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By Jessica Brister On 24 Sep, 2014 At 11:48 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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It’s been over five years since Sims 3 came out, and many fans of the Sims franchise have been very excited about Sims 4.  Although it wasn’t quite the gem that I was expecting, Sims 4 still has its merits.

Sims 4 was released on September 2 for Windows-based computers only.  It is basically a life simulation game that was developed by Maxis and The Sims Studio and was published by EA.  The Sims, like games like Minecraft, is a game that some people love and obsess over and some people “just plain don’t get.”  Despite this, the Sims franchise itself has been hugely popular; however, has had some criticism in recent years of nickel and diming players with bunches of add-ons and expansions.  Compared to its predecessor, Sims 3, there are very specific gaming elements that were improved upon and there are also very specific things that were not so good.

The first major improvement of the game was the slick new Create a Sim system, which is the way a player creates his or her Sim and Sim family.  This is actually one of the best improvements from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  It is quite obvious that Maxis really spent a lot of time into this part of the game: it runs extremely well and is very easy to use.  Plus, you end up with a Sim very close to what you wanted.  The sliders of Sims 3 have been replaced with clicking on and manipulating body parts.  To make adjustments to the body part that you want, click on it and move it around to the desired size and location.  It ends up being very easy for you to create a very customized Sim.  For those who aren’t great manipulating body parts, there are pre-set Sims that you can choose from as well.  There was also a nice selection of clothing and outfits to choose from, and they were easily sorted by types (something very different from Sims 3).  The only downside to the new Create a Sim is that the player is limited on hair, eye, and clothing colors because of a Create a Style system (more on this later).  I’m hoping that more options are added later in a patch or expansion.

 Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4.  In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4. In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

The second improvement was the addition of The Gallery, an online sharing community.  Sims 3 touted The Exchange, a similar online sharing concept.  The problem with it, though, was that to get any shared content from other players, one would have to log into The Exchange from a web browser, selection what you want, download it, install it, and then boot up the game.  This was very tedious.  Sims 4 fixes this because it is all in-game sharing.  All a player has to do is click on The Gallery icon in game, and this automatically shows up while you are still playing.  You can place Gallery items on lots on the fly very easily which is a nice bonus.  Sharing your own Sims and lots is also just as easy.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

Another improvement is the overall performance of Sims 4.  For those who have played Sims 3 with all of the expansions, the game engine got really bogged down.  Although this might also happen to Sims 4 in the future, the base game is very stable (then again, so was Sims 3).  The real improvement is the fact that Sims 4 runs pretty well on computers that are not high-end.  I’m not sure if I would run the game on the minimum requirements, but the game handled by laptop, which is not a gaming PC, without any issues.  Sure, the graphics were automatically toned down quite a bit, but the overall game ran great without any hiccups.  Just for reference, if you’d like to do a comparison to how Sims 4 might run on your PC: I am using an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory.  Though I have not had the time to try the game on my actually gaming PC, I was impressed with how the game handled on my laptop.  However, with my experience with Sims 3, I am concerned about how Sims 4 will run with multiple expansions added to it.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The fourth enhancement to the game was the addition of new and better Sim interactions.  This is what Maxis really concentrated on, and overall, they did a pretty good job.  “Emotions” were a new addition to Sims 4, which can add some interesting outcomes, though I think they were a bit overrated for as much as they were touted.  The Sim interactions were much more interesting, especially since it was a common complaint in Sims 3 that the open world led to less interactions between your Sims and NPC Sims.  Because Sims 4 is not really open world, this issue has been fixed.  It is very easy to find other Sims and hang out with them.  Though open world is lost, it is very fun to talk to multiple Sims at once, which is another new addition to the game.

