Tag Archives: XBOXONE

Here are Some Reasons to NOT get a New Console This Fall

I know. I know.

 

We’re all excited for what is coming out this fall.  Regardless of your feelings on which one you may think is better or which one you may be purchasing, this holiday is a big deal because of the launches of the Playstation 4 and the XBOXONE.  They each have a pretty solid launch lineup, and adopting early is a guaranteed “in” to the conversations that will be circulating the industry.  Yet, despite all that; there are some pretty solid reasons for not grabbing one on day one.

 

Games, Games, and Games…

 

Like last generation, both platforms are still going to be releasing new products on each of their previous gen systems, and many of those games have the potential to be amazing experiences.  There are titles coming out, big and small, that will be only coming out on the 360 and PS3.  Games with names like, Grand Theft Auto V, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Beyond: Two Souls, Puppeteer, and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus.  These are titles that will still have an impact, but won’t be on their newer big brothers (or sisters if you prefer.)  I am just as excited for these titles as I am for some of the big launch titles.  Both companies are making an excellent case for you to upgrade this fall, but they are giving you an equally compelling case to make sure that you hold onto your old system as well.

 

 

The Possibilities of New Hardware

 

I know that this sounds like a positive…and it is; but do we all need to be reminded of the “red ring of death?”  For all the excitement that builds around a new console launch, we all seem to forget the problems that happen.  I know people who went through four 360s, and people whose launch model PS3s ran as hot as a jet engine.  These types of problems happen at the beginning of a life cycle.  Hardware will always have kinks to be worked out, and there will always be a small number of people who draw the proverbial “short straw,” and end up with a dud.  It completely sucks, but statistically speaking; it is bound to happen.  Buying a new console has the possibility of being like russian roulette, and it can be just as nerve wracking.

 

 

 

Cross-Gen, Split-Gen, but is it Really Next-Gen?

 

The interesting thing about a launch are the games that seem to be on both sets of systems.  This year games like Assassin’s Creed IV, Watch Dogs, Fifa, Call of Duty, and many more will be on both the old and next generation systems.  I won’t deny that the PS4 and XBOXONE versions will be prettier, and probably have some more features than their older counterparts; but for some that isn’t enough to justify a new console purchase.  This can be especially true when you think of the horror stories from last launch, games like GUN, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, and Just Cause that were just higher resolution ports of the other versions.  We’re not going to truly see some actual “next-gen” gaming until next year, when we start to see games that were made exclusively for the new systems from the ground up.  Until then, these split-gen games only muddy the waters and make the decision to upgrade a difficult one.

 

Price

 

Lastly, do you simply have the money?  With all the above reasons, do you really want to drop anywhere from $400-$600 on a new system this fall?  In the end, I guess you weigh all the previous factors together and factor them in to this one final decision.  So, in the end, it all comes down to spending your hard earned cash.  Is it worth it?

 

So there you go; my attempt to talk you out of buying the “new hotness” this fall.  Albeit, I am getting a PS4, and my own arguments mean nothing to me.  So, what are you doing this holiday?  Are you sticking with your old system or taking the next gen dive? Comment below or just use the nifty poll I put up. (Also, this was our 101st post, so thanks everyone for supporting us thus far and continuing to share us with your friends.  Hopefully we’ll still be doing this for another 100!)

 

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“What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business. In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499, is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms.”

 

Marques Lyons -Microsoft XBOX MVP and Director of Consumer Camp

It also plays games, right?

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Conan Goes to E3

Well, leave it to Conan O’Brien to really figure out what was going on at this year’s E3…

 

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The Critic Prediction Aftermath

Well, the E3 Critic Awards came and went; and so we now look back to the score card to see how we did this year…

 

Best of Show

– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

Best Original Game

– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

Best Console Game

– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

Best PC Game

– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/Sega) – Will Win/ Should Win

– Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts) – WON

Best Action Game

– Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

Best Online Multiplayer

– Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

 

With the exception of Best PC Game; we called these spot-on.  Titanfall was a media darling this year, and frankly, put on an amazing show.  This is a big win for Respawn going forward, and it is good to see them rewarded for all their hard work so far. 

