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No GravatarMy little girl might be little now, but eventually, she will be old enough to start gaming.  For the record, I’m not saying that she has to be a gamer (she can have her own interests and hobbies–as long as they are appropriate), but I will be introducing her to gaming when it is developmentally appropriate (don’t put comments about how some of these games aren’t appropriate for (fill in the blank) age; I know that).

If I had to whittle down my list of games I would love to have my daughter play, here is the list that I came up with of the games that really had an impact on me, both as an adult and when I was growing up:

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20.) Rebel Assault II

I do love a good Star Wars game, but this one was very special to me.  I still have the discs for it, though I’m not sure I could get it running again.  I bet my technically-savvy hubby could get it to run.  This was one of the first good Star Wars games that I played, which got around graphics limitations of the time by having live actor shots.SWTIEFighter

19.) Tie Fighter

This is another Star Wars game, which I still have but have no idea if I could ever get running again (bet hubby could with enough motivation).  Just like it’s X-Wing counterpart game, Tie Fighter was an excellent flight simulator that also portrayed the Empire in a different light.  I spent HOURS playing this game.

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18.) Wolfenstein 3D

It’s the first first-person shooter I ever played.  I clearly remember the first time I got to play this revolutionary game, even though I was only six or seven at the time.  Sure, there have been sequels and reboots or whatever, but nothing beats the original.

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17.) Sim City 3000

I do love a good simulation, and this was the last good Sim City that I can still play without any special things done to my PC.  Interesting story: When I was in high school, I studied for my AP Government local government test by playing this game.  I had the highest score in the class.  Woot!  Woot!

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16.) Duke Nukem 3D

Sure it’s a little raunchy, but I spent most of my middle school years playing this game.  I bought every add-on that I could get my hands on.  It’s just a really good and really funny first-person shooter, and I still find myself to this day quoting from it.

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15.) Doom

This is an absolutely essential classic first-person shooter that I think everyone die-hard FPS gamer should play.  Sure, it was a bit scary for it’s time (now it looks a bit cartoonish), but it was revolutionary for when it came out.

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14.) Manhunt

Okay, this is definitely a game that my little girl will not be playing until she’s much, much older, but it’s probably one of the best, most original games that I have played for PlayStation 2.  Screw the Hunger Games.  This game is an amazing sneak game with a really good story, similar to “The Most Dangerous Game,” The Running Man, or Battle Royale.  It’s amazingly violent as well, and I wish that Rockstar would either redo or remaster THIS game instead of some of the other games being redone.

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13.) Jones in the Fast Lane

I do have an original copy of this game complete with packaging because it is one of the best life simulation games that I have every played.  However, you can actually play this game on your phone or tablet now without worrying about getting it to work on a PC.  My have times changed!  The game is similar to The Game of Life: you get a job, work on advancing, and manage your time.  And it can have up to four players, so I will be playing this one with my little girl as soon as she is old enough.

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12.) Fallout 3

Besides having the best intro to a video game that I have ever seen, the game is absolutely amazing to play.  Part first-person shooter, part action RPG, this game has it all.  Another thing that I absolutely adore about the game is the size of the enormous map you get to play around in.  No claustrophobic maps here!

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11.) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Another amazing Bethesda game and one of my favorite open-world, fantasy games, Skyrim is another must to play.  Sadly, I’ve probably spent a couple hundred hours on this game and actually haven’t finished it yet.  It can get you really side-tracked if you let it.

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10.) Borderlands 2

This is one of my favorite cooperative games that I have ever played.  It’s funny and a bit ridiculous at times, but that’s what makes it so great: it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  With several different characters to play as, including two very strong female roles, and a TON of weapons to collect, this will always be one of my top FPS games.

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9.) Final Fantasy VII

Okay, the graphics DO make my eyeballs bleed a bit, but there is no doubt that this game is one of the best Final Fantasy games ever.  It’s got the best characters, the best music, and the best story line.  And with the remake coming out soon, she hopefully will be able to play it without getting a headache.

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8.) Tomb Raider II

The original Tomb Raider was a little fuzzy on graphics and TR III was a bit whacky in the plot.  However, Tomb Raider II–to me–is the perfect balance of a cool story, interesting places to explore, and a trendy tone.  It’s the game that really spawned my love for the franchise.

