Thursday, May 30, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 11

Riggs, mercy is the one thing I cannot give you.

Chapter 11: Alone



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 10 (Parts 1 & 2)

Damn, this is one bad ass old man.

Chapter 10 - Part 1: Riggs



Get ready for some grenade launcher action!

Chapter 10 - Part 2: Stealing Water



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 9

Hmm... Choices, choices.

Chapter 9: The Road



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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EA discontinues Online Passes, but what could this mean?


Several days ago, Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg announced that EA, from this point on, will discontinue the Online Pass.

If you're unsure of what this program is, Online Passes were a one-time use code that would be packaged with new video games. The Online Pass promised a new way to experience your video games when, in reality, it simply granted access to the online features on whatever particular console the code was redeemed on.

EA utilized this program to try and earn some money off of the used game market. After purchasing a used game, consumers would most likely end up with a used code. In order to partake in the online features a new code, usually costing $9.99, would have to be bought.

Although it didn't affect me entirely--due to the fact that I almost always by new games because I prefer to hand my money over to the developers rather than GameStop--people (including myself) hated this program and the level of greed it revealed from EA.

Fortunately, the program has been brought to a close. "Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature,” Reseburg confirmed in an email to GamesBeat. “Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward."

Now, this is excellent news! They've listened to fan feedback and are responding in a positive light. So, why do I still feel uneasy about all this?

This uneasiness shows how much distrust I have for EA. This discontinuation is a victory, but what does this publisher have up their sleeve? I believe EA had two options to make money: Online Passes, and another option that hasn't quite been revealed to the public yet. After weighing out the two, they must have realized that, in theory, their revenue would increase if they followed the route without Online Passes.

This is all speculation, but with CFO Blake Jorgensen stating EA will be incorporating micro-transactions into all future games--a statement he later "clarified" by saying "all of our mobile games will have micro-transactions in them"--it causes one to ponder when and how consumers will receive the inevitable slap in the face.

For now, all we can do is savor the victory, and remain cynical of any future business moves EA decides to make.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 8

White phosphorus? Oh. My. God...

Chapter 8: The Gate



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 7

We've got to help Gould!

Chapter 7: The Battle



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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Where is Supernatural: The Video Game?

I must be honest with you right now; I never did watch Supernatural when it first aired. It actually wasn’t until the end of the fifth season when I started the pilot episode. Even so, after those 42 minutes, I was immediately hooked.

Having been a fan of almost anything even remotely related to science fiction, fantasy and horror this show was too perfect for me. Seeing two badass brothers travel around the country and hunt demons, monsters and the like is incredibly entertaining. Plus, the tidbits of comedic relief really add to the characters’ development over the many episodes.

After plowing through each season (and continuing my viewing of the show weekly), I even purchased Supernatural: The Anime. Why? Because I enjoy watching anime and I enjoy watching Supernatural, and for the first time ever they were combined. However, I did lose a little respect for Jensen Ackles since he only voiced his character for the final two episodes whereas Jared Padalecki (who gained a lot of respect from me) voiced every one.

Regardless, Supernatural has been turned into many different forms of entertainment; but there is one form that is missing. Where is the Supernatural video game?! With all the content and lore provided from the television show, graphic novels, anime and novels, I am completely shocked that no company has attempted creating a video game based on this property.

Supernatural___The_Video_Game_by_smileybeat
Before I continue, I must warn you that I will make comparisons to other popular games. I understand that licensed games do not always fare well on the market, but I believe that if a developer takes the best parts from certain games they could have gold on their hands.

Now that I got that out of the way, imagine it now: you travel from city to city as the Winchesters, research the creature you’re hunting, switch between Dean and Sam (or incorporating some type of cooperative play) to learn as much they can and then finally vanquishing the monster from existence with the tools required!

Of course, fans of the show wouldn’t be the only interested party. While controlling the actions of the Winchesters may tickle many people’s fancy, who doesn’t enjoy taking out vampires, zombies and other creatures of the night?

