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12:21 AM on 01.26.2013  

Does Wind Waker Really Need An HD Remake

Spoiler Alert! It doesn't

This week Nintendo announced at itís Nintendo Direct Conference that Wind Waker is getting an HD upgrade, but does the game really need one. If you donít know Wind Waker was made with using Cel-Shading graphics. Cel-shading is a type of rendering made to not look realistic. Cel-Shading is usually done in video games to make the game look like a cartoon. This type of shading typically ages better that of the photo-realistic games today like Black Ops 2 and Far Cry 3.


Wind Waker tends to be talked about as the Zelda game that has aged the best out of all other games in the series. So thereís really nothing putting the game in HD could do to make the game look better. What Nintendo, or whoever is working on the game, could do instead of making the game look better is improve the controls.
Iíll leave some comparison pictures of the HD remake and the original below.

Original



HD Remake
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3:41 PM on 01.24.2013  

The Playstation Vita

Three Simple Ways to Make it a Success
The Playstation Vita is coming up on itís one year anniversary of itís North American debut and things are looking too good for this little handheld. I donít really know what exactly it is thatís holding the vita back. It could be lack of marketing or games, but maybe people just want handheldís made specifically for gaming. The question right now is can Sony do anything to save the vita. To answer your question, Yes, I own a vita and I think it is the greatest handheld ever made, but Iíll admit that the selection of games isnít all that great and 2013 even worse. What Iíve decided to do today is give Sony three pieces of advice on what they could do to improve vita sales in North America.

1. Market Cross-Play and Cross Buy
Yes, I know Sony did advertise cross-play with their ad for MLB the Show, but now we need more. Letís look at it this way, most people who buy a vita arenít buying a vita so they can play MLB. Yes some are, but my point is that people want to see that functionality working with a Call of Duty or an Infamous. If Sony can do that then I think theyíll sell plenty of vitas.
Marketing cross buy, to me, seems like a no-brainer. Itís the smartest concept I think Sony has done with the vita. The idea that you can buy a game for your console and get the vita version for free. Right now I think that most people who actually do own a vita have no idea that cross buy even exists. The last game that Sony had cross buy with was PS All-Stars Battle Royale. Sony did market All-Stars but none of the advertisements really even mentioned the fact that a vita version even existed. Sly Cooper Thieves in Time comes out on February 5th, so I recommend that Sony markets it like crazy with ads that show cross buy and cross play.


2. Get all the HD Remakes playable on Vita
The Playstation Vita already has many of the PS1 classics on the playstation store available for vita why not get PS2 games on there too. The other day I was playing the Jak and Daxter Collection on my PS3 and I thought to myself, It would be awesome to be able to play Jak and Daxter on the go with my vita. If the vita can somehow play PS2 games and Sony marketed that it could correctly people who remember all the games that were made for the PS3 would immediately go out and buy vitas.


3. Get Third Party Studios Supporting the Vita
Weíve already seen this form the likes of Capcom and Netherealm, but thatís not enough I want to see games made specifically for vita. The only example of a third party making a game specifically for vita is Ubisoftís Assassinís Creed: Liberation. Liberation is exactly what I want out of a vita game. A game that is related to a console game that plays almost exactly like a console game in that series would, but the game has a different story. My suggestion for Sony is to go to developers and publishers and show them what the vita can do. Get them on board and convince them to make games for it. Better than that get first party studios to make vita games that are amazing and sell well. When developers see the vita succeeding then theyíll get on board on the vita.   read


7:28 PM on 01.23.2013  

Bundles

The Next-Gen Model
Lately Iíve been looking at motion gaming and the conundrum it presents for Playstation and Xbox gamers. The problem being that not everyone owns the peripherals for these consoles. So developers make games and have to make the game playable for everyone who owns a console, but what if this developer makes a feature that specifically uses Kinect or another accessory. So either the developer has to tweak that feature so that people that don't own that peripheral can still play the game. But then that tweak the developer made to game makes playing without the peripheral is an inferior feature. Letís take the game PlayStation Move Heroes for example, that game takes popular characters that playstation gamers love and makes said consumers go out and buy a playstation move just so they can play this game. This big gaping hole in developers design choices made me start thinking about how the industry could fix this problem. Eventually I came to the conclusion that all that needs to be done is for Sony and Microsoft to make it impossible to buy a console without a Kinect or Move.

