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    Thursday
    May242012

    Sleeping Dogs Shows You What's Hip in Hong Kong



    I haven't visited many places in my life time, but I was lucky enough to spend a week in Hong Kong, easily one of the world's most awesome cities. The weather is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the vibe is strangely reminiscent of my home city of New York. Though I did much during my time spent in the Pearl of the Orient, there were some wonderful activities I missed, without a doubt. Sleeping Dogs is here to make sure that you won't miss a beat in Hong Kong. From drag racing, to karaoke, to slashing dudes with meat cleavers, it's all here!

    The more I see of Sleeping Dogs, the more impressed I become. The True Crime games have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but it looks like I will not need to feel guilty about enjoying this one at all because it looks fucking awesome. Alive, bustling, full of activities. The racing looks fast, the fighting looks visceral; the whole package just looks right. But looks ain't good for nothing, it's all about that feel. Don't fuck up that feel, Sleeping Dogs.

    This article has been approved by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (香港旅遊發展局).

    Thursday
    May242012

    Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Dares You to Press Start

    This is the title screen for upcoming Konami/Kojima/Platinum love child Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I've created posts for less.

    While it tells us absoltely nothing about the upcoming slash-and-flash fest, Raiden is looking pretty good, which at the very least is what I expect from this mess. Revengeance (no definition) will be playable at E3, so expect some new details and trailers in the coming weeks. 

    Tuesday
    May222012

    Blip Festival 2012: The Chiptune Rave


    It's almost here, folks! The glorious weekend when geeks, gamers, music enthusiasts, and rave kids come together and share an enclosed space fueled by alcohol and bleep-bloops; Blip Festival! As a veteran of the past 2 BlipFests, I cannot speak enough for the enjoyment of this event. If you find yourself in NYC or a few hours away, you should -- no, need -- to carve some time out of your busy weekend schedule to take part in these lo-fi music festivities, if only for a day.

    During the afternoon hours, you may find yourself at a workshop detailing how to create incredibly deep and catchy tunes with little more than a Gameboy, the beautiful art at its purest. Some gifted musicians have mixed this foundation together with vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards and just about anything else you can think of, to create truly awe-inspiring sounds. Anamanaguchi is perhaps the best-known example of how deep the rabbit hole goes. Your mileage may vary, but rest assured, you will find a foundation here, at least. Practice your soundboard chops night and day and maybe you will find yourself performing at Blip Festival 2014.

    Come night, the beer flows, the sweat falls, and the air is pierced by tweaked triangle, square, and sine waveforms. In the past few years, I've been entranced by talented musicians such as Minusbaby, Bit Shifter, and main conspirator-slash-all-around-rockstar Nullsleep. In fact, if you're green to the scene but curious, you should study the vast audio archive over at 8bitpeoples.com, a collective of Nullsleep and some other very talented chip-thinking, hive-minded individuals.


    Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours experiences some rather fun sound problems

    These festivities are not for everyone, but gamers should appreciate this art form. With the talented and experimental brains involved in these festivities, you will hear some of everything: dance, rock, rap, ballads, all with an 8-bit flair. Party people will appreciate the rave-like atmosphere which includes everything from self-contained dance pits to a dude dressed like Santa Claus handing out balloons for the crowd to inflate and toss around. And if that ain't your thing, find a nice spot to cool out with a drink, and enjoy the sounds inspired by the forefathers of current and future gen gaming. You will not regret it.

    For more information about Blip Festival, including an entire list of the weekend's performers, set times, and a link to purchase tickets, head straight to the source, BlipFestival.org.

    Tuesday
    May152012

    'Nuff Said: Halo 4 Box Art

    Courtesty of the super-geeks at NeoGAF, thank their kind hearts. God bless and good night.

    Tuesday
    May152012

    This is a Video About Ghost Recon: Future Soldier


    I'm not a fan of the Ghost Recon series, so you may be wondering why I'm covering Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Quite simple, actually: Coco. 

    The wife of honorary Otaku But Gangsta, actor, and rapper Ice-T, illustrates how much she enjoys competing in first-person shooters by showing her cleavage and exposing her very near bare ass. No complaints here! Apparently, Ubisoft is marketing the latest Ghost Recon title by introducing a few "stars" to play on Team Ghost. Y'know, as opposed to Team Modern Warfare, Team Halo, or her hubby's preference, Team Gears. 

    I'm not even mad at Ubisoft for this. Half naked chicks shooting automatic weapons! Keep up the good work guys. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier releases on May 22.

