Microsoft E3 Press Conference 2013

Microsoft One or Microsoft None?

Microsoft unveiled their new console about three weeks ago named, Xbox One. A kind of ridiculous name considering plenty of people refer to the original Xbox as the Xbox 1. This unveiling was all about the console and we knew that, yet gamers were not satisfied. Microsoft talked about six or so games during this reveal and pretty much showed off just one. Microsoft starts on a very bad foot. Things could only go up from here, right? Well, apparently not.

Not long after the console reveal it was revealed that Xbox One could not play used games or that there would be a fee and that it would have to be online all the time. Since then we’ve learned that it doesn’t need to be connected to the internet all the time, but it will have to connect once per day to play games and if you’re playing on a system that isn’t yours then you will have to connect once per hour. While that is a bit annoying, at least it’s stated very clearly, unlike their used games policy.

First off, unlike what was originally rumored there is no used game fee. However, if a friend wants to borrow a game they can, but they have to have been friends with you for 30 days. This makes selling your games via eBay, glyde, or elsewhere very hard or impossible. Microsoft has also said that first party games will be able to be sold back to participating retailers. How this works, no one knows. It is not looking good for Microsoft and Xbox One at this point, will their E3 press conference save them?

At Microsoft’s E3 press conference this year they had to do several things, one of which was showing off games. Congrats Microsoft, you did just that. We saw Forza 5, Dark Souls II, Quantum Break, even Metal Gear Solid V. We also got a look at some surprising things like Ryse, Killer Instinct, World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition, Minecraft Xbox One Edition, and (holy crap) Crimson Dragon. There were also two games in there that I would have thought it’s too soon to show off anything, but nevertheless we saw a look at a new Halo (presumably Halo 5) and we saw gameplay from Dead Rising 3. Microsoft you’ve done so well during this press conference now let us know, how much do you want for an Xbox One?

Four hundred and ninety nine dollars. Four hundred and ninety nine euros. Four hundred and twenty nine pounds. I’m sorry Microsoft, what did you say? The price tag for the US is heavy enough, but oh jeesh convert those euros and pounds to dollars and… oh dear lord. Microsoft is basically doing what Sony did back in 2006. You’re alienating a lot of people, Microsoft, a lot. Regular Joe’s don’t have that kind of cash lying around. Please don’t spout the “Well gaming is an expensive hobby” crap. During your Xbox One reveal you basically said it’s a console that everyone can and will want to use. Ok, yes, it comes with a Kinect. But Microsoft, you’ve made the system so it can not function when a Kinect is not plugged in. Nothing that you showed us at your press conference even used the Kinect. Oh, Microsoft, what are we going to do with you?

Alright, Microsoft, you gave us games, you gave us a price, now answer our questions about used games. Or don’t, just don’t do that at all. That is fine too. Now, I say that, but it’s not fine at all. Sure we’re about five months from launch so maybe you’ve still got to figure this one out, Microsoft, but you should have just zipped it on that one. That’s your bad, Microsoft, sorry.

Microsoft did so many things right with the current generation. It’s pretty much unanimous that they “won” the console war with the Xbox 360. So, how did they end up making so many mistakes with their announcement? Perhaps it was a bit of over confidence, or maybe they just really thought everything they had was going to nail it. How did their E3 press conference compare? Did it win anybody back? It’s very possible that it did, but the damage has already been done. It’s still far too early to say, but right now things are not looking so great for Microsoft and Xbox One.

E3 2012: Ubisoft Press Conference Recap

I was a little skeptical when the Ubisoft press conference started that any good would come from it, but by the end holy shit was I proved wrong.

They started out with some silly dancers promoting Just Dance 4 I guess.

They continued with showing a trailer of the Splinter Cell Blacklist co-op, it looked pretty good.

Far Cry 3 was next. Man, did they show something or did they show something. Boobs, tigers, and bows. Oh my. But really, Far Cry 3 looked excellent.

