Good To Be A Gamer, Episode 106 – Week of 11/28/2011

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Category : Good To Be A Gamer

David Lucier and Jessa Phillips feed your need to know, bringing you the top stories from the video game industry. This week they’re talking indie games, iOS games, Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii, Zynga going public, plus Skyrim goodness!

Recorded 12/4/2011

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

Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros.
Andrew Marnik has a feature posted on Good To Be A Geek, Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros. It’s a poll and we’re asking for your input. We’re taking the hollywood flop and asking you to re-imagine the film as if it were being produced today. Andrew’s provided several options for actors to play the key characters, as well as a few options for directors. Click the link below to make your voice heard.
http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=2218

 

NEWS

5 Indie Games to Watch For [Game Spy]
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/legend-of-grimrock/1213355p1.html

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie App [Game Tyrant]
http://gametyrant.co/news/2011/12/1/call-of-duty-black-ops-zombies-app-released-on-ios.html

Judge Dredd vs. Zombies on iOS [IGN]
http://wireless.ign.com/articles/121/1213693p1.html

Xenoblade Chronicles coming to Wii in the US [IGN]
http://wii.ign.com/articles/121/1213814p1.html?_cmpid=ign1392

Zynga is going public . . . or is it? [Game Spot]
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6347035.html?part=rss&tag=gs_news&subj=6347035

Bethesda Softworks reveals what’s coming for Skyrim and Address the latest Patch Problems [Bethesda Blog]
http://www.bethblog.com/2011/12/01/skyrim-what-were-working-on/

 

ITEMS OF INTEREST

Skyrim Theme “The Dragonborn Comes” Cover by Malukah [YouTube]
http://youtu.be/4z9TdDCWN7g

Time’s Scar Cover from Chrono Cross by Lara [YouTube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0b8FCxtkik

Able Gamers 2011 Holiday Shopping List
http://www.ablegamers.com/general-game-news/ablegamers-2011-holiday-shopping-list.html

 

EVENTS

TempleCon 2012 – February 3-5, 2011
Warwick, RI
Pre-registration is open!
h
ttp://www.templecon.org

Total Con 2012 – February 23-26,2011
Mansfield, MA
Registration opens in January
http://www.totalcon.com

 

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.

Subscribe to the RSS Feed and get Good To Be A Gamer on the go at http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss!

Special 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.

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

 

Good To Be A Gamer, Episode 105 – Week of 11/20/2011

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Category : Good To Be A Gamer

David Lucier and Jessa Phillips bring you the top stories from the video game industry. This week you can turn your iOS device into a game controller, Square Enix expands Eidos-Montreal and invests in a second studio, EA makes good on Battlefield promises, Dave reports on the beta for Star Wars: The Old Republic, rumors of a Gears of War prequel and Ubisoft says no to a PC version of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Plus, David and Jessa have a frank discussion on the future of video game pricing models. Is $60 too much to pay?

 
Recorded 11/28/2011
 

 
NEWS

Good To Be A Gamer is now available on iTunes!!!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-to-be-a-gamer/id476489256

Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros.
Following up on last week’s discussion about video game to movie adaptations, Andrew Marnik has a feature posted on Good To Be A Geek, Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros. It’s a poll and we’re asking for your input. We’re taking the hollywood flop and asking you to re-imagine the film as if it were being produced today. Andrew’s provided several options for actors to play the key characters, as well as a few options for directors. Click the link below to make your voice heard.

http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=2218

Turn Your iOS Device Into a Game Controller with Brass Monkey [Lockergnome]

http://www.lockergnome.com/ios/2011/11/25/new-app-brass-monkey-turns-your-phone-into-a-cloud-based-game-controller/

Brass Monkey Website – http://www.playbrassmonkey.com

Square Enix expands Eidos-Montreal and opens a second studio [Game Spy]

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/deus-ex-3-unofficial-title/1213059p1.html

EA Making Good on their promises . . . PS3 owners of Battlefield 3 will receive the free download of Battlefield 1943 [Kotaku]

http://kotaku.com/5862446/ea-smartens-up-giving-away-free-copies-of-battlefield-1943

Star Wars : The Old Republic – Jedi Consular Character Progression Trailer [Star Wars: The Old Republic YouTube channel]

http://youtu.be/bA_9BiyOB1A

Gears of War 3 gets prequel DLC and rumors of a full scale prequel title to be developed [Computer and Video Games]

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/327156/bulletstorm-dev-to-make-gears-of-war-prequel-trilogy/

Ubisoft develops Ghost Recon Online in lieu of a PC release to combat piracy [PC Gamer]

http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/11/23/ghost-recon-online-being-free-to-play-is-a-counter-to-piracy-says-ubisoft-producer

 

DISCUSSION

Is the reign of $60 boxed games coming to an end? [Eurogamer]

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-25-5th-cell-boss-the-USD60-boxed-game-is-a-broken-model

 

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.