To grant some freedom to the developer, another option could be the ability to create our own hunter (if done correctly). Let’s say the developers follow the route of Mass Effect, where players create their hunter but he or she is also given a voice to interact with others (maybe even the Winchesters). It could even further by giving players dialogue trees when questioning the locals about whatever gruesome scene or disappearance the hunter is investigating. And trust me; investigation needs to be an important part of gameplay.

Besides questioning people, and trying to get the right information out of them, the hunter needs to find clues. It’s the only way Sam and Dean ever find out what they’re actually going after. A system in the vein of L.A. Noire would work perfectly. There could be clues littered throughout multiple locations, and the hunter would have to examine them to discover their significance.

LA-Noire_screenshot_365
After finding the enough clues, the hunter would then have to check his journal and use it to decipher what creature was terrorizing the locals.

However, it would need to be difficult. That way, there is a feeling of accomplishment when you unravel the mystery. Unlike the show, the video game would not be restricted to 42 minutes. This gives developers a chance to really flesh out the case at hand and take risks the show cannot.

When it comes to combat, I feel Sleeping Dogs would give the best influence. Why? Because the game features exciting melee combat with a variety of weapons while also boasting competent third-person shooting gameplay.

NorthPointImage1
The Winchesters utilize hand-to-hand combat and all sorts of weapons, including guns, to hunt evil. While not all of them would work against each monstrosity, this variety in gameplay would add greatly to replay value. Also, trying to figure out what course of action will actually work against the enemy as it tosses the hunter around the room could be extremely satisfying.

Now, since all the action could not take place in one city (unless there’s a good reason to) I believe separate, open world locations would be perfect. They do not need to be vast landscapes, just large enough to invite exploration and a change of scenery. There also should be enough room to drive the ’67 Chevy Impala; every Supernatural fan’s dream.

Dean-Winchester-with-Chevrolet-Impala-1967-supernatural-31507862-1450-963
I understand this read may seem like a roller coaster as I jump from point to point, and it may not particularly specific, but I simply wanted to state how good a Supernatural video game could be. With all of these options it really makes me wonder why we haven’t seen one surface yet.

If anyone could do it, it would be Rockstar; but I cannot see such a high profile company spending resources on a licensed game. Another completely capable company would be United Front Games, the developer of Sleeping Dogs. I mean, they even showed their interest in the supernatural with the Nightmare in North Point DLC.

If anyone is out there reading this that has any type of power to set this thing in motion, do it! I want it, the fans want it and if done correctly the game could be gold!

SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 6

It's a trap!

Chapter 6: The Pit



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 5

BOOM! Headshot!

Chapter 5: The Edge



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Thursday, May 9, 2013

SuperGameGeek vlog - Chica bonita

There's a special lady in my life that I'd like to introduce you to: Chica. And yes, I am aware that my trick-to-treat ratio is awful.



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 4

Hey! Friendly fire, assholes!

Chapter 4: The Refugees



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 3

They're dropping C4 on us?! How rude!

Chapter 3: Underneath



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Monday, May 6, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 2

A good firefight always needs some funky tunes.

Chapter 2: The Dune



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Spec Ops: The Line - Ch. 1

Join me on my new adventure with Captain Walker and the gang as we trek through the sand-ridden city of Dubai!

Chapter 1: The Evacuation



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SuperGameGeek vlog - The dentist & Arkham Origins

In my first video blog ever I discuss my hate for dentist visits and the lack of Kevin Conroy in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins. Enjoy!



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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 30

For your convenience and viewing pleasure, here is the other ending.

Mission 13 (Ending 2): Hisomu-Jo - A Moonlit Garden



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 29

After a long journey, we have reached the end... but there is still one last choice to make.

Mission 13 (Ending 1): Hisomu-Jo - A Moonlit Garden



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 28

Wait... so those aren't just hallucinations?!

Mission 12 (pt. 2): Hisomu-Jo - The Return



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 27

I get my sword back! Finally!!!

Mission 12 (pt. 1): Hisomu-Jo - The Return



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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 26

ARGH!!! Damn cyber ninjas!

Mission 11 (pt. 2): The Ruins - Set to Flight



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 25

Ah! No weapons?!

Mission 11 (pt. 1): The Ruins - Set to Flight



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 24

The old man needs his gear, so guess who has to retrieve it.

