Games for Gold kicking the year off big! And a helpful tip.

After ending on a slow note last month with Shoot Many Robots as the last free game for gold members of 2013, Xbox comes up strong in January with the next batch of free games.

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Starting yesterday and through the 14th the free game for gold members is Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping dogs is an open world, action adventure game in which you try to infiltrate the Triad gang. The game did mediocre sales wise when released but was a popular new IP. The other game being given away this month starting on the 15th is Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light the download only title that was released on Xbox live, Steam and PSN.

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So it seems as if they are off to a great start for the year. Also, as a reminder if you want these games and dont have time to play them if you confirm the purchase and cancel the download you will have these games available to you even after they are not available for free.

My experience with Plants vs Zombies 2: Its about Time.

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If you are unaware the highly anticipated sequel to Plants vs Zombies was released this morning! First off, the game isn’t available on Android, Luckily I have an Iphone to download this on too. No real changes as you make your way through the tutorial but then you hop in a Time Machine that belongs to Crazy Dave. Dave has a thing with a taco… next thing you know, you’re in Ancient Egypt. I thought the name was just a social comment on the amount of time spent releasing the game.

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2 levels in they give you the Almanac from the first game and hit you with the upgrades you can buy. 3-4 dollars will get you Bonus seed slots, shovel ,plant food bonus or sun bonus. Some of the bonuses are unlocked in the game itself. With new plants and zombie types come obviously new strategies so don’t spend your time trying the same tricks you used in the previous version.

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At first the “Freeuim” model for the game was not an obvious change. You were playing the game as you normally would and the option to buy enhancements were just there. However, like most games of this type as you go on, the writing is plain as day. You can continue to play the levels available until you unlock enough items to move on to another part or you can simply buy them. After my first few hours with the game however it seems as if the game is the same, just might take you a bit longer replaying levels to move on to another part. After you beat level 11 it opens up the availability to star the open levels much like other games.

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Overall, the gameplay is the same. Still a fun game and much like the first. The only major difference is the model in place. The only people this particular “freeium” model happen to affect are the ones not willing to put the time in and really play the game. If you are willing to put the time in, get the game worth every minute. 5 out of 5.

A slew of Xbox One announcements and changes.

While Sony, doesn’t have much to say because they pretty much announced everything or because they are waiting and Nintendo is embarrassed because theirs isn’t comparable. Microsoft continues to push the Xbox One releasing news and taking back bad decisions.

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So lets start at the top. The Avatars will transfer over to the Xbox One but you can do full body hd gamerpics at a full 1080p. Quite frankly, I don’t know why this is important then again I’m the one that wanted to make sure his Gamerscore transferred. Oh well. Microsoft also announced that Skype, Game DVR, Smart Match like several features from the 360 will be limited to the Gold Members. Not the smartest move in my opinion, but at the same time it’s nothing new from the previous system.

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Xbox announced yesterday that the console will no longer require the Kinect unit to be on and active at all times as previous stated. Microsoft released information showing that now you will have the ability to turn off the unit and leave it off for as much time as you want. The only feature that will continue to work while the kinect is off will by the ir blasting and when attempting to play a kinect game it will ask you to turn it on before proceeding as expected.The graphics capacity of the One has been released to help out developers. Microsoft turned up the GPU of the Xbox One from 800 MHz to 853 MHz. While this change doesn’t directly help the gamers directly, It does help extend the release life of the console and ensure that the games will look better at release.

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And last but not least, in the day and age where smaller is sometimes better, Msoft has said why the console is so big. Heat dissipation. Microsoft said that the extra space in the new console is being used to ensure that the console stays cool longer and hopes to prevent the Red Ring of Death issue that was infamous and feared on the 360. The space is used to help cool down the console and keep the console quiet when in use. They pointed out that the new systems cooling and power system was designed because they had a goal of the console staying powered on for 10 years without catastrophic failure.

So many updates and that’s just what they’ve said so far. I have a feeeling that by the time the release comes along there will be a Xbox bashing Sony commercial but we shall see. Any changes you like? Still waiting to decide? Let us know in the comments below!

City of Heroes/Villains to be no more.

Well at the beginning of the September, Gaming company NCsoft announced that due to a “realignment of company focus and publishing support” they will be closing Paragon Studios. Paragon is the studio that is solely responsible for the Super Hero MMO. The studio released this statement on their website.

“Farewell, from all of us at Paragon Studios

This morning we announced that Paragon Studios will be taking to the skies of City of Heroes for the last time.

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world’s first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we’ve all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won’t regret it.

To our Community,

Thank you. Thank you for your years of support. You’ve been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn’t have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don’t dwell on the “how” or the “why”, but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.

Thank you, and I’ll see you in the skies, one last time.

Andy Belford
Community Manager
Paragon Studios”.

However, this does not mean that the users will go down with out a fight. Over the weekend hundreds of nerds took to the game with their respective characters and staged an in game rally and sit on the steps of the games city hall. The rally got so huge that there was at least 30 instances of the city hall full of rallies meaning there were about 2500 people across the server farms and it was enough to threaten a server crash. No word as to whether or not the servers crashed but the message was sent.

I spent some time running around the city and saving innocent bystanders from the grasp of evil and all I have to say is that it is no W.O.W. having played a couple of of NCsoft’s games I can’t say that they were enough to keep me around, but then again to each their own.

Arcadecraft


Have you ever wanted to run your own arcade? If you’re reading this and you say no, then you’re either lying or you know better than to run a business in a dying industry. However, to run an arcade in their high points or even the resurgence in the ’90s would’ve been a blast.

