Posts Tagged ‘TGA’

Review Roundup: The Darkness 2

Posted: February 11, 2012 by Tim Utley in Review Roundup
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Darkness 2 launched this week and continues the adventures of a one Jackie Estacado and his destructive tendencies through New York.  We went through a few reviews and found the ones that best described the game and gave us a great opportunity to pass good information onto you.  Everything we think you need to know about The Darkness 2 can be found below to uncover whether or not this is a good game for you, enjoy.

Release Date: February 7th, 2011

Available Platforms:

  • Xbox 360
  • Playstation 3
  • PC

The ROUNDUP

Pros and Cons Consensus

Pros

  • Great Art Style
  • Great combat
  • Great sense of empowerment
  • New narrative elements help the pacing of the story
  • Unique multiplayer components
  • Great Voice Acting and Sound Effects
  • Inclusion of a Skill Tree adds diversity to combat

Cons

  • Relatively short campaign
  • Some aggravating bugs
  • Linear Levels and predictable AI

Site Reviews

Average Score – 7.5/10

Buying Decision:

From what we could derive from all these reviews and word of mouth from our friends The Darkness 2 is a must buy, day one purchase for Darkness zealots.  If you liked the first one, but weren’t a mega fan we recommend waiting for a price drop especially if you only plan on playing the single player campaign.  If you didn’t enjoy the first one at all then we recommend that you don’t buy the game period.  Also keep in mind that there is a demo so you can always try before you buy.

Alright folks this concludes our first ever Review Roundup.  We hope you found some great information about The Darkness 2 and as this is just a roundup and not an actual review please refer to the actual reviews for more in depth analysis and criticism of the title itself.  Thanks for stopping by and as always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.  Lastly any suggestions to make this better or any requests for Roundups let us know by commenting on this page, Facebook or on Twitter.  Thanks and have a great weekend everyone.

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Review Roundup Feature

Posted: February 8, 2012 by Tim Utley in Review Roundup
Tags: , ,

We love writing about games and whenever we get a chance to finish up a game quickly and write a review about it we do our best to do just that.  However we are not capable of reviewing most titles because of financial and time constraints and seeing how this is a passion and not our real jobs (not yet at least) we find is hard to provide as much content as other video game sites.  But fear not as we have a proposed solution to still offer you great content on TGA that will serve as a portal to other great sources for information regarding the latest and greatest in game reviews.

This brings us to our newest feature that we are going to trial and that is the Review Roundup.  We know that other sites have a similar feature (i.e. Kotaku), but that shouldn’t mean that we can’t deliver you our beloved readers with great content as well.  With that being said this is what this feature will hopefully offer for all of you.

Review Roundup Features:

  • Links to reviews from a minimum of three popular gaming outlets
  • A general consensus for pros and cons (pending there are any)
  • An aggregate averaged score being derived from the sites we post
  • A buying recommendation based off what we have read
  • We are going to try and do this once per week (also depends on game releases and availability of reviews)

We hope that this is something we can do to give everyone more content on TGA.  We love all of our readers who support us and we feel this is the least we can do in an effort to stay current while also throwing in our own two cents.  Check back soon for our first Review Roundup (we are still in deliberation) and as always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

TGA’s 2011 Game of the Year Awards

Posted: January 17, 2012 by Tim Utley in Editorials
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First things first; Happy New Year everyone.  All of us here at TGA hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and joyous New Year.  Sorry for us being so dormant, but things got a little crazy around the holidays and I also have been in the process of starting a new job so that has unfortunately taken precedent over the site for the time being.  All that aside we are back and are here to serve up some awards for what we think were the top games of 2011.  There are many categories accompanied by many good games so we will not keep you waiting.  Here are our 2011 Game of the Year awards, enjoy.

Xbox 360 Exclusive

Nominees

  • Gears of War 3
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Winner: Forza Motorsport 4

Why we picked it:

There we not many 360 exclusives this year and while you would think that would make the decision easier, but alas it really wasn’t.  Both Forza and Gears were incredible titles we just felt that Forza 4 was a better game overall.  Forza 3 set the bar pretty high when it released in 2009 and the fourth entry exceeded its predecessor in every discernible category and that is why it is our Xbox 360 exclusive game of the year.