Mission 10 (pt. 2): The Ruins - A Shattered Stronghold



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 23

I feel the need to get inked up; so let's find the old man and rescue him!

Mission 10 (pt. 1): The Ruins - A Shattered Stronghold



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 22

Karajan! The time has come for you to meet your god.

Mission 9 (pt. 2): Hessian Castle - A Blade at His Neck



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 21

Before I can swiftly end Karajan's life, I must "swiftly" pickpocket two keys. Yeah, we'll see how that works out.

Mission 9 (pt. 1): Hessian Castle - A Blade at His Neck



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 20

Karajan can't escape without a helicopter pilot... Muahahahaha!

Mission 8 (pt. 2): Hessian Castle - The Inner Keep



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 19

Everybody forgets how to play every now and then... right?

Mission 8 (pt. 1): Hessian Castle - The Inner Keep



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 18

No matter how sloppy I am, I always get the job done.

Mission seven (pt. 2): Hessian Castle - Above a Bottomless Chasm



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 17

"I can't even see the bottom, if there is one." And down I go...

Mission seven (pt. 1): Hessian Castle - Above a Bottomless Chasm



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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Co-op survival horror: The Legend & I NFECTED

After writing the previous post about cooperative survival horror, I managed to stumble upon a couple games that have caught my eye and should catch yours as well.

The first is a game titled The Legend. From the look of the teaser trailer, it seems to be heavily inspired by Slender. However, the developers, led by AustinHand, have promised that this is not just another iteration of Slender; players will not simply be collecting notes.

Instead, The Legend will feature “AI squads, co-op squads, a story mode, a free-roam survival mode, a co-op mode, different characters with different abilities, and more.”

Check out the teaser trailer below.



Surprisingly, this is exactly what I stated needed to happen in my previous article: an indie developer creating something similar in scale to Slender. This game seems to be just that.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information besides what you have seen above. The developers are still hiding quite a few concepts from the public, such as the appearance of the lurking creature. What we do know is that the game is running on Crytek’s CryEngine 3 and the developers hope “leave you afraid of the dark for the entirety of your life.”

From what I’ve seen, the idea and concept of this game are seem very interesting. I’m not sure how the co-op would work, but if the game lives up to its potential this could be step in the right direction for survival horror. If you think so too, take a moment and vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.

If you’d like to see and learn more about The Legend, click here.

The second game I found (thanks to a Steam friend who I’ll keep anonymous at this time) is titled I NFECTED, and after watching the trailer I am very intrigued. Check it out below.



The game features that classic survival horror gameplay made famous by the older Resident Evil games. This means gamers will be greeted once again by static camera angles and puzzle solving in creepy, claustrophobic environments.

While the health and inventory are also similar, Creazn, the developer, has stated that will be a fundamental twist. Apparently, the players have been infected with the virus and will “need to constantly find suppressants/ first aid to constantly heal as they are racing against a clock.” Being attacked by the infected will only worsen the player’s condition.

As if that wasn't enough, players will also never experience the same adventure twice due to the dynamic map generator. The DMG will randomize everything in the game to keep players on their toes.

Yet, the most exciting part about I NFECTED is the inclusion of co-op. Players will be able to work with up to three teammates to try and survive this horrific nightmare. If you have ever played Resident Evil: Outbreak, you will instantly understand how this game will play (minus the awful loading times).

The cooperative mode will be separate from the main campaign, but Creazn promises there will be “various multiplayer only options to help balance out the gameplay and make it scarier.”

Even though the look of the game isn’t fantastic, its gameplay could surely captivate with its return to old school horror. If you think the same, take a moment and vote for I NFECTED on Steam Greenlight as well. Be sure to also visit the Steam Greenlight page to learn more about the game as Creazn has posted quite a bit of information regarding the story and gameplay.

I hope y’all enjoyed taking a look at these two (hopefully) upcoming games; I know I did. I find it funny that after I wrote an entire article dedicated to cooperative survival horror I stumbled onto these two games. While both are far from reaching a final product, these games prove that there are people out who believe in co-op survival horror. Fortunately, some of these people are video game developers; and these two indie developers are taking a chance not many are willing to take. Here’s hoping for the best.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 16

I still think I should have unlocked that stealth kill seal... so what if a guard saw his buddy get impaled by a spike mine?

