably the best value in gaming, Humble Bundles often bundle multiple game titles for gamers to purchase by setting their own price. Humble Bundle sets pricing level suggestions that allow for additional content bonuses, but does not pressure consumers into paying more. Not only can consumers benefit from a great deal, they can feel good about their purchase, as Humble Bundle allows consumers to determine how much of their purchase price is paid directly to the game developers, Humble Bundle for hosting and processing, and select charities.

Courtesy of HumbleBundle.com

This week, Humble Bundle launched their first Humble Bundle Weekly Sale! Each Tuesday, Humble Bundle will offer a new game for sale using their pay what you want model and providing the same distribution model to allow funding to be split among the game developers, Humble Bundle and the selected charities.

 

What better way to start the weekly sale than to feature a critically acclaimed game? For the first Humble Bundle Weekly Sale, Humble Bundle teamed up with Supergiant Games to feature Bastion! Bastion is an action-RPG game that allows players to take on the role of a kid who is tasked with restoring the world after the Calamity wrecks it. With remarkable 2D painted artwork, varied gameplay and an immersive soundtrack, Bastion earned much praise and many awards, including the Game Critics Award for Best Downloadable Game of E3 2011.

 

Graphic: Supergiant Games

To purchase Bastion and for more information about this week’s deal and the additional content available, visit the website at HumbleBundle.com/weekly. Don’t forget to bookmark the site as new deals will be revealed every Tuesday.

Good To Be A Gamer Podcast – Week of 09/30/2012

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Category : Featured, Game On, Good To Be A Gamer, Nintendo, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox

Recorded 10/4/2012

Good To Be A Gamer is Available on iTunes! http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-to-be-a-gamer/id476489256
Good To Be A Gamer RSS Feed! http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss

2012 Podcast Awards! http://www.podcastawards.com

NEWS
No Federal charges for 38 studios, but state charges pending. [GameSpot]
http://www.gamespot.com/news/no-federal-charges-for-38-studios-6397454

Cliff Bleszinski Departs Epic Games [Epic Games]
http://epicgames.com/community/2012/10/cliff-bleszinski-departs-epic/

2012 Presidential Coverage Goes Live with Xbox [Xbox Live’s Major Nelson’s Blog]
http://majornelson.com/2012/10/02/xbox-invites-you-to-be-a-part-of-the-first-ever-live-interactive-tv-presidential-debate/

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Open Beta Starts 10/5 [IGN]
http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/10/03/medal-of-honor-beta-details-revealed

Assassin’s Creed 3 Reveals First DLC, “Tyranny of King Washington” [Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed]
http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/ac3/en-US/news/news_detail.aspx?c=tcm:19-66233&ct=tcm:6-231-32

Able Gamers Foundation Opens First Permanent Accessability Arcade [Joytiq]
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/10/03/ablegamers-foundation-to-open-first-permanent-accessibility-arc/

PSN is having a sale! [PlayStation Blog]
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2012/10/01/big-savings-buy-100-on-psn-in-october-get-20-psn-credit/

First Free-to-play Xbox 360 Game Releases [Games Industry]
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-10-04-xbox-live-gets-first-free-to-play-game

NBA Live 13 canceled just 6 days before planned release. [GameSpot]
http://www.gamespot.com/news/nba-live-13-canceled-six-days-before-planned-release-6397616

 

ITEMS OF INTEREST
Kickstarters must now disclose risk, amongst other new restrictions [GameSpot]
http://www.gamespot.com/news/kickstarter-projects-must-now-disclose-risks-6396976

Game Industry Legends: Ron Pardo [Games Industry]
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-10-02-game-industry-legends-rob-pardo

Jake Solomon, Lead Designer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown goes Undercover to Sell his own game [2K Games YouTube Channel]
http://youtu.be/T1pyJxcETmc

Watch League of Legends World Championship Online [Twitch TV]
http://www.twitch.tv/

 

EVENTS
Game Developers Conference 2012
Austin, TX
October 9-11, 2012
http://www.gdconline.com/

New York Comic Con
New York, NY
October 11-14, 2012
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/

The GeekMoms Podcast, Episode #31: Is Cosplay Normal?
http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/09/geekmoms-podcast-cosplay/

Follow NicoleWakelin on Twitter @NicoleWakelin
Follow Andrea Letamendi on Twitter @ArkhamAsylumDoc

Geek Girls Network
http://www.geekgirlsnetwork.com

Extra Life – Gaming for Charity
October 20, 2012
http://www.extra-life.org/

Dave’s Extra Life Profile – http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=32173
Dave’s TwitchTV Feed – http://www.twitch.tv/rainedrop184
Jessa’s Extra Life Profile – http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=37907
Andrew’s Extra Life Profile – http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=32996