 

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims.  I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims. I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

The last major improvement in game play is the ability to have Sims multi-task, which is a new thing for the franchise.  In previous Sims games, a Sim could only do one thing at a time.  In Sims 4, a player can make his or her Sim to multiple things at once.  This element adds some interesting game play to the mix.  For example, I had my Sim reading a book.  When I saw the bladder meter go down, I had my Sim use the toilet.  I was delighted to see that my Sim took the book to the toilet and continue reading on it, much to my amusement.  This ability to multitask has made the game play a bit more fresh, though the novelty may wear off after a bit.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

With all of these improvements, it at first glance seems as if Sims 4 can do no wrong.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad with the good, especially if you are a die-hard Sim 3 player.  One of the biggest disappointments for Sims 4 is the fact that the open world concept of Sims 4 was nixed for a world of segmented “neighbordhoods.”  The open world of Sims 3 was a revolutionary part of the franchise that really took the Sims to a new level.  I tried to keep an open mind and thought that if it was done right, neighborhoods might not be so bad.  Unfortunately, the neighborhoods concept in Sims 4 are not that great.  The six sections of each neighborhood do not feel connected, and you have to use your Sim’s phone to get anywhere.  The loading screens didn’t bother me that much, but I was hoping that you could walk or jog from one neighborhood to another (unless there is something that I haven’t figure out yet).  The Sims 4 “world” is not that large, either.  There are technically two worlds that come with the base game, but there are only actually six neighborhoods for each world, and there’s not that much to each neighborhood.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4.  As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4. As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

Another Sims 4 disappointment was the lot building system, which was supposed to be a major improvement from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  Overall, the building system was actually a disappointment.  It is indeed pretty easy to make corrections and add rooms on the fly, but it actually takes longer to build anything overall when compared to Sims 3.  This is mostly due to the crazy camera angles that the game forces you to look through.  I even spent extra time trying to play around to see if I could get the angles any better, but I still haven’t found any style that I like.  I am hoping that this eventually gets fixed in a patch or update.  I was also very disappointed to see that the current lot size limit is 50×50 residential lots for Sims 4, which makes it hard to create massive mansions (large for Sims 3 is 60×60 or 64×64).

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

The third disappointment is the lack of entertainment options for Sims in the Sims 4.  I do understand that you are purchasing a base game when you get Sims 4, but I really was expecting a bit more, especially after getting it for a “next-gen” price tag.  There are no swimming pools, cars, or a large open world to explore, so that game can get a bit boring at times.  There are some interesting skills that have been added for the game, but overall, I found that this aspect of the game was lacking.  The game might pick up a bit when expansions start getting added, but it really shouldn’t take a bunch of expansions to make the game fun.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3.  Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3. Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison. (Photo of Sims 3 game play)

Another Sims 3 gaming element that Sims 4 left out was the Create a Style system.  This system was a unique way for players to customize pretty much anything in the game.  Maxis ditched this element for a set of pre-selected colors that you can choose from for clothing or home building/decorating.  Unfortunately, the pre-selected colors weren’t that great.  I had a hard time creating the house I wanted from what they gave me.  It felt like a lot of “basic” colors were not included in the pre-selected ones, such as white.  This made creating a custom home very tedious, and I never quite ended up with what I wanted.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Lastly, I was disappointed to see how Maxis went with the Sim careers this time.  There are some interesting careers in Sims 4, but it really doesn’t matter because you don’t really to get see them at work or interact with work that much.  Sims 4 works a lot of Sims 2 with jobs: when it’s time for work, you leave the lot and disappear for awhile.  There’s not even an animated carpool or anything; you just run off of the lot.  It’s a really annoying and disappointing aspect to the game that I hope eventually gets patched.  When Sims 3 came out, some people complained about the “rabbit holes” (where a Sim would disappear into a building and come out when they were done).  What they actually wanted was to be able to see and control their Sims at all times.  What we got in Sims 4 is the elimination of rabbit holes for Sims disappearing off of  the map altogether.  This does not solve the rabbit hole issue, but it does actually make things worse.

