Web Site: http://twitter.com/Tekyuinajar
Bio: I'm Tekyu Inajar, editor-in-chief for the site. I do a lot of things; primarily I'm a massive nerd and that will define a lot of what I write about on here. In particular expect me to jabber out Transformers, Anime, Console & PC gaming, Comic books and collectible toys. Or whatever the hell I feel like! YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!
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Versus XIII? What’s that?
Hey look! It’s Final Fantasy XV! Wait… Isn’t that… Yeah, looks like they just decided to make it an official numbered entry instead of keeping with its original title. Well, anything that keeps the brand on shelves aside from FF13 is good by me.
PS4 will also be getting FF14 and Squenix confirmed that they’ll be able to transfer characters used on the PS3 game onto their PS4 version of the game, so they’re encouraging you to start now.
The BIG news around here is Kingdom Hearts 3. Not that it’s news, really. Squenix confirmed that it will be on PS4 and XboxOne, but not that you could really HEAR over the loud spanking that the Playstation 4 was giving Microsoft with its cheaper, DRM-less machine with a slew of actual games on parade. That’s for another post though, as for KH3 a teaser was shown and… uh, that was it really.
Granted that’s more than we’ve seen of KH3 in years and it’s about damn time, but I’m hoping they come back with something more substantial soon because they NEED a game out there for this franchise soon.
Was persuaded to soak in the rantings of a madman behind a podium, that madman being Jim Sterling. He’s a fella known for his rantings on things relating to the video game industry and he’s known to make some pretty compelling interesting arguments, but when he’s unable to do that he makes for a fascinating spectacle.
Jim Sterling hosts a little thing called Jimquisition over at the escapist, a weekly show about… him ranting. This one is a remarkably interesting little rant worth listening to that makes a lot of sense about that uncomfortable feeling of familiarity within games to day.
TeamFourStar is the very same group of carnies that I’ve been fangasming over for awhile with their Dragonball Z Abridged. Recently, they have turned their efforts towards regular use of their respective character voices and parody practice in performing during “Let’s Play” videos on their alternate Youtube account Two Saiyans Play.
This freaky ass game is entertaining enough on its own, enjoying Krillin’s terror in this context is a remarkable bonus.
Check out the first episode below:
So… Iron Man 3 was a film.
It’s already released and by now most of the nerd fires have sort have cleared after a somewhat jarring reveal split the fandom.
Personally, I’m still nauseated by the fact that the Green Goblin isn’t the one in the Iron Patriot suit.
Regardless, it’s time to ignore the indecisive nature of Robert Downey, Jr. not returning as Shellhead in order to observe a video of a wolf puppet getting drunk and doing a terrible job of giving a voice over to the Iron Man 3 trailer.
This particular parody puppet hails from a spinoff of the Key of Awesome videos under the name “Frank Ruins Movie Trailers“.
There’s a Man of Steel one I’ll be slapping up shortly.
Apparently the Internet has been lit on fire that Microsoft has decided to “bone” itself. Microsoft’s attempts to announce the perks of their new console probably could have gone better, or at been made the least bit fucking clear.
They outlined that it was taking ownership out of the hands of gamers in a very literal fashion, cramming in an always-on Kinect peripheral that listens to you at ALL times, displayed no unique software to distinguish the device (and only had sports and a CoD shooter on hand for display) and finally boasted functions fairly common to higher end televisions today as a bigger feature than the console playing games.
The ownership issue comes with the vague news about Microsoft trying to essentially ban used software from its console. Why a console should be factory made to recognize software that is not registered to it is cause enough for concern, but this is worsened by the unclear confirmation that the device MUST make contact with the Microsoft mothership at least once or more a day to function. Or at least in order to allow you to play games you’ve paid for.
The issue of true ownership has been my biggest worry about this console generation to date and having a device that demands my software’s credentials when for that past twenty or so years that has been a primary strength that consoles held over PC games is utterly staggering. This eliminates rentals, loaner gamers and obviously kills the used market almost altogether. To exacerbate this dilemma, Microsoft doesn’t seem to know that the hell is going on or the company isn’t confident in giving a straight answer due to the remarkable amount of negative reactions.
Supposedly, in order to play game that is not already registered to your machine you much pay a fee that is not yet clear.
