October 7, 2015

Nintendo launches Splatoon Stat Site SplatNet

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Jason Nason

Nintendo has launched a companion stat-tracking and social meet up site. The site is called SplatNet and is now available.

You’ll need to log in with your Nintendo Network ID (and if you play any Nintendo title online you already have this) and you’re set to go. You can recruit friends for Splatoon battles, view rankings and equipment, and more! This site can be viewed on desktop or mobile devices.

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Web and Mobile Miiverse Updated Today

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Jason Nason

If you’ve been on Miiverse on your desktop or mobile device today you’ll notice a layout change. The change also brings advertising to the website, though these aren’t very intrusive.

The change also allows users to browse the Nintendo social network without being logged in, which wasn’t possible before the update. Of course you’ll have to log in to “yeah” any posts.

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New Call of Duty Black Ops Three Trailer Shows Cybercore abilities.

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

Black Ops III

No Cybercore is not yet another genre of electronic music its actually the latest game mechanic to be shown off by the Treyarc for their new Call Of Duty game. The trailer is a bit short at just 1:45 but it demonstrates much. The Cybercore abilities appear to be geared towards the campaign and or a horde or zombie type mode.  The ones revealed in today’s trailer are an enhanced melee (cause CODs already one hit kill melee needs more power) an ability that detonates enemies grenades, and a swarm of “fireflys” which autonomously damage and kill enemies. The trailer suggests that this is just one of several suites of different abilities that players will have access to in the complete game. Check out the trailer below.

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Rock Band 4’s Opening Act

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

The lights dim down on the crowd as the neon lights come up on the stage and a lingering anxiousness hangs in the air as I begin to pluck at my guitar for the first time in seven years. Surely this is what my in-game avatar would have felt while playing her first set-list in over six years. She wasn’t playing with her old crew, in fact this show was probably just a guest spot, and she’s now rocking a brand new look complete with a side cut. After spending a night out living the rock star lift vicariously through my avatar with Rock Band 4 here are my first impressions.

Harmonix’s first Rock Band title on the new generation of consoles offers complete compatibility with their previous generation of instruments (as long as you are upgrading within the same console family) as well as compatibility with a select few Guitar Hero instruments. This meant that I was able to wield the dusty Fender Stratocaster that I had played with on the PlayStation 3 back in the Rock Band 2 heydays of ’08. Strumming away on the green, orange, yellow and red frets felt just as enjoyable as it did eight years ago.  Granted I was in my early 20s when Rock Band was in its prime and now I’m entering the end of my 20s, and just like any rocker who’s maybe past their partying prime I was a little rusty out of the gate. Where as in Rock Band 2 I could easily hammer out most of the songs on hard mode I was limited to medium for this opening act.


I chose the Play a Show option for my first foray into RB4  – this new mode allows you (and if you have them up to three friends) to begin playing what amounts to a near endless set list with the game making suggestions for your next track. After the successful completion of a song the game will ask you to vote on the next track by asking you examples like if you want “a nu-metal song” or “a song from the 1980s”or even “a song by Aerosmith”. Presumably the option with the most votes will win the voting round but because I was performing this show solo the only vote was my own. I’d imagine that when you have a living room full of folks ready to rock out the discussions before voting can get quite intense.

Last night’s show started with Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic a song that I had until that point not even heard – my tastes in music aren’t really that broad to be honest. It helped set the mood perfectly for our set with its strong drum beat and fast paced. Despite this rocker’s lack of practise we wow’d the crowd with a four star performance. As the gig continued during voting I selected “a song from the 2000s” and the game had selected Disturbed Prayer as our second song. Disturbed is a band that I honestly haven’t really listened too in a long time – at least since high school – but their energy and chord progressions fit nicely with the lively night that Toys In The Attic helped establish. As things wound down and I played a few more songs I wanted to go out with a bang – the game prompted me with Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King and I immediately lit up. Hail To The King was one of my favorite albums from 2013 and to see it included on the disc was a nice surprise. We wrapped up the night of fast metal-infused rock with a more modern take and as I selected quit the crowd begged for an encore – literally, in a new option available during Play a Show the crowd will chant “one more song”. Sadly I had to turn them down because my hands were starting to cramp.