Mission six (pt. 3): Hessian Castle - An Ancestral Home



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 15

Still making the occasional mistake, but I can tell my ninja skills are only getting better.

Hessian Castle, An Ancestral Home, mission six, Europe, mercenaries, Karajan, scrolls, artifacts



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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Can cooperative survival horror work?


Developers diving into the realm of horror have always followed a few specific guidelines if they ever hoped to create a successful game. These guidelines, such as minimal amounts of health and ammo, grotesque enemies (whether it is due to their physical features or their actions) who remain hidden until the opportune moment and creepy, claustrophobic areas that build heart-pounding tension, are all very important in creating a terrifying experience for the player.

However, if there is one rule that has been applied to almost every single horror video game in the history of the industry, it’s isolation. Our survival horror protagonists have almost always gone through their adventure alone.

Why is that? Well, the answer is simple: isolation is a scary thought. Very few people want to be alone which is why this tactic is used so often by developers. The sense of dread increases immensely when a player realizes they don’t have anyone to speak with or back them up.

This is why players have rarely seen a survival horror game feature any type of cooperative mode. Ever since the rise of the genre began with the releases of the original Resident Evil and Silent Hill this formula has, for the most part, stayed the same due to its proven success.

Unfortunately, this has also engrained in many minds the belief that video games cannot be scary if there’s cooperative mode. I simply don’t accept that. After years of gaming (and my recent play through of ObsCure), I think such a feat, with the appropriate amount of time effort and money, is entirely possible.


As I mentioned earlier, there are several guidelines developers, consciously or unconsciously, follow. Yet this is an age of innovation. Rehashing the same video time and time again (unless it’s a sports franchise) is a surefire way to kill a series. This is why developers take these guidelines into account, and then mix and match what they want to use.

Take Resident Evil 4 for example. It contains grotesque enemies and creepy areas, but in no way does it have a lack of ammo or health for the player to use. Even though the game throws enough provisions at the player to supply a small army, it’s probably the most successful game in the franchise!

Developers have altered or removed whatever they felt necessary in order to create a good game countless times. What does this all mean? It means that, no matter the genre, not every guideline, rule or feature from previous games is needed to make a successful game.

So, why exactly is going solo a must for survival horror?

“Games can’t be scary if you’re playing with someone else.” I’ve heard this quote said and written many times in many different ways but I don’t agree with those who stand by this. Let’s take a quick look at films.

Horror films have almost never presented a solo act; and I only write almost because I haven’t seen every horror film out there so please let me know if one exists because I’d love to see it. Instead, they focus on a group of two or more people trying to survive the evil that pursues them. Take a look at these examples: Halloween, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, 28 Days Later, [REC], Paranormal Activity, etc.

The point I’m trying to make is that many people still found these films scary even though the characters were never alone until the latter moments of them. Even most of us were with family or friends when we watched those films! Why can’t that synchronized feeling of terror be replicated in a video game? Is it because it simply can’t be reproduced, or do collective minds refuse the possibility due to the changing of a well-structured formula?

Yes, I do understand that films are a different form of entertainment than video games, but video games are interactive! In some ways, it should be easier to recreate that terror since it is us being placed in those horrific moments.


Of course, a project such as cooperative survival horror would be no easy task. It also doesn’t help that the few video games that do support this feature are far from shining examples of how to properly pull it off; Dead Space 3 and Resident Evil 6 being the most recent examples. Even though I don’t agree with them, it's because of these games I understand why people believe cooperative survival horror can’t exist.

The major problem with those games in regards to this topic is that survival horror was not the focus. People claim cooperative play as a contributor to the fall of survival horror in these games but that is not entirely the case. Instead of survival, the developers placed intense action on the forefront.

How can a couple of people be terrified of encroaching enemies when they’re given powerful weapons with endless amounts of ammo and a health bar the size of a zombie’s appetite? That’s not surviving, that’s obliterating all opposition.