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7.) Final Fantasy X

This is another one of my favorite Final Fantasy games.  It’s got a great story and awesome characters, but the graphics have aged a lot better than VII (and I’m not even talking about the HD version that just came out).  And, I now do have the option to update by PS2 version if I want to.

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6.) Sims 3

Sims 3 is my favorite out of the franchise (and I have played 1-3 extensively).  Some people don’t understand my obsessive with simulation games, but think of all of the cool things that I can do: create interesting Sims, design my dream home, design my dream town, go to new and exciting places, and do things I wouldn’t dream of doing in real life.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

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5.) Chrono Cross 

This is one of my favorite RPGS of all time.  The graphics STILL look awesome.  The story is amazing, even though it’s technically a sequel.  The music is amazing (I actually bought the soundtrack).  It’s a great game, and would be my favorite RPG if it weren’t for the next game on the list…

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4.) Chrono Trigger 

A game that has consistently shown up on “best RPG ever” lists, Chrono Trigger really should be listed as one of the best games ever.  Period.  The graphics stand up to the test of time.  The music is awesome.  The story is amazing.  My husband always likes to comment that it it one of the few games in which you don’t have to have the main character to beat the game.  It’s just one of those games that you will always remember and want to play no matter how old you or it gets.

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3.) Mass Effect 2

Not the original Mass Effect and definitely NOT Mass Effect 3–Mass Effect 2, to me, was the perfect balance of a good story, good game play, and cool characters.  But it wasn’t just those elements that makes me rank this game so high.  I was completely in awe of the really cool mix of genre and game play.  I mean, how many space-related action RPGs do you see out there?  Not many.  One of the best things about the game, besides having the really cool character of Commander Shepard, is how engrossing BioWare was able to make the Mass Effect universe.  As in games like Dragon Age, you could literally spend hours reading up on all of the technology, history, and species in the Mass Effect Universe, and that is a really important story element for me that I love in well-thought out games.

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2.) BioShock Infinite

I never thought that another game could rival my precious BioShock, but I was totally wrong about this one.  BioShock Infinite is an amazing game with some of the best graphics of the time and a story that will make your jaw drop.  The game play was a blast to play as well, and the setting was totally immersing.  This is a game and a franchise that have really upped my expectations on what first-person shooters should be like.

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1.) BioShock 

I thought about this for a long time and realized the BioShock is–hands down–my favorite video game of all time.  There are many reasons for this.  It was the first FPS that I have every played that demonstrated intelligence in its story: it discussed political issues, morality, all sorts of things that don’t normally make it into the standard FPS.  Second, I absolutely, positively fell in love with Rapture.  I can’t explain it.  I just love being there and exploring.  I love learning about the people who lived there and what all went wrong.  I enjoyed the cool game play with the plasmids and ADAM.  Third, I really enjoyed how awesome the graphics have aged (look at some of the other games that came out at the same time, and you’ll see what I mean).  It still looks AWESOME.  And lastly, I really appreciate the tone of this game, which many games in the genre fail to generate.  It’s sometimes scary but always enjoyable.  It’s a bit demented but doesn’t encourage what you see as being “normal.”  It really does make you think, and I love that and hope that I can share that–eventually, when my little girl is much, much older.

By Jessica Brister On 21 Mar, 2016 At 07:00 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGaming is a billion dollar industry that incorporates a wide audience of every demographic.  It amazes me, however, that as a gamer ages, their gaming hobby starts to be frowned upon by other non-gaming adults.  Apparently, in this day and age gaming is hobby that is only supposed to be enjoying by teens and college students.  People critical of older gamers point out the fact that adults need to be responsible and do things like work full time, fix up their house, and spend time with their family.  Of course, all of these aspects of life are incredibly important, and I am not advocating for people to ignore their children for a video game.  However, I do think that non-gamers should consider the validity of having a gaming hobby.