Harmonix was nice enough to provide us with a review copy of Rock Band 4 for the PlayStation 4. I’ll be posting a full review of the game as soon as I get some quality time with the other instruments as well as make a dent in the career mode.


Begun the DLC wars have.

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Fionna Schweit


Konami’s announcement yesterday that they will sell all sorts of DLC for Metal Gear online got me to thinking, are the DLC wars over? It would seem that DLC has firmly won the war against free content, but one or two franchises seem to hold out.

Once upon a time in a land before the internet was widespread and when most players were getting their games out of boxes, a company called Blizzard decided to try a new concept for their games. They published a game (in this case StarCraft) and a year later published an expansion pack (the much-loved Broodwar). At the time this was fairly un-common, Broodwar didn’t run without you already owning the main game and though it cost less it was a dedicated expansion that came with its own campaign and new units. Now let’s fast forward to 2015 and the much hyped release of Destiny, The game. The game comes, out it is incomplete, its story is chopped to ribbons, and its gameplay seemingly cut down from what had been expected before. No one knows the full story but a year later a major expansion was released in the form of the Destny: the Taken King and for the low low price of 60$USD (yes that’s the same price as the base game). With its release gamers finally go the answer to what the heck happened to Destiny, its content was chopped and put in to DLC. This comes after Bungie already released two 20$ expansions for the game, meaning if you bought the whole game and all of its DLC it would cost you well over 100$. That’s just to play the story as it was originally intended.

A second horrible example is the recent release of the latest Metal Gear game. It seemed to be free of this taint of pay-for-play games, but not even Kojimas master works are safe in 2015. On Tuesday it was announced that Metal Gear Online the multiplayer part of the game would feature extensive micro-transactions. These are set to include a type of insurance service which will cover players bases from being attacked. This is officially the lowest of the low, and reeks of mobile gaming tactics. The kicked with the system is that it seems to be a one off item,

So what’s the difference between these two crap examples and say StarCraft Broodwar? Content and how it’s delivered. We live in a digital age, disks are dead, long live the large download and the storage headache that comes with it. As games have expanded so two have consumer’s wants, and it just all doesn’t fit anymore. The gaming industry is well known for its tight nonrealistic deadlines,  has come to the point where (at least in AAA gaming) shipping the game on time is more important than the game being finished! Recently this has shown up in DOZENS of AAA titles. Literally just this week, tony hawk shipped so broken as to almost not be playable. ITS 2015 THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN.  Add in to that the healthy economy of if we can sell the game twice why not do it? That seems to be the prevalent wisdom of the day.

I maintain some hope, Recently two large announcements that seem to fight the conventional wisdom of the day came across my social media. CD Projekt RED the company behind the game series the Witcher, and the distribution platform and website GoG. All of their products are DRM free (nothing to sign in to etc) and they offer any DLC content that may come up at a later date for free. Even more a win for the side of non-dlc is the recent announcement from 343 studios (Halo 4) that all DLC for Halo 5 will be free. The announcement comes at the same time when so many companies are double, and triple dipping on content, requiring people to buy the DLC content to even play the game. It’s a refreshing way of doing business, and leaves me with the hope that someday I won’t have to but the game I like 4 times before I can play it.

So, begun the DLC wars have, or perhaps continue they do.  Either way, every time I think that I see the end of the road for free content someone comes up out the ashes of DLC and renews my faith in gaming companies.  My most fervent hope is that this continues and that the trend of DLC and re-selling games starts to wane, and end the trend of have and have nots.


Far Cry is Back, and this time we are going way back, the first trailer for the new Far Cry is out now!

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

UBISoft has officially announced that the next Far Cry game, and its going to be in the Stone Age. The first trailer is cryptic but clearly features a mammoth (one live and one dead) and a series of stone age tools, as well as a bow and arrows. Beyond that I personally expect that the game will mostly be the same far Cry as always but with out the guns. Check out the trailer for Far Cry Primal and keep it tuned here for all the latest Far Cry news.

