Archive for June, 2010
Sunday, June 27th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers,
In an era of gaming were “franchise” is the industry’s most used buzz-word, few franchises can claim to have as long and as storied a history as EA’s NHL games. It all started back in 1991 when the very first NHL game was released.
The franchise however remained some what unimpressive until NHL ’94, a game that is still considered to be one of the best sports games of all time. The ability to have 1 timers, a regular season mode, Playoffs, and Shootouts helped move over 10 million copies in North America. However, the game still took a lot of heat for removing fights.
NHL 97 saw a goalie, John Vanbiesbrouck, take the cover. It also saw the introduction of play by play commentary, and a full 3D engine enhanced by motion capture.
The end of 2004 brought with it the cancellation of what was supposed to be the 88th regular season of NHL hockey. However, not all things with the combination of NHL and 2004 ended up being bad. NHL 2004 saw some really big changes as EA rebuilt the puck and rebounding controls from the ground up, and for the first time gave players the choice of when to fight.
NHL 07 saw the introduction of the Skill stick.
The next big changes came in 2010 when EA introduced board play, intimation, post-whistle fights and (indirectly) the Got Game Bump that helped last year’s NHL cover athlete, Patrick Kane, when the final game of the last NHL playoffs.
So what does the future hold?
Well from the screen shot below you can obviously tell that the future is pretty.
However, you will have to listen to this week’s Got Game to find out the specifics, and as always you can find the podcast version of that show in the audio file below this sentence.
However, there is nothing like a good and obvious tease, so this week we talked t0 to NHL Stanley Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jonathan Toews…
…2nd overall NHL draft pick Tyler Seguin (blue jersey)…
…and NHL 11 line producer Sean Ramjagsingh about the new game!
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Hey Got Gamers,
Anyone can do a best of/worst of E3 list, but I wanted to do something a little different. I still did a best/worst list, but I found some hidden jewels in both categories that I wanted to share with you. There are some great things that I didn’t put on my list, but you’ve probably already seen those on the 20 best of/worst of lists that you’ve read before this.
The Best of E3:
1. Gran Turismo 5
With 3D capabilities, head-tracking via the PlayStation Eye camera, over 1000 cars, 20 tracks, split screen, video integration with Youtube, your own soundtracks and PSP connectivity; the next Gran Turismo installment appears to be the Swiss-Army knife of gaming. However, I find that the really impressive part is that they found time and a way to add NASCAR, World Rally, Super GT, and F1 to this game. It’s clearly they’re trying to be everything to everyone, and a lot of it works very well. It may not be the best game of all time, but all this content certainly makes it one of the best things at this year’s E3.
2. The Nintendo 3DS
It was clearly the biggest announcement of this year’s E3, but add a thumb stick, wi-fi capabilities, 3D movies/games, a 3D camera, and the ability to adjust the 3D to 2D, and you have the best piece of technology of this year’s E3.
3. Forectek “Power Glove”
I have 2 words for you: Power Glove! I am sure that’s not what the people at Forcetek want me to call it, but it’s like something right out of The Wizard. The best part about this system is that the inventors have come from the physio-therapy world, and this “power glove” is only part of a full exo-skeleton that they’re currently working on. Therefore, and I stress in theory, gamers with disability could use this technology to play games that they may not otherwise be able to play… in theory.
4. NBA JAM
NBA JAM is Boom-Shacka-Licious! It’s easy to control and feels exactly like in did when we were playing the original NBA JAM at our local arcades. My one complaint? Toronto’s team is made up of Bosh and the Raptor mascot. Now don’t get me wrong, because I love the Raptor. He does have a great 3 point shot, but why no love for Calderon, Evans or DeRozan?
5. Kevin Butler’s Appearance
It’s Kevin Butler… what more do you want?
6. Life Size Nobel Team Statue
This was the most impressive thing leading into the LA Convention Center’s West Hall. Even the most dedicated Nintendo fanboy had to stop and take a picture with it.
You probably have yet to hear about this game, so I won’t ruin the surprise. Just watch the trailer for this one because it looks sick!
The Worst of E3:
1. That scripted banter between Microsoft’s engineer Laura (aka – Lollipop) and her sister via VideoKinect.
I have yet to meet someone who saw this live, or on TV, that didn’t feel awkward watching this.
2. Gaming Journalist who get a little to Fanboyish on the job.
I am a member of the world’s professional video game media. I take pride in my work, and I always do my best to remain professional at all times. However, I didn’t feel like all of thegaming media at E3 lived up to this easily attainable standard. Don’t get me wrong, I did meet countless professional gaming journalists at this year’s event. However, I could rant and rave over 5 – 10 so called “journalists” that I really found embarrassing. I was going to rant about them here, and then I found out that Mitchell Dyer already did that extremely well, so I am just going to point you towards his excellent post.