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For starters, gaming is not any more time consuming than other activities and hobbies favored by working adults.  How many people come home from work and promptly sit down in front of the television for hours?  It’s amazing to me how some people think that it is okay to watch television for three to four hours every night, but apparently gamers are “wasting their lives” doing the same.  How many people spend time on crafts, reading, going out to bars/clubs, sports, etc.?  All of these things entertain us and take up our time.  Does it matter whether a person spends their Sunday afternoon spending hours watching football or playing the latest multiplayer game?  Frankly, I don’t care what people spend their time doing, as long as they give me the same courtesy.

Another thing that non-gamers tend to say (amazingly enough, it’s usually in off-handed comments; it’s almost always never direct), is that gamers need to “grow up” and find a more mature hobby.  Well, what exactly is a mature hobby?  Spending every evening at a bar?  Going to clubs?  Working on a fantasy football league?  Blowing money on needless window shopping?  The thing is, a lot of things people spend their time on isn’t really “mature.”  To me, there are a lot of  “acceptable” hobbies that seem pretty childish to me.  And again, I don’t care what people do, but I want to be left alone.

Lastly, gaming is actually an intelligent choice in hobbies.  It is not mindless like some people seem to think.  Okay, I’ll admit that there are some bad games that fall into that category.  There are some games that are beyond the inappropriate level as well.  However, there are some star titles that are intelligent and make you think.  The BioShock franchise immediately comes to mind.  It is a game that makes you think and highlights important issues such as capitalism and communism, the role of religion, and how power affect individuals, as well as class and race issues.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Games like the Mass Effect franchise and the Fallout games have amazing story lines to them–better than most movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.  Even the games contain an amazing amount of satire.  So to me, I’d rather be playing a video game than trying to watch the latest Hollywood bomb.

Then again, I may just be writing this in vain because, as my husband correctly stated, “I don’t need to prove myself to other people.  I don’t need to justify my hobbies to anyone.”  I think he’s absolutely correct.  Besides, I do not need to “get a life;” I have one, and it’s a lot of fun.

By Jessica Brister On 5 May, 2014 At 11:14 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, ROG Humor | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI dug out the old Playstation 2 to do an article on Parasite Eve.  It was a completely awkward experience because it really has been a long time since I’ve played an older console.  I guess that I have been completely spoiled over the years with the newer consoles.  From this experience, I have compiled a list of the top 10 things you don’t think about when playing on an older console.  Here is the list:

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There’s more to digging out old consoles than meets the eye.

10.) Break out the Swiffer

Digging out an old console involves a dusty experience.  Make sure to have out a duster before playing.  Or draw a smiley face in the dust.  Why not, right?

9.) Reading is fundamental

Going back through an old RPG?  Does it feel a little weird to have to read out the dialogue instead of it just being delivered do you?  You are not alone!

8.) A/V Cables

What the heck are these?  I thought all cables involved the letters H, D, M, and I.

What type of cables are these, again?

What type of cables are these, again?

7.) Grainy graphics

No matter how good the graphics looked years ago, they will look like crap on today’s nice high definition televisions.

6.) Memory cards

I almost forgot about the days where games didn’t install 50 gigs to the hard drive, and you had to worry about where you placed your memory card.

5.) Difficult to navigate

What did we do without the days when we could easily start over at a check point or get to a specific saved game?

4.) They are a one-trick pony

You mean I can’t message my friends, post screenshots to Twitter, stream Netfilx, or shop for games?  What?

3.) Wait a minute, whatever happened to backwards compatibility?

Sony: You’re in big trouble with this.  Microsoft: You’re getting there.  Nintendo: You are off the hook on this one.

2.) Multiple Discs

Please insert disc 2.  Oh, wait, XBox 360 people have still been doing this for awhile.  My bad.

1.) Controllers with cords

Why I am not able to sit where I want to play my games?  This should not be!  We are all very spoiled now.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 10 Jun, 2013 At 12:07 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Videos, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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e3-2013

It has begun.

E3 2013 is all about Sony versus Microsoft, and I think I can say for everyone that this is going to be the most anticipated, fierce, and earth-shattering year for both consumers and developers alike. For the first time ever, both Microsoft and Sony will be releasing their consoles around the same time, whereas the XBox was released 20 months after the Playstation 2, and the Xbox 360 being released a year before the Playstation 3. Everything that we’ve all heard since the start is boiling down to what’s going to happen within the next few days. There are so many websites that provide different information on the Ps4 and XBoxOne that it’s really hard to get all the facts put together in one article from a reliable and non-biased source. Real Otaku Gamer to the rescue!