Subscribe to the RSS Feed and get Good To Be A Gamer on the go at http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss!

Special 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.

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

 

Starbucks Expands Pick of the Week Program To Include E-Books

Category : Bytes, Deals, News, Tech

 

Starbucks has enjoyed a successful partnership with Apple, in the form of their “Pick of the Week” promotion. “Pick of the Week” is an incentive program for Starbucks customers, a way to reward loyal Starbucks customers in the know. At many company-owned or licensed Starbucks locations, you can find small cards near the register or the beverage pick-up station. These cards entitle the bearer to a free “Pick of the Week.” Simply logon to iTunes or the Starbucks landing page and enter the redemption code listed on the card.

 

The program began with a free song download via iTunes. As of August 23rd, the “Pick of the Week” program grew to include apps for iOS devices. Earlier today, Starbucks introduced the next phase . . . with e-Books. September 13th through September 19th, the new “Pick of the Week” card will be available, while supplies last.

 

The newest “Pick of the Week” allows the bearer to download an extended sample of Erin Morgenstern’s digital book, The Night Circus via iBookstore. While the promotion does entitle the bearer to a free download, it is important to note the download is a sample only. Readers who wish to see how the story ends will need to purchase the e-Book to download the complete book.

 

e-Books are not the end of the road for the Starbucks “Pick of the Week” program. In the company blog post dated August 22nd, Starbucks mentioned the expanded “Pick of the Week” program would also include television shows and more. What exactly “more” is remains to be seen.

 

Read the Official Starbucks blog posts:
Our First Digital Book Featured as the “Pick of the Week” – September 13, 2011
Pick of the Week: Apps, Books, TV , Music and More! – August 22, 2011

 

Tell us what you think in the comments below. What do you think of the changes to the “Pick of the Week” promotion? Are you excited about expanding the promotion beyond free song downloads? Do you think the promotion will continue to be successful as they branch out into other mediums of entertainment?

Review – Demolition Dash on iOS

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Category : Game On, iOS, Reviews

Video Credit: Dreamfab

 

Before I begin this review I would just like to establish that this game was played on an iPhone 4 and that we will be using the surely by now familiar rating scale of PASS, EH, and OKAY, YEAH.

Something that not a lot of people know about me is that I’m a very, very big fan of the endless-dash-style score attack games, and that I love to take them with me on my phone. For example, I once declared that Canabalt was an absolutely perfect game, and I stand by that claim today. I’m also a huge fan of the evolutions which have followed up on Canabalt‘s success such as Above or, more recently, the incredibly successful Tiny Wings. It feels a little cheap, but using a touch screen for only the simplest of controls is a fantastic way to make a game on a touchscreen device, and this has been proven time and time again. On paper, Demolition Dash seems to have everything it takes to ride the wake of popularity left by those titles. It puts you in the role of Zilla, a pink dinosaur set to run through stages destroying everything in his path with his bulk and his mighty roar. The game is fast, the graphics stylish and detailed, and the twist of trying to destroy environmental obstacles as opposed to avoiding them seems as if it should be winner. That said, the game misses out on some of the most important parts of the gameplay experience that makes a game like Robot Unicorn Attack or BIT.TRIP Runner such winners.

The first thing that surprised me about this game were the graphics. In the screenshots I’d seen, everything looked sharp and distinct, reflecting an incredible amount of effort and detail. In gameplay, however, these qualities do not shine through. Rather, they make the game’s world feel cluttered and indistinguishable. Even the levels, which pit you in several different countries throughout the world, do little to make you feel as though you are actually in a new environment. There are different backgrounds used, and the subtle background tracks are evocative of a new locale; but the differences are a bit too subtle, and each location looks and feels almost exactly like the last little-bit-too-busy country you played through.

Each stage has a primary win condition of getting through it without losing the four segments of your tail which represent your hit points, if you will, but they also feature secondary objectives such as destroying a certain type of tree, enemy, or obstacle or collecting enough of a certain something scattered throughout the stage. These secondary objectives are unfortunately hindered by the problems outlined above, as the game plays a bit too fast to properly distinguish and seek out many of these objectives. Much of the time I was not aware of what I was doing as I was completing them, the reward screen giving me a sense of surprise more than a sense of accomplishment. Similarly, it becomes difficult to distinguish the enemies you encounter, the developer’s solution is inelegant and distracting at best. Rather than make a real effort to have the enemies stand out, somebody decided that the best way to alert the player is to play a police siren in the background while the enemies themselves emit enormous lens flares. Admittedly, it’s effective, but it highlights one of this games biggest flaws rather than corrects it. It feels like a half-baked, last minute solution which betrays the attention to detail paid to so many other portions of this game.