3. Demos that were not really Demos
All our little gaming hearts broke when we saw this random actor try and fail to sync his movements with that of the Star Wars Kinect trailer.
4. Ubisoft’s Battletag
I understand that developers and publishers have to come up with new ways to differentiate themselves from everyone else, but there is a line that you can cross in this situation. Why has Battletag cross that line? It’s not because Battletag is a bad product. It seems to work perfectly as a game of laser tag, but this is E3. It is the world’s biggest event for all things video game related and Battletag is a not a video game.
5. The VirtuSphere
Imagine having to get into a giant metal sphere, and having to strap on a bulky VR helmet, every time you want to play a game. In this new world of the 3DS, I fear the VirtuSphere is rolling in the wrong direction.
6. Sketchy Gaming Peripherals
There were sketchy gaming peripherals on sale at a couple of dozen booths throughout E3. There were literally more plastic wii-mote steering wheels than you could ever shake a PlayStation move controller at. I took a picture of these though because I thought they spoke volumes about what I meant regarding sketchy peripherals. Here are 2 inflatable go-karts that you could use to play racing games on the Wii.
7. EA’s New Gun Club Reward Program
Fish swim, birds fly, and EA makes great first person shooters. Heck, I personally think that EA’s Battlefield series is one of the best shooter franchises around. However, I also think that in a world were many use gaming as a easy target for public ridicule, and a scape-goat for social issues, calling your rewards program the Gun Club creates the wrong public image. And to be honest, as a gamer myself, I don’t think it correctly reflects who we are as gamers.
1. The 2K Sports Bar
In the center of the 2K booth, on the floor of the South Hall, was a real sports bar. Jersey’s on the wall, beers on tap, liquor at the back. It was a full on Sports bar that 2K was using to impress bigger fish than me. Pardon the pun, but having this real bar hidden away from the show floor was a sobering sight. However, it’s not something that is directly tied to playing a video game, so it only gets an honorable mention.
Monday, June 21st, 2010
XCOM is 2K Marin’s (the team that made Bioshock 2) attempt at rebooting the old 1990′s XCOM franchise. However, don’t waste you time expecting this to be a RTS, a spaceship combat simulator, or a robot action adventure. The gameplay of this XCOM reboot is nothing like the previous 6 games that have had the XCOM name.
This time around, XCOM will be a first person shooter, and players will be put into the shoes of William Carter. Carter is an FBI agent who is basically the video game version of Kay from the Men in Black movies. However, unlike Tommy Lee Jones, William Carter is the overall leader of his alien investigation bureau. A group that is know to the U.S. government as XCOM.
And like the XCOM games of old, mystery and research are some of the main mechanisms that drive this reboot’s story and gameplay. I would caution everyone to expect many questions and few answers when they first pop this game into their disc-drives.
Mystery and research also brings us to the main goal of XCOM: investigation. Aliens are terrorizing the planet earth, and no one seems to know why. The task of defeating these aliens has landed in your lap, so you take to the streets in search of some clue or piece of technology that will stop their advance.
Now despite the emphasis on investigation, don’t expect to go out into this game space armed with only a chemistry set. The aliens are playing for keeps, and when the time comes, so should you. I don’t have a complete inventory of the XCOM armory yet, but I did see game characters using shotguns, electricity-based weapons, and something that looked like a home-made incendiary grenade; so it’s probably a safe guess that your arsenal will consist of weapon-designs that are heavily influenced by science fiction (emphasis on the fictional part).
The other big similarity between this reboot and the original XCOM is strategy. However, do not expect the strategic depth of X-COM: UFO Defense. The strategy mechanics of this new XCOM seems to have been reduced to simple decision making. Basically, XCOM has gone from a Real Time/Turn Based Strategy game to a first person shooter were all of the strategy comes down to selecting the best mission/gun/et cetera from 2-3 options. Actually, the demo I saw was very scripted and the mission was probably chosen days before I even saw the demo, so really the only strategy I saw revolved around what weapons to take.
In the end, XCOM is a first person shooter were you’re fighting aliens. It claims to have some strategic depth, but I didn’t see any level of strategy that would single it out from any other shooter. That being said, I still think this is a game to keep an eye on. The visuals are great, and the combat seemed to be both solid and varied. Also, there is going to be an interesting story for anyone new to XCOM, and I bet a lot of people are new to this franchise.
