E3 2014 – Sony Media Briefing Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PS3, PS4

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Sony Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.

Sony started their Media Briefing with a trailer for Destiny before Andrew House, Sony President and Group CEO, took the stage to remind the audience why PlayStation believes they are the best pace to play – “connected, highest visual quality, choice and being a member of a community of rivals and friends.” The Destiny beta will be available July 17, 2014, first on PlayStation. PS4 owners will have the opportunity to access the alpha starting Thursday, June 12th by visiting GreatnessAwaits.com/Destiny to register.

Sony is releasing a glacier white PS4 Destiny bundle which will include: a 500GB PS4 console, white dual-shock controller, a copy of Destiny and a 30-day voucher for PS Plus. The bundle will be available for purchase upon the game’s release September 4, 2014.

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

The Order 1886

Entwined developed by a small group of recent graduates. Entwined focuses on two souls in love that cannot be together. Maximizing use of the dual-shock controller as players attempt to control two characters at a time. As the souls fly across the gamespace, trails of color create works of art as players work to bring the characters together to form a beautiful dragon. Scott Rohde, Sr. VP of Worldwide Studios, announced Entwined is available now in the PS Store for PS4 ($9.99) with PS3 and PS Vita versions to follow.

inFAMOUS: Second Son will have a stand-alone DLC, inFAMOUS: First Light. Players do not need to own a copy of inFAMOUS: Second Son to play the DLC; however, those who do own the game will receive exclusive content. The DLC will be released in August 2014.

Little Big Planet 3 on PS4 has enhanced graphics which add new textures. The new version includes new sets of power-ups, as well as new friends – OddSock, Toggle and Swoop. Each of the friends has their own unique abilities: OddSock can wall-jump; Toggle can alter its size to become large or small; and Swoop can fly, allowing for more fun and ease of gameplay in difficult multiplayer games. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, announced players will be able to access all of the expansive community-created Little Big Planet content on PS4 with enhanced graphics.

Bloodborne in development for 2015 release.

Alexander Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, introduced  a gameplay demo of Far Cry 4. Adam Boyes, Sony VP of Publisher & Developer Relations, added PS3 and PS4 owners will be able to invite their friends to play, even if they don’t own Far Cry 4 through the PS Store when it is released in November 2014.

Given the popularity of zombies, players can expect more undead action with the release of Dead Island 2. there will be a 30-day exclusive beta and a full character class on PS4.

Offering more zombie action,  Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, set to launch August 19, 2014, will have a specifically themed dungeon and their own attacks.
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

The beta for Battlefield: Hardline is open now, exclusively on PS4.
In a partnership with Disney, a collector’s edition of Disney Infinity 2, exclusive to PS3 & PS4 will include Hulk as well as five other Avengers. Disney Infinity 2 is also coming to PlayStation TV and PS Vita.
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Destiny will have plenty of PS4 exclusive in-game content, including: unique weapons, armor sets, ships, Exodus exclusive competitive multi-player map, an exclusive strike on Mars and more.
Sony is partnering with Paradox Interactive to develop exclusive PlayStation games. The first title to be released will be Magicka 2.

Returning after 15 years, Double Fine with the Sony third party development team is working to re-master Grim Fandango, exclusively for PS4 and PS Vita.

In support of indie games, Devolver Digital are developing a series of games for exclusive release on PlayStation platforms, including: Broforce, Titan Souls, Not a Hero, Hotline Miami and The Talos Principle.

Let it Die is coming exclusively to PS4 for release in 2015.

From the minds behind Journey, Giant Squid premieres their new title, ABZÛ, which will make it’s debut on PS4.

Also making its console debut on PS4, No Man’s Sky. Sean Murray, Founder of the indie studio Hello Games behind No Man’s Sky gives a closer look at the game which will start every player on a different planet to ensure a truly unique gameplay experience.

