Tag Archives: #Video Games

San Diego Comic Con 2012 – Video Games

It’s that time again nerds! This is how our year starts off. With San Diego Comic Con! (Classical Music Plays) With news on upcoming movies, comic book events, television, more stuff for your toy chest, games, and other merchandise you can stuff a chimichanga with. That’s what the annual Comic Convention is all about. Nerds galore, or more appropriately, Nerdvana.  Last week, over 200,000 people attended the widely celebrated event starting from July 11 (Preview Night) and going through July 12th to the 15th.  I was supposed to go,  already bought over $200 worth of badges for me and my brother, but alas, I must tend to my family.  Which sucked ass!  But that didn’t stop me from finding ways to feel like I was there.  Join me as we go through the highlights of this year’s Con.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Skip “Family Guy” Game

Back in E3, gamers had the chance to try out a demonstration for Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse, a game that sets its tone like that of the classic “Road to the Multiverse” episode from the acclaimed tv show by Seth McFarlane. I wasn’t there, but reading through some of the people’s reaction who were there, I made this “Top 10″ for you to see. All I want you to do is think, whether I have a point or not. Tell me your thoughts down below after reading the entire post.

Note: This game is still in its infancy(pre-alpha), so whatever I’m pointing out, its from the pre-alpha stage.

10. It’s Family Guy – Well, to be frank, it’s just not as interesting. Sure, the tv show is great, but that doesn’t translate well to gamers. Fans of the tv show will definitely buy this game, but that’s if they’re into playing games. I can count on one finger, the tv show inspired games that people really liked(Hint Yellow skinned and Colorado). This would actually work if it was released to the public as an online game. But that’s not the case.

9. Plot – The game is somehow lacking a progressive storytelling plot. You have Stewie and Brian go between multiple alternate universes to try and stop Bertram from doing evil stuff. That’s about it.

8. Gameplay – You’ll be running and gunning the entire time. Really? A third person shooter? You’d think that the developer is desperate enough to actually make Family Guy a third person shooter. I have to admit, it’ll feel right at home for something like Family Guy if it was just a level or two, but the entirety of the game you have to shoot your way through a level? Not acceptable. You don’t need to have the third person shooter aspect for this game to make it popular.

7. Graphics – Remember the Simpsons game a “generation” back? That’s how the game looks like. The graphics looks like it was forced, way too clunky and too much squiggly lines on the movement. Of course, it’s still in the pre-alpha stage. They have plenty of time to fix the mess, but if they stick with it, God help the sales.

6. What About The Rest Of The Cast? – So, We’ve got Stewie and Brian as playable characters. Where’s Peter, Lois, Chris, and Meg? It is safe to say, and pretty obvious, that Stewie’s family would appear as NPCs. Or even as unlockables. It would be awesome to see Quagmire or Joe shooting The Amish in one of the levels, which brings me to reason number five.

5. The Amish – Way to be controversial… Sort of. Since no Amish would have a gaming console in their house. Couldn’t they have picked a better theme for one level? At least be smart about it. In the game, Bertram gives them fast growing seeds, in return, he wants them to attack Stewie and Brian. Come on. I’m sure the Native Americans In Colonial America where Zombies have taken over the world would have been a hell of a lot better with that plot.

4. Developer/Publisher – The game is being developed by Heavy Iron Studios and published by Activision. Well, with that kind of developer, it makes you want to see how far this will stretch out. Games ranging from Ratatouille and The Incredibles games, Heavy Iron Studios may have single-handedly sank its own ship. We’ll see. As for Activision, you may know them for bringing you the Call of Duty series and the not-so-long-ago hit Transformers: War for Cybertron. Why would they even involve themselves with this.

3. Multiplayer – Alright, a four player co-op mode and a multiplayer mode for a third person shooter, sounds awesome. Wait, wait, we’re still on Family Guy. So, not a good idea on that one. With other games like Max Payne 3, Grand Theft Auto IV and V, and Red Dead Redemption, wouldn’t a Family Guy Multiplayer not make any sense. It would be okay if other modes would be available, not just putting 12 family guy characters and give them guns to shoot each other. Maybe something like mini games or whatever.

2. Weapons – This is a broad game, so a lot of weapons would be understandable. But this game would be more fun if they give us melee weapons such as battle axes, lightsabers, Thor’s hammer, toasters, wooden swords, baseball bats with nails, or even a lampshade. That’s what really pairs with this game. Sniper rifles, crossbows, and lasers are okay, don’t get me wrong, but do you really want to shoot an Amish guy from afar, or would you rather beat him with a bat up close and personal?

