June 4th, 2012
The Kinect is cool, but perhaps not perfect for all uses. Famous console modder Benjamin Heckendorn was especially unimpressed by its accuracy for video playback control, and decided to make his own control glove that uses motion control and hand positions to control the Xbox.
The glove emulates an IR remote for the Xbox and uses an Arduino based system for detecting the motion controls and translating them to IR signals. The resulting glove is a monstrosity that looks like the prototype it is, and this is more about coolness factor than actually being all that useful compared to just using the remote it's emulating.
The build is part of Ben Heck's podcast, so head over there to watch it be built and work.
By: Master Devwi
June 1st, 2012
After nearly a year and a half of silence following the release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, LucasArts has announced its next big video game franchise: Star Wars 1313. But unlike The Force Unleashed, the protagonist of this new series is completely without the Force. This means you’ll be forced to rely on exotic weaponry and gadgets, rather than mystical powers.
Star Wars 1313 is set on the 1,313th level of Coruscant, far below the beautiful cityscape shown in the films. The story will focus on the criminal underworld, filled with conspiracy and bounty hunting. LucasArts also aims to make this the first Star Wars game with themes “intended for mature audiences,” something fans have often asked for.
Most of the details surrounding Star Wars 1313 are still shrouded in secrecy. The game’s full unveiling is planned for this coming Monday during E3, but the developer has already confirmed that it will be a third-person “cinematic action adventure game” developed in-house. As with The Force Unleashed, LucasArts is working closely with other Lucasfilm companies to create the best possible experience.
May 31st, 2012
The Avenger (Elite) game controller attachment has created a bit of buzz in the media because of its peculiar approach to gaining an edge in console gaming. Unlike more traditional modified controllers with things like rapid fire modes, which is something we've seen for decades, the Avenger is a purely dumb attachment that doesn't actually add any electronic components to the controller. Instead it uses springs and levers to give you better and quicker access to parts of the controller, which is a legal way of optimizing a controller.
The attachement came out this month, and has now made its way to GameStop in the US. Priced at $50 it's definitely for the more avid gamers, but I doubt that it will have any trouble selling. In fact, it sold out on launch day. There's both a PS3 and an Xbox 360 version available, so if you want an edge in your console gaming, check out the nearest GameStop and hope for the controller to be back in stock.
May 31st, 2012
Mass Effect 3's ending is still an ongoing issue, but the multiplayer part of the game is actually thriving when it comes to Bioware involvement. The multiplayer part of the game is a four player co-op system where you need to survive 11 waves of enemies in a confined area, and the ability to play as species like Asari and Krogan make it a lot of fun.
The second DLC for the multiplayer was released a few days ago, and like the first one, it's free. The Rebellion DLC adds a new race, Vorcha, as well as new types of human Adept and Vanguard, and new type of Quarian Engineer and Infiltrator. These new combinations and race also brings new abilities, like tactical scan and flamethrower. New weapons include a gold rarity sniper rifle that shoots explosive rounds, a gold rarity arc shotgun, and an ultra rarity assault rifle. Two new maps are also included, as well as a new objective type for the objective-based rounds 3, 6 and 10. Finally, a fourth slot has been added to gear, which holds a new type of gear that unlocks and ranks like weapons and mods, and isn't consumed after a game.
Bioware is doing a decent job of keeping the multiplayer aspect of ME3 interesting, and there are certainly companies that could learn from providing free DLC. There are also special operations weekends every two weeks, helping to keep it interesting.
By: Master Devwi
May 25th, 2012
The 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo—more commonly known as E3—is fast approaching, and gamers around the world are eagerly anticipating the flood of game reveals, gameplay videos, screenshots, and hands-on impressions. Eager to drive up viewership, Spike TV has teased an exclusive reveal of the “next big Star Wars game franchise.”
The network has teamed up with LucasArts to show off the studio’s next title in two segments. The initial reveal will be on Thursday, May 31 on GameTrailers TV (GTTV), followed by an information blow-out on Monday, June 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT. Fans will also be able to ask the top secret project’s creative director questions during a live interview.
What exactly the project is remains a mystery. The phrase “next big franchise” seems to rule out sequels to popular games like The Force Unleashed, Battlefront, Republic Command, and Knights of the Old Republic. It also implies that the franchise will be something important, rather than a spinoff of The Clone Wars or some other standalone title or straight-to-portable-system game. Whatever it is, the official reveal is just a few days away.