 

Best Handheld Game

– Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony Computer Entertainment) – Should Win – Won

– The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) – Will Win

 

This win probably makes me the most happy. Tearaway is an incredible game, both narratively and conceptually.  I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t smile ear to ear when they watch footage from the game.  It is good to see that nostalgia didn’t win out this year.  Don’t get me wrong, Link Between Two Worlds is going to be a wonderful game; but this award was most deserved to be won by Media Molecule.

 

Best Hardware

– Oculus Rift (Oculus VR) – Dark Horse – WON

– PlayStation 4 (Sony Computer Entertainment) Will Win/ Should Win

 

This is the second most exciting win this year, for me personally.  Since its inception, The Occulus Rift has been an interesting piece of hardware.  So, despite my loss in this category, I will gladly give it over to the Rift.  More and more this is looking to be a piece of the puzzle of how we will be playing our games in the future; and that alone blows my mind…

 

Best Action/Adventure Game

 Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch/Sony Computer Entertainment) Will Win/ Should Win

– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft) – Dark Horse – Won

 

I honestly didn’t think that Watch Dogs would take it again.  Infamous seemed like the better choice, but alas, both games impressed, and only one can win.  Sad to see it wasn’t mine, but I feel I will move on…BEYOND!

 

Best RPG

– Dark Souls 2 (FromSoftware/Namco-Bandai) – Will Win

– The Elder Scrolls Online (Zenimax Online/Bethesda) – Dark Horse – WON

– South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian/Ubisoft) – Should Win

 

Well, at least I picked the underdog.  Zenimax took home the crown in this category, and from the buzz that is out there, it is well deserved. If they can pull off the immersion that the original games are known for, while still creating a functioning MMO, we could have something very special on our hands….

 

Best Racing Game

– Need for Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win – Won

 

It’s good to see Need for Speed winning again.  It’s also a good show of faith in the new team.  Black Box and Criterion have been alternating who makes the game each year, but this is the first year that Black Box hasn’t had a hand in it.  In fact, this is a completely brand new studio working on this year’s title.  I can only assume how this type of an award on their first outing can feel.

 

Best Sports Game

– FIFA 14 (EA Canada/EA Sports) – Will Win/ Should Win

– NHL 14 (EA Canada/EA Sports) – Dark Horse – Won

 

To be honest, I didn’t care about this category…nonetheless….HOCKEY!

 

Best Strategy Game

– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/Sega) – Will Win/ Should Win

– Total War: Rome 2 (Creative Assembly/Sega) – Won

 

I was way off base on this one. Congrats to Sega for beating out Relic…seriously…that’s a big deal.

 

Best Social/Casual

– Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix/Disney Interactive) – WON

– Project Spark (Team Daokta/Microsoft Studios) – Will Win/ Should Win

 

I really thought Spark was going to impress more than it did, but evidently people love Harmonix.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Harmonix, I just thought I saw more going on in Spark than I did in Fantasia.  Maybe that was the problem; Spark was too gamer oriented and not casual enough for the win….or at least that is what I will tell myself.

 

Best Downloadable

– Transistor (Supergiant Games) – Will Win – Won

 

Like anyone is surprised by this.

 

So there you go folks.  Hope we all had fun this year, and we’ll do this again soon!

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Best Things to Do During the Summer Game Drought..

Well, it’s the summer again, and that means absolutely nothing is coming out anytime soon!  (This is especially true this year because of the upcoming console launches.)  Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and not be bored.  Here is our, Best Things to Do During the Summer (When Nothing Seems to be Coming Out)

 

1) Play The Last of Us

Seriously; why have you all not played this yet?  This is the frontrunner for game of the generation and is easily Playstation 3’s best exclusive game.  It will take you on an emotional roller-coaster and leave you wondering what all that was about.  I refuse to speak of any of the game’s narrative points in this post, but suffice it to say, this is a MUST play.  Then, once you’ve beaten it, play it again on Hard….then Survivor…the Hard+ ….and Survivor+…..and the multiplayer is good too…….

 

 

2) Enjoy the games you might have missed over the Holidays (or the New Year)

Okay, none of us have enough money to buy all the stuff we want to play. (Disclaimer: There might be people who enough money that they CAN buy all the games they want to play, but I’m assuming that most of us don’t.)  As such, there are probably some things that got missed in the shuffle this year.  Did you miss Sleeping Dogs, Darksiders II, Dishonored, or X-COM.  What about the downloadables that might have slipped off your radar?  Games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Guacamelee, Sound Shapes, Journey, Mark of the Ninja, and The Unfinished Swan all come to mind, and should be played.  There is probably a backlog of games that you like that are now totally cheap.  Take advantage of all your newfound free time and play some of them.  They might make your list of best games you played THIS year….

