Archive for April, 2011

Nintendo has been rumoring a new console recently and the rumor has become fact.  Project Café will become a reality sometime in 2012, but Nintendo will be showcasing a playable unit at E3 this June.

The new console according to IGN (which was told by other sources) will be “significantly” more powerful than the current powerhouse consoles the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.  The also rumored “tablet” controller is apparently real as well and will be on showcase alongside the console at E3.  Also Project Cafe will be backwards compatible with all current Wii software so kudos to the Big N for that.

This is very exciting news for Nintendo and the gaming community because we will now see what Nintendo can do with HD gaming.  The Wii served its purpose with introducing a new way to play games and opened up several creative avenues for developers; but with that being said it also slammed the door on others because of hardware limitations.  Project Café is brewing, but until we see it at E3 this June we can only speculate as to what it can do and will offer.  Stay tuned for more Project Café news and as always follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.


Amazon Video Game DOTD 4/26/2011

Posted: April 26, 2011 by Tim Utley in Video Game Deals
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For those who decided to wait on Crysis 2 you are being rewarded.  Crysis 2 is Amazon’s Video Game DOTD and it is on sale for $39.99 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.  I am one of those who decided to wait so I will be picking this up today and for the rest of you can get to yours from here.  This is a great title at a great price so score it today.  Stay tuned for more great deals also follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.

Since Wednesday of this week the Playstation Network has been offline due to an “external intrusion” (a.k.a. We got hacked again) and serves as a major inconvenience for loyal PSN users and those who happened to have purchased Mortal Kombat, Portal 2, or Socom 4 this week (sorry folks).  People are genuinely pissed off about this and in some articles I have read people are demanding money for their PSN wallets or a free game as consolation for the PSN being offline.  I guess I am taking the outage a little better than most, because to be perfectly honest I really don’t care.

It only does 80710A06 - Penny Arcade

The PSN has always been a second rate service to me and I am not surprised that something as obnoxious as this has happened (remember the clock fiasco last year), but sitting around and making foolish demands will not light a fire under Sony’s ass to rectify the issue any faster.  While some things people were asking for were foolish, most just wanted answers and that I believe is a completely valid request for Sony to respond to.  Some of the questions that sought answers like “Were PSN users’ personal information compromised?” is a great question because I don’t want some hacker douchebag to know where I live and or have access to my other personal data; but to my knowledge these questions haven’t been answered by Sony (which is fucking lame).

The PSN is a free service to most of its approximately 70 million users, but does that make this situation okay to most?  For most it doesn’t sit well, but for me it does, because it an attempt to sound uber-cliché “you get what you pay for”.  Most factor in the price of the PSN into new titles they purchase or even factor it in to the price of the unit itself, but lets be honest people, it is a free service because Sony taxes the publishers instead of the gamers.  Which is moderately commendable on their behalf, but when something like this goes wrong they can take their dear sweet time because 99% (random statistic, don’t judge me) of PSN users don’t pay shit to use the service.  As for Playstation Plus subscribers, you have an argument because while you might not pay for your actual connection to the PSN you pay money for discounted content and other wonderful things provided via a PP subscription (I am a PP subscriber, but that is irrelevant at this point and I don’t want anything from PSN for the record, I am just speaking on behalf of others who might feel differently).  Those who have PP subscriptions should be given something in return for this inconvenience, but everyone else just needs to deal.

Like I said things could be a whole lot worse.  For example if your PS3 wouldn’t turn on or your games wouldn’t work at all (I know some PSN games are not functioning, but thankfully there are hundreds of games for PS3, so check some of them out), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Before I finish this up I will add a quick neutral segment saying that if this had happened to Xbox Live I would be complaining vigorously too (so please don’t chew me up Sony Fanboys), but also with that being said an Xbox Live outage would pretty much render the system useless.  So loyal Sony users keep your heads high and the dust will clear soon enough (well I hope so for you at least).  Stay tuned until next time and as always don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.  Also feel free to comment on how you think Sony should handle this “debacle” in the comments section above.

(I also found this Penny Arcade strip to be quite comical as well, check it out if you would like)


Wii 2 “Screens” Leaked

Posted: April 21, 2011 by Tim Utley in News and Updates
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By now most of you have heard about the rumored Wii 2 (Project Café) that is supposedly in development.  There has been a strong buzz on the web the past few days speculating about the new system’s capabilities and how Nintendo is finally taking the leap into HD gaming.  The new system has had some “screens” leaked over the past couple of days showcasing potential design schemes for the console and the potentially elaborate controller.

Pretty Crazy huh?

