What was once traditionally the realm of comic book and sci-fi geeks matured into the multiplayer, free-for-all, pop culture phenomenon known as Comic-Con. This annual San Diego four day event attracts over 120,000 fans of comic books, movies, television shows, anime, manga, fantasy/sci-fi novels, and video games. Yup, video games!
It’s easy to dismiss Comic-Con as simply a nerd fantasy world gone wild with no place for video gaming. With the recent additions of Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and other major game developers to the roster of exhibitors, it is getting harder to ignore the fact that Comic-Con is maturing into a gamer’s paradise. Although it hasn’t quite reached the same video game industry presence as E3, which is held 1.5 hours away and about one month earlier and showcases a lot of major announcements, Comic-Con is beginning to rival it. Announcements such as the unveiling of the Halo 4 live action trailer for the upcoming series Forward Unto Dawn and Epic’s Rod Ferguson announcing the March 2013 release date for Gears of War: Judgement. Unlike E3 where you must be directly involved in the production, review, distribution and development of video games, Comic-Con is open to anyone and everyone. Similar to E3 though, there are multiple opportunities to play a lot of games before they release.
It seems like many gaming companies are taking the summer off. That leaves us gamers having to either replay some of our old favorites or (please no!) go out and enjoy the summer heat. Here is the small list of new games for this week.
Anna - First person horror game with puzzles. Takes place in an old sawmill in Italy and the main character has to solve puzzles and encounter “Anna”, a presence that knows all and apparently wants to scare the crap out of you. There are three different endings based on the mental condition of the character. [TBA]
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Collection - Re-release of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic I and II: The Sith Lords. A great deal for those that have been sleeping under a rock and have yet to play this series. [$19.99]
Nintendo 3DS Releases
Heroes of Ruin - Square Enix created dungeon crawler with multiplayer play. Four player classes are available. Weapons can be sold and bought through StreetPass.Players will have the ability to drop in an out of multiplayer games at any time. [$39.99]
$99. That is the magic number for the Android based OUYA game console coming to market March 2013. OUYA’s Kickstarter campaign goal was $950,000 when they launched on July 10th. It took a mere 8 hours to surpass it. After 24 hours OUYA had raked in over 2 million. Today it is sitting at close to 4 million dollars and has 27 days to go. Apparently people around the world like cheap consoles! Who knew?!
A new project founded by Julie Uhrman (former head of IGN Digital distribution) with design input by Yves Behar of fuseproject ($100 laptop \ Jambox), OUYA’s goal is to take mobile gamers and bring them back to the TV. In order to do so, OUYA is courting some of the best and brightest indie game developers to develop nearly every type and genre of game for OUYA and doing so by making everything open source.
Developers will obviously have full access to the console and its inner workings but the goal is also to provide that same access to you and I. The console will be assembled using standard fasteners that anyone with a glasses repair kit can likely open. Crack it open as many times as you want, go ahead and root it, neither will void the warranty.
OUYA’s goal is to enable hardware hackers of all stripes to develop, document, give away or sell any type of interface between human and console they can dream of. A PS3 controller? Please that’s too easy. Kinect for Windows on Android? Now we’re talking.
Another week of releases is upon us, and what an exciting week! Okay, okay, not that exciting unless you’re a college football fan. This week Pick of the Week is back, as well as another What Were They Smoking?! Award.
Pulse’s Pick Of the Week!
NCAA Football 13 (PS3, XBOX360) - I may not like EA Sports, but I cannot deny the hype around their football games. A few small changes, along with the addition of previous heisman trophy winners and ability to recreate legendary games. Also new game entrances, revised commentary (finally), and game presentation that gives score updates of big games and a ticker at the bottom of the screen. [$59.99]
Summer Stars 2012 (PS3, Wii) - The perfect game for the Summer Olympics without the official Summer Games affiliation. Events include sprinting, triple jump, mountain biking, and diving. Also includes venues in London. [$20.00]
The Sims 3: Diesel Stuff Pack (PC, Mac) - At first I thought this Sims 3 pack had something to do with vehicles with diesel engines, and quite possibly some plaid shirts, holy jeans and trucker caps. Not even close. This pack features clothing and decor from the Italian fashion company Diesel. That’s pretty much all you get with this pack. [$20.00]
Arcade and DLC Releases
Hold onto your T-cogs! In this world where almost every game seems constantly delayed or a year away from release...High Moon Studios is giving us a surprise. Transformers Fall of Cybertron is set to release a week earlier than expected! I can’t recall this ever happening before in the gaming universe. TFFoC will now release in the US on August 21 and in the UK on August 24 (previously August 28th and 31st, respectively).
The reasons cited* for the early release (besides to post another action packed trailer) are: pride in High Moon’s work and fan request. This sounds great. Although, it leads me to wonder if it is simply a PR stunt to grab another headline or, maybe, High Moon does not want to compete in stores with Madden 13. In any event, I’m as excited as when I took my TF’s lunch box with me on my first day of Middle School (alas, that day started so well...). Pre-order incentives are expected to be available next week.