PS3 Exclusive

Nominees

  • Infamous 2
  • Little Big Planet 2
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Resistance 3
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
  • Socom 4
  • Yakuza 4
  • Killzone 3

Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Why we picked it:

While last year was the year of new IPs for Sony’s powerhouse of a machine; this year marked the year of sequels.  Once again many great titles to choose from, but no game delivered like Uncharted 3 did.  Everything from the story to the jaw dropping graphics and action set pieces set this game part from its fellow PS3 brethren and that is why it was picked as our PS3 exclusive game of the year.

Nintendo Wii Exclusive

Nominees

  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Conduit 2
  • Lost in Shadow
  • Kirby’s Return to Dreamland

Winner: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Why we picked it:

This was a really slow year for the Wii, but even with that being said it had a few exclusives to give the system a proper send off.  Not a list of blockbusters, besides the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. While not the best Zelda we ever played was a very excellent entry in the Zelda franchise.  The game had charm and a great story to draw in newcomers as well as veteran players of the series and that is why we chose it as our Wii exclusive game of the year.

PSP Exclusive

Nominees

  • The 3rd Birthday
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
  • Patapon 3
  • Tactics Ogre: Let us cling Together

Winner: Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy

Why we picked it:

The PSP rode the brakes through most of 2011, but still had a few gems enter its path.  Nothing really blew us away on the PSP this year, but the game that we all enjoyed the most was Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.  This FF mash up has depth and creative design in droves and that is why we picked it as our PSP exclusive game of the year.

Nintendo DS Exclusive

Nominees

  • Pokemon Black and White
  • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
  • Professor Layton: The Last Specter
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

Winner: Pokemon Black and White

Why we picked it:

Last year we didn’t pick a Nintendo DS exclusive game of the year, but this year we felt it necessary to make a decision and chose a winner.  The Pokemon series might not be respected by all gamers, but here at TGA we hold it in pretty high esteem.  While the other nominees were just as worthy of this distinction we ultimately felt that Pokemon Black and White offered the most robust and complete experience this year on the DS and that is why we chose it as our Nintendo DS exclusive game of the year.

Nintendo 3DS Exclusive

Nominees

  • Mario Kart 7
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Shinobi

Winner: Super Mario 3D Land

Why we picked it:

2011 marked the first year for the Nintendo 3DS and needless to say things didn’t look good for Nintendo’s latest handheld early on.  A major price drop within the first 6 months and not a great lineup of must have games really put a damper on what was supposed to be an exciting time for Nintendo fans.  The last couple months of 2011 really turned the system around and in that time frame Super Mario 3D Land was released and was an incredibly engrossing Mario experience.  3DS has some other notable titles but none that we felt captured our attentions like Super Mario 3D Land did and that is why we chose it as our Nintendo 3DS exclusive game of the year.

Best Multiplatform Game of 2011

Nominees

  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Portal 2
  • Skyrim
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
  • Dead Space 2

Winner: Portal 2

Why we picked it:

Multiplatform games are always a tricky beast to tackle when it comes to awards.  Such an amazing selection; which is the case most years and it makes it that much harder to grant just one game with the title of being the best.  To make a long story short we picked Portal 2 because it was the best experience across all platforms.  Skyrim would have taken the title, but certain platforms had issues where as Portal 2 was delivered flawlessly across all and that is why we chose it for our Best Multiplatform game of 2011.

Best Action Game

Nominees

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Gears of War 3
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Driver: San Francisco

Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Why we picked it:

Variety was the name of the game when it came to action titles this year, and no matter what your preference there was something of note for everyone. But action comes in many forms, and, for our money, Uncharted 3 best delivered on those varieties, giving the highest grade all-around experience.

Best Adventure Game

Nominees

  • L.A. Noire
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Skyrim

Winner: Skyrim

Why we picked it:

This was a good time for gamers to be heroes, with a list of truly stellar action titles, both with returning series and some new blood. But, in this humble fanatic’s opinion, nothing in the world can deliver on the promise of a world come to life like the Elder Scrolls series. Becoming the Dragonborn and saving Skyrim is, without exaggeration, the most engrossing thing I’ve ever done, hands down.  My hat is off to Bethesda for showing us how it’s done.