Some of the best times I had was when my Grandpa owned and operated an arcade. I’m not sure that an arcade was the best business for the cheap guy to own(No, seriously he was the type of old flea marketing guys that would buy us Happy Meals but keep the toys because he believed they were worth money.) but he would often leave my uncle in charge and we would spend an afternoon beating games after jacking up the credits.

Well, Soon you can own and operate your own arcade and never leave the house!

The game is supposed to take you through the up and downs of the arcade industry, the rise in the early 80s, the late 80s crash and the re rise in the 90s. As is the case with these games price, place and industry all factor into how your arcade does. The customer base is made up of Xbox Live Avatars(Non Player Characters). The success of the individual arcade machine are impacted by different things as well. Home release, and classic status both go into deciding whether or not the machine will do well in the arcade. As time goes on the Machines and gaming progress just like they do in real life.

Firebase Industries hasn’t released a date, price or release means yet at this time but its only a matter of time because they said it should be finished in October.

Take a Bite out of Granny Smith, Available Now on iOS and Android

Mediocre, the team behind last year’s award-winning Sprinkle, is excited to announce today the launch of Granny Smith on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices, featuring exclusive effects on NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 devices. A whimsical blend of racing and platforming, Granny Smith puts players in the skates of a radical grandma as she rolls, soars and crashes through walls to get her stolen apples back from a chubby little thief. With 36 hand-crafted levels, three playable characters and integrated leaderboards, Granny Smith offers hours of fun to gamers of all ages, including the approximately 6 million players who downloaded the paid and free versions of Sprinkle and Sprinkle Jr. in the past year.

Granny is a fast old lady, but players need just two simple buttons to send her careening over obstacles and sliding along wires with her trusty cane. Walls collapse and windows shatter as she blasts through them, showing off a robust physics engine that gamers should expect from the makers of the water-splashing puzzler Sprinkle. But even if things get messy after Granny zooms by, the game looks great thanks to artist Henrik Johansson’s vibrant, playful style. If Granny needs a boost, she can toss baseballs and bananas to slow down the apple-bandit and break through obstacles. Just be sure to collect enough coins along the way – and don’t faceplant after a big jump, or you’ll be left with an empty purse

The team at Mediocre has once again pushed the technical boundaries with Tegra 3 exclusive enhancements – including additional breakable objects, grass, flowers and dust particles – that heighten the rockin’ and rollin’ Granny fun. The game is featured on the TegraZone™ app, NVIDIA’s free app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor.

Mediocre just released a sizzling trailer for Granny Smith, which is viewable here. The game’s official website can be found at http://www.grannysmithgame.com.

Granny Smith features:

  • Spectacular physics – Granny Smith uses some of the most advanced destruction physics in mobile games. Crash through crates and windows, then watch the pieces fly all over!
  • Dazzling visuals – Zoom through dozens of vibrant, whimsical worlds! Each level is like a fanciful, three-dimensional storybook.
  • Intuitive controls – Help Granny pull off crazy moves with simple two-button controls – perfect for both tablets and phones.
  • Vintage replays – Watch your best runs in retro-movie style with cool camera angles and slow-motion effects!
  • Power Granny up – Collect coins and equip Granny with a helmet, banana peels and baseballs. If Granny is getting old, you have two alternative characters to play with – Scruffy and Stanley!

Strap on your skates and download Granny Smith today for just $0.99 via the App Store or Google Play. Visit TegraZone for more information on the Tegra enhanced version.

More Assassins Creeds Goodies!

Directors Cut of the Original Assassins Creed opening Cinematics.

Altair is a bad ass.

AND I <3 Ubisoft. Here is parts one and two of a 4 part epsode of a mini series entitled Inside Assassins Creed 3!

and Episode 2:

Well Hot damn….. I cannot wait.

Happy Wars Free to Play!

Happy Wars is a casual multi-player action game in which a large number of players control comical characters in fun battles.
In a variety of fantasy battlefields including grasslands, a dark world, and the ocean floor, players can control any of 3 types of characters: warrior, mage, and cleric. Cooperate with friends to enjoy action on the grand scale, casting magic spells, attacking castles, and so on.
For off-line fun, the player can take on missions in the solo campaign mode.

“Happy Wars is our first original title and we want to deliver it from Japan to the world,” said Yoichi Take, director of Happy Wars. “We explored deeply into the fun of playing together with friends. The game has been jam-packed with gimmicks and systems to appeal to all gamers from hardcore to casual. We promise unprecedented enthusiasm, screams and excitement, so by all means, have fun with Happy Wars!”

Happy Wars is expected to be released by Microsoft Studios on the Microsoft Xbox LIVE Arcade service in 2012. Microsoft announced that “it will release ToyLogic’s game as XBLA’s first for-real free-to-play game. When Happy Wars launches this “autumn,” it’ll be a free download for Xbox Live Gold users, supported by the purchase of “lavishly rendered items” to customize your character.”

PC game REQUIRES Your Voice.

Indomitus Games presents:

In Verbis Virtus is a first person view video game that mixes action and puzzle elements in a fantasy setting, in the game you play as a wizard who can perform spells pronouncing magic formulas. The innovation introduced by this game is in the control system: the player must use a microphone to cast spells by actually saying the magic words.

While playing In Verbis Virtus we find ourselves completely unarmed in a dark dungeon that hides many dangers. The only way to overcome the obstacles that you’ll find is to learn the secrets of the arcane arts of magic through books that the protagonist finds along his path. These tomes teach magic formulas which, if pronounced correctly, enable you to perform many spells. Using these powers in a creative way the player can solve puzzles, overcome traps and kill the enemies that try to hinder him.

So far the game demo is available for PC only with no announcement of any other platforms, but its certainly worth a shot!