Thatís why I suspect that Sony and Microsoft will bundle Kinect and Move with the next-gen consoles. When I say bundling, I mean that every single console will come with these peripherals. If Sony and Microsoft embellish their peripherals and bundle them with their next-gen consoles, I see developers being able to integrate special gameplay features for these accessories. For example, lets talk about Playstation Orbis. Day one I expect there to be one package and it will be bundled with all the peripherals that exist at that point in time.

Weíre already seeing this alot as we come up on the end of this console generation with the both the Xbox and the PS3. Right now itís almost impossible to buy a 360 without a Kinect. The bundle is priced so competitively with the console only option that buying only a console would be unintelligent.   read


7:11 PM on 12.04.2012  

2012: Assassin's Creed 3

This year wasn't a huge year for gaming, but at the same time it wasn't a bad one either. We had huge triple A games like Mass Effect 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter. But we also had a lot of smaller games like Mark of the Ninja and The Unfinished Swan. But of all the games that have come out this year I spent the most time with Assassin's Creed 3. Now I know that this game was a hit or miss with a lot of people, but I loved it.

Throughout the game there were many incredible moments like the battle of valley forge mission and meeting George Washington. But nothing outmatched the moment when you first get Connor in his costume and then see him up high on top of church just watching over Boston. When I had this moment in my home, I immediately gasped in amazement of this recreation of this beautiful world. This moment was one of those things that makes me think, can games really look any better than this.


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11:40 PM on 11.17.2012  

Episodic Games

The Walking Dead video game is, what I think, will be a normal thing in the future. TV shows have new episodes weekly. Why not with video games? Thatís exactly what Tell Tale Games was thinking when they started the Walking Dead Video Game. Allowing access to more content every month. Now obviously, I think this series will set forth a new way of distributing content in short hour long levels with the end result being a well paced story that leaves time between episodes to wonder what the next episode will bring. This is a system I see being a pretty common thing in the future. Many of the latest games today could easily be better games if they would have used a similar system. Games like Infamous could easily uses this system. I mean canít you see playing through a new adventure with Cole MacGrath every week, that would be awesome.

Some other examples for 360 owners what about a Gears of War adventure every week, that would be equally as fun as a weekly Infamous series. This is one of those things that in the next generation of consoles I think we'll see a lot more of.   read


9:50 PM on 11.16.2012  

Saints' Row: The Third Review

Saints' Row has always been thought of as more of a GTA knockoff. And most people have already deemed Saints 3 the same, but I'm here to tell you that Saints' 3 makes GTA look like the knockoff. I've played all of Saints' 3 and it's one of the most inappropriate, most over the top gaming experiences I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

The South Park of Video Games Saints' 3 begins a little while after Saints' 3 ends and now the Third Streets Saints are at the top of their game. With their name on energy drinks and a Saints movie in production the Saints are now pop culture icons. Once I started Saints' Row: The Third I could already tell that I was in for a hilarious story driven thrill ride. The openning sequence has you, Shaundi, Johnny Gatt, and an actor that will star in the up coming Saints' movie robbing a bank and getting caught by the syndicate, a rival gang jealous of your success. Throughout this sequence you are forced to kill swat teams, and syndicate gang members. You also blow a bank vault and shoot down helicopters while on a bank vault that is dangling from a helicopter. The story goes on as one problem after the other appears. Whether it's rival gangs or zombies Saints' Row: The Third always keeps you wondering what ridiculous thing will come up next.

Aw Yeah it's Really that Immature My Experience with this game was fantastic. Personally this was my game of the year for 2011. That doesn't mean this game is for everyone though. If you are an easily offended gamer, then this game probably isn't for you. From streaking naked down the streets of Steelport to beating hookers with a giant purple dildo Saints' 3 is one of the non-kid friendly games out there. Saints' 3 is by far the most immature games out there, and that why I love it, but the most immature thing in this game is the nutshots. The nutshots are like your melee attacks. Shooting people in the crotch gives you a bonus too. Nutshots are thought of as equal opportunity thing in this game. Shooting or hitting women in the crotch are still considered nutshots. Just showing how ridiculous this game is pressing the melee button while running unleashes a wrestling move or some othe crazy move upon the closest living thing.