The latest trailer features some in-game action with Metroplex plus several other new faces. Check out the previous 2old2play TFFoC post for a roll call of all the ’bots in the new game. Since that post Perceptor, Soundwave and Swindle have also been confirmed.
That’s not all. High Moon also released the official box art featuring our fearless leader and Metroplex. Which is just as stunning as all the graphics released so far.
Those of us who have been playing Skyrim for over half a year are intimately familiar with the Stormcloak rebellion against the Empire over the worship of Talos as a god. However, a secret war is being waged in Skyrim between vampire lords and the vampire killers, called The Dawnguard. And now for our special edition of...
The vampires vehemently detest sunlight and are attempting to kill the sun. The Dawnguard vehemently detest vampires and are attempting to eradicate these bloodsuckers wherever they are found. This conflict of interests propels the storyline for Bethesda’s first expansion pack for the newest Elder Scrolls game.
Dawnguard not only expands the Skyrim content, but it changes the way the game is played, adds some nifty new weapons and armor, adds a fair amount of new dungeons and real estate, and gives players a couple of new skill trees to explore and exploit.
Changing the Game
The Fourth of July means something different to most Americans. Some of us park our arses in front of the tube and watch westerns or war movies all day. Others load the kids up and head to the beach for some barbeque, boats, and a bag of M-80s. To others, it means a Thursday morning hangover. For gamers like us, it’s a chance to get out of the sun for some uninterrupted game time. For those of us playing it safe indoors, 2old2play offers a short list of suggestions to keep your holiday game time in a patriotic theme. So here's our list in no particular order thanks to two of our 2old2play Writers, Sarcasmo Jones and TwizdFred.
Top Picks from Sarcasmo Jones
Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever is not the greatest game ever made, but no red-blooded American can deny Duke’s patriotism. Duke is a college football hero, ex-military, and All-American alien ass kicker. His vehicle of choice is his monster truck, The Mighty Foot. He has his own pinball machine, gains experience from perusing porn, and dreams of owning a topless bar. Hail to the King, baby.
Medal of Honor
After several game packed weeks of releases, it looks like gaming companies are taking Independence Day week off. This week features a new age MMO, a racing game and a Final Fantasy rhythm game.
Endless Space - A 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) space strategy game. Includes eight civilizations to control, five hero classes, turn based gameplay, and eight player multiplayer battles. [$29.99, $34.99 Special Edition]
The Secret World - A MMORPG with a modern day setting. There are three factions to choose from- the Dragon, Illuminati, or Templar. There are no classes or levels and encourages freedom to play the way you want. Also includes PvP play. [Free 30 days, $14.99 per month after trial]
XBOX 360 Releases
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends - Racing game that focuses on the Ferrari brand. Races include GT, Formula 1 and Rally events. Includes 56 classic and modern Ferrari vehicles. Campaign and 8 player multiplayer available. [$49.99]
Nintendo 3DS Releases
As we head into the last week of releases, we’ve got another week completely stacked with games. We’ve got games for dance freaks, olympic wannabes, web crawlers, tiny ninjas, and retro skaters.
Just Dance: Greatest Hits (XBOX360, Wii) - Sequel to the motion controlled dancing game, featuring 35 hit songs from Just Dance 1 and 2, such as “Eye of the Tiger”, “Fame”, and “Toxic”. Features include up to four player dancing, Simon Says, Just Sweat, and Medley modes. [$39.99]
London 2012: The Official Video Game for the Olympic Games (PC, PS3, XBOX360) - Includes 30 events in the venues of the London Olympics. Events included: track and field, skeet shooting, archery, swimming, diving, gymnastics, kayak, cycling, weightlifting, table tennis, beach volleyball, and rowing. Most of these games are not too good, but I hope this is a good one. [$49.95]
Spec Ops: The Line (PC, PS3, XBOX360) - Third person military shooter created by 2k games. Story takes place in Dubai, where a sandstorm has buried the city. A mysterious radio signal is received from Dubai, and a team of three are sent in to the city to seek survivors. Multiplayer modes available include deathmatch, team deathmatch, rally point, and buried mode, in addition to four classes and one unique class per faction. [$59.99]
Devastating sandstorms and other natural calamities are set to hit Dubai on June 26th. Where will you be? Hopefully you will be on the ground as US Army Captain Walker in 2K Games upcoming shooter, Spec Ops: The Line.
“Taking a stroll around the streets of Dubai and all of a sudden... Sand happens.”
Set in modern day Dubai after a series of devastating natural calamities, Spec Ops: The Line takes advantage of Dubai’s unique architecture and provides players with spaces that can either turn the tide in your favor during a firefight or put you and your squad in ultimate peril. The sand dune that you are standing on can easily collapse to reveal a 30-storey building entombed underneath or it can provide the cover needed to keep you alive and ready for the next mission. It’s just one of those days when you should have just stayed in bed. Instead, you go out for a leisurely early morning stroll in the streets of Dubai and Boom! Sand happens. It’s bad enough that you have to be vigilant of human foes, you also need to keep an eye trained on that spec of sand that just might decide it doesn’t like you.