The system itself looks like a slightly modified version of the current Wii console, but the controller is what really steals the show in this mockup.  It looks like if a Gamecube controller, an Xbox 360 controller, and a DS had a threesome, the resulting offspring would be the Wii 2 controller pictured above.  Also the right aligned paragraph suggesting 1080p-streaming video to the controller has me excited for the possible design feature, but not for what additional controllers will cost.  The last thing I also noticed inside that small bit of visible text was that the streaming video would render quarter sections of the screen on each individual’s controller.  If implemented this will more than likely be a feature used in multiplayer games such as Mario Kart or Smash Bros (pretty sweet).  This controller will surely ascertain or surpass the level of hype that the original Wii controller had behind it, but only time will tell.

Even though these screens are more than likely fake, it has me excited regardless.  I love when new systems get announced and hopefully this buzz pushes Nintendo to have a prototype version of the system and controller ready for E3.  Stay tuned for more Wii 2/Project Café news and as always follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.

(image provided by My Nintendo News)

Another year has passed and now we have another huge beta for people to participate in.  Last year we had the Halo: Reach beta around this time and this year we have the Gears of War 3 beta.  The Gears 3 Beta will be running for approximately a month and will go in cycles according to how you acquired your entry code.  This week is open to people who purchased the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm.  Then I believe it opens up to everyone who pre-ordered the game.  Enough about dates and other miscellaneous information, lets get to the interesting stuff.

First and foremost the Gears 3 beta has been a blast to play so far, but with that being said it is still just a beta.  So there are some drawbacks, but hopefully nothing that creeps into the final retail version of the game.  The biggest problem I noticed was connecting with another friend to play.  I do not want to point fingers as it could have been a problem on my end, but it was a problem that was prevalent in Gears 2 multiplayer.  Also some of the weapons seem really unbalanced (Sawed-off shotgun), but I digress.

The early preview beta, which is running now allows players to play on two maps (Thrashball and Checkout).  But the only mode available right now is Team Deathmatch (which is cool with me).

“Thrashball” takes place in a Thrashball arena (Cole’s forming stomping grounds) and is set up as such.  Players can navigate around the field, sideline corridors, and even the stands and concession areas.  “Thrashball” is a very fast paced and no-bullshit kind of map.  The minute you leave your spawn you will be under fire so you need to think quick and act even faster.  The stands offer a great high point to pick off opponents, but be sure to have back up because if you get flanked you are good as dead.  Also the large monitor in the center of the field can be shot down and will deal out some serious damage (like kill you instantly).  Lastly the carnage on “Thrashball” is ubiquitous so keep your eyes peeled around every corner.  “Thrashball” is fun and will surely be a hit within the Gears community, but now onto Checkout.

“Checkout” is the other TD map available in the early preview and operates at a slower pace than “Thrashball”.  “Checkout” is set in an abandoned department store and nothing shopping related will occur unless you can purchase items in blood.  What I have noticed with “Checkout” more than “Thrashball” is that people tend to gravitate to one side and just destroy each other.  Also spawn camping is more of a problem when playing on “Checkout”, which sucks but can be remedied if you adjust quickly after respawning.  There are a few good vantage points to give you the upper hand on your enemies, but just like the ones in “Thrashball” you can be flanked and killed very quickly, so novice players should avoid these areas.  All in all “Checkout” is good map to acclimate newcomers to Gears and I believe was a good choice for the beta.

The beta also tracks your stats and progress and will more than likely unlock stuff for you in the retail version of the game.  I hope some things transfer over, but if not it will be fun to tear shit up again and start from scratch, here is to hoping.

I am glad to being playing Gears again because it always feels like a lifetime in between my play sessions.  The beta is going to be a great way to iron out the problems that made Gears 2 less enjoyable than its predecessor and is also a great fan service to those of us who didn’t want to wait another five months to play the final build.  If you get a chance to participate you will not be let down.  You can still grab codes for pre-ordering it at Gamestop I believe so get over to your local store and take care of that.  I will try and update this at the beta moves forward.  As always I hope this was informative and until then stay tuned and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook.

A New Feature

Posted: April 17, 2011 by Tim Utley in Weekly Roundup
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I am always trying to think of new stuff to do for The Gamer’s Abstract and the newest feature I would like to add might not be the most imaginative or original, but I think it will add more substance to my blog.  This new feature will be called the Weekly Roundup (original name I know).  I read and see a lot of great stuff on the web over the course of a week and sometimes I don’t get a chance to write anything new because of my schedule.  I feel with doing this it is a win-win for everyone, because you still visit my site and I give you something to entertain you.  I will still be writing my own material, but there is a wealth of great content produced each week by other writers and editors that I feel warrants attention as well.  So I will attempt to bring it all here for you.

With the Weekly Roundup I will post links to the material with a brief description of what you will be reading or watching, so If you are not interested you don’t waste your time.  I am not going to rank what I read and there will not be a set number each week, but there will be something each week so stay tuned for the first roundup…Does right now sound good to you?  Here is a mini preview of what will be in store for future installments.

