Ninja Gaiden 2 Review.

Wonderingow Team Ninja fared without Tomonobu Itagaki at the helm? Well, read on for some seriously bad news.

Walking Dead Game Teaser Trailer

Get a glimpse of the horror in Telltale Games' new adventure game

EA: Mass Effect 3 'From Ashes' DLC Not On Disc

Statement issued in response to fan allegations.

Do We Really Need a PC Games Console?

GDC came and went without the predicted 'SteamBox.' But Valve may still have plans.

Mario Party 9 Review

Can Mario keep up with today's party scene after a 5 year break?

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Final Fantasy XIII-3: Next In Line?

Final Fantasy XIII-3: Next In Line?

Perhaps the tale of Lightning and her friends will continue.

January 31, 2012

 

Rarely do the developers at Square-Enix pursue direct sequels to their main Final Fantasy installments. While spin-offs and other projects emerge often, the last direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, did what the long-standing series had never done before. But the developers have expressed more interest in sequels as of late. Final Fantasy XIII-2 launches today in the United States and signs point to the likelihood that Final Fantasy XIII-3 will also undergo development.

Square-Enix has been vague on its plans for Final Fantasy XIII-2 downloadable content in the past. But today, Square-Enix officially announced coliseum battle DLC which debuts on February 7th in the United States. And according to the press release, "there will be episodes which enhance the experience and complement the narrative of Final Fantasy XIII-2 with storyline branches for key characters in the story."

However, another full installment seems likely based on story elements from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Major story spoilers included below following video embed.



Final Fantasy XIII-2 Video Review


Final Fantasy XIII-2 ends with a "To Be Continued" screen and offers almost no resolution to its plot. For a series deeply rooted in storytelling, this seems to indicate a much larger hole than simple DLC could fill.

End spoiler section.

Square-Enix has not officially announced Final Fantasy XIII-3.

Next Xbox Report Round Up

Next Xbox Report Round Up

Take a look at all of the big stories that emerged this week surrounding the next Xbox.

January 27, 2012

 

NextBox, Xbox 720, Loop…whatever you want to call it at this point, Microsoft's upcoming unannounced successor to the Xbox 360 received a deluge of attention this week, as new rumors and unconfirmed reports created a firestorm of buzz around the system. Therefore, we've put together all the Xbox 720 reports from the week into one handy package. Read on for the full scoop.


Six Times as Powerful?

Some of the hardware going into powering the device was leaked this week. As reported by VIDEO GAME WORLD own Scott Lowe, the new Xbox will feature AMD's Radeon tech powering its graphics. Specifically, the system will feature hardware similar in juice to the Radeon HD 6670, a chipset that offers DirectX 11, multidisplay output, 3D, and 1080p HD output with a market price around $79.99.

What this essentially means is that the system will offer raw processing power that is six times that of the Xbox 360, and 20-percent more powerful than Nintendo's upcoming Wii U. Also according to Scott's sources, dev kits based on the final configuration will be in the hands of developers in August.


The new system's graphics chip is believed to be similar to AMD's Radeon HD 6670 chipset.

Blu-Ray?

Another report that came in this week was that the new console would include a blu-ray drive. Many will remember at the beginning of the HD format wars, Microsoft famously put their backing behind Toshiba's HD-DVD format instead of Sony's Blu-ray, opting to sell a HD-DVD add-on that would allow Xbox 360 owners to play high-def movies using the format. However, HD-DVD failed to catch on, and Blu-ray was the surviving format for HD movies. However, instead of pledging support for winning format, Microsoft opted to stress the importance of downloads and streaming rentals for films. A Blu-ray add-on for the 360 was long rumored, but never came to fruition.

Blu-ray technology has come a long way since it initially debuted, as their drives have gotten faster, allowing for more data to be streamed more quickly, storage has grown, and discs have become cheaper to produce. Therefore, if the new Xbox has a recent blu-ray drive in it, it could see larger storage capacity (allowing for larger, more high-resolution textures as well as less discs) and less of a need to install game data onto your hard drive, which is common on the PS3.

No Used Games?

Perhaps the most controversial news to come out of this week was the rumor that the system would not allow used games to be played on it. The rumor is unconfirmed at this point, as are any specifics of how Microsoft would be able to prevent used games from working on the platform (whether or not it's through using one-time-use codes for authentication or some other means). Regardless of Microsoft's strategy for implementing this, it will no doubt be a controversial addition to the system should it prove to be true.

Publishers have been adamant in their belief that used sales are bad for the videogame industry, and fired a shot across the bow with the introduction of online passes a couple of years ago. However, the outright refusal to let used games play on their system would be a crushing blow to brick and mortar stores like GameStop who make a sizable chunk of their revenue from used games, or even retailers who have just recently gotten into the used games mix, like Best Buy and Amazon.


Rendering used games unplayable on the new system would be a crushing blow to retailers like GameStop.

No More Microsoft Points?

While it doesn't affect the next Xbox exclusively, Microsoft's phasing out of Microsoft Points would have some big ramifications for the upcoming system. Many gamers find Microsoft Points to be a cumbersome system that almost always results in unused points and "spare change" that can't be used on anything else. A straight money system has worked on the PlayStation and PC downloadable platforms for many years now, so why shouldn't Microsoft adopt a similar model?

There are a tremendous amount of eyes looking to Microsoft for official confirmation on these reports, but we will certainly know more on what the system will really offer in the months ahead.

 

Soulcalibur V Review

Soulcalibur V Review

The fighting is still great, but is the fifth installment of this series a worthy upgrade?

January 31, 2012

source : IGN

It may feel like no time at all since the last Soulcalibur, but it's actually been about three years. So now would be the perfect time for a new game in the series, right? Well, despite boasting a range of new characters, a full story campaign and a (sort of) new Critical Edge super move system, Soulcalibur V feels a lot like more of the same.

For those new to the series, Soulcalibur V is a weapons-based 3D fighting game that uses a rock-paper-scissors-style fighting system revolving around high and low vertical and horizontal attacks, as well as high and low blocks and the ability to easily sidestep opponents. Higher level play – as in any great fighting game – is almost a balletic dance of tactical positioning and attacks. For the rest of us, the moves are fluid and fast, and it's not hard to pick up the basics and have a good time.

In fact, to help make the game a little more friendly, Soulcalibur V sports a new and improved Critical Edge system. It gives newbies the ability to jump in and perform some very stylish and impressive looking attacks. Having appeared in the original Soul Edge (albeit in quite a different form), Critical Edge works much like the Ultra Combo system seen in Street Fighter IV. The goal is to build up your Critical Gauge during battles – preferably by dealing damage, but also by taking it – and use it to unleash some flashy super moves.



Hilde was having a difficult time defending against her opponent's electric urine streams.