Ultimately, my biggest problem with this game is what puts it so far behind the market it hopes to compete in. The brilliance in a game like Canabalt or Tiny Wings is that not once while playing those games did I ever feel like I wasn’t in control of my character. Conversely, not once while playing Demolition Dash did I feel as though I had any control over the character. I rarely felt as if it were my fault when I failed a mission because there was so much going on in such a tiny window that it seemed impossible to keep track of it all, and I never felt like I did anything all that great when I succeeded. I felt like I made a legit effort to get better at the game, and yet I still felt like my successes and failures were out of my hands. I commend the effort of developer Dreamfab, because they’ve clearly put quite a bit of work into this game. Sadly, though, they’ve put this effort into a mediocre experience. (A generous) EH.

 

 

For more information about Dreamfab or Demolition Dash, visit the Dreamfab website at http://www.dreamfab.com/. Like Dreamfab on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter @dreamfab_games.

Twitter Mobile Gets A Facelift…Enhanced Functionality for Touchscreen Devices

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Category : Bytes, News, Tech

You use Twitter. You have a smartphone. Chances are you have an app for that . . . but what if you didn’t, or what if you didn’t have access the app? If you are a long time smartphone owner, you have undoubtedly been a casualty of a Twitter-API Developer war. Twitter wants you to know, no matter where you are, they have you covered.

Earlier today, Twitter unveiled their improved, and oh so pretty, mobile web app via their official blog. Starting from scratch, the app is designed specifically with touchscreen smartphones and tablets in mind, capitalizing on their adoption of the latest technology standards, including HTML5. Twitter set out to embrace the functionality of these devices and create a slick, easy to use experience. Packed with all the usual features you would expect, such as @mentions, direct messages, conversation views, lists, search, trending topics, and more promised.

Courtesy of Twitter

Last week we saw Twitter purchase the popular API Developer, TweetDeck. Surely, it is no surprise to see the official mobile site looking a bit similar to the newly aquired app. Coincidence or not, this is a much needed step in the right direction for the mico-blogging site. Twitter has the data, it is good to see them taking steps to make the user experience better.

So far the updated mobile app is only available to a small number of iPhone, iPod Touch and Android users. To access the mobile app, simply point your device’s web browser to www.twitter.com. If you have one of these devices and do not see the updated app, do not fret, Twitter is gradually rolling it out over the next few weeks.

To read the official announcement, visit the official Twitter blog.

App Release – iOS: Today in Movie History

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Category : Bytes, Products, Tech

Jebs Apps, LLC announced the release of their Today in Movie History App for iOS devices in a press release yesterday. In addition to the availability on iOS devices, the Android version also received a major update.

 

Courtesy of Jebs Apps, LLC

 

From the official press release dated April 8, 2011 via PR Log:

“Do you like following the Hollywood scene? Do you like knowing when your favorite actor or actress was born or maybe when your favorite movie was released?”

 

 
The Today in Movie History app brings a bit of fun and trivia to touch devices and allows instant sharing with friends while on the go. While this is the first time, Today in Movie History has been made available for iOS devices, Android users have not been forgotten. To coincide with the iOS release, the Android version also received a major update providing even more interesting facts. The app now boasts more than 3,000 facts and trivia tidbits, including celebrity birthdays, movie release dates and much more. The app also allows you to share the fun with your friends with integrated connectivity via Facebook, Twitter, Email and SMS Messaging (where available on compatible devices). If you would like to submit your own movie history fact, you can . . . all without leaving the app.

Today in Movie History is available in Lite and Full versions for Android. The Lite version is ad-supported and does let you view the facts; however, users of the Lite version will not be able to share facts. The Full version also allows users to search for any date. Android users can purchase the Full version of Today in Movie History for only 99¢. Android users can download Today in Movie History now in the Android Market. Currently, only the Full version is available for iOS devices, also available for 99¢. iOS users can find Today in Movie History in the iTunes App Store.

Today in Movie History is not only great for fans of film, but fun for everyone. The app integrates interesting trivia, seemless connectivity and a slick interface. If you still are not ready to download, check out this video to see it in action.

 

 

Today in Movie History is the third mobile app released by Jebs Apps, LLC., following GoldenPic and Today in Geek History. Jebs Apps, LLC is a mobile development company founded by three friends out to make apps people can enjoy. The company’s primary focus is on iOS and Android devices.

For more information about Jebs Apps, LLC., Today in Movie History or any of their other apps, visit the Jebs Apps, LLC. website.

Read the complete press release on PR Log.

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