The game takes place takes place in Steelport. Shaundi described it as,"Bangkok's abusive father." The city is big and isn't short on properties to buy and mini-games to play. Buying buildings in Saints' is simple just go up to property you wanna buy and buy them. Buying properties and playing mini-games raises your hourly city income. Me playing the way that I do I felt like I had an obligation to buy them all. The mini-games in Saints' 3 are fun, well designed pieces of art. They are easy ways to earn cash and respect. All of the mini-games are introduced to you in several story missions throughout the game. My favorite was Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax. It's an arena based mini-game where you basically wrack up cash by killing enemies with the weapons given to you. Like I said all of the mini games in the game are well designed and a joy to play.

In past Saints' games to advance the story you had to first earn respect, but in Saints' 3 the story is structured. Going into your phone and selecting an available mission, which are all story missions, and selecting them starts your mission. Then you drive, or however you wanna get there, to the starting point of your mission. In Saints' 3 respect works more like a leveling system. When ever you earn enough respect to level up you unlock upgrades that you can buy with cash in your phone. Most upgrades are your typical upgrades like more health or the ability to run for a longer duration. We're Going Streaking Your character in Saints' 3 is completely up to you, if you want to dress up like a mouse and have a zombie voice that is weirdly an option. If you wanna go streaking, which I did, that is seriously an option. I primarily liked to go around as a cowboy with an Australian accent. One of the craziest things about the customization in this game is the sex appeal slider. Which you can probably guess what that does. One of the most entertaining things in the customization is the compliments and taunts. My favorite compliment is the Gidee Up one and my favorite Taunt is the Pet Detective. Whether your a cowboy or a toilet the character customization in this game has something that will spark a laugh for everyone.

Pop Culture References have Never Been this Good Saints' Row: The Third contains many pop culture references from opening the game the same as a star wars movies would to driving a Tron cycle around Saints' 3 is full of them. Even though Saints' 3 has some misses, we true nerds really appreciate the effort. Saints' 3 has many collectibles scattered around Steelport some of which include: photo ops, shortcuts, and blow up dolls. Saints' 3 has one of the most varied set of characters out there. My favorite is a pimp named a Zimos. Zimos is a pimp with an auto tuned voice-box, even though his voice eventually gets on your nerves, his voice will always make me laugh.Whether your talking to Burt Reynolds or a buff naked dude Saints' 3 will never stop surprising you with its wide variety of characters.

Oh, the Sweet, Sweet Gun play From shooting pistols to calling airstrikes Saints' 3 isn't short on weapons. Saints' 3's gunfights go about like your typical third-person gunfight. While they go about like your typical third-person gunfight the controls in Saints' 3 are as tight as ever. Vehicle wise Saints' 3 has trimmed the fat. Where as you could hijack a car by opening the door or you could just jump through the window. The vehicles controls themselves have experienced a major overhaul since the last Saints. The cars drive smoother and control better giving the player a better experience. The flight mechanics could use a little work though the helicopter don't land well and the planes don't feel like they are going that fast.

Conclusion Saints' Row: The Third is an over-the-top experience that is a nice break from all the FPS's and other serious games out there. The has some tries at humor that sometimes fail , but still are good enough to keep you playing. Saints' Row: The Third has trimmed the fat and delivered a hilarious experience and truly magnificent game Saints' Row: The Third gets a 5 out of 5.   read


9:40 PM on 11.16.2012  

The Elder Scrolls Five: Skyrim Review

Yes we have hit the day that all of the die hard Elder Scrolls fans have been waiting all year for. It is 11-11-11 the day that Bethesda Game Studios has released its fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series. It is also the last time that anyone will see me for the next few months unless you count eating and the occasional bathroom break. So now lets take a look at what this game has to offer. How it Starts The game starts with you in a horse-drawn carriage on your way to be executed,no one knows, no one knows what you did, you're supposed to make up that story by yourself. So anyway your in the carriage with three other people scheduled to be executed too. One is a prisoner who thinks he is completely innocent. The other two guys are part of the stormcloak rebellion. One of the stormcloaks is a basic soldier named Raylof. The other is the leader of the rebellion, Ulfric Stormcloak, he is accused of killing the High King. When you arrive at Helgen, the point at which you are to be executed, all four of you get up and hop of the carriage. The Legionaire ordered to carry out all the execution calls off everyones' name except for your's, then someone asks you your name. Then this is where you get to choose your name, race, and facial features. After that its off to the chopping block for you. Throughout your walk over to the block you hear a series of weird growling noises. Once you get on your knees and put your head down to be killed the executioner slowly starts raising his axe and right before you lose your head a dragon drops down and summons a violent thunderstorm. Next the game has you follow two different people on your way out of Helgen one is Ralylof and the other is a member of the imperial legion. Eventually you have to make a decision that really has no effect later in the game, but you have to choose between Raylof and the legion soldier you followed earlier. Then who ever you chose you follow the rest of the way out of Helgen. After you make your decision you follow whoever you chose into a building where that person will unbound your hands allowing you to loot objects and equip spells and weapons. The next part is basically a tutorial so I'm going to end it there