I stated on twitter earlier today, videogames are not about which kind of gamer is better; it’s about a family of outcasts who come together to share their passion, not war. Unfortunately, there’s no stopping the PC/Sony/Microsoft war that’s erupting, but as an avid gamer myself, keep videogames as a hobby, not a religion. I want to make it perfectly clear that while the staff here has their own opinions and the console they’re excited for, it is not war, and the gaming community should never feel like it.

With that being said…

We’ll start with the Playstation 4.

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The Dualshock 4, equipped with LED bar, touch pad, options and share buttons, and gamer sensor underneath to recognize the user.

For everyone who’s into the specs and the hardware, the console will feature 8GB GDDR graphics ram, a single chip custom processor, a low-power “Jaguar” CPU with 8 cores, and an AMD Radeon GPU. The controller itself will have a new design that will be easier to hold, featuring all the classic L and R bumpers and triggers, a touch pad, and a share button which will allow video streaming so you can prove that amazing KD ratio you tell everyone about. The controller will also have built in speakers (I’m sorry, that’s sooo cool!), rechargeable battery, LED lights so you can identify other gamers easily, see when your character is low on health, etc., and will also have the ability to sense if you’ve passed the controller onto someone else and will automatically adjust the split screen. The camera, called PS Eye, will not be required for all games, but will be fore some. That should not come as a shock to as since the available dancing and exercise games require the camera.

Let’s hop to Sony’s pros and cons with this console:

Pros:

– Because the camera will not be required in order to play this system, that will keep costs down for consumers. For more More About the Playstation Eye, click the link!

– It will use the same GPU, CPU, and hardware used in the best gaming PCs. Sony was smart in this area because they know that PC gaming is becoming the new standard. Built with a Solid State Drive, where the output will be able to have more cinematics, which is more than what many PCs can currently do. Check out the PS4 System Specs and the system specs in greater detail here.

– Sony designed this console to have a 10 year lifespan. We understand things are buggy at first release, but I think both Sony and Microsoft learned from their latest consoles what went wrong with their rings and lights of death.

– Controller can charge when the console is off. Can I get a ‘Hallelujah’?!

– Sony is keeping their focus with the “This is a game console” mentality. The KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method has always been good. When you focus on too many capabilities, you short-change on all of them, making each utility sub-par.

– Every game released for the PS4 will be available for PSN and will have a playable demo.

Cons:

– Not backwards compatible. Note: There will be an alternative BC service through Gaikai that will be offered through this console. We are also unsure on whether or not original Playstation games will be able to play.

– While the PS4 is dedicated to being a game console, it is still just that; a game console – a more powerful PS3

– There is no definitive answer as to how used games will work, whether there will be a fee, or it will work like Microsoft’s system. Thankfully, this question will be answered very soon.

– Probably the biggest problem is that we don’t know much of anything. Xbox One, at least, gave us a decent amount of information whereas Sony did not.

So in conclusion…

Playstation 4 is for gamers. It is designed to do just that, and aside from the familiar apps (like Netflix or other TV services) and capabilities (like bluray), there’s not much else. That’s not said in a drab way, but like I said, this console is designed to game. That’s it.

For more information on this beast, please visit the Sony PS4 Official Website.

Now, onto the XBox One!

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The console at the reveal last month, featuring the console, controller, and Kinect.

There’s no denying the uproar and outrage about the recent news and information Microsoft reveal. Some people just don’t care because they love Microsoft, they love all the utilities it’s capable of, and that’s great for someone who can and will use them all to the max. Microsoft will be providing over 300,000 servers as opposed to the 15,000 that the 360 currently has. This console also features the 8 core x86 processor like the PS4. It will have 8 GB of RAM and a 500BG HD.

Pros:

– The long awaited Blu Ray abilities will be available.