    Monday
    May142012

    The Walking Dead: Episode 1: Short, Sweet Drama (+ Giveaway)


    Zombies are dead. Well of course, they're reanimated corpses, what else would they be? Alright, let's take this from the top then. The zombie genre is dead. These days, anything starring the dead risen is laughably late to the party or trying to desperately cling to the waning corpse rush of the past few years. I tend to avoid zombie-centric media at all costs, save for a few exceptions, such as The Walking Dead. Surprisingly, I wasn't all too excited to play the game - which is based in the world of one of my favorite TV series - mostly because I'm no particular fan of point-and-click adventures. However, when a review code for The Walking Dead: Episode 1 landed in my lap, I couldn't let it go unplayed, and I am very happy with the end result.

    Hit the jump to find out how you can win your very own copy of The Walking Dead: Episode 1!

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    May092012

    Dragon's Dogma: A Child to Raise and Call Your Own

    Written by Jason McKoy

    Just the other day I saw Skyrim sitting in a seedy bar, sipping on a flagon of mead and lamenting some of his past decisions. Then walked in the sexy mistress World of Warcraft, causing the old boy Skyrim to suddenly perk up. World of Warcraft may be longer in the tooth than some of the other patrons of this dive, but make no mistake, she is just as sexy if not sexier than the other floozies. And man, is she’s experienced. She doesn’t walk, she glides. She doesn’t sit at the bar, she hovers by it. She is the only thing thus far to raise Skyrim’s head, sunken in skooma and waning hype. He looks at her and whispers one word: "Wow." The night ends much like it usually does in fantasy scenarios: liquid courage, modern-primitive courting rituals, Skyrim finger-banging WoW in the bathroom, and the two shacking up together, blackout drunk. The next morning, the walk of shame.

    Six months later WoW contacts Skyrim with some interesting news. She’s pregnant and he’s the father. Rather than chalk it up as a one night stand and deny his patriarchal role, Skyrim does the noble thing and fathers up, raising the kid as his own. Though one day, he begins to notice that this child doesn't look much like his supposed father. The two have very little in common aside from the mutual enjoyment of action and RPGs, the similarities end there. Skyrim begins to question whether or not this bastard is even his own. In spite of WoW’s protestations, Skyrim demands a paternity test. Knowing of only one surefire way of making absolutely certain that this child possesses his DNA, he does what so many men in this situation have done before him: he turns to the wise sage Maury Povich.


    Skyrim discovers that the child he has been raising for all this time, who he trained in character classes, taught the ways of the Dragon, and travailed an arduous open world where danger lurks behind every blade of grass, is not his own. Skyrim discovers WoW has been seeing two other men, Resident Evil and Devil May Cry; wild dudes from Japan that are painfully successful in the East and tremendously popular in the states as well. With mother and father at ends, what does fate hold for the child? We will find out come May 22 when Dragon’s Dogma releases for 360 and PS3. Featuring stylized combat and visuals that only Capcom know how to forge, an exciting combat engine, and an intelligent spin on the typical dungeon crawling AI controlled party, Dragon’s Dogma looks like the child you have always wanted. It will take just as long to nurture and raise, given the tremendous open world and numerous NPCs, all with unique features and personalities. Be prepared to dedicate your (social) life to this baby until either it reaches maturity, or you grow old and it puts you in a home for the rest of your elder years, alone and neglected.

    Editor's Note: I still uphold my boycott of Capcom titles until they get their business practices straight, however Jason makes a mean argument. -Ernie

    Monday
    May072012

    Ninja Gaiden III: Dynasty Warriors Hayabusa


    After having such a good time with the recent reboot of Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II, I was sort of looking forward to Ninja Gaiden III. Tomonobu Itagaki was cast out, Metroid: Other M fell flat on its face, yet Team Ninja soldiered on with the latest Ninja Gaiden entry. The odds were stacked against this title before development even begun. Whereas past games in the series focused on gore, difficulty, and obscenely large boobs, the third put an increased focus on Hayabusa's thoughts and feelings. I don't mind games that expose a character's psyche, however if not well done, the story becomes as appetizing as raw chicken. The same mistake made by Metroid: Other M, but no one learns, do they? Even after IGN's infamous 3/10 rating on release day, I held on to a shred of hope and purchased the game the following week. What a mistake.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May072012

    Do We Really Need The Elder Scrolls Online?

    The logo is heavily influenced by The Human Centipede

    It was just last week. I was screaming at Skyrim along with fellow OBG conspirator Eric B., when we began to flesh out the details of an online Elder Scrolls game. You create your character, choose your race, and start in a predefined, racially logical area of Tamriel. You begin your quest learning the ropes on your own, and as you gain experience, you venture out farther in the world. Before long you meet with fellow players to systematically destroy whoever and whatever you want in the open world fashion that has endeared The Elder Scrolls series to us for all this time. As it was detailed, we pictured this title in the fashion of Borderlands, or Left 4 Dead; more of an online co-op experience than a massively multiplayer affair. You could enter instanced towns with hundreds of others to find a group of adventurers, or enter player-vs-player areas across the world. It is brilliant stuff, and I was convinced the idea would make us millions. Until it was pickpocketed. I'm absolutely convinced that Microsoft and ZeniMax have tapped Kinect mics, taken our idea, made some lawyer-proof changes, and pushed this thing out to the public in what I imagine to be two sleepless nights. Stolen Game Jam?! Nah, not really.