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at gamer@goodtobeageek.com. You can also email David at dlucier[at]goodtobeageek.com, email Jessa at jphillips[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page (http://magnatune.com/artists/sterling) to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the hosts and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek. Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

E3 2012 – Microsoft Keynote

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Game On, Xbox

Graphic courtesy of Xbox.comMicrosoft sets out to rule your home entertainment experience. Bringing to the party new titles for some of the franchises we love, as well as a few new games. While games are good for gamers, Microsoft has not forgotten the casual market, particularly those using their Xbox 360 consoles as their gateway to entertainment content. The big push at E3 this year is the added content and integrated functionality Xbox Smart Glass promises.

Microsoft opened their keynote with something most gamers have been rabid for since it was announced, a sneak peek at Halo 4. Master Chief makes his return in the reveal trailer and gameplay demo, offering a closer look at a new world and a new force of baddies.

Sam Fisher is back in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Take down terrorists more smoothly than ever before with Kinect enhancements to add an additional layer of fluidity and control. Expect the latest title from the franchise to hit store shelves Spring 2013.

NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Montana was on hand to show off Madden NFL 13 with Kinect capabilities. Kinect allows players more customization and the ability to call out players and change plays on the fly.

If soccer is more your game, no need to worry. The team at EA Sports has you covered with FIFA 13. With more intuitive gameplay, complete dribbling and new attacking capabilities, FIFA 13 puts players in the game.

If magic is more your thing, Xbox is hoping the next iteration of Fable will keep players using Kinect. Fable: The Journey has been designed with Kinect in mind. Capturing the power of motion, Fable: The Journey will keep players moving in their seat as they conjure spells and get in the game this holiday season.

The Gearheads knew Gears of War 3 simply could not be the end of the franchise. Enter Gears of War: Judgement! We know little more than this title will take place in the Gears universe we have come to know, but will be a prequel to the series that had us blowing sh*t up with Marcus, Dom and the gang. Sadly, we have a wait in store as the ambiguous 2013 is as detailed a release date as we’ll see at this time.

What is sexier than a fast car? The pit crew at Turn 10 Studios is bringing more insane races and a new stable of stylish cars to open-world driving games in Forza: Horizon. Get ready to rev your engine October 23, 2012.

Xbox users can already access Netflix, Hulu, Vuduu and plenty of other television and movie content providers on their consoles. Xbox plans to double the number of content providers in the coming year, with a major push in the arena of sports programming. Now users will be able to watch NHL, NBA, MLB, as well as 24/7 live content from ESPN. This season the best seat is in front of your Xbox.

E3 2012 – EA Keynote Highlights

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, iOS, PC, PS3, Xbox

Graphic courtesy of Electronic Arts Electronic Arts (EA) takes the opportunity at their E3 2012 Keynote to highlight a few of their biggest hits. The publisher also reveals some of their goals for gaming development, including extended the gaming experience through more closely knit social interaction, more intuitive gameplay and digital downloads.

EA and Visceral Entertainment present Dead Space 3. This horror, action-adventure game is back and more thrilling than ever! It features, for the first time in the franchise, co-op gameplay. Rife with new environments, new characters and bigger baddies, Dead Space 3 promises more heart-pounding action, coming in February 2013.

For the sports fans, Madden NFL 13 looks to enhance the franchise with more authentic gameplay. The improved Infinity physics engine creates more realistic play by taking into account physicality, action and balance. The Connected Careers function allows for a more immersive experience with an engaging story mode that creates a whole world, even a virtual Twitter feed to provide fan reactions. Step onto the field August 28, 2012.

Just when your Sim was getting a little bored, EA announces a new Sim City for PC. With even more interactivity and larger global challenges, the world-building game is bigger than ever before. Scheduled for release in 2013.

To date, Battlefield 3 has 50 million players worldwide. EA is out to prove they are a premier digital entertainment company and DICE is on hand to assist in reaching that goal. Battlefield 3 Premium is a new rewards program exclusive to Battlefield 3 players. The program offers new skins, dog tags, weapons, server priority and more! The biggest benefit is access to 5 massive digital expansion packs, each focusing on different warfare tactics. Premier membership is available now $49.99 and members will receive early access to the first DLC pack, “Close Quarters.”

BioWare is celebrating the huge success of Star Wars: The Old Republic. They are not resting on their laurels, though. Adding more PvP action, nightmare difficulty mode, more companion characters, new level caps and abilities, and a new planet with a new storyline, BioWare is serious about expanding the game so many love and bringing in new players. In July 2012, Star Wars: The Old Republic will go free-to-play up to level 15 for new players!