What's the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

What’s the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

Overall, the Sims 4 is a stable, solid game that has a lot of great elements.  If you are a fan of the franchise, you will probably like it.  However, it does have a lot of issues in which I hope get resolved in the future.

Baltimore-Comic-Con

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Baltimore-Comic-Con

Baltimore Comic Con is a small but wonderful comic book convention held in Baltimore, Maryland. It is held at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year it was held from September 5th to September 7th, 2014.

Although this was my first year attending as press, I went last year as well.

One writer that was an absolute pleasure to meet was Tom King. He took the time to autograph Grayson #1 and A Once Crowded Sky for me. Although Tom spoke many praises for his work on Grayson, he expressed his passion and love for his novel: A Once Crowded Sky.

Here is a quick synopsis from Amazon on A Once Crowded Sky:

A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counter-terrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of super men stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice–PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.

A Once Crowded Sky

I look forward to reading A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King and reviewing it for everyone.

Another person that was a pleasure to meet and watch and listen to at a panel was Charles Soule. He offered his talents on Death of Wolverine, as well as other works like She Hulk and Inhuman.

Death of Wolverine

Since this convention was local to where I live, my absolute favorite comic book store was present and I had to make a stop at Third Eye Comics’ booth! If you’re not familiar with Third Eye Comics and live in the Maryland area, I highly recommend checking them out. Everyone, from Steve, the owner, to all the other workers take the time to learn your name and what you enjoy. They are an absolute joy to be around and indulge in your comic book needs.

Baltimore Comic Con may be small, but is absolutely worth the experience. I highly recommend at the very least taking a day out to enjoy.

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I showed up opening day to the Baltimore Convention Center for my 1st time ever stepping foot into the biggest comic book convention in Maryland the Baltimore Comic-Con. I had a blast for the four hours i walked the convention center checking out all the wares in “Artist Alley” located in the back of the center. I will within the next few days post interviews with three exhibitors that was kind enough to oblige me with an one on one with them amongst all the hustle and bustle.  The featured artist will be Kat Brenowitz of Square City Comics showcasing the Square City Anthology and other comics at Booth# A259-A260  , Gregory Garay of Visual Verbosity showcasing his Jack B series at Booth# A191 , Finally but, not least Colin Lawler & Joseph Grabowski for Spirits: The Soul Collector at Booth#A351 .

 

To get the word out before the last day comes upon us I will reveal to you several locations at Comic-Con that just might tickle your fancy.

 


 

  • Third Eye ComicsBooth# 307-308, 407-408

One of a few booths with two variants of the latest mini-series of comic “Death of Wolverine” one variant being an rare one. Third Eye has a four block booth jam packed with a wealth of modern comics along with some classics to pick up. The booth’s staff has a welcoming sensibility just like the store in Annapolis, MD the folks are knowledgeable, please stop by and check them out.

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  • Charles Soule Booth#2309

All I have to say this guy just like the other talented artist are signing autographs. Oh and by the way he too is the person behind the latest mini-series “Death of Wolverine” so, yeah you have that. He also has another rare variant not carried by Third Eyes Comics, make sure you throw some money his way to get a piece of future history. The Death of Wolverine series has been quoted from Charles Sole that a new comic will come

                   “Once every week, depending on shipping that schedule might slide but, not too far from the once a week scale”

So, keep a look out for the four part series sure to give your heart a tug.

 

  •  High Grade ComicsBooth# 901-903

Retailing high caliber and rare vintage comic books HighGradeComics.com is here for those serious collectors at any capacity like Buying, Selling or Trade. Check them out the prices vary but, be mindful because of quality and rarity of these collectibles be ready to pay upwards of $20+ for these classics.