They continued on a path of greatness by showing Rayman Legends on the WiiU. You can play with up to five people, one of them being some sort of fairy or whatever that helps with the collecting and helps with moving around platforms to get through the level. They also showed off a pretty neat rythm level.

Ubisoft very quickly showed off a trailer for a new game called ZombiU. Nothing is really known about this game right now it seems.

Then Ubisoft hit hard showing a couple of Assassin’s Creed III trailers and some spectacular gameplay, no surprise there.

Ubisoft showed off some game called Shootmania, it was interesting. I’m thinking it’s not gonna be a big hit, but who knows.

Ok, here’s what they showed off last and man, did it blow everyone away. Watch Dogs. The trailer and gameplay they showed for this was just, just, I don’t really know how to describe it, but it was more than great. Here’s a link to footage of the game just in case you don’t believe me. Watch Dogs gameplay

There is still plenty more to come out of E3, but man, Ubisoft has stolen the show with Watch Dogs for now.  Stay tuned to my twitter @untitledmage and this site to see coverage of Sony’s press conference later today and Nintendo’s tomorrow and possibly more.

E3 2012: EA Press Conference Recap

There weren’t as many big announcements in this press conference as there was in Microsoft’s but that’s expected. Generally the announcements seem to not be very well received, but it’s cool to hate on EA nowadays isn’t it.

EA started off strong with showing off Dead Space 3 gameplay. Announcing new locations, new characters, and drop in/drop out co-op. Dead Space 3 is coming February 2013.

There were a few sports announcements so I’ll stick them all together. First off Madden 13 was announced to be using the new infinity engine. Secondly, they announced Madden social. Then they showed off some Fifa stuff.

SimCity social was shown off with a seemingly negative reaction. But directly after they showed off the new SimCity proper. SimCity now has multiplayer it seems and is coming February 2013.

Battlefield 3′s expansions were shown off and Battlefield 3 Premium was revealed. For $50 you will get all the Battlefield 3 expansions and you will be getting them two weeks earlier than everyone else. The first expansion, Close Quarters, is now available on PS3 and will be available next week on PC and Xbox 360.

EA talked a bit about The Old Republic. Mostly saying nothing, but they did reveal that starting in July you will be able to play The Old Republic for free up to level 15.

Medal of Honor Warfighter was shown off with one of Linkin Park’s new songs playing under it.

EA announced they have a multi-year deal with UFC. Not surprising but still upsetting for THQ.

Need for Speed Most Wanted gameplay was shown off and revealed that it’s release date is October 30.

Finally, they showed off some Crysis 3 gameplay and announcing that it’ll be coming February 2013.

What do you think? Disappointed, surprised, or pleased by EA’s press conference? I thought it was alright, but I didn’t expect much from EA. Stay tuned to my Twitter feed @untitledmage and to this site for news from the Ubisoft and Sony press conferences later today and Nintendo’s tomorrow.

E3 2012: Microsoft Press Conference Recap

So if any of you follow me on Twitter then you’ll know throughout the Microsoft press conference I was tweeting about the things as I saw them. I thought I’d make this post here to recap everything that was revealed at the Microsoft press conference.

Microsoft started off with a bang, showing off a Halo 4 live action trailer that lead right into some Halo 4 gameplay. In the gameplay we saw Master Chief fighting off some new enemies, using forerunner weapons, and even saw that Master Chief now has the ability to switch visor modes, of which we only saw infrared so far. Halo 4 launches November 6, 2012 only on Xbox 360.

Next we got a first look at Splinter Cell Blacklist. It utilizes the kinect to do things such yell at an enemy to make him comes towards as you strike him from the side of a building. Coming Spring 2013.

Here’s something for you sports fans out there. Within the next 12 months you will be able to watch NBA and NHL games on your Xbox. As well as watch ESPN coverage 24/7 and some more non sports stuff is coming as well. They also showed off Fifa and Madden with some Kinect features.

Microsoft also showed off trailers for Fable The Journey, Gears of War Judgement, and Forza Horizon. Fable The Journey is coming out this fall, Forza Horizon is coming October 23, and Gears of War Judgement will be coming sometime in 2013.

