Thursday, March 31, 2011

XBOX's new disk format (update)

Disc-format changes aren't exactly the sexiest of features that can be included in a firmware update, but Microsoft's new method, announced yesterday, may be more attractive than it seemed on first blush.
Digital Foundry reports that "a highly placed development source" has informed it that Microsoft's new format will include an extra 1GB of storage space for Xbox 360 game discs. According to Eurogamer's hardware blog, developers are currently able to allocate 6.8GB of game data out of a maximum of 7.95GB on a typical dual-layer DVD.
The remaining 1GB is reportedly allocated to DVD Video and antipiracy. According to the site's source, Microsoft will be doing away with the video segment of this 1GB partition, thus being able to free up more space for game data.
As part of the new System Update Preview Program for US-based Xbox 360 owners, Xbox Live users can sign up to test the program and receive a free copy of Halo: Reach. However, there's a catch: Microsoft warned that it is possible that the beta test will result in a nonfunctioning console.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Battlefield 3 Fault Line Gameplay Trailer Episode III: Get that Wire Cut

Sgt. Black is tasked with disarming a homemade bomb, leading to first-person melee combat with the bomber and a large-scale firefight.

Your Wii and Nintendo 3DS Will Connect

Even though we've had our hands on Nintendo's newest handheld for a while now, we're still discovering all of the things the system can do right out of the box. One of these exciting new features is the system's ability to connect to and copy Miis from your Wii. The process is incredibly simple (look below for detailed instructions), and is hopefully only the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Nintendo's home console and its new line of portables. 

So if you have some awesome Miis trapped on your Wii that you'd like to take around town on your 3DS, here's how to transfer those little guys over: 

Step 1: 
Turn on your Wii console and go to the Mii channel.

Step 2:
Turn on your 3DS and select the Mii Maker icon. You can access it from the Home Menu. 

Step 3:
On your 3DS, select the "Send/Recieve" option, then select "Mii Channel (Wii)." 

Step 4:
On your Wii, select "Connect to DS." The two should automatically sync. If they don't, press the A, B, and 1 buttons on your Wii remote (in that order), then press and hold the 2 button. 

Step 5:
Once your two systems are connected, use your Wii remote to grab and drag whatever Miis you want to transfer into the box that appears on the screen. You can only do one at a time, but the process is quick enough that even if you have a bunch to transfer it shouldn't take too long.

Step 6:
Once you're done, just exit. Your Miis are now on both your 3DS and your Wii, so have fun toting your little creations around.

So what do you think of this new feature? Do you plan on using it to transfer your Miis? And how do you think Nintendo will use this 3DS to Wii connectivity in the future? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Xbox 360 Getting Updated Disc Format

Microsoft is beginning a new public preview for Xbox 360 users as they prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format. 

Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb made the announcement this morning through his Major Nelson blog. "This is an important update as we continually strive to improve our products and we could not do so without the help of our great Xbox community," Hryb wrote. "As part of the preview program, you will receive a copy of Halo: Reach along with other possible rewards." 

Due to disc distribution, this preview is only available to U.S. residents. Users can head over to the official Xbox Live website to register. 

It's unclear at this time what the update will mean for Xbox 360 software going forward. Hryb told IGN in a separate e-mail this is not an update to Blu-ray discs, but could provide any additional details at this time.

Red Faction: Armageddon preorders open Battlegrounds

Here's a bit of history on Red Faction: Armageddon.
The game will carry over many elements from its predecessor, Red Faction: Guerrilla, such as the focus on fully destructible environments. Unlike its predecessor which had the player liberating settlements from the totalitarian control of the corrupt Earth Defense Force, players must now reclaim cultist fortifications on the disaster-ravaged surface of the planet and defend colonists from hostile Martian creatures in the ancient mines and chasms beneath it, cleansing infestations from all structures and freeing humans from imprisonment in alien cocoons. Guerrilla's open-world approach has been done away with, in exchange for more linear and directed gameplay, a better progression of the narrative, and a sense of suspense and tension when traversing the sometimes claustrophobic interiors in the game.