Medal of Honor: Warfighter goes global with their story and ties the game to real world events. Now, players will be able to choose to become one of the 12 different Tier 1 operators from 10 different countries. Serve your country October 23, 2012.

Another big focus for EA this year is to connect every game you play across every platform you play it on. Nowhere is the push towards this goal greater than in the EA Sports franchises, with FIFA 13 and Madden NFL 13 offering more interconnectivity than previously seen. I shared a bit about Madden NFL 13 earlier, so let us take a look at FIFA 13.

FIFA’s Football Social Network connects millions of fans to the sport, their friends and their clubs. To date, 11 million people make up the FIFA club. All returning 2012 players will carry their XP to FIFA 13 and will receive a special bonus in club. In 2012, iPAD, iPhone & Android users will be connected to club. The iPhone App will be re-tooled to provide greater functionality. Gameplay innovation unlike previous years. Leonard Messi is the cover player for FIFA 13 and a huge inspiration to gameplay with his dynamic dribble moves and attacking possibilities. Players can expect gameplay innovation unlike previous years, with a smarter AI system, player impact engine and greater control.

It is no doubt EA’s commitment to sports fans that prompted the mult-year partnership with UFC. UFC has a large, rabid fan base. The ink is still wet on this deal, so there is no news about a new game, but UFC fans can rest assured there will be a future for their sports on consoles.

Perhaps you are a racing fan. Not to worry, EA has not forgotten you. 2012 sees the next iteration in the hugely popular Need for Speed franchise, with Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The team at Criterion Games put their heads together to craft a game to allow the player to feel the rush of a driver on the run. This year, Need for Speed gets more competitive by making everything a challenge worth XP. Sexier cars, faster chases and more social connectivity. Get ready to put your skills to the test October 30, 2012.

Bringing back their award-winning development talent, Crytek pushes the boundaries of shooter sandbox gaming with the return of Crysis. Crysis 3 promises new tech, more powerful weapons and engaging story-telling to rival the 2 previous games. Don your nanosuit and prepare to take back the city February 2013.

EA is one of the biggest video game publishers in the world. The games featured at their EA keynote represent only a small number of their blockbuster titles. The publisher has many more upcoming titles, so stay tuned for updates.

Leave us a comment below to tell us what titles you cannot wait to play!

At the Con Podcast: PAX East 2012

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Game On, Good To Be A Gamer, Guest Appearances, iOS, Mac, Nintendo, PAX East, PC, Product Announcements, PS3, Wii, Xbox

Recorded 04/08/2012

 

 

Jessa Phillips and David Lucier are together at last! Recording in the same room for this epic podcast episode, they are joined by special guest, Kat Lucier to talk about all the video games, cosplay, panels and more from on-site at PAX East 2012.

This episode is particularly lengthy and jam packed with goodness. For the ease and convenience of our listeners, we have included time stamps below for the topics we discussed.

In the interest of full disclosure, this episode contains adult language.

00:23 – Introductions
01:39 – General Impressions

GAMES
10:40 – Lollipop Chainsaw
12:04 – Aliens: Colonial Marines
13:44 – Jack Lumber (Indie)
16:25 – Go Home Dinosaurs (Indie)
17:56 – Retrograde (Indie)
22:06 – Theatrythm: Final Fantasy
24:39 – Spelltower (Indie)
29:59 – Snapshot (Indie)
32:45 – Primal Carnage (Indie)
36:31 – Super Time Force (Indie)
40:06 – Vessel (Indie)
41:08 – Game Minder App
43:38 – Could Summer Become the Season for Indie Games?
48:34 – Kickstarter
49:01 – Miskatonic School for Girls
51:18 – Scallops
52:56 – Cards Against Humanity
53:53 – Win, Lose or Banana
54:21 – The Secret World
57:39 – Mark of the Ninja
1:01:10 – Firefall
1:07:14 – Far Cry 3
1:09:29 – Miniature Paint n’ Take

PROMO
1:13:55 – The Entertainment Consumers’ Association (ECA)

1:15:08 – Cosplay
Portal 2 Atlas & P-Body [Kotaku]

 

PANELS
1:19:16 – Selecting Save on the Games We Make
1:21:11 – How to Make an Arcade Stick
1:21:22 – XY: Transgender Issues in Gaming
1:21:45 – Chris Avellone of Obsidian talks Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2
1:24:50 – Balancing Gameplay & Plot
1:28:36 – Future of Dungeons & Dragons
1:31:51 – Stuff Your Criticism, I Want a Review
1:42:30 – Education & Gaming
1:46:00 – Future of Online Gaming
1:54:19 – DLC: Continuing the Story
1:56:48 – Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker
1:58:09 – Epic Games
1:58:58 – Legal Issues in Gaming
2:01:44 – Omegathon: Just Dance 2

2:05:02 – Final Thoughts

After Dark Films Brings Horror to Your Xbox with Rise of Nightmares Giveaway

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Category : Entertain Me, Game On, Movies, Xbox

After Dark Films is partnering with SEGA of America, Inc. to offer the kind of prize nightmares are made of. To celebrate the release of their latest movie to DVD, After Dark Films is giving away copies of the horrifying survival game Rise of Nightmares!