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  • That Creative Fox/ Runaway Rosettes – Booth#A44

Their names are totally indicative of what they create on one side you have pleasant Eve Cowan she provides hand sewn plush dolls geeked up to perfection with cute DeadPool cats, Pokemon characters along with Flash & Wolverine. Her prices are reasonable and are well worth the cost. To the right we have Runaway Rosettes headed up by Casie Smith, the Rosettes are ribbon badges with various themes spanning from Star Wars, Harry Potter and DC comics celebrities. These Rosettes are as wild and elaborate as the person who sells them make sure you stop by and chat up the both of them while purchasing their wares.

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  • Josh LymanBooth#A377

Josh is a laid back Illustrator deep from the heart of Texas he is also a Concept Artist and I scooped up three conceptual prints based off of one of my favorite movies “Alice in Wonderland” it has the Cheshire Cat on a tree and scrolled on the branches are every line the came from the lofty cat from the movie. Josh Lyman has a ton of other prints all priced at a great price among other art pieces see what he has I’m sure you’ll walk away happy.

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  • Ben HarveyBooth#A304

Didn’t get a chance to sit and chat Ben Harvey up too long because it was getting time for me to check out everything he had in his booth table but, from what I saw Ben Harvey has some great stuff in store for you. On this last day Sunday the 6th check him out.

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  • RoundStone Publishing – Booth#A179

Casey Caracciolo, the Author of the book Shadow Of The Gauntlet already given high marks around other comic-cons and online outlets like Amazon. Shadow Of The Gauntlet available in print and digital copies are ready to leap off the pages or your tablet screen and into your mind to set your imagination on an epic journey spanning the the galaxy. Go to the Artist Alley and speak with anyone at the both to get more on the story and buy it directly with an autograph of the author or if you are reading this from abroad please go to Scargen’s website and download a free chapter digitally or purchase either copy from them.

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  • Harley Yee Rare Comics – Booth#905-906

If you are looking for classics boy I will tell ya HYRC will take you from Rare collectibles like “Forever People” to “Adventure Comics” yes plenty from the Silver and Golden age of DC Comics. If you have that itch for some ultra rare comics that you remember from your youth (That is if you are 40+ years old) Harley Yee Rare Comics just might be for you. Harley Yee has experience in collecting and enjoying comics for over 30 years. I’m sure you can find interesting convos surrounding this booth on comics, I sure have.

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  • Hot Flips Comic books & Supplies Booth#3701-3703

While draining your wallets and pocket books at Baltimore Comic-Con it might be wise to stop by this booth to protect your new found treasures. Hot Flips can furnish you with protective sleeves for your comics, posters or bust sketches that you commissioned by one of the many artists in “Artist Alley” Don’t worry Hot Flips won’t knock you over the head with the prices either. While you are there make sure you check out their comic book selection also.

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Home of the Pearler Bead sculptures and they sure are a hit! I’m sure you have seen these bad boys all over the interwebz well today you can get your very own. Josh and his brother decided one day to create a comic book series (of course) and with a lack of funding the entrepreneurial bros. surmised a plan to use some loose pearler beads to iron out that financial wrinkle. Reasonably priced at $3, $5 & $10 these themed pieces which are key chains, magnets, table figures, faux potted plants & mini piggy banks. All are from our famous comics, cartoons and pop culture icons like Adventure time, Super Mario Bros. & the cast of the Avengers to name a few. Stop on by and see what this table has in store for you I’m sure something will jump into your heavy bag right after you pay for it (or them)

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Now, while I haven’t even scratched the surface of the talent that is here at Baltimore Comic-Con I can attest that these wonderful people and the booths that they are running are top notch and are sure to impress in one way or another. I can also say that even this list is missing some other retailers & artists I just couldn’t fit into my article. Again, if you are near by please stop pass Baltimore to score a ticket to gain entry to one of the geekiest shows in Bmore.

 

Batman v Superman

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Wonder Woman

The casting choice for Wonder Woman in Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice was met with a lot of skepticism. Gal Gadot was an interesting choice to play Wonder Woman to say at the very least.

With this picture, I think Zack Snyder quieted many of those that were upset by the choice. Gal Gadot definitely stepped up to the plate as Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman

What do you think of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman now that we’ve seen her in the role? Let us know in the comments!