Andrew House returned to the stage to share how PlayStation is maximizing the camera, specifically with Project Morpheus.
Shawn Layden, President & CEO of Sony America, presents the latest tools for the PlayStation Network which enables sharing features, such as Share Factory and the photo mode in inFAMOUS: Second Sun. YouTube will also be coming to PSN and will include integration with the dual-shock share button. Sony is also working to enhance spectator interactivity, allowing observers to interact with the player during real-time play. Sony is also committing to Free-to-Play gaming with more than 25 truly Free to Play games coming to the network in the next 12 months, including: Planetside 2, Gunza, My Singing Monsters and War Thunder.
PlayStation Now service will be available in the US and Canada as an open beta on PS4 starting July 31, 2014. PS Now service to PS3 and PS Vita will follow. PS Now will also be available on Sony smart televisions in the future so a console is not necessary. During the beta, players have access to the vast catalog which will start with PS3 titles. The open beta is being used to obtain feedback on the service as well as test rental durations and pricing. PS Now will also be available for PS Vita to expand upon the catalog for the mobile platform.
Minecraft is coming to PS Vita, including co-op gameplay. Layden re-iterated Sony’s commitment to the PS Vita device.
PlayStation TV is coming to the US, Canada and Europe this fall. The small box will allow for remote play through PS4, provide access to streaming services and PS Now, as well as the ability to play PS Vita as well as PS One and PSP titles, bringing access to more than 1,000 games at launch when it will be released for $99. $139 bundle to include a dual-shock 3 controller, 8GB memory card, HDMI cable and a voucher for The Lego Movie game.

Mortal Kombat X is being developed for PS4.

Sony is developing original programming, the first of which is Powers, based on the comic. Brian Michael Bendis joins the powers show as Co-creator and Executive Producer. The series has already been greenlit for 2 seasons, casting is underway and the series will be available for viewing in the US in December 2014. Every PSN user will get access to the first episode for free. PlayStaion Plus will include original programming. An example is the entire Powers series will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Sony is also developing theatrical releases for PlayStation fans, as well as wider audiences. We get a look at Ratchet & Clank the Movie which will release in theaters in 2015. In addition, they are working on re-mastering Ratchet & Clank for PS4.

House shares a trailer for The Last of Us Remastered for PS4, scheduled for release July 29, 2014.

Konami and Kojima Productions present a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PS4 Fall 2014, featuring enhancements for the next-gen console. The biggest news is current PS3 & Xbox 360 player communities will be able to transfer their GTA characters and progress to PS4.

Rocksteady and Warner Bros. present Batman: Arkham Knight.

Naughty Dog teases the return of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, slated for release in 2015.


E3 2014 – Ubisoft Media Briefing

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Ubisoft Media Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.


To start the conference, we get a look at Far Cry 4. Dan Hay, Executive Producer, introduces the newest chapter in the franchise, set for release November 18, 2014 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.


Aisha Tyler returns to E3 to host the Ubisoft Media Briefing for the third year.

Just Dance 2015, is the newest game to the dance genre. Just Dance 2015 includes the latest chart topping tracks featuring Pharrell, Ellie Goulding and more. The game adds more social functionality with community remixing, as well as the ability to put players in the game and allow other players to score your performance. Just Dance 2015 is set for release October 2014. Jason Altman, Executive Producer, took the stage to show how a smartphone & internet connected display can turn any smartphone into a controller and allow any player to dance no matter where or when.


Patter Mannerfelt, Producer, introduces Tom Clancy’s The Division.


The Crew presents an expansive, US coast to coast open-world driving experience. Julian Gerighty, Creative Director, joins Aisha to explain how Ubisoft has been gaining gameplay feedback and the Route 909 campaign, which put a call out to players in 7 worldwide locations to play and compete. The Route 909 finals will be available streaming on TwitchTV June 10 & 11th. Ubisoft is also opening the closed beta on July 23, 2014; visit http://www.thecrewgame.com/beta to register. The Crew will launch November 11, 2014 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.


Alex Amancio, Creative Director, presents the French Revolution in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, set to release October 28, 2014. The new title includes a 4-player shared gameplay experience.


Charles Huteau, Creative Director, announces a partnership with Xbox for Shape Up. The new title looks to bring gameplay to fitness in an attempt to make workouts fun. Players can record their performance and replay to compete against themselves or share with friends for some friendly competition.


Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a puzzle adventure game which follows four friends and their canine companion through the battlegrounds of World War I. In a unique partnership with the documentary film, Apocalypse: World War I, the game provides a true historic transmedia event with the inclusion of film footage in Valiant Hearts.


Yves Guillemont, Co-found and CEO of Ubisoft, expressed his appreciation for the fans and developers. He also took the opportunity to show off Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige.


E3 2014 – Electronic Arts (EA) Keynote Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the EA Keynote, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.

DICE Studios opens the show with a look at the behind the scenes effort put into their Star Wars: Battlefront to be released Spring 2015.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts (EA) to state the company’s commitment to players, games and innovation. Then, introduces a look at Dragon Age: Inquisition. Aaryn Flynn offers a deeper look at the game and the team of heroes who will become your companions in game.