The Critical Gauge is also used to perform Guard Impacts; perfectly-timed blocks that open your opponent up to attack. While it can be a neat way to show off, they're not going to be essential for most levels of play, and the fact that they cost energy from the Critical Gauge for little real reward means that most players probably won't bother with them. It's certainly not as clever or user-friendly a mechanic as Street Fighter IV's Focus Attacks, and also means players can no longer parry attacks unless they're Guard Impacts. That said, Soulcalibur V still boasts a great fighting system overall.

Of course, players expect more from modern fighting games than just an excellent fighting engine; they also want a strong selection of modes to keep them busy. Sadly, Soulcalibur V isn't hugely compelling in this department, and the game's much-touted Story Mode is particularly laughable. After last year's Mortal Kombat release set the benchmark for fighting game story modes, fans of the Soulcalibur series were ready for a meaty, cut-scene-driven campaign set on an epic, historical backdrop. Instead, we get a campaign that is eighty per cent driven by storyboards with spoken dialogue over the top, and a nonsensical, fan fiction-quality plot.

The story is based almost entirely around the thick-headed and awkwardly-named new character Patroklos. There are a few battles where you'll get to play as his sister, as well as another new character named Z.W.E.I. and an Alpha version of Patroklos, who has an entirely different move set, but for the most part this is the Patroklos show.


Patroklos' mother likes it 'Athenian style' LOLOLOL.

Our hero is on a quest to rid his estranged sister Pyrrha of her 'malfestation' – a curse that befalls those that come into contact with the evil Soul Edge sword. Oh, and he's also out to wield Soul Calibur (yes, two words) in the name of love. Seriously. The dialogue is so repetitive, and the voice acting so overly dramatic, that you'd think Tommy Wiseau had been brought in as a drama consultant. The story fails to grip at even the most basic level, and if I ever hear the word 'malfested' again it will be too soon. If there was a Soulcalibur V drinking game and a shot was taken for every use of the word you'd be dead within an hour.

The story mode consists of twenty episodes, and it took me roughly an hour to reach episode eighteen. And then things got cheap, thanks to boss characters for two of the last three battles and a huge difficulty spike. The end of the game added a couple of frustrating hours of play time.

The main reason I found it infuriating is because - and bear with me - your success in these tough battles is dependent on how good you are at using Patroklos. Obvious, right, but for me, Soulcalibur is a fighting game where finding the character with the right rhythm for the individual is crucial. Unfortunately I found Patroklos (in both versions) to be extremely uninteresting to use.

Not only that, but the story mode, which was handled by Asura's Wrath developer CyberConnect2, makes no attempt to even teach the player how to use him. It just lets you figure it out against a parade of straightforward opponents before walloping you over the head at the end for not suddenly having absolute mastery over the character. And the story mode - it's worth pointing out - is the meat of Soulcalibur V's single-player experience. Why Project Soul outsourced it we have no idea.

 

So. What else is there for the solo player? Well, the arcade mode has now been reduced to six time trial-based battles, so don't expect to have stories to play through for each of the characters. A Quick Battle mode has you partaking in over two hundred battles in order to unlock titles for your online profile, and an extra-hard Legendary Souls mode is unlocked after completing the story mode.

The character creation mode from previous Soulcalibur games is back, and is still a great deal of fun. Here you get to use the items you've unlocked while leveling up your profile. While most of the items are normal, some are just hilariously ludicrous. Much of our time was spent creating a horse-headed, ladies underwear-sporting monstrosity with hooves, so there is definitely some enjoyment to be had creating your own fighters.

These created characters are strictly visual though, as their available move sets are all taken from the other fighters on the roster – with one exception. Devil Jin's fighting style from the Tekken series can be applied to your creation, which is a very cool addition. You can use the characters you've created in every mode other than the story campaign.


Devil-Jin's moves certainly come in handy.

As we've come to expect from this series, the graphics are gorgeous. Character designs are detailed and animations are fluid and graceful. Battle stages are still breathtaking, and some change and deform between rounds, with the Sinking Merchant Ship being a standout. Fighting games really don't get much prettier than this. You will see a lot of clipping on weapons and clothing, but I personally don't find that a big deal. Menus are also straightforward and the ability to bring up a complete list of your stats via the game's Soul Link is very helpful.

The real heart of the game, however, is multiplayer. Getting into heated battles with your friends gives Soulcalibur V much needed longevity. Multiplayer has always been one of the series' strong points and tense battles where players are trying desperately to expose each other's weaknesses are as fantastic to watch as they are to play. Options are basic, but functional, and online play has been mostly smooth in our limited play-tests to date.

New character Natsu is Taki's successor.

A viewing window that lets you watch other players battle while you wait for your turn in a ranked or player match is very cool, and the ability to register your online friends as rivals is also a nice touch. It lets you compare their battle records against your own. There's also a Global Colosseo mode that gives you a lobby of up fifty slots and allows you to casually challenge any player in there. Think of it as the Soulcalibur V equivalent of a swingers party.

All that said, much of your enjoyment of Soulcalibur V will rest on how much you like the ten new characters, many of which act as replacements or descendants of series favourites. Natsu looks and dresses a lot like her master Taki, but has a demon inside her, which is reflected in her move set. Patroklos and Pyrrha are Sophitia's kids, Xiba is a lot like Kilik and so on. They honestly don't distinguish themselves a great deal, but guest character Ezio Auditore is perfectly suited to the world of Soulcalibur. He has a nice mix of ranged and close-up attacks that take advantage of his arsenal from the Assassin's Creed games.

Ezio is a perfect fit for the Soulcalibur universe.

With so many new characters in the roster, you'd expect a more user-friendly way for the game to teach players how to use them. Wading through a training mode is such a stale way of learning, and most newcomers will likely look at some of the game's move strings and find them about as clear as string theory. Other recent fighting games like Street Fighter IV and Mortal Kombat have prospered by having challenge modes that not only start at a basic level and gradually teach players how to use specific combos and tactics, but also present these challenges as something you are compelled to accomplish. As a result, these challenge modes almost felt like an extra campaign. Soulcalibur V would've benefited greatly by including a similar mode.
Closing Comments
Soulcalibur V is at its absolute best with friends, when it's testing your skill, reaction times and trash talking ability. The combat is still great and the graphics are still beautiful. Outside of that, it's a slight disappointment, as this is the weakest single player experience in the series yet. The game just never attempts to give us something we haven't seen before. It's more comfortable recycling the same old gameplay with a few additions pilfered from other trend-setting fighting games. Shame, because in many ways this is a quality title, with plenty of depth in its combat, and refinements that will keep diehard fans busy.

The Evolution of Nintendo's Development Strategy

The Evolution of Nintendo's Development Strategy

Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata discuss changing the way their company makes games.

January 30, 2012

During a recent investor Q&A, legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto fielded questions regarding Nintendo's strategies for growing its internal development teams, and how he can effectively nurture his employees without taking away from his own work. In light of recent events, in which a comment to an online outlet lead to false reports of his retirement spreading like wildfire, Miyamoto answered the question carefully.