[Spike TV via EUCantina]
By: Master Devwi
May 18th, 2012
Microsoft and 343 Industries are operating the Halo 4 hype machine at a good clip, and this week’s reveal is focused on what you’ll get if you pick up the limited edition of the game. Gone are the days of the Heroic and Legendary Editions, the latter of which essentially pioneered the over-the-top video game pack-ins with the Spartan Helmet included with Halo 3. Instead, 343 is narrowing down the product editions to just two, allowing fans to get all of the bonuses without plunking down more than twice the cost of the standalone game.
The Halo 4 Limited Edition, which will retail for $99, includes a beautiful metal UNSC-themed game case, free access to the War Games map packs, a UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet, a special edition of the live action Forward Unto Dawn digital series, and a variety of digital goods.
By: Master Devwi
May 7th, 2012
If you haven’t yet jumped on the Xbox 360 bandwagon, Microsoft’s latest console pricing scheme might be somewhat enticing. As rumored, Microsoft Stores have begun offering an Xbox 360 4GB console, Kinect sensor, and Xbox LIVE Gold subscription for $99, plus a two-year contract of $14.99 a month.
Why is this deal so good? Well, it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to pick up a new Xbox 360 console and various accessories, but it significantly drops the barrier to entry. $99 has long been thought of as the “sweet spot” for console pricing. While this new bundle hits that mark, it also adds a monthly fee to help subsidize the low cost.
Sold separately, the Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect will run you $299.99, with an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription tacking on an additional $59.99 a year ($9.99 per month if you prefer to go that route). Added up, it costs $419.97, $38.79 less than the $458.76 that the subsidized bundle will run you when it’s all said and done. Of course, while the $99 deal ends up being slightly more expensive, you also get the benefit of paying it off over the course of two years, rather than all up front.
Customers are used to paying $10-$15 a month for entertainment services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, and smartphones are almost always sold at a subsidized price in the US, so $15 a month for an Xbox 360 and all of the entertainment it encompasses isn’t bad at all.
[Microsoft Store via Kotaku]
By: Master Devwi
May 4th, 2012
Love it or hate it, Call of Duty is a massive juggernaut. And this week, Activision finally revealed the sequel to Black Ops and the follow up to 2011’s Modern Warfare 3—Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The game is scheduled for release on November 13, one week after the launch of Halo 4.
Activision and developer Treyarch have revealed a surprising amount of information about the game, despite the launch being just over six months away. At first glance, the game’s trailer seems somewhat reminiscent of Battlefield 2143, complete with a futuristic setting and towering mechs. But upon closer examination, it’s obvious that this is certainly not the case.
By: Master Devwi
April 27th, 2012
Cave Johnson is fed up with paying employees to design new test chambers, so he has concocted a new scheme to acquire the blueprints for free: the Perpetual Testing Initiative (PeTI). This Portal 2 DLC will take advantage of the Steam Workshop and a “powerful, easy-to-use Puzzle Maker” to give gamers the best experience for creating, sharing, and playing custom Portal 2 test chambers.
The free “Perpetual Testing Initiative” DLC, which will be released on PC and Mac on May 8, is the second digital add-on to be made available for Valve’s hit puzzle game. The DLC was actually revealed last fall, but like all Valve projects, the development process took much longer than expected. Unfortunately, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners are out of luck. It’s too bad, since a Portal 2 test chamber could have been a big hit on consoles, which have proven to be just as effective at level editing.
[Think With Portals]
April 26th, 2012
Even with some of my favorite games ever coming out of Nintendo, I smile from ear to ear when I see Nintendo failing. I don't particularly care for neither Microsoft nor Sony, but I will give them one thing: they're going with the times. Playstation certified phones, Xbox integration in Windows Phone 7, the PS Vita, and so on and so forth. Nintendo? Refusing to play ball with modern technology, and instead releasing c...reative products like the 3DS.
Granted this is just my opinion, but it seems to be shared by many if you go by the earnings report that Nintendo just released. The company lost 37.3 million yen last financial year, roughly $460 million, despite the price cuts it introduced as some sort of emergency measure half way through last year. It says that the coming year will be better, with the Wii U, price cuts and strong game titles helping achieve that. I wouldn't hold my breath though, a company that sits on so many fantastic game franchises yet completely refuses to get with the times really has no business in 2012. Nintendo is trying to make money the same way now as it did 20 years ago, and that just isn't going to work.