BioWare offers a preliminary look at what they are working on – the next title in the Mass Effect franchise, as well as a new intellectual property (IP).

Sims 4 will allow players to control the personality and emotions of their characters, expanding the story possibilities. Players can bring characters and items created by other players into your game. Sims 4 will be available September 4, 2014.

Brian Hayes, the Creative Director at EA Sports announces EA Sports UFC where players will be able to fight as Bruce Lee, available June 17, 2014.

Dean Richards, Studio General Manager, announces EA Sports NHL 15. NHL 15 add physics to all players, as well as the puck and includes more detailed arenas.

Patrick Soderlund, EVP at EA Studios, introduces a sneak peek at the new intellectual property (IP) from Criterion Games. Criterion steps away from their well-established background in racing games to develop a new title. The development team was heavily influenced by first-person action videos, in the style of GoPro, being uploaded to YouTube.

Cam Weber, Studio Group General Manager for EA Sports Golf, announces EA Sports PGA Tour being developed using Frostbite 3. Play famous courses or explore extreme courses starting Spring 2015.

Madden NFL 15 includes improvements to the defensive strategy, including more defensive camera angles, more control to push opponents and re-designed tackling. Additional emotional reactions. Madden NFL 15 launches August 26, 2014.

Dawngate promises to build on the traditional Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) structure with a “flexible meta” to provide a truly unique gameplay experience in every game, highly influenced by player feedback.

DICE shares the work they are putting into Mirror’s Edge, including working with parkour artists, an open-world design which appeals to new and skilled players and realistic combat interaction.

David Rutter, Executive Producer for EA Sports FIFA. EA Sports FIFA 15 includes emotional responses for players, a new ball physics system, man-to-man battles and a more immersive arena experience. FIFA 15 will be released Fall 2014.

DICE & Visceral Games announce Battlefield: Hardline. Battlefield: Hardline offers a 32-player multiplayer match in heist for a cops versus robbers gameplay experience. The Battlefield: Hardline beta access is available now on PC and PS4. Go to Battlefield.com to register for access. Adam Boyes from Sony Computer Entertainment announces that PS4 gamers who own Battlefield 4 can download the beta directly from the Battlefield 4 tile.

GRID 2: Pushing The Envelope For Racing Games!


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.


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


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

No Federal charges for 38 studios, but state charges pending. [GameSpot]

Cliff Bleszinski Departs Epic Games [Epic Games]

2012 Presidential Coverage Goes Live with Xbox [Xbox Live’s Major Nelson’s Blog]

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Open Beta Starts 10/5 [IGN]

Assassin’s Creed 3 Reveals First DLC, “Tyranny of King Washington” [Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed]

Able Gamers Foundation Opens First Permanent Accessability Arcade [Joytiq]

PSN is having a sale! [PlayStation Blog]

First Free-to-play Xbox 360 Game Releases [Games Industry]

NBA Live 13 canceled just 6 days before planned release. [GameSpot]


Kickstarters must now disclose risk, amongst other new restrictions [GameSpot]

Game Industry Legends: Ron Pardo [Games Industry]

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

Watch League of Legends World Championship Online [Twitch TV]


Game Developers Conference 2012
Austin, TX
October 9-11, 2012

New York Comic Con
New York, NY
October 11-14, 2012

The GeekMoms Podcast, Episode #31: Is Cosplay Normal?

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

Geek Girls Network

Extra Life – Gaming for Charity
October 20, 2012

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


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 – EA Keynote Highlights


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


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

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

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

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


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

Spend Your Summer Vacation With Steam – Summer Camp Sale Starts Today!


Category : Game On, Mac, PC, Product Announcements, PS3

How will you spend your summer vacation? Steam is hoping you will spend it gaming with them. Today, the gaming network launched its Summer Camp Sale.

Photo Credit: Steam

Steam has become known for its epic sales – sucking gamers into the simple “click and buy” motion with prices they simply cannot resist. What makes these sales so irressitable? The games. After all, just because a game is 60% off does not mean gamers will suddenly want to buy it. Gamers want to play the games they enjoy. Steam understands this.

Even on day one the Steam Summer Camp Sale boasts some fantastic deals, including Medal of Honor and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for 66% off, or Borderlands for 75% off the regular purchase price. How about Portal 2 or Left for Dead 2 for 35% off? Let’s say you are loyal to a particular publisher like Capcom. Steam has you covered. Today’s Summer Camp Sale deals include 33% off select Capcom titles, like Lost Planet 2, Dead Rising 2 and other fan favorites. If none of the sale offerings excite your inner gamer. No worries, every day through July 10th 2011, Steam is featuring different games and publisher offerings in their daily deals.

