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Put your body into it: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 on Kinect photo
Put your body into it: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 on Kinect
by Samit Sarkar

Most core gamers saw Microsoft’s Kinect sensor and scoffed, dismissing out of hand its potential for use in anything but kids’ games and casual experiences. The people at EA Tiburon, however -- having already implemented precise motion controls for their Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles with Wii MotionPlus and PlayStation Move -- saw a chance to make their golf videogame more realistic than ever before.

I discussed Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13s Kinect support with executive producer Brent Nielsen at a recent EA press event in New York. Kinect’s cameras are able to track an entire body, and that gave Tiburon an idea: “Instead of just simulating the swing of a club [...] we thought, ‘You know what? We actually have an opportunity to simulate the full golf swing.’ Because the golf swing is not just about the club in your hand; it’s your hips turn[ing], your shoulders, it’s the [swing] plane, and how your hands come through.”

Tighten up your swing, amateurs. You wouldn’t want to look silly in front of Kinect.

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6:30 PM on 02.21.2012

PGA Tour 13's Tiger Legacy Challenge makes you go 'awww'

In his 2008 best-seller, Outliers: The Story of Success, journalist Malcolm Gladwell posited a theory that he called the "10,000-Hour Rule." Achieving success in any field, he asserted, depends largely upon amassing 10,000 h...

Samit Sarkar



Make the shot you want in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 photo
Make the shot you want in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
by Samit Sarkar

Imagine yourself on Tea Olive, the first hole of the famed Masters course at Augusta National. Trying to avoid the bunker on the right side of the fairway, you aim your tee shot to the left -- but alas, you push it a bit too far, and it ends up in the trees. You can play conservatively and dig the ball out of the trees onto the fairway before trying for the green, but you're a pro golfer, and you can't afford the extra stroke against the stiff competition.

The more risky and difficult choice is to close your stance, stand with the ball near your back foot, and take an inside-out swing that curves the ball around the trees. With your skill and a healthy dose of luck, that will push the ball up the fairway and onto the green in regulation.

You couldn't pull that off in EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour -- until now.

[Editor's note: I played the Xbox 360 version of the game, which offers full Kinect support. I'll cover the Kinect integration in a separate article. --Samit]

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6:30 PM on 02.20.2012

Kate Upton demonstrates MLB 2K12 pitching to MLB stars

David Price, you are a lucky man.Last week, 2K Sports released a second digital short promoting next month's release of MLB 2K12. Called "Finger Mechanics," it features Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Kate Upton...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: Mixing it up with MLB 2K12 photo
Preview: Mixing it up with MLB 2K12
by Samit Sarkar

This is the third year in a row that 2K Sports is holding its Perfect Game Challenge for its MLB 2K series. They're changing the format this time, but previously, the first person to throw a verified perfect game would win $1 million for doing so. In 2010, the contest's inaugural winner was 24-year-old Wade McGilberry of Semmes, Alabama.

I discussed the specifics of his feat with him when 2K Sports flew him and his wife to New York to present him with his winnings. I specifically remember him telling me that he gamed the game somewhat: MLB 2K10 let him get away with throwing the same pitch to the same location -- down and away -- every time, to each of the 27 batters he faced.

If you try that in MLB 2K12, hitters will eventually make you pay.

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10:00 AM on 02.17.2012

MLB/NBA 2K12 Combo Pack due out for $69.99 on Xbox 360

2K Sports' next baseball game, MLB 2K12, launches on March 6, 2012, for 360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, PSP, and DS. It will be the only simulation baseball title available on the Xbox 360, where MLB 2K12 alone will retail for $59.99...

Samit Sarkar

1:00 PM on 02.16.2012

Warriors Orochi 3 coming to PSN due to Japanese voiceover

Tecmo Koei's upcoming myth-based hack-n-slash action title, Warriors Orochi 3, will be launching for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next month, in North America on March 20 and in Europe on March 30. The game will be a full-price...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: Revel in Warriors Orochi 3's absurd fan service photo
Preview: Revel in Warriors Orochi 3's absurd fan service
by Samit Sarkar

Koei's Warriors Orochi series has always been about fan service, explained Tecmo Koei's Sean Corcoran during a demo in New York last week. But it seems like developer Omega Force is really taking that ethos to heart this time around, to an almost ridiculous level.

Corcoran laid out the key points of the game's story for me, and the best way I can summarize it is... aw, never mind, just look up "absurd" in a thesaurus. You're going to need those synonyms if you want to wrap your head around how insane -- or is it inane? -- this game is.

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Preview: Conquer China on the go in Dynasty Warriors Next photo
Preview: Conquer China on the go in Dynasty Warriors Next
by Samit Sarkar

I assume I'm not alone in lacking the ability to tell the difference between Dynasty Warriors games (or at least, between the ones of a particular console generation). I've played, or watched friends play, DW6 and DW7, but from those experiences, I mostly remember just hitting square and triangle a lot. That's not to say that I have anything against the series -- I mean, who doesn't enjoy hacking and slashing hordes of peasants with ancient Chinese demigods, at least every now and then?

It makes sense, then, that Omega Force and Koei would want to make sure to differentiate the PlayStation Vita iteration of their long-running franchise from its console brethren.