"The ideal situation is one in which I do not need to give any direction," Miyamoto said. "If we look at such a situation from one perspective, my giving directions may hold back my subordinates' independent and voluntary growth."

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata inserted that by reminding those who work under him that he will not always be around, Miyamoto hopes to encourage them to not rely on him quite so much. "The basic idea is, I'm reminding myself to exercise patience, so that I will not state my opinion nor get myself involved in their work," Miyamoto said. "I end up using less of my energy and, as a result, I am starting to have time that I can spend for myself."


Miyamoto-san is ready to reach new gamers with new ideas.
Miyamoto asserted that the result of fostering more independent internal development teams that can operate with little to no direct supervision is that he's able to focus on new frontiers, rather than perpetually looking after existing properties. "I am spending more time than before on finding new ideas for new developments rather than focusing my energy on work in my (development) teams in order to solidify the contents of (existing) franchise titles," he said. "After all, developing big hit titles must be the solution. I am acting with the understanding that one big hit title can change multiple phases of a situation in the entertainment business, and I feel that finding such one big hit is my basic job."

Such "hits" from Miyamoto's past include the creation of several of the company's keystone franchises, such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Miyamoto made it clear to investors that he feels the company is changing to allow for more independence and growth among its developers, which in turn allows him the creative freedom he seeks. "As a result, I feel confident that we are gradually making improvements, and we have already come to the stage where quality software titles with a high completion level have been developed without my active involvement," he said.

A plumber on mushrooms became the face of gaming. Who knew?
On the flip side, when questioned about the prospects of working with outside developers to help supplement the company's internal resources, Iwata responded with confidence, though he didn't reveal any specific plans.

"It is obvious that Nintendo does not employ so many people internally," Iwata said. "If we look at the number of our own employees, we are not a so-called 'resource-rich' company. When we view our company from a different perspective, on the other hand, it is an advantage because Nintendo has more freedom and flexibility to be able to collaborate with outside resources as long as we can find good partners."

Iwata also noted that, as a result of development needs, the company has already started joining forces with outside partners. "Although many tasks used to be done only internally in the past, we are now working with people outside the company in several business fields," he said. As for what specific projects the company is partnering up for, the executive remained coy. "When we make any relevant announcements on such projects, we cannot just say we are working with this company on that project," he said. "Unless we can make more comprehensive announcements by discussing the details of the subject product, it may not make any sense to you."

While Iwata did not provide any specifics, he assured investors that several collaborations are, indeed, in the works. "There are several projects we will be able to talk about this year," he said. "I hope that I will be able to pick up examples which will show that Nintendo is taking care of the business fields in which it lacks internal resources."

 

Miyamoto Still Looking for "One Big Hit"

Miyamoto Still Looking for "One Big Hit"

Where does he get those wonderful ideas?

UK, January 31, 2012

What legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto does at Nintendo is rather unclear. Back in December this lack of clarity led to rumours of him stepping down from his role as Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development Division.

He was quick to dismiss the rumour, however, saying that he was actually stepping back to help nurture new talent at Nintendo.

Now, through one of the regular Q&As held for investors, which take the form of a dialogue between Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata and Miyamoto, we now have a clearer idea of what Miyamoto is actually up to these days. Sort of.

Miyamoto said, "the ideal situation is one in which I do not need to give any direction. If we look at such a situation from one perspective, my giving directions may hold back my subordinates' independent and voluntary growth. Accordingly, sometimes I intentionally give them freedom. Of course, I do not let everyone go totally unchecked. I supervise whenever necessary."

But what keeps the creator of Mario and Zelda going after all these years and so many successes? Well, it's the lure of one more big hit. "I am spending more time than before on finding new ideas for new developments rather than focusing my energy on work in my (development) teams in order to solidify the contents of (existing) franchise titles. After all, developing big hit titles must be the solution. I am acting with the understanding that one big hit title can change multiple phases of a situation in the entertainment business, and I feel that finding such one big hit is my basic job."

So what's the next big thing we can expect from Miyamoto and his team? Hopefully, it'll appear on a 3DS or Wii U sometime soon. 

Nintendo Prepares for Wii U

Nintendo Prepares for Wii U

The challenges of software development and a system launch.

January 30, 2012

The arrival of Wii U marks a new era for Nintendo. That's the message Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been stressing for months, and in his company's most recent meeting with investors, he emphasized it again.

One of the key concerns facing Nintendo (as well as its investors) right now is how to allocate titles between the actual launch of the Wii U and the launch window. 3DS owners will recall that the system launched with a fair amount of software, but then had a drought for months.

"A new platform is likely to have a gap between the launch titles, which many developers want to release, and the second wave of software," Iwata acknowledged. "It is indispensable to avoid such a gap in our future business. In determining the launch date of the Wii U, we need to take into account not only what to release at the launch period but how to keep the sales momentum after then. In the past, I mentioned that having strong momentum is very important for game platform businesses, and as a matter of course, we are now more convinced of that and we need to have a backup plan ready."




This Was E3 2011. What Will We See in 2012?


Continuing from announcements made during his presentation, Iwata once again brought up the idea of downloadable content as a way to extend the lives of titles. One of Iwata's key concerns is making sure Nintendo platforms have momentum through continuous software releases. The executive believes DLC could be an effective way to not only keep momentum going, but expand the relevancy of an existing title as well.

"If we could announce some big news in connection with the add-on content for such software, many people would start playing it again, which could be an opportunity to revive the momentum," Iwata said. "In this context, the add-on content should be considered as a key to extending the lifespan of products and to maintaining the sales momentum, as well as a chance to earn additional profits."

With game development costs increasing with every generation, particularly in an era of HD graphics, investors have reason to be concerned about Nintendo's strategy in the coming years. Given Nintendo's current financial struggles, an investor asked company executives how they plan to manage those development costs. Though somewhat hesitant to answer, and quick to point to E3 2012 for more details, the executives did provide a few details.




Nintendo Won't Hesitate to Show the Power of Wii U

"As far as graphics capabilities are concerned, there are already other hardware systems with similar functions," said game development manager Shigeru Miyamoto. "Therefore, we have designed the Wii U to be recognized as being different from any other hardware system. Although I cannot elaborate on its network functions today, as we are preparing for the launch of the Wii U, we are taking into consideration its network-related capabilities.

"In short, the bottom line is the number of new things which are possible only on Wii U we can create, and our basic policy is to nurture the younger people who can think about the ways to create such things."

Iwata focused his Wii U comments on Nintendo's approach to development, and that the resources needed will be determined by the type of game being made. He again pointed to E3 2012, but noted in the interim that "we are aiming to make a system which shall not be forced into competing with the others where the contenders can fight only with massive developer resources and long development times as their weapons."