Photo Credit: Steam

 Cheap games not enough for you? How about free stuff? All you have to do is play. Playing games earns you Summer Camp Steam Achievements. Each achievement earns gamers a prize ticket that can be redeemed for great in-game content such as playable characters, gear and maps. Prize tickets must be redeemed during the Summer Camp Sale to get your free goodies. But wait, there’s more! Each prize ticket earns gamers a chance at the Grand Prize. 100 lucky gamers will be selected to receive the top 10 games on their wishlist!

Sign in to your Steam account on Mac, PC, or PSN today to take advantage of these great deals, giveaways and gaming. If you do not have a Steam account, head over to http://www.steampowered.com to register and install for free.

New Game in Town – Redbox Offers Video Game Rentals


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!


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


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.

Oh No PSN Store, Welcome YOU Back!


Category : Game On, PS3

So, the time is now upon us that Sony will officially acknowledge what we’ve already known: the Playstation Network is back, and they’re taking this opportunity to stand at the front door with arms wide open and bearing gifts. Now, we’re already in the house enjoying the hors d’oeurves, but it would be poor form not to let the host greet us, especially when it’s offering up to four free games just for saying hello. So let’s take a look at what Sony has to offer us to help soften the blow of it’s month-long absence.

By now we’re all familiar with the ratings scale: PASS, EH, and OKAY, YEAH.


LittleBigPlanet – In terms of how much content you’re actually going to get for free, LBP is far and away the leader in this category. Plus, it was a pretty awesome game, and to this day one of the very few PS3 titles I’ve been able to get my girlfriend to sit down and play with me without throwing the controller down in disgust immediately afterword because “it’s so stupid” and she “can’t even see why you’d ever want to play something like this that’s so dumb,” or anything like that. Still, that doesn’t make the game any less than three years old, and it also doesn’t erase the superior and recently released sequel. A great game, just a little dated. EH.

inFAMOUS – Another game that used to be available only on a blu-ray disc, but this one’s a little more fresh than LittleBigPlanet. The tradeoff here is that it wasn’t exactly a cutting edge, boundary pushing title when it came out. It holds up, though, because of how well it was designed. The sequel to this game is coming out in the very, very near future, so if you want to give yourself a little primer on what you may have missed out on the first time around, this is a great opportunity to do so. It’s worth overlooking the ridiculous capitalization. OKAY, YEAH.

Wipeout HD w/ Fury – I’m not a big racing game guy, but the original Wipeout games on Playstation are some of my favorite games of all time. I also loved the PSP Wipeout games. The promise of a Wipeout HD was one of the primary motivating factors behind me buying both a PS3 and an HDTV. This game is awesome to play and to look at, and it offers assists and such to make the game playable by people of all skill levels. It’s also arguably still the best looking game on the PS3, if slick Euro-furture environments and crazy flashing lights and colors (which actually caused this game to be delayed for a very significant period of time because it induced seizures) are your thing. If you dig presentation, are even a little interested in high speed racing games, and you don’t already own this package, getting Wipeout HD alone for free is worth it. Toss in the Fury add-on, though, and it is a MUST. OKAY, YEAH.

Dead Nation – Like twin-stick shooters? Not sick of shooting zombies yet? Like the idea of doing it with a friend? Dead Nation does a lot of things right, and in some ways it is the ultimate mashup of the twin-stick shooter and zombies. That said, there’s a lot of each of those games out there, and Dead Nation represents the best of neither of these genres. It runs out a lot of cool social and weapon upgrade features over some very well-trodden, safe territory. How much you’ll like Dead Nation depends greatly on how you feel about twin-stick shooters and/or zombies. EH.

Super Stardust HD – Before they made Dead Nation, Housemarque developed a remake of an old classic and, in so doing, created on of the finest titles the twin-stick shooter genre has to offer. Super Stardust HD puts its own twist on the genre by putting the player on a spherical planet as opposed to freely wandering through a screen-filling space, then giving the player and arsenal of three different weapons to utilize in order to destroy enemy rocks and metals. It felt fresh back in 2007 when this game was released, and it’s still unmatched in many ways four years later. A bit of an oldie, but a goodie. OKAY, YEAH.


