Category Archives: Games

Kindle Fire HD – Mini Review

My Field Trip took me on to see the Kindle Fire HD that was setup, and it made me happy I have a Nexus 7 tablet. It did have some store app showing how things worked and I closed that because I don’t need it, and I went in to seeing how things looked.

The first thing I could see was that when swiping through the apps and content it would stutter and wasn’t all the smooth. This should be something that would always be nice since people are going to do that first thing. So I took note of how it was not performing well and went on.

I saw Cut the Rope was installed and having played it on my Nexus 7 though it would be a good comparison. But again the system was very slow to load the game; it took almost 30 seconds to load and also took some time to load the level. The game performed as it should and seems fine but the low-speed had made me not so interested in the device. I also was seeing that the price was just too close to a Nexus 7 where I could get a full Android experience.

With the modified Android OS that Amazon hides you miss out on a lot of things that the content doesn’t always make up for. Mostly missing those Google Apps that just add the full experience you would want such as good email, maps, and even the Google Now search that is way better than anything Siri can give you.

I would not recommend one of these for someone looking for a mid-sized tablet especially when you can get the Nexus for the same price but with more power and a better app selection. You do miss out on the Amazon Prime video and books but you can make up for that by getting the Amazon Kindle App and Netflix.

Halo 4 Single Player Review

Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 came out this week putting you in control of Master Chief (John-117) and his AI companion Cortana to fight once again in the year 2557. After Halo 3 you were left on a damaged ship the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn after saving the human race once again. The game gives you first thing a back story and new information on where the SPARTON power armor super soldiers come from. And at this point you are trying to survive before getting sucked on the Forerunner world Requiem. Now to find out the rest of the story you will have to play the game. But I’ll give you some understanding of what you will get into.

First thing I would like to say for the first time that 343 Industry’s, the game developer who took the story that originated from Bungie who made the first three Halo games for Microsoft and the Xbox and Xbox 360, they did a good job at keeping things feeling as they are just a continuation of the series with updated technology and story. While I would like to see the original developers able to continue their game things happen and this game turned out to be a money printer for Microsoft.

For me it only took me about 8 hours to play though the single player campaign on easy. This took place for a few hours after getting it to rent from RedBox (one day after the release at midnight might I add) and then playing though the next day while taking care of kids now and then. There were times when it was not so hard but frustrating to get past an area not so much being killed by any enemy but by getting pushed off an edge or just falling off in a strange way into a place you expected to have more room to walk.

As for how the game looked, I would like to say they did an excellent job on the almost 1 hour of cut scenes. People and environments in those videos looked almost real and while the game engine looked good the scenes looked as if they were in the same place so you didn’t get ripped out of the reality you were in because they did so well on the video. Also like I said the game engine made large areas look good an natural including a jungle area that helped you keep moving in the right way but seemed like you were just wondering for a while to what you thought was the right way. There was also times when I though JJ Abrams came in with a few too many lenses flairs or bright washouts of your screen. And the persistent overlay of the HUD seemed to annoy me when I would see a blue outline that should not be covering the screen were no information was being displayed such as around the top bottom and all four corners. But you can get use to some of these things.

The game play was good for a console game, I like PC games that use a mouse and keyboard for better control but things worked out good enough. I did have some problems with in a big fight ending up crouched and not being able to run, I don’t think they needed to have a button right by the switch weapon that put you in a crouch mode, I never used it once in the game. As before the only major time I had problems with dying was falling off ledges or being shoved off when some enemy gets too close, they could have put more railings and such.

Story wise, it was short but took you though what was fun to play. It kind of plays out like this without giving anything away; find yourself having to fight for your life, you try and save some people, meet some new enemies, get some new stuff, try and save more people from enemies, save the world, game ends. Ok that’s about it for story without giving anything away. I would have liked a longer story with more game play, but you did get a mix of different landscapes, enemies, and even fight types including a fast passed flight simulator. But as I finished this up I was glad I rented this, I know most people will play hours and hours of multiplayer but that’s only half the game, and they don’t even rent that to you. I don’t play much of the multiplayer on console because it’s limiting so the single player being so short would not make this worth the $59.99 price tag.