This next thing is pretty big and shows they’re competing almost directly with Nintendo. Microsoft revealed SmartGlass. With it you can use you phones and tablets (yes, including iOS devies) to interact with games. The interaction we’ve seen so far is creating plays with Madden and seeing your stats with Halo 4. SmartGlass is also used with movies, you can play a movie on one device, pause it, and continue it on another.

We also saw a bit of Tomb Raider gameplay. From what they showed off it seems like they’re going in a more shooting oriented direction than there’s been in previous Tomb Raider games. We also saw Laura using the environment to take out her enemies. It was announced that there will be DLC for Tomb Raider and it will be first exclusively on the Xbox 360. Tomb Raider comes out March 5, 2013.

A few new games were announced as well such as Ascend New Gods, coming in 2013. LocoCycle, a new game from Twisted Pixel, also coming in 2013. And a game called Matter, coming, you guessed it, in 2013.

Resident Evil 6 gameplay was finally shown off. We saw some explosions and fire and helicopters crashing. Other than that it looks like a better controlling Resident Evil game. Oh and you can move and shoot it looks like. Resident Evil 6 is coming October 2.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone came out on the stage and poked fun of their new South Park game, The Stick of Truth, being able to interact with SmartGlass. And before that we saw a trailer that showed off the game and it looks just like the show, which should be great for fans. South Park The Stick of Truth is coming March 5, 2013.

Next up we saw a Dance Central 3 trailer. Followed by Usher coming out on stage and performing his upcoming single. That’s pretty much all that was shown off for that, but it was an impressive performance.

Lastly, Microsoft announced that Black Ops 2 DLC will be coming first exclusively to the Xbox 360. They preceded to show some gameplay of it. Black Ops 2 is coming November 13, 2013.

So that was, more or less, all of the stuff showed off at the Microsoft E3 press conference. Check back later in the day for news on the EA, Ubisoft, and Sony press conferences. And check tomorrow for news on the Nintendo press conference. Happy E3 everybody.

Half-Assed Review For A Half-Assed Game: Devil May Cry HD Collection (360/PS3)

It’s a tiny bit unfair to say that the Devil May Cry HD Collection is a half-assed game, because this is probably the best looking HD collection that I’ve seen to date. Unfortunately that is the only good thing about this collection. For whatever reason we’ve all raved about how great Devil May Cry was and how much we enjoyed it, but now that I’m playing this game over 10 years after it came out, I’m wondering how could we have ever enjoyed this.

Devil May Cry is a hack and slash game that requires you to think. Some genius out there thought this would be a good idea, why? I have no idea. That same genius made the plot of all three of these games are pretty ridiculous and have it not make a whole lot of sense. I can put up with that usually, but it’s pretty disconcerting that in three games I have no idea what the fuck is going on.

Those aren’t even the worst parts. Don’t get me started on the controls. Oh, wait, this is a review so I kind of have to talk about them don’t I. Now, the controls were always something I wasn’t fond of when I first played these games, but they just feel so worse nowadays. In 2001 I could forgive controls if they felt a little off because developers were dealing with some new technology. In 2003 it was a little less understandable, but fine whatever, surely no one would make the mistake again, right? Wrong! In 2005 Devil May Cry 3 handled just like the previous two games, at that point I didn’t care because I was young and just wanted to play a game with familiar faces. For God’s sake people it is 2012 now. If I wanted to play a game with such unresponsive controls I’d just punch my controller every time I wanted to attack or jump.

“But Jeff! Surely there must be a silver lining!” There is and I’ve already mentioned it, the games look great. There are no other redeeming qualities of the games than that. It really saddens me to be this harsh on a game series I once loved, but realizing that this once beloved series is actually shit saddens me more. Sure, you could say I’m being way too awful to this game because it’s just a collection of old games updated with HD. But there are other HD collections out there that are actually good that have games just as old as these on them. Don’t waste your money, just ignore this game. Please, please ignore it.