I can’t even bring myself to break these titles down in any sort of detail, as this a pretty disappointing yield.

LittleBigPlanet – It’s good, and you should get it for your PSP if you don’t already have it. OKAY, YEAH.

Modnation Racers – Not as fun as its PS3 counterpart, but at least it doesn’t have the minute-plus load times to deal with. EH.

Killzone Liberation – A third person shooter which is actually pretty good if you can get past controlling the camera with the face buttons. I cannot, but then again you may want to grab this game and hold onto it if you’re planning on picking up a (alleged) PSVita because Sony has promised the ability to control the camera with its right stick in the future. I’m not sure that the promise that someday a game will be playable is enough of a reason to get a game, though. EH.

Pursuit Force – I don’t know what Pursuit Force is, and nobody else does either. PASS.

The PSN Store is Back! Buyers Guide! Pt. 1

Category : Game On, PS3

And with today’s PSN Store restoration comes a bunch of games that probably would have been released a month ago had nefarious hackers not conspired to destroy the lives of those who eat and breathe Sony’s Playstation brand. Because of this, not all of this stuff is new, as a couple of titles I’m about to discuss have already been released on XBox Live Arcade. Maybe you don’t have an XBox though. Hey, then these little bits are absolutely relevant to you. It’s okay if they’re not, though. You don’t have to read them. Still, you should, because what I have to say is very important, even if it is mostly speculative and based on things I’ve seen or read or played in a purely demonstrative sense because who has the time to play everything anyway? I don’t, and you don’t either. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this, so stop looking at me like that. We’re supposed to be in this together.

*Games will be rated on a scale of PASS, EH, or OKAY, YEAH.


Star Raiders (Atari) $9.99 – Star Raiders is one of aforementioned games that has already been released on XBLA, and if the prospect of a game where you fly through space in a transforming spaceship gets you all worked up, then I apologize for throwing this glass of cold water on your face. Star Raiders is a modern 3D reworking of a game from 1979 featuring some nice looking visuals, ship transformations, laser beams, missiles, robots, robots that help you fly a spaceship that transforms itself (note: the ship does not transform into a robot), and a lot of space to shoot lasers and missiles in. It just doesn’t stay fun for very long and it doesn’t control particularly well. Each of the three ship transformations has its own control scheme as well, making it even harder to get a feel for what should be pretty awesome 3D space combat that you thought about all the time when you were a kid and even last night before you fell asleep probably. There’s a demo, and if you’re still interested in this game then you should probably play that first. PASS.

Sega Rally Online Arcade (Sega) $9.99 – Again, maybe you already played this on XBLA. Maybe you already played most of this content in an arcade in 2008 as well. Maybe not, though, because that assumes that there was actually an arcade somewhere in 2008. The point is that there’s really nothing new in this title besides online play. That said, Sega did a good job with their arcade rally racing games, and this game represents the best of their work in this field. I question the legs of a game like this, as I have no idea how well an arcade rally racing game would hold up today. I think it’s fun, but I probably wouldn’t play it for more than a couple of days, and I’m probably not the only person who thinks that way. You’d be paying $10 for an online racing game that will likely only have a significant population for a week or two, but then I suppose that might be better than paying $60 for a game like Blur which couldn’t boast much better than that. Maybe that game was only $40, but you get it. If you’re only looking to relive your arcade glory days for a week or so, you can do worse. EH.


Alien Crush, Bonk’s Adventure, Bomberman ’94 (Hudson) $5.99 each – You remember Turbo Grafx, right? That’s where these games all came from! And, personally? I’m not interested in any of them! Alien Crush is widely considered to be the greatest video pinball game of all time, but the problem with that honor is that Alien Crush is still a video pinball game. PASS. Bonk’s Adventure was designed to be the killer app for the Turbo Grafx. Bonk was to be their Mario, their Sonic. Instead, hardly anyone bought a Turbo Grafx and I have a feeling that a large part of that was because Bonk’s Adventure wasn’t a very good game. PASS. Bomberman ’94 is a relic from a time when Hudson paid very close attention to what EA was doing with its sports games and decided to annually update their prized Bomberman franchise with roster updates, expanded playbooks, and upgraded graphics and opponent AI. They finally decided to nix this process right before implementing detailed player creation, scouting combines and a draft system. I’m not a Bomberman guy, but even if I was I know I’d probably be sick of him by now. PASS.

Dragon’s Lair 2 (Digital Leisure) $9.99 – Hey, remember laser disc games? I wish I didn’t! PASS.


Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls (XSEED) $14.99 – The Wizardry franchise is OG RPG, and it’s carved out a niche for itself by riding decidedly against the current of the genre it helped to create. This latest entry in the series is no different, as Labyrinth of Lost Souls is exactly the punishingly difficult 3D grid-based dungeon crawler you might expect. This is absolutely NOT a game for everyone, and it’s actually a little bit too much for me. Still, it’s a quality game and it’s nice to see hand drawn 2D sprites still have a place in modern RPGs, even if they aren’t especially modern in design. Again, a demo is out there. EH.

Red Johnson Chronicles (Lexis Numerique) $12.99 – I doubt it’s much of a coincidence that a gritty point-and-click adventure story is released on the heels of Rockstar’s LA Noire. Red Johnson Chronicles has a really, really nice look about it, it has a time-constrained dialogue element, and the puzzles are being widely met with approval. Plus, you can knock around $3 off the price with your upcoming free month of PS+ service (part of the Welcome Back package). Dig point and click adventures? Finished LA Noire, and looking for maybe something a little different but also a little similar? Maybe just curious and drawn in by the artwork and/or atmosphere? OKAY, YEAH.

Under Siege (Seed) $19.99 – I am NOT an RTS guy, and I haven’t been in a very long time. They’re too complicated, too grand, and they never ever ever work on a console. That said, I cannot tell you why I am so intrigued by this game. I guess I like that it’s got a medieval setting because of how much I like swords and how much easier it is to understand something when a sword is involved. I also like the gameplay is more focused on small skirmishes as opposed to larger battle and that the game was specifically designed to be played with a Dual Shock controller (or a Move, you motion gamers you). I also like that the game really packs on the content and also features online multiplayer and a map editor which is, by all accounts, robust. I can also tell you that I’m way into the fact that the $19.99 price point will be cut to an even $10 when my free month of PS+ kicks in, making taking a shot at a genre that’s burned me so many times in the past much more palatable. OKAY, YEAH.

Learning with the PooYoos Episode One (Lexis Numerique) $8.99 – You can read, right? PASS.

Back in Black

Category : Game On, PS3

For the last month or so, I’ve been more or less a ghost. Nobody has seen me, and yet they’ve all heard my cries echoing through their halls at night. They were soft, blubbering sobs; filled with with laments of my inability to play Portal 2 co-op, regrets of an Xbox Live Gold membership lapsed into a Silver membership and a pride which would not allow me to renew, but most importantly overflowing with a sorrowful mourning for the untimely passing of my beloved PSN store. I would think about the games that I could have, that should have been mine, and I would become incapacitated by the shackles of my dreadful sorrow.

Desperate to transfer games from an online storefront onto an internal storage solution, I purchased several small but forgettable titles on Steam, and I even went so far as to fix my broken Xbox. Still, no amount of money transferred from my debit card in exchange for virtual goods could fill the void left by the familiar beeps and restless periods of unresponsiveness as you attempt to purchase something on the PSN store. I fired off a scornful missive, and then retreated to my chambers until the light would once again shine upon me. Friends, that day has come, as today the PSN store makes it triumphant return to North American territories!

This wonderful news does not come without its own concerns, however. Naturally, we all set aside a weekly stipend to spend on PSN titles, and we continued to do so in the store’s absence. In fact, it’s so obvious that we all would have exhibited this exact behavior that I needn’t have even mentioned it, and so I apologize for wasting your time and mine. We all have plenty of money to spend on absolutely anything that so much as catches our eye as the floodgates open and Sony deploys several weeks worth of PSN releases in an accelerated period. What we do lack, however, is the time it takes to get properly acquainted with these titles. Now, I am aware that many of us have around two weeks of vacation time stored up at this point, and of course I am taking that into consideration because one would have to be a fool to pass up on this amazing vacation opportunity. Still, that will likely only take you through the week one releases, and then what will you do come week two?

That is why I’ve returned from the ashes like the mighty phoenix PSN store to break down the releases and help ensure that you don’t miss out on a real gem of a game because you spent all your time playing Learning With the PooYoos Volume One (released today). I haven’t even gotten to the Welcome Back program yet, where you will be forced to pick two games out of five and then to watch the other three get dragged out into the front lawn to be cut down as an example to those who would defy the emperor. There’s a lot going on here, and I understand that it can be a little overwhelming. It’s okay, I’m here for you.

Later today, I will post a buyers guide to Day One of Return of the King PSN Store, and together we can get through this.