    The Elder Scrolls Online has been in development since 2007 and is set for release next year, far eclipsing any timetable I could have imagined. I'm not worried about the time and effort placed into TESO, but rather the impact it will have on the future of Elder Scrolls games. If this online title is a hit, it's not a stretch to say future sinlge player Elder Scrolls games could suffer. MMOs are a time, money, and power-sink for everyone, dev and player side. If this title kills and becomes Zenimax's golden child and cash farm, all their focus could possibly go into upkeep and creating additional content, causing all other single-player games to suffer a lack of Skyrim (see: awesomeness.) Tamriel is a massive, lore-filled world ya know. On the flip, what if The Elder Scrolls Online burns to the ground like a fallen Blood Dragon? It's ashes scattered across the gaming world in the form of talented employees being absorbed by other studios like a soul of its former host. These situations do happen in worst case scenarios, and in these days of tight pockets, failure of a heavily invested MMO can be defined as a worst case. Of course, it's too soon to assume any failures or successes, but it can't hurt to speculate right?

    We know The Elder Scrolls games come from a long line of successful titles, filled with action, adventure, and the open world before you. The Elder Scrolls Online is confirmed to be fully voiced, which is a positive notch in its belt. As a Star Wars: The Old Republic vet, let me tell you that a fully voiced MMO really lends to the immersion. We also know that ZeniMax Online Studios will be foregoing Skyrim's free and open battle system in place of a more typical hotbar system that most massive multiplayer titles use. Ooooh, not a good move here, guys. Part of what made Skyrim so exciting is how wonderfully combat was handled, and being able to do just about whatever you wanted to a ill-fated frost troll in real time. The point-and-click hotbar model will strip all that good and could make this title just another MORPG in an M market. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the open world and the affect the player has on it will be completely marginalized in the online realm. Previously, if I didn't like the room offered to me by an innkeeper, or the tone of voice a villager was giving me, I could snuff them out. Forever. Two years later, that innkeeper would still be dead, and that villager's wife would still be widowed. Or maybe, the widow married the innkeeper's husband, and had become the inn's de facto owner. That was the beauty of the game: the randomness, the finality, and the long-standing impact that came along with it. In a world co-owned by hundreds of thousands of other players, this type of dynamic is impossible. How will I be able to permenanty end any non-player character that glitches at me, when the Breton Mage aptly named Ishartedmyself needs that character to complete a faction-specific class quest? If these mechanics were allowed, Tamriel would be knee-deep in NPC corpses, and populated with nothing but players. Of course, if that were the case, the player base could be responsible for every facet of the world's success or failure, but that's a completely different discussion.


    Early TESO concept art and screens. World of Warcraft, is that you?

    To be completely fair, it's too early to say whether or not The Elder Scrolls Online could exist in a market that's already saturated with massive multiplayer online games. To be a complete dick, the departure of this title from the roots of whence it came could be a deal breaker. Sure, ZeniMax inherits the valuable online gamer's coin, but in doing so they stand to alienate the Elderly Scrollers who have been with the series since Daggerfall, and the newbs who fell in love with Oblivion and Skyrim. Failure here could cause a catastrophic ripple effect through the ranks of one of my favorite series. So please, don't Wabbajack this up, guys.

    Do you guys think MMO is the way to go? Leave your thoughts below.

    Tuesday
    May012012

    Fus-Ro-Damn! All 200 of Skyrim's Voice Commands

    Click the image for more helmet

    I don't know about you guys, but tonight I plan on getting drunk and screaming at my TV until the wee hours of the night. Until either I lose my voice, my neighbors complain, or my roommate tells me to "shut the fuck up!" I can't wait. If you, like me, plan on screaming at Skyrim via your Kinect-powered Xbox 360, here is a handy list of all 200 voice commands in one nice little pdf, courtesy of our friends at Bethesda.

    In completely related news, Skyrim's first downloadable content, Dawnguard, has been officially revealed with an image. Yes, the image that you see in part in this post's header. No other information has been released aside from said image. Except for the fact that it will be available this summer on Xbox 360 before any other platform. Aw yea, more drunken screaming. Let's see your PlayStation Move do that.

    Skyrim Kinect Voice Commands

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