By Ryan Hershman On 25 Jul, 2014 At 10:39 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Company Spotlight, Featured, News, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
Deadly Class 2

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Comic books are one of the many joys in my life. Comics should be a joy in others’ as well. I am going to begin shooting off some recommendations every week or so. Not exactly a review, just a short description so you know why you should be reading.

My pick for this week? Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth. NOTE: some of the first issue will be spoiled, to cover the basic plot. Nothing past that should be.

DeadlyClassVol1-cover

  Property of Image Comics

It’s a witty, colorful book about a band of misfit friends attending a secret school for future generations of assassins called King Dominion’s School for the Deadly Arts. Rick Remender writes the book and does so extremely. He lets in humor, romance, and action into a lovely combination. The excellent writing is coupled with amazing art by Wesley Craig, and colors done by Lee Loughridge.

One of the most interesting aspects of the story is such a finely blended cast. The main character, Marcus, is a Nicaraguan orphan and the rest of his adventurous posse is composed of characters from across the globe. Every main character in the first major arc experience great development to get you really more interested in each character than perhaps any

The art compliments everything that is done in the story. From a car chase (rare in comics due to the difficulty of showing the true “action” due to static images), to fight scenes, to drug trips. The coloring and lettering stays on point throughout the first six issues.

Events occurring within the first six issues, all compiled in this one volume, leave the series with a lot of breathing room for story development. Remender’s writing is sure to continue to be as solid as it has been between this series and fellow Image series Black Science. This is definitely a solid choice for any fan of action or suspense to get into. Overall the comic brings everything one could hope for to the table.

The first volume is available on Amazon for a cool $9.99 here. You can always stop into your local comic shop as well and snag the trade. Maybe some other great titles as well. The series will pick back up in September so now is as good as a time as possible to pick up the trade and follow this great series. This is not a series you want to miss out on.

By Amy McGarey On 15 Jul, 2014 At 10:26 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Company Spotlight, Featured, International News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
The new female Thor

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The new female Thor

To keep up with a growing female audience, Marvel has announced today that they intend on creating a new Thor series where Thor is a female. The new Thor series will be written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dauterman and will premiere in October.

In case you don’t understand how this is going to work, Jason Aaron explained, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

How will this work in the Marvel Universe where Thor is involved in multiple comic book series? “The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. It seems like for the next Thor series, the male Thor that we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. The title of Thor will be passed on to someone who is worthy, she just so happens to be female. Traditional Thor will still be involved in the Marvel Universe. My best guess is that the new Thor series will mainly focus on female Thor, while another series will probably handle the issue of where old Thor fits in and what he will do, if anything, to get his hammer back.

As a fan of Thor, I’m excited for this new change in the story line. I think the big fuss about it so far has centered around people thinking that Thor is getting a sex change or that Marvel is pushing some kind of transgendered agenda on everyone. Traditional male Thor will still be very much involved in the Marvel Universe. I look at this as more of a Superior Spider-man situation than killing off a beloved character. Peter Parker came back in the end, so I’m sure old Thor will pull through. I think of all this as welcome news in a long line of Marvel drama, such as the recent rumors of cancelling Fantastic Four and X-Men.

Thor will be joining several other female heroes that have their own comic book series, like Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Elektra, and Ms. Marvel. Maybe Thor will be filling the void for the female warrior archetype that has become popular with characters like Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones.

pax-page-pic

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PAX welcome

PAX East 2014 was my fourth PAX but my first time going as Media.  As always, PAX East was a great experience! Every year PAX East is held in Boston, so I enjoy being able to see another part of the East Coast while checking out all the video games.