Does that mean Nintendo will avoid using the full power of Wii U? Not at all. "As I mentioned, it is true that, in some software areas, we need to be engaged in the power games. Take The Legend of Zelda franchise, for example, the fans must be looking for the graphic representations that they do not see as cheap at all when the title is released for the Wii U. When it is necessary, we do not hesitate to roll out our resources."

all we know about halo 4

Halo 4 is the eighth Halo game (Including Halo anniversary) and the sixth on the Xbox 360. Halo 4 begins a new trilogy of games called the The Reclaimer Trilogy, following the protagonist John-117 (Master Chief) of the original Halo trilogy. Halo 4 was announced on June 6, 2011 at Microsoft's E3 press conference. It has been confirmed for Xbox 360, but has not been announced for PC or the upcoming Xbox successor.

What's the plot of Halo 4?

Immediately following the events of Halo 3, Chief and Cortana were set adrift on the derelict ship, Forward Unto Dawn. In the Announcement Trailer, Cortana wakes Chief from his cryogenic stasis as the ship has come across an Unknown Planet.  
Halo 4 Announcement Trailer
The official description of the game from the Halo 4 website describes the plot thusly:
Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Halo 4 marks the start of a new trilogy that begins with its release in 2012. 

Where does Halo 4 take place?

The Unknown Planet seen during the Legendary ending of Halo 3 was revealed in the Concept Art Trailer at Halo Fest. The planet shows giant ring-like developed areas that do not resemble Human or Covenant technology.
Halo 4 Concept Art Trailer
Based largely the concept art, much speculation has surrounded the extinct Forerunners and their existing superstructures like the Halo Array and the Ark. The rings and spires match known Forerunner architectural style.

When does Halo 4 take place?

Xbox 360 Official Magazine revealed in November 2011 that Halo 4 will take place in 2553. This is less than a year after the events of Halo 3. Although since Master Chief is coming out of stasis it is doubtful that it has been less than a year.  
The Story of Halo in Five Minutes

What is 'The Reclaimer Trilogy'?

At 343i's Halo 4 panel at Halo Fest 2011, Josh Holmes discussed the impending Halo trilogy and revealed the name of the upcoming three-game series, The Reclaimer Trilogy, which will include Halo 4, Halo 5 and Halo 6. 
Astute Halo fans will recall that Guilty Spark, the AI presence from the original Halo installation in Combat Evolved (and namesake of 343i, the Halo 4 developer), often referred to the Master Chief as the Reclaimer throughout their interactions. Guilty Spark also plays a prominent role in Halo CE Anniversary's new addition to the original game, the Terminals.

Who is developing Halo 4?

Bungie is no longer developing the Halo series. After Bungie separated from Microsoft in 2007, Microsoft created 343 Industries to develop the Halo series. Several staff members from Bungie transferred to 343i, such as Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor. 343i has previously developed the Halo Waypoint app and the Defiant map pack for Halo: Reach.

What characters are returning in Halo 4?

The only confirmed characters in Halo 4 were revealed in the initial Announcement Trailer. The subsequent Concept Art Trailer did not reveal any specific characters, but UNSC Ships and Vehicles (Pelican and human characters are apparent in the concept art.

Returning Characters

John-117 (Master Chief)
Cortana
343 Industries has confirmed that we won't see the same old Master Chief in Halo 4. Frank O'Connor has confirmed that Chief's armor will undergo some changes in the new game.
"There's some fairly radical modifications to his armor," O'Connor said. "Some of those are an artistic evolution, but some are connected to the story. We just can't talk about it yet. He's been in space for a long time."
Master Chief won't be the only one who's different in Halo 4. Cortana will also have evolved since we last saw her in Halo 3.
"Seven years is the lifespan for a smart AI before it enters a state called rampancy," O'Connor said. "Cortana was getting close to the end of her natural lifespan at the end of Halo 3 but she has been exposed to far more information than any other AI in existence. She's going to develop some muscle from that process but it also contributes to her rampancy - that much information makes things worse."

Monday, 30 January 2012

Sony in No Rush to Reveal PlayStation 4

Sony in No Rush to Reveal PlayStation 4

"We will probably be the last to announce something."

January 30, 2012

 Sony says the PlayStation 4 will likely be the final next-generation console to be revealed. In a new interview, Sony France CEO Philippe Cardon explains that the company is in no rush to reveal its plans for the PS4, and that its situation is different than its competitors.

"The Wii is under time pressure because it's in decline," Cardon told French site Lepoint.fr. "As far as we're concerned, we're under a lot less pressure. We were the last to release the PS3. We will probably be the last to announce something."


This falls in line with comments from Sony consumer products chief Kaz Hirai, who said earlier this month that
no PS4 announcement will be coming at E3 despite previous rumors to the contrary.

Meanwhile, rumors about the next Xbox
continue to heat up. Sony Europe head Jim Ryan commented last year that Sony "would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition," so it's safe to assume that even if Sony's announcement comes last, it won't fall too far behind Microsoft's.

Source:
Lepoint.fr (translation via Eurogamer)

Microsoft: No New Xbox in 2012

Microsoft: No New Xbox in 2012

"What's certain is that there will be nothing new in 2012."

January 30, 2012

Microsoft France says the next Xbox will not be coming in 2012. French marketing director Cedrick Delmas says that despite several rumors about the system, it won't be released this year.

"We're in an industry that talks a lot, that likes telling stories," Delmas told French site Lepoint.fr. "I am not convinced that things will happen this year. The Xbox 360's cycle is not over at all. The proof is that we haven't price cut this year. Afterward, what will happen at E3, it's still too early to say. What's certain is that there will be nothing new in 2012."

Delmas also commented on the Wii U, which has already been confirmed to be coming this year. He says that Microsoft isn't looking to counter the Wii U directly.

"If we wanted to counter Nintendo, we would have to be in a position to release something immediately, and that is not at all the case," Delmas said. "We're not here to counter Nintendo and they're not here to fight the other manufacturers. Nintendo has put itself in a different cycle. It's going forward to its own rhythm, with success as we have seen with the Wii, and now it's their turn to present their innovation."

Rumors about the next Xbox have been popping up all over the place lately. Sony, meanwhile, says it's in no rush to reveal the PlayStation 4.

Source: Lepoint.fr (translation via Eurogamer)

Don't Worry About Nintendo

Don't Worry About Nintendo

The industry giant has seen better years, but things will be just fine.

January 30, 2012

 From a distance, Nintendo would appear to be in some serious trouble. After stumbling with the launch of the 3DS, being forced to prematurely cut the portable's price tag, fumbling the introduction of Wii U, not offering enough quality titles for much of 2011 and forecasting $838 million in losses – a first ever for the company – for its current fiscal year many are correct in wondering what's happening with the Big N. How did things get this bad?

Though grim on the surface, and certainly nothing to take lightly, Nintendo is going to be just fine. While it's true the company hasn't expertly handled the transition from the DS and Wii to a new generation of hardware, most of the losses we're now seeing are simply a natural part of the rocky path back to what could be a new era of dominance. To make this situation into anything greater is simply premature, a blatant attempt to be sensationalistic and overly-dramatic.

