Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sacred 3 Trophy Trailer – Spoiler Alert!

His trophy is bigger than hers.

That’s it.

That’s the punchline of the Sacred 3 Trophy Trailer.  She’s hunting, decapitates some orc or troll thing, and is hanging the head on her wall when something penetrates her roof.  She sees that it’s her beefy warrior neighbor with a giant rock beast for his mantle.

Fun times.

What’s the game about?  I have no idea.  I thought it was some fantasy hunting game, but it’s a 4-player hack-slasher.

Does the teaser tease me?

Not really, but I’m sure it was fun making the trailer.  I prefer fantasy hunting.

TerraTech on Kickstarter – Build to Destroy!

TerraTech gets me nostalgic.  Takes me back to those days creating crazy tanks and starships with Lego and blocks only to blow them up with tennis balls.  There were towers, too, and castles.  Payload Studios has a gem here.  It’s one of the most original and exciting games I’ve seen being developed.  The premise isn’t anything special.  It’s a basic fight for resources.  But there’s a procedural world and like those Lego vehicles, you make what you can imagine (with the limited pieces you have).  Serious replayability here.  There are also some in-game challenges like racing or other NPC-driven contests, which is okay, but I would probably just skip all that and go straight to online battles.

Wait, no online multiplayer?

terratech_02

That’s why they’re on Kickstarter.  They’re raising £ to add online play.  I can’t imagine this game without online play.  This has online play written all over it.  Seems to me a game like this could’ve gotten real investors.  In any case, hope it gets funded.

Will E-Sports be bigger than Real Sports?

Robert Morris University will pay kids to play video games.  The scholarship comes out to about $19,000 a year, which is about half its tuition and room and board.  So, it’s not a cheap school but if you want to study MOBA, it’s the place to go.  We already know a top school in Korea offers gaming as a major.  And more schools will follow as long as there’s money to be made.

A scholarship is of course an investment.  Pay the kid and one day the kid will return with money.  That means there’s confidence that gaming can be a profession.  And why not?  Top gamers have made $200K+

This guy's made almost half-mil playing games

This guy’s made almost half-mil playing games

That’s nothing compared to professional athletes, but the question is will e-athletes someday eclipse professional athletes?  Will e-sports be bigger than real sports?

YES!  Three reasons:

1)      Technology will continue to improve.

Better graphics and better gameplay leads to a more entertaining experience for the spectator.  Instead of watching a war movie, you can watch a huge battle of your choosing (Rome, WW2, sci-fi, modern, etc) between several players where the outcome is unknown.  Same thing with fights and other matches.

As technology improves, more people will have access to video games and will be more affordable for everyone to play and watch games.  The price of a baseball glove or hockey stick won’t change all the much and many people still won’t have the means to learn hockey or other team sports.  The end result is the popularity of video games will continue to increase over all generations, social and economic classes.

2)      It’s simply easier to play video games.

If you want to play baseball, you have to call up all your friends and gather all the equipment.  Even basketball often takes some effort.  If you want to play a video game, you just turn on your computer, console or device.

Increased participation will increase popularity.

3)      More universal.

Not everyone has a console.  But everyone has mobile devices and computers.  Not everyone will invest in a baseball glove or hockey stick that will only be used a few times a year.  If you live in Southern California, chances are you’ll rarely play hockey.  If you’re in Canada, how easy is it to play baseball year round?  Anyone can play video games at any time.

Also, as we see in Korea, kids who study a whole lot cannot get away for several hours to play ball.  But they can sneak in an hour of gaming between cram schools.  Reason why Korean gamers are so darn good.

Also, it’s a lot easier for jocks to play games than for the average geek to play sports.

Overall, gaming will become more popular.  And as the money keeps flowing, so will the industry, and there will be stars and athletes and sponsors and most of all, new generations of spectators who will keep the cycle going.  It may not happen in the next decade or the next generation, but it will happen.

Now, is it good for society?

Heck NO!

The human species were meant to run around and breathe fresh air, and socialize with other people, not sit alone in front of a monitor all day.

Bigger than a Lakers' game?  Eventually...

Bigger than a Lakers’ game? Eventually…

Kim Jong-un’s Favorite Retro Video Games

Kim Jong-un loves retro.  He has the cold-war Mao suit, loves feudalistic dynasties and the ‘90s Chicago Bulls, has a side-scroller to his name, and recently took a photo-op with some super-retro submarines.