This year I got to see many different video games, the most notable of which included This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios, Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2 from 505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment, and Framed from Loveshack Entertainment.  All of these games were very different from one another but brought a lot to the table to create an enjoyable experience. This War of Mine allows you to gain insight into the struggle of a war torn country from a very individual level of trying to survive day to day.  Sniper Elite 3 brought a new and fun entry into shooters with absolutely amazing and awe-worthy graphics.  Defense Grid 2 was an amazingly fun tower defense game that doesn’t fail to keep you on your toes.  Framed was a very unique entry with a puzzle style journey through a mystery.  I plan to get all of these games the minute they’re available and I highly recommend each and every one of them.

Of course, there was far more to see during PAX East as the expanse of the show floor and panels is ginormous! 2014 was definitely the year of the indie games for PAX East.  The presence of AAA games seemed to be a bit light and I was quite worried when I saw the schedule, but PAX East did not disappoint.

OSD

An organization I would definitely like to highlight is Operation Supply Drop. As an Army brat (my parents served in the Army for a long time) and having a lot of friends in the military, it definitely makes me happy to see an organization that makes it their mission to help out the troops.  Operation Supply Drop does just that and more. I met with Captain Stephen Machuga of the US Army and Charity Founder. Captain Machuga, as well as everyone at OSD’s booth exhuded passion and enthusiasm about their mission to bring “video games to soldiers in combat zones and military hospitals.”  Being in a combat zone, in military hospitals, and other areas where soldiers serve can be extremely stressful so OSD does their best to make “fun where there is none!” There was never a dull moment at the booth while there or passing and I’ve seen so much enthusiasm from the gaming community to help their cause.  It’ll be very interesting to see how OSD expands and grows further to be such a great presence for our troops.  For more information about their cause and how to help out, check out their website at www.OperationSupplyDrop.org, their Twitter @OpSupplyDrop, and their Facebook page at Facebook.com/OperationSupplyDrop.

I also got to check out numerous booths on the show floor which is always exciting. GUNNAR Optiks never disappoints with their selection of gaming eyewear. I even snagged myself a pair from their Intercept line in Ink (purple). I always get a pair of GUNNARs every time I go to PAX East and absolutely love them. Whether I’m gaming or staring at a computer screen, GUNNARs help reduce the strain in my eyes. I’ve also found that their line of sunglasses are absolutely wonderful and are far better than all of the other sunglasses that I own.

GUNNARs Intercept Ink

Me with Gunnars

As always, PAX East was a great experience and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.  It’s worth the fun and craziness and the video game culture galore!  Everyone is excited and happy to be there with so many things to do with such a short amount of time!

Although I may not attend next year, you may be able to catch me at PAX South and PAX Prime next year. I, also, plan to be at Otakon this summer and Baltimore Comic Con this fall.

Did you go? What did you think of PAX East? Is there anything from my experience at PAX East that you’d like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LadyLoveMonster!

e3press

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e3press

 

As everyone has already said it’s hard to believe and year has gone by, but with no complaints E3 media day is back! Per usual Sony followed Microsoft and this year both knew the focus would have to be bringing next gen gaming hype to their respective console. Here’s Sony’s Press Conference in it’s entirety if you missed it courtesy of IGN.

 

Without going too deep into each title here are the high notes from the presser and leading off the conference was this new Destiny Trailer.

The big announcement for Destiny was that starting this Thursday there will be Alpha access for the game and the Beta will begin July 17th. Also announced was a Destiny PS4 bundle including a new “Glacier white” PS4, Destiny and a 30 day trial of PS+. The white PS4 will be released along with the game on Sep. 9 and has the same specs and the others so other than a color change nothing new is being added.

Next Andrew House introduced the new gameplay trailer for the The Order 1886.

If you don’t know The Order was introduced last year at E3 and is a game about a group of knights protecting the world from monsters like the one you saw above.

Also shown was a new indie game called Entwined. Entwined is  brought to you by Pixel Opus, a combination of recent graduates from Carnegie Mellon and San Jose State university.