GameStop and Amazon are offering perhaps the sweetest survival kit for console gamers, as the two retailers will be offering a free copy of Red Faction: Battlegrounds. Expected to be available during the first week of April (April 10th), Battlegrounds is a multiplayer-oriented, top-down, vehicle-based arena combat game. Those who don't preorder from GameStop or Amazon can download the game through Xbox Live or the PSN for $10.
Those who prebuy the game at Best Buy will be afforded the Recon Pack. Included in this in-game add-on are the stealth uniform, the electrically charged arc welder weapon, and the XNG-5000, which fires homing missiles. Lastly, Walmart preorderers have the only bit of real-world schwag: a 24-page Red Faction comic book and strategy guide.Beyond Battlegrounds, GameStop preorderers will also receive the in-game Commando Pack, which includes an armored uniform, a plasma thrower, and laser pistols. However, Amazon prepurchasers aren't slated to receive any additional items.
I cannot wait until Red Faction: Battleground.  If anyone ever remembers the game Twisted Metal, it has that same "Mad Max" feeling of complete destruction and carnage.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever 'awfully sexist,' says Fox News

According to a article on, 1996's Duke Nukem 3D--"which made millions for its developers and transformed the entire world of video games--depicted women as strippers and prostitutes." And now, according to Fox, Duke Nukem Forever is primed to "take sexism to a new level."

To illustrate its point, the story says the game opens with a scene where Duke is seen receiving implied fellatio from twins in school get-ups. This is where Women's Media Center vice president Jamia Wilson takes severe offense.
"It was offensive then and it's even more offensive now," she told Fox News. "These depictions of women are extremely harmful, especially to young women."
Specifically, the scathing article's main focus is on Duke Nukem Forever's 'Capture the Babe' multiplayer mode. This game mode--according to the Official Xbox Magazine (via Eurogamer)--has players carrying a character, The Babe, around. If she yells, players are given the option to slap her.
Fox News also brought up the Entertainment Software Ratings Board--which slapped a M for Mature rating on Duke Nukem Forever--and quoted group spokesperson Eliot Mizrachi.
"This game carries a Mature rating indicating that it's intended for ages 17 and up, and retailers overwhelmingly enforce their store policies requiring that M-rated games not be sold to a customer under that age without a parent's consent," he said.

Now here's my point-of-view.  While this story was posted on GameSpot (Which I'm starting to visit less and less each day), I thought I would take a look at who was posting what.  As it turns out, the majority of the people there are saying that "If it's rated M, it's okay."  Or another person says "Did a bunch of women call in and complain about this? Or did one person see this and figure they know what others think and tell them this should upset them. Most intelligent women prolly don't care about this video game and have real things to worry about."
Now I'm no expert, but when I started to read some of the post to my girlfriend, and when she was watching me play a trailer on XBOX the other night, she was beyond appalled.  She told me that it's sickening to see that games have sunk to a new low.  As I tried to tell her some history on the "Duke", she started to tell me things that opened my eyes.
To have a game like this, and then have the countless people say it's okay just because it's Duke Nukem, well, they should really think twice.  I know this game is suppose to be over-the-top, and filled with girls, but there's a point where you have to say "When is too much, too much?"
Here's one more quote from someone;  "You should be able to slap a woman if they are speaking out of line!"
I know this is probably geared as a joke, but it's this type of joking that really shows the rest of the world how immature gamers still are.  They moan and bitch about movies and television, and their amounts of violence and mature nature, but when you are in control of a game, it's a bit different.  I for one am not against such things, but we all know the vast majority will be the younger generation that hasn't even heard of the original Duke Nukem.
I have a feeling this game might sell very well, just because of the bad press it is getting.  People will pay to see what is so "bad" in this game.  *sigh*  It teaches kids that it's alright to treat women like this, even when it's a game, some people that are younger still might try this on women, and that's the saddest thing there.  

Where are all the good games these days?!?!  I'm talking to you Crystalis! 

Your Call: Are HD Remakes a Cash Grab?

Earlier this week, Capcom announced it will release Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X as downloadable titles through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network this winter. Both titles are sporting higher resolutions, wide-screen support, and achievements and trophies. However, the general lack of any other visual upgrades or features has left many fans grumbling. 