Another problem with these games, in terms of survival horror (because I do enjoy these games for what they are), is the amount of enemies thrown at the player. Seriously, the amount borders on ridiculous. While playing Dead Space 3, there was one part when I yelled at the game, “Are you done yet?! Can I move to the next area? Oh, of course not; there’s another three waves of enemies I have to fight!”

When you see the same enemies over and over and over again they lose their original scare factor. This is where games such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent succeed in more ways than one. Even though the game boasts just a few different types of enemies, players only run into them on rare occasions. This makes each confrontation absolutely terrifying.

Adding to this development of fear is the fact that players are defenseless. An encounter with these monsters creates instant panic as players sprint towards a hiding spot and praying they weren’t spotted.


If these concepts were incorporated into a cooperative survival horror adventure, I believe it would flourish. Hear (read) me out as I suggest an idea about a two player cooperative survival horror adventure that has the capability of being a success.

Imagine two players adventuring the dark halls of a mansion; please excuse me for the clich√©. The two of them must work together, solving puzzles and finding specific items to progress further into the mouth of madness. The eerie, distant sounds inch closer; the two know they’re being watched. Suddenly, the evil, tormented being appears. The two players, defenseless, must seek some sort of shelter from the terrifying soul pursuing them. Unfortunately, only one makes it to a hiding spot. The other gets cornered, shouting for help but to no avail. Then… silence. Now the surviving player, accustomed to partnership, is now truly alone increasing the sense of dread by tenfold.

It’s a very basic concept, and there are many kinks that would need to be worked out; an example being communication. Allowing players to communicate freely would give them the means to converse about tangent topics which could diminish the tension the atmosphere is attempting to build. On the other hand, restricting communication (√† la Resident Evil: Outbreak) can lead to a barrier between players resulting in a loss of teamwork and strategy.

Either way, I believe that somewhere out there is a company who can create an amazing cooperative survival horror experience. I highly doubt any AAA company would ever be able to create something like this since publishers have their hands tied. This leaves it in the hands of indie developers who have the freedom to create what they choose.

Accomplishing a feat like this would be difficult, and they would need to start small before working to a larger project; somewhere around the size of Slender. Nonetheless, I believe they have the ability and the creativity to develop a cooperative survival horror game worthy of recognition.

I understand that for many of you the idea is still hard to believe. Although the odds of something like this working out favorably are slim, I hope to open your minds to its possibilities and the fun that it would (or wouldn’t) be. If the proper amount of time and effort are put into making a co-op survival horror game—that follows the guidelines which have helped fashion many other horror franchises—I think it could be a monumental achievement for the genre. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 14

Our final mission? Yeah... don't count on it.

Mission six (pt. 1): Hessian Castle - An Ancestral Home



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 13

You're going down, Kelly; and I don't mean down under.

Mission five (pt. 3): Oshi City - The Fall of Hessian Tower



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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The disappointment called PlayStation Meeting


I had another topic planned for today, but after watching Sony’s press conference for the PlayStation 4, this cannot wait.

Among the many games shown, the revealing of the new controller, the promises of immediacy and simplicity and the beautiful progression of visuals into a new generation of consoles, Sony did one thing to upset me. Seriously, my hype for the PS4 has been ruined due to Sony refusing to commit one action.

They never showed the console! How could Sony think this was a good idea? I understand that Kazuo Hirai mentioned they were waiting for Microsoft to reveal their console first, but this isn’t the way to do it. With the announcement of this meeting, everyone (including myself) thought Sony had matured and decided to make the first move. I can see that this was not case.

I know that because of this conference the PlayStation 4 has been officially announced, but that news was basically leaked on the internet. We all knew that there was going to be a PS4; this meeting was supposed to tell us everything about it. However, Sony failed miserably in this regard.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely excited to hear about the 8 GB of memory and the x86 CPU. I was also happy to see the "final" design of the PS4 controller. The thing is, those reveals are just the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to learn about the PS4 inside and out, from what makes it tick to how much it costs. However, much of this wasn't even revealed. Demanding a price and a release date may be asking too much, but putting the console on display for viewers to take in should have been paramount.