After spending half an hour with Dynasty Warriors Next, I can confirm that it's impossible to mistake it for any other game in the series... and that's not just because it doesn't feature high-definition visuals.

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Preview: Slicing samurai in Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus photo
Preview: Slicing samurai in Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus
by Samit Sarkar

In case you were wondering, that silver line in the right half of the header image above is Ryu Hayabusa's katana. It's a long samurai sword, and I couldn't fit all of it into the picture. That sleek blade is the last thing that many of Ryu's foes ever see -- if they see it coming at all, that is.

In "The Way of the Ninja," the first chapter of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, Ryu deftly wields his sharp-edged instrument of death, effortlessly slashing lesser samurai. It's not surprising that his exertion seems minimal; this isn't his first time around the block. Sigma Plus, a PlayStation Vita launch title, is a port of a 2007 PlayStation 3 game, Ninja Gaiden Sigma -- which itself was a port of the Ninja Gaiden title that launched on the Xbox in 2004, and was re-released on that platform the following year with additional content.

Confused yet? That's not even all there is to Sigma Plus.

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1:00 AM on 02.14.2012

Rockstar: 'Don't count out' another L.A. Noire game

The years-long L.A. Noire saga had a sad ending last year, but fans of the game may yet have a reason for optimism. In the latest edition of its "Asked & Answered" series, a Q&A with fans, Rockstar Games responded to ...

Samit Sarkar







Preview: Shepard & company visit Mars in Mass Effect 3 photo
Preview: Shepard & company visit Mars in Mass Effect 3
by Samit Sarkar

The bleak, ruddy Martian landscape comes into view as Commander Shepard, Ashley Williams, and James Vega descend upon the Red Planet. Massive sandstorm clouds billow in the distance, their monolithic surface broken only by periodic flashes of lightning. But do they pose a more perilous threat than the yet-unknown reason for the loss of contact with a Martian base, the situation that Shepard’s crew has been sent to investigate?

This is the way one of Mass Effect 3's early missions kicks off. I spent about half an hour playing through it at an EA press event in New York last week, after seeing demos of two Mass Effect mobile experiences. While I didn’t make it to the end, the session left me with plenty to discuss.

I should note that nothing has changed between my co-op preview and now, in terms of my familiarity with the Mass Effect franchise: I still haven’t played either of the first two games. But BioWare has been insisting all along that while ME3 will of course provide the conclusion to the trilogy that longtime fans desire, it’s also a viable entry point for newcomers.

[Editor’s note: I kept this preview as spoiler-free as possible, but if you’ve been avoiding ME3 stories so you can go in blind, you may want to skip this article. Heck, why’d you even read this far? --Samit]

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Preview: Mass Effect iOS app Datapad and game Infiltrator photo
Preview: Mass Effect iOS app Datapad and game Infiltrator
by Samit Sarkar

[Update: I had initially been informed otherwise, but I've since checked with EA, and it turns out that Datapad is not exclusive to the iPad. It will be a universal iOS app. I apologize for the confusion and have updated the article to reflect the new information. Thanks to reader hombrelobo for the heads-up. --Samit]

Mass Effect 3 is arguably the most anticipated game of the first half of 2012, and EA is readying a couple of mobile "companion experiences" to maintain Mass Effect mindshare on as many platforms as possible. One is a free iPad-exclusive iOS app, Mass Effect Datapad, and the other is a full game, Mass Effect Infiltrator, that will launch initially on iOS and make its way to Android later.

EA provided hands-off demos to press at an event in Manhattan earlier this week. From what I saw, it appears that die-hard Mass Effect fans will want to try them both, especially if they want to increase their chances in ME3's final battle against the Reapers. (As for ME3 itself, I played through most of an early mission at the event. Look for a full preview next week.)

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4:45 PM on 02.03.2012

Recap: 1st Annual NY Videogame Critics Circle Awards

The American videogame industry, and the majority of the people writing critically about it, has coalesced largely on the West Coast. But the New York scene has been ascendant in recent years, and the growing number of criti...

Samit Sarkar

3:00 PM on 02.03.2012

Madden NFL 13 cover opened up to 64-player fan vote

2011 was the second year in a row in which EA Sports let fans choose the Madden NFL cover athlete, and the people voted 13 million times to whittle down a field of 32 options to put Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis...

Samit Sarkar



THQ lays off 240, board of directors takes 50% pay cut photo
THQ lays off 240, board of directors takes 50% pay cut
by Samit Sarkar

The hits just keep on coming for THQ. Last week, the publisher announced a shift away from licensed kids' games, likely related to poor multiplatform uDraw tablet sales. Yesterday, NASDAQ warned THQ that its underperforming stock, which is currently trading at $0.72/share, could be delisted in six months.

Today, THQ revealed in an SEC filing that it will be laying off up to 240 "selling, general and administrative personnel" worldwide as a result of the corporate restructuring brought on by the aforementioned business strategy change. When reached for comment, a THQ representative confirmed to Destructoid that the layoffs won't affect any of the publisher's five internal studios: THQ Studio San Diego (WWE); THQ Studio Montreal (unannounced new IP); Volition, Inc. (Saints Row); Relic Entertainment (Warhammer); and Vigil Games (Darksiders).

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