After Dark Films has been terrifying audiences for years with horror movies. The studio is most well-known for their annual Horrorfest, 8 Films to Die For, which indulges hardcore horror fans by featuring some of the best horror movies to be recorded on film. Now, After Dark Films is partnering with SEGA of America, Inc. to offer the kind of prize nightmares are made of. After Dark Films is offering fans a chance to win a copy of SEGA’s Rise of Nightmares on Kinect for Xbox 360 to celebrate the release of the After Dark Originals movie 51 on DVD. The contest is on now and continues through Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 11:59pm.

 

How do you get your hands on a copy?

 

“Like” After Dark Films on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/afterdarkfilms.
Click on the SEGA Rise of Nightmares tab to access the giveaway rules and the email address you need to enter. In the email, use the subject line: Rise of Nightmares.

OR

Follow After Dark Films on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/afterdarkfilms.
Then tweet @afterdarkfilms a response to the question: What is your worst nightmare? Be sure to include @afterdarkfilms and the URL http://riseofnightmares.com in your tweet to enter. You can only enter one response, so make it a good one. 

(Sample tweet: “@afterdarkfilms My worst nightmare was when all my ADF movies were destroyed http://riseofnightmares.com“) 

 

10 lucky fans will be selected to win their own copy of the hellish game Rise of Nightmares. 5 winners will be chosen from the Facebook entries and 5 winners will be chosen from the Twitter entries. Winners will be selected October 5th and the lucky few will be notified by email.

If you are unwilling to take the chance and you cannot wait to see if you can survive the horror, you can purchase Rise of Nightmares now at http://www.riseofnightmares.com!

 

Don’t forget to check out the After Dark Originals movie 51. Directed by Jason Connery, starring Bruce Boxleitner, John Shea, Jason London and Rachel Miner, 51 takes a couple of reporters  inside the infamous military installation at Area 51. While the standard government line is, “there are no aliens at Area 51,” the inhabitants may tell a different story turning a publicity tour into a terrifying night that will test everyone’s survival skills.

 

 

New Game in Town – Redbox Offers Video Game Rentals

2

Category : Bytes, Game On, News, Nintendo, PS3, Xbox

You recognize the big red box outside your local grocery and drug stores or the McDonald’s in town. While you are running errands, you can arrange a quick, convenient night in for $1-$2, by stopping at a self-service dvd rental kiosk. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, a subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc. has quickly become a powerhouse in the movie rental marketplace since their launch in 2002. Last year, Redbox celebrated 1 billion movie rentals with more than 27,000 redbox locations. Now, Redbox is looking to take a bite out of the video game retail space by offering game rentals at many of their locations.

Video game rentals have been available at a select 5,000 Redbox locations as part of a pilot program. Despite the limited availability, video games exceeded one million rentals in less than two years. As of June 17, 2011, Redbox began offering the game rental option to a wider audience, expanding the rentals to 21,000 more Redbox locations. Redbox kiosks offer a variety of game titles, including new releases and family kids titles, across all console platforms.

Courtesy of Redbox Automated Retail, LLC

 Whether you play on Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or Sony Playstation 3, the newest game release can quickly be rented online, via mobile app or on-site at a convenient Redbox location. Game titles will be available to rent for $2 per night with no required return date. As long as you keep the game, Redbox will continue to charge the daily rental fee plus tax. If the game is retained for more than 25 days, renters will be charged a one-time $50 fee and will own the game – no return needed.

Redbox has a few advantages over the competition:

The foremost advantage is convenience. One could argue that GameFly, the video game rental delivery service, also offers convenience. This is true. However, the idea consumers can act on on a spontaneous decision to play a game definitely works to Redbox’s advantage. Add accessibility via internet and app access and it does not get any easier.

Product placement is key. In this regard, Redbox is exceedingly intelligent. Placing kiosks in everyday locations such as McDonald’s locations and grocery stores is a huge positive, keeping the brand directly in front of consumers and presenting a quick, easy experience.

The option to try before you buy is also a big plus for Redbox. With popular new titles costing $39.99 to $59.99 or more, the ability to play the game before opening your wallet could itself bolster the appeal of Redbox game rentals.