1. Time/Generation – Finally, Do you think it is in great taste that a game like this would quench the thirst of gamers who long for high quality gaming? In a world where you have the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and the likes, do you really want to play a Family Guy game on your latest console? When you can just download something of the same manner for just a couple of dollars. Games like Skyrim, Halo, Grand Theft Auto series, heck even Mario games are dominating the gaming industry. You wanna’ ruin the fun with this? I didn’t think so.

 

Plus, searching the internet, I found out that previous Family Guy games didn’t receive a thumbs up from the public. So, trust me, you don’t want this on your shelf.


San Diego Comic Con 2012/Comic Con International 2012

Comic Con International Logo

On a Wednesday afternoon, Comic Con International decides to send out an email to those who registered to their Comic Con Member ID a few months back. I registered in hopes of going to the most iconic and famous comic convention in the world. Comic Con International in San Diego, CA. I waited, with no response or update from Comic Con. Then, they sent out an email to anyone who wants to volunteer. I’m one of those people. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to a comic convention without having to pay. All ou have to do (For WonderCon anyway), is work 3 hours a day, and you get that day free. Anyway, I personally did not sleep at all. I waited for hours. By 7:55am PST, I was just clicking the “top secret” link Comic Con gave us with Member IDs. There was nothing, just that “404 – Not Found” error message over and over again. I though to myself, “it is just 7:55.”

I literally waiter for 7:59am to change into 8:00am. When it did, I just clicked it. It didn’t work! I snapped and thought I peed my pants. Then, I thought of going to their website and see if there was a solution. Fortunately, there was. Right beside a bunch of words was a big, can’t-miss, green button. I immediately clicked it and was redirected to the EPIC online registration website. When you get there, the site automatically gives you a number corresponding to your position within the line. You have to wait, like any other person, for hours in line. My number was “#16548.” I thought to myself that I won’t be able to make it and buy tickets. Since the site was refreshing every 120 seconds, my position was actually getting better every time. I started off at #16548, after 45 or so minutes, I was at #276. After the last refresh time, I am in front and now prepared to buy my tickets. Unfortunately, the 4 Day w/ Preview Night, 4 Day w/o Preview Night, and the Saturday Single Day ticket were all sold out and I had no chance of getting that Saturday ticket. All there were left were the Thursday, Friday,and Sunday Single Day tickets. I bought all three, finished my transactions, and went back for a second time to purchase tickets for my little brother. I bought him the Friday and Sunday tickets.

All in all, this was another experience I can share with friends and families. If I get the chance and someone doesn’t want their Saturday Single Day ticket, I would gladly buy it. See you at Comic Con.

 

Here’s that email they sent out: 

 

“Dear **********************,

 
The wait is over! Comic-Con 2012 badges will go on sale at 8:00 a.m. PST on Saturday March 3rd, 2012. To access the EPIC online registration website, click the following link: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/badge_sales.php
 
Please note, this link will not be active until 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you click this link early, you will receive a “404 – NOT FOUND” error page and you will need to close your browser window and click the link again at or after 8:00 a.m. PST.
 
As a member of the Comic-Con Member ID preferred “E-List”, you are receiving first notification of the badge sales date/time and the exclusive link to registration. Although you are required to have a Member ID to purchase a badge, sharing the above link on a social networking site may decrease your chances of obtaining a badge. Although only those with a Member ID will be allowed to purchase a badge, the EPIC waiting room is open to the general public and if the link above is leaked online, we anticipate that several thousand people who did not sign-up for a Member ID will attempt to access the registration system erroneously. Additionally, should you choose to share the date or link online, it is likely to be picked up by numerous media outlets who will share this information with a larger audience.
 
We strongly recommend that you visit http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_reg.php and download the “Comic-Con 2012 Helpful Hints and Tips for Online Badge Registration” PDF. Reading this document may give you and advantage in obtaining a badge over others who choose not to read it. 
 
The following is the Member ID information we have on file for you. Please use the Member ID and last name below to log in to the EPIC registration website. Even if your last name is incorrect below, you must login with this information to validate your ID. You will be able to correct your last name at a later date. 
 
Member ID: **************

Last Name:  **************
 
All of us at Comic-Con would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding during the new Member ID registration and badge sales process. As you know because of limited space at the San Diego Convention Center we have had to cap attendance for the last few years. The new Member ID registration process is an attempt to streamline the process of purchasing a badge and hopefully reducing, to a great number, those who purchase badges only for resale. Thereby making more badges available to individuals.
We honestly wish we could accommodate each and every person who would like to attend the show, and while we are making strides to increase space by utilizing hotels and outdoor venues, the problem of attendance is one that all of us continue to work on constantly.
 