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All new all different Marvel starts today

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

If you were too busy with all the great recent game releases this summer you may have missed Marvels biggest event yet The Secret Wars. As they wind down that event, which literally involved the end of all marvel universes and a bunch more stuff there just is not time to write about.  After all of that is over, A new marvel emerges! This All New, All different Marvel (not exaggerating this is actually the title) contains many of our favorite characters and some new ones as well.


Just a few of the new and returning character from All New All Different Marvel line up.

This week is the first week of releases and includes fan favorite Iron Man and newcomer Doctor Strange (with an axe none the less!) Avengers is also returning but with a new team.   to many to list but you can read the full list here. The full new run will have marvel issuing #1s for all of October and well in to November assuming nothing gets delayed. Secret wars itself still isnt over, and if you haven’t been at least following the main book (simply called Secret Wars) I suggest you go pick that up at least so as to not be too lost.


What Rae’s Been Playing This Week [10.07.2015]

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

This week has been pretty huge for games and it’s only Tuesday evening here on the west coast. I’ve got two reviews in progress – Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax and RockBand 4- both of which I will be digging into over the weekend for coverage sometime next week. Rather than focus on the near-future let’s travel to the stars with two titles I’ve been playing over the past two days.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty


Over the past week or so I’ve been taking nightly trips to the outer colony worlds of Koprulu section in StarCraft II with my wife. I’ve been watching her replay the Wings of Liberty campaign in anticipation of the release of Legacy of the Void. My previous experience with StarCraft II was pretty much limited to the multiplayer during LAN parties during my college years so I never really got to appreciate the game’s robust single player.

Watching Jim Raynor build up the rebellion on Mars Sara has been an interesting and rather thought provoking exercise for me this week. Unlike other games with strong multiplayer components StarCraft II introduces campaign specific units with their own abilities and statistics that have no bearing on the multiplayer. This is particularly surprising given how prominent that the SC franchises is in the realm of e-sports. I think my favorite mission has to be the hijacking of the large mecha ‘the Odin’ from the dominion.  Listening to Tychus ask Raynor if he can ‘take him [the Odin] home’ is just amazing as he rains fiery death down on the dominion, even if Tychus’ final resolution leaves a bit to be desired especially the growing tension between Raynor and him.

Although I am sure some of you can agree the plot-forced romance between Raynor and Kerrigan is absolute trash and probably should have been left on the cutting room floor. Raynor has all of the personality of a piece of dried toast and his ambitions of ‘saving Kerrigan’ and ‘making everything better’ remove what little agency she has had in the series thus far.

Hopefully next week’s play through of Heart of the Swarm will fare a little better.

Returning To Star Wars: The Old Republic


Bioware’s return to a galaxy far far away has been off my radar for the better part of three and a half years, almost as long as this site has been in operation! A friend of mine who is a subscriber tempted me to come back to the game after a long absence by offering me a seven day subscriber level trial code. The bait worked and I jumped back into the boots of my red haired Sith Marauder ‘Kit’.

Much has changed among the The Old Republic in the intervening 3 and a half years. First and foremost was the implementation of Free-To-Play mechanics, which are usually a deal breaker for me when it comes to games – with the only exception being phone or tablet games. Thankfully I found my time going through levels 20 – 25 to be pretty much uninterrupted by the micro transactions save for reminders that I could level up even faster if I forked over some cash and could instantly respawn upon death rather than going to medical bay. The EXP bonus would have been nice but in all honesty I found the number of side-quests available enough to keep me occupied for over 40 hours last week alone!

My return to SWTOR also reminded me of another MMO side activity that I absolutely adore- gather & crafting. I spent all of the time I wasn’t questing back at the Sith Imperial Fleet having my companions running gathering missions for me. I somehow leveled up my Treasure Hunting skills to half of the level cap (200/400) and now my companions are bringing back mod-able gear (that is to say some pretty rare stuff) that is higher level than my character. Has it cost me a lot of credits? Oh hell yes, I’ve probably sunk a good 85 – 100K into crafting but it has been well worth it so far.


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