Instead, after they spent an abnormal amount of time on social networking, they decided to show video game after video game which is a task to accomplish at E3; not at a Sony press conference announcing brand new hardware. What makes this entire situation worse is that some of the games shown were not even playing on the PlayStation 4. As a matter of fact, the WATCH_DOGS demo was actually being played on a PC with specs close to the still mysterious console.

Maybe Sony thought this meeting would draw out Microsoft into announcing their respective console (rumored to be the Xbox 720). If so, this was still a bad idea. I’m not the only one expressing my disappointment in Sony’s actions. Feel free to check the internet, Twitter, blogs, etc. to find many other people expressing the same emotions as I. Microsoft can use this backlash to their advantage by putting on a show worthy of a next generation console.

Imagine this: Microsoft puts on a conference in a month or two—just before E3—and reveals their console, its specifications, a few games in development, the price and the release date. As long as the “720” offers what gamers want, consumers will be much more likely to flock over to Microsoft because they will know what they’re getting.

I don’t like being toyed with, Sony; but that’s what you did. You built the hype for this console a month in advance and failed to deliver. Sure, some of your presentations were entertaining but it was not what many of us were looking for.

I understand that Sony wanted to keep some mystery surrounding their new console, but this isn’t the way to do it. I mean, after tonight it seems as if they were actually worried about revealing too much information to their competitors. Get your act together, Sony. Prove yourselves the mature business you strut around claiming you are. Don’t wait to see what competitors have to offer.

For now, all I can hope for is that Sony doesn’t take too long to reveal the information gamers with strict wallets really want: an actual look at the console with the knowledge of what makes it tick, the retail price of this beast (for the love of God, do not make it $600) and a confirmed release date. Well, what are you waiting for? It’s still your move, Sony.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 12

So... we're gonna pretend that never happened.

Mission five (pt. 2): Oshi City - The Fall of Hessian Tower



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Mark of the Ninja - Ep. 11

While they deal with the fire, I'm just gonna slip right in.

Mission five (pt. 1): Oshi City - The Fall of Hessian Tower



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Friday, February 15, 2013

Bastion on handhelds would be a dream come true


During the holiday sale on this this past December, I always continued checking up on what game I could lose myself in at a cheap price. Every day I would open up the store on my PC and scour the many discounted games. One day, my eyes came across the immensely popular title, Bastion.

I had never played the game before. I remembered seeing clips back when it debuted on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and it looked interesting, but money was tight so I moved on. I did regret the decision at times as I heard people proclaim how great and innovative the atmosphere and gameplay were.

Well, there Bastion stood teasing me with its $3.74 price tag. Something tried to hold me back—most likely the fear that the game wouldn’t be for me and I’d have to force myself to finish it—but I ignored it and I investigated whether or not to throw down for this adventure. After looking through the game’s community hub, and the numerous titled “Should I get this game?” threads, I decided to go for it.

However, before I clicked that “ADD TO CART” button, I stopped. Not out of hesitation or anything like that. My finger couldn’t press down on the left mouse button because I noticed that the soundtrack edition was only two dollars and fifty cents more. I remember seeing a lot of critical acclaim for the music of Bastion, as well as a few songs being nominated for awards, so I said to myself, “To hell with it! Supergiant Games, take my $6.24!”

Well, needless to say, I loved every second I spent playing Bastion. The sensational narrator, action-packed gameplay, and alluring music are just a few of the things I pulled me back to the broken world of Celondia. I needed to know how the Calamity affected every part of the world, and I was intrigued by every detail that showed it to me.

I could go on, and I would really like to, but that would ruin the review I’m writing for everyone. This post is about something else; something I would love to see happen.

You see, I was playing Kid Icarus: Uprising on my Nintendo 3DS this past weekend (the blizzard of 2013 had the audacity to keep me away from my PC and consoles), and a thought hit me. Bastion, having the excellent role-playing elements and replay value that kept me coming back for more, would be a perfect game for handhelds.


I could see myself away from home, pulling out my 3DS, and journeying through the mines and forests of Celondia. Each level long enough to allow for extended pay sessions, yet short enough to accommodate handheld gamers who are always on the move.