Entwined, according to the speaker, is a game about “two souls in love.” Throughout the game you’re guiding these souls through sequences and upon clearing levels will have them come together to create a dragon. It’s a cute little game that’s out now in the Playstation store for $9.99.

Infamous Second Son made a repeat appearance this year, but its big announcement was the standalone DLC coming in August featuring “Fetch.” Alongside it was the announcement and premiere of Little Big Planet 3.

One of the biggest reveals was Bloodborne. You might remember a the game being called Project Beast and is Hidetaka Miyazaki’s, director of the first two souls games, new title. If you’re a souls fanboy like me you probably can’t wait for this game to come out.

Far Cry 4 came out with a gameplay trailer as well, but the most interesting part was the drop-in co-op at the end of the trailer.

Far Cry 4’s co-op is called guns for hire and the best part is you don’t have to own the game to play it. If you have a friend that wants to play with you and he doesn’t own it or you’re the one wanting to join you just drop in and play like you’ve always had it. You also get all the experience from that session as well.

The coolest game of the show was a game called No Man’s Sky by indie studio Hello Games.

I don’t even know what to do in the game, but every time I see the trailer I just get extremely excited. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get ruined by the impending hype train that is E3 reveals and expectations.

If you haven’t seen the press conference you really should give it a look. It’s full of cool and interesting things coming to the system in the coming months. Last of Us is getting a remastered release, Ratchet and Clank the movie was premiered, GTA V is coming to next gen and you can upload your PS3 or Xbox 360 save data. It’s going to be a great, guys.

More towards the end of conference Sony took a backseat from games to introduce some of the new hardware coming out like Playstation Tv and project Morpheus.

Playstation Tv allows you to play a huge library of Playstation games with just the device and a Dualshock 3 controller. As for Mopheus more and more developers are starting to play around with it and the PS4 camera giving their VR headset a pretty bright outlook.

Rounding out the evening were two trailers for the upcoming Batman game, Batman Arkham Knight, and a new trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Overall I really enjoyed Sony’s press conference. While the PS4 still isn’t  a must have these games should be more than enough to help you make your decision regardless of whichever console you choose.

E3 Microsoft

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This year Microsoft’s media briefing did not disappoint as Phil Spencer promised to devote the “entire briefing to games!”  Immediately, you could hear the applause around the theatre.  Last year, there was a lot of disappointment as Microsoft spent a lot of time talking about other features on the Xbox One like the Kinect and the TV features.  They seemed to learn from this mistake as they enthralled us all with game after game!

Further excitement came when Spencer stated that all the games shown during their media briefing would first get add-on content on the Xbox One!

The briefing began with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We saw new footage that included gameplay.  I’m not a huge fan of the Call of Duty franchise, but I may just check this one out.  It also helps that Kevin Spacey is in the game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out on November 4, 2014.  Here is the gameplay that was showed:

Dan Greenwalt, Creative Director, came onto the stage to talk about Forza Motorsport 5 and unveiled the “nuburgring” which is available TODAY for free to those that own the game. Ralph Fulton, Creative Director, presented Forza Horizon 2 which will be available September 30, 2014.  The game will be in 1080p, have 200+ cars, include various weather conditions, and drivatars.

I’ve been highly anticipating with glee, Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Microsoft and BioWare unveiled a new trailer for the game, which will be available October 7, 2014.

Another game that garnered a lot of excitement from the masses is Sunset Overdrive. We saw a bit about this game last year, but this year we got to see a lot more of this game!  Ted Price, the Founder and CEO of Insomniac Games, came on stage to talk more about the game.  Sunset Overdrive will be available October 28, 2014 and  is exclusive to Xbox One.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a new IP from Moon Studios that looks absolutely stunning.  I’d love to see more of this game before it comes out this fall, but so far I like what I see.  Ori and the Blind Forest will be available Fall 2014.