Best First Person Shooter

Nominees

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Battlefield 3
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • RAGE
  • Crysis 2
  • Deue Ex: Human Revolution
  • FEAR 3
  • Homefront
  • Bulletstorm

Winner: Battlefield 3

Why we picked it:

It seems like every year FPS fans get inundated with more shooters they can handle so they either don’t give everyone a fair shake or they just rest on their laurels and jam on the familiar.  This year was no different, but the genre did try some new things that went beyond looking down the sights and clicking the left analog to sprint.  Battlefield 3 offered up an experience that might not have deviated too far from the popular FPS formula, but it gave gamers a second popular option to enjoy.  Lots of great shooters released this year, but none that pushed the bar as much as Battlefield 3 did and that is why we chose it as our First Person Shooter of the year.

Best Third Person Shooter

Nominees

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Saints Row: The Third
  • Gears of War 3
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Winner: Saints Row: The Third

Why we picked it:

Saints Row is up against some pretty accomplished competition, but The Third was able to differentiate itself from the crowd because of its overtly facetious nature and just offered up a unique experience within a relatively saturated genre.  I was skeptical about SR: The Third originally, but having played it extensively I came to realize that the game is brilliant in its design because it doesn’t follow normal conventions, but better yet it mocks them.  SR: The Third is a shining example of what a Third Person Shooter (and sand box) game should entail and that is why we chose it as our Third Person Shooter of the year.

 

Best Sports Game

Nominees

  • NBA 2K12
  • FIFA 12
  • MLB 11: The Show
  • NCAA Football 12

Winner: FIFA 12

Why we picked it:

While none of us here at TGA are huge sports gamers we do recognize that sports games as an important category to acknowledge.  I usually get a taste of every sports game that comes out through a myriad of friends and I usually formulate an opinion relatively quickly (under 5 minutes usually).  FIFA 12 was a game that I had played and at first it felt a lot like last year’s iteration, but after having spent some serious time with the title I came to the conclusion that is was a much better experience.  Every conceivable mechanic was improved and made for a much more interactive and enjoyable simulation.  FIFA 12 is not only our pick for the Best Sports game of the year, but may very well be the best sports game I have ever played.

Best Racing Game

Nominees

  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Dirt 3
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Shift 2: Unleashed
  • Need For Speed: The Run
  • Driver: San Francisco

Winner: Forza Motorsport 4

Why we picked it:

When a racing game gets released, just like a sports game I can form an opinion hastily (but also with better precision, if that makes any sense to you).  So when it came time for us to select our favorite racing game it didn’t take very long to decide.  Forza Motorsport 4 is the epitome of racing excellence.  Like I said earlier this game surpasses and improves upon everything that made its predecessor amazing and nothing else in the genre this year could really hold a candle to it and that is why we chose it our Best Racing game of the year.

Best Puzzle Game

Nominees

  • Portal 2
  • Catherine
  • Professor Layton: The Last Specter

Winner: Portal 2

Why we picked it:

The first Portal changed how gamers envisioned a puzzle game to look, play and feel.  The level of dedication to Portal 2 and production values associated with the title were absolutely amazing and exceeded our expectations.  Portal 2 performed the same feats as the firs, but also did them exponentially better and that is why we chose it as our Puzzle game of the year.

Best 2D Platformer

Nominees

  • Rayman Origins
  • Little Big Planet 2

Winner: Rayman Origins

Why we picked it:

Rayman Origins was an absolute treat to play and offered a great escape from the onslaught of other somewhat homogenized games.  The games art direction rivals almost anything else that out this year and probably the foreseeable future and that is why we chose it as our 2D Platformer of the year.

Best 3D Platformer

Nominees

  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Sonic Generations
  • De Blob 2
  • Alice: Madness Returns

Winner: Super Mario 3D Land

Why we picked it:

Super Mario 3D Land is a shining example that Mario is still a powerhouse of a platforming franchise and is arguably one of the best reasons to own a Nintendo 3DS.  Everything about Super Mario 3D Land was enjoyable and really showcased how 3D needs to be done on Nintendo’s handheld and that is why we chose it for our 3D Platformer of the year (3D in 3D huzzah!!).