As a result of worldwide DS sales dropping by two-thirds and Wii sales sliding by a third, Nintendo finds itself in a challenging position, being forced to broaden the install bases of aging platforms through price cuts and bundles while still moving its agenda forward. As its products sell at lower prices, and the remaining potential consumers dwindle, Nintendo has to simultaneously do something that costs a considerable amount of money – invest in the future.

A lot is riding on Wii U's launch software. Will it deliver?

Nintendo is now developing an innovative new console, which is incorporating new types of technology to broaden its functionality. Wii U's controller will now use the NFT standard that will allow gamers to communicate with other devices and objects, potentially changing the way some games are played – and how we shop for them online. The publisher is also preparing to launch an entire digital service, which was unveiled late last week as the Nintendo Network. Though many will scoff that Nintendo is just now aggressively pursuing an online business model, the fact that paid downloadable content, full retail game sales, individual user accounts and global communities are being pursued is a sign Nintendo is being both comprehensive and competitive. That's not something to take lightly.

New hardware and infrastructure demands one more thing – software. Being forced to almost single-handedly lift up the 3DS towards the end of 2011, in order to prove the system's worth to third parties, while preparing an aggressive slate of HD Wii U launch (window) titles, is no easy task. Any publisher would find that challenging, and many simply couldn't do it. That Nintendo has managed to push its new portable to the front of the Japanese industry, create what appears to be a very desirable 2012 slate for the system, continue secretive work on Wii U, and absorb huge losses because of an aggressive price cut, is simply remarkable.

Nintendo's finances seem to point to the costs of these increased efforts, as the company is forecasting an R&D increase of $1.3 million per month for the final three months of the fiscal quarter. Nintendo has guaranteed it will release Wii U by the start of the 2012 holiday shopping season. It also plans to have an appropriate launch slate ready. Assuming there are one or two more major 3DS games coming towards the end of 2012, Nintendo will be lucky to keep its development costs in check during the next 12-15 months. It has a lot of critical work to do in the year ahead. All eyes will be on the launch of Wii U - and what Nintendo can reveal at this year's E3.

What will Nintendo show at E3 2012? It needs to be good.

Beyond considering Nintendo's investment challenges, the simple fact is that some years are better than others. Some generational shifts go better than others. Sony moved from the PlayStation to the PlayStation 2 in fine form, and even pushed Sega's Dreamcast over a ledge along the way. Yet its move to the PlayStation 3 was considerably more challenging. The company lost money and marketshare as it developed a software library that lured consumers, and while the PlayStation 3 still trails the Xbox 360 worldwide, Sony's overall position in the industry is far more stable than when the PS3 first launched.

There's no question Nintendo is hurt. No company can endure premature price cuts, poor launches, third party abandonment and lackluster years forever. By protecting its new portable, the company has taken a significant hit, as the company's currently financial plight clearly demonstrates. Nintendo's infamous cash reserve has even taken a hit, sliding to approximately $7.4 billion from an estimated $9.8 billion the year before. Each quarter the company tells its investors to have faith, to trust the instincts of a publisher that has dominated the industry time and time again.

Wii U technology continues to evolve. What's next?

Nintendo's fans should do the same. Yes, finances matter, but everything Nintendo has been doing, all of its actions in the midst of this turmoil, are the bigger story. Thanks to great retail software, great downloadable games, a fantastic 2012 line-up, demos, communities and more, the 3DS's future has never been brighter. It's currently dominating the sales charts in Japan, which only bodes well for its software support down the line. Nintendo's early language with Wii U - that it doesn't intend to repeat its 3DS launch mistakes of 2011, and that it continues to add innovative concepts like NFT communication - signals good things for the home console. Of course there's also the Nintendo Network, a strong indication that alongside HD gaming, gamers can anticipate an online service that can compete with Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

Money isn't everything in the video game industry, particularly with a company as fiscally responsible and clever as Nintendo. The company still has its reserves, and its fortunes have already turned around. Looking at everything around the balance sheet, the company is doing much better than it was a half a year ago. With that kind of performance, investors and fans have nothing to worry about in the long term.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - Ambush Gameplay

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - Ambush Gameplay 

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BioWare: Choices and Consequences

BioWare: Choices and Consequences

What happens in the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games when player choice is at odds with narrative direction?

Australia, January 29, 2012

 Warning: This is only for gamers that have finished the first two Mass Effect games and all the Dragon Age content released to date. Major spoilers ahead!



BioWare wants you to choose. Throughout the course of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, your Commander Shepard has no doubt made some pretty hairy decisions. In Mass Effect 3, we're hoping to see the final manifestation of those decisions, some of which have been developing over the unprecedented course of two games. Yours truly rocks a goth FemShep with noir lip-balm and a renegade way of solving everything. A promiscuous bisexual with an appetite for destruction, she really has no business commanding the Normandy – or taking advantage of its crew. First she melded naked minds with Liara's blue allure, then she rode Thane's terminal green machine. Finally, she sampled the perilous erotic delights of Morinth and, well, perished. Zevran nodded approvingly when I reloaded after that last one. "I would have done ze same thing," he'd said.

She's my Shepard, and I wonder what the end of her story has in store for her.

But is she BioWare's Shepard?

A lot of Mass Effect fans I know are agonising like crazy. They're on their fourth or fifth playthrough of the first two games in the lead-up to the third: "This time will be my canon story," they insist, every time. Maybe you know what's up. It's often difficult to shake the feeling that you have chosen… poorly. When I capped Wrex for harshing my Krogan-neglect buzz and summarily had his corpse disposed of in a nearby swamp, I felt a pang of uncertainty. Not because it was a totally brutal act that saw the end of a long-standing comrade, but because it seemed somehow incongruous. Wrex felt like a character who should be there at the end. Upon meeting Urdnot Wreav in Mass Effect 2, a sense of narrative displacement was felt again: Am I doing it wrong? Offing the Council, picking Ashley over Kaidan (really, who's more interesting?), putting a hole in Conrad's ADIDAS when I should've nailed him in the plums; a lot of it doesn't feel "right." Why should anything need to feel right? Those choices were mine to make.

Right?

Urdnot Wreav - you're doing it wrong. Or are you?

Dragon Age: Origins is largely responsible for sowing these seeds of insecurity. It soon became clear that, although the choices afforded your Warden were drastic and their outcomes severe, BioWare had a plan in mind. When Morrigan came to my bedchambers on the eve of battle demanding that I poke around in her enchanted forest one last time, I had to say no. She wanted to birth a terrible demon spawn using my Dalish goodness. Sounded like a bad idea to me. "No demon intercourse tonight, babe" was quipped, and so she became a sexually frustrated wolf and disappeared. Super, possible Old God apocalypse averted. Didn't think much of it. The final battle loomed and, despite Loghain's generous protests, my Warden consigned himself to the void for the good of everyone. A tragic, fitting end to a reluctant anti-hero cruelly plucked from his nomadic tribe to battle Tolkien knock-offs.