– You can download your games straight to the cloud. No more missing/scratched disks. You can access your movies and game saves anywhere, anytime. And no need to spend money on extra hard drive space because the games will be stored in the cloud. That also includes no more waiting for game updates.

– You can add up to 1000 Live friends as opposed to the original 100.

– It’s an all-in-one media center that will connect your gaming needs, music, cable, Skype, Netflix, and everything else into one place, all voice activated. No more switching inputs!

– A multi-useful Kinect that will sense your body and movements better than its predecessor. You will also be able to skype with your friends while watching TV or playing your games. If you play on a Fantasy league, your stats will be automatically updated for you.

–  Personalized console that knows what you like and what you don’t, and saves your preferences.

In all honesty, there is a lot to be said about the XBox One due to the fact that it does so much. This console is going to be great for those who love everything and don’t have enough screens to do them all with. Microsoft has put all control in your hands and your voice; your gaming, your way. For a full list of its functions, please visit the XBox One Official site.

Cons:

We all have heard, and given these cons, I agree that we’re really being screwed over. On the other hand, we don’t know much about the PS4 either, so it’s just a waiting game.

– The Kinect is required in order for the Xbox to do its functions. Because there is additional hardware that comes sold, the initial cost will be much higher. The Kinect also cannot be shut off, and if it does break, then you’re really out of luck with playing your console.

– You must connect to the internet on your console once every 24 hours. If not, you will not be able to play and the Xbox will be a pretty paperweight until you can connect.

– Only certain, pre-approved retailers will take your trades. Because less places take the trade, you will get less money for it. You cannot lend games, rent games, but you can sell games if the person has been a friend on Live for at least 30 days. Once they purchase it, it will be theirs forever and it cannot be sold.

-Not backwards compatible.

– If you’re sitting with your significant other while one wants to watch a game while the other wants to watch Teen Mom, at the sound of the voice, the TV will switch. “XBox, play Knicks Game.” Switch! “… XBox, play American Idol.” Switch! Very prone to trolling.

To sum it up…

I think the cons are tending to outweigh the pros in this area. But when looking at what it can do as a whole, it really gives the player ultimate control over all entertainment.

Putting PS4 and Xbox One Into Perspective

Understand that this is not a final list, but this is a good chunk of what all gamers should know going into Microsoft and Sony’s conferences. Us here at Real Otaku Gamer want you to be as informed as possible, without bias, straight from the source (or at least the credible ones). The pros and cons are great and concerning on both ends for this to be considered a very neck-and-neck competition.

So what do you all think about the story so far? Will PS4 win over the population, or Microsoft sway the audience with their all-in-one media center?

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 24 May, 2013 At 12:34 AM | Categorized As Editorials | With 0 Comments

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I’m back! Well…MAYBE. It’s been about six months since I’ve edited anything on here, and almost a year since I’ve written anything of merit. So what happened?! Well, in all honesty I don’t know…a lot. I’m actually surprised that I’m still able to access this section, and am able to write. So here’s a recap of what’s been going on with me the past year (dear god this is going to be horrible)

I got a testing position with the game Primal Carnage; visited New York and liked it so much I decided to move there; moved to New York with virtually nothing in my name; continued to work with the rest of the QA team on PC as much as I could; went to get my series 63 and 7 licenses; worked in a restaurant for under minimum wage at nights to support myself in NYC; got my licenses;  became involved with an industry completely unrelated to this one; found someone who’s way out of my league who actually cares about me (yeah I couldn’t believe it either) flew back home because of family; started a Youtube gaming channel; now leaving again to another exotic location to take care of one of the family businesses, and finally spending my time traveling all over the globe doing god knows what. Phew, was that a run-on sentence? You bet your ass it was, but that’s how my life’s been. One giant, never ending, methodically insane, transparent run-on sentence that never seems to let me breath in the slightest. I think that’s a good thing, given that if life becomes too slow…well then it just seems wasted. So in short, I think I got a life.