Are publishers going about HD remakes the wrong way? 
It's your call. We'll showcase the best comments in this article.
The first notable re-release this generation was the God of War Collection for PlayStation 3 in 2009. Developer Bluepoint Games did an admirable job smoothing out the screen-tearing issues and upping the resolution from the original PlayStation 2 games. The experiment proved to be a financial success for Sony, with the collection selling over 900,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to research firm NPD. 

Sony continues to dip into its back catalog of titles and has since released The Sly Collection, which teases Sly Cooper 4, and plans to ship the Team ICO Collection later this year to help promote The Last Guardian. 

For the 3DS, Nintendo hopes to find similar success with a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Microsoft may finally be jumping in as well, as a Joystiq rumor points to a remake of Halo: Combat Evolve this November just in time for the series' 10th anniversary. 

Third-party publishers have started to catch on, too. Ubisoft has been releasing a steady stream of last generation games, such as the Prince of Persia Collection and Beyond Good & Evil HD. The Splinter Cell Trilogy is also coming this June and Square Enix just released a collection of Tomb Raider games for PlayStation 3. 

Do you want to see publishers put more effort and time into these collections? Do you feel these remakes are just marketing devices used to promote future games in the series? It's your call. We'll showcase the best comments in this article.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Call of Duty Black Ops: Pro Loadouts

As much as I dislike the Call of Duty games, I thought I would go ahead and post what the "top" players are using.  What you'll notice is this.  To be good, it is not how well you play, but the load out, weapon and perks you use.  I find that it's kind of lacking on the developers to create such a one setup "I WIN" configuration.

This is probably the most standard loadout in the MLG scene. It's very versatile and powerful for just about any type of player. It allows players to have strong slaying abilities and good close-range battle capabilities with the high-speed fire rate of the Famas.

At the start of Black Ops, the competitive scene was ruled by AK74u's. Treyarch noticed this and began to patch and nerf the AK74u multiple times. This led to the Famas being the overall best choice for competitive players. The Famas, when held by someone with a solid shot, is deadly at long range, medium range, and even close range. 

This is the loadout you will see me and the majority of pro players using in MLG matches. The FAMAS is the best assault rifle; it shoots 937.5 rounds per minute, making it a very lethal weapon at close to medium range. It's unlocked at level 14, so for those of you who absolutely hate ranking up, then this is the gun for you.

So if you're wondering what the heck this load out is, well boys and girls, here it is.  What I love is if you brought any of these pro MLG players to a game like Battlefield Bad Company 2, they would not stand a chance.  It's not the gun that makes you, but the actual skill of the player.  I have out shot people many times with an uzi and other SMGs against the more powerful AUG or M16 for example.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Click photo to visit official page.

An upcoming FPS developed by Splash Damage, scheduled for release May 17, 2011 in the US and May 20 in Europe.   It offers team-based multiplayer missions that are equally playable in offline single player mode, with authored narratives, persistent player characters and an approachable nature. It is also developer Splash Damage's first original title, as past titles were part of existing franchises.

With its free flowing parkour movements (Mirror's Edge, Assassins Creed), it allows players to maneuver around complex environments without equally complex input by analyzing their position and judging what they are trying to do.  Also there will be a massive amount of character customization which will allow players to look unique, add their custom colors and much more.  With the typical unlocks for weapons and class abilities there will also be a focus on teamwork and in game objectives (both single and multiplayer).  While in gameplay, both multiplayer and campaign, the player can bring up a "wheel" of sorts providing various objectives to fulfil.

Its technology is id Tech 4 with a new rendering framework and improved support for multiple CPU cores (PC).
Play SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain )
Brink uses the familiar shooter controls that you're used to and adds a new feature: the SMART button. When you hold down the SMART button, the game dynamically evaluates where you're trying to get to, and makes it happen. Whether you're a seasoned FPS veteran or someone just getting started, you'll be able to make more intelligent decisions during the fast-paced action with SMART.

So with that in mind, here's to what looks like a great new shooter with something new to offer to the old and familiar games we've all come to see "year after year" *Cough - Call of Duty - COUGH COUGH*  I will be keeping my fingers crossed for this.  Look forward to seeing me along side with my friends.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crashing stocks and selling millions.