The big question is how will this hold up for those of you who have already played an XCOM game? I honestly have no idea. It makes sense that 2K would want to make this game so unique that the most grizzled XCOM veteran would have a new experience, but I simply did not get enough time with this game to answer that question. However, remember that this is just a first look; keep tuned to Got Game and we’ll pass on details as they trickle in.
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Spec Ops: The Line is a highly mature and violent 3rd person shooter that focuses on close quarters combat. That doesn’t make it bad, but instead I wanted to make it clear that this is no kids game. You could almost also call it a stealth action game, but from what I saw during a hands-off-behind-closed-doors-demo, it was certainly common to find yourself sneaking up on game characters who share that game-space.
Accord to the 2K representatives who showed me this game, the story will be one of the game’s bigger features. While I don’t have enough information about Spec Ops The Line to agree with anything said; it did seem to have an almost Hollywood thriller feel to it. The is partly because the game looks undeniably good! The other part though is the engaging story telling.
The story itself focuses on 3 Delta Force Operatives trying to complete a mission in the (fictionally) destroyed city of Dubai. Each player will take control of the squad’s leader: Captain Martin Walker. He is the one on the right in this next image.
The mission? Find and evacuate the missing Colonel John Konrad. However, once you arrive in Dubai, you realize that it wasn’t just destroyed by sand storms. The entire city has become the battlefield for 2 unknown armies, and so your mission changes from a simple turn and burn, to a thriller that makes you search through Dubai for the missing colonel.
Along with the story, the game will feature a difficult choice system. Difficult in the sense that the choices are hard to make. According to the 2K representatives, you should expect a lot of grey area and tough moral decision making. However, from what I saw, it won’t be as formal as the decisions in Mass Effect. This time you will simply be given a situation with multiply possible actions that could be the solution; then you’re asked to do one. Normally this involves shooting someone, but like I said before, this is just the first look at this game. Many things about Spec Ops The Line could change.
The other big feature, and the thing that truly makes this game different, is the sand. In Spec Ops The Line sand is everywhere and you can use this sand as a weapon or as a tool during certain parts of this game. These “sand weapons” and “sand tool”often come in the form of a retaining wall/object that is holding back the sand weapon/tool. To trip one of these, you will shoot the retaining wall, and the sand will come rushing out to crush you, your enemies, and everything else in your path.
In the end, Spec Ops The Line looked fun. I don’t know when its coming out, but it continuous to deserve more attention.
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
Each year there is an unofficial competition were the winner “wins E3″. They don’t get to take E3 home or anything. They simply get to take the honorary title of E3 champion for the current year. As for the rules, they have never been written down, but it is generally accepted that the winner of each year’s E3 is the company with the best product offering.
With those rules in place, the only company I feel right crowning this year is Nintendo.
Their press conference started off with a look at 2011′s new the Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, and the 1 to 1 controls. After an on-stage Zelda demo that went horribly wrong for Nintendo, I went to check out Zelda myself. There really must have been some sort of interference because the game pretty much works like they said. Nintendo then started to talk about how their focus had turned to universal appeal and creating “bridge games” to continuously bring in new casual gamers; so the party games announcements flowed. Mario Sports Mix, Just Dance 2, and more are coming out this holiday season.
Then the true fun began. True to form, Nintendo went back to their old policy of release the products that have sold well in the past. This brought us to a new Golden Eye 007 game starring Daniel Craig (they had me until the Daniel Craig part), Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Dragon Quest , Metroid Other M, and (the game that caught my personal interest the most during this year’s Nintendo Press Conference) Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Then it was time to bring out the new hardware, and a brand new baby 3DS was born. From what little time they’ve given us with it, it seems to be a really impressive piece of technology. The 3-D part works, and can even be adjusted from 2 to 3-D, or someplace in between. It also comes with motion sensors and tilt functionality like the iPhones have. However, like most things this 3DS has some ups and downs. The ability to take 3-D pictures, use the internet via wi-fi, and watch 3-D movies seems awesome, but I question the choice of only having 1 analog thumb stick. That’s not something that has worked out well for Sony in the long run.
Speaking of Sony, if I had to give out a second place prize it would go to them. What put them over the top was obviously the appearance of Kevin Butler on stage.
However, they would have been last if they did not also have an impressive line up of new content. Games like Little Big Planet 2, Portal 2, and Grand Turismo 5 had everyone’s attention. They capped everything off with a new Twisted Metal game that looks great, and comes with aircraft. However, I did walk out of the Sony Press Conference with one fear: the new PSP advertising campaign. They’re trying to catch lighting in a bottle twice by milking the Kevin Butler concept. The PSP will now be promoted by a young, edgy, middle-school student with a chip on his shoulder. I personally fear that this will result in far to many Sony ads flooding the market; and as a result, I fear that both characters will quickly become last years news. However, only time will tell.