Now, that being said, some of you may think this is me finally turning in my hat, or just admitting to being out of the industry so long, I have no real clue what’s going on. Well…no…none of those things. At least not yet anyways. The reality is, is that I really needed to take a break from this whole thing. Like, seriously just step back and look at the gaming community from a distance. See when you’re in this industry for so many years, and you’re still not seeing an ounce of profitability coming from it, then you really need to step back and just take your time with whatever it is you’re doing. I mean, this is a hobby. I don’t write these words and get a check in the mail or anything for doing so. I just…write what’s on my mind. Given that, sometimes you need to take a break, because nothing’s on your mind. You’re just seeing the same old crap from every company and community week after week. With things coming so slowly it’s worse than watching paint dry. This causes what I call a “Drama Effect” Where the people who do this stuff are so bored, they literally create bullshit just to entertain themselves. Even if that entertainment hurts those around them or themselves. We’re gamers, we live to be entertained. Which is fine in film, video games, books, music….blah blah blah. But the reality is that this is an industry. Reality dictates that the operations behind such works, are much more boring and methodical than the actual product. So story short, shit is freaking mundane as hell.

However, given enough time, exciting things do happen…usually. Like say for instance, the rolling out of new consoles (which I will get into a little bit) Or the introduction of new and exciting games that sound fun. Sometimes I like to have fun….And if I’m not having fun, and I’m not getting paid, then why fuck am I doing it? You just become a press slut to this industry, and you’re valued less than a press whore because you’re not even getting paid to do it. Now some will argue that this is all towards an eventual goal of some sorts. Usually this is the hope of earning cash in this field. However, the likely-hood of that happening is extremely remote, and you might as well hold a cup out on the street…you’ll be more likely to make money that way. Does that sound cynical; yes. But I’m not being cynical in the slightest. I just happen to be a realist, as upsetting as that may be.

OK, so lets just get into some of the thoughts I have about things, before I lull your asses to sleep with my mundane diatribe. Lets start with the consoles, because that’s something exciting and new. So now we know it’s the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One (which is confusing as hell given this is the third installment)

I wanna start with Xbox, but I’m not gonna bullshit, I really don’t know anything about it. I didn’t watch the conference, even though I got an invite to attend it or something. Apparently there were no games shown, or at least a lack of them. Instead, from what I heard, they focused on informing the audience of the new hardware, and what can be accomplished with it. This seems to upset people, and seemed to during the Sony conference as well. For me…it’s like, “What do you expect people?!” they save things for E3 and the million other conferences this year. I mean, things aren’t the way they used to be. Where it took a while for the main consumer to get news about things. These days we have technology that streams what’s happening in the moment, right as it’s happening. This means they have to dole out things at much slower pace, because we all have access to it as soon as the announcers lips open. I’m actually glad they decided to have separate conferences for the hardware. That means they can spend most of E3 talking about shit we care about, mainly the games. This time it can be like, is the hardware in the hands of developers; yes. Does it work; yes. What will the price be; yes. Now lets talk about video games, and get on with it. Though I don’t like how they basically said the next innovation in gaming, is television.

Lets move on to PS4 shall we? Now this conference I did watch, and because of that I’m going to get a hate comment here or there calling me a fanboy or something. No, I’m not, could care less if I had missed that one too. I just happened to have some free moments at the time. While they did show some games, they mainly focused on the hardware and tech demo’s too. Which, again I liked, because it means they won’t ramble on for an hour about the console at E3 either. I walked away from that conference looking forward to the new machine, and what kind of games may be on it in the near future. Honestly though, from what I saw, all I can really remember was the new Killzone game which looked interesting, and some crap about “moving” your own adventure. I did like the social media aspect, and how they’re really putting a lot of eggs into it. I think they learned from the last round that community is important, and it should be taken seriously. Again, not an expert, but we’re gamers, and when shit is not blowing up in our face, we’re compelled to blow shit up on someone’s Facebook. However I really didn’t like how they said, “We want nothing to get in the way of your game” then for like the rest of the conference went on to say, “Here’s all this tacky stuff that’s gonna get between you and your game.”

OK, so here’s my thoughts on the Wii U. It’s out, it’s fun, and good games are probably on the way. So go out and buy it if you want it. It’s unique and doesn’t make me wanna kill myself like the Wii did, so I think that’s something good. There’s also this really cool horror game I was watching Melyssa play, that seemed really fun. So I’d say look for that, whatever the title is. Think it had zombies in it. So naturally I’m gonna buy one eventually. Maybe when my life slows down, and I actually have time to do that stuff.