 

 

3) Clean up that Pile of Shame

We all have one of these too.  Games that are in our collections that have been left unfinished.  Whether it is a JRPG you just got bored with, or a game that you liked that got put to the wayside because something else came out; you should hunker down and complete it….or get rid of it.  You will want to have a clean slate going into your new console and so when fall hits, all bets are off.  The odds of you going back and finishing these things gets slimmer and slimmer the longer that new system sits in your living room, so take advantage of this time and finish some of those guys up.  You also don’t want dead weight in your collection either, so if you know you’re not going back, and there is no emotional attachment to it, be done with it.  Cull the heard….

 

 

4) Watch E3 Videos….then Pine over Them…

A lot of stuff gets announced at E3, and if you have a job…I doubt you’ve seen all the coverage and interviews.  What better way to get excited for what’s coming than by looking at all in lovely HD video.  IGN has tons of hours of content that will last you through the summer and beyond; making the wait for the fall all that much harder. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but they are idiots. Watch as much of that stuff as possible…Greg Miller makes some good jokes.

 

 

5) Enjoy your other hobbies

I try to do other stuff besides write about and play games.  Now that the summer is here, I have more time to indulge in said activities.  Read some books, go to the beach, rock climb; whatever tickles your fancy.  You have some spare time on your hands, so go enjoy it in a way that you know you will.  I’ve already downed a couple of books that have been on my shelf, and I’ve been indulging my outdoorsy tendencies occasionally too. Find something else that you love and do it…like this guy….

 

 

or maybe not….that guy is crazy

 

 

6) Troll the Internet

Just Kidding…don’t be that guy.

 

7) Play The Last of Us

Please refer back to Number 1

 

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Predicting the Critics – E3 Edition

It’s that time of year again, and the Game Critics Awards nominations are out.  Therefore, we all are compelled to make predictions as to who will win. These are mine and that discussion is as follows.

Best of Show
– Destiny (Bungie/Activision) – Dark Horse
– Oculus Rift HD (Oculus VR)
– PlayStation 4(Sony Computer Entertainment)  – Should Win
– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win
– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

This is a pretty easy one to call. Titanfall enthralled all who saw it this year, and is shaping up to be the game to beat in most of these categories.  Yet, despite the love for a new take on shooters, you really can’t compete with a crowd chanting Sony’s name during their conference.  If that is not a “best in show” moment, I’m not too sure what is.  Nonetheless, I feel that the Critics may still lean towards a game rather than a piece of hardware.  Bungie may have a small chance with Destiny, but only on the merits of the world they are trying to build within the game universe.

Best Original Game
– Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
– Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix/Disney Interactive) – Dark Horse
– Rain (Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win/ Should Win
– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

Once again, this is pretty open and shut.  Titanfall’s aptly named titans are a unique and the parkour traversal makes the game incredibly fast paced.  At E3, they were demoing the actual multiplayer for the game, and it went over like a charm. The art direction isn’t that bad either.  The only thing that might have a chance of snagging this one away is Fantasia.  No one saw this game’s announcement coming, and one should never overlook anything made by Harmonix.  It is such an interesting concept, and with well designed gameplay and visual style, this might steal away the award from Respawn.

Best Console Game
– Batman: Arkham Origins (WBIE Montreal/WBIE)
– Beyond: Two Souls (Quantic Dream/Sony Computer Entertainment)
– Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
– Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch/Sony Computer Entertainment) – Dark Horse
– Titanfall (Respawn Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win/ Should Win
– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

So, yeah…Titanfall is awesome.  Nonetheless, keep an eye on Infamous.  It is just as technically awe inducing as Respawn’s effort; but it is hindered in this case by being part of an established franchise.  The particle effects are stunning and it looks to be taking on a much stronger narrative than its previous installments, which would give it an edge on the story-light Titanfall.  Despite all that, I still think that Titanfall is going to get this one.