Whatever the case, Microsoft seems happy to wait until E3 before giving out the facts that they intend to stick to. Again, there’s a deluge of theories flooding the web right now, but the facts are thin on the ground.
Then there’s the Kinect. Per Microsoft, this is smarter and creepier Kinect that can actually take your pulse as you play and theoretically apply your natural reaction to a game. Additionally, the device is ALWAYS on as it awaits your permission to activate the console and deactivate it. It is always sitting there… waiting. LISTENING.
I can say for all my time owning a Kinect that it doesn’t understand human-speak as well as Microsoft clearly hoped it did. It’s bad enough that my mind wanders to the potential bad intentions tied to a listening device I allow in my home, but to know that it will turn on when I say something within earshot that sounds like “XBOX! On!” is a frustrating and unsettling notion. Why would I want an always-online console that listens to and potentially broadcasts the audio of my home?
Just saying. It’s creepy.
Compounding that blandness of this device, the only games presented are not entirely representative of the core gaming demographic. Modern shooters have officially replaced World War 2 shooters as the swarm of pests clouding the market for shooters today and showing ANOTHER Call of Duty that features some weird fucking dog might get SOME people excited as hell to buy the system, but there’s no real indication that this game is even an exclusive making its presentation kind of a moot point. Speaking of moot points, there’s the sports stuff they showed off and while I’m aware sports games tend to mean big money to EA,they aren’t that high on the lists of priorities for people they need to reach in order to keep the system alive.
Personally, I tend to play videogames to do the impossible things that only videogames can offer. Sports and Modern Warfare type shooters not being among the type to persuade me into anything and without unique software to distinguish the console from anything else it looks like there’s nothing in the opening library that will really pull me in. Show me a cyborg riding a dinosaur while attacking giant spiders and you’ll catch my attention.
Then there’s the perks of playing media through the Xbox One, which is kind of a stupid point since Smart TVs will already do what it offers and even phones and other consoles are more than equipped for such a party. Sorry, I should add: Current Generation consoles can pretty much off what you’re selling. It might have a few new and interesting features, but I don’t buy game consoles for the express purpose of not playing games upon them because that is the opposite of making sense. It’s like buying a blender when you need an oven.
So now all we can REALLY do is wait. But in the meantime, the damage is more or less done. Between what I know about the new Xbox and what I do not, I at least know enough that I won’t be joining that party because I don’t like the thought of gaming on someone else’s terms and if those details aren’t important enough for Microsoft to clear up now then there’s nothing more I need to listen for.
If nothing else, they have made me look upon the Wii-U with new eyes As well as seriously consider investing the the PS4 when all I know about the console so for really pertains to the fact that Sony has a controller that they swear has a console somewhere. We’ll see how the reveal dust-ups at E3 conclude, but in the meantime I’m not holding my breath.
For more on what IS and IS NOT known at the moment, Kotaku has a dandy little article to help you along HERE.
So since we started with a 6 story rubber duck this week, let’s keep the weird train moving with a bizarre collection of amusing/disturbing tales of a Unicorn named Charle.
Halo 4 has its flaws, but between shooting at all the things and running from one button pushing goal to the next it managed to at least be interesting enough to play through. Much like the awful Mass Effect: Paragon Lost film that we discussed before, Forward unto Dawn is a film that stars a lesser character for the game and a character that, until Halo 4, never existed.
So for existing Halo fans this is the prompt for a shoulder shrug as some kid named Lasky whines about the “Halo Hogwarts” military academy he
attends. Lasky has a major role in Halo 4, but this stuff…
The only practical reasoning I see behind it is to give Anna Popplewell (Susan from the Narnia Films) more work. Oh, and to make a Halo live action film finally happen even if it’s just a poorly constructed tie-in.
The premise is that younger Lasky from Halo 4 is a lonely kid caught in the middle and stuck in military academy where he doesn’t fit in. His family has strong military ties and the loss of his brother in the ongoing war against anti-government resistance coupled with his mother’s cold indifference to his desire for something else is eating away at him as he yearns to be anywhere else. Thanks to the faith of the school’s star pupil, a “lowborn” daughter of soldiers who “made the ultimate sacrifice” for the cause, Lasky finds the courage to take control of his destiny as he and his fellow students are thrust into the turning point for humanity’s entire way of life.