But then, a wild Dragon Age: Awakening appeared and it asked me whether I'd like to import my character. My heroically dead character. "Er, sure," I told it. Quoteth the manual's fine print: "If you choose a character that died during the climax of Dragon Age: Origins, you play Awakening as if the character had lived." Thus the fatalistic finale of Origins was wiped clean in an instant for narrative convenience and there he was again, very much alive. Okay, weird but workable. It wasn't until Dragon Age II that the ripple effect of BioWare's historical dissonance truly began to blot the pages of a story I thought I had been writing. Some folk around Kirkwall referred to the Hero of Ferelden as dead, others as very much alive and ruling his roost with ruthless glee. What the?

The option to play Awakening as a new Warden arriving from Orlais is given, but not in the capacity where you can continue on in this fashion if your Warden died in Origins (which I thought would've been great). It starts a new game entirely, no ifs, no buts. Clearly a proviso for first-timers rather than returning players, I began to wonder: Is all this choice destined for irrelevance, ultimately wound around a centralised canon because it has to be? Hey waitasec, is that Leliana in Dragon Age II? Thought you were dead. Oh, the Divine said it wasn't your time, right, of course. By the sequel's curtain call, it didn't matter what you'd done or even tried not to do. Refuse to help Anders load the Chantry with magic bombs? He does it anyway. If he didn't, there'd be no explosive catalyst and subsequently no unavoidable future war with the angry mages of Thedas. Likewise the fate of Isabela. Keep her in your little black tome or give her up to the Arishok, it doesn't matter. She'll escape to the seven seas regardless. Hmmm. Wonder if we'll be seeing her again?

Leliana - the only way to kill her is to hurl her into the fires of Mount Doom.

I wondered harder still as Origins' DLC continued to assemble en masse. None of them resonated quite as much as Witch Hunt. It resonated because of how much it seemed to illustrate exactly what I'd started to become wary of: That BioWare's mandates and mission are at odds with each other. Much like Garrus, they had reach, but they'd overextended it and their vision didn't have flexibility. Witch Hunt served as an accidental public admittance of that. Morrigan is clearly supposed to be pregnant with a Warden's demon spawn at this point. Quite likely, this'll have something momentous to do with Dragon Age III. If you didn't do the demonic dirty, she's pregnant anyway, somehow, magically. Maybe your Warden was a woman, in which case Witch Hunts makes even less sense. Oh, and Flemeth's not dead and Morrigan had it all wrong. Funny that. There she is in Dragon Age II, because she needs to be.

The illusion of Dragon Age's liberty began to unravel before me in the face of mounting narrative need. BioWare is telling a tale, and the denser it becomes, the more it must be told in a certain fashion. If you don't follow the program, they'll just retcon your ass. What else can they do? In a way, it might even be our fault. Maybe it was never supposed to be anything more than an isolated epic, and the pressure to continue the saga intervened with the original script's potential for finality.

Welcome to gamer guilt on a new level.

The synergy of canon and self is delicate, maybe even only applicable in confined spaces. It's why the looming interstellar shadow of Mass Effect 3 fills me with both excitement and dread. This is it, the final chapter in an epic trilogy that has been with me – and a whole lot of you – since 2007. Five years in the making, I don't want to get this wrong. I want it to be perfect. More accurately, I want my FemShep's imperfection to be perfect. I'm scared of what I've made her, scared that her bad-lady ways will be overwritten if they don't happen to match up with BioWare's bigger picture – and it is big. What if the Rachni suddenly need to play a pivotal role in the fight against the Reapers? Whoops. I pushed the "Gas Queen lol" button. "Oh, that never happened," they might say, whistling inconspicuously.

FemShep, clearly about to go renegade.

I've always wondered about the latter half of what Dragon Age's former lead designer Brent Knowles meant when he said: "I'm not the same person I was when I started, and BioWare isn't the same company," after resigning. Maybe Mass Effect 3 will answer that unspoken question – but if I was given the choice, I would tell it not to. And abruptly kick it out a plexiglass window onto the cyberpunk spires below. That's how my girl rolls. Question is, when BioWare see her rollin', are they gonna be hatin'?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - "Friends and Enemies" Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - "Friends and Enemies" Review

An undercover Obi-Wan joins Cad Bane and Maralo Eval on a trip to the Hutt home planet.

January 29, 2012

Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.

This was another solid installment of the show, as Obi-Wan's undercover mission took him to the Hutt home planet, Nal Hutta. We've seen Nal Hutta before (in "Hunt for Ziro"), but I liked this expanded look at the world and its citizens, which, not shockingly, was quite the place for scum and/or villainy.

The biggest issue here is an extension from last week – why did Anakin still not know Obi-Wan was alive? Even accepting the idea that everyone felt Anakin not knowing would better sell Obi-Wan's death as real, once Obi-Wan was imprisoned as Rako Hardeen, couldn't Anakin be told then? We see Yoda say here, "Overdo the truth is," and yet Anakin and Ahsoka still aren't contacted after that scene, endangering their own and Obi-Wan's life in the process.

That notable issue aside, there was plenty to like here. Though they were fugitives, Obi-Wan's time alongside Cad Bane and Maralo Eval let us see more of a "normal" existence for Star Wars bounty hunters than usual. It was quite fun to see them gear up at a Nal Hutta store (loved the Indiana Jones hat that Cad Bane held up at one point) and stop at a fuel station. Yes, I just said that watching characters stop for gas is fun – but this is Star Wars, and the idea of getting a bit more immersive and mundane (using interesting characters) was actually quite appealing.

It's not like there wasn't some good tension and action along the way too. My gripes about why Anakin didn't know aside, his determination through the episode was a cool aspect. And I really liked how we saw a lot more of how the stage is being set for Revenge of the Sith here – first, with Palpatine putting in Anakin's ear that the Jedi don't trust him in certain ways (while also making sure to tell Anakin he is "special").

We also got to see much more of how and why the Jedi in general and Mace Windu in particular would grow suspicious and wary of Palpatine and his motives as time went on, as Mace was clearly none too happy when Palpatine admitted/boasted he was the one who had sent Anakin to Nal Hutta, against the Jedi Council's permission. It's very cool how The Clone Wars is able to flesh out these backstories more and set the stage for what we know is to come.


- Lucasfilm
The parallels of Anakin and his son Luke being stopped by a couple of Gamorrean Guards were intriguing. Even though that scene in Return of the Jedi did establish both that Luke's powers had grown and he was walking a dangerous path, in regards to the Dark Side (as was saw him use a Force choke for the first time), Anakin, who of course will cross many lines Luke will not, still went much further. The way he casually sent those Guards fling across the room, and then choked a bartender for a prolonged period to get information, was another look at some very dark tendencies inside him.

Some well-done humor also was included this week as well. There were several mentions of Cad Bane's hat obsession, with Obi-Wan's quip about it making him stand out getting paid off by Ahsoka spotting him later and noting, "Who else wears a hat like that?" Cad Ben's exasperated, "The way I see it, you keep paying off everybody but me" line to Eval was also a good one. Plus, we got a drunken Sy Snootles cameo!