 

Best Survival Horror Game

Nominees

  • Dead Island
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dead Rising 2: Off The Record

Winner: Dead Space 2

Why we picked it:

2011 was a pretty light year for Survival Horror, but what was released really gave fans of the genre something they could be scared of.  I originally wanted to select Dead Island, but one thing kept it from beating out Dead Space 2 and that was atmosphere.  Don’t get me wrong Dead Island created it and well at certain points, but Dead Space 2 created it and never let you escape it.  Dead Space 2 always kept you alert and for those who snoozed got a rude awakening by a necromorph.  Dead Space 2 was in your face aggressive through and through and that is why we chose it as our Survival Horror game of the year.

Best Fighting Game

Nominees

  • Mortal Kombat
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Tekken Hybrid
  • The King of Fighters XIII

Winner: Mortal Kombat

Why we picked it:

I feel fighting games define a generation just as much if not more so than most other genres.  This year we saw one of the most influential fighting franchises return to its true form and that was Mortal Kombat.   This year’s “reboot” of MK floored us here at TGA with how good it was.  Blood, guts and other acts of gratuitous violence marked the return of MK and we couldn’t be more satisfied with it.  MK performed flawless victories on every other fighting game this year and that is why we chose it as our Fighting game of the year.


Best Music Game

Nominees

  • Rocksmith
  • Dance Central 2
  • Just Dance 3

Winner: Rocksmith

Why we picked it:

As far as we are concerned Music games are a wavering concept that many publishers are straying away from.  The music gaming market became so incredibly saturated that people finally just said “screw it” and stop playing them (at least we did).  Well Rocksmith was able to pull us out of our music gaming funk and give the genre another chance.  Rocksmith isn’t the most revolutionary thing we have ever seen, but it does deserve credit for what it performs well and that is teaching you the guitar interactively and that is why we chose it as our Music game of the year.

Best RPG

Nominees

  • Skyrim
  • Dark Souls
  • Catherine
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Dragon Age 2
  • Pokemon Black and White
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Winner: Skyrim

Why we picked it:

I don’t want to say it was the obvious choice, but it really was.  Nothing that came out this past year even comes close to offering the same amount of content that Skyrim does or will offer in the future with inevitable DLC.  Skyrim has a scary amount of things to do and see and will most likely be ruining peoples’ lives well into this year (and possibly next) and that is why we chose it as our RPG of the year.

Best Story of the Year

Nominees

  • Resistance 3
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Gears of War 3
  • Catherine
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Skyrim

Winner: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Why we picked it:

This is always one category I dread deliberating on because it is almost as hard as choosing the overall game of the year.  The sheer amount of games released this year with amazing stories was completely overwhelming, but when it came down to it we chose Skyward Sword for one particular reason and that was because the story was the most vital component of the game.  The story intertwined within Skyward Sword is very engaging, but it is also what really drives you to push forward.  Some games you push forward for the next fire fight or a huge boss battle, but with Skyward Sword you really push forward for that next piece of the puzzle and that is why we chose it as our Best Story of the year.

Best Graphics

Nominees

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Gears of War 3
  • Rage
  • Skyrim
  • Crysis 2
  • Battlefield 3

Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Why we picked it:

The folks over at Naughty Dog are among some of the most distinguished game designers in the industry and the proof is Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.  Uncharted 3 is a visual masterpiece and nothing that we have seen in recent memory rivals the graphical prowess of UC3 and that is why we chose it for Best Graphics in a game for 2011.

Best Soundtrack in a Game

Nominees

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Saints Row: The Third
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Child of Eden
  • Patapon 3

Winner: Saints Row: The Third

Why we picked it:

Audio is just as important as visuals because one compliments the other.  Many games had great sound work, but Saints Row: The Third had great sound work coupled with a kick ass licensed soundtrack that kept the action fast and the relaxation mellow; so that is why we chose it for the Best Soundtrack in a game.