Cash is king. Most new releases for Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony Playstation 3 are priced at $59.99. Even with the one-time $50 charge (plus taxes) to keep the video game after 25 days of rental, you could save money.

Physical product. There is still something to be said for having the disc in your possession. Think of it as your gaming security blanket, or insurance against hard drive failure or a massive data breach. Sometimes it just feels good to know you have a disc.

Visit Redbox.com to find a game or your local Redbox location. You can also rent your movie or game on the website and mobile phone users can download the Redbox app for iPhone or Android.

Read the April 28, 2011 announcement from Redbox.

The First (and Most Important) Day of E3 is Over!

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Game On, Product Announcements, PS3, Xbox

E3 is my favorite time of year. I might like watching the press conferences from the three main platform holders more than I actually like playing video games. Today, as I toiled away at work, I missed the Microsoft press conference AND I missed Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. I missed EA’s press conference. Then, I came home, ate dinner, and was forced to choose between watching my beloved Bruins destroy the dastardly Canucks or watching the Sony presser, and I chose the hockey. Really, I missed everything, and E3 is the one thing that, year in and year out, I miss nothing. Therefore, I think it’s reasonable to assume that I can’t be the only one who missed everything. You’re in luck, though, because I have parsed though everything after the fact and managed to pick out all of the highlights, and I am kind enough to present them to you here in a very manageable form. You’re welcome.

The Expected!

Kinect. Microsoft continues to push Kinect because a bunch of people bought it and nobody’s really sure why just yet. For example, in the upcoming sequel to breakout Kinect hit Dance Central, you’ll be able to dance-battle a second player, and dance battles are probably everybody’s favorite thing I guess. Also, lots of Kinect will be invading a new Fable title. Peter Molyneux wants you to wave at your television to cast spells. I wish Peter Molyneux wanted to do something that wasn’t making Fable games because I don’t and I never will like them.

Gears of War 3. Yeah, that’s a game we all knew about already, but this time they showed a single-player trailer and this got people all worked up. I can’t get into Gears of War, but people like it so I guess that’s a thing. It looked like Gears of War but better than the other ones.

Halo. We’re going to get a Halo 4, which should surprise nobody because Microsoft formed 343 studios for the express purpose of developing Halo titles. Halo 4 will be the first part of a new Halo trilogy, which I’m sure will be the second trilogy in a trilogy of trilogies. In addition to this, the rumors of an HD remake of the original Halo turned out to be true. So lots of Halo in Microsoft’s future, to be sure.

Xbox Dashboard. The dashboard is getting yet another pretty massive overhaul, including voice navigation, lots of IPTV stuff, and better support for Kinect. The new interface sort of looks like Sony’s Xross Media Bar made sex with Windows Phone 7. I’m sure they’ll still find a way to sell you Mntn Dew as soon as you turn on your XBox.

Mass Effect 3. It looks amazing, and why wouldn’t it?

Uncharted. It’s probably Sony’s marquee franchise right now, and they’re riding it about as hard as Microsoft is riding Halo. Each of the two games they showed (One for PS3, one for NGP) were previously announced, but it’s always nice to let us see them because they’re sort of a feast for the eyes.

NGP. Or, as it’s now officially known as, Playstation Vita. Vita is the official name of Sony’s new handheld system. This is something that everybody already knew, so there you go.

HD collections. Rereleasing SD games in HD for the PS3 is Sony’s big new thing, and they really really love doing it. The Sly Cooper collection and the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus collection should both be out in the fall, along with the PSP Remasters God of War collection.

Apologies. Sony’s giving ‘em out because we all deserve ‘em. They feel terrible about what happened with PSN and they want to make sure that we all know.

Resistance. That new one looks good. The second one looked good too though, and we all know how that turned out.

The Unexpected!

Minecraft. It’s coming exclusively to the XBox 360 and it will have Kinect support. I know that you have questions, but that’s okay because nobody has any answers for you.

Bioshock Infinite. Remember how Sony got Gabe Newell to come out and eat crow during their press conference last year? This year they kind of got Bioshock main superguy Ken Levine to do the same about the Move controller. Ken even went so far as to announce move compatibility for Bioshock Infinite. In fact, he loves the Move so much that there will be an exclusive Bioshock Infinite game for the Vita sometime in the future. I know, right? I can’t wait to see who they get to sell themselves on stage next year.