Thank you very much for your support of Comic-Con, and your love of comics and the popular arts.
 
If you are not planning to purchase a badge during online sales, please disregard this notice. This e-mail does not relate to professional, press, exhibitor, volunteer, or program participant registration. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Comic-Con International”

PS Vita Console Review

PS Vita
The Sony PlayStation Vita officially launches today, bringing with it over two dozen games and a host of promises. Without a new version of the PlayStation console announced, Sony is clearly counting on the PS Vita to restore some of the prestige lost in the gaming world with the troubles dogging their PlayStation Network. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, of course, but I can say that the Vita is a remarkable achievement in handheld gaming devices.

It’s nothing if not sleek, small enough to fit in a pocket (albeit a fairly big one) but with a screen that can’t help but remind one of the iPhone 4′s Retina display, only bigger (though the Vita’s screen has slightly worse resolution than the Retina display, at 960×544, the difference is largely unnoticeable). Its tight design and relative lack of moving parts work to enhance its durability — not only have I let my 9- and 11-year-old kids play with it, but they and I have dropped it a few times, and it still looks brand new. It fits comfortably in two hands, with miniaturized versions of the PlayStation controls that work very well, even if using the tiny dual analog joysticks did make my hands cramp up after a while — but I have unusually large hands, so your mileage may vary. Having touch capabilities on the back of the Vita as well as on the front display is an interesting innovation, one which I at first found cumbersome but gradually grew able to handle reasonably adeptly. The front and back cameras are low-res enough that nobody’s likely to use them much for taking photos or videos, but serve very well in their primary function: enabling the augmented reality feature of the device. Top all that off with a Cortex A9 Quad core processor, a quad-core graphics processor, and 512 megabytes of RAM, and you’ve got a powerhouse of a handheld: to put that all into perspective, it has twice as much memory as the PS3 and more computing power than the iPad 2.

The PS Vita does more than just play games. It comes with a web browser, but one you’re only likely to use for quickly looking something up or some such activity, as it’s pretty mediocre by today’s standards. Google Maps is also included, which works pretty much as you’d expect if you’ve ever used it on a smartphone or tablet, and, though the GPS seemed pretty accurate, I don’t see this being a widely-used app — I just can’t imagine too many scenarios in which you’d need a map where it would be easier to pull out your Vita than your smartphone, but I can see it being useful for people without smartphones. It has an app called Near, which adds a social aspect to the device by showing you nearby Vita users, what they’re playing, and what trophies they’ve won. (As I only had one Vita to try out, I wasn’t able to test this app, but I understand that it does maintain privacy standards.) It comes with a content manager, which is a well-designed app that allows you to transfer information between the Vita and a PS3 or computer. And then there’s the remote play feature, which was notoriously poorly implemented on the PSP, which I was only able to get to work a little bit and then really slowly, but which they’ve promised will improve dramatically shortly, especially after more PS3 games come out that enable the feature. You can also watch videos and listen to music on the Vita, and it seems to do just fine at both, but it’s no serious threat to the better smartphones with regard to either.

But, let’s face it, nobody is going to buy the Vita for any of those things. The clear selling point of this device, and Sony clearly knows this, is the games. It’s been discussed here on GeekDad and elsewhere, but Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the clear star of the launch-day lineup — and one that demonstrates better than any other game I tried out (including the Welcome Park app that comes loaded on the device) how good a job the Vita does in providing a great gaming experience. Let me put it this way: Despite having over a dozen other games to try out, I had to play Uncharted all the way to the end, and I found myself getting immersed in the game in a very similar way to how I had playing the console games in the series, to the point where what I was playing the game on became just part of the experience. It really did feel that natural, and that’s as much a testament to the device’s features as it is to the game’s designers and developers for taking advantage of them. Honestly, the other games were a bit hit and miss — though there were some very good ones — but it was Uncharted that really made me a true believer in the PS Vita. If a series as rich and cinematic as that can have a handheld installment that stands right up there with the console installments, then so can any other series. (Check back here on GeekDad in the next week or so to read my full reviews of selected games from the opening Vita lineup.)