KJU and his old school sub

KJU and his old school sub

These submarines, the vanguard of his navy, have been in museums for decades in the rest of the world.  That’s loving retro.  So no doubt he’s a retro gamer.  Here are some old-school games for the Dear Master Gamer:

10) Pac Man.  Rice balls, rice balls and more rice balls!

small rice ball, big rice ball!

small rice ball, big rice ball!

9) Dig Dug.  Tunnels in his mines, tunnels under the DMZ.  The Man digs digging.

How do I get to Seoul?

How do I get to Seoul?

8) Wrecking Crew.  Tear it down, tear it all down!

If I don't like, it come down!

If I don’t like, it come down!

7) Rampage.  And then tear it down some more!

rampage

6) Tron. the Man’s gotta love shooting beams out of his Dear Great Rear.

tron_bike

5) Missile Command.  The Man can dream….

missile_command

4) Elevator Action.  Title reminds him of one of his Dad’s naughty flicks.

elevator_action

3) Tapper.  What?  All you can drink beer!!!

2) The Legend of Zelda. A Link to the Past.  Way, way into the past….

1) Xenophobe….

xenophobe

Video Games: The Movie Trailer — I gotta have more Pong!

A new video game documentary will be in theaters and on-demand on July 15, and its trailer is out.  It’s exec-produced by Zach Braff, Sean Astin narrates and it features other famous folks like Wil Wheaton and Hideo Kojima.  And with such an original title, it’s a can’t-miss.

VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE is a history of video games.  Instead of taking an angle like Indie Game: The Movie or Free to Play, it seems to be covering everything from Pong to the future.

Is that interesting?

Seems funny enough in a VH1 Best of Decade way: “Something about blowing your friend in half, nothing is more satisfying.”

There’s a nostalgia factor and there’s new tech and things about competitions and how big it is and all that.  But do I really want a history lesson?

A part of me want more of Pong.  A documentary on Pong.  I’d watch 90 minutes of Pong: The Movie.  More Pong please.  I gotta have more Pong!

Let It Die Trailer – Guns? Say it ain’t so!

If you don’t know Suda 51, all you have to know is that he directs violent video games.  Why the 51?  No, he’s not a J-Pop or K-pop star.  His Japanese name literally translates to 51, or something like that.  Again, the important thing is that he develops violent games and some really good games.

His new game is violent, but not jaw-dropping, at least based on the new trailer.  Let It Die is also free-to-play.  The premise looks like a modern-day, underground gladiatorial battle game.  The characters wear ad-hoc armor (e.g. goggles) and weapons (a baseball bat with nails on it is a mace).  Everyone looks twisted, but more in a Mad-Max silly way, than the completely insane twisted you’d like to see in a game like this.

And then there’s a gun.

Why????

And then there’s a gun with a laser sight.

Double why???

The make-shift gladiator weapons and armor are cool.  Keep guns out of it.

It’s PS4 exclusive.  It comes out in 2015.  It’s not clear how they will monetize – perhaps buying in-game firearms….

yep, there's a gun. boo!

yep, there’s a gun. boo!

Far Cry 4 World Gameplay Premiere Trailer – Don’t Piss Off the Elephants!

The elephants sold me.  Yes, there are elephants in Far Cry 4.  And not just any elephants.  Blood-thirsty, crazy-mad elephants.  The gameplay premiere, narrated by two creatives, boasts an open world (though the video focused on a mountain pass) and lots of animals including yaks, an eagle and yes, elephants.  I love elephants.

There’s some beautiful stuff like mountains, trees and the sky.  Reminded me of N64 Turok.  The walkthrough also demonstrated a grapple, which helps you get across cliffs and climb things.  Reminded me of N64 Zelda.

The FPS also features kicking, shooting from a car, and flying like a “flying” lizard through a valley.  Wing-suiting seems fun, but things like that I prefer in 3rd person.

I love elephants

I love elephants

Okay, so far, all very exciting stuff, but down in the valley is where it’s at.  That’s where the elephants are.  I freaking love elephants!  It’s Bambi down there.  They’re grazing, playing in the river, just kicking it.  But then, in co-op mode, it all hits the fan and things go crazy.  There’s a battle.  Your friend in the air on a helicopter and you on the ground shooting at the bad guys.  Things are not looking good when a heavy machine gun on a jeep pulls up in front of you, but then out of nowhere, comes….

An elephant!

Did I mention I love elephants?

Did I mention I love elephants?