It’d be easier not to hate the living shit out of this film if the opening wasn’t caked in reality TV confession bullshit where characters who you don’t know or care for spout off their scripted feelings and opinions. Fuck man, it felt like an eternity before that shit stopped and I barely recognized the named “Lasky” as a character from the game. A game that, I should add, they rub in your face for the opening credits as they dick around with elements of the genuine game’s opening showing Cortana getting weird and eventually thawing out the Master Chief.
The entire film is ultimately a flashback of Lasky’s first encounter with Master Chief. The way the Chief is utilized is similar to a Godzilla film, where flickers of the ACTUAL draw are tickled, teased and advertised except it only really shows up in the film’s conclusion. That’s Master Chief, he shows up as kind of a cake topper when the film picks up and things start happening relevant to the game.
In some sense, I did like the somewhat Starship Troopers approach to showing what had become of humanity in the future through the eyes of some twitching teens. I didn’t care for the fact that Chief is on the fucking cover of the video and he’s in the film with less screen time than some of the furniture.
Watching this requires some commitment to the franchise because as Sci-fi entertainment it’s pretty shallow until the end of the film during closing and only taste of action. Other than that, it’s Halo Hogwarts where kids with angst in a military institution wax their drama until shit explodes changing the entire focus of the story from a clearer understanding of the UNSC Pre-Covenant structure to shameless Halo tie-in. When it finally manages to stumble out of its muddled bullshit and become a story, the game franchise crashes through the wall like the fucking Kool-Aid Man.
That’s the saddest part, it’s that the movie actually starts gaining some traction as Lasky steps up to the plate in the middle of a character arc and then it’s like it just remembered at the last minute that this was really a film meant to peddle a game, not provide backstory. Backstory and context are for pussies, SHOOT ALL THE THINGS!!!
I like that they finally made an effort to put together a Halo film. It’s low budget as hell, but the effects for the… well, the only action scene in the film are actually really good and seeing Master Chief running around doing Master Chief things is neat. The Covenant aliens in action look spectacular and provide a startling realization of how awesome a decent Halo film might have been. Unfortunately, it’s just hard trying to mesh the majority of the film with the ending. Lasky was a better rounded character than most in the Halo universe already, but watching the game hijack his most defining moment of his past was difficult to digest.
For Halo Fanboys, this is something they’ve already watched. A lot. And probably only keep it around for the last leg of the film when the Chief shows up. I admit though, that is pretty cool. It’s just disconnected as all hell.
For humans, this whole fucking film is meaningless. Well, aside from it having Anna Popplewell in it. It’s not the Halo movie that has been gathering dust on Hollywood’s pitch desk for years, nor is it entirely the best starting point for people new to the franchise. It’s a commercial that accidentally got merged with a film, you can see the scar tissue and the stitches holding the two parts together.
I’ve seen worse tie-ins, but not many. Halo’s fiction is more or less a suicide soda combination of things stolen shamelessly from better stuff (particularly Ender’s Game), the only thing that really set it apart was its gameplay and the delivery of the uniquely “Halo” experience. This isn’t something that translates well into other media. If you want to give it a test drive, the film is now on Netflix’s instant watch.
If nothing else, the blooper real at the end is worth a chuckle or two and the action-filled finale is pretty sweet. The rest is a hormone-drenched angst train that switches tracks the moment it finds some direction in an effort to remind you that you should be playing the games. It won’t affect your appreciation of ANY of the games either way so it really just depends on your cravings to watch a live action Master Chief.
Nintendo has reached deeply into Youtube gamer’s pockets, which seems odd as these are folks that would logically spending some of that money on Nintendo products anyway when there’s documented video evidence to prove that.
Used to be a time when we just had to worry about owning the digital games we bought, or even the PHYSICAL games we buy with disc-locked DLC. Now we’re quickly losing ground in the realm of video ownership as Nintendo decided to cash in on diligent youtubers with their latest salvo of fun that will quickly slow the flow and any new videos and likely cause a whole mess of them to be deleted or find new home on other video sites.
Basically, Youtube made an arrangement with Nintendo that will recognize all the videos of their games in action that are already pulling down advertising revenue through youtube partners and shift the movement of funds to Nintendo’s mailbox for the already existing efforts online. If you weren’t already aware, there’s a shit-ton of folks out there that play for the sake of your enjoyment, reference and education as you have a method cheaper than a strategy guide to help you through the rough patches of games.