The Darkness II review

Once again it’s time to embrace the darkness. Taking place two years after the first game, The Darkness II starts off in a restaurant. Well more accurately it starts off with Jackie talking in the dark, sort of talking to the player I guess. So back to the restaurant, Jackie is being led through to a table to sit down and have a nice dinner with two ladies, nothing can go wrong here right? In any other world that would be true, but Jackie just isn’t lucky enough to catch a break. Out of no where a gunshot kills one of the ladies, then all hell starts to break loose and the restaurant turns into a war zone. Soon after the Darkness starts talking to Jackie again and soon enough Jackie unleashes it once again.

Unlike most sequels this game doesn’t try to escalate everything. You are still the same old Jackie with some new Darkness abilities and the enemies are, for the most part, just humans. It is in a way a perfect sequel, it doesn’t try to overshadow the original or make it look like crap in comparison. I’m in no way saying it is completely devoid of flaws though.

I’ll just jump right into the bad, it’s really short. You can beat this in about four to six hours. I would be fine with this if I didn’t think that Digital Extremes could have added more. Instead of just focusing on a single player mode they decided to make a co-op mode entitled Vendetta. Now, I know multiplayer was a part of the first game, but Starbreeze Studios made a decent length single-player experience. Vendetta is just like going through the single-player campaign, except you play as one of four random characters that no one cares about. That’s all there is to it. Ok, not entirely true, instead of being able to use the Darkness each character has a weapon infused with the power of the Darkness, it sounds interesting, but it isn’t at all.

What is interesting though, is the story of The Darkness II. Jackie has been forced to unleash the Darkness due to circumstances mentioned earlier in the review and that’s exactly what the bad guys want. The main baddie in the game is Victor, the leader of a group called The Brotherhood. These guys are out to take the Darkness from Jackie because they believe he is not a worthy host. These guys pretty much make Jackie’s life hell throughout the game. Every now and again through the game you’ll be in a mental hospital where you see everyone from Jackie’s life, except in here the Darkness isn’t real and the life Jackie has had is in his imagination. It’s not a total mindfuck, but that doesn’t make these portions of the game any less great.

Onto the best part of the game, the gameplay itself. Just like the first game you can dual wield guns and also use the Darkness’s arms. The game handles the upgrades a bit differently this time with the skill tree that has four different sections such as one for weapons, Darkness abilities, Executions, and the Swarm ability. The Swarm ability is used basically as a distraction, I ended up barely using that. The executions serve as nothing but cool ways to see enemies die and to earn more essence to upgrade your skill tree. The Darkness abilities are cool as well, for instance one of them is a black hole that will appear at random inside of people instead of their heart so you can grab it and throw it at groups of enemies and watch them get sucked in.

Darklings this time have a bit of a different place in the game this time. I should really be saying Darkling, as there is only one throughout the game. He plays into the story, but I won’t go into that for the sake of spoilers. He helps you out by attacking the enemies and more distracting them than actually trying to kill them. There are a couple of portions in the game where you can control the Darkling and lead him through areas Jackie can’t get through to turn off lights. For him being so unhelpful during combat I find it strange that when you can control him you take out the enemies with ease.

There is another new thing about this game. It’s got a cel-shaded look to it. It makes the game a bit lighter toned and comic bookish.

So, this game is pretty great. It could benefit a lot more from being a more lengthy game though. It does have a new game plus mode, but that doesn’t do much for me in a shooter. The unnecessary Vendetta mode holds back this game from being one of the best games I’ve played so far this year. But that being said this is really a game fans of The Darkness need to check out and if you never played the first game, you might want to check this game out anyways as it gives you a recap in the beginning.

4 out of 5

New Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD Screens And Details

Some new screens for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD have been revealed, as well as all the levels that will be included in the game. The game will feature Warehouse, School 2, Mall, Phoenix, Hangar, Marseilles and Venice. These are levels that were featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD will release later this year.

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