Weekly Roundup

Resident Evil Lover

This is actually a video of a girl’s obsession/humongous collection of all things Resident Evil (I thought I had a lot, this girl puts me to shame).  She has everything ranging from clothing to other obscure merchandise that is associated with Resident Evil.  If you dig Resident Evil, check her video out, you will be impressed.

Rebecca Black “Friday” on GBC

If you have gone on the internet in the past month or have a pulse you have heard of Rebecca Black and her incredibly annoying song “Friday”.  There have been multiple parodies of this song (one of which I was a part of), but none that have gone to these lengths.  The video is a Game Boy Color representation of the music video.  It is really funny, but only if you have seen the original music video.  You can find the music video on YouTube so check that out before viewing this if you are interested.

Simulating the 2011 NBA Playoffs with Shitty 90’s console games

I think the title say’s it all.  No lengthy explanation needed here.  All I will say is that it involves Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.  Enough said, go check out this really funny article I saw on Kotaku (not a Kotaku work though, another blogger like myself) .

Alright folks, that is a small preview of what I will attempt to do every week for you.  I hope you enjoyed and stay tuned for more.  Also follow me on Twitter @GamersAbstract and on Facebook for more of me.

Mass Effect 2: Arrival DLC Review

Posted: April 13, 2011 by Tim Utley in Reviews
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This review is slightly overdue and I apologize for the wait.  I wasn’t able to actually play Arrival until today, but I finished it and here is what I think.  Beware there are some spoilers if you haven’t beaten Mass Effect 2.

Arrival is the last piece of DLC Bioware will be releasing for Mass Effect 2 and rightfully so.  Arrival adds that much needed explanation to how the Reapers were actually planning their invasion of Earth and the surrounding systems.

Admiral Hackett of the Alliance sends Shepard on a solo mission to rescue a captured operative in the Viper System, who has found proof of an imminent Reaper invasion (approximately 2 days away).  So Shepard must travel to the edge of Batarian space to rescue this operative (will keep name anonymous) and obtain the evidence needed to prevent the Reaper invasion.

This DLC is very action oriented, but doesn’t skimp on the story.  I’d say it is a 60/40 blend of action to story.  Mass Effect is usually more about story, but for this DLC it works well.  The details divulged about the Reapers though is very telling of what we have to expect in Mass Effect 3; which makes me want the game immediately.  Arrival only clocks in at about 90 minutes or so of gameplay, but for only $7 (560 MSP) you really can’t go wrong.

Overall Arrival is fitting swan song for Mass Effect 2 and will have everyone wanting ME 3 that much sooner.  So if you have put your copy of ME 2 down this is a good reason to pick it back up for a short romp to bridge this and ME 3.

I purchased the Mass Effect 2: Arrival DLC for 560 MSP ($7) on the Xbox Live Marketplace.  It took me approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Tomb Raider fans rejoice because today’s deal is for you.  The Tomb Raider trilogy for PS3 which includes Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld is on sale for $29.99.  If you have missed Ms. Croft this generation this is now the time to catch up with her in full before the new Tomb Raider comes out.  You can hop over to this deal from here.  Check back for more deals as they happen often.

So what is coming out next year???

Posted: April 9, 2011 by Tim Utley in Editorials
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Screw the world ending, what are we going to have for games????

I have been busy with my job and trying to squeeze in some quality time with my Dreamcast, but one of my favorite nerdy/OCD things to do is look at upcoming releases and really gauge how much money I will drop on anything cool for the year.  This year as most of you know has already been pretty crazy and is only continuing to get better as the months roll on; but with such a mega packed year of awesomeness what is going to come out next year?  I pose this question because every single franchise that I still give two shits about (Mass Effect, Gears of War, Uncharted, etc.) is either releasing its final title or releasing a sequel.

Granted some of the games that are scheduled for this year might get pushed back into the following calendar year, but besides the stuff I briefly mentioned there is a whole slew of other things being released this year.  This year no doubt will be a great year for gaming, but will next year hold for us?  Will it be the year of the new IP?  Will Sony and Nintendo make aggressive maneuvers with their new handheld systems and have a good ol’fashioned slobber knocker like in years past?  Who knows what will happen, but I am experiencing mixed feelings of uncertainty and excitement.  These feelings and trains of thought might be slightly premature, but next year really leaves a lot up to the imagination and hopefully something great blossoms out of the ambiguous nature of 2012.

If you have any theories or ideas about what you think will happen next year, throw it up in the comments section.  Also be sure to follow me on Twitter @gamersabstract and on Facebook.

I am in a bit of a rush this morning so I am going to keep this short and sweet, but informational nonetheless.  Today’s Amazon DOTD for videogames is Borderlands GOTY edition (both PS3 and Xbox 360) and you can get it here for $19.99.  Enjoy.