Best Handheld Game
– Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (Armature Studio/WBIE) – Dark Horse
– Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies (Capcom/Capcom)
– Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Popcap/EA)
– Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony Computer Entertainment) – Should Win
– The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) – Will Win

This decision was tough; but my bitter cynicism won out on this one.  Tearaway, much like Media Molecule’s other game series, Little Big Planet,  is a joy-maker. You just feel wonderful playing the game, and there is so much creativity and love put into every single moment of the game.  Yet, I feel that nostalgia is going to take the win away from them and give it to Nintendo.  The new Zelda game looks really good, and quite fun to boot; but it is ANOTHER Zelda game.  Running behind is Batman; but as we all know…never count out Batman [especially a Metroid-vania styled Batman]

Best PC Game
– Battlefield 4 (DICE/Electronic Arts) – Dark Horse
– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/Sega) – Will Win/ Should Win
– The Elder Scrolls Online (Zenimax Online/Bethesda)
– Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts)
– Total War: Rome 2 (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Company of Heroes 2 is going to be fantastic and an experience you can only have on a PC. It has beta’d well, and showed well this year at E3, and so this shouldn’t be a surprise.  The one to watch out for is Battlefield 4.  The Frostbite engine is intense, and a graphics showpiece is never a bad call.

Best Hardware
– Oculus Rift (Oculus VR) – Dark Horse
– PlayStation 4 (Sony Computer Entertainment) Will Win/ Should Win
– Blade (Razr)
– Shield (Nvidia)
– Xbox One (Microsoft)

So, this should be pretty self explanatory.  Sony had a show that frankly was incredible.  People in the industry are still talking about it weeks later, and it is still reverberating across the hardware space. [See Microsoft’s 180 Policy Change]  It reminded all of us that E3 can be fun and interesting again.  Yet, laying in wait is the Oculus.  By the end of the show, the line to check it out was rivaling some of the big games.  The guys who developed Eve Online created a demo that let the player fly a space fighter…in 3D…in first person.  Needless to say, people freaked out.

Best Action Game
– Battlefield 4 (DICE/Electronic Arts)
– Call of Duty Ghosts (Infinity Ward/Activision)
– Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
– Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerilla Games/Sony Computer Entertainment) – Dark Horse
– Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts) – Will Win/ Should Win

Titanfall will probably garner another well deserved win here; but Killzone may give it a run as an underdog vote.  It is easily one of the most gorgeous games that are coming out on the new hardware, and the usage of the Dualshock 4’s touch pad might give it an edge.  Still, as much as I like the Sony product, Respawn will take this one too.

Best Action/Adventure Game
– Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
– Batman: Arkham Origins (WBIE Montreal/WBIE)
– Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
 Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch/Sony Computer Entertainment) Will Win/ Should Win
– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft) – Dark Horse

This should be another one that is in the bag.  Infamous impressed all who saw it at the show, and the incredible amounts of detail in their motion capture will make this one to watch in the coming year.  The ease of traversal in the game, and how damn good it looks when you do it all lead to a win for Sucker Punch.  Now, Watch Dogs won awards last year, and it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch to see it take some home again; but it seems unlikely in the light of Second Son’s showing.

Best RPG
– Dark Souls 2 (FromSoftware/Namco-Bandai) – Will Win
– The Elder Scrolls Online (Zenimax Online/Bethesda) – Dark Horse
– Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (AlphaDream/Nintendo)
– Shin Megami Tensei IV (Atlus/Atlus)
– South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian/Ubisoft) – Should Win

People are excited about Dark Souls 2.  I’ll be honest, it’s not my type of game, but I can see the beauty in the madness.  Frankly, South Park should take this one again.  It is bringing back old-school RPG mechanics and melding them perfectly with the show’s sensibilities and humor.  Alas, that seems unlikely.  Keep an eye out for Elder Scrolls though, fans have been clamoring for this for years.

Best Racing Game
– Forza 5 (Turn 10 Studio/Microsoft Studios)
– Gran Turismo 6 (Polyphony Digital/Sony Computer Entertainment)
– Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) – Dark Horse
– Need for Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games/Electronic Arts) – Will Win/ Should Win
– The Crew ( Ivory Tower/Ubisoft)

Now, I’ll be honest. I haven’t done too much research on some of these yet; but from everything I’ve read, Rivals showed the best.  It’s running on Frostbite, like most of EA’s games, and looks gorgeous.  It also looks to be leaning more towards Hot Pursuit than Most Wanted and that cannot be a bad thing.  Never count out Nintendo though; Mario Kart in HD looks amazing, and now there are hovercraft! It’s Mario F-Zero…What?