You’d think they’d freak out with all the noise, but instead they charge right in, mad as heck, blood-lust, looking for someone to kill.  It charges into the jeep and it explodes!  What happened to the elephant?  Probably BBQ but it doesn’t show.

I love elephants.  I’m buying this game.

Available November 18, 2014 on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.

Bloodborne Debut Trailer – it’s a werewolf, man. Werewolf!

It’s dark, it’s cramped, it’s damp, and the folks just don’t look right.  There’s also a zombie-dog and gutting of dead animals.  Lots to love about the Bloodborne debut trailer.  The trailer doesn’t demo gameplay, but it’s got a cool weapon: a curved knife thing that whips into a scythe thing – over-sized, which is how we know this is a Japanese RPG.

The city is called Yharnam (Victorian London, basically) and there’s an illness that has left its streets bare and the survivors with a terrible limp.  But something tells me it’s more than just a limp.  Why?  Well, the Resident Evil zombie-dog makes a cameo, but there’s some dude dragging a dead animal and then butchering it with a cool weapon.  In the middle of the street!  That ain’t right.  Heavy mystery and creepy factor.  I’m intrigued, but then two minutes into the trailer, we see what’s going on.  The people are werewolves.

(Awkward pause)

Yes, werewolves!

That’s it.  Total letdown.  I preferred not to have known.

howl, sucka!

howl, sucka!

But fortunately the trailer continues.  We see the dude (with the cool weapon) is like a warrior and he’s in some dungeon or crypt.  He sees a bashed-in monster skull and examines something but there’s madness behind him!  Watch out, dude!  But it’s sneaky and quiet, and large and mean-looking.  It’ll eat him alive.

Werewolves aside, the game looks pretty sweet.  The Action RPG from FromSoftware (from where?) will be out next year on PS4.

Into The Dead, Amazon Fire TV Review – An FTP runner back from the dead

Game Experience: High

Game Value: High

Quiche Says: Into the wee hours of the night!

Into the Dead was meant for Fire TV.  The zombie free-to-play was incredibly annoying on mobile, but I couldn’t put it down when playing on a 40-inch TV and a controller.

It’s a runner — you run through a farm, cornfields, forest, and so on, avoiding zombies along the way.  Where you running to?  Nowhere and everywhere.  It’s very profound that way.  The game maintains a constant speed so you can’t slow down.  You receive money for distance or kills, which you use for perks and stuff.  You can brush up against the undead but if you run…well, into the undead, then you get eaten.  There are crates and graves marked with flares that provide random weapons with limited ammo to clear your path as needed.  It’s free-to-play so you can either unlock things by playing a whole lot, or you can pay real cash to speed progress.

into_the_dead_01

On mobile, you tilt to move side to side, and use weapons by tapping the bottom right corner.  Tilting often affects your sight in the already dark game, and it’s lethal to tilt and fire at the same time.  This is where Fire TV takes this game to another level.  Controls are like console shooters – move with the stick, fire with the trigger.  Just that simple ability to move and shoot without disrupting the sight of your path made this an incredibly addictive game.  I would tell myself one more run, but five runs would pass, and then ten…and then it’s morning, time to go to work.

into_the_dead_02

Here are some tips:

1)      Use the dog.  He’s your best friend.  He’ll clear your path and rack up your kills.

2)      Don’t use the armed start perk.  Waste of money.

3)      Grenades suck.  Discard them because they’ll screw you up and you’ll die trying to use them.

4)      Keep your good weapons as long as possible, even if there’s a reachable crate.

5)      If you have to go for a crate, don’t go for it.

6)      Save a weapon for the corn fields.

Fire TV has revived my hope for FTPs.  Some games I found to be forgettable on mobile are coming back from the dead.  More to come.

Dying Light Gameplay Trailer – Dying Light is better than Living Heavy

Dying Light is a survival game and last year’s walkthrough showed a guy trying to survive in a zombie-infested world.  But after watching the new gameplay trailer, I’m not sure who needs surviving, people or the zombies.  The 100-sec video has one dead undead after another.  Smashed, shot, blown-up, clobbered with a pipe….  Started to feel sorry for them infected.  And not just straight zombies, but mutant ones, too.  Which by the way is a peeve of mine: please, no mutant zombies or zombies with glowing eyes!  This ain’t anime!

Anyway, all that zombie-prejudice strengthens my belief that there has to be a game from a zombie perspective.  That’s disruption, man.  Let’s see it happen on Kickstarter.

Dying Light is on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC, but you have to wait until February 2015.