Anyways I’m going to abruptly end this editorial, because I got a lot on my mind to rant about, but I think I should space it out. Does this article make sense; no. Does it work; yes. Am I just doing it to clamor attention to me and the site again after being gone for over a year? Hell I don’t know. I honestly think I just wanted to rattle on about things I felt towards this whole industry, and add some substance on what I’ve found interesting this past year. So if I’ve left you thoroughly unsatisfied, I’m sorry. I’ll get back to writing more soon, mainly in the department of editorials, but right now I just had some free time on my hands, and felt like writing this. Cheap I know, but like I said, I’m not getting paid. I’m writing about things I like in general, or stuff I think about. So here’s my two cents on whatever the heck this was about. I hoped you enjoyed this sarcastic adventure with me, and look forward to writing part two.

By Garrett Green On 22 May, 2013 At 12:31 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, Previews, ROG Tech, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s finally here, after months of wait and speculation, Microsoft has announced it next Xbox system and it’s name is… (What for Drum Roll) Xbox One. Yes Xbox One, the One signifying what Microsoft is aggressively going after in making this an all in one system for the living room. The show started off with a video saying how the brought games to life and how they brought games to us, so right off the back I thought Microsoft was going the Sony route by saying how important gaming was to the system. But then the video keeps going, and begins to discuss the relationship between you in the TV this platform will bring. And THAT is really what this conference was all about.

 

Microsoft didn’t waste any time and showed off what everyone came to see, the system. Yes the actual physical system was on display for the world to see, something Sony failed to do with the Playstation 4. I personally like the design, it’s sleek and shinny, simple yet elegant, and the redesigned controller looks better, if not really similar, than the previous. Then Microsoft dived in and showed off what they were bringing to the table. Of course the Kinect is still here and looks to be more powerful and responsive, as using a simple voice command, “Xbox on,” the system pops on. The home screen looks a lot like Windows 8, I don’t think anyone is really surprised with, and was sporting a new feature called “Trending.” With this you can see what you friends are liking and what people around Xbox Live are liking. With a simple command, “Xbox watch TV,” you arte now watching TV on your Xbox and with the new “Instant switching” mode you can switch on the fly between TV, gaming, music, and other apps on the Xbox and “Snap” mode allows users to use multiple aps at once like a fully supported Skype in HD and with video chat. Another cool feature was using Minority Report like motions to surf channels and browse around the Xbox. Now while this all looked cool, I can’t help but wonder how effective it will work once the consumer gets in in their living room.

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Not done with pushing TV, Microsoft shows off watching ESPN and getting instant updates to you fantasy league on screen. Using voice control allows the user to surf through the TV guide, change channels, and let’s you know what TV shows are trending. You can be sitting on the couch and say, “What’s on HBO?” or “Watch the Price is Right.” And this all looks cool, but I worry about the recognition of the voice control. If I don’t say the name of the show the same way my family does, will it work for all of us? What if I have an accent, will that factor in?

 

We got a little info on the specs of the system. It will have: 8 Core CPU, 8 GB system memory, 500 GB HDD, Blu-ray drive, 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi direct, HDMI in/out, and USB 3.0. The Kinect comes with all Xboxs and is required for use. With its redesigned controller, Kinect, and smart glass technology, Microsoft is boasting that there will be no lag between input and system. That still remains to be seen but if true, all the power to Microsoft. The new Xbox Live will be run by over 300 thousand servers and everything stored in the cloud to access you data anywhere.  New Achievements will by more dynamic and show off more of what you have done and there will be a sharing option with the ability to record and upload videos (though not much was spoken on that).