Microsoft gets third place in my mind this year. Don’t get me wrong though; the line up of Xbox titles for this year are solid. Halo Reach, Gears 3, Kinect, etc. The list goes on and on. All solid titles with great backing, but they’re all titles I’ve known about for a long while now. I want to be surprised during E3; that’s when the magic happens. Sadly though, while we did get a lot of useful knowledge about upcoming Microsoft properties, the only shock I got during this year’s E3 was when they announced the Xbox Slim.
Monday, June 14th, 2010
Microsoft choose to send this year’s Xbox360 press conference out with a bang! The last announcement was the release of a new Xbox360 Slim model that will be shipping to retailers as you read this, and on sale by the end of this week (maybe start of next week is my own opinion) for $299 US.
Regardless of when it shows up though, it will be an impressive piece of technology, that includes built in Wi-Fi and a 250 gig hard drive.
Here is what it will look like alongside a Xbox360 controller, and the Kinect camera.
Monday, June 14th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
By now you’ve may or may not have heard that Microsoft is not going with the name Project Natal. They’ve given their controller less controller a new ID.
When you think about it though, that may be the best name they could have chosen for it. The main focuses of the whole Kinect (I keep wanting to call it Natal) launch event was to show how Kinect could: a) bring families together, and b) how you could connect to a whole lot of content on the Xbox with Kinect. These were messages that Microsoft continuously repeated during the event by showing families coming together to play a wii-sports like party game over and over again. Also, yes I did see a cover the shoulder Star Wars Jedi game were you wave your hands around like your holding a Lightsaber, but the focus was on the family friendly mini-games.
I am hoping to learn more about the specifics of Kinect today. USA Today’s Mike Snider wrote an article this morning claiming to know the working titles of all the games shown during the launch event. I personally can not confirm, nor deny these titles. I can only confirm that I was on the show floor near the stage for this event, and that the games that Microsoft showed fit those descriptions.
Everything else though will have to wait for today’s Microsoft press conference, which happens in just over 90 minutes from now, so I am off to that.
I will make sure that when I know something, I will tell you guys first.
Catch you later gamers!
I just got back from the E3 Xbox360 Presser and I can confirm the names of the Kinect launch games:
Kinectimals – a pet simulation where small children can collect, keep, and play with 40 exotic virtual animals.
Kinect Sports – a wii-sports like collection of mini-games. This game will have: track and field, soccer, bowling, volleyball, ping pong and boxing.
Kinect Joy Ride – A kart racer that using Xbox Live avatars, hand motions as the steering wheel, and body movements to activate stunts.
Kinect Adventures – another wii-sports like collection, but the games in this one don’t focus on sports.
Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved – an exercise game similar to wii-fit
Harmonix’s Dance Central – an experience that will literally teach you how to boogie down. Fo’ reals!
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
This was stumbled upon yesterday, as the twitter-verse was going nuts with rampant rumours about what the clip below really means…
Is this a teaser for a new Mortal Kombat game? New movie??
First of all… have you SEEN it??? Watch it. It’s incredible. We’ll speak after you’re done.
Great. What did you think?
…as it turns out, at least according to Jeri Ryan (who plays Sonya Blade in the trailer), the 8 minute chunk of gold was created to pitch the fine folks of WB to make a new film. Ryan tweeted as such last night (Tuesday):
It’s not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film.
The director, according to Kotaku.com, is Kevin Tancharoen – who was responsible for last year’s breakthrough remix project: “Fame.”
Please hold your applause.
…Either way, tell your friends about the MK: rebirth short. While you’re at it, tell them about Got Game, as well
Monday, June 7th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
Normally, I think that the podcast is the most important part of these show blogs, but this week the most important thing is a charity called Mission 4 Miracle.
(Image courtesy of Xbox.ca)
But what is Mission 4 Miracles (M4M) you ask? Good question; and one we can answer for you if you just click this link to another page on our website.
In the meantime, we would still like to present you with the audio file below this sentence, and the Got Game Podcast for Sunday June 6th, that is within.
On this episode of Got Game we also:
1. Look ahead at E3 with Rob Keyes of Gamerant.com
2. Break down Backbreaker for your PS3 and Xbox360
And like we mentioned on the show, the Got Game crew is also in this game. Zack Cooper is a wide receiver, Ken Rodney is a line backer, Momin Qureshi is a safety, two time co-host Rob Wong is our all-star half back, and Bryan Calhoun is the kicker.
You can find us all on the LA Raptors!
3. We then go a couple of rounds with the multi-platformed UFC Undisputed 2010
4. And Zack gives us Part 2 (of 2) of his Modnation Racers Review