A Microsoft briefing wouldn’t be the same without some Halo for us all! Bonnie Ross, Studio Head at 343 Industries, presented a spotlight on the much anticipated Halo 5:

Then we were presented with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  The collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4, Halo: Nightfall, and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Beta.  Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be out on November 11, 2014.

A very nice surprise to the mix was the Rise of the Tomb Raider world premiere! We will get to follow Lara Croft after the last installment to see how she rises from what she went through to become the character we know and love.  Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to be available Holiday 2015.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, expressed his passion for reviving games that garner cult audiences as classic games.  He then presented Phantom Dust, an absolutely beautiful game.

Scalebound is a new IP that shows a lot of promise from Platinum Games.  This game is one of my favorites so far from what I’ve seen at E3. It is absolutely beautiful and I would love to see more

Microsoft wrapped up the media briefing with Crackdown.

Other games that were shown included Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dance Central, Fantasia Music Evolved, Fable Legends, Project Spark, Inside from Playdead, The Witcher 3, and The Division.

I’m VERY impressed with Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing. They brought it with the games and I even got a look at new games that definitely interest me.

To look at the rest of the trailers that were shown at Microsoft’s media briefing, check out their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjBp_7RuDBUYbd1LegWEJ8g.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

E3-2014

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Los Angeles: EA CEO Andrew Wilson unveiled a slew of upcoming games at the publisher’s E3 press conference.  Most games were expected, including previews for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mirror’s Edge 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Sims 4, the new Battlefield Hardline, and several sports-themed games.  However, the big surprise came with the confirmation that a new Mass Effect game is indeed being developed by BioWare.

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It was during the middle of the conference that EA revealed a video montage of very early development for the new Mass Effect game.  The preview emphasized new experiences instead of sticking with the old characters and places in the Mass Effect universe, even stating, “New places.  New characters.  New people to fall in love with.”  Though a release date has not been announced yet, this press conference does confirm that gamers will indeed be getting a new Mass Effect game sometime in the future.

The biggest title of the conference was Battlefield Hardline.  Taking the Battlefield franchise into a new twist of cops versus criminals, the preview looked fast-paced with a chaotic, alterable environment and classic Battlefield gameplay.  Fans were delighted when the beta version of the game went live right at the end of the conference.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was also highlighted during the conference with a live cellist playing to game footage.  Aaryn Flynn, General Manager for BioWare’s Edmonton and Montreal studios, introduced an in-game battle sequence and discussed the two different styles players can choose in the new Dragon Age.  “One way to approach combat puts you into the heat of the action,” Flynn said, highlighting a quick, action-based real-time fighting style for the game where the party was fighting a dragon.  “Another way to approach combat is to use the tactical camera,” he said, demonstrating a fighting approach that removes time from the battle and allows the player to more thoughtfully engage the enemy.  Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out October 7, 2014.

Another much-anticipated game that the conference highlighted was Sims 4.  The release date was finally announced for September 2, 2014.  Rachel Franklin, executive producer for Sims 4, described the game as having, “Smarter Sims.  Sims with personalities…You define your Sim’s personality.”  Two major changes that were highlighted in the newest installment of the Sims include the ability to play with a Sim’s emotions and a gallery where players can easily add Sims created by other players into the game.

Besides the new Mass Effect, there were three other early teasers of games still in the beginning stages of developments included a new Star Wars Battlefront game that has been inspired from the look and feel of the three original movies.  Another early look was for an unnamed Criterion Software game that allows players to drive or fly many different extreme sports vehicles.  Mirror’s Edge 2 was also given a small nod, highlighting a few Parkour-like shots from the new game.

EA previewed five different sports games, including EA Sports UFC, EA Sports PGA Tour, EA Sports NHL 15,  Madden NFL 15, and FIFA 15.  Each game preview highlighted newer graphics, more emotions from the players, and better game play handling.

For MOBA fans (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), EA gave a preview of Dawngate, a team-oriented game that looks to give players a lot of options for characters and tactics.

For more E3 news, stay tuned to Real Otaku Gamer!

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