Best Sports Game
– FIFA 14 (EA Canada/EA Sports) – Will Win/ Should Win
– NHL 14 (EA Canada/EA Sports) – Dark Horse
– Madden NFL 25 (Tiburon/EA Sports)
– Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (PES Productions/Konami)

Look! EA Sports Games!

Best Strategy Game
– Command and Conquer (Victory Games/Electronic Arts)
– Company of Heroes 2 (Relic/Sega) – Will Win/ Should Win
– Pikmin 3 (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) – Dark Horse
– Total War: Rome 2 (Creative Assembly/Sega)

This will most likely be a second win for Company of Heroes.  A solid strategy game, where you have to think through your every move.  Yet again, there is a deep level of strategy to a game of Pikmin, and a love for the creepy multi-colored little dudes.  I doubt Olimar will beat out WWII, but you never know; I wouldn’t cross Reggie.

Best Social/Casual
– Disney Infinity (Avalanche/Disney Interactive) – Dark Horse
– Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix/Disney Interactive)
 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (TT Games/WBIE)
– Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time (Popcap/EA)
– Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions/Activision)
– Project Spark (Team Daokta/Microsoft Studios) – Will Win/ Should Win

Project Spark looks damn cool.  The game is creation, and creation is the game.  This is definitely one for the Minecraft and Little Big Planet crowd.  Graphically, it is stunning, and there is a lot of potential there to look forward to.  Disney is the dark horse in this race, with their take on the Skylanders style of game.  With the portfolio they  have, this could topple Spyro.

Best Online Multiplayer
– Battlefield 4 (DICE/Electronic Arts)
– Destiny (Bungie/Activision) – Dark Horse
– Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts) – Will Win/ Should Win
– The Elder Scrolls Online (Zenimax Online/Bethesda)
– Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Titanfall is looking to reinvigorate the multiplayer shooter with its fast pace and giant robots.  Yet, Destiny is giving its players interesting PvE moments in its sprawling world.  Yet, the only thing holding it back is the fact that people are already comparing it to Halo and Borderlands. Respawn will most likely take this one home, but Bungie is putting up a good fight here as well.

Best Downloadable
– Contrast (Compulsion Games)
– Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses Inc) – Dark Horse
– Outlast (Red Barrels)
– Rain (Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
– Transistor (Supergiant Games) – Will Win/ Should Win

It’s Supergiant vs. Octodad…Everyone wins.

So what do you think? Discuss in the comments below, or message us on Twitter, or yell at your screen; your call.

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An Explanation of the Cloud…From Someone Who Knows…

Microsoft has gotten a lot of hate in recent months from all their policies, flip-flopping, and lack of communication.  That’s why it is not surprising that it is one of the developers, making one of their top tier games, explains what is actually going on in “the cloud.”

 

John Shiring works at Respawn and is working on a little game called Titanfall.  So, this is the type of guy who probably knows what’s going on.  It’s a real interesting read and explains things far better than anything Microsoft has said…

 

http://www.respawn.com/news/lets-talk-about-the-xbox-live-cloud/

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“While we originally said trilogy, we’ve actually expanded this to more of a saga, so we don’t want to limit the Reclaimer story within a trilogy,”

 

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer at E3 this year.

 

Or Translated: You like Halo. We like money….and spin-offs. You like those too, right?

Sagas Make More Money

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The One Roundtable

GamesIndustry.biz has a really great roundtable article on Microsoft’s 180 flip on its policies. I’d chime my own two sense here, but that was what the emergency Couch Chat was all about [So Go Watch That, Please!].

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-06-20-roundtable-retreating-across-the-rubicon

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Well, that was unexpected…

Here’s the original story; broke by Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek, that started the fire that tore through the gaming press today. Microsoft has confirmed all of this now, and it seems that this unprecedented move is actually happening. Well folks, it seems we have  a ballgame again….

 

http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/microsoft-to-pull-complete-reversal-on-xbox-one-dr/1100-4673/

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