Anakin and Cad's encounter on that ship near the end was another clever variation on how to portray a fight – as they found themselves sliding and worked to keep their balance on the different pieces of the hull. And was I imagining things or did Anakin, um, knee Obi-Wan in the balls when the two of them were fighting? It sure seemed like the first Star Wars groin shot to me - at least in canon!

The end was a bit odd, as the bad guys just sort of left, and Ahsoka let them. I know she also was concerned for Anakin, but still, it felt odd, with them standing so close to her, for her not to try to stop them. But at least Anakin knows the truth now.

Oh, and since I completely missed it last week when it was established, yes, it's a great touch to see Obi-Wan use the codename "Ben" during his transmissions to Yoda and Mace Windu during this storyline.

Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge the death of Ian Abercrombie, the wonderful actor who voiced Palpatine / Darth Sidious on The Clone Wars. Abercrombie's long career included playing Elaine's boss, Mr. Pitt, on Seinfeld, iconic Batman character Alfred Pennyworth on Birds of Prey and the Wiseman in Army of Darkness ("Say the words, 'Klaatu barada nikto'"). He did excellent work as Palpatine, as evidenced in this very episode, and will be greatly missed.

8.5
OVERALL
Great
(out of 10)

 

you must complete this quests in skyrim

you must complete this quests in skyrim
Last Edit: 28 days 19 hours ago  



The Daedric quests are unrelated to one another but correspond to the 17 Daedras in the game (although if you played the Shivering Isles expansion in Oblivion, it would explain why there are only 16 quests).

Quests

  • Azura: The Black Star
  • Boethiah: Boethiah's Calling
  • Clavicus Vile: A Daedra's Best Friend
  • Hemaeus Mora: Discerning the Transmundane
  • Hircine: Ill Met by Moonlight
  • Malacath: The Cursed Tribe
  • Mehrunes Dagon: Pieces of the Past
  • Mephala: The Whispering Door
  • Meridia: The Break Of Dawn
  • Molag Bal: The House Of Horrors
  • Namira: The Taste Of Death
  • Nocturnal: Thieves' Guild Quests
  • Peryite: The Only Cure
  • Sanguine: A Night To Remember
  • Sheogorath: The Mind Of Madness
  • Vaermina: Waking Nightmare

Saturday, 28 January 2012

rumors : kill zone 4 is coming soon !!!!

rumors : kill zone 4 is coming soon !!!!


yeah we have heard a lot of rumors but the real is kill zone 4 is coming 100% but we are not sure about the release date time , sony has contacted with Guerrilla Games company to make a good exclusive game to beat halo then its made a very high graphic game and a very good controls and a very beautiful storyline named with killzone and joined a very big battle with halo , but halo is now the winner and its making a new game ( halo 4 ) so sony and  Guerrilla Games is now thinking to make a new killzone game and killzone 3 wasnt ended the story of the game and this is was the fainal demo 





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The Big Action/Adventure Games of 2012

The Big Action/Adventure Games of 2012

Behold: your year in fist fights, sword clashes, and explosions.

January 28, 2012

 First-person shooters, dance games, role-playing fantasies... All games involve some type of "action," yes, but not all of them fall into the Action/Adventure genre. Action/Adventure games aren't laser-focused on specific activities like shooting, solving puzzles, or racing, although they may explore those mechanics. It's a broad genre with a proud history reaching back to gaming's infancy in arcades. Notable examples we would classify as action/adventure games include The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, and Batman: Arkham City.

With that in mind, we thought it time to take a look at the big action games headed our way over the next 12 months. Behold: your year in fist fights, sword clashes, and explosions. 

 

Capcom supports the genre well. For fans of undead nightmares, three different Resident Evil games are coming in 2012: Resident Evil Revelations (3DS, February 7), Operation Raccoon City (360/PS3, March 20), and Resident Evil 6 (360/PS3/PC, November 20). Capcom also has a potential surprise hit up its sleeve with Asura's Wrath (360/PS3, February 21). That game is bananas. Casting you as an immortal muscle head battling demigods as big as the galaxy, Asura's Wrath delivers action on a scale that dwarfs most other games.

Of course, exciting games can come in small packages. February 22 will bring to us a new portable system, the PlayStation Vita, and along with it an original entry in one of our most beloved modern action franchises -- Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It's the full cinematic Uncharted experience, now conveyable and boasting clever touch controls.

An upcoming action game that might not be providing the full experience fans were hoping for is Ninja Gaiden III (360/PS3, March 20). The series is known for being arduous and ultra violent. But from our time with Ninja Gaiden III so far, developer Team Ninja seems to have eased up on the difficulty and the ability to decapitate and delimb our enemies has been completely removed. The Team insists Ninja Gaiden III will let players feel what it's like to slice through a person to the bone, so here's hoping it ends up being that visceral. Perhaps a new adversarial multiplayer mode will make appease the bloodthirsty fans.

Prototype 2 (360/PS3/PC, April 24) is a sequel with the opposite problem of Ninja Gaiden III -- instead of potentially scarring a cherished series, it has the unenviable task of improving on an original that received mixed reception in 2009. While Prototype sold well enough to warrant a sequel, it is sometimes considered the lesser companion to Infamous, a similar open-world action game. Lucky for Prototype 2, it doesn't have to directly contend with Infamous this year. When you come home from a rough day at school or the office and want to unwind by destroying a few tanks, Prototype 2 could be your game.  



While there are usually games planned to support the release of big action movies, the confusingly-named The Amazing Spider-Man: The Movie (every platform, July 3) is the only one announced so far for this year. Despite the subtitle, it's a game that goes back to the open-world web slinging of Spider-Man 2 -- and that has us excited.


If summer ends up being light on games based on movies, there will still be several action games keeping our consoles hot. Darksiders II (360/PS3/PC, summer) will finally deliver another dose of M-rated, Zelda-style adventuring. Also, Anarchy Reigns (360/PS3, summer), from the developer of Vanquish and Bayonetta, should live up to its name with what it is calling "Super Sexy Fists of Fire."

And, as is to be expected, the year's biggest action/adventure games will arrive in the fall. Suda 51's Lollipop Chainsaw (360/PS3, Fall) should satisfy the Grindhouse/exploitation movie fans out there with its nubile cheerleader chainsawing her way through an undead outbreak.