No, I couldn't think of any fancy title name for this post, but there's already enough buzz going on around the Interweb for people to know what's what.

Homefront, another FPS (First Person Shooter) by THQ has graced us and it shows that even when the stocks bomb 21%, the game will still sell world wide 2.4 million copies.  With a metacritic score of 70 and low scores of 7s, this game was in sure line to the quality bin the first month.

Sadly, due to aggressive television ads and the mindless sheep, this game has turned around and sold very well.  With word that a second title is in the works, this looks like it will follow the footsteps of a bigger brother, Call of  Duty.

WHY!!!!  I understand people enjoy shooters, but why copy and paste the same old formula over and over??  We seen what happened with Call of Duty, it's the same damn thing, just in a different place.  And now with Homefront, it's the same vanilla flavor just with a few sprinkles added, and once you remove those sprinkles, you will notice the same base flavor.

Nintendo 3DS - I SEE 3D!!!

As we all know, the 3DS is Nintendo's next big (little) thing.  Carrying a price tag of $250 and offering such things are adjustable 3D and eye-popping visuals, it was only a matter of time before someone took it apart and figured what this really cost.  With its backwards compatibility and built in software, this looks like something I might pick up... if it was around the $150 mark.

With sales starting in the US this Sunday, the 3DS will carry a $100 premium over the Nintendo DS when it launched in 2004 and a $70 markup from 2009's DSi. As could be expected, the price is indicative of a higher cost of raw materials born by Nintendo to build the unit.

"UBM TechInsights VP of technical intelligence David Carey offered a "preliminary estimate" of Nintendo's cost for the physical components of the 3DS at about $101 per unit. According to Carey, that figure is about $15 more than what it cost the publisher to build each DSi unit at launch."

So what gets me is this.  The hardware cost about $15 more than the DSi, but what we're really paying for is the "new/wow" factor here, and the sense of saying "Look, I see 3D!".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Battlefield Bad Company 2

If anyone has an XBOX 360 and plays Battlefield Bad Company 2, look me up.  My name there is Mr Fusco.

Mr Fusco

DING! Wait... I am already max level!

If you're like me, you love MMORPGs and everything related to them.  Sometimes you can easily fall prey to the lore and land of a game and before you know it, you're max level... well, at least with the newer MMORPGs that reward you faster than light.

There was once a time where MMOs took months, sometimes years to fully get to the end (I'm talking about you Everquest II).   Now since the curse of World of Warcraft, these games have been turned to "super easy mode" to make the player feel more rewarded for their time and money they are spending.

Well, fear not!  If you're already at max level from starting back March 1st, there's a patch for that torn "Rift" you've created.  The focus for this patch, however, is on a week-long invasion by Alsbeth the Discordant, a recurring villain. Alsbeth will command legions of undead all across Telara, with players of all levels having the opportunity to get involved. And get involved they should, because the event will be home to unique rewards that can't be had elsewhere, and won't be had again. Rewards will include zombifying disguises and a Spectral Horse mount, and once the event is over, the items will never be given out again. 

There will still be something to do, though, as the event leads into a brand new 20-player raid instance where players will be tasked with hunting Alsbeth herself and bringing her to justice. The raid is only for level 50 players, but the invasion event will be open to everyone. 

The patch goes live on the 30th.

What me worry?!

PS3 hacker George Hotz and a group of PS3 hackers known as fail0verflow have been brought to court by SONY over his  hack of the Playstation 3.

In addition, SCEA contends that Hotz lied about having a PlayStation Network account. "Contrary to Hotz's declaration under oath, jurisdictional discovery has revealed that Hotz did register for a PSN account," read the document. The company's filing contends that Hotz owned four PlayStation 3s, one of which he bought in February 2010.

Through the process of discovery, Sony tracked that console's serial number to a GameStop store several miles from the purported hacker's home. Through its records, Sony claims that Hotz created a PSN account under the name "blickmanic" on March 10, 2010, using the PS3 with that serial number. Because one has to accept the PSN terms of service to create an account, Sony asserts that Hotz is in violation of the TOS and must be held accountable.