With all the games available to play already, it would be easy to overlook the Vita’s operating system, but it could be argued that that’s one of its greatest strengths: it allows you to run and effortlessly switch between up to five apps at once. Want to pause your game to check out who’s nearby and send a friend request? Just press the “PS” button under the left analog stick, scroll through the apps screens with a flick of your finger — just as you would in iOS or Android, only vertically — tap the Near app, send the request, then swipe left or right to the game’s screen and tap continue. The only delay in this process would be how long it takes you to find your new potential friend in Near, because everything else would be virtually instantaneous. Really: even pausing and restoring a game as big as Uncharted was seamless, dropping me back into the game as though Drake had only blinked. I tried doing this in every game I played, and in the middle of all kinds of processor-intensive scenes, and not only did none of the games crash, but every one of them restored perfectly. If there are any glitches in this OS, I wasn’t able to find them, and I’m usually pretty good at that sort of thing.

The Vita has its weak points, though. The battery life is probably the worst: I wasn’t able to play for more than three hours in any game without getting a low battery warning; giving it a full charge only took about two hours, though, which isn’t bad. Storage is another issue: The Vita carries no internal storage, presumably as a way to keep prices down, and memory cards for it are proprietary and expensive. And it has its annoyances — for me, the biggest being that the cover to the slot where game cards go was really difficult to open. If you don’t have long fingernails, you’ll need to either leave the cover open or carry some kind of small, thin object with you — honestly, I don’t see how the design for this made it to the final product, when the rest of the Vita seems so well thought out. I had to resort to keeping a small, thin knife next to me for this purpose, and prying the cover open very carefully, because literally nothing else I tried worked — even a dime was too thick for the purpose, as were the edges of the game cards and the boxes they came in. If I want to take my Vita on a plane, I’ll have to come up with some other idea, since I have a feeling the TSA will not accept “I need it to open my handheld gaming device” as a valid reason for bringing a knife on board.

All in all, the PS Vita really has managed to bring console-level gaming to a handheld in a way nobody has done before. I love my iPhone 4 and my iPad 2, and I play games on them all the time, but the iPhone screen is too small to let you forget you’re using a phone and the iPad is too big to fit naturally in your hands for long periods of time — plus there are very few pockets capable of holding an iPad, and they are both definitely more fragile than the Vita. I honestly felt like I had the same kind of immersive experience playing on the Vita that I’m used to having on the Xbox and PS3, only with the added benefits that only a handheld can provide, like touchscreen and gyroscopic movement. And I was able to play on this “console” with my headphones on while my kids watched a program on the main family TV, something I’m not able to do with the actual consoles. And fellow parents will understand how nice it was to be able to play a game rated “M” while my kids were in the house and awake, without having to worry they’d see or hear something I’d rather they didn’t.

The PS Vita is available for $249.99 for the WiFi-only version and $299.99 for a bundle with the version that adds AT&T 3G capability (which also comes with an 8GB memory card) — though you’ll have to pay for a data plan if you want to use the 3G after the included DataConnect pass runs out. Considering that you can currently get a 160GB PS3 for $250, this may seem a bit pricey, but not horribly so when you consider how much power Sony has packed into so little space. Games seem to run between $30 and $50, which is what you’d pay for any console game (and therefore more than you’d pay for games for most handhelds).

Wired: The PS Vita delivers the closest thing yet to a console-level experience in a handheld device, with well-designed handheld features. The rear touch-panel is an innovation I expect to see on other devices soon, as (while it takes some getting used to) it is fairly natural to use when your fingers are already on the back of the device because your thumbs are on the controls.

Tired: Sony has yet to learn that using proprietary storage media makes them no friends, and this is very much in evidence with the Vita. The battery life could well be enough to keep a lot of people from dropping a few hundred bucks on the Vita, although I’m sure external battery packs will make an appearance soon. And there’s that annoyance of the game card slot cover, which seems like a small thing, but as it’s something you have to use a lot will drive you a little bit nuts if you have the same trouble I did.

Conclusion: An excellent gaming experience overall, and worth the money. I don’t see the point in paying $50 more for the 3G and then having to get a plan on top of that, so if I were buying one I’d go for the WiFi-only version — although the 8GB memory card that comes with the 3G + WiFi bundle costs a fair bit on its own. (Amazon is offering a deal that gets you a free 4GB memory card with the WiFi-only version for a limited time.) The battery life is the only thing that might keep me from buying one, but there are so many opportunities to plug devices in these days that I don’t think it’s too huge a deal.