From messages on the starting load screen and at the end after the credits and final video they make mention of more to come from 343, I would like to see the quality that they put into this game, but increase the content for when they most likely put out Halo 5 with the new Xbox whenever it comes out.

I would say if you like shooters, have an Xbox 360, and like single player games, rent this game it will be fun and you should at least experience every Halo game once. If you like the multiplayer and all things Halo you should buy the game, or ask for it these holidays. As for a rating I would give this a 4.5/5 based on it being a quality game, good videos and graphics, but had problems with short game play and some frustrating points, but I would recommend this to anyone with an Xbox 360.

PlayStation Store Update Coming October 23rd

Sony announced an update to the PlayStation store for PlayStation 3 coming October 23rd 2012. This update is said to improve the user interface, better search, and more content discovery. They also included some numbers on the number of games, and DLC that the store has at more than 20,000 and 100,000 movies and TV shows. The date of October 23rd is the US release date and no information was listed on other countries. Check out some shots of the new store they have included.

 

25 Billion Downloads on Google Play

Google announced today that they have hit the 25 billion download mark. They didn’t specify if it was just apps or included music, books, movies, or magazines, but it means we get some good deals! They will have a bunch of apps for 25 cents along with collections of 25 top movies, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world, and 25 top selling magazines at special prices.

They also gave us a number, 675,000 app and games available in the Play Store. Also in geek style they put out the numbers such as, 25 billion is twice the distance that Voyager 1 has traveled in miles over 35 years. But ether way these milestone numbers have been good things for Android users as we get good deals on paid apps and this time they are also giving deals on other content they offer. Look for these deals today and will probably be around for a week or so, so don’t miss out.

Lighter and Smaller PS3

Sony announced an update to their Play Station 3 that is slimmer and small at the Tokyo Game Show. They claim that the new model is 25 % smaller and 20% lighter than the previous version. This move is most likely done to help keep the console looking new and reduce the size like Microsoft did with the Xbox 360 in previous years. Other than the weight and size they also are putting in bigger hard drives to store more games, DLC and content, with 250GB and 500GB models being made available in both black and white colors.

They also are putting out some limited edition bundles for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in a 250GB model that includes DUST 514 DLC content voucher for $30 and is available September 25th 2012 for $269.99. But the one to wait for is the Assassin’s Creed III bundle that comes with a 500GB PS3 and the game; it will be available October 30th 2012 when Assassin’s Creed III comes out for an unannounced price.

Natural Selection 2 Pre-Order on Steam

Looking for a new First Person Shooter or Real Time Strategy game? Then check out Natural Selection 2; this is an Alien vs. Humans game that is a rebuild to the original Half-Life modification called Natural Selection that lets players try to take over and build up resources to defeat the opposing team and take over a location. The Marine Frontiersmen have upgrades like jet packs, flamethrowers, exo suits with mini guns, and arc cannons that help them fight the aliens. The Aliens known as Kharaa infest the maps and have the ability to evolve into wall climbing Skulks, flying Lerks, slashing Fades, or crushing Onos.

Both teams have resource collection devices that give them the resources to upgrade their powers and give them new equipment or evolutions to help them fight the other team. The maps are large and each team has to try and control as much as they can until they can push the others base using different strategies to eliminate the other and win the game.

The game has been in beta for other the past year and is being developed by small Indie developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment who is made up of original developer Charlie Cleveland and others that built the original Natural Selection. They built their own game engine known as Spark that is made for fast development by using Lua to code the actual game in. The concept art and lots of the environment art was developed by Cory Strader, and original music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski.

I have been playing both the original and the beta of Natural Selection 2 for over a year now and have had fun playing along with the development of the game. The game relies on lots of teamwork and a commander who knows how to build strategies. The commander plays in a top down view and drops structures, researches upgrades, and supports there team players. Each member of the team also gets a set of personal resources they can use for weapons and evolutions and the number of resources they get is determined by how many Extractors or Harvesters the team has.