Best XBLA/PSN Game

Nominees

  • Bastion
  • Orcs Must Die
  • Renegade Ops
  • Outland
  • Trine 2
  • Gatling Gears

Winner: Outland

Why we picked it:

This particular distinction was hard for us to agree on (I was all about Renegade Ops), but after careful analysis we decided that Outland was the best Arcade game to release this year for a few reasons.  For one it was both on XBLA and PSN which made it an experience accessible to a wide variety of gamers and secondly the game just kicked ass.  We really liked Outland for its art style, combat mechanics and exceptional platforming controls and that is why we chose it as our XBLA/PSN game of the year.

Best Indie Game

Nominees

  • VolChaos
  • Firing Range
  • DLC Quest
  • No Pain No Brain

Winner: DLC Quest

Why we picked it:

Indie games usually get swept under the rug and most people regard them as trash.  Unfortunately there are an exorbitant amount of really bad Indie Games, but within that ocean of crap lies a few pearls that you should give a try and no other Indie Title we played this year was more indicative of that than DLC Quest.  DLC Quest had the makings of an arcade game on a micro level, but it satirical nature was a blast to experience and offered up a brief yet incredibly enjoyable experience and that is why we chose it as our Indie Game of the year.

Best DLC

Nominees

  • Gears of War 3: RAAM’s Shadow
  • Mass Effect 2: Arrival
  • Dead Space 2: Severed
  • Infamous: Festival of Blood
  • Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand

Winner: Mass Effect 2: Arrival

Why we picked it:

Mass Effect 2 had some truly remarkable pieces of downloadable content and Arrival marked the last piece of content before Mass Effect 3.  Arrival was the starting point for the bridging of ME 2 and 3 and the events that transpired in Arrival left us wanting more and that is why we chose it as our Best DLC of the year.

 

Biggest Disappointment of 2011

Nominees

  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Brink
  • X-Men Destiny
  • L.A. Noire
  • Spiderman: Edge of Time
  • Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
  • RAGE
  • Duke Nukem: Forever
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Shadows of the Damned
  • Homefront

Winner: Batman: Arkham City

Why we picked it:

This year delivered what seemed to be just an immense amount of huge titles (usually every year, but I digress).  The problem with huge titles is that they have huge expectations to live up to and when they fall short we can’t help but feel anything other than disappointed.  The list of disappointments this year is quite grand and most of you probably think we are insane for the titles nominated, but we have our reasons.  Our biggest disappointment this year by a slim margin was Batman: Arkham City.  AC was easily one of our most anticipated titles to release in 2011, but haphazard storytelling and content overload turned what was supposed to be a potential game of the year into just another mediocre sandbox game.  AC isn’t a bad game, but it reached for the stars only to be denied by a pack of disappointed nimbus clouds.  We had really high hopes for the game and maybe that is why we felt so let down by the experience.  So it pains us to say it, but Batman: Arkham City is our Biggest Disappointment of 2011.

Worst Game of 2011

Nominees

  • Thor: God of Thunder
  • Duke Nukem: Forever
  • Mindjack

Winner (or Loser, depends on how you look at it): Thor: God of Thunder

Why we picked it:

A game based on a movie was awful, no way.  Holy shit was this game bad.  How something this atrocious made its way to store shelves is beyond my comprehension.  I use Robocop for Xbox as a barometer of awfulness and Thor makes Robocop seem border line enjoyable.  If you have any respect for yourself or just video games in general you should avoid this game completely.  Like Thor’s hammer only he should pick this game up and smash it into a million tiny pieces never to be reconstructed.  That is why Thor: God of Thunder is our Worst game of the year.

Best Game you Never Heard of in 2011

Nominees

  • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
  • Alice: Madness Returns

Winner: Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Why we picked it:

EDF: Insect Armageddon is the sequel to another less known title called Earth Defense Force 2017 (which rocks too).  EDF: IA flew well under the radar because this year was absolutely ridiculous with releases and blockbuster titles.  The game is just a blast to play alone or with friends and it is something that you should check out if you are looking for some mindless fun.  The fun factor alone is a great selling point and that is why we chose it as our Best Game you Never Heard of in 2011.