Game News

Image

 Gamers can get ready to return to the Animus, as Ubisoft today announced that Assassin’s Creed 3 will launch on October 30.
As reported by Kotaku, the news came from a Ubisoft investor conference call in which CEO Yves Guillemot predicted it would be “the biggest launch in Ubisoft history.”
The news confirms at least part of a purportedly leaked Ubisoft release schedule that surfaced this week, with Assassin’s Creed 3 listed as a 2012 launch.


WonderCon 2012

 

The first time I heard about WonderCon, my mind was too preoccupied with San Diego Comic Con that I just ignored it. Even with the fact that WonderCon held its convention in San Francisco. I was living in Milpitas at that time and thought I wouldn’t be able to go to San Diego with that much ease. It would mean driving to San Diego for SDCC and spend 9 to 10 hours on the road. Then I thought, why not just go to WonderCon. It’s pretty much the same. Then it said on the news that the next WonderCon, WonderCon 2012, will be held at Anaheim. Obviously it was just a coincidence, but a couple of months after that news, we moved to Riverside, CA because my Pops was transferred to Riverside Marriott. Anaheim is a 30-minute drive from Riverside and an hour and a half drive to San Diego. Now, I’ll be able to attend both.

After registering as a volunteer to WonderCon, they emailed me their policies and safety guidelines that included a form that I have to fill up and give to them so they can give me assignments to work on there at the convention. The way this works is I have to work three hours a day inside the convention and I get to be there the rest of the day to enjoy everything the convention has to offer. I’ll be volunteering for three days which gives me access to the entire convention.

 

WonderCon Wiki:

WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention, held in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1987.

The convention was conceived by retailer John Barrett (a founder of the retail chain Comics and Comix) and originally held in the Oakland Convention Center, where it remained until 2003, when it moved to San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The show’s original name was the Wonderful World of Comics Convention.

Retailer Joe Field (of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff) and his partner Mike Friedrich owned and operated the convention for fifteen years. In 2001, they brokered a deal with the management team that runs the San Diego Comic-Con International to make it part of the Comic-Con International convention family. This gave the San Francisco show a wider audience and has made it a venue for previews and early screenings of major motion pictures, in particular ones based on comic books. These have included Spider-Man 2 in 2004, Batman Begins and Fantastic Four in 2005, Superman Returns in 2006, 300 in 2007, Watchmen in 2009, and Kick-Ass in 2010. All of these events featured the stars of the films fielding questions from the audience. In addition, WonderCon features an event called “Trailer Park,” wherein trailers for upcoming films are shown.

While the main attraction of WonderCon has always been various retailers selling back issues of comic books and action figures, the exhibitorship has grown to include retailers of specialty DVDs. There is also an “Artists Alley” featuring mainly comic book artists selling artwork, signing books, and doing sketches; and mainstream celebrities signing autographed pictures. Academicians and comic industry professionals have held the Comics Arts Conference in conjunction with WonderCon.
In addition to the comic and movie previews is the Wondercon masquerade, which usually takes place on Saturday after the convention closes. Awards are given to those with the most creative performances, but anyone can participate. In 2010, the convention had an attendance of 39,000 fans with 34,000 fans in 2009.”


Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/vga-2011-exclusive-debut/724684

Above is a link to the the new trailer for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.

Previously announced a few months ago in an issue of Game Informer magazine, “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” intrigued many fans of the popular Hasbro robot/vehicle series, especially considering that its design had so much in common with publisherActivision’s previous games in the series, namely “War For Cybertron.” But this weekend, during the Spike Video Game Awards 2011, they received an even bigger reason to be excited — a teaser trailer for the upcoming game.

As the trailer begins, Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, carries an injured Bumblebee on the battlefield, while various Autobots and Decepticons battle it out on the war-torn planet of Cybertron. But it’s only a matter of minutes before everything escalates, with robots falling to pieces from incoming attacks. Then some familiar characters make appearances, including the all-powerful Devastator (formed from five smaller Decepticon robots) and the fan-favorite Grimlock, an Autobot that transforms into a fire-breathing dinosaur.

Though no gameplay footage was shown in the trailer, “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” does feature some fantastic art design, with edgier, serious looks for each of the characters. Grimlock no longer comes off as a somewhat goofy-sounding Dinobot, but rather a legitimate threat to the Decepticons’ claim for Cybertron. And Devastator? Well, he will no doubt be an interesting character to fight against.

High Moon Studios, the same development team that handled “War For Cybertron” and this past summer’s game release of “Dark of the Moon,” is once again taking care of development. The game is expected to introduce a vast storyline that lets players choose between Autobot and Decepticon sides, as well as a deep online multiplayer component.