 

At this point we are about 35 minutes in and nothing has been mentioned about actual gaming on the system. EA came out and announced a partnership with Mircosoft. They announced 4 games coming to the Xbox One; Fifa 14, Madden 25, NBA Live, and UFC. All games are not exclusive but EA states that the Xbox version will have exclusive content. Also announced exclusive to Xbox One is EA Sorts Ignite. It’s a game engine that is supposed to make the sport games more realistic, which is what they try to do with every iteration of any EA sports game. So far it’s only confirmed for Xbox One but it sounds like this is how they will make their sports game from now on across platforms. EA ended their segment with “… how all EA Sports games will look and play on Xbox One.” (Sigh) This miffed me, the first footage of any game for the new system and it isn’t game play footage, but the usual trailer footage EA makes for their Sports game. This isn’t how the game will look or feel once it hits the system and that’s what I really wanted to see. It’s a personal gripe yes but still.

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More talk about how Microsoft is making gaming more immersive, personal and connected. All right, this is what I was waiting for, some talk about the games… Sadly no. They announced Forza Morta Sport 5, a racing game that will be available at launch, great, except again we are treated to another CGI trailer. Now this trailer is a little harder to tell if it’s actual game footage, made with in game graphics, or a CGI trailer but I believe it is the latter. If the game actually looks this good I will be astonished and happy that they could pull that off. Next was the announcement by Remedy Studios, developers of Alan Wake, with Quantum Break that is a brand new IP. I live action trailer with some not so great acting leads into gameplay footage of a boat crashing and some stills in a gun battle. Nothing really shown about the game at all which looks like a theme here.

 

Back to television, Microsoft announced they are working on several studios and their first show is going to be a live action Halo show, produced by Steven Spielberg. This sounds like a cool idea considering how popular their Halo franchise is and how long they’ve been trying to make a live action movie. Not much is known about the project yet. They also announced a partnership with the NFL, really going after the sports fans with this one. Microsoft is definitely going after a completely different market and they are firing on all cylinders.  Lastly, what’s Xbox without Call of Duty. The new title, Call of Duty: Ghost was announced and we were given a pick and the development of the title and the improvements of the graphics compared to MW3. New to Call of Duty is a dog as your part of your squad and “new” features like vaulting and leaning to shot around corners. This might by new to the franchise but not FPS. And we are given the first trailer for the game which actually shows off some of the game. And it looks good, CoD fans can be excited again. And with that the event ends.

So how did Microsoft do? Well I have to start by saying that I was personally underwhelmed. I didn’t see much of anything about actual games and I am a gamer first and foremost. While some people are stating that this wasn’t targeted at us gamers, I ask who is not a gamer watching this at 10 in the morning pacific time? That being said, I can put that side of my aside and say I am very interested in what Xbox One is trying to accomplish. The interactive entertainment HUB is pretty awesome and responsive from what they have shown. They clearly want to grab a larger audience than just the core gamer. Even though they have to go against products already out there that do the same thing, they are bringing some interesting ideas to the table. I just don’t know how far they can go if they alienate the hardcore gamer audience. While they could probably bring in more customers than they would lose, I don’t expect the starting price point to be cheap so why would non gamers want to shell out the money when they already have smart TVs? Microsoft did announce 15 exclusive titles coming to the Xbox One in the first year with 8 of those being new IPs. That is an impressive number for a launch and I expect them to really go after the core gamers at E3 in a few weeks.  All in all I was disappointed and I thought Sony did a better job revealing the PS4, but again, I’m a gamer and that’s who Sony was speaking to. E3 is going to be big this year so expect a lot more details to come rolling in soon.

 

Some announcements made after the show; some companies were able to announce games coming to Xbox One such as Assassin’s Creed 4 and Watch Dogs. The Xbox does not have to be always connected, however it seems that they are pushing for being as connected as you possibly can. In an interview from Kotaku with Phil Harrison, he stated that you have to connect to the Internet at least once a day. Another interesting piece of information, again from Kotaku, is that the Xbox One will not block used games. However you will need to pay a fee to play a used or borrowed game that, at least in the case of a new game, would be the same price as purchasing the game itself. Microsoft says they are still working on a way to trade and sell game codes online so I will wait for a little more information on that before condemning them for basically saying if your friend wants to barrow your game he might as well buy a copy himself.

 

Well there you have it folks, A lot of info to take in one day but we finally know what Microsoft is planning. Who do you think had the better reveal, Xbox or Playstation? Which are you most looking forward to? Either way, this years E3 is going to be huge.