Best Voice Acting in a Game

Nominees

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Portal 2
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Saints Row: The Third

Winner: Portal 2

Why we picked it:

Wheatley, nuff said.  We are serious; nothing else needs to be said.

Biggest Surprise of 2011

Nominees

  • Bulletstorm
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
  • Driver San Francisco

Winner: Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Why we picked it:

Skylanders was shaping up to be just another gimmicky kids game to fleece parents out of their hard earned money.  While the game isn’t completely innocent in that regard it still provided an incredible experience for people of all ages.  This game was designed for children, but it also has appeal for teenages and adults as well through humorous dialogue and engaging quests to undertake and that is why we chose it as our Biggest Surprise of 2011.

Overall Game of the Year 2011

Nominees

  • Portal 2
  • Skyrim
  • Dead Space 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

And the Winner is …

Portal 2

Reader’s Choice for GOTY: Skyrim

Why we picked it:

Portal started off as something that was just plugged into the Orange Box to add value, but it did something far more than that.  It took the conventions of puzzle and platform gaming and flipped them upside down and all around and created one of the most special IPs we have seen in the last 10 years.

Portal 2 is the almost perfect realization of what a video game can be.  Our second trip to the Aperture Science Facility was beyond our wildest dreams.  Everything from the brilliant voice acting to the mind crunching puzzles immersed the player in a world that we wanted to be a part of.  I can’t tell you how many of us went through this game time and time again thinking “how could I approach this differently” or just simply replaying a level to laugh at Wheatley’s cunning dialogue.  Everything about Portal 2 far exceeded our expectations and we couldn’t have been happier with the final product and that is why we chose it as our Overall Game of the Year for 2011.

Conclusion

This is our second year doing Game of the Year Awards and it is always a blast sitting down deliberating a year’s worth of gaming over a few short weeks then delivering our results to you our blessed readers.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and readership; after all we do this for you, so thanks again and stay tuned for another action filled year from TGA.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

TGA’s Game of the Year Awards 2011


Anyone that really knows me knows that one day I would love to visit Japan and possibly even live there if the opportunity presented itself.  This latest video featuring CheapyD and Scott Popular made me drool with envy.  The store they toured “Super Potato” is a retro gaming store in Japan and would make someone like myself instantaneously broke.  They had such an incredible selection of video games and other video game related merchandise that was beyond appealing to me.  I have been infatuated with Japan for quite some time and it is something that I have a hard time explaining to others and sometimes myself.  When I see videos like the one above it just sends goose bumps down my spine in a good way.  There is so much to digest in Japan beyond just gaming and it is something that I can hopefully fulfill in my lifetime.  I want to give props to CheapyD and Scott Popular for this video and I look forward to seeing what other special gems Japan has to offer via your video series.  As always you can follow TGA on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

We have a Champion [VGCDM Results]

Posted: December 13, 2011 by Tim Utley in Cool Shit
Tags: , , , ,

Raise your glass for our Champion of the VGCDM

It has been a long and bloody road for our champion.  Dispatching opponents with sheer precision and spilling their silicon innards in its wake.  The Xbox 360 controller is our Video Game Controller Death Match Champion folks and it thanks you for your participation and support.  This obviously marks the end of this event, but we are going back to the drawing board and are already in the works for another TGA exclusive event (also working on the GOTY awards).  So once again thank you to everyone who participated in this event; we hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on.  I have posted the final tournament  bracket showcasing our Champions road to ultimate victory.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.

 

TGA Podcast Episode 1 is up

Posted: December 1, 2011 by Tim Utley in Podcasts
Tags: , ,

Hello to all of our adoring fans.  We have made the decision to start doing podcasts and we have just completed our first one (a bit on the short side).  It is up on our public SoundCloud page for your listening, streaming and/or downloading pleasure.  We have one warning for those interested in listening (nothing major).  Our podcasts will have a shelf life (about 2 weeks) due to upload limitations so if you are interested in listening to them I would do it sooner than later.  Also the material is somewhat topical so listening to it too late will be kind of pointless.  So we hope you enjoy them and we will try our damnedest to have weekly episodes.  Here is the link and stay tuned for more.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.