Vita. Arguably the best news of Day One of E3 never even came out in a press conference today. In a press release which came out during Sony’s press conference, they detailed release and pricing information for the Vita. We can pick one up this upcoming holiday season for the same price as a PSP-Go: $249. Well, that price is for the wifi only model. If you want 3g, it’ll cost an extra $50. Given the reaction to the PS3 price, Sony probably thought it wise not to make a big deal out of the price tag, but it was actually met pretty universally with pleasant surprise. Granted, $249 is not cheap, especially for a portable game system. Still, it doesn’t cost anymore than an 3DS does. You could even call this price “aggressive” if you wanted to. I don’t want to, but I don’t feel strongly enough to argue you with you if that’s what what you want to do. I like arguing too. Still, if you were like “This is an aggressive price point by Sony, blah blah blah poor 3DS sales blah blah they could win the portable war this generation” I’d be like “Yeah, you’re probably right” an then somebody else would be like “But smart phones herdy dur dur” and then I’d be like “People like buttons that doesn’t count bop bop bop” and then I’d be arguing, oh yeah.

Yes, more things happened today, I know. But I’m tired, and this is all the most important stuff. E3 wasn’t as exciting today as it maybe should have been, so we’ll have to wait until Nintendo blows our minds (rolls our eyes) for all the mind blowing (eye rolling) stuff.

uDraw Game Tablet Coming to Xbox 360 & PS3

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Category : Game On, Product Announcements, PS3, Xbox

Courtesy of THQ, Inc.

Last year, the Nintendo Wii got a new accessory, the uDraw Game Tablet. Now Xbox 360 & PS3 are getting new gear too! This week, Brian Farrell, President & CEO at THQ, announced the expansion of their revolutionary game tablet intended to unleash creativity.

“The uDraw offers amazing innovation and opens new doors of artistic possibility. There’s no console-based artistic tool like it.”

- Brian Farrell, THQ President & CEO

THQ is serious about capitalizing on the expansion and looks to make this move as successful as the uDraw was for Wii consoles, with 1.7 million uDraw units shipped to date for Wii consoles since the November 2010 launch. THQ updated the new hardware with a sleek contemporary design that promises to integrate console controls directly into the tablet.

Courtesy of THQ, Inc.

The new tablet also boasts enhanced features such as direct touch-screen interface including pinch-and-stretch, as well as rotation capabilities. A more sensitive stylus will allow for greater precision and detail. With integrated motion features and high-definition for art creation and gameplay, the uDraw Game Tablet is something to look forward to and you can expect to get a sneak peek at this week’s E3 Expo.

Showing their commitment to the uDraw Game Tablet, the new hardware for Xbox 360 and PS3 will ship with the updated uDraw Studio: Instant Artist. The software was developed to maximize the tablet’s core functionality. uDraw Studio comes packed with tutorials and basic art guides to help users more easily create and share their inspired art online. New users can join the thousands of current users who have already uploaded their creations to www.worldofudraw.com/art-spotlight.

THQ is also working with other developers to add interactive gameplay experiences and add to their growing number of tablet titles. In addition, THQ is already in production on a number of titles for the new HD-capable hardware, as well as new titles for the current Wii tablet, which are expected to be announce within the next six months.

The uDraw Game Tablet for Nintendo Wii consoles is available for purchase now. The uDraw Game Tablet for Xbox 360 and PS3 is expected for release in time for the 2011 holidays.

To learn more about the uDraw Game Tablet and upcoming titles, visit the official uDraw website.
To read the complete press release, click here.

Episode 02 – At the Con: TempleCon

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Category : Conventions, Game On, Guest Appearances, PC, PS3, TempleCon, Xbox

At the Con: TempleCon (Ep 02)

On the show, I go to TempleCon. EA is in hot water, Playstation has been busy and Undead Labs is having a very good week.

NEED TO KNOW
**News**
Sony PSP2: Sony announced technical specification for their next generation portable. Dubbed the PSP2, it comes packed with features, including a 5” multi-touch OLED sreen, WiFi & 3G connectivity, dual analog sticks and a rear touchpad, front and rear cameras and built-in GPS. Sony is looking to bridge the gap between console & portable gaming.
Read the Sony Computer Entertainment press release: http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/110127a_e.html

Playstation Phone: A norwegian site, DroidNYTT, got their hands on a leaked commercial which seems to confirm the Playstation Phone is real and it has a name. The latest leak reveals the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, expected to officially be announced at the Mobile World Congress, taking play February 14-17, 2011. The commercial suggests the phone will run on the Android platform.
Watch the commercial on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MV09PRsAU2Y

Undead Labs teams up with Microsoft Games to bring their open-world zombie survival game to XBLA. Code named “Class 3,” this first look at their big picture asks gamers to put their survival skills to the test in the zombie apocolypse. Incorporating a “choose your own adventure” aspect, the content is influenced by the decisions and actions of the players as they determine where to find shelter, how to obtain resources and how to face off against the zombie hordes. The most interesting part of this game development is that Class 3 is the first part of what will become a bigger game, code-named “Class 4.” The development team is so committed to creating a fully functioning and immersive game, they are trying something new by focusing on the game-play aspects to really nail them down, before moving on to expand the world and the multitude of options that will be available in the completed “Class 4.”
Read more at Undead Labs: http://undeadlabs.com/2011/02/news/undead-labs-and-microsoft-game-studios-to-create-zombie-survival-franchise-on-xbox-360/