I also believe that today’s handhelds can handle running the game extremely well. While the game features astonishing top-down isometric visuals and combat containing numerous amounts of enemies, the Playstation Vita showed what it’s capable of with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and the Nintendo 3DS still exhibits some untapped potential with Kid Icarus: Uprising and the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate.

Yes, I know I could be wrong. Maybe there is something I am missing that entirely negates my idea. If so, let me know. If it is possible, though, I would like to see it happen. I want to give more of my money (at least more than $6.24) to Supergiant Games and this illustrious world they created. A port to handhelds would secure that and keep me playing for hours.

I wish I could make this suggestion to them personally, but I feel it would take a number of fans to get a project like this into fruition. Still, a gamer can always dream.

Well, after all of this, I’d like to know if this is something you’d all like to see. Also, to those of you with programming and developing experience, is a port like this even a possibility? Lastly, are there any other titles out there that you wish could make it to handhelds? Let’s discuss these answeres in the comment section. As always, thank you for reading!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I love the soundtrack. My wife and I listen to it quite frequently. She even learned how to play Zia's Song on her acoustic guitar! That's how I truly know the music from this game is amazing.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 21

Finally! The epic finale! Well... actually, epic might be stretching it a bit. Okay; more like stretching it a lot.



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 20

This saboteur must've taken lessons from Neo.



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

I’ve realized I have not been writing on the blog as frequently as I would like. I have been frequently writing articles and reviews for GameDwellers.com, but I noticed that this blog just looks so lonely. However, that is all going to change! Today, the day of love (or brutality according to the history books), is my start. I am going to try to post at least every other day. Is it going to be a long, meaningful, artistic look into the video game industry? No, not every day. I’m going to let y’all know how I feel about certain things in the industry along with the reviews and Let’s Plays. Heck, a post might just be me saying “Hi!” and asking what you’re playing.

I’m excited to turn over a new leaf, and improve upon my writing as well as the excitement of this blog. I hope y’all are willing to take this adventure with me… in a completely heterosexual way, of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with—Okay, not going there! This is a video game blog!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’d thought I’d post some funny video game themed Valentine’s Day cards in case you want to give a little something extra geeky to your significant other (no matter who or what he/she/it is… that’s the politically correct way of saying that, right?).

Enjoy!



This is the one I gave my wife!



These are a couple of Skyrim-themed Valentine's Day cards that made me chuckle.



Oh, Kirby. I didn't know you could be so cute and dirty at the same time.



Last but not least, this one here is my favorite! AFFECTION! And yes, I gave this one to the wife as well.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 19

No doubt about it; Tokaj is definitely insane.



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 18

A baby-faced transformer and a bunch of Casper wannabe's ambush me... This game just lost so much respect.



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Monday, February 11, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 17

It's all a lie! The entire city is fake!



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 16

Could we get a clean-up in aisle 3?



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 15

It's time for a boss fight with some ugly, Captain America wannabe.



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Friday, January 25, 2013

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Enhanced Edition review



Inspired by the works of Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski , The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition is another chapter in the life of monster slayer Geralt of Rivia brought to you by CD Projekt RED; and to put it bluntly, it’s a great one.

The Witcher 2 picks up the story around a few months after the end of the first game. The assassination of King Demavand and the failed attempt on the life of King Foltest is known all across the land, but only a very important few understand that the unsuccessful assassin was a witcher—enter Geralt. He is still working under King Foltest, and aiding him in his battles to keep some sort of peace in the kingdom of Temeria. However, his main goal is to find out why a witcher would target a king while still attempting to gain pieces of his memory back (since he has the most extreme case of amnesia ever seen in a video game).

Well, as you can probably tell from the subtitle, Assassins of Kings, these assassins won’t stop at just one attempt; and eventually, they do succeed. Unfortunately, Geralt is framed for the murder and must clear his name. To be honest, I feel that if I say anything beyond this point I will be spoiling the narrative (heck, even the synopsis itself felt like a spoiler). Nevertheless, you can rest assured that this story offers numerous plot twists and interactions with incredible characters.



But those aren’t the only features creating a superb narrative. Along with some intense boss fights, numerous side missions and mini-games, and dialogue options, players have the ability to make their own decisions throughout the game—meaning you can shape the story how you want. Every detail, especially the ones decided by the player, leading up to the game’s conclusion feels necessary and intriguing. What makes these details so captivating is the dialogue. The language used seems authentic and adds some realism to this fantastical world. Even conversations with minor characters will demand your attention.