With 2011 winding down and “The November to Remember” behind us it is time to look to next year and tell you all what we are excited for.  There are so many games coming out in 2012 and it is sure to be another disastrous year for our wallets, but that is the nature of the beast.  All the writers here at TGA have picked their Top 10 most anticipated titles so take a look.

Tim’s Picks

  1. Mass Effect 3
  2. Max Payne 3
  3. Binary Domain
  4. Soul Calibur V
  5. Hitman: Absolution
  6. Bioshock Infinite
  7. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  8. Tomb Raider reboot
  9. SSX
  10. Halo 4

TOP PICK – Max Payne 3

Why? – There are a plethora of AAA titles dropping in 2012, but none that have had made me wait longer than Max Payne 3.  The many delays that have fallen upon this game are no longer plaguing it and it is finally coming out.  The conflicted life that Max Payne drudges through is finally seeing its third installment and I am beyond ecstatic for the new direction they are going in with the game.  It has also been too long since I have slow motion dived into a slide then shot someone in the nuts.  Besides the obvious allure to Bullet Time I want to see how Max’s travels in Brazil turn out and how he continues to deal with the demon’s that haunt him.  Rockstar has made some serious improvements to the game and the amount of detail being implemented to both the mechanics and narrative will surely make this the best entry yet.  Max Payne 3 is going to be out of control and is making me wish March would leap frog over the two preceding months and give me my game already.

Justin’s Picks

  1. Mass Effect 3
  2. Max Payne 3
  3. Bioshock Infinite
  4. Hitman: Absolution
  5. Tomb Raider Reboot
  6. SSX
  7. Paper Mario 3DS
  8. Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater 3DS
  9. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

TOP PICK – Mass Effect 3

Why? – The most anticipated game for me has not been an easy choice. I find myself torn between the love of my favorite previous gen series Max Payne and the love of one of my favorite current gen series Mass Effect. Although not by more than just a hair the most anticipated game of 2012 for me would be Mass Effect 3. The thought of closing out the story arc of the over 100+ hours I spent playing ME and ME 2 growing and shaping Commander Shepard and the world surrounding him brings nothing but hype and excitement. It is to the point where I am considering picking up both the 360 and the PS3 versions (maybe not at launch) of the game due to having a different Commander Shepard on each platform.  Either way this will surely be a blockbuster title that will not disappoint.

I am adding a separate category for this as well. The most anticipated handheld release of 2012 as I feel that this is separate from console releases. Paper Mario for 3DS is one of the major reasons I recently caved to get a 3DS and my most anticipated handheld game of 2012. Being a long standing fan of Super Mario RPG when Nintendo switched to the Paper Mario series back on N64 I was entirely against the idea and thought it was a step back, or at least that was until I played it. The concept was very basic for an RPG, however the longer that you played the game the more in depth it came to overcome each and every battle greatly increasing the difficulty curve by games end. With the series going back to the turn based roots of the 1st and 2nd titles I cannot wait to spend hours immersed in the next installment.

Ryan C’s Picks

  1. Mass Effect 3
  2. Halo 4
  3. Bioshock Infinite
  4. Soul Calibur V
  5. Tomb Raider Reboot
  6. Sly Cooper 4
  7. Zone of the Enders HD Collection
  8. Final Fantasy XIII-2
  9. Hitman: Absolution
  10. Prey 2

TOP PICK – Mass Effect 3

Why? – 2012 is gonna have more than a few heavyweight releases but for me, none demand my attention more than Mass Effect 3; the endpoint of one of this generation’s biggest action/rpg series and a high point for all Sci-Fi fans. Anyone familiar with ME 1 & 2 knows what makes this a great series. Solid third person shooting mechanics mixed with exploration and interaction. Decisions have never had as much consequence as they do in the Mass Effect universe and I can’t wait to see how decisions I made years ago in ME1 & 2 will come back around to reward or to haunt me. Add in the potential of the newly integrated multiplayer and the practically guaranteed top notch DLC and Mass Effect 3 will no doubt please longtime fans, new fans, and surely be a contender for Game of the year 2012.