Speaking of nubiles, Lara Croft is getting a long overdue makeover when Tomb Raider (360/PS3/PC, fall) is rebooted late this year. Borrowing elements from Dead Space and Assassin's Creed, it's a cinematic action game of survival. A 21-year old Lara Croft is shipwrecked on a hostile island where she must transform from a vulnerable, inexperienced young woman into the badass treasure hunter we know her to be. Action/adventure game of the year? Possibly…

Below we've put together a road map of all the big action games of 2012. There are sure to be more announced, but this is what we've got to look forward to so far. What action/adventure games are at the top of your list? Let us know so we can start planning hot coverage for you.


kingdoms of amular reckoning review

kingdoms of amular reckoning review 


source : IGN



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OPINION: Mass Effect 3 for the Love of Character or Trophies

January 27, 2012

It shouldn't be a debate and I know that it's silly, but I still can't decide if I'm going to play Mass Effect 3 on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Right now, I'm leaning towards Xbox 360, and if you know me, that's crazy talk.
I'm Greg Miller, IGN PlayStation executive editor, and I'm obsessed with PlayStation Network Trophies -- Sony's version of Achievements. I have Platinums (see: 1,000 Achievement points) in children's games that have eaten up my adult life. Stuff like Hannah Montana: The Movie, Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I try to play every multiplatform title on my PS3, but only part of that is because I love watching my meaningless PSN Level rise. The jaded will say I play so much PS3 because I'm a fanboy, but it's literally my job to know how everything's running on the PlayStation platform. I take that responsibility seriously.
 

Therein lies the problem. I have a completed Mass Effect 2 Xbox 360 save I really like. Kara Shepard's red hair and Paragon values have carved out a place in my heart -- we even saved the entire crew on our suicide mission without the use of a guide. I want to see how her story plays out. But I really like Trophies.
Mass Effect 2, of course, had a yearlong head start on the Xbox 360, so it makes sense that I made a home there. When Mass Effect 2 came to the PlayStation 3, I bought it and recreated Kara, but I could never finish the game. Video games draw me in because of story. That's why I pick up the controller each and every day -- to be entertained by the adventure at hand. However, I knew all the twists and turns ahead of PS3 Kara. Jacob's dad, Mort's song and all the choices had played out for me before. The thrill was gone, and I'd be damned if I was going to tarnish my Shepard's good name and alter her play style. Kara is a defined person to me; changing her moral alignment would bastardize what she means to me.
So, PS3 Kara sits with an unfinished save. Unloved and waiting on my half-hearted promise to come back and get her ready before Mass Effect 3's launch. I tried creating a Renegade character on PS3 -- Obama Shepard -- but I found myself burned out shortly after taking what I knew to be a roofie in the Afterlife nightclub.
Yeah, I had sex with the guy on the left.
I'm sure the choice is clear to you -- the reader with no vested interest in my PSN level -- play on 360 and continue the journey. Here's the thing, though: I never beat the original Mass Effect. I got bored with it. So it's not like my Kara and I have years of history together. I whipped her up at the start of my 360 journey, so what's to keep me from doing the same thing this time around on PS3? Wouldn't I start with my entire crew? Wouldn't I now default to a red headed version of Shepard that already looks a lot like my Kara? Wouldn't I be earning those precious PSN Trophies?
In my completely warped mind, it almost makes sense. The only holdup is news that characters I met in Mass Effect 2 would act like we hadn't met before in Mass Effect 3. Can I really stare into Jack's gleaming forehead and listen to her talk like we hadn't raided her prison? Can I meet Thane and act like I haven't chased his son? I mean, I slept with Garrus -- can I really start over as just friends?
The more I write, the clearer it becomes. I'm going to play Mass Effect 3 on the Xbox 360. I don't care how many discs it comes on because this while frickin' trilogy is based on characters, and I can't get enough of mine and the world we've created together

What is NFC and How Will the Wii U Use It?

What is NFC and How Will the Wii U Use It?

We break down NFC and make a few guesses about how Nintendo plans to use it.

Yesterday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata informed investors that the Wii U will utilize near-field communication (NFC) technology, which it says can be used for a variety of applications, including micro-transactions for its upcoming online service, the Nintendo Network. We're unlikely to learn more about how the feature will be implemented until E3 in June, but in the meantime, let's go over the basics of NFC and a few educated guesses about what Nintendo has planned.

What is NFC?
Like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, NFC is a method for exchanging data between two or more devices. Instead of establishing connections across a wide coverage area, however, NFC was designed specifically for data transmissions between a very small distance, often within a range of only a few centimeters. The purpose of NFC is to offer a safe, two-way method of data exchange that can only work when two devices are within close proximity, foregoing the need for a Wi-Fi base station or Bluetooth pairing.
While NFC data transfer speeds are slower than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, establishing a connection is considerably faster and the chips powering the technology consume less energy.





Currently, NFC chips can be found on a number of smartphones, including BlackBerry devices, Nokia phones, and a number of Android devices. The recently released Samsung Galaxy Nexus can use NFC technology to transfer data, share web pages and apps, and even pay for items purchased at stores.

What Could It Mean for the Wii U?
While the practical applications for smartphones and similar devices is clear, what could Nintendo have in mind for NFC in the Wii U?
Iwata stated that "it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data," which will enable the company to produce toys and other collectibles that can be used to unlock in-game content, similar to the kind found in Skylander's Spyro's Adventure. Additionally, Iwata went on to say that it "will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments." In a way, the Wii U could potentially use NFC as a way of adding currency to your Nintendo Network account, allowing users to buy prepaid cards at retailers and simply wave them near their console to add the value to their profile.
But the inclusion of NFC could hint at expanded functionality for the Wii U controller.

When it was originally introduced, the company said that the Wii U controller was dependent on pairing to the console, however, it also said that the product wasn't final and software demos were proof of concepts. Could the Wii U controller be used as a standalone device, albeit in a limited capacity?
It's possible that controller could be used to store your profile and play games on the go. While packing the controller with processors powerful enough to play 3D titles is undoubtedly too expensive and taxing to the battery, it could easily support small, lightweight software like 2D Virtual Console. With NFC-enabled, the Wii U controller could also be used to trade game data when player's are out and about, like new Pokemon characters or in-game collectibles. What's more, StreetPass could be extended to the controller itself, allowing users to swap Miis and play microgames.
Of course, we'll have to wait until Nintendo takes the stage at E3 to know for sure, but we can always count on the rumor mill for pre-event chatter, so stay tuned to video game world for more. Until then, share your ideas for how the Wii U will use NFC in the comments below.

Official: Resident Evil Revelations Now $40

Official: Resident Evil Revelations Now $40

Get a taste of survival horror at the same price as every other 3DS game.

January 27, 2012

 A couple months ago, Capcom confirmed that its latest Nintendo 3DS title, Resident Evil Revelations, would cost $49.99 - $10 more than a typical release for the system. The publisher's justification at the time was the game needed a 4GB cart versus the standard 2GB that 3DS games routinely come on. Today the publisher has reversed its pricing plan - Resident Evil Revelations will only cost $39.99 when it arrives in stores on February 7.

In its announcement of the new price, Capcom explained it has been searching and negotiating for a way to bring Revelations' pricing more in line with other 3DS games. Apparently those negotiations paid off!


This price change only affects retailers in the United States, and should be reflected soon in most stores. Capcom suggests customers contact their local stores if they pre-ordered and paid for a game at the old price point.


That's one more reason to think about buying the game. Looking for a better look at the game? Check out
IGN's full Resident Evil Revelations review.

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