How do You Like to Play? The way the Elder Scrolls games are set up always allows you to play how you wanna play. If you want to go through the entire game as a mage and burn enemies with fire you can. If you want to be a full on warrior and carry a sword in both hands you can. And the really cool thing about this game is this games duel wielding system, which allows you to put what ever you want in either hand. But the really spectacular thing about this system is that you can duel wield spells and when you have the same spell in both hands it overcharges the effects of that spell creating a more powerful version of that spell.

Why are You so Important? The thing that Bethesda is really pushing with this game is the dragons so therefor the story is going to centered on dragons. The story is that the dragons have returned to Skyrim and no one knows why and your job is to find out why. Why you? You are chosen to do this task because early on in the game you find out that you are the only dragonborn on the planet. Now I've probably confused you because you don't know what it means to be dragonborn. Well the dragonborn is a person that has the blood of a dragon, which allows them to absorb the soul of a dragon. When you absorb the soul of a dragon you gain the ability to spend that soul on a word from a word of power allowing you to perform a Thu'um or shout.

Shouts The dragons in Skyrim breath fire like you think they would but when they do this they are really speaking. So if two dragons were to get in a fight they would really be having a verbal battle. So basically what I am getting at here is that shouts are what the dragons are saying to breath the fire. There are many shouts to be found throughout Skyrim ranging from breathing fire to a shout that allows you to call your own dragon that will help you in battle. Each shout contains three words of power that can be found all over Skyrim on word walls hidden inside places like dragon lairs and ancient tombs.

Improvements Bethesda has made a large amount of great improvement since the last Elder Scrolls game. In this next portion of my review of Skyrim I'm going to talk about a series of improvements that have been made since Bethesda's last installment. Leveling First I'd like to talk about the leveling system because I think this is really what works the best in the game. Bethesda's motto for this game has been, "You are who you play," which I think sums up this game really well. The way it works is that if you primarily use destruction magic then you'll destruction magic will level up, if you use a shield then you'll level up your block skill. So basically whenever you use something you'll get better at it. When your character levels up you get the choice between more magicka, more health, or more stamina, then you get one skill point to be spent on any of your minor skills in Skyrim's constellation based perk tree system.

The Menu Bethesda has really simplified its menu system by setting up this system that flows fluidly and shows how much detail Bethesda has put into this game. Another thing about this game is its new favoriting system that allows you to equip another weapon or spell without even opening up the menu. I know that the last game had this but in Oblivion you could only have a limited number of things in your favorites in Skyrim you can have as many as you want, just go over it in the menu and favorite then you never have to go into the menu for it again. Just press the directional buttons up or down and equip it.

Animations The people in Oblivion really needed a make over and since then Bethesda has delivered in Skyrim with the people actually looking like healthy people. And their facial animations look more natural to. Do you remember the 3rd person view in Oblivion and how terrible it was. If you do then you will be happy to know that 3rd person has gotten a major overhaul. The movements look more natural. The thing for me is that I've always been a fan of the first-person in the elder scrolls games and the 3rd person is actually good enough that I could see myself playing in it.

The Amount of Content The truly phenomenal thing that I love about this game is that there is so much content that I don't know what to do with myself. The thing I really want to know is how did fit all of this game on one 360 disc. First of all they have this huge viking age world for you to roam around that has so many places to explore, it has so many people, dragons, and side quest aw the side quests. This game has so many side quests and I'm not just talking about most game's side quests where you go find something in a cave and then return no I am talking about quests that have some back-story. Conclusion Skyrim is a truly magnificent game with plenty well designed content and the biggest most immersive world until most likely the next Elder Scrolls game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gets a five out of five.   read







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