You can now Pre-Order the game on Steam for $24.99 and you get an upgrade to Digital Deluxe Edition that includes Natural Selection 2, a 1 hour soundtrack, a 40 page digital art book, excusive wallpapers and avatars, and exclusive in-game marine model. Once the game comes out the Deluxe Edition will go up to $40. Right now they are saying it will be release sometime in October, but I would without a thinking twice say that the date will be October 31 2012 Halloween, this is because that was the day they release the original Natural Selection.

This is a really fun game and once you learn it you will have hours of enjoyment, I have so go ahead and order today!

Black Mesa Half-Life 2 Mod

Good news for all you PC games out there, the rebuild of the classic game Half-Life using the Half-Life 2 engine called Source is set to release the first part of Black Mesa that they have finished. After 8 years of working on this project the community developed re-envisioning will be out to play September 14 2012, with what they say to be 8 to 10 hours of game play. While they don’t have all of the levels done in the later part of the story they wanted to release this much of the game so people could play and experience what they have made so far.

Half-Life the game was release November 19 1998, and was about a secret government researcher who was put into the middle of an alien outbreak that the military is just trying to cover up but with the help of fellow scientists they do what it takes to stop the aliens from invading earth. Half-Life 2 was released November 16 2004, and brings back the hero Gordon Freeman to find earth had been taken over by aliens. At the same time Half-Life 2 came out Valve the makers of Half-Life release a recompiled version of the original Half-Life but did no updates to the game. That’s where Black Mesa came in to rebuild the original story in modern mapping and game play.

The original sound track made by Joel Nielson is available to download with a donation selector on the download page. They also have a mock “Offer of Employment” letter to Dr. Freeman that adds some fun to the release. From the screen shots and videos I look forward to getting to play though the game that they have so far. I was one that enjoyed the original game and played though it many times. Half-Life was also responsible for a good portion of my gaming including mods such as Team-Fortress Classic, Natural-Selection, and some Counter-Strike, all who now have newer versions such as Team-Fortress 2, Natural-Selection 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offence.

Look forward to a game review of Black Mesa coming after the release September 14 2012!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Trailer

If you have ever followed any competitive game play two games come to mind Star-Craft and Counter-Strike, and the new updated version of Counter-Strike called Global Offensive comes out August 21st 2012. This is an update and addition to the Counter-Strike: Source that includes new maps, characters and weapons but also updates the classic maps and weapons that are from the original game.

If you pre-order the game you can play the beta and you get a special weapon for Team-Fortress 2. Also right now it is 10% off, making it only cost $13.49. It will be available on both PC and MAC though Steam, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

As far as me playing I wasn’t all that into it I like to run and gun in most games and these require more sneaking and head shots, but I’ll give it a try. Check out the Trailer below it was made with the new Source Filmmaker tool Valve has made to make videos using the Source Engine and game art.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer

If you have played World of Warcraft for any number of years you would be expecting the new explanation Mists of Pandaria that includes a new neutral race of Pandas that adds a new class the Monk. Any way good news check out the video below of the Cinematic Trailer, the game comes out on Tuesday September 25 2012!

YouTube App for PS3

If you’re a PS3 user and you like YouTube good news, you can now download the YouTube app from the PS3 store today that lets you watch videos from your PS3. It was designed for big screens making it easy to use from your couch. The other great feature was the fact that you can use your mobile phone or most likely your tablet to search, control, and load up more videos easier while other videos are playing.

  • Search: Finding the videos you want is easier than ever, with search suggestions and instant video results while you type.
  • Your subscribed channels: Sign in to find the latest videos from your YouTube subscriptions, which now also includes official music videos.
  • Your phone as a remote: With a quick pairing process, you can control YouTube on PS3 with a smartphone. Find a video on your phone and with a button it’ll play on the big screen. While the video is playing you can control it from the phone, or keep browsing YouTube for the next one.

You can get the new YouTube app sometime today in PS3 Store under My Channels.

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