So here's the kicker.  In the middle of this battle, Hotz has left the country and fled to South America.  He better join a jiu-jitsu camp and then join the UFC so he can pay his legal fees.  From the sounds of it, this doesn't make him look good.  
Here's to another "Barefoot Bandit" in the making!  Good luck to you out there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Here is the newest entry level Nvidia videocard, the GeForce GTX 550Ti.  You get DirectX 11 and 1680 x 1050 resolution for only $149.  So if you're looking for something to spruce up that aging rig of yours and you just bought Crysis 2, take a look at this new beast.

So instead of dropping over $500 (It's over 9000!) on the GTX580, you could buy two for a total of $300 and still get amazing detail and jaw dropping frame rates on the hottest DirectX 11 games.

The model I'm showing is the 1GB, EVGA version.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cancer surgeon sets up Kinect in OR

This is not only to say "WOW!", but also to say how horrible it is for Gamespot to say what they did.  First a little about the information on Dr. Law.  When you had a grandparent die from cancer, this hits a little closer to home.  I just wish Gamespot would have a bit more class and think before writing such comments, joke or not.

"The interface was designed by University of Toronoto general surgery resident and engineer Matt Strickland, with help from mechatronics engineer Jamie Tremaine and computer engineer Greg Brigley. The trio first set up the Kinect sensor on a remote computer, and then connected that output to a suspended screen in the operating room. The surgeon would then make gestures recognized by Kinect to view the relevant data.
Prior to implementing the device, the surgeon would be required to leave the operating area to view the data, memorize the information, and then resterilize to continue the procedure. According to Dr. Law, he has used Kinect in six liver cancer surgeries over the past month."

 "Now Dr. Law has a perfectly legitimate explanation for any blood splatters on the walls and ceiling."
So here is the thing that is bothering me.  It shows Dr. Law using the Kinect technology and then under is a caption.  For Gamespot to say such things is appalling.  Just because it is a gaming site doesn't mean this sort of thing belongs.  This is a real Dr. saving real lives, and they joke around like it's some sort of killing machine.  
The more I stay and read Gamespot, the less I like the writers and community.   What are your thoughts?

Monday, March 21, 2011


For people that don't get it.

XBOX 360 & PS3 energy usage (Old vs New)

Here's a simple photo showing the differences of power usage for the old and new systems.

*Click Images for Larger View*

Hack the Planet! Or just the PS3 (again)

YouTube user shantzg001 has successfully modded his Kinect camera to work with the PlayStation 3, creating a sense of unity between console manufactures Sony and Microsoft. 

As you can see, he uses the "double push" to tell his PS3 to press "X".  He also loads up Killzone 3, but has said he hasn't figured out how to truly get the Kinect to do his full gaming bidding.

Guild Wars 2: Ghosts of Ascalon

Guild Wars 2: Ghosts of Ascalon.  
"For hundreds of years mankind and the ferocious cat-like charr have been locked in a death struggle. When the charr invaded the human kingdom of Ascalon centuries ago, King Adelbern invoked the devastating Foefire to keep the enemy from the gates. Now, over two hundred years later, the first real chance for peace between the warring races has appeared."

If you enjoy an easy read book and have played Guild Wars, this is a must have.   I think appreciation of it benefits from being an ArenaNet/Guild Wars fan, especially with the lore touches. If you've been following ArenaNet's gradual release of information about the upcoming Guild Wars 2, I think you'll really get the most out of this novel. I loved seeing this new and updated world of Tyria, along with just the right amount of touches and callbacks to the amazing lore and history of the original. The characters were well-realized and the various new races quite intriguing. I think this will mostly appeal to existing fans or those that are interested in the new game.

Battlefield 3: Sniper Gameplay

Here's a video that seems to bug the hell out of me about the upcoming Battlefield 3. As you notice, towards the end of the video, when the (shitty) sniper starts shooting at the squad, you will see the screen start to dim, almost like he was hit. One can only think when this game is in full swing (multiplayer), it will be abused to the point where your screen is a complete blur and you will not be able to see. One can only hope this is only a single player thing, or a DirectX 11 feature that does not make it into multiplayer.