One disappointing aspect is carrying over your saved game from the previous installment. Sure, some of your decisions make appearances as you progress, and you get some decent equipment to start off with, but ultimately your decisions do not have any rewarding impact on the overall story. This also begs the question on how much of an impact the decisions from this game will have on the next.



On a better note, the combat in this game is a major improvement over the original. No longer do you click the mouse button and watch Geralt swing automatically until the enemy’s health bar depletes. Instead, every attack you command Geralt to unleash on his enemies happens in real time; and when that attack connects you can feel the ferocity in his swing. Even though landing blows does feel rewarding, you must carefully decide whether it’s better to be aggressive or if it’s wiser to sit back and play defense.

Enemies in this game are tough, and wildly spamming attacks can easily open you up for some of their brutal assaults. This is where the game may turn some people off. The Witcher 2’s combat system has a steep learning curve and can be quite a tough ride during the early chapters. Even so, this is what makes the combat so enthralling and adds another dose of realism. One wrong move can cost you the fight, so the game forces you to make calculated decisions before charging into battle.



To help in these difficult situations, Geralt can be equipped with other items besides his sword and magical abilities. He can set up traps, throw daggers, and toss explosives to defeat his opponents. He can also sip toxic potions that increase his abilities for a short period of time. All of these aspects must be utilized correctly before and during a fight if you hope to have the upper hand against two or more enemies. At first, you will see the game over screen a few times; but once you get the hang of the combat, victories then feel so much more rewarding.

When outside of combat, there isn’t a large, vast, open world to explore like The Elder Scrolls games; and that’s perfectly fine. The Witcher 2 focuses more on delivering a compelling story. With each new chapter, there is a new map to complete various objectives in. This allows players to get their fill of exploration while never feeling like they’re trailing too far from the main storyline. For those wanting more to do than simply completing story-based missions, there are side missions, activities, brothels, and monster contracts to accept which can help lengthen a playthrough. After all, Geralt is a witcher. What’s a witcher game without killing a few monsters and consensually wooing a few women?



While The Witcher 2 can be played with either a controller or a keyboard and mouse—both work great with the gameplay—the game does feel geared more towards a controller, to me at least. Maybe the reason is because CD Projekt RED designed the game with consoles in mind. Either way, whichever route is chosen, the control layout will not fail players. However, it is unfortunate that there isn’t any customization allowed for either input.

The sound in this game is phenomenal. From the intense scores during monster battles to the seducing quips of a whore, everything sounds alluring. The voice acting and sound effects, along with the help of well-written dialogue, simply draw the player in while bringing life to this fantasy world.



What will truly wow players, though, is look of the game; it’s beautiful. The character models are intricately designed to point where almost every thread in their clothing is noticeable. Environments will also awe with beautiful colors bringing the smooth textures to life creating a more realistic world; make sure to thank the Havok physics engine for this. Some minor clipping and pop-in may occur here and there, but it is rare enough where it will not bother players. Also, even though Nvidia is “the way it’s meant to played”, good enough AMD cards will also be able to render this game on ultra settings allowing for an equally engaging experience.

The Witcher 2, with all of its side quests and mini-games, will take over twenty-five hours to complete; and every minute is worth experiencing. With different choices to choose from and an in-depth combat system, this game has various options to keep the player coming back for more. As one of the greatest games to hit market in the last decade, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this game.

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 14

Gosh darn quick time events!



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 13

While searching for Karolina (again), we have a pleasant chat with the saboteur.



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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 12

So long, ol' Glory...



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 11

Meet Dr. Albert Tokaj; Jason Statham's apprentice.



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 10

Don't worry, Karolina! I'm coming to save you!



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Saturday, January 5, 2013

SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 9

Hunting down a severed head and hand; just another day in the life of a psychiatrist.



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 8

What's with monsters always jumping out of vents?



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SuperGameGeek Plays: Afterfall InSanity Extended Edition - Ep. 7

The chase for the saboteur continues!



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