Common Sense Media seeks sanctions against EA: At the heart of the Dead Space 2 marketing campaign is a commercial boasting “Your mom hates Dead Space 2,” showing reactions from a group of mothers being shown graphic footage from the new game. The shock advertising is meant to appeal to rebellious young gamers. Dead Space 2 has been rated for players age 17 and up. The accusation here is not the campaign itself is offensive, rather that the campaign works too well, enticing gamers under 17 to play. The ESRB has already denied the request, reminding Common Sense Media it cannot be proved the commercial targets gamers of a specific age. Further, the ESRB was consulted and approved the commercial prior to its airing.
Read more from the LA Times coverage: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/02/your-mom-hates-dead-space-2-advert-stirring-controversy.html

**Games released last week include:
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops (PC)
Earthrise (PC)

**Games being released this week include:
Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior (PS3)
Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3)
Trinity: Sould of Zill O’ll Zero (PS3)
Dungeons (PC)
Fate of The World (PC)
Two Worlds II (PC)
EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious (PC)
Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble (Nintendo DS)
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
You Don’t Know Jack (Nintendo DS, PS3, Xbox 360)
Body & Brain Connection (Xbox 360 w/Kinect)

**On the Calendar, check out these Upcoming Events:

Total Confusion
February 24-27, 2011
Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA
Website: http://www.totalcon.com

PAX East
March 11-130, 2011
BCEC in Boston, MA
Website: http://east.paxsite .com

GET IN THE GAME
On this episode I am at the con, covering TempleCon 2011. Check back at Good To Be A Gamer later this week for more coverage.

TempleCon (Board, Card, LARP, Miniatures, Video Gaming & Steampunk)
February 2-4, 2011
Crowne Plaza in Warwick, RI
Website: http://www.templecon.org

Temple Games
167 Columbus Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone: (401) 305-0836
http://www.thetemplegames.com

Thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music. http://magnatune.com/artists/sterling

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the host and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek.

Creative Commons License Disclaimer Code:
Creative Commons License
Good To Be A Gamer Podcast by Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Game Review – Enslaved Odyssey to the West

Category : Game On, PS3, Reviews, Xbox

 

 

Publisher: NAMCO

Photo courtesy of NAMCO

 

Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Game Rating: T-Teen

Review Rating: 7 out of 10; BUY

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is the follow-up game to Ninja Theory’s Heavenly Sword. 150 years in the future, Mankind is struggling to stay alive. The remaining humans are hunted and enslaved. When a slave ship crashes in New York, the only survivors are Trip and Monkey. Trip is a tech-savvy young woman from a tribe that has remained hidden while robots rule the earth. You play as Monkey, a big, burly fighter with acrobatic skill. To increase her chances of survival, Trip enslaves Monkey to ensure he will protect her as they travel across the treacherous landscape to find a way back to Trip’s people, fighting off mechs along the way. The story is well-told and integrates nicely with the game-play.

Enslaved is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Instead of going for the typical dust-bowl landscape we’re used to seeing from so many games, players are immersed in a lush, green environment which reminds me of the History Channel’s Life After People. Steel, concrete and brick crumble under the oppression of nature, as plants scale structures. The destabilized structures also provide a great environment for the platforming aspects of the game, adding that bit of danger when you realize your hand-hold is crumbling under your weight. Quite simply, the game is gorgeous.

Photo courtesy of NAMCO

 

Another fantastic aspect of Enslaved is the facial recognition. A lot of effort has been put into the character design and motion capture to add an additional feeling of realism. A prime example is the inclusion of Andy Serkis, of Lord of the Rings fame, who lends himself to Enslaved for the facial and motion capture, as well as the voice of Monkey. In addition, he puts his considerable talents to good use as co-director of the cut scenes.

In terms of the actual game-play, the game is fun. It combines strategic planning and combat, platforming and hack & slash with a dash of shooter game-play. The companion aspect with Trip is done well. While your primary mission is to protect her, Enslaved doesn’t make it feel like a babysitting job. The companion aspect is a welcome interactive experience, providing necessary assistance to get through the game. The fighting is not especially difficult, but the developers have done a great job mixing in different types of game-play to prevent the game from becoming too monotonous.