Ryan D’s Picks

  1. Borderlands 2
  2. Bioshock Infinite
  3. Max Payne 3
  4. Zone of the Enders HD Collection
  5. Tomb Raider
  6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  7. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
  8. Devil May Cry Reboot
  9. Devil May Cry HD Collection
  10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

TOP PICK – Borderlands 2

Why? – I literally could not get enough if the first. I would marathon that game right now with a co-op partner (fingers crossed though that they tightened up the single player) despite having been through the game at least 3 times. The sequel earns my same devotion. To me it’s the best combination of fun, unique gameplay and addictiveness to be the standout title on this list.

Ash’s Picks

  1. Mass Effect 3
  2. Borderlands 2 – Borderlands is a game that, even though it has long been beaten, is often picked up and replayed in my household. It has some of the best multiplayer available (local multiplayer included, which is great for roommate play), and the DLC Gearbox has released is better than the original game. I’m thrilled to see what they do with the next one
  3. Bioshock Infinite – the original Bioshock was the first game I ever played on the Xbox 360, and I’ve loved the series since then. The second one wasn’t particularly good, but Irrational Games (creators of the first Bioshock) are stepping back in to produce Infinite, and I cannot wait to see the World of Columbia, the floating city in the sky.
  4. DOTA 2
  5. Prototype 2
  6. Darksiders 2
  7. Professor Layton
  8. Tomb Raider
  9. A Song of Fire and Ice
  10. Jurassic Park (it should be noted that while I don’t expect much from numbers 9 and 10, I love the books, so they made the list.)

TOP PICK – Mass Effect 3

Why? – – I’m so excited for this game, it hurts. Mass Effect has created arguably the most in depth, and gripping RPG plot line ever. That coupled with superior graphics and incredible mechanics, will make this my game of the year.

 Closing Comments

2012 is no doubt going to be a huge year and it will deliver more games than any one human can handle.  There are some titles that we here at TGA were pretty unanimous on in regards to anticipation (especially Mass Effect 3), but we know there Is a lot more coming out that we didn’t mention.  With that being said; what are you excited for in 2012?  Did we miss something important on our lists?   Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you think.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.


Wrist waggling Champion

How far will this inspirational design travel?

Small margin of victory for such a monstrous contender

Battles 6, 7 and 8 have come to a close and brings about the conclusion of Round 1 of our Video Game Controller Deathmatch.  The Xbox 360 edged out the PS3 by only 2 votes while the Dreamcast and Wii skunked their respective opponents.  Round 2 will be starting tomorrow so stay tuned for the first battle and in the meantime check out the updated tournament bracket below to check out the matchups.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.


Large and in Charge

Sorry for the delay on the Video Game Controller Deathmatch front.  Now that all this Black Friday nonsense has concluded (sans Cyber Monday, kind of different) I can get back to this display of plastic and silicon carnage.  Battle 5 originally tied and then we had a rematch to decide a victor and the people have spoken; Xbox is your WINNER!!!  I think we might have had a few turncoats from the original battle to the rematch, but no matter it is time to move forward.  To make up for the delay I am posting the last 3 first round Battles to get caught up (Battle 6,7 and 8).  Battle 6 is between Xbox 360 and PS3, Battle 7 is between the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation Move and lastly Battle 8 (our weirdest match up) is between the Sega Dreamcast and Atari 2600.  Voting will go live today and end tomorrow night (November 28th) at midnight.  Remember there are three ways to vote.  You can vote on here, on Twitter and our most popular voting poll Facebook.  After the voting is over I will post an updated bracket to showcase the round 2 battles.  So let the blood flow into the proverbial internet streets and lets get it ON!!!  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content and cool shit.

 


Battle 5 between PS2 and Xbox ended in a tie (first one yet).  So we are going to have a rematch to decide a winner.  Voting will be done in the same manner, so cast your votes again and we can only hope that the results do not repeat themselves (if they do some coin flipping will be in order, potential YouTube video).  So go vote on Battle 5 again and the voting will end today at midnight.  As always you can follow us on Twitter @GamersAbstract and like us on Facebook for more content.