It was an empowering thing for gamers to educate and entertain other gamers with something as simple playing games and putting the videos online. It was a boon adding the potential for ad revenue funding these gamers in their mad quests to share. For those with a Nintendo expertise or a desire to put their time in to, more or less, promote the shit out of Nintendo for a few bucks this is no longer an option as Nintendo has cut them off.
Y’know how Youtube has all those fun frowny face things because certain music companies or copyright holders object to a video being online? Same principal, but Nintendo’s decision was to leave the videos intact while claiming the videos as their own and taking whatever ad revenue they generate. This is something that’s been picking up steam since the beginning of the year as more and more videos, commonly known as “Let’s Play” videos, have been claimed by Nintendo. And these actions had words to compound the public relations failure:
Nintendo’s response per Gamefront:
“As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”
This amounts to them saying that the people they’ve just decided to rip off should remain on their knees, kiss the ring and thank them for not simply blocking this content outright.
Sure… I’m absolutely certain that folks appreciate you taking money away from videos that people spent their free time recording and uploading so that you could take the credit and any proceeds for their efforts in free advertising for your products. Now you’re playing with power. Or abusing. Whatever.
It’s sad that Nintendo, clearly licking its wounds from the Wii-U’s disappointing sales following the Wii, was hungry enough to leap at the opportunity to obtain an extra income regardless of the potential alienation from their shrinking core fanbase. Well, and the fact that it made them look like a bunch of smarmy assholes. Not that it’ll help Youtube’s public image any, but since they started bending over for corporate loving they haven’t stopped and I doubt they plan to improve anytime soon.
It’s worth noting that Notch of Minecraft fame was offered the same dealio by Youtube to just sit their and collect a LOT of money being made by fans who play and promote his game. In a tweet, Notch admitted that it was tempting and yet thought better of it because why ruin a good thing when people are willing to advertise Minecraft FOR FREE?
For Nintendo scaring off the few hardcore fans they have left seems like a poor decision when their consoles aren’t performing as they’d hoped and they can’t even lure EA to make shovelware for their Wii-U. Speaking of EA, it appears one of their creatures is stirring and making noise about how the Wii-U is “crap” and that Nintendo is the “Walking Dead”.
While a supposed professional firing off bizarrely inappropriate comments about things isn’t new (ask Adam Orth how things were at Microsoft), it’s all just more wood on Nintendo’s impending funeral pyre at this rate. It’s not like they won’t last the week, but Nintendo hasn’t had a break even before the Wii-U was on shelves with everyone from Wii Critics and Stockholders up in their grill about why anyone should bother giving them money anymore.
Here’s hoping Nintendo manages to turn things around. Possibly amending their Youtube domination of already existing stuff as a substantial olive branch that could work in their favor, but getting games on the Wii-U isn’t a bad idea either. Nintendo needs all the Good Will and Good Games they can muster at this point, let’s hope they can at least manage to get one or both sooner, rather than later.
It’s worth noting that for all the horror and darkness our world has to offer, we can all still be overjoyed by the Godzilla-esque terror that a six story rubber duck adorably wrought upon the harbors of Hong Kong earlier this month.
I’m spending more time apologizing than I am blogging lately and it frustrates me to a vicious extreme. I’ve been trashing a lot of my own articles about halfway through them because the perfectionist in me feels you deserve better. However, the FROSTED side of me feels you should just see enough words in a row to realize I still function.
I’ll make an extra effort to just push my blithering babble onto the posts, so I ask for you to bear with me.
Making worlds collide did so well last time that Telltale decided to give it another shot, but had the decency to bring consoles in on the fun this time.
Naturally, an obvious question presents itself concerning a sequel: How does it measure up to the original? In a nutshell, PRETTY DAMN WELL.
I loved the original Poker Night and, aside from the mixed result of Jurassic Park, Telltale Games hasn’t done anything that I haven’t been slobbering at the gills to fund with my money. Poker Night 2 is everything from the first game and more. For those unfamiliar with the original, it’s mascot poker with conversing players from various walks of entertainment and plays like you’d expect a poker night with some… eccentric characters might go, only a little weirder. Imagine recognizable, cartoony characters chatting each other up about murder, mayhem and even bestiality and then add poker.