Sadly, it’s not all good for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Somehow, the game has not been able to avoid dreaded hang-ups. There are more than a few instances when you will find yourself stuck in the background, forcing you to move back before you can continue forward. Hanging on a piece of scaffolding when hopping from one piece to the next is a sure way to be removed from the gaming experience. Another issue is physical interaction with Trip. Too many times you will find yourself walking into and around Trip in order to find just the right stance to toss her to the next level.

To find out more about Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, visit Namco’s Official Site.

2010 Spike Video Game Awards – Live Blog

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Category : E-vents, Entertain Me, Game On, PC, Product Announcements, PS3, Spike Video Game Awards, Television, Xbox

The 2010 Spike Video Game Awards opened with a musical number to introduce Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), this year’s host. When Harris took the stage, he quickly dispatched the tuxedo wearing chorus boys with his “firearms.”

Game of the Year Nominee Announcement – Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Game Trailer – Batman: Arkham City, to be released Fall 2011.

Olivia Munn (The Daily Show, Attack of the Show) presented the award for Studio of the Year to BioWare. The other nominees included Blizzard Entertainment, Bungee Studios, Rockstar San Diego.

Bethesda Game Studio presented the preview trailer and announced Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be available 11/11/2011.

Game Trailer – Mortal Kombat Playstation 3 Exclusive – Playable Kratos from God of War.

Actor and Comedian, Dane Cook (My Best Friend’s Girl, Good Luck Chuck) presented Character of the Year Nominee – Ezio of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.

Another Character of the Year Nominee is revealed – Kratos of God of War 3

AnnaLynne McCord (90210, Nip/Tuck) presented a sneak peak at the preview trailer for Thor: God of Thunder, to be released 5/3/2011.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) presented the award for Best Action Adventure Game to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The other nominees included God of War 3, Red Dead Redemption & Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State, The World Is Not Enough, Wild Things) introduced My Chemical Romance for a performance of their song Get Up and Go from Gran Turismo 5.

Jason Ritter (The Ev3nt) presented Game of the Year Nominee Mass Effect 2. Following the performance was a preview trailer for Mass Effect 3, scheduled for release Holiday 2011.

Danny DeVito, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Glen Howerton, & Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) presented the award for Best Shooter to Call of Duty: Black Ops. The other nominees included Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Halo: Reach & BioShock 2.

After Olivia Munn goes off on Neil Patrick Harris, explaining why she deserved to host the Video Game Awards, Harris presented the game trailer for Resistance 3, to be released 9/6/2011.

Dane Cook returned to present another Character of the Year Nominee – John Marston of Red Dead Redemption.

Nick Swardson (Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time, Reno 911!) presented Game of the Year Nominee God of War 3.

Another Character of the Year Nominee was revealed – Sgt. Frank Woods of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Rachel Bilson (Jumper, The O.C.) presented the award for Best Performance by a Human Male to Neil Patrick Harris as Peter Parker/Amazing Spider-man (Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions). The other nominees included Gary Oldman as Sgt. Reznov (Call of Duty: Black Ops), Daniel Craig as James Bond (007: Bloodstone), John Cleese as Jasper (Fable III), Martin Sheen as Illusive Man (Mass Effect 2), Nathan Fillion as Sgt. Edward Buck (Halo: Reach), Rob , Sam Worthington as Alex Mason (Call of Duty: Black Ops) & Rob Wiethoff as John Martson (Red Dead Redemption).

Tony Hawk presented the debut trailer for Prototype 2, to be released in 2012.

Director and Producer, Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pan’s Labyrinth) made an appearance to announce that he is teaming up with THQ & Volition to develop his own game, InSANE.

He also presented the award for Best Independent Game to Limbo. The other nominees included Joe Danger, Super Meat Boy & The Misadventures of P. B. Winterbottom.

The cast of The Deadliest Warrior presented the award for Most Anticipated Game to Portal 2. The other nominees included Batman: Arkham City, BioShock: Infinite & Gears of War 3.

Michael Chiklis (No Ordinary Family, Fantastic Four) introduced Jose Gonzalez to perform his song Far Away from Red Dead Redemption.

Dominic Monaghan (Flash Forward, LOST, Lord of the Rings) introduced a clip from the guys at Top Gear US who presented a preview trailer for Forza Motorsport 4, to be released Fall 2011.

Nathan Fillion (Castle, Waitress, Firefly) made an appearance, accompanied by a live violin solo, to announce Game of the Year Nominee Halo: Reach.

Sam Trammell & Rutina Wesley (True Blood) presented the game trailer for SSX: Deadly Descents.

Character of the Year Winner is Sgt. Frank Woods of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Tru Calling) presents the premiere trailer of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, to be released 11/1/2011.

Game of the Year goes to Red Dead Redemption.

* All game trailers provided courtesy of GameTrailers.com.

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