As a game, it’s a light poker experience that welcomes the inexperienced and fans of the various franchises represented here. Each player starts with 20k in chips and one out the five walks out with the 100k. To be blunt, I have NO IDEA how to play Poker and I manage to muddle my way through plenty of hands meaning that it probably won’t be something to pique the interests of serious Poker folks. It’s funny and fun as hell, so the fact that I’m only vaguely aware of what the hell is going on isn’t an issue when I need to pull out some big bluffs against some game/comic/movie/tv mascots. I’m just cool like that.
It features (for the moment) Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em variations of Poker, possibly with more to come down the line. Assuming there are more, as I said before I am less than schooled on the way of Poker and yet I find myself playing this… A lot.
In addition to playing to win, the player can meet various in-game achievements through play to unlock the opportunity to win various trophies that unlock goodies for Borderlands 2, for PS3 consoles it unlocks themes, on Steam it unlock Team Fortress 2 stuff and Xbox live unlocks Avatar stuff. Winning also grants you tokens to spend within the Inventory that allow you to customize the place to your tastes with card, table felts and chips all hailing to the themes of the respective featured guests. These alterations also combine to alter the Inventory itself creating themes that lead to different results, gags, conversations and… well, stuff.
Poker Night 2 introduces some new folks to the fold: Brock Samson from the Venture Brothers TV show, Ashley Williams from the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise, Claptrap from Borderlands (plugging Borderlands 2 in the least subtle way possible) and Sam from Sam & Max: Freelance Police stepping in to replace Max who featured in the original game, but only cameos in this entry. While Valve doesn’t have a player in the game replacing the Heavy from Team Fortress 2 they managed to get GlaDOS to step in as dealer, which is an interesting sight all on its own.
In addition to the player characters, notable props and other cameo characters are featured in and around the game itself, such as the General Skunkape from the third season of Sam & Max, Ash’s Necronomicon will periodically devour losing players, Borderlands bandit Steve will randomly assault people to make them leave the table after losing and Mad Moxxi of Borderlands fame tends bar.
If anyone has a gripe to grip that I’ve come across so far, it’s that there’s one issue of accuracy with regards to Ash not being played by Bruce Campbell during his cartoony portrayal in the inventory. Ash is voiced by a dude named Danny Webber who hails from the phenomenally shitty Birdemic: Shock and Terror, which made for an amazing Rifftrax in case you hadn’t heard it. Why is HE playing Ash instead of… Y’know, ASH? Well, to be fair, Bruce Campbell is a little long in the tooth to be playing his younger self at this point and given his inclusion in this Telltale crossover frenzy this might be a strange sign of things to come with regards to Ashley Williams seeing more facetime in videogames or other stuff. Or maybe Bruce Campbell just had better things to do with his voice than use it for money and to be fair he’s been busy as hell not being Ash for quite awhile now.
For the record, Webber performs superbly as a stand-in Ash by voice alone and it didn’t impact the game negatively for me in the slightest. There was some brief disappointment seeing Ash as the only voice at the table that wasn’t the “genuine article”, but that disappointment was quickly replaced by frequent chuckles.
Although, while on the topic of the dialogue, some lines are repeated excessively. I’ve even heard some conversations pop up repeatedly even throughout the same hand. Likely these are little issues that will be seen to with updates to the game, but I will admit that a few of the conversations can become just the teeniest bit grating merely due to the constant repetition. Then again, I have been playing this A LOT since I got it so maybe it’s a saturation thing and I’ve been soaking up too much funny poker for my own good.
If you’re up for a funny poker game, this is seriously your game right here. If you’re already a fan of the stuff represented here, it’s worth your time, but without an even mildly healthy interest in poker this is worth at least five minutes of study prior to purchase. Since each new face at the table was something that screamed to me, I could not say no and I’m extremely glad I picked it up. Keep in mind that this isn’t really geared toward professional or even seasoned players really. I’ve no talent for Poker and even I plowed through the achievements with minimal effort, so keep that in mind when bracing for this immensely non-existent challenge.
For $15, this gem awaits you on Steam, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. You fire it up for the novelty and end up staying for cards and the laughs.